The Columbia Gorge Education Service District’s Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education programs will hold an early childhood screening for Wasco County children from birth to five years old on Wednesday. The ESD’s Tori Vaughn says it’s for children who have not yet entered kindergarten and are suspected of having developmental delays or disabilities. Screening will be available involving motor skills, social skills, self-help, cognitive, and communication and hearing. The screening will take place at the Early Childhood Center on 1717 West 10th in The Dalles, and is free of charge. For more information call 541-296-1478.
Klickitat County officials are expressing their disappointment with this week’s dismissal by a federal judge of the County’s lawsuit over the boundaries of the Yakama Nation reservation. U.S. District Court Judge Lonny Suko ruled when the federal government approved the retrocession process to give the tribe jurisdiction over tribal members in a number of criminal and civil areas, it did not have to clarify reservation boundaries…and did not give the county standing to ask for a decision on who has jurisdiction over a long-disputed 99,000 acres in the Glenwood area. County Commissioner David Sauter says an appeal is being considered, but it is not likely given the comments of the court and the potential expense. Sauter says the County had hoped to get an answer on the boundaries now before any kind of jurisdictional dispute occurred, noting they feel the Bureau of Indian Affairs has been defining the boundaries in a manner that is opposed to past court decisions.
Wasco County Commissioners will hold a hearing in two weeks to initiate the transfer of a number of county roads inside of The Dalles city limits to the City. It’s all part of an agreement the County and City reached one year ago to deal with what constitutes a road reaching City standards to be placed in the municipal street system after years of disagreement. County Commissioner Scott Hege says the last number of years has seen the County and City collaborate more on road issues, and that should continue. The County Commission will hold a hearing on the transfer of a long list of roads on September 21.
The annual Huckleberry Festival will take place this weekend in Bingen’s Daubenspeck Park. The festival’s Chris Connolly says there will be entertainment in the park beginning Friday evening and continuing through Sunday, and of course there will be huckleberries in various forms, from pies and ice cream to jams and syrup. The Huckleberry Festival parade is Saturday morning at 11 a.m. A complete event schedule is available at huckleberry-fest.com.
Court Street in The Dalles will be the site of racing action this weekend, as the Route 30 Soap Box Derby takes place Saturday and Sunday. Racers from around the Northwest will be taking part in the Derby, and Lisa Farquharson of The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce says it will bring 65 families to the city for the event. Racing begins at 10:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday mornings at Sixth and Court Streets. In addition, the Chamber is sponsoring the Zucchini 500 on Fifth Street between Union and Court, in which anyone may create a racer out of a zucchini. Registration starts at 9 a.m. Saturday with racing at 11 a.m., and details are available at thedalleschamber.com.
White Salmon City Councilors approved a $100 a month stipend to the volunteer assistant fire chief and captains. Mayor David Poucher says they recognize the amount of work required from those positions goes beyond a simple volunteer position, particularly with today’s training requirements. In other business, the Council approved awarding a contract to the firm of Yost Grube Hall for design and engineering services for the proposed swimming pool project. The firm will meet with the City’s pool committee and staff, and hold a public workshop to gather information to guide design work.
The Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency board has authorized The Dalles City Manager Julie Krueger to proceed with negotiations with an Illinois couple interested in reconditioning and operating the Granada Theater. Charles Gomez and Debra Liddell of Watseka, Illinois made a presentation to the agency in executive session, and Mayor Steve Lawrence says the board followed up in open session by authorizing the negotiations. Earlier this year, the Illinois couple had submitted a proposal that also would have involved the Blue and Recreation buildings, with the Granada as a cultural and performing arts center. This negotiation will center on the Granada only. The URA board recently authorized negotiations with other parties to sell the Blue and Recreation buildings.
As the summer winds down, most indicators show it was another big tourist season in the Hood River area. Hood River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Glover says Travel Oregon statistics show transient room tax receipts for the Mt. Hood region, which runs from the Troutdale area to The Dalles, is once again showing double digit percentage point growth. He adds area businesses are reporting that they’ve had a good summer, noting a trip he recently took around the Hood River Valley Fruit Loop. And there still appears to be more to come, with Glover noting most Hood River hotels are reporting they will be full for Hops Fest the weekend of September 24.
Hood River Valley 4, Hillsboro 1: Robby Running scored twice, while Noe Magana and Domingo Barragan also scored to lead the Eagles to their second win to begin the season.
Mac-Hi 7, The Dalles 0
Hillsboro 4, Hood River Valley 2: Cielo Rivera and Hallie Campos scored for the Eagles, but HRV lost for the first time this season.
Mac-Hi 4, The Dalles 0: The Riverhawks lose for the first time in three games this year.
Columbia def. Goldendale 14-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-18
Dufur def. Horizon Christian 25-16, 25-11, 25-13
South Wasco def. Sherman 3 games to 0
A standing room only crowd for the Wasco County Planning Commission’s public hearing on a Union Pacific application to add four miles of mainline railroad track on either side of Mosier at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center had essentially one message: deny the application. No one besides Union Pacific officials spoke in favor of the proposal, which County planning staff has recommended be approved with a laundry list of conditions. Union Pacific’s Clint Schelbitzki said the track expansion would improve efficiency, and claimed it would not bring about increased train traffic. But the criticism came from just about every angle, with Mosier officials coming off of last June’s oil train derailment there questioning its safety and recommending denial of the project, joined by representatives from Hood River and Stevenson. Friends of the Columbia Gorge officials said the application should be rejected not just for safety reasons but also for impacts to the river, salmon, cultural resources, and visual impacts in the National Scenic Area, while also noting an expert study they had done indicated train traffic would increase. Written testimony will be taken through September 13, with the proceedings to be continued on September 26.