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Local News

Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down

A federal judge has struck down Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban, saying it is unconstitutional.  U.S. District Judge Michael McShane threw out the voter-approved ban today.  State officials have said they’d be prepared to carry out same-sex marriages almost immediately, and couples lined up outside the Multnomah County Clerk’s office in Portland in anticipation of the decision.  Four gay and lesbian couples brought suit arguing Oregon’s marriage laws unconstitutionally discriminate against same-sex couples and exclude them from a fundamental right.  State officials refused to defend the ban, and McShane earlier denied a request by the National Organization for Marriage to intervene on behalf of its Oregon members.  An appeals court this morning refused the group’s request for an emergency stay of McShane’s decision.

Mid-Columbia Unemployment Changes Little In April

Unemployment rates in Oregon Mid-Columbia counties in April remained about the same as they were in March.  Oregon Employment Department statistics put Wasco County’s April rate at six-point-six percent, the same as in March and down four-tenths of a point from April one year ago.  Hood River County checked in last month at five-point-four percent…down a tenth-of-a-point from March and nine-tenths of a point from one year ago.  And Sherman County’s April unemployment rate was six-point-two percent, down a tenth-of-a-point from March and from seven-point-five percent in April 2013.

Klickitat County Schools To Get New Emergency Response System

Ten Klickitat County school districts have received a state grant to install a school emergency response system with a direct link to the Klickitat County Emergency Operations Center facility.   The districts receiving the advanced safety system include: Bickleton, Centerville, Glenwood, Goldendale, Klickitat, Lyle, Roosevelt, Trout Lake, White Salmon Valley, and Wishram.   The new technology to be installed in coming months will provide a direct and nearly-instant connection to 9-1-1 dispatchers in Goldendale, along with capability for dispatchers and responders to remotely see and hear in real time what is happening at the source of the alarm, facilitating earlier dispatch with a much improved view of what is actually occurring at the school.   The grant will cover more than $19,000 per school for the new system.

Person Missing After Raft Capsizes On Klickitat River

One person is missing after a raft capsized on the Klickitat River near the Yakima/Klickitat county line over the weekend.  The Yakima County Sheriff’s Office reports two people were in the raft when it overturned on Saturday afternoon.  One person was able to get out of the water and report what happened.  The search for the second person is continuing in Klickitat County waters, and the raft has been recovered.

Oregon Ballots Must Be In By 8 p.m. Tuesday

Voters in Oregon have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to turn their primary election ballots back to county election offices.  At last report turnout in Wasco County was at 24-point-seven percent, and 20-point-six percent in Hood River County.  Ballots can be taken to county elections offices or designated drop sites.  In Wasco County, there are drop sites at the 5th Street entrance to the courthouse in The Dalles and at Maupin City Hall, and in Hood River County they are at the County Administration Building on 601 State Street in Hood River and at Cascade Locks City Hall.

Port of HR To Discuss Boat Basin Path Concept Plan

The Port of Hood River Commission will discuss a plan from a committee on the concept plan for a path along the western edge of the Nichols Boat Basin.  The Port will be looking at extending the contract of design firm Walker Macy.  Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says the question is whether to start design work when the project depends on two grant applications to the state, and the outcome of those won’t be known for at another month.  McElwee says they do have a clear concept plan for the basin which will drive requests for zone changes to allow the path and water access to happen, and will be useful regardless of when they receive grant funding.

A Few More Filings In Skamania And Klickitat Counties

There were a few additional filings for the August primary election in Klickitat and Skamania counties as the filing period came to a conclusion at the end of last week.  In Klickitat County, Lori Hoctor turned in the paperwork to run for re-election as prosecutor, and she is opposed by David Quensel, while Jonathan Lewis became the third PUD Commission candidate, joining Dan Gunkle and Sherry Carver in seeking position three on that panel, and Elizabeth Hallock filed for West District Court Judge, joining Dave Brown and Jeff Baker.  Earlier filings created contested races for County Commission position two, assessor, and sheriff.  In Skamania County, Adam Kick filed for re-election for prosecuting attorney and is unopposed, while Thomas Linde and Dan Gunderson join Bob Wittenberg and Liz Green in seeking a Skamamia PUD Commission seat.  There are also contested races for auditor and County Commission position three.  The primary is on August 5.

NCPHD Gets March Of Dimes Grant To Promote Healthy Pregnancies

North Central Public Health District has received a $14,000 grant from the Greater Oregon Chapter of the March of Dimes to launch activities aimed at supporting women of reproductive age.  The district says it will work with medical providers in the area to support the project.  Risk factors that may affect a healthy pregnancy will be addressed and assistance offered to decrease them.  One example is in the area of smoking and pregnancy.  The district says statistics show 19-point-two percent of women in Wasco, Sherman, and Gilliam counties report using tobacco during pregnancy, higher than the state rate of 10-point-six percent.

The Dalles Chamber Offering “Hospitality U”

The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce will be offering its “Hospitality U” training courses the final two weeks of May.  Chamber CEO Lisa Farquharson says the goal of the three sessions is to create a well-informed workforce that is knowledgeable about what to do, where to go, and how to have fun while visiting The Dalles.  One training session set for this week is full, and a second on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Cousins’ Country Inn only has a couple of vacancies left, but a third planned for May 28 at 6 p.m. at Griffith Motors has space remaining.  Call The Dalles Chamber at 541-296-2231 to sign up.

May 16-17 Prep Sports Roundup

Track and Field

Columbia River Conference

Boys:  Hood River Valley finished second behind host Hermiston and The Dalles was fourth.  Hood River Valley had three individual champions:  Wyatt Webber in the 100 meters, Patrick Crompton in the pole vault, and Sebastian Barajas in the discus, while winners for The Dalles were Zach Nerdin in the 300 meter hurdles and Lio Tunai in the shot put.  The Eagles have nine entries in next weekend’s Oregon Class 5A meet in Eugene, while the Eagle-Indians have two.

Girls:  Hood River Valley finished second behind host Hermiston and The Dalles was fourth.  Jestena Mattson won both the 100 and 200 meters for HRV, with Grace Grim taking the 800 and 1500, Sascha Bockius the 3,000, and the Eagles also won both relays.  For The Dalles, Yasmin Hill won the pole vault and long jump while Katie Conklin took first in the triple jump.  HRV grabbed 11 state meet entries and The Dalles has five.

Oregon Class 1-A Special District 3

Boys:  Sherman just held off Horizon Christian to win the league title.  Loreto Morelli of South Wasco won three events.

Girls:  Condon-Wheeler outdistances Sherman for the team title.  Taylor Darden of Dufur won both the shot put and discus.

Trico League at Stevenson

Boys:  Woodland wins with Columbia third and Stevenson sixth.  Nathan Bell of Columbia won both hurdles races, the Bruins 4 by 400 meter relay team was victorious, and Stevenson’s Brandon Campbell took first in the pole vault.

Girls:  Woodland took the title with Columbia second and Stevenson fifth.  The Bulldogs’ Madison McCrum was a triple winner, taking the pole vault, long jump, and triple jump.  Columbia received first place finishes from Claudia Cortez in the 1600 meters, Kirstin Hylton in the shot put, Lauren Thiesies in the high jump, and the four by 100 and 200 meter relay teams.

SCAC West at Goldendale

Boys: Zillah wins, Goldendale third…The Timberwolves’ Brian Golding wins the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, and Briley Cameron is first in the 200 meters.

Girls:  Zillah wins, Goldendale fourth…Billie Jo Risheim wins the 300 meter hurdles for the Timberwolves.

Greater Columbia League 1B at Bickleton

Boys:  Lyle-Wishram wins, taking nine first place finishes, including a sweep by Gabe Montoya of the three throwing events.

Girls:  Bickleton wins, holding off Lyle-Wisrham, with the Pirates’ Lindsay Brown winning four events.  Trout Lake won all three relays.


Hood River Valley 11, The Dalles 7:  The Eagles used a seven-run third inning to grab the lead, and held on in the final Columbia River Conference game of the season for both teams.  Alix Jimenez had two hits and two runs batted in for the Eagles, who moved into a tie for third in the league with The Dalles.  Both teams will play Class 5-A play-in games on Friday.

Sherman sweeps Pilot Rock 5-4 and 4-3.

Weston Mc-Ewen sweeps Dufur 5-2 and 12-3 to win the Special District 6 title.


Hood River Valley 8, The Dalles 1:  The Eagles earned a share of the Columbia River Conference title with the win, and probably the second spot in the Oregon Class 5-A RPI rankings heading into the state playoffs beginning May 28.  Kayla Byers struck out 14 on the way to the win.  The Dalles will be on the road for a 5-A play-in game on Friday.

Boys Soccer

Southwest Washington District Class 1-A Third Place Game

Columbia 6, LaCenter 2:  The Bruins grab the final district spot in the state tournament, and will meet University Prep of Seattle in a first round game.

Oregon Class 5-A Special District 1 Tennis

Scottie Ziegner of Hood River Valley finished fourth in boys’ singles to earn the only berth for area competitions at next week’s Oregon 5-A tournament in Portland.

Oregon Class 4-A/3-A/2-A/1-A Special District 4 Tennis

Meghan Belshe of Sherman finished third in girls’ singles to advance to the state tourney in Corvallis.

Boys Lacrosse

Central Catholic 10, Hood River Valley 8



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