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Columbia River Weather

Fire Weather Watch, Fire Weather Warning

3:59 PM PDT on July 28, 2016
9:00 PM PDT on July 30, 2016
Thursday 0%
High 103° / Low 66°
Friday 0%
High 103° / Low 67°
Partly Cloudy
Saturday 0%
High 91° / Low 60°

Local News

Fireworks Fund Seeks Donations To Meet Matching Offer

The Dalles Main Street Program and Fort Dalles Fourth have established a “GoFundMe” account as they try to get to three-thousand dollars and get a matching amount from a donor to help pay for fireworks on the Fourth of July.  Matthew Klebes of The Dalles Main Street says they have to get to three-thousand dollars by the end of March.  To donate go to gofundme.com/fortdallesfourth, get the link from the Fort Dalles Fourth Facebook page, or go to the Main Street office in the MINT Building in downtown The Dalles.

Couple Of Spots Left In Culinary Program

There are still a couple of spots left to take part in the first 12-week training in culinary arts being offered by the new Fresh Start Culinary Arts program geared for unemployed and underemployed people in the Gorge to train them for family wage jobs in the region’s commercial food industry.  The non-profit program was developed by members of Riverside Community Church in downtown Hood River, where the program will be based utilizing a recently completed commercial kitchen.  Kathy Watson is one of the organizers of the program and owned a restaurant for ten years, and says they are looking to train those needing work to be able to move into a local commercial food industry in need of qualified workers.  Students will also spend time on local farms understanding what it’s like to buy from local farmers.  Watson says at the end of the program students will be ready for entry-level line cook jobs in restaurants, hospitals, and school kitchens.  To apply for the program, go on-line to freshstartculinaryarts.org and download an application.

Wasco County Commission Appoints Magill As New Sheriff

The Wasco County Commission has appointed Chief Deputy Lane Magill to fill the remainder of Sheriff Rick Eiseland’s term when Eiseland retires on April 30.  County Commission Chair Rod Runyon says the training of Magill has been on-going for a number of years, and he expects a seamless transition, adding he expects Magill to continue to be a real asset to Wasco County, bringing a new skill set to the Sheriff’s position.  The Sheriff’s position is up for election during this year’s election, and Magill was the only person to file for the ballot.  Magill has been with the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office since 2002, and was appointed as Chief Deputy five years ago.

Bill To Force Forest Service To Finish Cooper Spur Exchange Heads To House Floor

A bill authored by Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden to force the U.S. Forest Service to complete a land exchange on Mt. Hood that was approved by Congress seven years ago has taken a major step forward.   The Mount Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange Clarification Act was approved unanimously by the House Natural Resources Committee Wednesday, and is headed to the full House.  Walden says the bill co-sponsored by fellow Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer would force the Forest Service to complete its work in a timely manner.  A 2009 law authorizes a land exchange to allow development of 120 acres of federal land in Government Camp in exchange for 770 acres of non-federal land at Cooper Spur, and called for the Forest Service to complete the exchange within 16 months.   But it still has not occurred, and the new bill would restate Congress’ intent that the Forest Service move quickly to complete the exchange, addresses disagreements over a conservation easement, and allows for a more transparent appraisal process.  Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have introduced similar legislation awaiting consideration by the full Senate.

URA Committee Recommends Selling Granada Block Properties

The Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Advisory Committee has decided to recommend the rejection of all three proposals received for the Granada Block in downtown The Dalles, and put all three properties up for sale with conditions for redevelopment.  That decision came after a review panel which had initially recommended entering negotiations with Charles Gomez and Debra Liddell of Wateska, Illinois decided to now recommend selling the properties.  The couple had proposed rehabilitating the Granada Theater, turning the Recreation Building into four small store fronts along with a commercial kitchen and diners club, and use the Blue Building for three more store fronts, but advisory committee members one month ago questioned whether the pair realized the condition of the Granada and have them submit a new proposal.  Then the review committee received advice from City Attorney Gene Parker that the approach would violate the law unless a new request for proposal open to all was issued, leading to the new recommendation to sell.  That now goes to the Urban Renewal Agency board, made up of The Dalles City Council and Mayor Steve Lawrence.

HR County Building Antenna Project Designed To Fill Downtown Coverage Holes

An information meeting on Hood River County Sheriff’s Office 9-1-1 Division plans to install grant-funded radio system improvements atop the County Business Administration Building to fill holes in emergency radio coverage did not draw many people.  It was the first step in the permitting process to add antennas to those that already exist on top of the building at Sixth and State.  County Sheriff Matt English says they need to fill holes in their radio coverage in downtown Hood River, noting with additional computers in the area operating on frequencies similar to those used for law enforcement channels, there is large amount of interference.  The next step in the project is to apply for a conditional use permit from the Hood River City Planning Department.  The project will be funded by a $130,000 grant from federal Homeland Security funds.

Details For Use Of White Salmon School Property For Pool Being Developed

The White Salmon Valley School Board held a worksession with the City of White Salmon’s swimming pool committee to iron out details for use of land across from Whitson Elementary School to build a new pool on.  District Superintendent Jerry Lewis says the big concern was dealing with the loss of parking and ensuring the safety of students if the property is used for a pool.  He adds the district’s Safe Routes To School project is connected with that lot, and the board is putting minimum requirements on available parking spaces.  The board will have an action item before it during its meeting next week to move forward with the project.

March 15 Prep Sports Roundup


Hood River Valley 9, Barlow 4:  The Eagles jumped out to a big lead early, and rolled to their second straight win to begin the season.  Connor Coerper went three for three and drove in two runs at the plate while striking out seven, and Dallas Buckley drove in three runs.

Adna 17, Columbia 2



Hood River Valley 5, Barlow 4:  Zoe Munn and Makenna Zeller drove in two runs apiece, and the Eagles held off a late Bruin rally to win the season opener for both teams.

HR URA Adds Housing As A Goal In Heights Urban Renewal District

The Hood River Urban Renewal Agency has decided to add housing as an identified goal for the Heights Urban Renewal District.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says adding housing to the goal list would open up some options for using tax increment financing to help assemble land to create affordable housing in that area of Hood River, if the URA board wished to move in that direction.  Wheeler says other cities have used urban renewal to address housing needs, particularly in regard to preparing infrastructure for home construction.