With one major pet supply chain removing all Chinese-made dog and cat treats from its outlets, and a second planning to do so by March, the question of what has actually caused illness and 1,000 deaths of dogs and cats in this country since 2007 remains. The Food and Drug Administration targeted the Chinese-made treats and continues to investigate, but tests have not confirmed any connection. Dr. Mike Foss of Hood River’s Alpine Veterinary says it appears to be a renal toxin, but determining the actual chemical has been difficult. He adds even animal food that is made here can tend to include some foreign-made ingredients, primarily vitamin and mineral supplements. Petco announced Monday it was removing all remaining Chinese-made dog and cat treats from its shelves and website, and PetSmart plans to do so by March.
A LaCenter, Washington woman was taken to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital for treatment of what were termed minor injuries after reportedly being struck by a motorist at the intersection of Second and Oak in downtown Hood River on Friday evening. According to the Hood River Police Department, the 56-year-old woman and her husband were crossing the street in a crosswalk when a pickup truck drove through it and allegedly struck the woman. The husband was able to get out of the way, and the woman told police she was unsure if the truck actually made contact with her or if she had sustained the injuries jumping out of the way. When contacted by police, the driver of the truck was issued a citation for failing to perform the duties of a driver.
As North Wasco County School District 21 enters into 2015, there is cautious optimism about where the district is at financially. Superintendent Candy Armstrong says she feels there is an opportunity for the district to build back some of what it has lost during cutbacks in recent years. CFO Randy Anderson sees reasons for optimism, especially with a focus on early learning in Governor John Kitzhaber’s proposed state budget for the next biennium, adding there appears to be an appetite in the Legislature to properly fund full-day kindergarten. However, Anderson did add the Governor’s budget for K-12 education as proposed is essentially flat considering basic increases in the cost of doing business.
Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba is optimistic about the New Year. Coba says 2014 saw producers in many sectors see very strong prices for their goods. Coba says some of the same challenges of 2014 will be present in the New Year, including concerns about water quality, water quantity, pesticides, and genetically-engineered agriculture. Some of those issues will be topics of discussion by the upcoming legislative session.
The Hood River County Chamber of Commerce plans to continue its networking events in 2015 to help the local business community get together and connect with each other. Business After Hours will continue the second Thursday of every other month, and the Coffee Clatters will continue the third Friday morning of every month. The Chamber’s Matt Werbach says networking can be challenging for small businesses, and as social media changes there is still nothing to replace face-to-face opportunities. Werbach notes the Chamber is beginning to plan for its annual Small Business Showcase in March. Information on the Hood River Chamber’s various networking events is available on-line at hoodriver.org.
Lebanon 90, Hood River Valley 63
Bend 67, The Dalles 47
Hockinson 61, Columbia 49
Dufur 72, Spray-Mitchell 40
South Wasco 66, Arlington 35
Sherman 86, Ione 37
Southwest Christian 53, Trout Lake 37
Highland 62, Goldendale 44
The Dalles 38, Bend 28
Kelso 57, Hood River Valley 20
Dufur 48, Spray-Mitchell 29
Arlington 38, South Wasco 37
Ione 44, Sherman 39
Southwest Christian 49, Trout Lake 48
Goldendale 37, Highland 30
The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office is participating in a DUII enforcement overtime grant this holiday season. The grant is funded through the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and administered by the Oregon Department of Transportation. Its goal is to reduce instances of people driving under the influence of intoxicants this holiday season by high visibility enforcement, and decrease the number of fatalities and injuries that occur from impaired driving. The Sheriff’s Department will be increasing patrols and have deputies dedicated to searching for impaired drivers. Anyone who sees someone they suspect is driving while impaired is asked to call the Hood River County Sheriff’s Department at 541-386-2711 or 9-1-1.
The Next Door, Inc. has named Catherine Whalen as its 2014 Volunteer of the Year. Whalen has been on the Next Door’s Board of Directors since 1999, serving as Chair for the last three years. Whalen joined the Board after helping found Families First, a program of The Next Door that has helped hundreds of parents in Wasco County learn more effective parenting skills and keep their children safe, healthy and loved. Whalen works full-time for Mid-Columbia Medical Center. The Next Door is a local nonprofit that works to strengthen children and families and improve communities throughout the Gorge.
Angela Elam has been named the new Deputy Forest Supervisor of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Elam comes to the Gifford Pinchot after serving as the District Ranger of the Payson Ranger District on the Tonto National Forest since June 2011. An Arizona native, Elam has a bachelor’s degree in forest management from Northern Arizona University, and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Arizona. She began her career as a seasonal firefighter on the Mesa Ranger District of the Tonto National Forest, and has also worked in the White River National Forest in Colorado, the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in Arizona, the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, and the Ashley National Forest in Utah.
Wonderworks Children’s Museum officially owns its building. Closing documents have been signed to transfer title of the building at 206 Madison in The Dalles from the Port of The Dalles to Wonderworks. The Port purchased the property about six years ago and leased it to Wonderworks as the nonprofit worked to raise money for improvements and purchase. The economic downturn slowed Wonderworks’ efforts, resulting in a six-year process rather than the five years originally planned. Major grant funders raised their expectations for local matches, meaning the Wonderworks had to work longer and harder to qualify for funding. The Port credited a portion of the lease payments toward loan capital as a means of making grant requests more attractive to funders. The purchase money is now back in Port coffers to be used for other economic development-related efforts.