A 29-year-old man was sentenced to 192 months in prison after pleading guilty in Hood River County Circuit Court to charges stemming from the death of his 23-year-old former girlfriend. Miguel Angel Soto-Quintana admitted in court that he caused the death of Cecila Campuzano Ortiz at her home following an argument. In his statement, Soto-Quintana said he went to the home of Ortiz to pick up their two-year-old daughter in the early morning hours of October 4 after a night of drinking. The two had an argument, and Soto-Quintana said he grabbed a pillow and put it over Ortiz’s face in an attempt to get her to stop screaming, then realized she was not breathing. He said he took full responsibility for his actions. Hood River County Deputy District Attorney Carrie Rasmussen noted Ortiz was not found by officers until two days later. She also said the parents of Ortiz had moved out of the area the day before she was killed, and had been concerned about her relationship with the father of her child, who had already been convicted of assaulting Ortiz. Rasumussen added the father of Ortiz had cancer and was moving to California for treatments, but returned to the area upon his daughter’s death and never got those treatments, and died two weeks ago. Soto-Quintana pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 192 months in prison on that charge to be followed by three months of post-prison supervision. He also plead guilty to assault that comes with a 14-month sentence to be served concurrently with the manslaughter sentence.
Movement of one of the new transformers for the Celilo Convertor Station will take place Thursday night in The Dalles and continue into early Friday morning, impacting a number of traffic routes. The oversized load will start at 9 p.m. Thursday along River Road to Webber Street, across Interstate 84 onto West 6th Street and then to Cherry Heights Road and on to West Second, going the wrong way up that street to the roundabout. From there it moves on to Highway 30…then south to Highway 197. There will be flagged locations with detours throughout the late night and early morning hours, with rolling slowdowns on Interstate 84 between 11 p.m. and midnight, and no traffic will be allowed into downtown via the roundabout between 2:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. Friday. The entire operation should wrap up around 7 a.m. Friday.
The 39th annual Mid-Columbia Lions Follies starts its two-weekend run on Friday at the Hood River Middle School Auditorium. This year’s show is “Follies in the Ozarks,” a story based around the Ma and Pa Kettle movies of the forties and fifties. The Follies will take place Friday and Saturday evenings the next two weekends at 7:30 p.m., plus a matinee this Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $9 in advance from any Hood River County Lions Club member and a number of area outlets or $10 at the door, with children 12 and under two dollars off. The show benefits the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation, which has received $315,000 from the Follies over the past 38 years.
Oregon 52nd District State Representative Mark Johnson is pushing a bill to give recreational areas protection from personal liability lawsuits. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled last year in a case involving Mt. Bachelor Ski Area that even though there are liability waivers on passes purchased by users, those are not ironclad releases. Johnson worries that opens all recreational-based industries to increased risks of lawsuits, and he’s supporting efforts on House and Senate bills to prevent that. Johnson says the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association has been opposing the measure. A hearing has been held in the Senate, and Johnson would like one scheduled in the House.
Hood River Valley 1, Wilsonville 0: Ryan Ward struck out seven and did not walk anyone on the way to pitching a four-hit shutout. The Wildcats did threaten in the bottom of the seventh inning, putting runners at first and third with one out, but Ward induced Tyler Tacla to hit into a game-ending double play. HRV scored the game’s only run in the fourth inning, when Adam Cameron drove in Kellen Duffy with a two-out single.
Hood River Valley 3, Century 2: Kelsey Wells’ two-out base hit drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Eagles their third straight win. Jessica DeHart reached on a fielder’s choice and went to second on an error to set up Wells’ game-winner.
The Dalles 11, Franklin 1: Maddy Bradford pitched a one-hitter to win the five inning game at 16th Street Park. The Riverhawks are now 7-4 on the season.
Hood River Valley 8, Pendleton 0
Hermiston 8, The Dalles 0
Pendleton 6, Hood River Valley 2
Oregon Episcopal 15, Hood River Valley 3
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the spring chinook fishery on the Hood River will open April 15. ODFW fish biologist Rod French says managers are predicting over 1100 hatchery fish will return to the Hood River, making it one of the few places a bank angler has a pretty good chance of catching a Columbia River spring chinook. While the fishery will open in mid-April, French said the run usually peaks in late May due to colder water temperatures in the Hood River. Temporary rules include the Hood being open for adipose fin-clipped chinook from April 15 through June 30 from the mouth to mainstem confluence with the East Fork, and the West Fork from the confluence with the mainstem upstream to the angling deadline 200 feet downstream of Punchbowl Falls. The catch limit is two adult adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon per day, and five adipose fin-clipped jack chinook salmon per day. All non-adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon must be released unharmed.
The Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital Family Birth Center will be conducting a blanket drive next week (April 13-17) in support of the Sweet Pea Project, which provides the blankets to wrap around babies who die before, during, or shortly after birth and then give them to the parents as a keepsake to remember their child by. The Center’s Cameron Teems says the project has donated blankets to grieving parents across the country as a keepsake of their child. New and unused baby blankets can be taken next week to the lobby of Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.
The Four Rivers Early Learning Hub’s strategic plan has been approved by its governance board, and will soon go to the state for review and approval. The Hub is made up of Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, and Wheeler counties to coordinate services for ages zero to six under a reorganization of early learning in the state that was spearheaded by former Governor John Kitzhaber. Joella Dethman of the Hood River County Prevention Coalition says the goal is to make sure everyone works together to help families. Establishment of the hub, which has been in the works for about two years, replaces the former County Commissions on Children and Families.
The early busy tourist traffic in Hood River continued in March, and the end of this week will mark the start of the annual “Blossom Time” promotion. Hood River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Glover says even though many trees have bloomed much earlier than normal, large crowds are still expected in the Hood River Valley. He added the Upper Valley should have good blossoms out for the “Blossom Time” period. The traditional Blossom Festival weekend is April 18-19. Information on “Blossom Time” events is available on-line at hoodriver.org.
As it becomes more likely a statewide K-12 education budget of $7.255 billion will pass in the Legislature, school district officials are getting ready to deal with the budget realities that will result. North Wasco County School District 21 Chief Financial Officer Randy Anderson says he needs to make an assumption on a budget number by the end of this month, noting he expects some change with the state’s May revenue forecast. Anderson does say he doubts the revenue forecast can grow to the point where the state K-12 budget number would go up $7.5 billion, which education officials say they need to avoid cuts. Majority Democrat legislative leaders have promised to put 40 percent of any increase in the revenue forecast into the K-12 budget.