State Street in Hood River from Front to 6th will remain closed this coming week for asphalt paving preparation and placement. Work will begin Monday at 7 a.m. and continue through Friday at 7 p.m. There will be no parking or traffic permitted as the paving progresses. Delivery vehicles will be allowed when possible, but will not be permitted on the new asphalt until cooled to the point traffic will not damage it. Those with questions should call project manager Gary Lindemyer at 541-387-5204. In addition, there will be an informal meeting on the work schedule and parking plan for State Street this summer at Hood River City Hall Thursday at 8 a.m.
The historic Benson Bridge over Multnomah Falls and surrounding trails will reopen to the public on Memorial Day weekend. The pedestrian bridge has been closed since January 9, when it was damaged by a large rock that fell from the surrounding cliffs. Rock fall damage has been repaired, and the bridge built in 1914 was cleaned and given a new seal coat to prevent deterioration from the wet environment in the spray zone of the falls. The Wahkeena to Multnomah Falls hiking loop will be passable upon the bridge reopening. A reopening ceremony is planned for May 30 at 10 a.m.
The Oregon State Police and other law enforcement agencies in the state begin the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign this coming week. A statewide observation survey from June 2013 found 98 percent of Oregon’s motoring public using safety belts, making Oregon one of the two highest belt use states in the country. However, 61 of Oregon’s 198 occupant fatalities in 2012 were reportedly unrestrained. During the campaign officers from Oregon law enforcement agencies will be focusing on safety belt use, including proper restraints for child passengers, use in pickup trucks, and use during nighttime travel. The Oregon Department of Transportation provides grants for overtime safety belt enforcement campaigns
The Dalles Public Works has found a home on Wright Street in Ericksen’s Addition that is putting high levels of E. Coli into Mill Creek. Earlier today, dye testing showed that wastewater from one home is going to both the City sanitary sewer and a “mystery pipe” that has been coming out in Mill Creek for a substantial period of time, indicating that the service line from the house to the City sewer main has failed. City crews are scheduled to replace the sewer service from the main to the property line tomorrow as an emergency project. After that replacement, additional dye testing will determine if repairs are needed on the private sewer line. The “mystery pipe” is thought to be a drain from natural springs in Ericksen’s Addition.
A group of Oregon and Washington legislators will take a bus tour of the western part of the Gorge Friday as part of an effort by the Columbia Gorge Consortium to show common issues of the area. The tour will go to Bingen Point, Hood River, Cascade Locks, and Stevenson before wrapping up at the Pioneer Center in White Salmon, highlighting housing, education, transportation, and infrastructure needs. Dan Spatz of consortium member Columbia Gorge Community College says the most efficient way to deal with those issues is to work together across state lines. The consortium is made up of CGCC, the Columbia River Gorge Commission, Mid-Columbia Council of Governments, Mid-Columbia Housing Authority, and Mid-Columbia Economic Development District.
The first Democrat has filed to run for the Washington 14th District State House seat being vacated by Charles Ross. Paul George of Yakima has turned in his paperwork to officially begin his candidacy. George is a former Yakima County Democratic chairman and county commission candidate, and is planning a news conference next week. Three Republicans: Ben Shoval and Adam Yoest of Yakima and Gina McCabe of Goldendale have filed to run for the seat. Ross stepped aside to run for Yakima County Auditor.
The list of candidates filing to run in the August primary for elected positions in Klickitat and Skamania counties has grown in the last couple of days. In Klickitat County, David Sauter has filed to retain his County Commission position and is being opposed by another Republican, Mike Richards. Crista Schroder will challenge Darlene Johnson for assessor…while Marc Boardman has joined Bob Songer in seeking the sheriff’s job…and David Quesnel is the first to declare a candidacy for prosecuting attorney. In Skamania County Keith Chamberlain, Robert Waymire, and BreAnna Mendoza have all filed to run for the auditor’s position, and Ron Reynier seeks the District Court Judge seat. Filing in Washington continues through Friday.
Election officials in Oregon are reminding voters that if they are not mailing their ballots in for Tuesday’s primary today, they probably should deliver them to county election offices or official drop boxes in person. Under Oregon law, ballots must be received by elections offices or designated drop sites by 8 p.m. Tuesday. In Wasco County there are drop sites at the 5th Street entrance to the courthouse in The Dalles and 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. Just slightly over 20 percent of ballots have been returned in Wasco County and just under 16 percent in Hood River County.
A number of Wasco County agencies are banding together to hold their annual Children’s Fair on Saturday…and it has a new home. This year’s fair will be at the Wahtonka campus on West 10th and Chenowith Loop. Nancey Patton of Columbia Gorge Community College Child Care Partners says they will have plenty of activities for young children from ages zero to eight, and also opportunities for parents to learn about resources available to them. There will also be safety helmets and water safety information. The fair will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Wahtonka.
The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the disappearance of a Parkdale area man continues. 24-year-old Jason Muschaweck has not been seen since May 4, a day before a break-in at a home he shares with his brother was reported. The house was described by family members as “ransacked,” and Muschaweck’s two-year-old pit bull was found shot and stabbed. Sheriff Matt English says investigators continue to follow up on the leads they receive and conduct interviews, adding they are not ruling out anything at this point, adding they would like to hear from anyone who might have information. Muschaweck is five-feet-11 inches tall, weighing about 220 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde/brownish hair. Anyone who might have information should call the Sheriff’s tip line at 541-387-7077. A bank account has been set up at Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union to help the family with the veterinary bill for the dog, which did survive, and other expenses.