We are into the final days to file for the Oregon’s special districts election in May, and there are still some positions in Hood River and Wasco counties lacking candidates. In Hood River County positions with no one having filed include a seat on the Hood River County Transportation district board, three seats on the Parkdale Rural Fire District and Parkdale Sanitation panels, and two seats on the Crystal Springs Water District and Port of Cascade Locks boards. Offices with no candidates in Wasco County include the zone three seat for North Wasco County School District 21, zone five in the South Wasco County School District, two Dufur School Board positions, various numbers of seats on the Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, Mosier, Juniper Flat, Tygh Valley, Columbia Rural, and Wamic fire districts, and the same for water districts in Wamic, Pine Grove, Tooley, and Tygh Valley. Filing deadline is Thursday at 5 p.m., and for information contact Hood River County Records and Elections at 541-386-1442 or the Wasco County Clerk’s office at 541-506-2530.
The Port of Hood River is embarking on updating its master plan for the Ken Jernstedt Airfield. The Federal Aviation Administration requires an update every seven years. Port Executive Director Michael McElwee notes the most recent seven year master plan cycle included completion of a shift of the runway location, closure of Orchard Road, and development of a parallel taxiway on the north side of the airfield. McElwee says this cycle may address where the fixed base operator should be located, and the current plan is to move it from the south side of the runway to the north side. McElwee notes the FAA will want to see some other projects in the plan, including perimeter fencing around the airport. The Port’s airport master plan committee meets this Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the WAAAM Museum facility adjacent to the airport.
The cruise ships start to arrive in The Dalles starting April 1. The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Lisa Farquharson says brochures are ready and the Floozies are ready to greet the visitors. She adds the Chamber has sent out a reminder to businesses to put their best foot forward for the guests, and make sure their locations are clean. Farquharson noted there are high school students looking for community service work for credits to graduate, and the Chamber can help businesses get in touch with them to help with their clean-up.
One person is dead after barricading himself inside a house on the 1100 block of Mt. Hood Street in The Dalles for about four hours, and the house eventually was severely damaged by fire that produced thick black smoke Oregon State Police Lieutenant Pat Shortt said as fire crews worked throughout the structure a single fatality was discovered. The name of the deceased person is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Shortt said the incident began around 8:25 a.m. on Monday when deputies arrived at the house to serve civil papers on the resident living there, but had to back away when gunshots were heard. Officers set up a perimeter around the house and attempted to negotiate with the occupant when smoke began to come from inside the residence. Shortt says officers were never able to speak to the occupant at any time during the incident. The Oregon State Police Arson/Explosives Section arrived on scene, and just before 12:30 p.m. drove an armored car to the house and called for the occupant to come out. It was at that time the fire became intense. Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue crews used a ladder truck to drop water on the fire from above, and then crews were given the go-ahead to approach and attack the fire. The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office is the lead investigative agency. Colonel Wright Elementary School and St. Mary’s Academy were placed in a lockdown that was lifted in about two hours after it was determined there was no immediate threat to students or staff.
According to OSP Lieutenant Pat Shortt, at approximately 8:25 a.m., Wasco County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at 1100 Mt. Hood St., in The Dalles, to serve civil papers on the resident living there. As deputies knocked on the door gunshots were heard from within and deputies fell back and requested additional police to respond. Officers arriving at the scene created a perimeter and attempted negotiations with the occupant. Shortly thereafter, smoke began to come from inside the residence. Lieutenant Shortt said deputies/officers do not have any information/evidence to indicate that more than a single person is present in the residence however, officers have not been able to speak with the occupant at any point during this incident. The Oregon State Police Arson/Explosives Section has arrived on scene to assist with the investigation. The Fire Department is standing by to assist with Fire Suppression when it is safe to do so.
The Oregon State Police (OSP), Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and The Dalles Police Department are asking residents in The Dalles to avoid streets in/around the 1100 Block of Mt. Hood Street for police activity there. OSP troopers responded to assist the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and The Dalles Police Department with a barricaded subject. Officers on-scene have reported gunshots from inside the residence and a fire is reported inside as well. Command personnel are advising streets in the area of 1100 Mt. Hood Street have been blocked, including W. 10th Street, and are asking the public to avoid the area and use alternate routes when traveling nearby. The Wasco County Sheriff’s Department is the lead investigative agency in this incident. No photographs are available for this release.
The Port of Hood River is advising Waterfront visitors to keep their dogs on a leash after a dog was reportedly sickened by animal poison after being at the Event Site beach. Port maintenance crews did find animal poison in an isolated area of the beach Wednesday afternoon and cleaned it up. Two subsequent sweeps of the entire waterfront area did not find anymore of the product. Warning signs have been posted at the Event Site beach. The Port is urging all waterfront visitors to keep their pets on a leash at all times, and to notify them immediately if they see any other poison pellets in the area by calling 541-386-1645.
Just one week left for potential candidates to file for May’s special district elections in Oregon. A number of positions in Hood River and Wasco counties remain without candidates. In Hood River County, no one has filed for two Port of Cascade Locks Commission spots, one Port of Hood River Commission seat, two Parkdale Sanitary District board positions, and director seats for the Hood River County Transportation District and the Parkdale Rural Fire District. In Wasco County, a number of positions on boards for the Columbia Gorge ESD, North Wasco County, South Wasco County, and Dufur school districts, the Northern Wasco County and Dufur Parks and Recreation Districts, and various fire and water districts are without candidates. The deadline to file is March 19.
Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation has received a $150,000 grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust as part of that group’s affordable housing initiative. The funds are to be used to develop a plan to invest in and maintain existing housing stock. Columbia Cascade Housing Executive Director Joel Madsen says over the next year the organization will assess its portfolio and develop a plan for it in conjunction with the Meyer Memorial Trust. Columbia Cascade Housing’s board, its asset manager, and the Housing Development Center of Portland will take the lead in that effort.