Skamania County Commissioners passed a resolution this week to express their unhappiness with the federal government’s management of federal forest lands and the condition it has left the county in. The resolution declares an emergency in the County due to “unhealthy national forest conditions…yearly threat of catastrophic fires…and minimal County government, schools, and emergency services.” The resolution demands Washington state and federal officials take immediate action to eliminate hazardous conditions in communities in and around the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and all other federally managed lands in Skamania County. It accuses the U.S. Forest Service of not involving Skamania County as an equal partner in planning and management of the Pinchot forest. 88 percent of land in Skamania County is government owned, and the shrinking of federal forest payments has damaged the ability of local agencies to provide services.
The Port of Hood River Commission has approved a contract with HDR Engineering in Portland to handle evaluations of the lift span on the Hood River Interstate Bridge. Port Executive Director Michael McElwee said a March inspection by long-time bridge consultant HNTB found the need for further evaluations of the lift span setting with a more specific and pro-active maintenance program that HDR specializes in. HDR will do further inspections and measurements for engineering tasks at the end of October and early November, and they will prepare their recommendations on the lift span settings with repairs to be done this coming spring.
McKay 34, Hood River Valley 21
Dufur 66, Ione 14
Sherman 84, Condon-Wheeler 24
Kalama def. Columbia 25-15, 25-10, 25-15
King’s Way Christian def. Stevenson 25-19, 22-25, 25-16, 25-11
Dufur def. Ione 25-19, 25-16, 25-14
Condon-Wheeler def. Sherman 25-11, 25-7, 25-4
South Wasco def. Horizon Christian 3 games to 0
LaSalle def. Goldendale 25-17, 25-21, 23-25, 25-7
C.S. Lewis Academy 1, Horizon Christian 0
Columbia 1, King’s Way Christian 0
Girls Water Polo
Sandy 18, Hood River Valley 8
Bingen City Councilors approved a conditional use permit for a marijuana-infused edible products processor to locate on Steuben Street. Councilors received quite a bit of public testimony about the products that were to be produced, but Mayor Betty Barnes says the Council could only consider the land use question. The processor is still in a permitting process with the Washington Liquor Control Board to receive approval. Barnes pointed out the processor will be next door to a retail marijuana outlet, but no one will be able to go into the processor to purchase product. The processor has to deliver the product to licensed retailers.
Klickitat County Commissioners heard from citizens concerned about the potential that a marijuana processor would be located near their neighborhood south of Goldendale. An application is before the Washington Liquor Control Board for the processing facility on Bailey Loop Road in a commercial zone adjacent to a residential location. Commissioner David Sauter says the location meets County zoning requirements, noting the final decision rests with the state agency, and they will include residents’ comments on the County’s response to the application. Commissioners also encouraged the residents to make comments directly to the Liquor Control Board.
A Goldendale woman accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter and wounding her teenage daughter at an Oregon coast motel last summer is tentatively set for trial next July 7. Jessica Smith’s defense lawyers sought a trial date in spring or early summer 2016 during a hearing Tuesday in Circuit Court in Astoria. Judge Cindee Matyas set the trial date for next July, but said she would allow defense lawyer William Falls a postponement if needed. The 40-year-old woman earlier pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder in the attacks. Cannon Beach police found the toddler dead and the 13-year-old girl in a hotel room on August 1. The teen has since recovered. Smith and her husband, Greg Smith, were divorcing after 17 years amid a custody dispute.
Law enforcement agencies in the Hood River area are investigating the death of a young woman discovered when officers did a welfare check. Hood River Police say 23-year-old Cecilia Campuzano Ortiz was found dead inside a residence on Montello Avenue. Friends and co-workers of Ortiz asked police to go to the residence after they had not seen or heard from her for several days. The cause of death will not be known until an autopsy is performed by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office. The Oregon State Police Forensics team responded and performed forensic evidence collection and documentation of the scene. The Hood River Police Department is asking anyone with information related to this case contact Detective Michael Martin at 541-387-5257.
A commercial truck rollover Tuesday morning along the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 about 12 miles west of Arlington resulted in the driver being taken to a hospital. According to the Oregon State Police, the accident occurred at about 5:10 a.m. A 1997 Peterbilt truck pulling a semi-trailer loaded with potatoes was traveling eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 126. According to the driver he swerved to miss several deer that were on the road and lost control. The truck and trailer crashed into the guardrail on the right shoulder and overturned, spilling the load onto the shoulder. The truck and trailer came to rest on the guardrail partially blocking the right eastbound lane. The driver appeared not injured but was taken to an area hospital for a medical evaluation. His name has not been released. About 230 feet of guardrail was damaged. No injured or dead deer were found in the area.
The Westside Fire District is asking its patrons for a five-year operating levy of 50 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value in the upcoming election. That would be on top of the current 78 cents per thousand, which is the lowest tax rate among fire districts in the Hood River Valley. District board member Mark Beam says they had considered the levy for a number of years, but have held off for economic reasons. Fire Marshal Jim Trammell adds the district is trying to maintain its current level of service, but in recent years have constantly been in a catch-up mode. District officials emphasized none of the levy funds would be used for personnel. The district employs two people, with the rest of the operation done by volunteers.