Oregon 59th District State Representative John Huffman says he’s concerned the current legislative session could turn out to be the most partisan and controversial he’s been involved with. The Republican from The Dalles says statements from Oregon Governor Kate Brown and House Speaker Tina Kotek, both Democrats, have him concerned positions are solidifying too early in the process. Huffman notes that everyone in Salem wants a comprehensive transportation package to come out of this session, but early rancor could set that effort back.
A bipartisan group of Washington State Representatives led by Yakima Republican Norm Johnson and Tacoma Democrat Laurie Jinkins have introduced legislation to create a long-term care benefit for Washington state workers and seniors. The Long-Term Care Trust Act would establish a public trust, similar to unemployment insurance, which would fund a long-term care benefit open to all who pay into the program. If enacted, a small percentage would be deducted from Washington workers’ pay to fund the trust. People would pay while they’re working and be eligible to draw on the benefits of the trust after they’ve worked three of the past six years, or 10 years total. The legislation is intended to address a looming fiscal crisis faced by the state as the baby boom generation retires. Johnson says the state needs to prepare now, and believes this bill has “the right balance of personal and familial responsibility, consumer choice, and common sense.” The reform effort is broadly supported by a number of senior advocacy organizations. A hearing on the bill is scheduled for next Friday in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.
Sherman 74, Dufur 45
Sherman 54, Dufur 49
Klickitat PUD says it is dealing with power outages in multiple locations throughout Klickitat County. There are remaining locations at Northwestern Lake on Nestor Peak Rd, Creekside Place, Lakeview Rd, and Buck Creek that remain out due to isolated damage. Crews are currently working to repair these issues as quickly and safely as possible and return power. The areas of Aki Rd, McCarthy Rd and portions of Canyon Rd in the Appleton area are still out of power and have no estimated time of restoral yet. The areas of Yellowbrick Rd, Lois Ln, and Coyote Creek Rd in Trout Lake are also out and have no estimated time to be back on line. Klickitat PUD customers without power at another location, or who would like an update on their current outage, can call 1-800-548-8357.
Skamania PUD reports outages in Stevenson, along with Duncan Creek and Franz Road in Skamania. Skamania PUD customers experiencing an outage that is not listed should call 509-427-5216. If you have observed a damaged power pole, please provide the pole number that is located about 6 feet up the pole. If you have an outage turn off all major electrical appliances, especially heating or cooking units, to prevent unsafe situations once power is restored. Leave a porch light and one inside light on.
The Dalles City Council and Planning Commission received a draft of a Transportation Systems Plan at a joint meeting Monday evening. Consultants Kittleson and Associates presented the 207 page document that, once it is finished, will guide The Dalles in development of its transportation infrastructure in the short-term and long-term future. Mayor Steve Lawrence noted the consultants found some fixed bus route service would be feasible in The Dalles because of the success of the current Dial-A-Ride program and the potential for more riders. Lawrence added the long-discussion extension of 19th Street was also in the draft as a high priority, but many City officials had questions about that. Councilors and planning commissioners will submit their comments to the consultants over the next 30 days, which will then be folded into the plan and return to the two panels for more discussions.
Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers are seeking the public’s assistance in locating whoever is responsible for the unlawful taking of a bull and cow elk near Wamic on the White River Wildlife area over the weekend. Troopers were contacted by an Oregon Department of Wildlife employee after learning a dead pregnant cow elk that had been shot was found on the side of Rock Creek Road. Although the meat had been removed there is no open season to hunt cow or bull elk in this area or during this time. A short time after locating the cow a second elk was located in a nearby field. The 4X5 bull had been shot and wounded and was still alive. The OSP says for humanitarian reasons the bull had to be dispatched. It is believed that both animals were shot between Saturday evening and Sunday morning by the same person or persons. The OSP adds this case is especially sensitive in nature due to elk being taken in the area known as the Cody barn, a feeding station for wintering elk which are already struggling due to high snow fall this season. Due to the proximity of homes in the area the Oregon State Police is requesting that if someone heard or has information on the unlawful taking of these elk to contact Senior Trooper Brent Ocheskey with The Dalles Area Command at 541-296-9646 or the Oregon State Police Turn in Poachers Tip line at 800-452-7888. A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the individuals involved in the taking and any information offered can remain anonymous.
Northern Wasco County PUD is warning customers of a new telephone scam. Cyndi Gentry at the PUD says the callers are telling customers that they are eligible for a refund or rebate, for paying their light bill on time, then say that the money is sitting in a bank and ask for the customers’ banking and personal information so that they can ‘transfer the funds’. Gentry says the Northern Wasco County PUD is not part of any such program, and it is not a legitimate rebate. The callers likely intend to use the information they gather to take money from the customers. Gentry reminds PUD customers to be on the alert for potential scam by telephone, mail, email, and in person.
Hermiston 77, The Dalles 62: Xavier Rambo scored 22 points while Chance Flores came back after being out for a month with a broken hand to score 17 to lead the Bulldogs to the win. Dakota Murr tallied 25 and Eric Flores 17 for The Dalles, which has yet to win a Columbia River Conference game.
Sherman 67, South Wasco 39
Dufur 69, Horizon Christian 55
Hermiston 52, The Dalles 39
Horizon Christian 74, Dufur 47
South Wasco 52, Sherman 44
Hood River County School District Superintendent Dan Goldman says the district is going to release students early (Tuesday, February 7). Elementary students will be sent home at 12:10 p.m., Hood River Valley High School students at 1:10 p.m., and middle schools at 1:25. Buses on snow route. All activities are cancelled.
The North Wasco County School District 21 board has taken a trio of steps to make up for class time lost to weather-related cancellations in the past two months. Monday, February 20, President’s Day, will now be a class day for students, as will Friday, May 26. The district has also eliminated early release and late start days in the month of March. D-21 Superintendent Candy Armstrong says the changes were made so the district wouldn’t have to receive a waiver from the state for classroom hours being under requirements. Armstrong said if the district loses more class time to weather, they will probably have to look at adding days at the end of the year.