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Local News

Hood River Spring Chinook Fishing Opens April 15

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.

Blankets Solicited For Families Who Lose Their Babies

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.

Early Learning Hub Plan Moving Through Process

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.

HR Tourism Stays Busy In March With “Blossom Time” Coming

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.

School Officials Have To Start Budget Plans

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.

Senate Republicans Upset With Background Check Hearing

Oregon Senate Republicans are upset that 68 people who planned to testify at a hearing against a bill to expand background checks for the private sale of firearms were not allowed to do so.  The Republicans claim that out of more than 100 registered witnesses, 94 percent of those who signed up in favor of Senate Bill 941 were allowed to testify, while only 19 percent of those who planned to speak in opposition go to do so.  29th District Senator Bill Hansell says many of those people who did not get to testify had traveled over 150 miles to do so.  The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill Monday on a party-line 3-2 vote, and it will now head to the Senate floor.

Woman Injured In Stevenson-Area Accident

A 40-year-old woman was taken by LifeFlight to a hospital in Vancouver following a one-vehicle accident early Saturday afternoon in the Stevenson area.  Skamania County Emergency Medical Services responded to a vehicle accident in the 1100 block of SW Rock Creek Drive at 12:33 p.m. Saturday.  Crews arrived to find a small sedan about 40 feet over the embankment on the south side of the roadway.   The vehicle was occupied by the woman who was entangled and entrapped in the vehicle.  Crews performed heavy extrication work to free her from the vehicle, and a ropes system was used to raise the injured patient up the hill to the roadway.   She was transported to a landing zone at Stevenson Elementary School and transferred by Life Flight to Peace Health Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver.

April 3-4 Prep Sports Roundup

Track and Field

Hood River Valley’s girls finished first and the boys second at the East County Classic at Mount Hood Community College.  The Eagles girls were led by Jestena Mattson, who won the 100 and 200 meters and the high jump, while Sascha Bockius won the 3,000 meters.  HRV took five first place finishes in boys’ competition, topped by wins by Sebastian Barajas in the shot put and the discus.  The Dalles finished sixth in both the boys and girls standings.


Horizon Christian was the girls winner and Bickleton was first in the boys at the Sherman Invitational.  Top individual performances from area schools included Mason Bloomster of Horizon Christian winning the boys’ 100 and 200 meters, Sherman’s Isaiah Coles winning the boys’ triple jump and long jump, and Taylor Darden of Dufur topping the girls’ shot put and discus.


Loreto Morelli of South Wasco had a big day at the Madras Invitational.  Morelli won the 100, 200, and 400 meters while helping the Redside boys to a fourth place finish.  The South Wasco girls finished fifth in the meet.



Hood River Valley 10, Ridgeview 5

Summit 3, Hood River Valley 1

The Dalles 10, Redmond 6

Dufur sweeps Pilot Rock 7-4 and 7-6

Sherman sweeps Weston McEwen 5-3 and 3-2



Hood River Valley 9, Mountain View 3

The Dalles 11, Redmond 0


Boys Lacrosse

Hood River Valley 8, Oregon City 7


Girls Lacrosse

Sunset 16, Hood River Valley 6


Boys Soccer

W.F. West 3, Columbia 2

Elks Building Ownership Transferred

Ownership of the Elks Building was officially transferred to a developer planning to establish a neon sign museum there at a ceremony April 3.  The Dalles City Council, acting in its capacity as the Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency Board, approved purchasing the building for 240-thousand dollars and then turning it over to developer David Benko, whose group agreed to do an estimated one million dollars of improvements to the new building within two years to get the museum open.  Mayor Steve Lawrence and Benko signed the agreements for the deal on the steps of the building on Third and Court in downtown The Dalles.  Lawrence notes the building will house more than the museum, but also house other business space.  A fundraiser that’s been involved with the Portland Art Museum will be involved in generating funds for this project.

River Road To Close Saturday Morning For Transformer Move

A section of River Road in The Dalles will be closed for about two hours on Saturday morning to accommodate the move of a large transformer towards the Celilo Convertor Station.  The move will start at seven Saturday morning, moving from Taylor Lakes Road to a staging area about a half-mile south down River Road.  That section of River Road will be closed for about two hours, and access to Taylor Lakes will be cut off as well.  Motorists needing to enter the majority of the Port of The Dalles during that time can do so from the south via Webber Street.  Flaggers will be staged along River Road on both sides of the move…as well at the intersections of River Road and Crates Way and River Road and Columbia Road.



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