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Local News

Arens Stepping Down As MCCOG Director

Long-time Mid-Columbia Council of Governments Executive Director John Arens has submitted his resignation.  Arens had been in the position for the agency that runs six programs for five Mid-Columbia counties for 15 years.  He says he wants to explore other professional opportunities.  Arens said he is remaining on the job until MCCOG can find a replacement.  He was unsure how long that would take.  Prior to taking the MCCOG position, Arens was the chair of the Hood River County Commission.

HR County Sheriff Plans Holiday Patrols

The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office will increase traffic patrols for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend.   The Sheriff’s Office receives grant funds to increase patrols for both DUII and seatbelt enforcement through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Oregon Department of Transportation.   The goal is to reduce traffic crashes and increase safety through high visibility enforcement.   The Sheriff’s Office is urging everyone to drive with care, wear a safety belt and to not drive when using substances that impair, including prescription medication, alcohol, marijuana or any other impairing substance.   Report suspected impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1.

May 12 Prep Sports Roundup


Pendleton 10, The Dalles 6:  Pendleton clinches second place in the Columbia River Conference, while the Riverhawks fall to tie for third and the final play-in spot in the CRC with Hermiston with one game left to play.

Hermiston 5, Hood River Valley 3:  The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead to defeat the CRC champions and keep their post-season hopes alive.



Hood River Valley 10, Hermiston 7:  The Eagles couldn’t hold a 7-2 lead, but scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to win and clinch third place in the CRC and a play-in berth.

Pendleton 12, The Dalles 2:  The Buckaroos remain unbeaten in league play.

LaCenter at Stevenson, doubleheader, postponed to Thursday.


Southwest Washington District Class 1-A Boys Soccer Tournament

First Round

Columbia 2, Montesano 0:  The Bruins clinch a state tournament berth, and advance to the district semi-finals in Kalama, where they will play Elma on Thursday at 5 p.m.


Boys Golf

The Dalles finished 12th and Hood River Valley 14th in the Class 5-A Special District 1 Tournament at Eagle Crest.


Bend Man Pleads Not Guilty To 2009 Murder On Eagle Creek Trail

A 40-year-old Bend man accused of murdering his girlfriend on a steep section of the Eagle Creek trail in March of 2009 pleaded not guilty in Hood River County Circuit Court.  Stephen Wagner Nichols entered the not guilty plea to a murder charge before Circuit Judge John Olson on Monday afternoon.  23-year-old Rhonda Casto of Portland fell 100 feet on March 16, 2009 about a mile from the Eagle Creek trailhead.  Nichols was arrested in early February in San Mateo County, California in February of this year.  A tentative trial date for Nichols is set for sometime between late May and July of next year.  A status check was scheduled for this July 7, while a motion for release hearing will take place in early August.  Nichols’ attorney Mike Arnold said during the proceedings a motion to suppress some evidence has been filed.

TD Council Approves Project Coordinator Position

The Dalles City Council approved a plan to transition the City’s current Administrative Fellow into a full-time position of Project Coordinator that would be involved in helping the City reach its economic development goals.  The new position would include among its duties managing the City and Wasco County Enterprise Zone, help coordinate activities with The Dalles Main Street program, manage the Urban Renewal District property rehabilitation and loan and grant program, and work on Riverfront Trail projects.  Mayor Steve Lawrence says the goal is to consolidate a number of issues into one position.  City Councilors decided not to seek an AmeriCorps/RARE program member to do the Community Curation project.  The new position was approved by the City Budget Committee for the Fiscal Year 2015-16 budget.  In other business, the Council approved refunds of pre-paid assessments for public improvements totaling over $65,000 to six property owners who had paid into a fund under requirements the Council recently abolished.  And the Council approved The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce community marketing program for 2015-16.

City of HR Looks At 20-Year Water And Sewer Plan

The City of Hood River is working on a 20-year plan for water and sewer system upgrades and how to plan to pay for them.  City Councilors heard a presentation on the needs facing the City in those areas, including old sewer lines with leaded joints and the need for improved water pressure in the growing west side of town.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says part of the challenge is how to pay for improvements, particularly when federal funding is drying up.  He adds loans are still available, but you have to plan how to pay them back, primarily through systems development charges and rates.  Councilors will consider the information they receive as they look to make decisions on finalizing a 20-year plan.

Spinosad A Fruit Fly Control Option

With the official declaration of the emergence cherry fruit fly in the Mid-Columbia, it’s time for homeowners who own fruit trees to apply a control program.  Wasco County Extension Agent Lynn Long says a fairly new material called Spinosad can be applied to trees to control cherry fruit flies.  Long says it is a made from an extract of fungus and is very safe for humans.  Long does say Spinosad has to be applied every seven days until cherries are harvested.  He adds you won’t see a label for Spinosad in the store, but it will be an active ingredient in the product.  For guidance on using pesticide sprays for cherry fruit fly, call the Wasco County Extension Office at 541-296-5494.

May 10 Prep Sports Roundup

Girls Lacrosse

Oregon High School Lacrosse Association Playoffs

Hood River Valley 14, Marist 2:  Savannah Brentlinger and Lydia McElderry scored four goals each as the Eagles won the first round game at Henderson Stadium.  The Eagles move on to a second round game at second-ranked Lake Oswego tomorrow.


Boys Golf

The Dalles is twelfth and Hood River Valley fourteenth after the first round of the Class 5-A Special District 2 tournament at Eagle Crest.  Summit leads Bend by two strokes atop the team leaderboard.  The final round is today.

Sturgeon Retention Fishing To Close Thursday

Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington announced white sturgeon retention fishing will close effective Thursday on the Columbia River and its tributaries between The Dalles and John Day dams.  Managers from the two states decided to close that section of the river to sturgeon retention after reviewing catch data that indicate anglers have achieved their pre-season harvest guideline of 100 fish.  Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing remains open in The Dalles Pool, except that sturgeon fishing is prohibited from May 1 through July 31 in the sturgeon spawning sanctuary that runs from John Day Dam 2.4 miles downstream to the west end of the Rufus grain elevator.

Fruit Fly Emerges

Oregon State Wasco County Extension Agent Lynn Long says the cherry fruit fly emerged on Sunday in The Dalles area.  The entire cherry-growing area, including the cities of The Dalles, Mosier, and Dufur are within a cherry fruit fly control district, and all homeowners with a backyard tree as well as commercial orchardists are required by state law to apply a control program.  Long says for homeowners recommended materials would include Spinosad and Malathion.  To obtain a free pesticide spray guide for the cherry fruit fly and other tree pests…contact the Wasco County Extension Office at 541-296-5494.



the dalles, oregon
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