Another weather-related two-hour delay greeted North Wasco County School District 21 students as they returned from winter break Tuesday, the fourth such delay to go along with three full day closures forced by icy weather in the last month. That means adjustments to the school calendar are coming. D-21 Superintendent Candy Armstrong says to get the required number of classroom hours in, they will at least be adjusting the schedule for the second trimester. Before the winter break, Hood River County School District Superintendent Dan Goldman said his district expected to add school days at the end of the year to make up for two full day cancellations and four two-hour delays. A snow make-up day is in the Hood River County school calendar during late January, and the rest will probably be made up later in the year. The Hood River district also had a two-hour delay Tuesday.
With an increase in flu cases in the Gorge, health officials say it’s important for those who are sick with the flu to know how to take care of themselves and how to avoid spreading the flu to others. North Central Public Health District health officer Dr. Mimi McDonell says most people will recover in a couple of weeks, and if they have mild illness the best thing to do is to stay home, rest and avoid others. If you are at high risk or concerned about your illness, call your healthcare provider. Adults having a hard time breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, purple or blue discoloration of the lips, or seizures should be seen promptly. Children should be seen urgently if they have fast or troubled breathing, bluish skin color, are not waking up or interacting, become so irritable that they do not want to be held, or a fever with a rash. Infants should get medical help right away if they are unable to eat, have a hard time breathing, do not have tears when they cry, or have many fewer wet diapers than normal. Health officials do say the most effective way to avoid catching the flu is vaccination.
YouthThink of Wasco County will begin its annual series of free family movies at Columbia Cinemas in The Dalles on Saturday. The films will be shown each Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in January and February. Debby Jones of YouthThink says they try to blend bringing families together and education with the movies. YouthThink also takes canned food donations for local food bank efforts at the movies. The first film will be “Ice Age: Collision Course” this Saturday morning, with doors at Columbia Cinemas opening at 9:15 a.m. and the movie starting at 10 a.m.
Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden believes there will be swift action on growing jobs, fixing health care, and doing away with excessive federal regulations as the new session of Congress convened Tuesday. The Hood River Republican said in a video statement that he is excited for his new role as chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee. The committee Walden will oversee deals with health care, energy policy, telecommunications, consumer protection, food and drug safety, environmental quality, and interstate and foreign commerce. Walden is the first Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman from the Pacific Northwest.
Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley say they welcome the Federal Railroad Administration’s announcement that it has reached an agreement with Union Pacific to require the railroad to meet higher safety standards. Wyden and Merkley issued a joint statement this morning, saying that while banning oil trains from the Columbia Gorge is the only way to completely eliminate future derailments, this agreement has the potential to significantly improve railroad safety. They also said they will review details of the agreement’s details to ensure it helps protect communities near train tracks, and will closely monitor its enforcement. The Senators also expect the FRA to complete its investigation of June’s derailment in Mosier.
Columbia Gorge CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) is in the midst of its annual fundraising appeal. The organization recruits, trains, and supports community volunteers to advocate for the needs and well-being of the about 150 foster children in Wasco, Hood River, and Sherman counties. CASA Executive Director Susan Erickson says a matching grant from the Providence Community Benefit Fund will double all donations up to $6,000 that are received by the end of the year. Donations can be made on-line at gorgecasa.org or by mail to Columbia Gorge CASA at P.O. Box 663 in Hood River, zip code 97031.
One of the big goals for the City of The Dalles in 2017 is to get replacement of the Dog River water pipe line underway. Mayor Steve Lawrence says he’s been told by a Forest Service official that he’s optimistic the permit to do the work in the Mount Hood National Forest will be approved this spring. Lawrence did say the City has applied for a number of federal and state grants to help defray the cost of the project. The City has been looking to replace the old wooden line with numerous leaks for years.
Forest Grove 94, The Dalles 44
Hudson’s Bay 87, Stevenson 61
Stevenson 52, Fort Vancouver 44
Hood River Valley 63, Columbia 48
Sisters 48, The Dalles 30
Damascus Christian 43, Horizon Christian 30
A house on Dry Hollow Road in The Dalles has been declared a complete loss after a fire Tuesday afternoon. Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue Division Chief Dave Lapof says they received the call for the fire at 1902 Dry Hollow Road just before 3:10 p.m. He said the fire went through the middle of the roof, and by the time it was finished a small bit of the structure remained. Lapof said no one was home at the time of the fire, and all pets got out safely. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The American Red Cross provided assistance to those displaced by the fire.