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Local News

CGCC Board Approves Tuition Hike

The Columbia Gorge Community College Board of Education approved a hike in tuition at the college for the 2016-17 academic year.  Tuition will jump from $91 per credit hour to $97, and credit fees go up from $15 to $16.  CGCC President Dr. Frank Toda says no one wants to raise tuition, but the school has very little choice at the current level of state funding for community colleges.  A lengthy discussion included consideration of a proposal to establish a $150 small class size fee in an effort to avoid cancellation of classes due to low numbers and provide predictability for students in class availability.  That was not adopted, but the board did direct staff to find a way to provide that predictability to students.

D21 May Not Be Able To Continue Zone Waivers

North Wasco County School District 21 may not be able to issue zone waivers for elementary schools next year.  D-21 Superintendent Candy Armstrong says growing capacity issues have gotten to the point where they may no longer be able to accommodate requests from parents to allow their children to attend schools outside of their neighborhood.  She adds the problem could be exacerbated by the establishment of farm worker housing in the Colonel Wright attendance area, where space is already limited.  Armstrong estimates over 100 D-21 elementary students currently receive zone waivers.  Elementary school principals are currently studying the issue, and the district will make a decision sometime in May.

HR County Commission Considers Applicants

Hood River County Commissioners on Tuesday met in executive session to examine applicants seeking to be the County’s next Administrator, but no announcement in regards to finalists was made.  County Administrator David Meriwether, who will be retiring at the end of June, did say they will be making public announcements in regards to the number of finalists to be brought in for interviews within the next few days.  He added a public reception for the finalists is scheduled for April 26, and interviews will take place the next day.

April 12 Prep Sports Scoreboard


Columbia splits with Castle Rock, winning game one 6-5 and losing the nightcap 10-0

Kalama sweeps Stevenson 9-1 and 4-1

Irrigon 16, Dufur 0

Goldendale sweeps River View 9-1 and 12-7



River View sweeps Goldendale 21-0 and 21-0


Boys Soccer

Columbia 12, Castle Rock 0:  The Bruins are now 5-0 in the Trico League season.


Boys Lacrosse

Hood River Valley 17, Liberty 5:  Cole Brown and Henry Barton scored four goals apiece to lead the Eagles to the win.


Boys Tennis

Goldendale 3, Cle Elum-Roslyn 1


Girls Tennis

King’s Way Christian 5, Stevenson 0

Goldendale 3, Cle Elum-Roslyn 2

CL Council Approves Resolution Opposing 14-55

By a six-to-one vote, the Cascade Locks City Council approved a resolution opposing Measure 14-55 on the May ballot in Hood River County that would block Nestle from establishing in a water bottling facility in the town.  The strongly worded resolution alludes to a depressed economy in Cascade Locks, calling the measure a “direct threat to the City’s home rule, local control, right to self-sufficiency, and its economic future.”  Deanna Busdieker cast the lone vote against the resolution.  The vote came after testimony that included substantial input from tribal members opposed to the Nestle plant.  Measure 14-55 would prohibit the commercial production of bottled water in Hood River County, prohibit the transport of commercially-produced bottled water collected from any water source within the county, and prohibit the transport of water for the purpose of commercially producing bottled water.

Two HR Council Members Recuse Themselves As STR Hearings Start

Hood River City Councilors opened up the hearings process on amendments to the municipal zoning code to deal with short-term rentals, and two members have recused themselves from the panel for this issue.  Both Laurent Picard and Becky Brun stepped aside, noting they have both rented out their homes on a short-term basis in the past.  Mayor Paul Blackburn points out that it will still take four votes from the five remaining councilors to approve amendments.  Councilors took two hours of testimony from all sides of the issue Monday evening, and will do so again on April 25.  The Council had planned to begin testimony on what are called Title 5 regulations for short-term rentals, which deals with things like permit costs, but based on what the City Planning Commission returned to the Council on zoning, Blackburn said they decided it would be better to wait on that until the zoning decisions are made.

TD Council Approves Plan For Division Of Initial Google Payment

The Dalles City Council has approved a plan to use $250,000 of the initial $1,450,000 fee paid by Google as part of the enterprise zone agreement for the company’s third data center to be built in the community, and then divide the rest between the City and Wasco County.  The payment became due when construction began on the facility.  Annual fees will come in when the data center is operating.  The division of the initial payment must also be approved by the Wasco County Commission.

Wasco County Fair Needs Volunteers

The Wasco County Fair could use more volunteers.  Wasco County Commissioner Rod Runyon is joining fair board members in putting out the call for more people to help with the annual summer event in Tygh Valley and other activities throughout the year.  Runyon says the current fair board puts in a lot of hours, and could use the help.  Anyone interested in volunteering at the Wasco County Fairgrounds can call the County Commission office for information.

April 11 Prep Sports Scoreboard


The Dalles 4, Mountain View 1:  The Riverhawks moved their record back to the .500 mark with the win.  The Dalles scored three runs in the fourth inning to take control of the game, while limiting the Cougars to two hits.



The Dalles 6, Mountain View 2:  The Riverhawks made the most of six hits to grab the victory.  The Dalles has won 11 of 14 games this season heading into Columbia River Conference play this weekend.

Man Arrested After Bank Robbery Near Police Station

A 54-year-old man is in custody after robbing a bank in downtown The Dalles about one block from police headquarters.  The Dalles City Police reports indicate Dennis Spaulding was arrested and lodged at NORCOR shortly after 1 p.m. Monday.  The report indicated Spaulding told bank employees he had a gun, but no weapon was seen.  The report also says Spaulding left the bank westbound on West 4th Street, and he was quickly taken into custody.  Spaulding faces a second degree robbery charge, with bail set at $10,000.