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Local News

Memorial Day Observances Planned

Memorial Day observances are planned around the Mid-Columbia on Monday.  In Hood River there will be a ceremony at Idlewilde Cemetery beginning at 11 a.m., with presentations by American Legion Post 22, the Boy Scouts, and an antique aircraft flyover.  This year’s theme is “Bury Me With Soldiers,” and veterans’ plaques will be added to the Bud Collins Walk of Honor.  In The Dalles, there will be a ceremony in front of the Veterans’ Memorial at Kelly Viewpoint at 11 a.m.  Keynote speaker will be VFW Post 2471 chaplain Jeremy Anderson.  A full day of events is planned in the town of Wasco, including a tribute to veterans at 10 a.m. and a parade at 11 a.m.

TD Planning Makes Marijuana Zoning Recommendations

The Dalles City Planning Commission is sending a series of recommendations to the City Council on zoning for the processing, production, wholesaling, and retailing of recreational marijuana.  When it comes to retail outlets, the recommendations are similar to what is already in place for medical marijuana dispensaries.  Planning Director Dick Gassman says that means there would be one-thousand foot buffers around facilities like playgrounds, schools, and churches.  The recommendation on processing, manufacturing, and growing recreational marijuana calls for limiting those operations to industrial zones.  The planning commission opinions go to the City Council for discussion at that panel’s June 13 meeting.

Houses Passes Forest Management Bill Again; Walden Calls For Senate To Act

The U.S. House has once again passed a bill supporters believe would streamline forest management and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire.  Passage of the Resilient Federal Forests Act came as part of a larger energy bill.  It’s the fourth year in a row that the House has passed this kind of legislation, and Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden believes it’s time for the Senate to approve it.  The Hood River Republican said “Our rural forested communities have waited long enough. They have choked on smoke summer after summer long enough. They’ve seen their watersheds get destroyed by catastrophic fire. It’s time to fix the problem.”  The bill would allow the Forest Service to request FEMA disaster funds for fire suppression.

May 25 Prep Sports Roundup

Oregon Class 5-A Baseball Tournament

First Round

Hood River Valley 17, Eagle Point 3:  HRV scored five runs in both of the first two innings and cruised to the win.  Kellen Duffy had a homer and drove in three runs, while Chase Lariza and Montana Kurahara also had three RBI’s apiece for the Eagles.  Hood River Valley will meet Ashland, a 16-10 winner over Wilsonville, in the quarterfinals on Friday at Traner Field.


Oregon Class 5-A Softball Tournament

First Round

The Dalles 4, Ridgeview 0:  The Riverhawks scored three runs in the second inning to take control of the game.  Sierra Watson drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly, and Kailin Hoylman followed with a two-run inside-the-park home run.  Maddie Ford’s bases loaded walk brought home the game’s final run in the fourth inning.  Maddie Bradford pitched a two-hitter, getting out of a bases loaded jam with one out in the second inning without giving up a run.  The Dalles will visit top-seed Lebanon in the quarterfinals on Friday.  Lebanon squeaked by Mountain View 4-3.


Oregon Class 1-A Baseball Tournament

First Round

Burns 16, Dufur 1


Oregon High School Girls Lacrosse Tournament

Navy Bracket Final

Hood River Valley 7, Newberg 4:  HRV grabbed a 4-1 lead in the first half and held it the rest of the way.  Ella Rand provided another solid game in goal to backstop the Eagles to the win.


Washington Class 1-A Boys Golf Tournament

Goldendale’s Andrew Gerchuk shot a 79 on the final day to finish in a tie for 18th at Liberty Lake Golf Course in Spokane.  The Timberwolves’ Bryce Wilkins finished in a tie for 28th after a final round 87.

Port of HR Progresses On Lower Mill Property

The Port of Hood River is progressing on preparing the former Lower Hanel Mill property for use as a light industrial park.  Port Commissioners got an initial look at draft design guidelines for the property, and Executive Director Michael McElwee says they are keeping things basic with an intent of keeping the price point for occupants low.  McElwee added most of the emphasis is on having a nice look to entrances along Highway 35.  The Port also awarded a contract to install on-site utilities on the property.  McElwee noted the hope is to begin advertising lots in about a month, but also said they are still working on water system questions.

North Wasco Aquatic Center Open Memorial Day

The Northern Wasco County Aquatic Center will be open on Memorial Day and the following weekend before fully opening for the season on June 11.  Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District Director Phil Lewis says season passes are available by calling 541-296-9533 or going on-line to nwprd.org.  Lewis adds information on pool schedules and swim lessons is available at nwprd.org.  In addition, Riverfront Park will be opening this weekend, and the Kayak Shack will be in operation.

HR Council To Talk STR Licensing Issues June 6

Hood River City Councilors have scheduled a June 6 meeting to discuss potential licensing issues for short-term rentals.  Councilors talk about the subject during their regular meeting on Monday, but wanted to dedicate more time it.  Mayor Paul Blackburn points out this discussion is distinct from the question of STR’s in residential zones that has been the Council’s main focus in recent weeks.  This deals with licensing fees and basic regulations for STR operation, including occupancy limitations and parking deals.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says a public hearing will be scheduled once proposals are in place.

TD Council Approves 16-17 Budget; Dog River Pipeline Replacement Included

The Dalles City Council approved a budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year on Monday night.  No one testified during a public hearing prior to the approval vote.  Mayor Steve Lawrence says the big item in his mind is the inclusion of four million dollars for replacement of the Dog River pipeline, and he’s hopeful the City will get the remaining four million dollars needed to pay for it through grant sources.  Lawrence adds the pipeline provides 50 percent of the City’s water, and leaks one-million gallons of water per day during peak flows.

Picard Resigns After Decade On Hood River Council

Hood River City Councilor Laurent Picard has stepped down from the panel.  Picard made the announcement at the end of Monday night’s Council meeting.  He had served on the City Council for ten-and-a-half years, and indicated he had not planned to run for re-election in November.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says no plan is in place at this point to find someone to fill out the remainder of Picard’s term, but that will be discussed at the next Council meeting.  The Council has not been able to come up with the required four votes to pass changes to the municipal zoning ordinance in regard to short-term rentals in residential zones, leading to the panel approving on Monday night a six-month moratorium on accepting any transient room tax applications to establish new STR’s in the residential zones.  Picard had recused himself from deliberations on those changes, noting he had made his own home available as a short-term rental in the past.  Fellow councilor Becky Brun has recused herself for similar reasons.

Immigrant Abuse Topic Of Meeting

Helping Hands Against Violence and Catholic Charities will hold an informational event on Thursday on the topic of immigration relief rights for those surviving abuse.  Karen Shultz of Helping Hands says there are many undocumented people who believe they have no option in dealing with domestic abuse, and the organizations want to dispel those myths.  Thursday’s program will take place at 6 p.m. at Mid-Valley Elementary School in Odell.  The presentation will be in both English and Spanish, and with bilingual advocates on hand to answer questions.