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Local News

Gorge Region Wins Culture Of Health Prize

The Columbia Gorge region is one of seven winners of the 2016 Culture of Health Prize awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The Prize honors communities for their efforts to ensure all residents have the opportunity to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives.  The Gorge region is being nationally recognized for bringing partners together to rally around a shared vision of health.  Chosen from nearly 200 applicant communities across the country, the Columbia Gorge’s award winning efforts include its broad definition of health which includes social determinants of health, efforts to give voice to the region’s Latino population, and expanding the scope and role of community health workers.

Columbia River Restoration Act Moves Forward

Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that the Columbia River Restoration Act is moving forward as part of the Water Resources Development Act, which is expected to pass the Senate as soon as this week.  The legislation was added to the act as part of a broader amendment agreed to by Democratic and Republican leaders on the Environment and Public Works Committee.  The legislation would authorize the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a voluntary, competitive Columbia Basin grants program for projects that assist in eliminating or reducing pollution, cleaning up contaminated sites, improving water quality, monitoring the basin, and promoting citizen engagement.  The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest, and the only large aquatic ecosystem in the United States that currently receives no dedicated funding to clean up and monitor toxic chemicals.

TD Council Approves Marijuana Ordinance

The Dalles City Council passed the final reading of an ordinance to establish time, place, and manner requirements on the production, processing, wholesaling, and retail sale of recreational marijuana.  Councilors approved the ordinance with no changes from a previous reading a few weeks ago.  Mayor Steve Lawrence says he believes they have finished up with a reasonable ordinance.  All four councilors presented approved the ordinance.  Dan Spatz had opposed the ordinance during its first reading, but was not present for the final vote.

Old Lady Canyon Fire 80 Percent Contained

The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center says a fire in the eastern portion of Klickitat County near Sundale is now at 80 percent containment.  A Wednesday morning update also reduced the size of the Old Lady Canyon Fire to 2,771 acres, mostly in grass and brush.  Full containment remains projected for sometime Wednesday.  123 firefighters have been at the scene of the fire, with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management serving as the lead agency.  At one point about 30 residences were threatened by the fire.

September 13 Prep Sports Roundup


Hood River Valley def. Pendleton 25-14, 23-25, 16-25, 26-24, 15-6:  The Eagles begin their Columbia River Conference title defense by winning the league opener on the road.

The Dalles def. Redmond 25-12, 24-26, 31-29, 25-11

Stevenson def. Riverside 25-21, 25-23, 25-20

South Wasco def. Horizon Christian 25-7, 25-11, 25-16

White Swan def. Lyle-Wishram 25-13, 26-24, 25-21


Boys Soccer

Hood River Valley 2, Summit 1:  The Eagles scored a pair of goals in the first 26 minutes, then hung on to continue their lengthy unbeaten streak.

Tualatin 4, The Dalles 1

Trout Lake 5, Southwest Christian 0


Girls Soccer

Hood River Valley 10, Reynolds 3:  Seven different players scored goals for HRV.

Franklin 3, The Dalles 0

Columbia 4, Fort Vancouver 1


Boys Water Polo

Hood River Valley 16, Sandy 8


Girls Water Polo

Hood River Valley 19, Sandy 1

TD Council Approves New Governance For Urban Renewal

The Dalles City Council voted unanimously to approve a new governance structure for the Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency.  The agency has been governed since 1998 with a board made up of the Mayor and the City Council, backed by an advisory committee, and the new format will have a single nine person board with three Councilors, two members of the public, and one representative each from the Port of The Dalles, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, Wasco County, and Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District.  Mayor Steve Lawrence says the goal is to streamline decision making.  When the urban renewal agency was first formed in 1990, it utilized a single board structure.

HR City Council Outlines Intention For Marijuana Tax

The Hood River City Council approved a resolution outlining what they would intended to do with revenues from a tax on marijuana sales that will be on the November ballot.  Councilors had already put the three percent tax on commercial retail non-medical sales of marijuana, but City Manager Steve Wheeler said the resolution clarifies where the money would go:  primarily to public safety and public education about drug use.  Cities and counties are allowed to seek the marijuana sales tax as part of the ballot measure passed in Oregon two years ago legalizing recreational marijuana.

HR County Commission Moves Toward STR Ordinance

Hood River County Commissioners moved a step closer to approving a short-term rental ordinance, making decisions on some outstanding questions that will lead to a draft ordinance coming before them for approval next month.  Most notable is a limit of 25 short-term vacation home rentals on lands zoned exclusive farm use.  Commission Chair Ron Rivers says even those will require a comprehensive conditional use process.  STR’s would be allowed in other zones, and there would be residency requirements similar to those used by the City.  County Planning Director John Roberts pointed out in the urban growth area outside of the city limits, the County would enforce City ordinances.  The ordinance will come before the Commission for a vote on October 17.

HR Council Approves STR Ordinance

Hood River City Councilors voted on Monday night to amend the municipal zoning ordinance to deal with vacation home rentals and hosted home shares.  It passed a second reading on a 4-2 vote, with Mark Zanmiller and Susan Johnson voting no.  The ordinance includes a seven-year amortization period in which those renting homes that are not their primary residence can continue to do so to the same extent they are now, and must meet parking requirements within five years.  Short-term rentals offered by the full-time resident of a home will be limited to a maximum of 90 days per year.  Next up for the Council, dealing with the regulatory details of short-term rentals.

Old Lady Canyon Fire At 3,500 Acres

The estimated size of a fire in the eastern portion of Klickitat County near Sundale has been increased to 3,500 acres, and the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center puts containment at 25 percent.  The Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office updated evacuation advisories for the Old Lady Canyon Fire, with firefighting efforts and improved fire weather activity overnight.  A Level 2 “be ready” notice is in effect for the area between Old Highway 8 and Rock Creek Road, and a Level 1 “be advised” notice is in place from Old Highway 8 north to Newell Road.  About 30 residences are in the evacuation notification area.  Old Highway 8 is closed from Highway 14 to Sundale Road.  State fire mobilization has been approved by the Washington State Fire Marshal’s office, and a Type 3 Incident Management Team has taken command of the fire today.  The Red Cross has opened a shelter at Father’s House Fellowship on 207 South Klickitat Avenue in Goldendale for people affected by the fire.