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Section Of Riverfront Trail Closed Through Tuesday

A section of the Riverfront Trail in The Dalles will be closed through Tuesday to accommodate construction work that began today.  Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District Executive Director Phil Lewis says the trail near mile marker 2 is being lowered by seven feet to accommodate the unloading of large transformers into the Celilo converter station off of Highway 97.  The trail will receive an asphalt overlay to allow continued use, and will be returned to its current elevation at the end of August.  The trail should reopen on Tuesday.  There will be four dates when the trail will be closed for transport of the transformers, with the first on April 1, and additional dates falling in 30 to 45 day sequences.

March 4 Prep Sports Roundup

Oregon Class 5-A Girls Basketball Play-In The Dalles 56, Liberty 40:  The Riverhawks win on the road to earn a berth in the Class 5A state playoffs.  The Dalles will play a first round game at Springfield on Saturday at a time to be announced.  The Riverhawks are now 13-11 on the season.   Oregon Class 1-A Boys Basketball Quarterfinals Horizon Christian 59, Crosshill Christian 44:  Mason Bloomster scored 17 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to lead the Hawks to the win.  Jared Davis added 11 points for Horizon, as the Hawks took control of the game from the opening quarter.  David Brockman led Crosshill with 16 points.  Horizon will meet Nixyaawii, a 51-46 winner over Hosanna Christian, in the semi-finals on Friday at 3:15 p.m.   Country Christian 50, Sherman 40:  Country Christian shot 51 percent from the field on the way to the win, as Ben Grandle scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.  Austin Kaseberg scored 14 points and Max Martin 11 for Sherman, who will meet Yoncalla in a consolation game this morning at 10:45 a.m.   Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association Championships   Hood River Valley’s Hannah Bergemann won both the girls’ skiercross and rail jam at the Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association Championships at Mt. Hood Meadows.  HRV’s Austin Keillor won the boys’ skiercross, and Tucker FitzSimons finished first in the rail jam.

Master Food Preserver Course Begins In April

Oregon State University Extension will be starting its Master Food Preserver Training in the Mid-Columbia during April.  It is patterned along the lines of the Master Gardeners program.  Extension’s Lauren Kraemer says those who enter the program take about 40 hours of classroom training, and then do 48 hours of volunteer work.  Classes will be held at the Hood River Extension office.  Applications for the Master Food Preserver program will be taken through April 3, and are available at the OSU Extension websites for Hood River and Wasco counties, or call Kraemer at 541-386-3343, extension 258.

Government Owned Marijuana Store To Open In North Bonneville

The nation’s first government owned and operated recreational marijuana store will open Saturday in North Bonneville.  The North Bonneville Public Development Authority, which was set up by the City Council but is a separate legal entity from the municipal government, says revenues from the store are to be used to support public safety in North Bonneville.  Mayor Don Stevens says they are trying to ensure marijuana sales are done to maximize benefits to the community while minimizing negative consequences.  Development Authority Board President Tim Dudley thinks it can serve as a model for cities and counties in Washington and Oregon who want to take control of the marijuana debate, rather than sitting on the sidelines.  The store is being called “The Cannabis Corner.”

HR Schools Offer Out-Of-District Enrollment Opportunities

The Hood River County School District is offering a limited number of enrollment spots for students to transfer within and outside the school district.  The district board voted to approve ten students each at Cascade Locks and Parkdale elementary schools and Wy’east Middle School, and 20 spots in Hood River Valley High School’s alternative program.  An application form is available on the district website under the site shortcuts section.  Deadline to apply is April 1.  Information is available by calling the Hood River County School District office at 541-386-2511.

Falcons Deny Eagles State Tourney Bid

Oregon Class 5-A Boys Basketball Play-In LaSalle 75, Hood River Valley 70:  Keeston Smith scored 27 points to lead the Falcons to the victory in a tightly-contested game, denying the Eagles what would have been their first state playoff berth since 1994.  HRV got off to a quick start, scoring the game’s first nine points and holding the lead for the first three quarters of the game.  But little-used LaSalle sophomore Ange Toku  sparked the Falcons comeback with ten second half points.  Dallas Buckley topped the Eagles with 17 points, 11 in the first quarter, while Skyler Hunter and Austin Clarke added 12 apiece.  The Eagles made 14 three-pointers in the game, while LaSalle made 20 of 22 free throws.  

Walden Honored To Escort Netanyahu; Shares Iran Concerns

Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden says he was honored to help escort Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into the chambers to make his address to Congress Tuesday, and shares his concerns about negotiations with Iran.  The Hood River Republican says a nuclear Iran poses a threat to America, Israel, and the world.  Netanyahu claimed in the speech the negotiation between the U.S. and Iran will “all but guarantee” Iran will develop nuclear weapons.  But President Barack Obama says Netanyahu made almost the same speech when he warned against the interim deal with Iran that Obama says resulted in a freeze and rolling back of Iran’s nuclear program.

Attorney For Nichols Indicates Not Guilty Plea Coming

The attorney for the man accused of killing his girlfriend on the Eagle Creek Trail nearly six years ago said during court proceedings Tuesday morning his client is prepared to enter a not guilty plea.  40-year-old Stephen Nichols made a brief Hood River County Circuit Court appearance by video from the Northern Oregon Correctional Facility in The Dalles.  His attorney Mike Arnold spoke by telephone from Portland, and told Judge John Olson that his client was “fully prepared to enter a not guilty plea.”  Olson told him they were not to the point to enter a plea.  A scheduling conference was set for May 11.  Nichols is accused in the death of 23-year-old Rhonda Casto of Portland.

HR Vets Office Seeks To Register All Entitled To Benefits

The Hood River County Veterans Services Office is campaigning to get all veterans registered so they receive benefits they are eligible for.  County Veterans Services Officer Les Logsden says there are around 5,000 veterans in the County, but only a little more than a thousand have filed for a claim.  Logsden says many of those who have not signed up could be eligible to receive benefits.  He adds younger veterans who may not have a claim now should still be registered so when the day comes they would like to file a claim, they are already in the system.  For more information on filing for veterans’ benefits in Hood River County call 541-386-1080, or in Wasco County call 541-506-2502.

Oregon Unemployment Rate Lowest Since Mid-2008

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in January, down from 6.7 percent in December.  January’s rate was the lowest since July 2008.   It continues a trend of decline dating to May 2009, when Oregon’s rate peaked at 11.9 percent.   The number of unemployed also declined to 124,000, from 138,000 a year ago.   Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 7,600–the fourth time in five months the state has added more than 6,000 jobs.  In addition to Oregon’s continued economic growth, January weather was unusually mild, which allowed many outdoor industries, particularly construction, to keep more workers on the job than they might usually at this time of year.

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