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HR City Officials Look To Tackle Housing Issues

Trying to find a way to encourage the development of more affordable workforce housing in Hood River has been a goal of City officials for a long time, but new Mayor Paul Blackburn is hoping they can take some steps in the near future.  Housing issues were at the forefront of a recent visioning session involving City officials, and Blackburn says they want to go beyond just talking about it.  Blackburn says other goals to come out of the visioning session revolve around taking steps to make the City more sustainable while remaining fiscally responsible.  He notes that includes looking at ways the City can make changes in their own operations, and keeping Hood River bicycle and pedestrian friendly.  Councilors Monday night will discuss the affordable housing subject with County Commissioner Maui Meyer and Joel Madsen of the Mid-Columbia Housing Authority as part of their meeting beginning at 6 p.m. in Hood River City Hall.

Johnston Intrigued By “Maker Space” Concept

Participating in a recent “Maker Space” tour in Portland has Klickitat County Commissioner Rex Johnston thinking about the need for a similar concept in his County.  Johnston says a “Maker Space” involves a location where tools and people with expertise are available to help people make their ideas for a product a reality.  Johnston says he would like to see a concept like that in Klickitat County.  He thinks the new industrial park in Dallesport could be a good place to put a “Maker Space” in, and the County’s Economic Development Department is looking at it.

Poison Control Center Experiences Increase In Calls About E-Cigs

The Oregon Poison Control Center is seeing a big increase in the number of calls about children and electronic cigarettes, and it’s part of a national trend.  The American Association of Poison Control Centers says e-cigarette incidents more than doubled from 2013 to 2014, with more than half involving children under the age of six.  Oregon Poison Control Center medical director Zane Horowitz says the risk of ingesting a large amount of nicotine is significantly higher in liquid form than in cigarettes.  He adds the flavored nicotine liquids increase their appeal to young children.  The Oregon Poison Control Center fielded 84 calls about e-cigarettes last year, up from seven in 2011.

Prep Sports Roundup For January 23-24

Boys Basketball Hood River Valley 82, Pendleton 72:  The Eagles scored 33 fourth quarter points to come back from a nine-point deficit and with the Columbia River Conference opener.  Tyrone Stintzi led a group of four Eagles in double figures with 17 points, while Sonny Green topped the Buckaroos with 22. Hermiston 54, The Dalles 42:  Keegan Crafton’s 21 points led the Bulldogs to the win.  Coby Conlee paced the Riverhawks with 16. LaCenter 84, Stevenson 55 Dufur 62, Arlington 28 Country Christian 47, Dufur 38 South Wasco 63, Spray-Mitchell 35 Sherman 85, Condon-Wheeler 36 Horizon Christian 69, Ione 27 Bickleton 58, Klickitat 46 Sunnyside Christian 66, Klickitat 23 Sunnyside Christian 77, Glenwood 20 LaSalle 69, Goldendale 40 Highland 51, Goldendale 43   Girls Basketball   Hermiston 51, The Dalles 36:  The Riverhawks kept it close for three quarters, but the Bulldogs dominated the fourth to grab the win.  Abi Drotzmann and Tavin Headings scored 10 points apiece to lead Hermiston, while Katie Conklin scored 11 for The Dalles. Pendleton 60, Hood River Valley 34:  Marlene Bodnar’s 14 points led the Buckaroos to the win.  Kelsey Wells scored 15 for Hood River. Dufur 59, Arlington 44 Country Christian 62, Dufur 55 Spray-Mitchell 35, South Wasco 34 Condon-Wheeler 57, Sherman 35 Horizon Christian 47, Ione 38 Bickleton 75, Klickitat 39 Sunnyside Christian 68, Klickitat 17 LaSalle 37, Goldendale 18 Highland 28, Goldendale 27   Wrestling Hood River Valley wrestlers won in four weight classes to take first place at the Columbia Gorge Invitational in Stevenson.  Goldendale finished in sixth, while Stevenson was seventh and Columbia eighth.

January 23 Prep Basketball Scores

Boys Basketball Hood River Valley 82, Pendleton 72 Hermiston 54, The Dalles 52 LaCenter 84, Stevenson 55 Sherman 85, Condon-Wheeler 36 Horizon Christian 69, Ione 27 Sunnyside Christian 77, Glenwood 20 Girls Basketball Pendleton 60, Hood River Valley 34 Hermiston 51, The Dalles 36 Dufur 59, Arlington 44 Condon-Wheeler 57, Sherman 35 Horizon Christian 47, Ione 38

NCPHD Reports High Amount Of Strep In Gilliam County

North Central Public Health District says an unusually large number of Gilliam County residents are being diagnosed with and treated for strep throat.  Strep throat is an uncomfortable bacterial infection of the throat that occurs mainly in children over two years old.  It can occur in adults, but is rare in infants.  Strep is easily treated with a number of different antibiotics.  The health district recommends if you have a sore throat without the symptoms of a cold, or have been in close contact with someone who has the symptoms of or diagnosed with strep throat, to make an appointment with your health care provider.

Port of TD Offering Grants For Trade Show Attendance

The Port of The Dalles is offering local businesses grants of up to two-thousand dollars to help expand their markets through trade show attendance and related activities.  A $20,000 grant pool has been established, funded half by the Oregon Investment Board and half by the Port.   Businesses in Wasco County located within either the Port of The Dalles district boundaries, or the boundaries of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area are eligible.   The grants will cover a portion of the expenses involved in attending trade shows, trade missions and trade workshops to help existing businesses expand their markets through the connections they can make at these events.  Businesses may match grants with other funding sources.  Applications are available at or by calling 541-298-4148 ext. 202.

Trial For Smith Scheduled For Summer Of 2016

A Clatsop County judge has set June 28, 2016 as the trial date for a Goldendale woman accused of aggravated murder in the death of her two-year-old daughter and the attempted aggravated murder of her 13-year-old daughter in a Cannon Beach hotel in July of last year.  41-year-old Jessica Smith has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and The Oregonian reports defense lawyer William Falls indicated to Judge Cindee Matyas he will probably pursue a mental health defense.  Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis pushed for a trial this coming summer.  Court records show Smith gave a videotaped interview to an FBI agent after her arrest.  Marquis has not indicated if he will seek the death penalty.

Wyden And Crapo Introduce Wildfire Funding Bill

Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and Idaho Republican Senator Mike Crapo introduced a bipartisan bill today to overhaul federal wildfire policy to boost funding for fire prevention and treat the largest wildfires as natural disasters.  Federal agencies currently base wildland fire suppression budgets on the average costs of the past 10 years, which has tended to be inadequate to pay firefighting costs, and the U.S. Forest Service and Interior Department have been forced to take money from other programs to make up the difference.  The bill would fund those catastrophic fires as natural disasters by making any fire suppression spending above 70 percent of the 10-year average eligible to be funded under a separate disaster account.  Washington Senator Maria Cantwell…the top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is a co-sponsor of the bill.

HR Waterfront Will Be A Busy Place

Hood River’s Waterfront has been a busy place the last few years with the construction of a number of new buildings, and it’s about to get even busier.  Port of Hood River Executive Director Michael McElwee says projects for a path along the Nichols Basin West Edge, the launch at the Hook, and the Pedestrian Bridge Trail are all out to bid or about to start.  He says combine that with other projects like the move of Sheppard’s to the Waterfront, the removal of the Expo Center building and construction of a facility for Turtle Island Foods at that site, and the Natio hotel and office building at the end of the Nicols Basin, it will be a busy spring and summer with perhaps the most construction since fill created the Waterfront.  And the Port also has planning for how to develop Lot 1 adjacent to the Nichols Basin on its to-do list.

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