The annual Starlight Parade and Community Christmas Tree lighting will take place in The Dalles Friday evening. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. at West 6th and Webber, rolling through downtown before ending in front of The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce office on 404 West 2nd, where the annual tree lighting celebration will begin at 7 p.m. There will be hot chocolate, cookies, popcorn, and photos with Santa Claus at the tree lighting.
Community Thanksgiving dinners are planned in the Gorge for Thursday, with a new one set for Cascade Locks. Debby Chenoweth says it is an offshoot of the long-standing Hood River dinner. It will be in the Port of Cascade Locks pavilion from noon to 2 p.m. In Hood River, the Thanksgiving Community Dinner will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at Riverside Church on State Street adjacent to the Hood River County Courthouse. Meals can be delivered in the Hood River and Cascade Locks area to those who cannot attend, call 541-399-2384. In The Dalles the Salvation Army sponsors a community Thanksgiving meal from noon to 3 p.m. at St. Mary’s Academy. To order a delivered meal in The Dalles call 541-705-4652.
Goldendale Police have arrested a suspect in connection with multiple burglaries, a stolen vehicle, and two vehicle prowls on Saturday and Sunday. According to a police department release, Timothy Knight of Klickitat was taken into custody after officers received a call of a vehicle prowl in progress on the 400 block of West Burgen Street. The police statement indicates Knight was found with stolen items from different thefts, and was positively identified by a pair of witnesses. Knight is charged with four counts of felony burglary, one count of vehicle theft, one count of felony theft 2, one count of theft 3 and three counts of vehicle prowls He is also being investigated in connection with a camp trailer fire, another burglary, and other thefts. Anyone with further information on any thefts that occurred between Friday and Sunday morning in the Goldendale area should call the Goldendale Police Department.
The Port of Hood River says the Hood River/White Salmon Interstate Bridge will be closed to all traffic early Wednesday morning. The one-hour total closure will begin at 4:00 a.m. Only emergency response vehicles will have access to the bridge during that time. The closure is required for maintenance work on the mechanical system of the lift span.
The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year and that will be especially true this year on westbound Interstate 84 near Hood River. Travelers should expect congested highways everywhere in Oregon in the days before and after Thanksgiving, and westbound I-84 at milepost 52 could prove particularly difficult this year. Since the Eagle Creek Fire, eastbound I-84 traffic has been diverted onto one lane of westbound I-84 at that location, creating one lane each for eastbound and westbound. The Oregon Department of Transportation warns traffic approaching that configuration may be become particularly busy on Sunday with travelers returning to the Portland area after the Thanksgiving weekend. For up to date traffic conditions go to Tripcheck.com, which includes traffic cameras.
Daniel Bonham of The Dalles has been appointed to serve as District 59’s representative in the Oregon House. Bonham was appointed by a vote of Wasco, Jefferson, Deschutes, and Wheeler county commissioners from a group of three nominees that included Mae Huston of Jefferson County and Bob Perry of Deschutes County. Bonham will fill the remaining term of former Representative John Huffman…who vacated the seat to become U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Director for Oregon. Bonham owns Maupin Stoves and Spas in The Dalles, and has served on The Dalles city budget and urban renewal budget commitees. His term runs through the end of next year, with the seat on the 2018 ballot.
One Community Health will receive a $13,200,000 low interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to replace its Hood River community health center. USDA Rural Development State Director John Huffman made the announcement Monday. One Community Health is receiving the loan through USDA’s Community Facilities Program to expand its Hood River facility. The new building will increase patient access to medical, dental, enabling, and behavioral services. The facility will include 20 medical rooms and 18 dental operatories, as well as space to support team-based care, a residency program, and anticipated future growth. The new and larger facility will be home to the majority of the non-profit’s employees, and it will provide significantly more space for patient engagement.
The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office suspended search efforts over the weekend for a hunter missing in the Forlorn Lakes area east of the Indian Heaven Wilderness in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. 37-year-old Joel Presler of Vancouver was last seen last weekend. Skamania County Sheriff Dave Brown says the King County Sheriff’s Office air wing unit searched the area by helicopter on Saturday. Observers in the helicopter reported good visibility in the search area and they were unable to detect any tracks or other clues that might have been associated with Presler. Snow depths at Presler’s truck, which was located on Wednesday, are close to 36 inches and the depths increase with elevation. Four days of organized search efforts produced no clues, and Brown indicated snow conditions and forecasted weather will continue to reduce the probability of having success at this time. Brown asks that anyone who may have been in the search area and comes across any clues to call 911 or contact the Skamania County Sheriff Office at (509) 427-9490.
The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce is taking nominations for its 2018 Distinguished Citizens Awards coming up in January. Awards are presented in eight different categories. Chamber CEO Lisa Farquharson says the award banquet shows the positivity and caring of The Dalles area and its citizens. Nominations are being taken until December 8, call The Dalles Chamber at 541-296-2231 to receive a nomination form. Tickets for the January 18 banquet at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center are also available by calling 541-296-2231.
The Port of Hood River has one more piece of maintenance work it wants to do on the Hood River/White Salmon Interstate Bridge before winter weather settles in. Last week crews repaired a light fixture on the bridge that had come loose due to vibrations breaking the masthead. Port of Hood River Executive Director Michael McElwee says other fixtures on the bridge were checked during that repair. McElwee adds the final task to get done is deck welding that had been planned for late summer but was delayed due to the need to open up the bridge to detoured freeway traffic during the Eagle Creek Fire. The Port has been undertaking a series of maintenance efforts in recent months to extend the lifespan of the bridge while planning for a new structure begins.