The Dalles 13, Reynolds 9
Dufur 10, Riverside 0
Gresham 6, Hood River Valley 2
Washington 14th District State Representative Gina McCabe says she’s optimistic that legislative negotiators will come out with a good package to pay for basic education and meet the requirements of the Washington Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. The Goldendale Republican says legislative caucuses are being updated on the negotiations twice a week, and she says one element that is helping the talks is the realization that the numbers in the legislature mean everyone knows there has to be compromise. McCabe says once they have the new revenue forecast due out on Thursday, legislators will have a better handle of exactly how much money they have to work for the education funding package.
The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office scaled back the search on Mt. Hood for a missing skier and is now considering it a recovery mission. Sheriff’s Sergeant Pete Hughes says the decision was made after searchers on Saturday once again could find no sign of Steve Leavitt, and after consulting with search teams and an expert physician concluded Leavitt could not have survived in the weather conditions with the gear he had. The 57-year-old man from The Dalles was reported missing on Tuesday evening by his family. Leavitt was last seen earlier that day when his ski pass was scanned at Mt. Hood Meadows’ Heather Chair Lift. Meadows had received five-and-a-half feet of powder snow in the five prior days, which can create hazardous conditions such as tree wells and hidden creek holes. Hughes added the area in which Leavitt went missing is double black diamond and recommended for expert skiers only. Leavitt was very familiar with that area and was an avid skier. The search to find Leavitt will continue in limited capacity and as danger levels allow.
As it prepares for its 2017-18 budget process, Hood River County finds itself dealing with an unexpected deficit in the general fund. First year County Administrator Jeff Hecksel says they are dealing with a one-point-six to one-point-seven million dollar shortfall in the general fund as they prepare for the next fiscal year. Hecksel says the reasons for the shortfall are varied, noting while property taxes provide a slight increase in revenue, they are being hurt in other areas, and expenses continue to increase. Hecksel notes they also have capital maintenance needs the County will need to address. He says department heads are working on proposals, and the County budget committee will begin its process in April.
A group of Columbia River Gorge governmental agencies held an event in Salem last week to talk with legislators about various issues of importance to them. Port of The Dalles Executive Director Andrea Klaas says one of those topics was trying to get the $40,000 per year to Hood River and Wasco counties to help administer Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area ordinances back into the state budget. Klaas noted local officials reminded legislators that the money has been a part of the state budget since 1991 to help counties deal with the additional responsibility.
Search operations for a missing skier at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort entered a third full day Friday. Searchers have been looking since Tuesday night for 57-year-old Steve Leavitt of The Dalles. Hood River County Sheriff’s Sergeant Pete Hughes says they have been assisted in the air Friday by the Sheriff’s office airplane and an Air National Guard helicopter. He added weather conditions have been more conducive to search operations. Leavitt was last seen when his ski pass was scanned at 11:20 Tuesday morning on the Heather Canyon Chair Lift.
Columbia Gorge Community College has become the first Hispanic-serving institution of higher education in Oregon to become a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), a national organization centered on improving educational achievement for America’s largest minority group. CGCC is the only college in the state to meet the U.S. Department of Education’s standards as a Hispanic-serving institution of higher education as of the end of the 2016 calendar year. CGCC’s Hispanic enrollment currently stands at 26 percent, but school officials have noted that does not reflect the region’s demographics. Hispanics now constitute 34 percent of the student population in North Wasco County School District 21 and 43.5 percent of students enrolled in Hood River County School District. The school has made increasing Hispanic enrollment one of its goals.
26th District Oregon State Senator Chuck Thomsen and 52nd District Representative Mark Johnson will take part in a press conference on Monday calling for the Legislature to fund Measure 98 approved by voters last fall. The ballot measure requires school districts to allocate $800 per student for career-technical courses, college credit courses, and dropout intervention programs. But many in the legislature want to amend or delay the measure as the state budget faces a one-point-eight billion dollar budget gap. Thomsen says the funds should be added on top of K-12 education allotments. Three Portland-area Democrats: Rod Monroe, Jeff Reardon, and Janeen Sollman, will take part with the two Hood River-area Republicans in the press conference.
Crystal Springs Water District has lifted a boil water order that had been effect since Tuesday afternoon for customers in the areas of Kollas, Gilhouley, and Shute roads. Mike Garrett of Crystal Springs says test results the district received today on water samples came back showing the water was safe to drink. A mainline break occurred on Massee Grade Road Tuesday afternoon that caused customers in the higher elevation areas of Kollas, Gilhouley, and Shute roads to experience low water pressure.
Search operations for a missing skier at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort resumed today. Searchers have been looking since Tuesday night for 57-year-old Steve Leavitt of The Dalles. Hood River County Sheriff’s Sergeant Pete Hughes says 33 searchers are out this morning, representing the Crag Rats, Portland Mountain Rescue, the 304th Air Force Reserves Rescue Squadron, Deschutes County, and Mountainwave Commuications. Hughes says weather is difficult, with rainy conditions on the heels of over five feet of snow over the last five days leading to high avalanche danger, which has closed off a portion of the search area. Leavitt was last seen when his ski pass was scanned at 11:20 Tuesday morning on the Heather Canyon Chair Lift. Hughes said members of Leavitt’s family are at the site.