The Port of Hood River Commission approved a number of set up pieces and agreements as the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge replacement process moves from theory toward reality. Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says they are starting the implementation of the planning process, with the contracts approved this week bringing in experts and consultants to move forward in a “rigorous and disciplined way.” The Port recently hired Kevin Greenwood as project manager for the bridge replacement. Port Commissioners will hold a worksession next Thursday (January 18) at 1:30 p.m. in the Port’s Marina Center conference room with a panel of experts to discuss various elements of the project.
The date for exclusion of students in Oregon schools who are not up to date on their immunizations is Wednesday, February 21. Trish Elliott of the Hood River County Health Department says schools will be delivering their immunization record reports to the health department by next Wednesday, and then notification letters will go out. She adds there are a couple of vaccines in particular that are the most likely to be missed: Varicella and adolescent T-DAP. Day care centers and pre-school programs are also subject to the state’s immunization requirements.
King’s Way Christian 77, Columbia 50
Seton Catholic 60, Stevenson 47
Dufur 57, Ione 32
Sherman 70, South Wasco 16
King’s Way Christian 50, Columbia 27
Stevenson 67, Seton Catholic 39
South Wasco 52, Sherman 24
Two people were taken to Mid-Columbia Medical Center after a report of a shooting in the 2440 block of Badger View Drive southwest of The Dalles. According to the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and Oregon State Police responded to a call just before noon on Monday of a 51-year-old woman having been shot. When law enforcement arrived, the woman was found and treated by Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue personnel. They were told her 49-year-old brother had unintentionally shot her in the leg, and he was having a medical issue when the shooting occurred. Both were transported to the hospital for non-life threatening conditions. The incident is under investigation by the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office.
The Dalles City Council approved giving $25,000 to Central Oregon Animal Friends to help that group’s proposed merger with Home At Last Humane Society to move forward. The organization that runs two animal shelters in the Madras area would take over the Home At Last facility in The Dalles under a merger City Manager Julie Krueger told the Council was signed on Friday. Mayor Steve Lawrence and other City and Wasco County officials have been involved in discussions to find a solution to Home At Last’s fiscal problems over the last couple of months, and he believes the merger was the best option for the community. The City’s contribution is dependent on a match by Wasco County, and would be used to recreate an appropriate reserve for the shelter. In other business, the Council approved agreements with TacAero as fixed base operator and Chuck Covert for management at the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport, which also must go through the Klickitat County Commission. And a five-year enterprise zone agreement with Bearing Point Holdings, which plans to construct a Holiday Inn Express on West 6th Street, was also approved and now goes to the Wasco County Commission.
The Hood River City Council approved a plan to accelerate an odor control project at the municipal wastewater treatment plan. Under the plan up to $469,000 in Waterfront Urban Renewal district funding will be used for the project, with the City itself planning to expend $311,000. City Manager Steve Wheeler says the project was in the 2013 Sewer Master Plan, and moved up in priority after there were more complaints than ever this summer about odors from the plant. In other business, the Council approved a contract with Crestline Construction to do a water pressure project in the Serpentine area.
The Washington Legislature convened for its 60-day session on Monday, and for the 14th District’s two representatives in the House, there are new roles. Gina McCabe is now the lead Republican on the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee. The committee considers issues relating to unemployment compensation, collective bargaining, family leave, safety and health standards, and employment standards, such as wage laws and employment discrimination. McCabe is also the assistant ranking Republican on the House Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee, and serves on the House Business and Financial Services Committee. Norm Johnson has been appointed to the House State Government, Elections and Information Technology Committee. It considers issues relating to state government, including state agency rulemaking, procurement standards, information technology systems and security, performance audits and public employment. Johnson also serves on the Education and Rules committees.
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley will hold town hall meetings in Cascade Locks and Dufur on Sunday. Merkley will be at the Dufur School cafeteria on Sunday at 1 p.m. Then he moves on to the Cascade Locks Elementary School gym for another session at 4 p.m. Merkley says he will update constituents on his work in Washington, D.C., answer questions and invite suggestions.
The Hood River County Commission is planning a public hearing on whether a proposed two percent sales tax should go to the May ballot on February 5. County Administrator Jeff Hecksel says the February 5 session will be part of a special Commission meeting in the County Administration Building at 6 p.m., with plans to continue it at the panel’s regular February 20 meeting. Hecksel says there will be a fully-fleshed out proposal for the hearing, with a worksession planned for January 22. County Commissioners have been warning that without a source to increase revenues, the County will have make significant cuts to the 2018-19 budget. For that reason, Commissioners told staff to continue researching the concept, even though a survey commissioned by the County did not indicate support for the plan by citizens.
Columbia Gorge Community College has embarked on a survey to assess the potential demand for student housing on the college’s campus in The Dalles. CGCC community outreach manager Dan Spatz says the school is contracting with a private consultant to study the economic feasibility of on-campus housing. The City of The Dalles is partnering with the college on this effort. People can take part in the survey through January 19 by going online to cgcc.edu.