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Columbia River Weather
Partly Cloudy
Tuesday 20%
High 48° / Low 36°
Chance of Rain
Wednesday 60%
High 46° / Low 39°
Thursday 80%
High 45° / Low 32°

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Local News

The Dalles Main Street Receives State Award

The Dalles Main Street program received the award for “best retail event” at Oregon Main Street’s 2017 Excellence in Downtown Revitalization awards this week.  The Dalles Main Street created a “shop downtown promotion” as a way to generate foot traffic, in conjunction with The Dalles Civic Auditorium’s BeerFest.  Participants were encouraged to spend ten dollars at a downtown business the day before and the day of the BeerFest to have their admission fee to the BeerFest waived.  The Dalles Main Street interviewed attendees at the BeerFest admission booth and concluded that a total of 84 participants visited 33 unique businesses in the downtown and spent a total of $6,340.

HR County Commission Directs Staff To Investigate Limited Scope Sales Tax

Hood River County Commissioners have directed county staff to continue investigating putting a limited scope sales tax before voters next year.  Commissioners have been concerned about the ability to maintain services with an ever-tightening budget picture impacted by reduced county timber sale revenues over the last decade and Measure 5 and 50 limitations on the ability to increase property taxes.  Commissioners discussed exempting groceries, fuel, and prescription medicine with an early proposed rate of two percent, though that could change as more research is done.  County Administrator Jeff Hecksel says part of the intent of a limited scope sales tax would be to have visitors to the area contribute to county coffers.  He adds over the next 90 days there will be a market survey done on whether there would be support such a tax, at what level, and the value placed on various county services.  Commissioners have also considered going out for a public safety district, but expressed concern with adding to the current property tax burden.

Port of HR To Hold Hearings On Bridge Toll Increases

The Port of Hood River Commission will hold two public hearings as it decides whether or not to raise tolls on the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge.  Hearings on the proposed increase of cash tolls for passenger cars from $1 to $2, and tolls for those with Breeze-By accounts from 80 cents to $1, will take place on October 17 and November 7.  Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says while the Port is focused on replacing the bridge, they have to be realistic and plan for another 30 years of use from the current bridge.  A toll increase at the beginning of 2018 was assumed in the Port’s budget for the current fiscal year.  If a toll increase is eventually approved, the current timeline has it taking effect on February 1.

Magill Seeks Improvements To 9-1-1 System

Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill is working with CenturyLink to get improvements to the County’s 9-1-1 system.  Magill started pushing for changes after some sporadic outages in the last year, including a 36-hour outage that affected other counties in the area.  He’s expecting to receive a plan from CenturyLink for Wasco County by the end of the week.  Magill adds the main goal is to get redundancies to deal with technical issues.  Magill gave a report on 9-1-1 to the Wasco County Commission this week.

Hepner Named New White Salmon Police Chief

White Salmon City Councilors have confirmed the hiring of Mike Hepner as the new chief of the White Salmon-Bingen Police Department.  Mayor David Poucher says Hepner is currently the department’s sergeant, and will start his new position on November 1, noting he was an “overwhelming unanimous choice.”  Current chief Tracy Wyckoff is retiring on October 31 after six years in the position.

October 5 Prep Sports Roundup

Cross Country

Columbia’s girls finished second and the boys third in a Trico League cross country meet at Washougal on Wednesday.  Stevenson finished fourth in the girls’ race and fifth in the boys.  CHS earned individual second place finishes in both races, with Haley Blair second for the Bruin girls and Dylan Beneventi second for the boys.  For Stevenson, Cassie Macnab was fifth in the girls race and Abiy LaCombe eighth for the boys.


Boys Soccer

Horizon Christian 4, Oregon School for the Deaf 0

Blast Planned Thursday Near I-84 MP 53; Will Lead To Delays

Interstate 84 near milepost 53 west of Hood River will see rolling slowdowns and delays Thursday between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. for rock blasting necessary to build the latest segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.  Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Don Hamilton says the blasting is necessary to construct a segment of the trail between Wy’eth and Lindsey Creek, and will not impact Eagle Creek Fire rehabilitation at Shellrock Mountain a mile to the west of the trail work.  This work is located in the same area where eastbound traffic is temporarily diverted into one lane of westbound I-84 due to fire debris removal activity from the Eagle Creek Fire.  There may be as many as of seven rock blasts, taking place about once a week through mid-November.  Exact dates will be announced in advance of each blast.

CGCC To Hold Open Forums On Presidential Search

Columbia Gorge Community College will hold a series of open forums next week to gather input from community members, faculty, students, and staff on the qualities they would like to see in the school’s next president.  CGCC Board of Education chair Stu Watson says the intent is to get as many ideas as possible.  Dr. Preston Pulliams of Gold Hill Associates, which has been brought on to lead the search for a new president, will facilitate the forums.  The forums will take place next Wednesday, October 11 at The Dalles campus and Thursday, October 12 at the Hood River campus.  Campus forums will take place at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days, and community forums at 5:30 p.m.  The campus forums in The Dalles will be at Lecture Hall 2, Building 1, and the community forum at the Class Act Café in Building 1.

Foster Parent Open Houses Scheduled

The Next Door and Greater Oregon Behavioral Health will hold informal open houses in October for anyone interested in becoming a foster parent in Wasco and Hood River counties.  Amy Lindley of The Next Door says they will be holding the sessions at lunch time to educate people about the need for more foster parents to help children between six and 18.  She says most of the children that come to them with emotional, behavioral, and medical needs, and they work with the children in treatment and skill building to get to a place where they can go home and better able to handle the things they are working through.  The open houses will run from noon to one this Monday, October 9, and Monday, October 16 from noon to 1 p.m. at Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue in The Dalles.  Lunch will be provided, call 541-399-4276 to RSVP.

October 3 Prep Sports Roundup

Boys Soccer

Hood River Valley 1, Hermiston 1:  Robby Running’s goal on a cross by Erik Pitones gave the Eagles the equalizing goal in the 55th minute.  Hermiston had opened the scoring in the 15th minute on a goal by Joel Mendez.

The Dalles 4, Pendleton 2


Girls Soccer

Hood River Valley 0, Hermiston 0

The Dalles 1, Pendleton 0

Royal 4, Goldendale 0



Hood River Valley def. The Dalles 25-16, 25-14, 17-25, 17-25, 15-8

Sherman def. Mitchell-Spray 25-12, 25-13, 25-8

Dufur def. Ione 25-18, 25-21, 25-13

Seton Catholic def. Stevenson 25-17, 25-22, 25-13

Castle Rock def. Columbia 3 sets to 0

Goldendale def. Highland 25-9, 25-15, 25-4


Girls Water Polo

Hood River Valley 12, David Douglas 3