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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

CGCC Changes Name Of RET Program To EM-Tech

Columbia Gorge Community College has changed the name of what was its Renewable Energy Technology program to EM-Tech.  That stands for Electro-Mechanical Technology.  CGCC Director of Career and Technical Education Mary Kramer says the new name reflects the depth of careers available through the program.  The core skill set taught in the program gives students a good foundation in several different areas of technology.  Many engineering fields use more than one of the core skills, making the program align more readily with the Bachelor of Science in Engineering degrees offered at four-year colleges and universities.

September 27 Prep Sports Roundup

Cross Country

The Columbia boys finished first and girls second in a Trico League cross country meet in White Salmon.  Jacob Lockman and Dylan Beneventi finished one-two to pace the Bruin boys, while Joules Hope was second and Lillian Nelson third as the CHS girls finished behind LaCenter in the team standings.  Stevenson’s girls were fourth and the boys sixth.  Cassie Macnab was seventh for the Bulldog girls, with Abiy LaCombe seventh for the Stevenson boys.


Boys Soccer

Livingstone Academy 2, Horizon Christian 1


Girls Water Polo

Hood River Valley 16, David Douglas 2

HR County Commission Reapproves Cell Tower Permit

Hood River County Commissioners unanimously voted to once again approve an application from Verizon Wireless for a 100-foot cell tower in the Windmaster Corner area.  The County’s original approval was remanded back by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals on an appeal by nearby resident Rebecca Rawson to address four different issues, most notably whether the tower qualifies as a utility use, and failing to formally adopt Planning Director findings on public interest, property values, and public need standards.  Commissioner Les Perkins said during the meeting it was clear the tower falls under County ordinance standards as a distribution plant or substation under their ordinances.  Commission Chair Ron Rivers said he felt the site is an allowed location for a cell tower.  Commissioners will adopt findings of fact for their decision at their October meeting.

Klickitat County Starts Budget Work; Considers Annex Futures

Klickitat County Commissioners are starting their 2018 budget work.  Commissioner David Sauter says the County is in “decent” fiscal shape thanks in part to landfill revenues, and department heads are being asked to submit status quo budgets with no major additions or cuts.  Sauter says they are starting to examine the possibility of combining the many courthouse annex locations they have in Goldendale into one facility, noting most of them are aging buildings with rising maintenance costs.  He adds the County recently an estimate of $450,000 to replace the roof on Courthouse Annex 1.  Sauter did say the main courthouse would not be impacted by any new construction.

September 27 Prep Sports Roundup

Boys Soccer

Hood River Valley 9, Pendleton 0:  Erik Siekkinen scored four goals and Erik Pitones tallied two as the Eagles won their Columbia River Conference opener.

Hermiston 3, The Dalles 1

Trout Lake 6, Southwest Christian 1


Girls Soccer

Hood River Valley 10, Pendleton 0:  Leah Ralph had a hat trick and Claire Davies scored twice as HRV started league play with a win.

The Dalles 0, Hermiston 0

King’s Way Christian 6, Stevenson 0



Hood River Valley def. Pendleton 25-18, 25-23, 25-22:  The Eagles move into a tie for first with Pendleton in the Columbia River Conference.

The Dalles def. Hermiston 25-16, 22-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-9:  The Riverhawks solidify their hold on third place in the CRC.

Columbia def. Seton Catholic 25-15, 25-19, 25-12

LaCenter def. Stevenson 25-12, 25-20, 25-1

Dufur def. Lyle-Wishram 25-8, 25-18, 25-20

Goldendale def. Granger 25-21, 28-26, 18-25, 22-25, 15-11

HR City Council Passes In-Lieu-Of Parking Fee Changes

Hood River City Councilors spent two hours Monday evening discussing downtown parking as a resolution to drop the in-lieu-of parking fee for residential development from over $20,000 to the commercial fee of just over $1,100 died for lack of a second, and then Councilors voted 5-2 to put the fee for both residential and commercial at $10,500.  City officials had made the initial proposal based on Key Development’s request to drop the residential in-lieu parking fee as they consider constructing an apartment building downtown.  But that has brought up a litany of issues related to a tight parking situation in downtown Hood River, and Councilor Mark Zanmiller says he sees the new in-lieu fee as an acknowledgement of the need to develop a systemic solution to downtown parking.  Mayor Paul Blackburn, who joined Councilor Peter Cornelison in voting against the fee change, notes this may bring back discussions around a parking structure.  Councilors are forming a sub-committee to study the issue, and City Manager Steve Wheeler says staff will come up with some ideas to start that process at the next Council meeting in October.

TD City Council Ends Marijuana Store Separation Discussion

The Dalles City Council has taken action to allow two retail marijuana outlets separated by Interstate 84 but less than one-thousand feet from each other as required under City ordinances to operate.  One of the businesses was the first to receive a license from the state, but the other was given City permits before the buffer requirement was established.  Councilors decided not to pursue any action after coming out of an executive session, and Mayor Steve Lawrence says that resolves this particular issue.  Lawrence adds anybody who applies for a retail marijuana business from now on will be subject to the one-thousand-foot separation rule.

No Significant Change To Eagle Creek Fire

Two reconnaissance flights Monday revealed no significant change in behavior or size of the Eagle Creek Fire.  Crews continue working on suppression repair, chipping, decking trees, and mop-up where the topography and terrain allow.  Hood River County collaborated with resource advisors to finalize a plan for identifying and relocating downed logs out of the eastern flank.  A Burned Area Emergency Response team has been tasked with assessing and prescribing emergency stabilization treatments for the areas that have been most affected by the fire.  A high-pressure system is predicted to create a warming trend this week with gusty east winds on Wednesday and Thursday.  That will mean an increase of isolated smokes from the fire starting today, mostly due to isolated logs continuing to burn.  Fire behavior remains minimal and fire spread is unlikely around most of the fire.  A 95-acre reduction in fire size acreage to 48,573 acres is due to more accurate mapping from an infrared flight on Sunday night.

Goldendale Accident Injures Two

Two people were taken to a hospital after a two-car accident on Highway 97 in Goldendale Monday afternoon.  According to the Washington State Patrol, a car driven by a 79-year-old Goldendale woman was northbound on Highway 97, turned left to go on to Simcoe Drive, and struck an on-coming car driven by a 58-year-old Goldendale man.  The WSP says both people were injured and taken to Klickitat Valley Hospital with undisclosed injuries.  Both cars were totaled in the accident, which occurred at around 2:50 p.m. on Monday.

HR Marina Boat Ramp Closed Thursday Night Into Friday Morning

The Hood River Marina boat launch ramp will be closed to all vehicles from 10:00 p.m. Thursday until 6:00 a.m. Friday.  Crestline Construction crews will be paving Port Marina Drive and portions of the Marina parking lot as part of a City of Hood River project.