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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

Kitchen Fire Damages Apartment

A kitchen fire damaged an apartment in The Dalles on Monday.  Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue Chief Bob Palmer says the fire occurred at around 8:30 Monday morning at 1721 East 12th.  He says the occupant of the apartment left a burner in the kitchen unattended while doing laundry, and when that person returned found the entire kitchen on fire.  Palmer noted the resident used extinguishers and buckets of water to help quell the fire before crews arrived.  Palmer says the apartment in which the fire occurred was uninhabitable afterwards with the kitchen gutted, but residents of other apartments in the building where able to return to their homes.  Palmer indicated there was the potential for some water damage in the apartment directly below, and light smoke and odor went into upper apartments.

Discussion On Housing Project Planned

A public discussion is being planned for next week on the proposed affordable housing development on Hood River’s Lot 700, otherwise known as the Morrison Park property.  Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation and the City of Hood River are partnering on the project, and is expected to develop 60-to-80 units.  Last year, the City moved ahead with rezoning the land for the project over the objections of some who felt Morrison Park represented important open space.  Columbia Cascade Executive Director Joel Madsen says the City has directed them to preserve as much open space as possible.  Madsen says this project may target a population with a more mixed income level than the Hood River Crossing apartments on Cascade Avenue.  The community meeting will be next Tuesday (January 9) at 6 p.m. at Westside Elementary School.

HR County Uses New Marijuana Education Course

The Hood River County Prevention Department is utilizing a new marijuana education course for teens to education seventh and ninth graders about the drug.  Department director Belinda Ballah says training in the course was provided by CLEAR Alliance based out of Redmond, which is a part of the Oregon Statewide Coalition operated by public health, public safety, and community leaders.  She says the course runs over two class periods, and it is intended to develop critical thinking skills rather than tell kids what to do or not to do.  Ballah says they are awaiting the non-profit CLEAR Alliance to develop a curriculum to use at the fifth grade level.

Mt. Hood Land Exchange Legislation Goes To President

Legislation to move forward the Mt. Hood/Cooper Spur land exchange passed the Senate unanimously, and is headed to the president to be signed into law.  Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Congressmen Greg Walden and Earl Blumenauer introduced the Mt. Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange Clarification Act earlier this year to help resolve the nearly nine-year-long dispute over proposed land development on the northeast side of Mt. Hood.  Congress passed a broad public lands bill in 2009 that included the Mt. Hood land exchange as part of the Mt. Hood Wilderness designation, allowing development of approximately 100 acres near Government Camp while protecting more than 700 acres on the north side of the mountain.  That law directed the U.S. Forest Service to complete the exchange within 16 months.  However, multiple delays stalled the exchange, frustrated community members,and sparked a lawsuit against the Forest Service.

MCEDD Holds First Transportation Meeting

Mid-Columbia Economic Development District held its first meeting overseeing public transportation planning in Wasco, Hood River, Sherman, Gilliam, and Wheeler counties.  MCEDD is taking over services handled by the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments, which is being dismantled.  The Dalles Mayor Steve Lawrence was named chair of the new transportation panel.  Lawrence noted the meeting included an Oregon Department of Transportation representative who explained the new state transportation package includes in excess of a half-a-million dollars for public transportation in Wasco County, and he’s excited about the possibilities, including having some fixed routes, transportation to Columbia Gorge Community College, and special routes to larger employers.  Other possibilities included expanded bus service between Hood River and The Dalles, and more connections into Klickitat County.

City of HR Issues Snow Parking Reminder

With the potential for snow in the forecast this coming week, Hood River city officials are reminding residents of parking regulations during snow emergencies.  City Manager Steve Wheeler says he will declare snow emergencies when there is three inches or more of snowfall, and when that happens parking should take place on the south and west sides of streets, so snow plowing can be done effectively.  In addition, during snow emergencies there is no parking allowed in the downtown core between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. to allow for plowing, and businesses and residents are responsible for shoveling sidewalks in front of their properties.  Complete snow emergency regulations are online at cityofhoodriver.com.

December 21 Prep Sports Roundup


Hood River Valley 57, Stevenson 18:  Jonathan Garcia, Ryan Zeller, Alberto Rojas, and Justin Lane all had wins by fall for HRV.  Braeden Waymire won by fall for Stevenson.


Boys Basketball

Columbia 59, Dufur 35

Stevenson 99, Lyle-Wishram 73

South Wasco 52, Country Christian 50

Horizon Christian 64, Echo 44

Klickitat 34, Griswold 33


Girls Basketball

Country Christian 55, South Wasco 35

Horizon Christian 44, Echo 25

LifeFlight Moving Into Airport Flex Building

After a number of years of anticipation, LifeFlight is moving into the flex building near the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport.  Klickitat County Commissioner David Sauter says they are moving into 49 percent of the space in that facility.  Sauter says they are starting to get interest in other lots in the airport development, and he hopes activity in the flex building sparks more businesses to forsee a future there, but he adds they have received input that the commercial sector of Dallesport needs to developed.  He notes some potential tenants have given input indicating they would like to see a restaurant and a store where employees can get lunch and do other things.

December 20 Prep Sports Roundup

Girls Wrestling

Hood River Valley 30, Washougal 24:  Alexis McCafferty, Monique Verduzco, and Christine Marquez won by fall for the Eagles.


Boys Basketball

Lyle-Wishram 62, Goldendale 56:  Riley Mills scored 18 points for the Cougars, who used a 22-4 run in the second quarter to take control of the game.


Girls Basketball

Goldendale 52, Lyle-Wishram 28

Port of HR Approves IGA With ODOT

Port of Hood River Commissioners gave their approval to an intergovernmental agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation outlining terms and conditions for five million dollars in state funding for planning tasks to develop a plan to replace the Interstate Bridge.  The IGA now goes to ODOT officials for their signatures.  Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says the planning effort will begin immediately, starting with bringing in a project manager.  That will involve a public selection process that will see them under contract with an engineering firm by May or June.  A large portion of the state funding will go toward development of an environmental impact statement for a new bridge.