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Local News

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School Board And Port Offices Sought After In Hood River County Vote

Contested seats for the Hood River County School District and Port of Hood River boards will be a part of the May 21 election.  Position 1 on the Hood River school board will have a three-way race with current board chair Chrissy Reitz challenged by Stephen Shwiff and Loran Ayles.  School board incumbents Corinda Hankins-Elliott, Tom Scully, and Brandi Sheppard on unopposed.  The race for position 4 on the Port of Hood River Commission will include Kristi Chapman and Michael Fox, as incumbent Brian Shortt is not seeking re-election.  Hoby Streich is unopposed to retain position 5.  There are six candidates for three seats on the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District board, including incumbents Art Carroll, Mike McCarthy, and Glenna Mahurin along with Peter Cornelison, Suzanne Cross, and Jeff Hunter.  There are three Port of Cascade Locks Commission seats up for election, and all are contested.  Current position 1 seat holder John Stipan is opposed by Aushwol Westley, position 2 incumbent Brad Lorang faces Hallie Ballou, and Dean Bump looks to retain position 3 against David Lipps.

Numerous D-21 Candidates Highlight Wasco County May 21 Election

A large field of thirteen candidates have filed for the six positions on the North Wasco County School District 21 board that will be on the May 21 ballot.  There are three three-candidate races among them…including Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Mary Morehouse, and Erica Flores in zone 1…Bethani Studebaker, Sherry Perry, and Josh Farris for zone 5…and Trudy Lupkes, Cassie Ware, and Jose Aparicio for zone 6.  Thistlethwaite and Studebaker were both appointed to the board last summer.  The other contested seat is in zone 3, with David Jones and Maggie Rocha as the candidates.  Dawn Rasmussen in zone 2 and Michael Sullivan in zone 7 are unopposed.  Sullivan was appointed Thursday night by the D-21 board to the zone 7 seat that was vacant, and will fill out the term that ends on June 30.  There are no contested elections for the Port of The Dalles and Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District boards, with Greg Weast, Staci Coburn, and David Griffith on the Port ballot and Tracy Dugick and Brewster Whitmire filing for the Parks District panel.  Other contested seats that will be decided in the May 21 election include position 1 on the Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue District board with Diana Bailey and Mike Cronin on the ballot, zone 4 in the South Wasco County School District between Sharon DeHart and Tammarra Ferguson, and position 2 on the Tygh Valley Rural Fire Protection District board between Terry Stark and Brandon Ferguson.

Be Careful With Fire As Region Enters Transitional Period

Wildfires in the Willamette Valley and southwest Washington that led to evacuations during the past week are a reminder to be careful when it comes to fire even though we are still weeks from the traditional fire season in the Gorge.  Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue District Chief Bob Palmer says we aren’t quite into fire season, but it is a transitional period with dry grasses left over from last winter presenting fire hazards before they green up again in April.  When doing a controlled burn, Palmer says to follow all the safety precautions including never leaving a fire unattended.  Also use common sense and do not attempt to burn during windy conditions.

Bridge Work To Lead To Lane Closures

There will be single-lane closures in both directions of the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge over the next month to allow for maintenance work.  The closures will begin on Monday and continue through April 26 for electrical upgrades and installation of new motors associated with the lift span.  Port contractors will be on the bridge and flaggers will direct traffic when necessary.  Motorists using either lane should expect delays of up to 20 minutes anytime between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 3:00 p.m. on Fridays.

March 21 Prep Sports Roundup


Hood River Valley 13, Gresham 0:  The Eagles win their second straight game by shutout to run their record to 3-0 before heading to Southern California to play four games.

Irrigon sweeps Stevenson 22-1 and 25-4.

Track and Field

Trout Lake’s Liz Fink won the girls’ shot put, discus, and javelin while the Mustangs’ Micah Colburn won the boys’ 110 meter hurdles and pole vault at the Wolfpack Small School Invitational in Tualatin.  Trout Lake’s Cole McKinney and Isabella Dean, Horizon Christian’s Andrew Wells, and Sherman’s Mercedez Cardona each won single events.

Dufur’s Tanner Masterson won the boys’ 200 meters as the Rangers finished seventh at the Bulldog Invitational in Hermiston.

Boys Soccer

Seton Catholic 2, Columbia 1

Toledo 10, Stevenson 1

Boys Tennis

LaSalle 8, Hood River Valley 1

Girls Lacrosse

Westview 12, Hood River Valley 11

Officer Involved Shooting Review Continues

The Wasco County District Attorney’s office is continuing to review the facts and evidence from Saturday night’s officer involved shooting in The Dalles that resulted in the death of a 77-year-old man.  In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, The Dalles Police Department said officer-involved shootings are among “the most thoroughly reviewed incidents in law enforcement,” and for that reason it takes time before findings can be released.  The officer’s name will not be released until the findings of the investigation are released.  The police statement asks for “the community’s continued patience” as the D.A.’s office review continues.  77-year-old James Young died after being shot when police responded to his home at 1921 East 10th in The Dalles on Saturday night to reports that Young was firing a rifle at a neighbor’s residence.  Details of the incident released over the weekend indicated officers had heard gun shots when they arrived and observed Young actively shooting rounds from a rifle, and at some point an officer shot Young.

Multi-Purpose Facility Part Of WS Schools Bond Measure Renewal

Ballots will be going out to White Salmon Valley School District voters in early April for a seven-million dollar bond measure renewal to do a series of ten capital projects.  The biggest would be a four-million dollar multi-purpose facility at the Columbia High School and Henkle Middle School campus.  District Superintendent Jerry Lewis says their current facilities are in high demand, and this can provide more space for school and community events.  Lewis says this measure would replace their current bond measure that is being retired, so there will be no increase in tax rate.  Ballots will have to be returned by April 23.

March 19 Prep Sports Scoreboard


Hood River Valley 6, LaSalle 5 (8 innings)…Caden Leiblien homered and doubled, while Harrison Howell pitched three innings of scoreless relief as the Eagles came back from a 5-1 deficit to win.  HRV took advantage of eight walks over the final two innings to score the tying and winning runs.

Columbia 15, Stanfield 2


Hood River Valley 9, LaSalle 0

Boys Soccer

Columbia 3, LaCenter 0

Stevenson 2, King’s Way Christian 1

Boys Tennis

Hood River Valley 5, Sprague 3

Goldendale 4, White Swan 1

Girls Tennis

Hood River Valley 9, Sprague 0

Goldendale 5, White Swan 0

Girls Lacrosse

Lincoln 12, Hood River Valley 11

HR County Hearing On Tax Measures Sparsely Attended

Following a surprisingly sparsely attended public hearing in the Wy’east Middle School Performing Arts Center, the Hood River County Commission formally voted to put measures seeking a five percent prepared food and beverage tax and a five-year local property tax option of 89 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value on the May 21 ballot.  Only eight people spoke, a number of whom expressing their objection to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detainees being held at NORCOR.  County Commission Chair Mike Oates was surprised by the small turnout, but he expects to field a number of questions leading up to the election.  In an opening statement before the hearing, Oates said the loss of federal and state revenue, fluctuating timber revenues, and property tax limitations have all contributed to putting the County in the fiscal position it is in today.

Parker To Retire

Long-time The Dalles City Attorney Gene Parker is retiring.  In his retirement letter to City officials that was released to the media on Tuesday, Parker says he has been considering a plan to step away for a few months, and that he intends to retire on March 1 of next year.  He added he wanted to give plenty of notice to allow the City time to select his successor and allow for a smooth transition.  Parker has been The Dalles City Attorney for 28-and-a-half years.

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