Local News

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Walden Accepts Debate Invitation

Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden says he has accepted an invitation from KTVZ News Channel 21 in Bend to attend a televised debate on October 5.  The Hood River Republican is being opposed by Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner in the November election.  McLeod-Skinner has been seeking debates with the long-time representative.  The debate will be live streamed online and available through social media.  It is scheduled for 7 p.m. on October 5.

September 19 Prep Sports Roundup

Cross Country

Columbia won both the boys and girls team competition in a five-school run at North Bonneville.  The Bruins’ Jacob Lockman and Dylan Beneventi finished one-two in the boys’ race, while Columbia’s Lillian Nelson was first and Stevenson’s Isabella Spencer second in the girls’ competition.

Court Of Appeals Affirms Moot Decision

The Oregon Court of Appeals issued a ruling today affirming a lower court decision that ruled a suit against Wasco County and members of the County Commission in how it handled a vote to issue notice of intent to withdraw from the North Central Public Health District was moot, but did direct the ruling be changed from a finding for the defendant to a judgement for dismissal.  Chip Wood’s lawsuit was filed in regard to the December 2014 vote not being on the County Commission’s meeting agenda in violation of the state’s Public Meetings Law.  Days after suit was filed in February 2015, the Commission placed the issue on its agenda and voted to rescind the December action.  In its opinion, the Court of Appeals stated the vote to rescind rendered the lawsuit moot, but the trial court erred in entering a judgement in the defendants’ favor, when the case should have been dismissed as moot.  The appeals court remanded the case back to the trial court with instructions to enter a judgment of dismissal.

Klickitat County Extends Burn Bans

Klickitat County has extended burn bans in the western and central portions of the County to October 12, and to October 31 east of the eastern boundary of Fire District #7.  The bans are being extended due to the high wildfire hazard conditions experienced this summer and a continued lack of sufficient precipitation.  The burn bans prohibit the issuance of burning permits except for authorized agricultural burning.  Residential barbecues are allowed.  Citizens are asked to check with the appropriate authorities concerning burning restrictions within the corporate limits of any city or town.

WS Schools Not Benefiting From State Funding Changes

The White Salmon Valley School District is finding it is not benefiting from a new distribution system for funding K-12 schools in Washington.  Superintendent Jerry Lewis says with the loss of 40 percent of its voter-approved maintenance and operations levy and a new salary schedule, the district is having to go into its ending fund balance.  Lewis says as the 2019 legislative session draws nearer, the fixes won’t be easy, as some districts have benefited from the new funding formula, but others have not.

September 18 Prep Sports Scoreboard


Crook County def. Hood River Valley 25-18, 33-31, 22-25, 17-25, 15-13:  The Cowgirls won a wild match that saw HRV keep it alive by winning the third set thanks to a closing 9-1 run.  The Eagles’ Katie Kennedy set a school record with 39 kills.

Pendleton def. The Dalles 25-17, 25-13, 25-9

Echo def. Dufur 21-25, 25-20, 16-25, 25-8, 15-7

South Wasco def. Sherman 17-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-21

Zillah def. Goldendale 27-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-25, 15-12


Girls Soccer

LaSalle 2, Hood River Valley 0


Boys Water Polo

Hood River Valley 19, Grant 8


Girls Water Polo

Hood River Valley 21, Grant 6

TD Council Discusses Building Code Services, Wants Answers On MCCOG Surplus

The Dalles City Council spent a large part of a worksession on Monday night talking about whether the City is in any position to take over the building codes program for the City and all of Wasco County.  The state of Oregon has been handling building permits in Wasco County since the dissolution of the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments, which provided the service in Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, and Wheeler counties.  Much of the conversation revolved around whether four million dollars in reserves accumulated by the MCCOG program could be used for establishing a new building codes office, and Mayor Steve Lawrence says they want to get that answer.  He also wants to know if there would be much of an impact on the general fund if the City handled building permits.  Under state law, the reserves must be used within the building permit program.  Councilors asked to staff to continue to investigate to get answers on how those funds can be used.  The Wasco County Commission will discuss the issue at its meeting Wednesday morning in the County Courthouse, with that subject scheduled for 10:20 a.m.

HR County To Keep Veterans Service Office Open

Hood River County Commissioners have decided to use $31,000 in contingency funds to keep the County’s Veterans Service Office open through the current fiscal year.  The County had thought it could use nearly $81,000 in state funding to operate the office, but was informed that state law requires the County to maintain its current funding level for the program to receive those monies.  County staff did recommend closing the office, but Administrator Jeff Hecksel said commissioners decided not to do that, in part because that had not been considered in budget discussions during the spring.  The Commission will look at the subject again when putting together the budget for fiscal year 2019-20.

May Street School Construction Moving Along

A big step in construction of the new May Street Elementary School has taken place with a big concrete pour.  Hood River County School District Superintendent Dan Goldman says the project is on schedule, and on budget.  Goldman noted the district received approval for the bond measure paying for the new school and accumulated the proceeds from it ahead of a jump in the construction market, allowing the district to lock in costs that would have skyrocketed a few months later.  Goldman did say getting steel to the May Street site has been an issue, and that’s important to get done so winter work can be done indoors.

White Salmon Looks To Finish Road Projects Before Winter

With autumn officially arriving this weekend, the race is on to finish road projects before winter.  In White Salmon, Mayor David Poucher says they have plenty of street work to complete.  All of 4th Street is being repaved, and Oak Street is being resurfaced.  Poucher adds White Salmon contracted with Klickitat County so the County crews could do some of these projects.

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