A 19-year-old man is accused of stealing a Zillah police car Friday night and leading authorities on a high-speed chase that ended in Goldendale. Zillah police chief Dave Simmons says Lewis Axmaker of Sunnyside could face charges that include auto theft, eluding, vandalism, and resisting arrest. The incident began in Zillah at about 9 p.m. Friday, when an officer came out of a home on a different call to find his car that he had left unlocked and running missing. A global positioning system located the car between Toppenish and Granger, and a chase began on Highway 97 going south toward Goldendale. Klickitat County Sheriff’s deputies deployed spike strips just outside Goldendale that punctured the tires of the patrol car, causing it to crash into a fence. Axmaker tried to flee on foot, and police deployed a Taser to apprehend him. Axmaker was expected to appear Monday in Yakima County Superior Court.
Two men were seriously injured in a Saturday morning two-vehicle head-on crash on Highway 35 near Pine Grove. According to the Oregon State Police, a pickup driven by 26-year-old Servando Zanora Avendano of Hood River was traveling southbound on Highway 35 near milepost 95 in the northbound lane just after 7 a.m. Saturday when it collided with a car driven by 21-year-old Francisco Castro Gusman of Parkdale. Zanora Avendano was extricated by firefighters and transported by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center with serious injuries, while Gusman was also seriously injured and taken by ground ambulance to Oregon Health and Science University Hospital. Zanora Avendano has been charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, and assault in the third degree. OSP was assisted at the scene by Hood River Police Department and local fire personnel.
A 55-year-old Hood River man was taken to a Portland hospital with serious injuries after the motorcycle he was driving Friday afternoon collided with a van at an intersection on Highway 97 near Wasco. The Oregon State Police says a van driven by 68-year-old Merva Haley of Wasco was turning off Clark Road onto the southbound lane of Highway 97 when the van was struck by a northbound motorcycle operated by Mark Peters, who was ejected from the motorcycle. Peters was transported by Sherman County Ambulance to Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, and then transferred by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland. He was wearing a protective helmet. Haley was not injured. OSP troopers from The Dalles Area Command office are continuing to investigate.
Klickitat PUD is requesting emergency water rationing for all customers in the Lyle water system due to a failing pump at the upper reservoir. Lyle Water customers are being asked to avoid any and all unnecessary water use until at least Tuesday. This includes no outside watering or filling of swimming pools. PUD officials say that is necessary to avoid overloading the pump and will assist in maintaining water levels within the reservoir. Rationing is also needed to maintain water for fire protection in Lyle.
The Oregon State Police and Hood River County Sheriff’s Office are continuing to ask for the public’s help to locate a Kentucky father and son whose vehicle was found last week along Highway 35 in the Mt. Hood area. Law enforcement officials found several personal items in the car including sleeping bags, a stove, and hiking gear, leading them to believe John and Jason Wood didn’t leave the vehicle behind with the intention of going on a several-day hiking trip. A ranger at the Mt. Hood Ranger Station in Parkdale confirmed the two men came to the ranger station on or about September 2, and indicated they were interested in hiking in the Mt Hood area and possibly the Pacific Crest trail. John Wood is 59-years-old and described as a white male, 6’1″, 170 lbs, with gray hair and blue eyes. 32-year-old Jason Wood is described as a white male, 5’9″, 140 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. Anyone who may have seen the two in the Mt. Hood area since September 2, or with information regarding their whereabouts, is asked to call OSP Northern Command Center dispatch at (503) 731-3030.
Hood River Valley won the girls’ team competition and finished second to Hermiston in the boys’ race at the Skip Sparks Cross Country Invitational at Henderson Stadium. HRV runners won both the individual titles, with Lauren Robinson winning the girls’ race and Justin Crosswhite finishing first for the boys. The Dalles’ girls finished fourth paced by a second place finish by Emily Morin, while the Riverhawk boys were fifth. Jory Nelson topped The Dalles boys in ninth place. Stevenson was sixth in the boys team standings, headed by Jordan Vigil in 31st place.
Hood River Valley 2, Cleveland 1: Manuel Mozqueda and Gio Magana scored the goals as the Eagles stayed unbeaten. It was the closest match in HRV’s early four-game winning streak.
The Dalles 9, St. Helens 2: The Riverhawks improve to 2-1 on the season.
Hood River Valley 2, Reynolds 0: Cielo Rivera and Collette Zack each scored as the Eagles won for the first time this season. They now have a record of 1-1-2.
St. Helens 6, The Dalles 1
Wapato 9, Goldendale 0
Southwest Christian def. Horizon Christian 25-21, 18-25, 25-9, 25-19
White Swan def. Lyle-Wishram 25-17, 25-9, 25-6
Goldendale def. Riverview 25-16, 27-25, 20-25, 25-23
The Cooper Fire near Highway 14 and Cook-Underwood Road was considered 80 percent contained heading into the night…as crews planned to stay through the night to ensure it did not flare up. The fire that started around 3 p.m. Thursday burned about ten acres, but by 8 p.m. firefighters were closed to containing it, and residents who had left their homes began to return. Fire public information officer Stan Hinatsu confirmed three houses in the Circle Driver area were damaged by the fire. One had a damaged deck, another damaged siding, and a third had a fire in the attic. About 100 firefighters from the Washington Department of Natural Resources…the U.S. Forest Service…Klickitat County…and Skamania County crews took part in the firefighting effort…while a helicopter doing water drops assisted in the effort. A downed power line is believed to be the cause of the fire…and dry air and a strong east wind fanned the flames. Highway 14 was closed at milepost 63 for a few hours by the fire.
The Hood River County Community Development department has given administrative approval to a commercial land use permit for the proposed DeeTour amphitheater on the old Dee mill site. The approval sent to developer Jason Taylor in a letter dated Tuesday inculdes numerous conditions, including limiting parking to 437 spaces, a number Taylor had gone to in an amended plan after an original proposal last winter for over 3,000 spaces drew local criticism. Another condition calls for a sound analysis and noise management plan to be done to ensure compliance with noise limitations in County ordinances. The permit approval also includes conditions for protection of the adjacent East Fork of the Hood River, and development of a traffic control plan. The decision is subject to a 15-day appeal period.
The Wasco County Wolf Depredation Compensation Committee will appoint its final two members this month. County Commissioner Steve Kramer says they have seven applications for the two business representatives on the panel, and will make the selections at a September 24 meeting in Dufur. He says after that, the committee can move forward with application forms for the compensation portion of the project. There are currently five members on the committee, with Kramer as chair along with two ranchers and two wolf advocates.
The eastbound lane of Cherry Heights Road between West 6th and West 2nd Streets in The Dalles will be closed Thursday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The Dalles Public Works Department will be grinding out failing sections of pavement and replacing them with new asphalt sections. Since the entire eastbound lane will be closed along the curb for the safety of workers and motorists, there will be no access onto Cherry Heights from Mt Hood Street or from the southside driveways between West 6th and 2nd Streets. Access to the businesses affected will be from Mt Hood Street via West 6th Street. Eastbound and westbound traffic will be maintained on this section of Cherry Heights by using the other two lanes of the street.