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Looking Back, April 20

April 20

20 Years Ago-1994

For the first time in its 130 year-plus history, Wasco County will be without a jail once it closes July 1. The Original Wasco County Courthouse, built in 1859, had a two-cell jail. A half century later, in 1913, the current jail was built. Decades passed, and by the mid-1980s, the jail was overflowing with inmates. One sued in federal court over the crowded conditions and the county was forced to cut down its inmate population to 20. That court decree made running the jail an inefficient, expensive undertaking — the most costly jail, per bed, in Oregon, said Sheriff Art Labrousee. For the amount of staff he is required to have, he could have about 50 beds in a modern facility, he said.

The Dalles City Budget Committee tonight begins hearings on the 1994-95 city budget, 7 p.m., in the Library Meeting Room. In his annual message to the budget committee, City Manager William Elliott said “We have curtailed many activities attempting to stay within revenue limits and certainly no area has expended to provide additional service.” Elliott said he asked all city department heads to submit a “bare bones” budget allowing each department to maintain roughly the same level of service as the year before.

40 Years Ago-1974

At a meeting this morning in Salem, the state board of education moved to dismiss the petition for a community college in Wasco County. Carrol deBrokert, associated superintendent of public instruction, reported in a telephone call to The Chronicle this morning that the board expressed its extreme concern about providing community college type services to the Mid Columba area. The board has directed the staff of the State Department of Education to prepare alternatives that would make these services to the region available.

Continued beef improvement will be the objective of Tuesday’s Wasco County Bull Tour which will start at The Dalles Auction Yard reports Paul Schanno, tour chairman, and Thomas W. Thompson, Wasco County extension agent. The tour starts at 9:15. Town and country citizens are invited to participate in any or all of the all day program, which is in its 21st year Schanno said.

60 Years Ago-1954

Another lawsuit, this time a friendly one, is facing much sued Dalles City. Dalles City council last night agreed to be the defendant in a friendly suit to quiet title to property located on Mt. Hood Street south of W. Sixth Street. The decision was reached after the council was asked in a letter from an attorney representing John Adkins whether a petition for street vacation or a friendly suit was desired. Adkins is seeking to assert ownership to part of the unopened but dedicated portion of Mt. Hood Street. Affidavits have been presented to the council that the area in question was enclosed by a now departed fence as far back as 1893.

A 10 ton weight limit on trucks using The Dalles Bridge is in effect today while alterations are made to a concrete bearing supporting the bridge deck on the Washington side of the project. The limit was imposed yesterday evening and is scheduled to remain in force for a day or two while some hearings are replaced.

80 Years Ago-1934

Enthusiasm over the possibilities for developing Sorosis Park was expressed today by H.L. Gifford, SERA landscape engineer from Portland, here for a field survey of Sorosis and other city park sites, preliminary to having them designated as projects under the federal relief program. Gifford was of the opinion that Sorosis Park can be developed into one of great scenic beauty at a comparatively low cost, and should compare with any similar municipal recreation spot in the northwest. He was especially impressed with the view of the scenic Columbia Gorge from the high vantage point of the Sorosis Park bluffs.

Objections of property owners adjoining the high school ground on 12th street, who said that erection of the proposed new school gymnasium would destroy the view from their homes, were heard at a conference of city councilmen, members of the school board and the city planning commission last night. The conference resulted in the school board expressing willingness to move the gymnasium to another site, although it was pointed out that a change in plans would have to be re-submitted to the SERA for approval. Mayor Fred F. Thompson, one of the property owners objecting to the gymnasium, called the meeting. He and others insisted that if the gymnasium was erected on the proposed site, which abuts 12th street on the north and lies east of the grandstand on Amotan Field, the view from homes on the south side of the street would be ruined.

100 Years Ago-1914

The merchants and professional men of the city have agreed to close their places of business from 2 to 5 O’clock Wednesday afternoon when the Helena team of the Union association will meet The Dalles nine on the local diamond. The game will be called at 2:30 o’clock. Everyone in the city who can possibly get away is expected to go to the ball park, for it will probably be a long time before a fast league team like Helena will be seen in action here again. The fence enclosing the ball park will be entirely completed by Wednesday, and by that time there will be a back on the grandstand to cut off the wind, if any, from the spectators. The locals defeated Dufur on the local lot yesterday 24 to 9.

The city council, at a special meeting last night, decided to buy 140 acres of land from Charles S. Neal. The property affords excellent sites for factories, as it includes a half mile of water front. The property is irregular in shape, west of the railroad shops, some of it extends as far south as Sixth Street, some of it running along Mill Creek. The city is buying it at a splendid figure, $1000. E.F. Sharp made it possible for The Dalles to acquire the land. When he was in California recently the tract was offered to him by Mr. Neal.


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