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Derek Wiley

Stories by Derek

Farmer wins county seat

Running for Sherman County commissioner against incumbent Mike Smith, the man who brought broadband internet to the county, Joe Dabulskis spent “next to nothing” on his campaign. He had no signs or business cards. He didn’t go door to door, just relied on word of mouth. And he won.

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Dog shelter gets fresh start

Growing up in Germany, Beata Liebetruth, the new shelter manager of Home at Last Humane Society, had never heard of a kill shelter. “We do not have kill shelters in Germany or Europe,” Liebetruth said. “That’s an American thing, unfortunately, so that’s how I became involved in animal welfare. It has become my passion in life.”

Tap into beer fest

The sixth annual Beer Festival, a benefit for The Dalles Civic Auditorium, promises to be bigger and better than ever in its new location at Lewis and Clark Festival Park, said Program Manager Trish Neal.

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Singers to celebrate 40 years

Lloyd Walworth was only 30 years old when he decided to start a community choir in The Dalles. Four decades later, the Cascade Singers are still going strong and will celebrate with a “Forty Years of Happy Singing” concert Saturday, June 4, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 5, at 3 p.m. in the same venue as their very first show — St. Peter’s Landmark.

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DEQ hears concerns

Pete Shepherd, interim director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, said one of the most important things he’s learned in his more than 23 years of public service is “the importance of listening to people speak from their heart in the place where they live.”

Fair retains Vegas theme

The Wasco County Fair is sticking with the theme “What Happens in Tygh Vegas…” Despite receiving pushback from 4-H and others, the fair board unanimously approved the 2016 theme at its May 9 meeting in Tygh Valley. Zachary Harvey, chairman of the fair board, said he, Chris Schanno, Colleena Tenold-Sauter, Ken Polehn and Michael Hunt did discuss changing the theme before making their final decision.

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Join ‘Skittles’ run

Color the Gorge run/walk coming Saturday, register online by Friday

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The Dalles Air Coalition wants Hope [Arkansas]

This is the conclusion of a three-part series exploring the controversy over odor and emissions at Amerities West: When Amerities South, located in Hope, Ark., had its grand opening in 2011, Warren Nelson, director of Amerities Holdings, told the Hope Star “This land is clean and will be kept clean.”

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DEQ to test air quality in The Dalles

This is the second of three stories centered on the controversy over odor and emissions at Amerities West in The Dalles; Air monitors, used to measure naphthalene levels, will arrive to The Dalles by the end of the month, confirmed Brian Boling, a laboratory manager for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

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Amerities’ public meeting May 17

This is the first of three stories about controversy involving emissions and odors from Amerities West in The Dalles: Jeff Thompson, plant manager of Amerities West in The Dalles, said a mutual agreement order, signed last month to implement odor-reducing strategies, was done to “ease concerns.”

Ballot count rises

With a week left in the May 17 primary, 19.98 percent of Wasco County voters have mailed their ballots. The returns for the major parties are as follows: 1,284 of 5,054 Democrats, 1,014 of 4,472 Republicans and 161 of 636 Independents. Residents have until Thursday to mail ballots and ensure delivery since postmarks do not count.

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Church murals bring Bible stories to life

Pat Van Eaton has taught Sunday school to Kindergartners through second graders in the same room at First Christian Church for more than 15 years, trying to bring the stories in the Bible to life. Thanks to a new collection of murals painted by one of the church’s members, that’s easier now.

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County retains wolf advocate

Wasco County Commissioner Scott Hege called Debra Lutje’s opinion piece that ran Jan. 29 in The Dalles Chronicle “offensive” to ranchers but it wasn’t enough to remove her from the Wolf Compensation Committee. Chair Rod Runyon and Commissioner Steve Kramer agreed as all three voted against taking Lutje off the committee that includes one other wolf advocate, two ranchers and two business representatives.

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Estep engineers music revue

A senior engineer at Insitu, Garry Estep was long retired from the music industry when he was asked to read for a small part in The Dalles Theater Company’s presentation of “Sordid Lives” last year. Next thing he knew, Estep was on stage in his underwear, which led to him joining the theater company’s board of directors, performing in another play—“Dracula the Musical”— and now he’s him directing “The Quintessential Rogers and Hammerstein.”

Haul away house trash this Saturday

The annual Community Clean Up will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Dalles residents can dispose of yard debris and other unwanted items by taking them to the collection site at the county yard located on the corner of West 10th and Walnut streets. Usable items will also be collected at the Reuse Fair, where residents can take what they need.

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Women leading more and more churches

A little over five years ago when Deb Allen became the first woman pastor at the United Church of Christ, which has been in The Dalles for more than 150 years, she didn’t think it was a big deal. Allen had already blazed the same trail at UCC churches in Wisconsin and Washington.

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County seeks ‘100% Love’

When Wasco County Clerk Lisa Gambee realized some citizens don’t like the government no matter how it tries to help, Administrative Officer Tyler Stone jokingly said, “Welcome to county government: 50 percent of the people love you and 50 percent of the people love to hate you.” To which Gambee replied, “Yes, but that’s still 100 percent love.”

Ballots mailed today

More than 600 Wasco County citizens have either registered to vote, changed their party affiliation or updated their address since April 7 when the clerk’s office did its main ballot insertion for the May 17 primary.

Conservative Democrat runs for Senate

Running in the May 17 primary, Paul Weaver, a retired locomotive engineer residing in Toledo, wants to give Oregon Democrats a clear choice for U.S. Senate. Weaver is a member of the National Rifle Association, which gives his opponent—incumbent Ron Wyden an F grade. Weaver is pro-life while Wyden is pro-choice.

Nichols wrongly accuses county

The Wasco County Commissioner race got a little heated Wednesday morning.

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Haitian priest, dinner coming to St. Paul’s

For six years, members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in The Dalles have been taking mission trips to Haiti. On Saturday, May 7, the community will have the opportunity to meet the man the parish has supported, as Father Noe and his wife Sherly Bernier will be in town.

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Fair theme ‘What happens in Tygh Vegas...’ draws fire

The Wasco County Fair Board wanted to pick a theme that would get people talking. And “What Happens in Tygh Vegas…” has done just that.

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Young pastors at work in The Dalles

If Tyler Beane, 31, and Adam Jenkins, 27, even went to church, they would clearly be in the minority. The fact that both are pastors is even more extraordinary.

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Science fair winners named

Seeing that whitening toothpastes cost more than those without whitening, Ethan Hansen, a sixth grader at The Dalles Middle School, decided to see if the extra expense was worth the money.

Bank robbery suspect jailed

A man attempted to rob a bank less than 300 feet from The Dalles Police Department Monday afternoon.

Bank robber caught

A man attempted to rob a bank less than 300 feet from The Dalles Police Department Monday afternoon.

Junkyard salvaged for new park

A group of Tygh Valley residents want to turn one man’s junk into a place the town can treasure. A group of local ranchers, who have chosen to be unnamed, purchased 1.25 acres on Main Street across from the Tygh Valley General Store to clean up and then donate to the South Wasco Alliance to be turned into a park.

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Young coder club gets creative

Santara Grillone doesn’t just play video games. The Dry Hollow Elementary School fifth grader also makes them. Grillone, along with more than a dozen other fifth through eighth graders, spend Wednesday afternoons at The Dalles Middle School taking part in Coder Club.

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Lutheran school adding middle grades

Columbia Lutheran School Principal Jesse Jacobsen had to say goodbye to a rising fifth grade student last year but that won’t be the case much longer as the school is expanding through the eighth grade, beginning in August.

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Alleyway change opposed

y of The Dalles staff met with more than a dozen business owners last Friday to hear concerns about vacating the alleyway behind Tony’s Town and Country to accommodate Tokola Development’s proposal to build 50 apartments as well as retail outlets.

County garbage rates rise

Wasco County residents and businesses will pay more for garbage service beginning April 1. The small increase, which is just two cents per month for a residential 20-gallon can, was approved by the county commissioners Monday after the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality raised tipping fees at landfills 58 cents per ton statewide.

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Crosby estate donated

Little is known about Bob Crosby. “He was a very private guy,” his stepson Cory Snively said. “We knew him for 30 years and did I really know him? Not really.” But one thing is certain—Crosby was generous.

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Backpack Program serves 1,050 meals

The Community Backpack program keeps expanding.

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Google breaks new ground in The Dalles

Before breaking ground on its new data center Thursday afternoon, Google announced the purchase of a 73.58-acre parcel from Northwest Aluminum.

Easter Egg Scramble for youth at Sorosis Saturday

A couple thousand kids, age 10 and under, are expected to take over Sorosis Park Saturday at 11 a.m. for the 15th annual Griffith Motors Easter Egg Scramble. At the east end of the park near the pavilion, children will be split into five different roped off areas by age group—1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10—with the youngest, who may be accompanied by an adult, hunting first.

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Chronicle reporter ‘Feels the Bern’ at rally

Come November, Hillary Clinton is expected to be the Democratic presidential nominee but thousands of people in Vancouver, Wash., delivered a different message Sunday, chanting “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” as they stood in line for hours at Hudson’s Bay High School in the rain hoping to get inside the gymnasium to see the senator from Vermont. I know because I was one of them.

Parks District order signed

Parks District order signed

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YouthThink gives to Backpack Program and food bank

In its ninth year showing Free Family Saturday Movies, YouthThink collected over 3,000 pounds of food to be split between the local food bank and Backpack Program.

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Last Days of Jesus begins March 24

Pageant continues through Easter

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The Dalles Middle School chess club going to state

The Dalles Middle School eighth grader Noah Holloran won all five of his matches Saturday at the 2016 Region 20 Chess for Success Tournament while seventh grader Nick Caracciolo won three of his five matches.

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Signs and rhymes author visits elementary schools

Portland author Dawn Prochovnic had kindergarteners at Dry Hollow Elementary School signing and rhyming Friday as she read from her picture book series Story Time with Signs and Rhymes. Dry Hollow was one of four elementary schools Prochovnic visited in The Dalles as she also went to Colonel Wright, Chenowith and St. Mary’s Academy to show students the importance of reading and writing.

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Lights out for the Granada block?

The Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency Advisory Committee voted 7-2 Tuesday to reject all proposals received for the Granada Block properties and put all three structures — the theater, Recreation building and Blue building — back on the market with conditions on redevelopment. The decision is only a recommendation to the Urban Renewal Agency Board – made up of The Dalles City Council ─ which has the final say.

May ballot determined

Candidates for the May 17 primary have been set and the only contested local race will be between incumbent Steve Kramer and Haystack Broadcasting reporter Rodger Nichols for Wasco County Commissioner Position 2.

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Andrés 123 to perform in The Dalles

Andrés Salguero, a Latin musician who Billboard Magazine called “A rockstar for little language learners,” is coming to The Dalles. The free concert is Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church and was made possible by donations from Wasco County Trust, Friends of the Library and Fairfield Inn and Suites.

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First Christian youth accept challenge

While attending a Christ in Youth Conference last summer, Quinn Hanson received a kingdom card that challenged the First Christian youth to donate all of his clothes but 10 outfits.

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New transit center opens soon

The new $3.2 million, 3,700-square-foot Wasco County Transit Center, located at 802 Chenowith Loop Road behind Home Depot in The Dalles, should be open by mid-May. The old transit center, operated by Mid-Columbia Council of Governments, was located at 201 Federal Street.

Dog lovers build walking station

West 13th Street, a quiet one-way road tucked behind St. Peter Catholic Church, already had a lot of dog walkers. But Julie and Matt Rockowski have made it even more popular. The couple, who have lived on West 13th for three years, spent one weekend last month installing a dog walking station, equipped with waste bags, a trash can, treats, toys and water.

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Thriving at 105 years young

Matilda Dorland says the key to a long life is positive thinking. At 105 years old, she would know. “I don’t have any secrets, just always think positive, never be negative,” Dorland said from her bed at Columbia Basin Care Facility. “Even now with the problems I have, I’m still hoping I’ll be able to go home and maybe become a little independent, you know. I never want to think negative. That doesn’t get you anywhere.”

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The Gathering returns Sunday

The Gathering, a more casual church service for those who can’t make or don’t feel comfortable attending on Sundays, is back after taking a break for the winter.

County awarded road grant

While in Washington D.C. last week for the 2016 National Association of Counties Legislative Conference, Wasco County Commission Chair Rod Runyon received unexpected but good news: The county is being awarded a $291,780 grant.

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