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Mark Gibson

Stories by Mark



Report finds TD ‘severely rent burdened’

Over a third of renters in The Dalles are “severely rent burdened,” or paying more than 50 percent of their household income on rent, according to data provided by the state and presented at a City of The Dalles public hearing Nov. 14.

November 16, 2018 1:32 p.m. read more..


Lyle mom wins 'Wheels of Hope'

Callie Thysell was more than a little overwhelmed Thursday as she sat with representatives of Bicoastal Media and Griffith Motors, working through the details of making this year’s “Wheels of Hope” car, a 2007 Toyota Camry from Griffith Motors, her own. “It’s an exciting thing, I’m just trying to take it all in,” she explained.

November 13, 2018 2:53 p.m. read more..


Authors, readers mix it up

A steady flow of visitors streamed through the doors of Klindt’s Booksellers and Stationers in The Dalles Saturday for the Northwest Author Festival, an annual celebration of authors who live and write in the Pacific Northwest. The free event featured a dozen authors, each with a new book release on display.

November 6, 2018 2 p.m. read more..


City celebrates Travel Oregon mural

The Dalles officially dedicated its new “Oregon is Magic” mural, depicting an “only slightly exaggerated” salmon leaping over a raft of visitors, Saturday morning. “The exciting thing about it was, this was not your normal mural that you see in The Dalles, but when the opportunity came to us, we engaged with the mural society, and showed them what it was; they got on board,” said City of The Dalles Mayor Steve Lawrence.

October 30, 2018 1:44 p.m. read more..


Position 3 candidates share vision for city

City of The Dalles Incumbent Russ Brown, a retired contractor, has been challenged for the Position 3 council seat by Tiffany Prince, executive assistant to the president and board of education at Columbia Gorge Community College. Both candidates were presented with six questions and asked to respond in their own words, with a limit of 200 words per question.

October 16, 2018 2:27 p.m. read more..


Masters Family Circus to perform

Students at St. Mary’s Academy have a busy week planned as they prepare to join the circus. They will be learning the basics of circus performance ahead of this weekend’s “Masters Family Circus” performances Saturday and Sunday, with two shows daily at 2 and 5 p.m. at the academy, 1112 Cherry Heights Rd. in The Dalles.

October 16, 2018 2:14 p.m. read more..


Fire burns home, threatens Biggs motel

The grass fire that ignited in Biggs Junction Tuesday destroyed a home Thursday, according to the North Sherman Rural Fire Protection District as reported by KATU2. The fire had burned at least 7,500 acres by Thursday evening.

October 5, 2018 2:32 p.m. read more..


Fire at Biggs Junction closes Highway 97

Highway 97 south of Biggs Junction was closed Tuesday afternoon as crews battled a grass fire that ignited in behind a motel and raced south. Espana Coles, owner of Three Rivers Inn, said someone heard a "pop" and suddenly there was a fire on the steep slope behind the motel. Guests at the motel were temporarily evacuated, as was Coles' little dog, "Ike." No evacuation notices had been issued as of 8:30 p.m., and all residents in the path of the fire are aware of the danger, according to the Sherman County Sherrif's office. Motorists should avoid the area, and are being redirected to Highway 197 in The Dalles, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. Although upset by the fire, the first she has had threaten the hotel in her 16 years as owner, Coles was even more upset about the biting mix of dust and sand the wind was picking up from a large construction area just west of the motel. "We live with this," she said of the clouds of dust and sand blowing over her hotel. "We call, and call but nobody is taking care of this." The fire, however, brought plenty of willing firefighters to assist, as crews from Sherman, Klickitat and Wasco counties responded.

October 2, 2018 8:45 p.m. read more..


New mural ‘slightly exaggerated’

A leaping salmon large enough to dwarf a boat full of river rafters is the central, and “only slightly exaggerated,” figure on a fanciful new mural in downtown The Dalles.

October 2, 2018 1:47 p.m. read more..


John Day Dam celebrates 50th anniversary

On Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, a 50th anniversary ceremony was held at the John Day Dam powerhouse. As part of the ceremony, Kevin Moynahan, operations project manager at the dam, recapped the history of the facility.

September 28, 2018 3:07 p.m. read more..


Future of wolves debated locally

Eight members of the Wolf Plan Stakeholder work group met last week in The Dalles with ODFW staff to discuss methods of controlling the growing population.

September 4, 2018 1:43 p.m. read more..


Board to consider restructuring jail

Replacement of the executive director at the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facilities (NORCOR) was put on hold Aug. 28 to consider a board proposal to have a sheriff run the jail. The proposal, outlined at Tuesday’s board meeting by board member Brad Lohrey, sheriff of Sherman County, would break the facility in two, with the adult and juvenile facilities managed separately. Each would have its own budget and board.

August 31, 2018 1:52 p.m. read more..


‘Growing with Google’ in The Dalles

“Grow with Google, The Dalles” attracted over 200 registrants to the Fort Dalles Readiness Center Wednesday with a range of free classes and multimedia presentations about services and experiences in Google products. The event replaces “Googlefest.”

August 24, 2018 2:01 p.m. read more..


Cronin settles in as CGCC president

It’s been a busy month for Dr. Marta Cronin, the new president at Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC): She’s moved across the U.S., from Port St. Lucie, Fla., to The Dalles, which included a road trip of 3,100 miles. A month on the job, she has settled in, found a place to call home, and attended her first board meeting.

August 10, 2018 2:42 p.m. read more..


‘Not a winning ticket’

It’s not a winning ticket, but Keith Jallen has it tucked away in his billfold, carefully laminated for protection. “When I was a kid, probably about eight years old, they were giving out these tickets as a promotion,” Jallen said. “I don’t remember if it was one for every dollar, or one for every purchase.”

August 7, 2018 1:37 p.m. read more..


A gift for building business

Rose Mays has only been at the Small Business Development Center in The Dalles for a year, but she already feels she has found a place to call home, doing a job she loves. “I help people who are starting a business, or who are in business and have a problem,” she said.

July 31, 2018 2:35 p.m. read more..


Fire raises erosion issues

Wheat fields burnt in the Substation Fire — 79,121 acres in Wasco and Sherman County — are now at risk of both wind and water erosion, according to soil and water conservationists with the United States Department of Agriculture personnel in The Dalles. “Both wind and water can be a problem,” said Clinton Whitten, who works on soil issues with farmers in both counties.

July 24, 2018 2:43 p.m. read more..


TDHS Band director retires

Paul Viemeister, band teacher at TDHS since 2004, has retired. “I didn’t tell my students I was retiring; I didn’t want to say goodbye,” Viemeister said in a recent interview.

July 24, 2018 1:45 p.m. read more..


Art of the scam

When Susan Raffensperger got the call from Prestige Student Solutions, she was excited by the possibilities: A career-based interventions coordinator at The Dalles High School, Reffensperger had just started the school year at a new job and was looking into buying a house — and was struggling with a load of school debt and the cost of moving from Bend to a new city.

July 2, 2018 3 p.m. read more..


Students learn to be ‘Internet awesome’

Students at The Dalles Middle School learned Tuesday how to be “Internet awesome” during an Online Safety Roadshow developed by Google. The program has been touring the country for five years and has presented in every state, said team leader Matt Thielen.

June 13, 2018 3 p.m. read more..


From this day forward

The Sherman County Historical Museum has a new display this summer — “From This Day Forward: A Wedding Exhibit — and it’s one that continues to grow. “We invited the community to participate in this exhibit by bringing photos to be placed on the wedding bulletin board,” explained Executive Director Patti Fields.

June 8, 2018 3 p.m. read more..


‘Mass rescue plan’ tested

Rescue helicopters, patrol boats, search and rescue teams, incident response teams, fire engines and ambulances from multiple agencies converged on Riverfront park Wednesday morning as the United States Coast Guard tested the region’s response capabilities to a mass river rescue on the Columbia River. Overlooking the scene from the Fort Dalles Readiness Center was a host of emergency planners in a busy command center.

May 17, 2018 3 p.m. read more..


Starnes eyes big changes

Patrick Starnes, running as an Independent for Oregon governor, thinks every political candidate should spend time on a school board. “As a school board member, you hire and fire teachers, close schools … you really learn the aches and pains of the community,” he said in a recent interview at The Dalles Chronicle.

May 7, 2018 3 p.m. read more..


Pikeminnow fishery opens

The northern pikeminnow bounty fishery opened Monday, May 1, with 324 caught opening day in The Dalles, according to Eric Meyer, who was taking and counting the catch May 2, with over 300 counted by mid-afternoon.

May 3, 2018 3 p.m. read more..


Supporting a ‘Vision of Hope’ and HAVEN

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and community members can support victims — and enjoy a meal prepared by some of the best chefs in town — by attending “An Evening with HAVEN” April 12, starting at 5:30 p.m., at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center, 402 E. Scenic Drive in The Dalles.

April 10, 2018 3 p.m. read more..


Goldendale rep. joins Farm Bill tour

Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale, joined U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, during the final stop on his “Farm Bill listening tour” in Yakima June 30. The U.S. Farm Bill is comprehensive legislation that sets federal government policies related to agriculture, ranging from farming, to trade and subsidies, to nutrition.

April 3, 2018 3 p.m. read more..


Fire consumes motorhome

A firefighter with Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue knocks down flames consuming a fully-engulfed motorhome near the corner of J. and 12th Streets in The Dalles Saturday morning at 4 a.m. Firefighters cleared from the scene at 5:45 a.m. Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue was assisted on scene by Dallesport Fire department crews.

February 3, 2018 5:36 a.m. read more..


Christmas treasure found in Army kettle

The clink of coins dropping into Salvation Army collection kettles during the Christmas season, accompanied by the ringing of the attendant’s bell, are part of the holiday soundscape, but on Dec. 23 bell-ringer Barbara Palmer, stationed at Bi-Mart in The Dalles, received a special “clink” in her bucket: a 1-ounce gold Krugerrand coin. The South African gold coin is valued at about $1,200.

December 27, 2017 12:38 p.m. read more..


New space for birds of prey, visitors

Falcons, hawks, owls and eagles housed in the Raptor Interpretive Program at the Columbia Gorge Discovery will soon have a daytime view of the river — and visitors will have an outdoor view of the birds — with the completion of a new display area at the center Wednesday morning.

October 27, 2017 1:40 p.m. read more..


CGCC begins search for new president

The search for the next president of Columbia Gorge Community College entered a key phase this week with selection of a 17-member search committee by the board of education. The volunteer committee represents various public sectors as well as college students, faculty and staff. CORRECTION: The board voted unanimously to appoint the 17-member committee.

October 13, 2017 1:23 p.m. read more..


Garden brings hugs, smiles

When Karyn Hart set out to revive the neglected gardens around Bent River Restaurant and Schwarbach’s Sports Bar, located along the Riverfront Trail at 1535 Bargeway Road, she had her work cut out for her. “It was pretty dilapidated,” she said.

September 20, 2017 12:40 p.m. read more..


Fires merge, at 32,000 acres

Tall timber contributed to explosive fire behavior Tuesday as the Eagle Creek and Indian Creek fires merged to cover an estimated 32,000 acres, according to a report by Oregon Public Broadcasting this morning. The fire spread approximately 15 miles Sept. 5 and overnight reached downstream of Multnomah Falls.

September 6, 2017 1:21 p.m. read more..


CGCC, Toda part ways

The Columbia Gorge Community College Board of directors and president Dr. Frank Toda signed a “mutually acceptable separation agreement” effective Sept. 29 in a special board session Tuesday evening at The Dalles campus.

August 16, 2017 1:21 p.m. read more..


‘Inventors camp’ challenges youth

Middle school students from around the Mid-Columbia were challenged this week at “Inventor’s Camp,” a hands-on science and technology camp introduced by Oregon State University and hosted by the OSU Extension Service of Wasco County and Columbia Gorge Community College.

August 10, 2017 1:38 p.m. read more..


Art classes for youth spur creativity, build skills

“Tell me about your painting,” says Hood River artist Sarah Starr as a youngster approaches her with a wet canvas during Summer Art Camp at The Dalles Art Center. It’s a question Starr asks frequently, allowing the young artists in her class to show her their work and seek advice, or just more paint, without her making any sort of judgement or assumption about their painting.

August 5, 2017 9:50 a.m. read more..


Children prepare for theatre debut: Shows at 2 and 7 p.m.

A host of local children have been working onstage at The Dalles High School since being selected Monday for a part in the Missoula Children’s Theatre production of “Peter and Wendy,” which opens for audiences tomorrow, June 24, with performances at 2 and 7 p.m.

June 23, 2017 1:24 p.m. read more..


Celebrating ‘The Blues’ on air

Blues radio host Steve “Squrl” Curley will celebrate 25 years broadcasting Squrl’s Blues Review weekly in the Gorge this Friday, May 5, with an open house from 7 to 10 p.m. at Bi-Coastal studios, 719 E. Second Street in The Dalles.

May 4, 2017 1:18 p.m. read more..


Uplifting Elevator project funded

The Uplifting Elevator project at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center has been eight years in the making, work has begun, and the committee overseeing the project has met its $400,000 goal and took down the “fundraising thermometer” on Wednesday.

February 24, 2017 1:40 p.m. read more..


Library offers ‘hotspots’

Patrons of The Dalles Wasco County Library can now check out mobile wi-fi “hotspots,” cellular-based units that allow the user to connect to the internet for free.

February 15, 2017 1:08 p.m. read more..


Young artists display work

The work of area high and middle school artists is on display at The Dalles Art Center, the second of two youth shows this winter, and area residents are encouraged to vote their favorite piece for the “People’s Choice” award.

February 9, 2017 1:23 p.m. read more..
 

Quality, not quantity, gives cannery edge

Instead of trying to market their product based on price, Muirhead Canning Company focuses on quality. “We're selling directly to the consumer. We're selling based on quality, not price or volume. Our product tastes better — we compete with the home canner,” Russel Laughmiller, who purchased the cannery in 2006, explained.

December 22, 2016 12:49 p.m. read more..
 

Restoring history afloat

When Glen Cathers’ wife Naomi asked him what he would choose if he could have anything in the world, he replied, “I want a motor lifeboat.” “Let's do it,” she said.

October 15, 2016 12:58 p.m. read more..


McDonald named ‘Entertainer of the Year’

Jill McDonald of The Dalles, with her husband Thom, have been named as “Entertainers of the Year” by Paint Nite and were recognized at the company’s annual awards gala held in Boston, Mass., last week.

September 21, 2016 2 p.m. read more..


Tech Talks to begin in Oct.

The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce and Google are launching a first of its kind educational series for the community called “Tech Talk” on Oct. 5. The idea was sparked at this year’s Googlefest at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center, which introduced members of the business, nonprofit and educational community to Google tools and techniques that might benefit their work.

September 15, 2016 2:10 p.m. read more..


The festive business of books

On Saturday, Sept. 10, Klindt’s Booksellers and Stationers hosts its third Northwest Author Festival from noon to 3 p.m. One of three book-related festivals hosted by the store, the festival is rooted in a community need, said Joaquin Perez, co-owner of the bookstore with Kristin Klindt. “We get a lot of local authors throughout the year who want to promote their book,” Perez explained.

September 7, 2016 3:22 p.m. read more..


'Momma’ celebrates Monday

The new owners of Momma Jane’s Pancake House in The Dalles make a great husband-wife team: “Barry (Springer) likes quality food, I pride myself on customer service,” said Kaye Smith.

September 1, 2016 6:34 a.m. read more..


Ricarte to lead TDC

Veteran reporter RaeLynn Ricarte has been named executive editor of The Dalles Chronicle. Ricarte has more than 20 years of experience in journalism and been a reporter and editor in The Dalles since 2010. She has worked for Eagle Media Northwest, the parent company of the Chronicle, for over 16 years. “It’s an honor to announce RaeLynn as executive editor. She’s a tireless worker who has a passion for the news industry, as well as a specific passion for continuing the Chronicle’s success as a news operation,” said Joe Petshow, president of Eagle Media.

August 30, 2016 2:38 p.m. read more..


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