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Jade McDowell

Stories by Jade

New laws affect schools

Some are so new, impacts remain unknown As schools in Oregon opened their doors for the new school year this week they had to factor in more than 100 laws passed by the Oregon legislature in 2013 that affect school districts in some way.

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Band has big plans for 2013-14

Director: Camp attendance shows promise

Band students showed up in force for band camp recently, forecasting a good year for The Dalles Wahtonka High School’s marching band.

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Teens keep things running at base camp

Local youths find work with firefighters Most teens are finishing out their summer with a vacation or time at the pool, but a few local students are finding out what it takes to run an emergency camp for firefighters.

Evacuation orders given to seven new roads

More evacuations were ordered Thursday as the Blackburn fire spread.

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Fire complex balloons to 11,335 acres, burns a fourth home A change in wind direction and the threat of evening thunderstorms had firefighters worried as the day shift headed out to the Government Flats Fire Complex Thursday morning.

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Fire roars back: Thursday morning update

Fourth home lost to blaze

A change in wind direction and the threat of evening thunderstorms had firefighters worried as the day shift headed out to the Government Flats Fire Complex Thursday morning.

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Third home lost in Blackburn fire, updated 4 p.m. Aug. 21

Fire complex burning 8,731 acres

A third home has been lost to the Blackburn fire and many residents are staying to defend their homes despite evacuation orders.

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Fire still on the loose

Tuesday morning fire update

More than 50 homes were evacuated as the lightning-caused Government Flat Fire Complex grew to 6,725 acres.

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Obrist Road evacuated as fire escalates

A level three evacuation order was issued for Obrist Road Monday afternoon as the Blackburn Fire escalated.

Cost of rural care eyed

Providers seek aging research in outlying areas

Rural and urban communities have different needs, and the local Area Agency on Aging thinks it is time to remind the state of that.

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East Coast trip promotes leadership skills

Local student tours national landmarks

Savannah Dietz toured New York City, Philedelphia and Washington, D.C. with People to People program.

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TDW grad wins place on Blazer Dancer cheer squad

When basketball season returns and residents of The Dalles turn their televisions to the first Portland Trail Blazers game of the season, they might see a face they recognize.

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Hard work, scenic views mark youth corps

Teens spend summer with Forest Service The weather was sweltering, the trek up the mountain long and steep and the coils of barbed wire unwieldy, but the members of the Youth Conservation Corps didn’t complain.

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National Distinguished Young Woman has local ties

Nicole Renard represents young women in DYW No one from The Dalles will be competing in the next national competition for the title of Distinguished Young Woman, but this year’s winner has local ties to The Dalles.

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It's all about people, not just medicine

For Amy Howe, being the Walgreens pharmacy manager is as much about people as it is about pills and prescriptions. “Some customers I’ve had since the beginning,” Howe said. “They’re part of my life. They’ve been through my two pregnancies too so they’re always asking about my children and how they’re doing.”

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Reviews mixed on What the Festival

Neigbors complain, but law officers, shopkeepers praise outcome of 5,000-person event A post-mortem of this year’s What the Festival shows mixed reviews from locals who were affected by the 5,000-person music and art festival held at Wolf Run Ranch outside Dufur last weekend.

New schedule set for The Dalles Wahtonka

‘Selectives’ added to the lineup Administrators at The Dalles Wahtonka High School are already preparing for the coming school year, including rolling out a brand new schedule that will increase instruction time.

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Hinshaw heads to state DYW

Local student to compete for more awards When Hannah Hinshaw saw fellow gymnast Allison Kortge win the local Junior Miss title in 2010 by showing off her skills on the

Wasco County sees more permits

Planners say 2013 is ‘banner year’ for business In a sign that the economy is finally picking up, Wasco County Planning Department’s director says permit numbers for the department are back to pre-recession levels.

Building Codes looks to increase fees

Wind farm inspection revenues declining

Building Codes Services staff were originally hoping for a 40 percent across-the-board increase in fees on August 1 but are now considering a more incremental approach starting later this year.

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A personal story of the Civil War

Katherine Arbon’s ancestors are the basis of a book that shows the human side of war

Writing a book is always a labor of love, but for Katherine Arbon of The Dalles, writing the children’s book “Guarding Camp, Finding Home” was especially personal.

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'Chalk the Block' draws lots of artists at Jammin' July

Art event originator expects even more artists next year Downtown The Dalles was a bit more colorful July 13 after a Chalk the Block contest drew local artists of all ages to the Jammin’ July street festival Saturday. Organizer Karen Stewart said she wants to make the event an annual one.

South county seeks fire protection

Residents will ask South Sherman to expand When Stuart Von Borstel got a call that a fire had broken out on his property and his cows, over 100 miles away from where he was, were in danger, he wished he could call the fire department to take care of it. But he couldn’t. No fire department covers south Wasco County.

Plan outlines early inmate release criteria

Sheriff has final say on overcrowding solutions Wasco County has adopted an official plan for managing the number of inmates at the regional jail after the early release of a high-profile inmate spurred a disagreement between the sheriff and district attorney.

Mosier gets new school head

Schimel brings 21 years of school experience When Brian Schimel showed up at Mosier Community Schools for a job interview, he knew he had found a place he wanted to work.

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Gorton searching for the road to stardom

Local student attends L.A. showcase

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Wanted: A dog-friendly home

Home at Last has taken in 24 Shih Tzus A group of Shar Pei dogs rescued last month are starting to find homes, but a second rescue has brought a new batch of dogs for Home at Last Humane Society to contend with.

School administrator raises win approval

School administrators will receive the same salary percentage increase next year as the teachers they supervise. The North Wasco County School District 21 board approved a 1 percent cost of living adjustment for non-represented employees during their July 9 meeting.

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Queen Candace: It’s all about the horses

For 23-year-old rodeo queen Candace Shattuck, it’s always been about horses, horses, horses. “I learned to ride way before I learned to walk,” she said seriously.

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Artist shares Middle East experience in art

When Yvonne Pepin-Wakefield accepted an opportunity to teach university art to Muslim women in Kuwait she had no idea what she was getting herself into.

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Grandin offers insights into Autism

Students and parents participating in the iSTAR program for students on the autism spectrum last week got a visit from a star in the world of autism.

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A Future with Autism

iSTAR program focuses on helping students look toward a post-high school career Most programs for children on the autism spectrum focus on early intervention, but the iSTAR program, which came to The Dalles last week, helps older students look toward a post-high school career.

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Goodwill Industries already serving The Dalles

Nonprofit addresses criticisms Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette may not have a building in The Dalles yet, but it is already making its presence known in the community.

Candlelight vigil planned for Sophia Marcias

Dufur girl, 12, hospitalized

A 12-year-old Dufur girl is at Doernbecher’s Childrens Hospital in Portland after suffering a brain aneurysm.

Mosier plans budget cuts to schools

Decrease in rural schools funding leaves shortfall Like most schools in the country, Mosier Community Schools are tightening their belts for the coming year.

Lyle man wins slot at world poker series

When you next see Rob Gaston, he could be a multimillionaire. The poker aficionado, who grew up in Goldendale and often spends time in The Dalles now that he is retired, has earned a spot in the 2013 World Series of Poker.

County sets budget

The public had the opportunity to give input on Wasco County’s proposed 2013-2014 budget and proposed fee increases Wednesday, but the Board of County Commissioners was faced with an empty room for both hearings.

Masters, Evans in new leadership roles

North Wasco County School District 21 announced two major hiring decisions last week in the hiring of Lance Masters to serve in the role of vice principal at The Dalles Middle School and Anne Evans as the new permanent principal of Chenowith Elementary School.

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Students write self-reflections

Biopoems and art fill pages A grant from the Wasco County Cultural Trust gave students at Colonel Wright Elementary a chance to get to know themselves a little bit better.

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Forget the strip club — pole fitness is about working out

Pole dancing is going mainstream, and The Dalles is in on the trend. “It’s been taken out of the strip clubs and changed from being an art to being more about fitness and gymnastics,” said Desiree Frasier. She started teaching pole fitness classes at the Muscle and Fitness Center in January.

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Students share culture

Teens educate TDW peers about life in their home cities, nation When Julio Silva, a foreign exchange student from Brazil, arrived at The Dalles Wahtonka High School, one of the first things someone asked him was whether he lived in a tree in the jungle back home. Fortunately he has a good sense of humor.

D21 agreements reached

Bargaining teams reach accord with new contracts It came down to the eleventh hour, but bargaining teams for North Wasco County School District 21 and its employees have come to an agreement about contracts for teachers and education support professionals during their final bargaining session of the school year.

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An Endeavor in Progress

Who knew there were so many ways to generate power? From biodiesel to solar cookers to a salad spinner generator, the fruits of an educational experiment were on display during Project Endeavor’s Research and Development Expo.

PERS reforms could save some district 21 jobs

The approved 2013-2014 budget for North Wasco County School District 21 includes a reduction in force of 7.5 positions, but there may be a chance to save some of those jobs.

D21 budget factors in growth ‘bubble’

Committee adds educator but cuts several other staff positions After three meetings’ worth of questions, answers and deliberations, the North Wasco County School District 21 budget committee has approved the 2013-2014 budget proposed by staff.

Spelling bee tests Wasco County students

Students from around Wasco County competed May 23 to show their prowess at s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g.

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Robarge seeks help for debilitating condition

June 2 dinner will help with Mayo Clinic trip When Letitia Robarge started throwing up in 2009, she assumed she had the flu.

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Teens deliver ‘extreme’ makeover of local home

Close to 50 teenagers descended on the home of a senior citizen in The Dalles Monday to give her house a makeover. The students from The Dalles Wahtonka High School repainted her house and trim, hauled wheelbarrows full of yard waste away, trimmed bushes, pulled weeds, spread bark dust, cleaned, installed new blinds and did other needed projects.

Incumbents get the boot

In an election with only a 29.3 percent turnout, some races in Wasco County’s special district elections on May 21 came down to fewer than 50 votes. “Twenty nine percent is pretty low … we had a very quiet day,” said County Clerk Linda Brown. She said a similar race in May 2011 had a 35 percent turnout.

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First Evening of Excellence recognizes 'spark'

Attitude, hard work, passion all rewarded

Students were recognized for their leadership, attitude and work ethic during The Dalles Wahtonka High School’s first Evening of Excellence on May 15.



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