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Neita Cecil

Stories by Neita

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China on his mind

The Dalles native Luke Habberstad believes much of what happens in our lives is dictated by chance. And so it was that an eye-opening course he decided to take in his last semester of college propelled him on his eventual career path. Today, he’s an assistant professor of early Chinese studies at the University of Oregon.

Blue Zone meetings set

The Dalles is among three Oregon towns being considered for a Blue Zone Project, which would bring three years of paid staff to help create a healthier community.

The facts of hypothermia

Hypothermia is when the body gets very cold and can’t warm up on its own, according to UpToDate, a medical website. It occurs when the body, normally at 98.6 degrees, drops below 95 degrees.

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The high cost of cold

Last Friday, city police officers spotted a homeless man whose gloveless fingers were swollen and dangerously discolored from exposure, and were quickly able to get services for him. Another homeless man, according to a post by a friend of his on Facebook, is facing the loss of all or part of a foot due to exposure.

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Snow sets TD record

If it has seemed like an epically, endlessly snowy winter — one for the record books — you’re right. As of today, Wednesday, Jan. 11, there has been snow on the ground for 34 consecutive days, beating the old record set 38 years ago, when there were 29 consecutive days of snow.

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Facebook is crime solver

A missing tapestry worth $2,500 was returned — after it changed hands for $10 — within three days of its owner making an appeal on social media.

Youth fundraiser a success

The just-concluded first fundraising drive by the group hoping to build the Gorge Youth Center was “an almost unheard of” success, said group founder Joe Martin.

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Record stretch at Warming Place

A red flag goes up outside the St. Vincent de Paul office downtown to signify that the warming shelter will be open that night because temperatures are cold enough to warrant it.

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A grand gift for Christmas

“It feels like the world has been lifted off my shoulders.” That was the reaction of a Florida man whose recent stretch of homelessness in the bitter cold of The Dalles was ended by a local group that gave him an astounding Christmas gift: a 2004 van to get him and his teen sons back home to Florida.

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First female officer on SERT

Amanda Rosier was The Dalles Police Department’s first officer to win the coveted Victor G. Atiyeh award as the top graduate of her police academy class. A few weeks ago, she achieved another first, becoming the department’s first female member of the SERT team.

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Service trip planned to Guatemala

Spring break in Guatemala, alongside one of the world’s most beautiful lakes. Sounds like an awesome getaway, but for a group of five Spanish class students from The Dalles High School and their three adult chaperones, the planned visit to the highlands of Guatemala is a service trip focused on bringing water filtration kits to desperately poor Mayans.

Sheriff advises dogs be put down

Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill has recommended euthanizing two dogs that went on a spree in early December, killing a cat, biting a man’s pants leg and trying to kill chickens and other dogs.

Video key to robbery charges

When two masked people held up a gas station here in October, video of the incident contained a critical piece of evidence – and it was an eagle-eyed city officer who caught the clue.

Masked robbers charged

The suspects in the robbery of a local gas station in late October have both been indicted on three counts each of first-degree robbery and unlawful use of a weapon.

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Second storm brings fewer wrecks

Far fewer accidents were reported with yesterday’s snow storm compared to the storm a week before, police officials said.

Students fear deportation

Over a month after the presidential election, local Hispanic students continue to hear taunts from classmates about being deported, parents said at a meeting last Saturday regarding concerns of deportation.

D21 reports better scores

Dramatic gains in English language arts were made in District 21 in all tested grade levels, and Chenowith Elementary had particularly strong gains in all subject areas, state test results show.

TDHS boosts test scores

The Dalles High School students saw a sharp improvement in English language arts, with 16.8 percent more students testing at proficient levels in state tests last year.

Police reassure Hispanics in TD

The Wasco County sheriff reassured a group of Hispanics at a meeting Saturday that law officers would not be going in search of illegal residents to target for deportation.

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Bar OK’s trial against Nisley

The Oregon State Bar has directed that a formal disciplinary proceeding be instituted against Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley, a “rare” step to take against an elected prosecutor, a spokeswoman said.

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Snow leads to TD bus mishap

A school bus loaded with middle schoolers had to lock its brakes when it was cut off by another driver as it turned into the Wahtonka campus parking lot Thursday, and it slid into a fence, damaging both fence and bus.

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Donor doubles coat drive yeild

With the successful 2015 winter coat drive already under its belt, Columbia Bank set out this year to repeat the effort.

Two dogs go on spree, kill feline

A pair of dogs went on a spree in Murray’s Addition last Thursday, killing a cat, biting a man’s pant leg, and attempting to get at chickens and other dogs before being caught and taken to the animal shelter.

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Homeless profile still rising in TD

Transients in The Dalles are becoming more numerous and more visible, police officers say. Longtime officers with 20-plus years on the force say the problem is much more notable than earlier in their careers.

Fix sought for bus flap

In mid-October, a miscommunication led two local parents to believe their little girl was missing, when she was actually safely being taken to her babysitter on the local LINK bus.

$30K match pledge for center

Early November brought announcements of two major donations to a planned Gorge Youth Center in The Dalles. Now a third donor has stepped forward with a pledge to match $30,000 in contributions.

D21 eyes tax issue

With a goal of putting a bond measure on the May 2017 ballot, the school district will soon begin reaching out to the community regarding new buildings.

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The French Connection

Dylan Corson is learning German. Monica Abarca, who already knows Spanish, is now taking on Korean and Japanese. Both are students at The Dalles Middle School and they and others are planning to join two language classes that will start up in December.

Protest trip cancelled

The Dalles resident Solea Kabakov decided against joining the Standing Rock protest in North Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline, citing the dangers of the increasing unrest there. “The situation there has escalated to really being what I would describe as a true conflict,” she said.

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TD pipeline protester sets out to N. Dakota

For Thanksgiving this year, The Dalles resident Solea Kabakov will be offering herself as a shield to protect Native American elders offering prayers in protest of an oil pipeline in North Dakota.

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A passion for painted rocks

Christi Stewart loves to paint nature. And by that, she means she likes to grab something from nature and apply paint to it. Her latest passion, and one that has caught on nationwide, is painting rocks and leaving them for others to find.

PUD mulls 5% rate hike

Saying it has to catch up on years of necessary but uncompleted work, the PUD is proposing 5 percent rate hikes each of the next two years, each of which would add about $5 per month to the average residential bill.

Gas leak at MCMC

Roads were closed around the hospital this morning for about an hour when a leak in Mid-Columbia Medical Center’s main oxygen tank was detected.

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Students help homeless

On a recent afternoon, third graders at St. Mary’s Academy were busily creating a tied fleece blanket for a local homeless child as part of their class’s community service project for the year.

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Refugee talk spurs students

Local students gained an appreciation for their own fortunate circumstances and empathy for the plight of refugees following a talk from the logistics chief of the United Nation’s refugee program.

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‘Game of Tiaras’ starts tonight

Students at The Dalles High School had the rare, and perhaps nerve-wracking, distinction this week of performing a play for the man who wrote it.

Donald trumps Hillary in Wasco County

County weighs in on state, federal issues

With the final Wasco County election results coming in just after 4 a.m., and a nearly 76 percent voter turnout, local results were a mirror opposite of statewide voting for president. Wasco County voters favored Republican winner Donald J. Trump over Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton by 49 percent (5,721 votes) to 39 percent (4,634 votes). Statewide, those results flipped.

Phone service restored

Phone service, including 911 calls, was recovered by late Monday afternoon after an outage caused by a downed CenturyLink switch in The Dalles was repaired.

UPDATE: phone service restored

CenturyLink repairs phone outage

911 service still affected

CenturyLink switch located in The Dalles is problem source

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Enjoy a taste of Samoa

“Celebrating American Samoa,” a fundraiser set for this Saturday, Nov. 5, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center, is a cultural showcase put on by local students hoping to visit Samoa next spring.

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Samoan event fundraiser for WCS

“Celebrating American Samoa,” a fundraiser set for this Saturday, Nov. 5, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center, is a cultural showcase put on by local students hoping to visit Samoa next spring. The night will feature traditional Samoan food and entertainment, plus auction items. For tickets, visit celebratingsamoa.eventbrite.com. Cost is $15 before the event, or $20 at the door.

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Bullying survivor gives tips

Jodee Blanco was so tormented and bullied as a student that one day she finally kneeled on the dirty bathroom floor at school and prayed to get cancer. That way, if she got sick, her parents wouldn’t yell at her for wanting to stay home from school.

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ScanEagle lands in Smithsonian

ScanEagle, the gorge-made robotic aircraft that has logged almost one million hours of flight, has landed in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum collection.

Robbery tied to shooting

The Dalles police believe the Sunday armed robbery of a gas station in The Dalles is connected to an armed robbery in Portland Tuesday, where a male suspect was shot by police.

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Therapy dog bonds with kids

Jake the therapy dog is a patient listener and a tolerant companion, and on his weekly visits to Cindy Kamimae’s second grade class at Chenowith Elementary, the effect on the students is noticeable.

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Parks director named

Scott Baker, the new director of the Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District, originally set out to be a middle school science teacher.

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Clerk: OR vote secure

Heightened concerns nationwide about voting fraud are even being expressed here in Wasco County. “We had one man come in to today and say, ‘I’m concerned about voter fraud, can you tell me about these voters?’” said Wasco County Clerk Lisa Gambee on Tuesday.

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M98 to boost HS graduation

With 10,000 Oregon students failing to graduate from high school every year, Measure 98 aims to reduce that number by boosting career and technical classes and adding dropout prevention measures.

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Long-Curtiss seeks office

Darcy Long-Curtiss got her first taste of community political involvement as a high schooler in The Dalles, when she participated in a city visioning meeting and it piqued her interest. She now hopes to further that involvement by gaining a seat on The Dalles City Council. She is one of three candidates seeking to fill council Position 2, which is being vacated by Dan Spatz. Also running are Dana Journey, a police officer for the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission, and Clay Johnson, who works at a desalination plant in The Dalles.

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