A nationwide, longstanding drop in volunteerism across all interests has so impacted the fire service that federal grants have been awarded to boost volunteer firefighter rosters. Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue has begun its second four-year grant-funded position aimed at increasing volunteerism.February 14, 2018 1:39 p.m. read more..
The Dalles Middle School Principal Sandy Harris never misses a music performance by students at the school, and is always ready with a compliment for their work. For her ongoing support, she was awarded the Oregon Music Education Association Outstanding Administrator Award last month.February 13, 2018 1:37 p.m. read more..
The teachers union for District 21 and the school board have agreed on a new two-year contract that provides a 2.2 percent cost of living increase this year. “We are very excited and feel like things went really well,” Superintendent Candy Armstrong told the Northern Wasco County School District 21 board last week.February 8, 2018 1:18 p.m. read more..
Kenneth Ray Smith, the owner of three dogs who died in his car in October, was sentenced to three years of bench probation, with a suspended 15-day jail term, on a charge of second-degree animal neglect. The adult dogs, two pitbulls and a terrier, had been dead 24-48 hours when they were pulled from Smith’s vehicle in the 3500 block of West Second Street Oct. 1.February 7, 2018 12:36 p.m. read more..
Wahtonka Community School is venturing into the uncharted waters of becoming a charter school. Principal Brian Goodwin is unabashed about why: He wants to give the alternative school the budget protection offered by charter school status.February 6, 2018 1:17 p.m. read more..
Robert Weems, 42, a former substitute teacher in School District 21 and a former track and wrestling coach at the middle school, was arrested Friday and is accused of having sex with a student. A grand jury indictment dated Friday, Feb. 2, lists charges against Weems of third-degree sexual abuse, first-degree official misconduct and two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, all relating to the same victim. He was arrested in the 2400 block of East 11th Street.February 6, 2018 1:09 p.m. read more..
A new after-school program on Wednesdays — an early release day in the school district — at Wahtonka Community School is the brainchild of two sisters who are students there. Sisters Anyssa and Nevaeh Campos spent five years in foster care, three of them apart, in homes all over the state and even in Colorado. They don’t know if any of the kids in their program are also foster kids, but at any rate, they just wanted to create a place where kids could come and have some snacks, read some books and play some games.February 2, 2018 1:18 p.m. read more..
The school district will loan portable bleachers to the chamber of commerce for its increasingly popular Cherry Idol event during Cherry Festival, the school board agreed on Tuesday. How many the chamber will need — and how many will fit in the space — will be decided soon.February 2, 2018 1:13 p.m. read more..
Two years ago, Richard Hynd tried to rent a storage unit in The Dalles. “Ain’t happening, not in The Dalles,” he recounted. So he and his partner, Lorne Richman, built their own self storage facility. Located at 105 Webber St., Oregon Trail Mini Storage opened in November.February 1, 2018 1:11 p.m. read more..
The newest D21 board member brings a wealth of professional knowledge about education and boards, but her main motivation in seeking the position is that she’s a mom with kids in local schools. Bethani Studebaker, Ph.D., was named by the North Wasco County School District 21 board to fill the vacancy created by the resignation in October of longtime board member Carol Roderick.January 25, 2018 1:22 p.m. read more..
Exceeding expectations, over 400 people joined the women’s march Saturday through downtown The Dalles, making a 1.1-mile loop that began and ended at City Park on Union Street. Pink hats and political signs abounded, as the crowd listened to speakers before heading for the protest march that was kept to the sidewalks because no permits were obtained for it, an organizer said.January 23, 2018 1:21 p.m. read more..
Police lights and sirens sometimes have trouble gaining the attention of today’s distracted drivers. Enter the ultimate un-distractor: the Rumbler. Two new Ford Explorers bought by The Dalles Police Department have the Rumbler, and by late summer, it is anticipated the rest of the police fleet will have Rumblers too, said Police Capt. Jamie Carrico.January 18, 2018 1:20 p.m. read more..
An 18-year-old was jailed Wednesday on a charge of first-degree animal abuse (a misdemeanor) and is accused of strangling a cat, according to police. James Claude McIntosh was arrested in the 2500 block of West 10th Street Wednesday and was released Thursday.January 5, 2018 1:34 p.m. read more..
Chenowith Elementary School Principal Anne Shull resigned effective Dec. 31 in a settlement with the school district following bullying complaints filed against her last June by three current and former teachers. In the settlement, she will receive six months of pay, plus the district will pay her an amount equivalent to the district’s current monthly insurance contribution through June 2018.January 5, 2018 1:32 p.m. read more..
Gorge employers were regularly saying they had trouble filling well-paying, good-benefit jobs, even though they didn’t even require a college education. Enter Gorge Works, a new program through the Port of The Dalles that offers paid summer internships and apprenticeship opportunities. It began taking applications for internships in mid-December, and the application period closes Jan. 31.January 4, 2018 1:30 p.m. read more..
The owners of two horses who were found starving in November have been cited for second degree animal neglect. Edna and Joe Whitesell, 6240 Hwy 30, Rowena, were issued the citations on Dec. 15. The horses were voluntarily surrendered by the Whitesells to Sound Equine Options, a Troutdale-based horse rescue.December 26, 2017 1:02 p.m. read more..
A vocal opponent of AmeriTies West and the creosote compounds it is permitted to release said of a proposed new air quality rule, “If Cleaner Air Oregon was made for anything, it was made for the city of The Dalles.” Kristina Cronkright spoke at the Dec. 14 hearing in The Dalles on the proposed reform to air quality laws called Cleaner Air Oregon.December 21, 2017 12:57 p.m. read more..
Wasco County is again sending its youth to the juvenile facility at the regional jail, after briefly opting to send youth elsewhere on the heels of a report that was highly critical of the facility. Two of the three commissioners met in a work session last Thursday and by consensus gave authority for staff to resume sending youth there.December 20, 2017 1:21 p.m. read more..
The regional jail board formally responded to the critical report of the juvenile detention facility last week, saying the report’s characterization of the facility as inhumane “is totally irresponsible.” The letter mirrored much of a response provided Nov. 27 by Juvenile Detention Manager Jeff Justesen, who was allowed to comment on the draft report before it was issued Dec. 5 by Disability Rights Oregon.December 19, 2017 2:11 p.m. read more..
Chenowith Elementary School Principal Anne Shull has been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 26 pending an investigation of bullying complaints filed by three former employees. Shull spoke to the Chronicle about the complaint, and also provided a copy of the complaint against her, which was filed June 14.December 19, 2017 2:05 p.m. read more..
Before a scathing report was issued by a disability rights organization on the juvenile detention facility here, it gave local jail officials a chance to respond to a draft of the report. But juvenile detention officials said Disability Rights Oregon didn’t incorporate those responses into its final report, with one exception.December 14, 2017 1:39 p.m. read more..
On a recent late morning, a handful of youth were in a day room at the juvenile detention facility in The Dalles, visiting and working on art projects. Juvenile Detention Manager Jeff Justesen said the facility has made a conscious effort to have youth out of their cells more often, following a series of visits by Disability Rights Oregon (DRO), and its subsequent scathing report on practices at the facility.December 14, 2017 1:30 p.m. read more..
A flood of contributions, dwarfing last year’s effort, has come to the Discovery Center for its second annual donation drive to benefit the Lone Pine Native American fishing village. The collection is still underway through Christmas — items can be taken to the museum, at 5000 Discovery Drive — but the needed items aren’t the typical holiday requests.December 12, 2017 1:12 p.m. read more..
Wasco County will likely reverse its Wednesday decision to stop sending youth to the local juvenile detention facility in reaction to a scathing report on the facility, with a county official saying Friday he was comfortable with sending local youth there.December 9, 2017 11:43 a.m. read more..
For the second year, a group of students studying Spanish at The Dalles High School is heading to Guatemala on a service trip to bring water purifiers to desperately poor Mayan residents on Lake Atitlan. This year’s group is twice the size, with 10 students. On their nine-day trip next spring, they will work with Worthy Village, a non-profit, to distribute the simple water purifiers to families.December 8, 2017 12:07 p.m. read more..
A sharply critical report on the juvenile detention facility at the regional jail claimed youth weren’t allowed to “look around” or ask what time it was, and they spent hours a day isolated in their cells. The report by Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) cited “harsh and purposeless rules” and harmful, outdated and counterproductive practices, including solitary confinement.December 7, 2017 11:45 a.m. read more..
For two days after a man kicked in her door in the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning, a local woman said she didn’t sleep more than an hour at a time. A good night’s sleep is still elusive. The woman agreed to talk about her ordeal and the aftermath, but asked that her name not be used.December 1, 2017 2:39 p.m. read more..
An $8.5 million lawsuit was filed against Mid-Columbia Head Start and its volunteer William Frank Osborne, alleging the pre-school program did not adequately supervise Osborne, who has been accused of sexually assaulting several children in his care. The suit, filed Nov. 9 in Wasco County Circuit Court, named Mid-Columbia Children’s Council Inc., the non-profit organization that runs the Head Start program. The program serves 3- to 5-year-olds.November 30, 2017 2:30 p.m. read more..
Thieves stole the plaque on the antelope statue outside the Wasco County Courthouse sometime last week, officials said. The statue was donated to the county in 1986 by the community of Antelope. The plaque stated the statue was “Dedicated to all who steadfastly and unwaveringly opposed the attempts of the Rajneesh followers to take political control of Wasco County. 1981-1985.”November 28, 2017 1:06 p.m. read more..
As a daredevil kid who didn’t suffer too many scrapes growing up, Garron Dahle was cool and confident, with an uncanny ability to measure risk, his dad said. It’s a skillset that has served him well in his military career as a special operations combat controller — someone who orchestrates multiple airborne assets in combat situations — and recently earned him a Bronze Star Medal.November 25, 2017 11:09 a.m. read more..
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