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Neita Cecil

Stories by Neita

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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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Walden auctions flag

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden was on hand Saturday at a fundraiser for local soldiers and veterans, where he auctioned off a flag to be flown over the U.S. Capitol and a guitar painted in a flag theme.

Year of transition for PUD

It has been a rough transition year for the Northern Wasco County PUD, which got a new general manager, Roger Kline, in January after 22 years under previous manager Dwight Langer.

TDMS teacher’s aide jailed, charged

A male classroom aide at The Dalles Middle School was arrested last week and is accused of inappropriately touching two female students at school.

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Guard fundraiser Saturday

A fundraiser for local soldiers, featuring casino games, live music, a light show, live and silent auctions, dinner and a fajita bar is set for this Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center. Doors open for the “Guards Cards and Guitars Casino Night” at 5 p.m. and the public is welcome.

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Crary seeking to oust Walden

Retired attorney Jim Crary, a Democrat from Ashland, is running to unseat longtime Congressman Greg Walden from Oregon’s Second Congressional District. “I’ve always been politically aware and involved,” Crary said. “There are so many issues that drive me crazy. I kept kind of a log, a word document, starting with Citizens United.”

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Measure 97 about fairness

Editor’s Note: On Friday, the Chronicle ran a story about the opposition of local farmers, agricultural organizations and the The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce to Measure 97. Today, we feature the other side of the story: Local teacher Phil Brady sees Measure 97 – which would hike taxes on the highest earning corporations in Oregon – as a way to bring fairness to the tax structure and improve the lives of Oregonians.

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‘88 TDHS grad lauded for investigation

Mitch France, a 1988 graduate of The Dalles High School, and now a detective with the Newport Police Department, was honored for his work overseeing a complex and regionally significant homicide case. The department gave him a Distinguished Service Award in September for his work in the case against a woman who threw her autistic 6-year-old son, London McCabe, off the Yaquina Bay Bridge in December 2014.

Tracing history: Genealogy jam Saturday

One way to make history interesting is to know how your ancestors played a role in it.

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Community ed classes start

Community education classes are starting up again this Thursday at Wahtonka Community School, with a range of classes from guitar to knitting to movie discussions.

TD vies for health help

The Dalles is one step closer to possibly winning a designation as a Blue Zone project, which brings in paid staff for a multi-year, broad-based effort to improve the community’s health.

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National convention inspires candidate

Inspired by attending the Democratic National Convention as a Bernie Sanders delegate, Solea Kabakov took Sanders’ advice to get involved in local politics and is running for mayor of The Dalles.

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A Boot is Born

Throughout the Danner Boots factory floor in Portland, computer monitors provide workers with updates every 15 seconds on where productivity levels are — and where they should be. While that struck a reporter as intense time pressure, it was seen by Chris Perrotti, the commercialization manager for Danner, in a wholly different light: “I love it. It’s really organized, just like the military.”

Valkenburgh memorial Sat.

A memorial service for Meredith “Van” Van Valkenburgh, who practiced law for over 60 years in The Dalles and passed away last month, is set for Saturday, Oct. 1. The service begins at 2 p.m. and will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1805 Minnesota St.

Elementary school goes on lockdown

The grade school in Maupin went into lockdown for a time Wednesday morning because a man was asking questions about when children would be out and around, according to police logs.

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TDMS teacher nabs Carnegie gig

Leslie Sullivan teaches her music students at The Dalles Middle School the importance of striving for their dreams. On Oct. 2, she will live out one of her own by singing at Carnegie Hall.

Cop charged by dog, fires weapon

A city police officer responding to a call last Thursday afternoon of two dogs attacking chickens had to shoot several times when one of the dogs charged at him.

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Pipe bomb found at Rowena Crest

A Portland man taking pictures at Rowena Crest Friday afternoon spotted what turned out to be a pipe bomb, which was detonated by the Oregon State Police bomb squad hours later.

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Curious kids quiz cop

The questions came fast and furious. Have you ever seen a dead person? Ever shot anyone? Ever been pulled over? Ever been tased?

High bar to remove liquor license

A spokeswoman for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission on Monday laid out rigorous standards that must be met in order to deny a liquor license to an establishment.

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Sponsors help bring bullying speaker

With the help of sponsors, St. Mary’s Academy is bringing Jodee Blanco, billed as the country’s most sought-after anti-bullying speaker, to The Dalles for a daylong workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 20.

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Anti-bullying speaker in The Dalles September 20

Jodee Blanco was bullied at school from the fifth grade on. An “old soul” who was different and didn’t fit in, she was beaten, stoned, teased, left out, and invited to fake parties as a set-up. Now she’s a New York Times bestselling author who has taken the principles of her top seller, “Please Stop Laughing at Me,” to over 500,000 students at speaking engagements around the world and across the U.S. Her next stop will be in The Dalles, on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at St. Mary’s Academy.

Dufur holds firm on Pastime license

City will still recommend denial

Cliff Wirtz, owner of the Dufur Pastime, asked the Dufur City Council Tuesday to reconsider its decision to recommend that his annual state liquor license not be renewed.

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TDHS has 21 AP scholars

In a first, a valedictorian of the class of 2016 at The Dalles High School, Katie Burns, has earned the prestigious “National Scholar” designation, the highest level of AP Scholar.

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