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Neita Cecil

Stories by Neita

Homeless man charged in child porn case

In an extreme rarity, police say, a local man was arrested Sunday afternoon in a downtown eatery after another patron saw that the man appeared to be accessing child porn on his electronic device.

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Snapshots in time

The other day Steve Gifford was watching an old barn get torn down across the road from him on East 18th Street, and he saw an old, musty photo album on the ground, ready to be scooped up by the backhoe. He rescued the album and passed it off to the Chronicle.

Blue Zones starts work in TD

The initial outreach work of The Dalles Blue Zones Project — a three-year community wellness initiative — begins next week with a series of focus group sessions over three days. The focus groups will seek input on a variety of topics, from creating more trails and sidewalks, to ways to make workplaces more productive and employees happier, to how churches can contribute to the town’s well-being.

Dufur crash under investigation

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon Liquor Control Commission are investigating a crash that seriously injured a 21-year-old Dufur woman early last Saturday.

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LINK bus service celebrates 20 years

Twenty years ago Friday, on May 19, 1997, the LINK transportation network got its start locally with a single bus. Today, it has a fleet of six buses and two vans, and 100 riders daily. It is celebrating its milestone on Friday with an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its new offices at 802 Chenowith Loop Road.

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Mom: Your life well lived models gratitude

When I told my mom the other day I was assigned to write about her for Mother’s Day, she said, “Oh! Well, make it funny,” and then, with perfect comic timing, added, “but not too funny.”

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Planting ‘good fruit’

Visit provides support for mission schools

Wayne von Borstel remembers the first few schools he built for the impoverished. They were in Africa, and they were big and beautiful. But he saw them as monuments to American wealth, plopped incongruously amongst grass huts. Von Borstel, who owns von Borstel & Associates, an investment firm with locations in The Dalles and Portland, decided he would take a different approach.

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Ready for Mother’s Day? Plant sale is Saturday

Stumped for what to get Mom for Mother’s Day? Look no further than the annual spring plant sale set for this Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Park.

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Saving a life with CPR

It took awhile to sink in, but Jennifer Willie has realized that when she stopped to help a neighbor on April 26, she saved a life.

School district passes budget

The North Wasco County School District 21 budget committee approved an optimistic budget last week that assumes the Legislature will increase its funding for schools.

Hunger strike ends at NORCOR

Six immigration detainees at the regional jail broke their six-day hunger strike last Thursday, saying the jail had agreed to provide them with requested amenities, including a microwave and access to music players.

MCCOG asks AAA to hold off on study

For years now, the local Area Agency on Aging has been housed under an umbrella agency that it says is requiring it to pay too much for overhead, administration and other costs. Going out on its own could free up as much as $60,000 that it could spend directly on seniors, the agency’s former director estimated recently.

Hunger strike ends

Six immigration detainees at the regional jail broke their six-day hunger strike Thursday, saying the jail had agreed to provide them with requested amenities, including a microwave and radio.

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Pulpit Rock service set

To celebrate the 179th year since the founding of the Methodist Mission in The Dalles, the First United Methodist Church and Zion Lutheran Church are hosting a worship service this Sunday at Pulpit Rock.

Mental evaluations sought in cases

A man accused of killing three people in a December crash on Highway 26 went to the state hospital last week for a mental evaluation to see if he is fit to stand trial, the district attorney said.

Dufur coach arrested on sex charges

UPDATED Wednesday, 1:44 p.m. Dufur track coach Ty Lee Wyman, 27, was arrested Monday and is accused of a number of crimes alleging sexual contact with two students, the Wasco County district attorney said Tuesday.

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Police rescue 11 ducklings

Eleven ducklings were reunited with their worried momma Sunday morning thanks to a Youtube video and some quack-thinking — er, quick-thinking — by The Dalles police officers. A woman called dispatchers Sunday morning just after 9 a.m. to report a frantic duck was wandering in the road chirping, in the area west of the city dock and Rock Fort on Union Street.

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­Protesters at jail backing hunger strike

A group began picketing the regional jail Monday, supporting immigration detainees who are on a hunger strike to protest what they say are poor living conditions. The jail administrator disputed all their claims.

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Bringing clean water to Guatemala

TDHS student trip a success

A group of The Dalles High School students have returned from a week in Guatemala, where they helped bring water filtration kits to the poorest of the poor.

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Man dies in overpass jump

A 27-year-old The Dalles man jumped to his death Thursday afternoon from the Exit 85 overpass onto the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84.

Death threat case upheld

The 2014 conviction of a man for seeking the killings of his father-in-law, brother-in-law, and the Wasco County district attorney was upheld by the Oregon Court of Appeals Wednesday. Dustin Kimbrough was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty on four counts of attempted aggravated murder, three counts of attempted murder and two counts of witness tampering.

Fake robbery plea deal made

A woman from The Dalles who claimed she was robbed in early April, and was then charged with making a false police report, pleaded guilty Monday and will have the charge dismissed in six months if she completes a diversion program.

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Headed to DC

TDHS junior to attend journalism conference

The Dalles High School junior Roman Sarabia has at least one part of his summer planned out: he’s heading to Washington, D.C., in July for a weeklong journalism conference. He was nominated to attend by a teacher, although he doesn’t know which one, since they asked to remain anonymous.

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Testing wits on ‘Idiotest’

This Thursday, on the Game Show Network, The Dalles native Spike Huntington-Klein will test his wits on the TV show “Idiotest.”

Foibles of the “Willie Dee”

The USS William D. Porter, a naval destroyer, sank on June 10, 1945, with Seaman First Class Ted LaDoux, now a longtime resident of The Dalles, aboard. All 300 sailors made it to safety, but the Willie Dee, as she was known, settled 2,400 feet to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, another victim of World War II’s famous Battle of Okinawa.

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Manning the ‘big guns’ at sea

Ted LaDoux checks the mail every day, sometimes twice. Any day now, he should be receiving long overdue campaign medals he earned over 70 years ago, in the waning days of World War II.

TD named as Blue Zone site

Aiming for a “community transformation,” a health-promotion organization has selected The Dalles as its newest Blue Zones Project demonstration site.

Man stabbed Wednesday eve

A 24-year-old The Dalles man remains in intensive care this morning following a stabbing in the area of 11th and Trevitt at around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to city police.

D21 plans school facilities polling

With clear priorities from a facilities committee to build a new high school first, the D21 school board is looking at its next steps in the process, which will include more public polling.

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Driving with dangerous distractions

Spurred by the death of a family friend because of a distracted driver, Larry Fairclo has started a campaign to raise awareness about the problem. His first stop? The Northwest Cherry Festival Parade.

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Brother, sister named royalty

Mary Leighton said she plans to dress up for her role as this year’s Cherry Festival Queen Anne, but her brother, Chuck Sandoz, named King Bing, said, “I’m not.” The duo came into town for an interview the other day, taking a brief break from working at Sandoz Farm, a Mill Creek operation that’s been in the family since 1880. Asked how they got selected for this year’s royalty, Sandoz said, “I treat it like it’s jury duty. You kind of get called sooner or later.”

Jail hiring plans aired

A new jail contract with an as-yet unnamed county, and more beds rented for immigration detainees, has NORCOR officials poised to add a number of new positions. “An additional 22 inmates increases the workload significantly,” said Bryan Brandenburg, administrator.

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Nelson named Oregon ‘Principal of Year’

The Dalles High School Principal Nick Nelson was named the Oregon High School Principal of the Year Thursday, at a school board meeting attended by numerous people who kept news of his prestigious award a secret.

Woman sentenced for neglect

The woman accused in March of starving two horses so severely that one had to be put down was sentenced to 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty to first-degree animal neglect. Shirley Wallace, 39, of 4943 Pleasant Ridge Rd., entered the plea Monday in Wasco County Circuit court.

Fourth of July moved to First

Fort Dalles Fourth planners announced they will move the annual Independence Day celebration this year to Saturday, July 1.

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Zion seeks flowers for cross

Since the early 1960s, Zion Lutheran Church has celebrated Easter by erecting a stark wooden cross on its lawn at the beginning of Lent, and then decorating it with a riot of flowers the day before Easter.

Crosswalk cops issue 38 tickets

The second crosswalk enforcement action by The Dalles Police Department, held Monday at two locations downtown, netted even more tickets than the first one, though it had one more officer on ticketing duty.

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Passion play this week

The 39th annual Last Days of Jesus pageant takes place over three days this week at several locations in and near downtown The Dalles.

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Student co-op store opening

The grand opening of the student-run Wahtonka Community School Store is this Saturday, April 8, during the Spring Fair EGGstravaganza craft fair being held at the school.

Agency seeks to leave MCCOG

The new director of the Area Agency on Aging, which has long been housed in the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments, proposes separating from that entity in a bid for cost savings. “The AAA can no longer sustain growing indirect cost in the MCCOG model, at the expense of programs and services,” AAA Director Caroline Wood wrote in a report to the AAA’s advisory council.

Budget wouldn’t affect Meals on Wheels

Since President Trump’s budget proposal was announced last month, the local Meals on Wheels program heard from numerous people who feared it faced potential cuts. The good news is the two streams of federal funding it does get, which represents about 20 percent of its total resources, come from two programs that are not targeted for cuts in the Trump budget.

Robbery faked, police discover

The woman who reported being robbed Sunday while working at a tax preparation office was charged Wednesday with making the story up.

Jail operations bond set

Bonds to build the regional jail were paid off last September, and voters will be asked in May to continue paying that same amount, 26 cents per $1,000 assessed property value, to help run the jail.

Tax firm robbed

A tax preparation office in The Dalles was robbed Sunday evening, and the suspects made away with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police logs.

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A volunteer void

Losing ‘life of the party,’ ‘best friend’ tough blows for Mid-Columbia Senior Center

In a cruel one-two punch, Mid-Columbia Senior Center and Meals on Wheels lost its two most significant volunteers early in March when both died two days apart after short illnesses. Betty Harlan, 84, was the life of the party, and if a party wasn’t afoot, she’d see to it that one was organized, said Denise Patton, director of Meals on Wheels, which is housed in the senior center.

ICE detains Wasco Co. woman

Two plainclothes immigration officers took a woman into custody at the Wasco County Courthouse late Monday morning, moments after she had been sentenced to probation on drug charges.

Warming Place sets record

In its record-setting run over the seemingly endless winter, the warming shelter in The Dalles was open 94 nights. It was even open on its last night of the season, March 18.

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Chess students nab awards

The Dalles High School freshman Noah Holloran tied for fourth place among all high school students in the individual competition at the state chess championship earlier this month in Portland.

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AmeriTies complaints aired at meeting

Sometimes emotional residents cited their health problems and made calls to close AmeriTies West at a meeting Tuesday to discuss air quality monitoring focused on naphthalene emissions from the tie plant.

School district scholarship fund grows

Several non-profit fundraising affiliates of the school district are seeing high-dollar donations and a raised profile, taken by school board members as signs of increasing community support for education.

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