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Neita Cecil

Stories by Neita

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Starved horse euthanized

A horse so weakened from starvation it couldn’t stand was euthanized Sunday and another horse on the same Pleasant Ridge property was surrendered to a horse rescue operation. Both horses were at least several hundred pounds underweight, said Kim Mosiman, executive director of Troutdale-based horse rescue Sound Equine Options (SEO).

MINT arrests 9

Nine people were arrested on drug related charges in January and February by the Mid-Columbia Interagency Narcotics Task Force, according to a press release from MINT.

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Editorial: Hard work pays off spectacularly

Hearty congratulations are in order for the stunning turnaround of the graduation rate at The Dalles High School.

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For the Love of Music

Every Tuesday after the final bell rings, Chenowith Elementary music teacher Corin Parker hosts 47 students from grades three through five at her after-school choir. Practice lasts for 45 minutes, and it’s just one of the efforts that recently earned her the Excellence in Elementary Music Education award from the Oregon Music Education Association.

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Restaurant stance draws ire, backing

The Baldwin Saloon joined other restaurants across the U.S. in being closed Thursday in support of the national “Day Without Immigrants” protest, drawing both ire and applause on social media. Juanita’s Market closed at 3 p.m. Thursday, leaving messages in Spanish and English on its doors saying it would close in support of a Day Without Immigrants.

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First closed night for shelter

For the first time in 73 days, the warming shelter at St. Vincent de Paul was closed Wednesday night, though weather forecasts indicate it will be reopening soon. The criteria for opening the shelter are if it’s 30 degrees or below, including windchill, or 35 degrees or below if there’s precipitation, said Ed Elliott, chair of the Warming Place committee. Though it was raining, it was supposed to reach a high of 37 last night.

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Schools to make up days lost to weather

Last week, District 21 Superintendent Candy Armstrong updated the Chronicle about calendar changes to make up for snow days. The next day, Thursday, Feb. 9, schools were closed due to bad weather.

TDHS grad rate jumps

Sharp increase in graduating students shows disrict on track

The Dalles High School has seen a huge improvement in its graduation rate, which jumped from 68.3 percent in 2014-15 to a whopping 83.2 percent in 2015-16. The figure is a measurement of the percentage of students who graduated “on time,” or within four years. “I’m very pleased,” said Candy Armstrong, superintendent of School District 21. “That’s a huge jump.”

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Cold keeps them busy

The long, grueling winter has meant a sharp uptick in work for certain local businesses. Insurance agents, auto body shops and heating companies are among the businesses slammed as the gorge endures a relentlessly cold, snowy winter.

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Blue Zones decision awaited

Hopefully by next month The Dalles will learn if it has been accepted as a Blue Zones Project, having raised the needed $200,000 first-year local contribution to qualify for the three-year health and well-being initiative.

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Tired of the snow? TD breaks record

The Dalles has more than doubled the old, 38-year-old record for continuous days of snow on the ground.

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Keeping winter’s cold at bay

Chilled to the bone as you’re sitting by your drafty window at home? Pondering your bare roof when neighboring houses are still covered in snow? Have you recently become aware of the term “ice dam?” The bitterly long and cold winter has provided a sharp lesson for some homeowners about the need to better weatherize their home to keep the winter chill — and eventually the summer heat — at bay and to save on power bills.

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Cold brings higher power bills

In the midst of this extended cold snap, some PUD customers have gotten hot under the collar after opening their power bills. A few have taken to Facebook to vent, and the Northern Wasco County PUD also got on Facebook to explain what’s behind the spike in price.

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42nd Super Auction Feb. 4

The 42nd annual St. Mary’s Academy Super Auction, with its theme of “Take me out to the Ballgame” giving an encouraging reminder that spring must surely arrive, is set for Saturday, Feb. 4, at the school.

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Warming shelter still open downtown

As the snow slowly melts and the temperature warms a bit, the warming shelter in The Dalles is soldiering on, continuing its record-setting stretch of continuous days of operation.

Schools in poor shape

In the next five years, $22.4 million needs to be spent just to keep systems at the six District 21 buildings in their current poor condition, according to an assessment of the buildings.

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Master gardener signup ends Wed.

The annual master gardeners class offered by the Oregon State University extension office has extended its enrollment period for its upcoming courses until Wednesday, Feb. 1 because of the snowy weather.

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St. Mary's Academy to host "family carnival"

The annual St. Mary’s Academy family carnival is set for this Friday, Jan. 27, at 5:30 p.m. at the school, located at 10th and Cherry Heights.

Fires have sad commonality: No renter’s insurance

Recent fires in The Dalles have had one common feature: the tenants invariably do not have renters insurance. Local insurance agents and property managers lament the lack of a simple coverage that is cheap to begin with — $12 to $16 a month — but can be free if bundled with auto insurance.

Snow causes ‘major leak’

Weather brings some flooding to TD High School band room

The newest school in District 21 suffered the worst leak due to snow, the school board heard last Thursday. The Dalles Middle School, built in 2004, suffered a “major” leak in the band room which caused some “semi-flooding” that affected the drywall and carpeting, said Don Carter, director of facilities for North Wasco County School District 21.

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Google donates $140K for TDMS devices

Google is donating $140,000 to D21 so it can buy devices for every student at The Dalles Middle School, starting with sixth graders. The D21 board learned about the gift at a surprise announcement at its board meeting last Thursday.

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Bridge repair starts Tuesday morning

Crews expect to begin work Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. on emergency repairs to an extensive amount of potholes on The Dalles bridge. There will be one-lane closures during daytime, an official said, and motorists can expect 10-15 minute delays.

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Winter weather hurts business

On the heels of what was a lackluster Christmas for downtown businesses thanks to bad weather, frigid, snowy conditions in January have kept sales well below normal.

Stranded trio rescued Sunday

Rescuers on snowmobiles retrieved three people Sunday who got stranded as they tried to walk out of their wooded cabin home off Fivemile Road after running out of propane and fuel.

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Electrical fire displaces 21 residents

An electrical fire Sunday at American Village apartments in the 2400 block of West 10th Street displaced 10 adults and 11 children from six units. No one was injured.

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Snow day makeup planned

As it happens, with the school district looking at seven snow days and five late-start days to make up, the state this year imposed strict new rules removing any wiggle room for making up those days.

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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.

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