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Neita Cecil

Stories by Neita

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.

Jail works with immigration agency

Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill explained at a meeting Saturday that a 1987 state law prohibits city, county and state police from acting in any capacity to help with immigration efforts. However, if a person is arrested, state law allows — and federal law requires — the local jail to provide that information to immigration officials.

ID rules explained

“Driving while Hispanic.” That’s the crude joke that highlights the fears of the Hispanic community that they are targeted by police for their skin color. Given ramped up immigration efforts under President Donald Trump, that fear has reached a fever pitch. But a series of meetings between local police and Hispanics has sought to address and assuage those concerns.

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Crosswalk action nets 29

In just over three hours Monday, 29 people were ticketed in the first of four enforcement actions in The Dalles targeting drivers who don’t stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. The number of tickets would’ve been higher, but sometimes the three officers assigned to write tickets were already busy on a stop so they couldn’t ticket other violators, said Jeff Kienlen, the city’s traffic enforcement officer.

Air quality meeting set Tuesday

A meeting is set for Tuesday, March 21 to discuss the final results of air quality testing that found naphthalene remains below levels that might produce immediate health concerns, but exceeds levels for lifetime exposure.

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Working with Wood

Woodcraft and art mix to create magic in Danny Minor’s workshop

Danny Minor’s woodworking specialty is everything, basically. If you can describe it, Minor can make it.

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Woman dies in stabbing

Charlene Caldwell was killed Thursday afternoon at 1021 E. Ninth St. Her grandson, Garrett Jack Brennan, 25, was arrested and charged with murder and unlawful use of a weapon. An autopsy on Caldwell, who was 71, is set for today, but “it is believed the cause of death is a stab wound,” according to a press release from The Dalles Police Chief Patrick Ashmore.

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New high school tops facility list

Replacing the high school is by far the top priority of a facilities committee studying replacing nearly all the schools in the district. Its second priority is replacing Chenowith Elementary.

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Kid chefs cook Saturday

Six grade school student finalists will be vying for a generous grand prize at Saturday’s “Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge” at The Dalles Middle School. The challenge, sponsored by Sodexo, the food service provider for the school district, asks students to come up with original, healthy, tasty, kid-friendly recipes.

Pastime liquor license renewed

The liquor license renewal of the Dufur Pastime was put on hold during an investigation following a fatal crash involving patrons of the Pastime, but the state found no violations by the Pastime and its license was renewed last month.

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Purple Heart returned

Following a brief ceremony Thursday, a Purple Heart medal found by a local man 27 years ago in an attic started its journey back to its owner, a 67-year-old Vietnam veteran in Georgia.

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Police focus on crossing safety

Coming soon to a crosswalk near you: a well-publicized, clearly marked enforcement action to urge drivers to yield to pedestrians entering crosswalks.

Case surprises county

Wasco County Commissioners said they learned last week that the county had been involved in an Oregon Court of Appeals case since 2013 that they knew nothing about. The case, ruled on March 1, was brought by Ken Thomas, who owns forest land next to the property that hosts the annual “What the Festival” music event near Dufur.

What The Fest decision made

A neighboring landowner has seen a favorable decision from the Oregon Court of Appeals in his longtime fight against the “What the Festival” music event near Dufur.

Charges brought in death of horse

Shirley Wallace, 39, of 4943 Pleasant Ridge Road, was arraigned Monday morning in Wasco County Circuit Court on two counts of animal neglect stemming from the death of one horse and near starvation of another.

Shots fired from vehicle

A 19-year-old The Dalles man was jailed early Friday and is accused of firing a weapon multiple times from a car as he drove around on the west side of town late Thursday night.

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