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Neita Cecil

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Action urged on school plan

Like more formal polling done earlier, a handful of surveys taken at last Saturday’s school facilities symposium found almost equal support for a variety of new building options. The school district paid for a survey of 300 likely voters that found top support for a new high school, with a middle college a close second.

TDHS seeks mentorships

The Dalles High School is working with the grassroots community group on building a mentorship program, the school board heard last Thursday.

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Dedicated to Bernie

Solea Kabakov, a lifelong peace activist and resident of The Dalles, will be a delegate for Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July. She is one of two pledged delegates for Sanders from the Second Congressional District, which covers much of eastern Oregon.

New info in sex abuse case

A police interview with the senior pastor of First Christian Church showed that church officials had “expressed concerns” about the behavior of a youth leader who was eventually convicted of sexually abusing teen girls. Michael Cele Stephens, 20, was sentenced to 15 years in prison early this year for sexually abusing six teen girls. He met his victims through the church youth group and 4-H.

Poll shows school tax support

In welcome news for school officials, a poll of 300 likely voters found 55 percent were willing to pay more taxes to repair or replace schools if the money is spent accountably and ensures access to a high quality modern education.

Orlando vigil set Thursday

A vigil for the victims of the Orlando, Fla., mass shooting is set for Thursday, June 16, at 6:30 p.m. in Lewis & Clark Festival Park at the foot of Union Street. Early Sunday, a lone gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

TD church sued over sex abuse

The mother of a sex abuse victim has sued First Christian Church in The Dalles for $5 million, alleging the church did not adequately supervise the youth leader who abused her teen daughter.

Symposium to address learning

An education symposium titled “Where our Children Learn,” which will focus on school facilities and has state Rep. John Huffman as special guest, is set for Saturday, June 18, at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center, 1112 W. 9th St. The symposium will have two sessions, at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., with the same panelists speaking at both sessions.

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Oil train debriefings in Mosier

The Mosier train derailment was caused when an unknown number of large screws, used to provide extra stabilization to rail ties on curves, sheared off — something a railroad official said he’d never seen before in a derailment. Jason Rea, chief engineer for the western region of Union Pacific Railroad, described at a community meeting Friday in Mosier what had caused the June 3 derailment of 16 oil cars.

Citizens air rail concerns

Exhausted panelists took sharp questions from a standing-room-only crowd at a special Mosier City Council meeting Thursday about the handling of the June 3 oil train derailment.

Vet groups request city funding

The Dalles City Council will be asked Monday to provide $90,000 in funding for each of the next five fiscal years for veterans services. The request has been made by Les Cochenour, president of the Mid-Columbia Veterans Memorial Committee and Andretta Schellinger, facilitator for Home Fires Burning, a local group that supports female vets and military families.

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Buy Mom Prom tickets

The second annual “Mom Prom” — a chance to get dolled up and help a good cause at the same time — is set for Friday, June 24 at the Civic Auditorium. Some 40 items will be auctioned, considerably more than last year, and a dinner spread with plenty of options from Italian to Mexican will be on offer, as well as a candy “bar” where people can load up on sweets.

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Oil from Mosier stored in TD

With the roughly 280,000 gallons of oil remaining in the 16 derailed train cars in Mosier finally offloaded Wednesday morning, and stored in The Dalles, work began right away on removing the cars themselves.

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Cleanup continues in Mosier; oil stored in TD

With the roughly 280,000 gallons of oil remaining in the 16 derailed train cars in Mosier finally offloaded Wednesday morning, and stored in The Dalles, work began right away on removing the cars themselves. The derailed cars, which were decontaminated first, will be taken to Portland and scrapped, said Greg Svelund, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

D21 suspends ‘zone waivers’

Ever since School District 21 was formed 12 years ago, it has allowed grade school students to attend a school in the district other than their “resident” school, if they chose.

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Mosier students evacuated to TD

Stephen Schwiff was in a meeting in Hood River Friday when he first saw the smoke. Others took to their phones and quickly had news about the huge black plume: “They said, ‘Oh, there’s a railroad disaster in Mosier. They closed the highway,’” Schwiff recounted.

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Friend of the forest

If you ever come upon a clean campsite in the woods, you might have “Billy Yoté” to thank. Yoté spent the day after Memorial Day scouring six campsites, a passel of large garbage bags in tow. He filled about four of them full of trash, from dirty diapers to pizza boxes. One of the six sites was clean. “Yoté” isn’t Yote’s real name: He’s a lifelong resident of Wasco County who loves the woods but doesn’t think much of publicity. He merely made the mistake of chatting with a reporter Tuesday and sharing his day’s activities.

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Second party for TDHS Class of ‘17

In a first, two senior parties are being planned for The Dalles High School class of 2017, after a trip to Disneyland was announced and met with resistance from parents who wanted a less costly, local option.

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Homecoming for Ashmore

Patrick Ashmore was looking forward to retiring and getting involved in the community after a 29-year career with the Oregon State Police that saw him rise to the No. 2 post in the agency. Then he got a call from retiring The Dalles Police Chief Jay Waterbury, asking him to apply for the vacancy Waterbury was about to create.

Sugar drinks banned

Students were crabby for about the first week after The Dalles Middle School eased in a ban on bringing sugary and caffeinated drinks to school. But then they got over it.

School survey seeks dreams

The school district is encouraging citizens to take a new survey — either online or a meeting coming up — to share their hopes for what they want public education to look like in Oregon.

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ALS claims local woman

An inspiration to all she met, MariAnne Sansour has succumbed to ALS, known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after a six-year battle that she fought on her own terms, with faith, grit and humor. Ironically, her death, on May 13, occurred during ALS Awareness Month. She was 69.

TD juniors aim for Disneyland

A group of parents with students in next year’s graduating class at The Dalles High School have an ambitious plan for boosting 2017 graduation rates: a three-day trip to Disneyland. The senior party was announced last month, giving the class of 2017 extra time to fundraise.

TD juniors aim for Disneyland

Class of 2017 has eyes on Disneyland

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Kramer retains county seat

Ballot return was 50 percent

Walmart appeal hearing in Salem

An appeal hearing last week in Salem of a state-issued wetlands fill permit for a proposed Walmart superstore in The Dalles focused on whether the project had to meet a public need or not.

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Sharp increase in ‘hot dog’ calls

Not too many years ago, summer brought the occasional call to police about a dog in distress in a hot car. But in the last few years, such calls to The Dalles Police Department have significantly increased, officers say. And almost without exception, the calls are unfounded, meaning the dog was fine.

Child welfare draws lawsuit

Two former child welfare workers in The Dalles filed a wrongful termination suit saying they were fired after alleging children were put at risk and even harmed by willful violations of state law.

Child welfare draws lawsuit

Lawsuit filed by fired child welfare workers

Unlawful case files

Unlawful case files

Transient found dead at camp

Good Samaritan finds transient deceased

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A mother's unusual fight

Hill faces ire from Rajneeshees

D21 scores improve

As Penny Grotting was analyzing winter test results from the local elementary schools, she began to notice something.

Drug team looks at fire

After a Wamic man suffered serious burns on April 22, Wasco County sheriff’s deputies learned that the incident may have been connected to an illegal drug lab explosion.

Stine seeks senate seat

Young challenger for Wyden in Senate race

Two preschools unite in Moro

In the final educational merger in Sherman County, two non-profit pre-schools, one in Moro, one in Wasco, have agreed to combine into one entity starting in the fall.

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Sex offender gets 15-year sentence

A 2014 graduate of The Dalles-Wahtonka High School, Michael Cele Stephens, was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing six girls aged 13 to 15.

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Drug dragnet: Busts have big impact

Last year, police in The Dalles started getting calls from other police agencies, asking them, “What’s going on there? Our drug dealers are afraid to go to The Dalles.” What was going on was a regional drug task force went into high gear, cranking out 30-plus search warrants in 2015, up from around five or six the year before, when staffing was lower.

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Full at last

A final burial at Pioneer Cemetery, established in 1860

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A ramp for Uli - and friends who made it

At age 15, progressing muscular dystrophy has robbed Ulises Elizarraras Perez of the use of his legs and largely stilled his arms.

Transient numbers increase

Over the winter, The Dalles not only saw a significant increase in transients using an overnight shelter on very cold nights, but most were people who longtime volunteers had never seen before.

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FannieMae moves to demolish house

The burned house at 10th and Mt. Hood will finally be demolished, a city official reported Monday. The house has been vacant for over a year, since the homeowner died in a fire that he set after facing eviction.

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Tea is served April 16

Event benefits Pink Project program for cancer patients

Boundary lines drawn

The Gorge Commission will finally check something off its to-do list that has been languishing there for nearly 30 years: Defining the boundaries of the 13 urban areas in the scenic area.

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Fix won’t help TD

The gorge commission is finally firming up the boundaries of urban areas in the national scenic area, but the news really doesn’t help The Dalles, the town most anxious to expand its boundaries. “It essentially means nothing,” said Dick Gassman, planning director for The Dalles.

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Tackling Trauma

Compassion in the classroom is focus of ‘Trauma-informed schooling’

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Burned home demo sought

For more than a year now, a burned-out home has stood at 10th and Mt. Hood streets, where a homeowner died in a fire he set upon learning he was being evicted.

Scam alert

Police are cautioning people to be aware of scammers who are targeting citizens in The Dalles and Wasco County and are falsely claiming to be with law enforcement.

Firefighter grant ends

Three grant-funded firefighter positions at Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue terminate on June 30, and the agency filed a new grant in hopes of restoring the positions. A fourth grant-funded position — a four-year term for volunteer recruitment/retention — runs out in January. A grant to continue that position is also being filed.

TD water quality earns top marks

With the water quality crisis in Flint, Mich., making headlines, citizens in The Dalles can rest assured, according to officials, since the city’s water treatment system has earned top marks for years. The Dalles is an “outstanding performer” in Oregon, putting it in the top 10 percent in the state for water quality, and is one of just 300 water systems in the U.S. that is a member of the Partnership for Safe Water, said The Dalles Public Works Director Dave Anderson.

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