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RaeLynn Ricarte

Stories by RaeLynn

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Health center scores $13.2M loan

John Huffman, in his new role as state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, announced Monday that the agency was investing $13.2 million to improve access to health care services for Gorge communities. The loan will be used by One Community Health, a nonprofit provider, to replace its Hood River dental and medical complex, 1220 Indian Creek Road.

Bonham voted into OR house

Daniel Bonham, owner of Maupin’s Stoves & Spa in The Dalles, was appointed Monday by Wasco, Jefferson, Deschutes and Wheeler County commissioners to fill the Republican vacancy in the House District 59 seat.

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­­­A Holiday for Heroes

Eighty-five boxes are on their way to troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East thanks to the generosity of area residents, reported Chris Mumford, co-chair of the Holiday for Heroes Committee, on Friday afternoon.

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Vet explains public ‘outrage’

Joshua Farris said Thursday that he will not apologize to The Dalles City Council for his “outrage” on Monday, but he has apologized, and will continue to do so, to any audience member or citizen viewing a live stream of the meeting who was upset by his behavior.

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Student shares birthday with vets

Evelyn Rogers, a third grader at St. Mary’s Academy in The Dalles, wanted to celebrate her eighth birthday in September by helping people in need. She asked family and friends to forego buying her gift and, instead, donate items for families who had been displaced by Hurricane Harvey in Texas in late August.

Warm coats needed for winter

Area residents are being asked by Cousin’s Restaurant & Saloon to sort through their coats tonight and, if there is something they aren’t wearing, donate it Friday, Nov. 16, to the homeless or needy families.

Heading south? Request a ballot for special election

Special election on Jan. 23

Wasco County Clerk Lisa Gambee is trying to get the word out to voters who might be headed south for the winter that they need to request an absentee ballot if they want to weigh in on the Jan. 23 special election. She said people can sign up for absentee ballots in the clerk’s office at the courthouse, 511 Washington St., or online at www.co.wasco.or.us in the Elections section.

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Troops await care packages

The Holiday for Heroes Committee has raised more than $2,000 for troop boxes and accumulated a pile of snack and hygiene items for shipments to the Middle East. Because of the community’s generosity, Mike Knopf, a member of the committee and The Dalles Outpost Leader for Point Man International Ministries, said more than 30 boxes — the original goal — can be filled on Thursday.

Bonham finalist for Huffman seat

Daniel Bonham, owner of Maupin’s Stoves & Spas in The Dalles, is excited to be one of three finalists to replace John Huffman as the representative for House District 59. He is the only contender from the Gorge and is vying against Mae Huston, chair of the Jefferson County Commission, and Robert Perry of Redmond, who retired after 40 years in a marketing career.

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Vet lashes out at homeless plan

An Iraqi war veteran was escorted by police out of The Dalles City Council meeting Monday after he stridently accused the elected body of violating the free speech rights of the audience and the civil rights of the homeless. “I took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic,” said Joshua Farris, a local resident who told the council he deployed to Iraq in 2003 and had also been stationed in Korea and Germany.

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In the wrong place at the right time

‘I’m a warrior... It is literally how God put his DNA stamp on my body’

Roger Howe of The Dalles took his place in the long family lineage of military service when he enlisted in the Army in 1968 and shipped out to Vietnam the same year. “I am a warrior — I’m a warrior for Christ and I’m a warrior for real,” said Roger.

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Walking for a cure

Noah Barnes, 11, has burned through more shoes than other kids his age this year — he’s on his 11th pair — but then none of his peers are about to become the youngest person on record to walk across America. On Thursday, Barnes and his father, Robert, could be seen along Washington State Route 14 near Wishram, the 311th day of their more than 4,200-mile journey.

Dawn to Dusk: Veterans Day activities abound

From sunrise to well after sunset, there will be Veterans Day activities in The Dalles and community members are invited to show their support by participating in one or more events.

Rep. Huffman resigns from House seat

The Wasco County Republican Central Committee is seeking nominees to fill the House District 59 seat vacated Oct. 28 by Oregon Rep. John Huffman, who makes his home in The Dalles. In July, Huffman announced he would not run for re-election in 2018 because he would have fulfilled his goal to serve for 10 years.

Officials needed for hoops season

Lack of involvement could impact athletics across the state

The number of referees available to preside over basketball games in five counties is declining to the point that it could soon adversely affect the ability of young athletes to compete. That’s the message being delivered by Chris Kaseberg, commissioner for the Mid-Columbia Basketball Association.

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A cheerful setting for a very dark time

The Columbia Gorge Child Advocacy Center looks like a typical day care when one first walks in the door: the room is brightened by primary colors and hundreds of stuffed animals line shelves and window sills. It’s hard to see the cheerful space at Woods Court in Hood River and believe it is a place where children who are in trauma come, and that is exactly the point.

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Trauma team

Heart-wrenching child abuse cases spark change in the Mid-Columbia region

A 2-year-old boy arrived at Mid-Columbia Medical Center with a broken collarbone and extensive bruising on his arms and back several years ago. Scott Williams, a detective with the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office, remembers getting that case to investigate. He described it as “heart-wrenching.”

Veterans challenged to help troops

Army veteran Roger Howe gave a large cash donation to the Holidays for Heroes Committee Wednesday to use for care packages that will be sent to troops in Afghanistan — and he is challenging other veterans to do the same. “The fact that we are here, still walking and talking, and we have experienced what our troops are going through — we get what it means to get something from home,” said Howe, who deployed to Vietnam in 1968 with the 101st Airborne Division.

Referee shortage critical in region

The number of referees available to preside over basketball games in five counties has declined to the point that it could soon adversely affect the ability of young athletes to compete. That’s the message being delivered by Chris Kaseberg, commissioner for the Mid-Columbia Basketball Association.

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Christmas giving: Community to support troops

HR and TD residents invited to help fill care packages, pack holiday boxes

Community members in The Dalles and Hood River are asked to donate snack and hygiene items to make Christmas merrier for an Oregon National Guard platoon and other troops in Afghanistan. The goal of the Holidays for Heroes Committee is to pack at least 30 boxes at a public event on Thursday, Nov. 16.

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Company scrambles to pack undamaged pears

A packing line and an estimated 100,000-150,000 boxes of pears were destroyed by Wednesday’s fire at the Underwood Fruit & Warehouse Company in Bingen and officials are scrambling to find a place to finish packing about 1,000 bins of pears.

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Walden forum sparks debate

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., held a town hall in Grass Valley Monday that sparked debate between audience members reflective of the deep divide between ideologies across America.

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Wyden talks Trump, forest plan

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., held his 854th town hall since taking office in 1996 at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles Friday evening. “I just felt there was unprecedented interest toward what’s going on in Washington, D.C., so I’m going to give you unprecedented access,” he said after being introduced by The Dalles Mayor Steve Lawrence, who drew tickets in a lottery system to select speakers.

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Editorial: Compromise is becoming lost art

Compromise is becoming lost art

Buehler visits TD to ‘listen and learn’

Oregon Rep. Knute Buehler is visiting The Dalles on Thursday to talk with GOP leaders about his campaign to oust Gov. Kate Brown, who he strongly criticizes for “failed leadership.” “I am traveling the state listening and learning,” said Buehler, who resides in Bend and represents House District 54.

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Anti-bullying: ‘Smile, it’s contagious’

Kerri Weed doesn’t claim to be an artist, but she pulled off chalk drawings on a sidewalk Wednesday that seemed joyful enough to portray her “Smile, it’s contagious” message.

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Vogt Theater: Gone ... but not forgotten

When Karl Vercouteren began researching the history of the “forgotten” opera house in The Dalles, he became so enthralled by the project that he published more than 200 pages of his findings. “It became much bigger than what I thought when I started out,” he said.

Crosstalk: What role do emotions play in politics?

What role do emotions play in politics?

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Bullets skim by swimmers on Columbia

Athletes from the Columbia Gorge Triathlon Club got a scare Sunday morning when bullets buzzed around them and entered the water not far from swimmers. “It was pretty terrifying,” said Dawn Rasmussen of The Dalles, who was in a kayak in front of the group.

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Lifestyle Tour

The P.E.O. “Home Away from Home” fall tour offers area residents the opportunity to explore six bed and breakfasts, and short-term rentals, in The Dalles while “helping women reach for the stars.”

Room tax use under review

The Dalles City Council held a special work session Monday to gather public input about whether the funding formula for lodging taxes should be changed, or if the current dispersal adequately supported tourism and marketing activities. “We decided it was a good time to look toward the future,” said Mayor Steve Lawrence.

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Community Meal throws a party

There’s going to be party in the parking lot outside the Community Meal site on Saturday and area residents are invited to come down, enjoy music and a hamburger, and learn more about the program to feed anyone in need of a hot meal.

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Smoke, traffic impacts region

Interstate 84 west reopens, eastbound lanes still closed

The westbound lanes of Interstate 84 between Hood River and Troutdale re-opened to travelers Thursday evening, but the eastbound lanes remain closed with no timeline for re-opening. Although two lanes of the freeway are now in use, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced Sept. 14 that all ramps along the 45-mile stretch of road, milepost 62 to 17, remain closed, except for those in and out of Cascade Locks.

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‘It just sometimes takes a village’

Simple answers to a challenging task

Becky Windsor’s approach to being a foster mom is simple, but effective. “I just love them as much as I can while I have them, but I always know deep in my heart that I’m going to have to let them go, so I do,” said Windsor, who typically has the foster “kiddos” in the family’s Hood River home for six months.

Walden talks politics, Trump, future of GOP

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore, said it has gone largely unreported that the House has approved more than 300 bills within the first six months of 2017 — more than under the Obama, Clinton and both Bush administrations during the same period. “We are getting a lot done this year,” he said. “That’s what the people elected us to do and that’s what I stay focused on.”

Teaming up to stop suicide

Suicide has long been an uncomfortable topic of discussion because of the pain, fear and confusion surrounding it, but Susan Gabay of Mosier believes that difficult conversation is necessary to save lives.

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Riding for America’s warriors

I pulled into the Chronicle parking lot just before sunrise Wednesday morning to find Rod Runyon, Northeast District ride captain for the Patriot Guard Riders, and three other bikers ready to depart. We were headed out on a very important mission: To escort The Wall that Heals on its one-hour journey from Toppenish to Goldendale, where it would be visited by thousands from Thursday, Aug. 31, through Sunday afternoon, Sept. 3.

Point Man moves on two fronts

The Dalles Outpost of Point Man International Ministries is on a mission to help veterans who are struggling with the aftermath of war, and to send comfort and care items to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Toward that end, the group, an “outreach for veterans by veterans” will be in high gear raising funds through two different venues during the next few weeks: A poker run and a Stoner AR-15 raffle.

Scam targets local senior

A senior citizen in The Dalles spent the weekend stressing about a phishing call involving her Di­sh Network account that she worried might have made her vulnerable to identity theft. “I’m fine but there are a lot of seniors out there who get intimidated by that kind of stuff and I think they should know about this,” she said.

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Editorial: Working in ‘puddles’ to stop racism

Working in ‘puddles’ to stop racism

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Healing & Hope

Breaking the grip of addiction offers new life for local mom

“There is no life so messed up that God cannot restore it,” has become the mantra of Shannon Gilman, 30, who is in recovery from heroin addiction and seeking to help others find healing and hope.

Gorge cities recognized for war heroes

The Dalles and Hood River are two of 12 towns in Oregon that will be designated as a “Medal of Honor City.”

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Race to keep cow off freeway

A four-footed fugitive turned officers from The Dalles Police Department into wranglers for about an hour on Wednesday afternoon. “Don’t let it get on the freeway” was the message relayed by officers when the pregnant black cow ceased running through city streets and headed for Interstate 84.

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Sonrise has new leadership

Two weeks before he was hired to take the helm at Sonrise Academy in The Dalles, Frank Sarvabui almost pitched his administrator’s certificate, thinking he would not need it anymore. “I was going through some old paperwork and came across it. I thought, ‘I oughta just toss this out’ but for some reason I couldn’t — and it turned out to be a God thing,” he said.

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Deputies on the move during historic event

The moon's shadow passing directly in front of the sun, blotting out all but the halo-like solar corona, was reported Monday to have been the most watched celestial event in human history. Millions across the United States travelled to key viewing areas and tens of thousands came to Central Oregon, many passing through Wasco County.

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Editorial: Ancient cultures feared an eclipse

Ancient cultures feared an eclipse

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Sungazing on a grand scale

Neil Pober of New Jersey is flying to Oregon for Monday’s total solar eclipse, but he didn’t really think that tens of thousands of other people would be making the same trip when he booked a hotel room six months ago. “It’s a once in a lifetime event, I think,” he said.

Inmate captured

Portland police captured one of two prisoners who escaped from a fire camp in Goldendale early Wednesday morning without incident. According to reports, Tyray Munter, 30, was taken into custody about 5:52 a.m. on Aug. 16 at a 7-11 at the corner of Southeast 82nd Street and Powell Blvd.

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Eclipse safety plans upgraded

The number of people expected to descend on Central Oregon for the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse has more than tripled from earlier estimates, and Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill has upgraded public safety plans accordingly. Instead of the projected 75,000 people traveling to Jefferson County to be close to Madras, which lies squarely in the Path of Totality, there are likely to be 250,000.

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Editorial: Inmates are still human beings

As the debate over housing illegal immigrants at the regional jail ebbs and flows, I have found myself wishing the conversation would broaden into treatment of inmates as a whole. Why should we, as a society, accept any human being be subjected to sub-par living conditions? No one who is locked up should be eating meat labelled “not for human consumption,” but it is happening.

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