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RaeLynn Ricarte

Stories by RaeLynn

Natural Magic

The greatest gift you can give your family for Christmas is quality time, and local author Jane Gibson has made that easier with a new adventure-filled novel that everyone can enjoy. “I wanted ‘The Scarlet Tortoise Expedition’ to speak to every person, no matter what their age,” she said.

November 16, 2018 2:11 p.m. read more..

Parade honors veteran families

Special recognition was paid to the family members of those who serve at the Veterans Day observance in The Dalles, which was held on Monday. “If you have someone in the military, you have also served,” said USMC (retired) Capt. Dan Brophy, chaplain for the Dalles Outpost of Point Man International Ministries.

November 13, 2018 2:24 p.m. read more..

‘Operation Christmas Child’ underway

Collection week for Operation Christmas Child began Monday and runs through next Monday, Nov. 19, and area residents are invited to fill shoeboxes with gifts and drop them off at a Hood River church. The boxes are shipped through Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Boxes are sent to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

November 13, 2018 1:59 p.m. read more..

Runyon joins city council

The Dalles City Council will have two new faces when it convenes in January after successful re-election bids by two incumbents in Tuesday’s election.

November 9, 2018 1:26 p.m. read more..

Republicans sweep county

Wasco County had a Republican sweep on Tuesday that aided in victories for Rep. Daniel Bonham, who resides in The Dalles, and Sen. Cliff Bentz of Ontario. Although local voters favored Knute Buehler for governor by a 51.75 percent margin, he lost when state majority voter preference was shown for incumbent Democrat Kate Brown.

November 9, 2018 1:24 p.m. read more..

Walden wins race, house flips

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., defeated Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner Tuesday night but credited his opponent for mounting a “relentless” campaign that earned more votes than any of his previous opponents. “No one’s run a more aggressive campaign against me than Ms. McLeod-Skinner — she worked hard and gave voters a choice,” he said.

November 9, 2018 1:22 p.m. read more..

Veterans Day brings military flyover

Two F-15 fighter jets will fly over the The Dalles on Monday, Nov. 12, as part of the local observance of Veterans Day. The planes from the 173rd Fighter Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard are based at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls. They will zoom through the skies above The Dalles between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m.

November 6, 2018 1:41 p.m. read more..

Early ballot return down

Wasco County’s ballot return rate is down six percentage points from four years ago, but Lisa Gambee, elections clerk, said the trend has been for about 40 percent of ballots to get turned in during the last two days of the election cycle. As of Monday, the turnout rate for the county stood at 24 percent, down from 30 percent four years ago.

October 30, 2018 1:51 p.m. read more..

A shelter in a storm

The tidy house and yard blends in well with its East Ninth Street neighbors but the “family” inside is anything but traditional. The teenage inhabitants come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, which makes “cultural night” a source of pride as well as an educational experience. Although neighbors initially had some reservations about potentially troubled youth living next door, they now bring over meals and are very supportive of the program, said Gary Casady, co-founder and executive director of the Youth Empowerment Shelter.

October 26, 2018 1:47 p.m. read more..

Apply by Nov. 1 for fire funds

A task force of local ranchers and farmers from Wasco and Sherman counties will help decide how $27,000 in a wildfire relief fund should be distributed. Ken Polehn, president of the Wasco County Farm Bureau, said the funds will be used for losses not compensated by insurance or other public and private relief funds.

October 23, 2018 2:39 p.m. read more..

Sen. Ron Wyden meets with students

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., started his 906th town hall Monday at The Dalles High School, with a moment of humor. “What happens in a town hall meeting is that I talk for 45 minutes or so and folks really enjoy it,” he said to the audience of students that was sprinkled with community members. He then fielded questions for the next hour that ranged from climate change to immigration reform and how to overcome homelessness — and policies set by the Trump Administration.

October 23, 2018 2:31 p.m. read more..

Candidates share vision for city

Following is the third and final story on the contested races for The Dalles City Council. Incumbent Tim McGlothlin is being challenged by Chip Wood for the Position 1 seat in the Nov. 6 general election. Both candidates were presented with six questions and asked to respond in their own words, with a limit of 200 words per question.

October 19, 2018 2:22 p.m. read more..

Cancer fight yields lessons

Charis Weis was grappling with her mother’s breast cancer in October 2017 when she felt a lump in her left breast while showering. “It was small, pea-sized, but I thought it was odd,” she said. “It hit me like a ton of bricks that we need to have more conversations like this,” said Weis, who worked with local artist Jim Semlor to design a T-shirt that encourages dialogue.

October 19, 2018 2:16 p.m. read more..

Food program gets boost

Columbia State Bank challenged customers and employees to donate canned and boxed food items for the Community Backpack Program and, by the end of one month, had a big stash to deliver. The “Take a Bag & Fill It” challenge will be an ongoing effort, said Kara Simpson, vice president and branch manager.

October 16, 2018 2:38 p.m. read more..

School Bond: Assessment questioned

Wasco County Assessor Jill Amery sent out a press release last week to explain how passage of a measure to fund new schools would affect property taxes, but her description is being disputed by school officials and supporters of the bond levy. Amery’s account of how Measure 33-98 would play out is refuted by Randy Anderson, chief financial officer for North Wasco County School District 21, and Dr. Analene Pentopolous, chair of the Strong Community Schools committee, proponents of the bond.

October 16, 2018 2:31 p.m. read more..

A matter of death or life

Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP) is starting an educational push to rally public support for changes in the law that will make it more difficult to execute condemned prisoners. Ultimately, the group will ask voters to replace the death penalty with life sentences.

October 12, 2018 2:49 p.m. read more..

Auditions open for vet talent

Chris Mumford was watching the television show “America’s Got Talent” one night and got a great idea. “We should have a national television show for veterans to show the world what they can do,” he said. The way to get that movement started, he decided, was to stage a local event and then encourage other communities to do the same.

October 8, 2018 1:30 p.m. read more..

A look back at the ‘war to end all wars’

The “war to end all wars” involved more than 70 million military personnel, the vast majority from Europe. An estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a direct result of the bloody battles, according to historians. The war was believed to have helped spread the 1918 influenza epidemic, which caused 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

October 5, 2018 1:50 p.m. read more..

Vets salute the families of World War I

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and a local veteran group is saluting families that had a loved one in the military from July 1914 to November 1918. The Mid-Columbia Veterans Memorial Committee will pay tribute to five local men who died in that multinational conflict that was called “the war to end all wars.” “We really want the businesses and community to participate in this year’s Veterans’ Day parade to show their support for veterans and to commemorate this important anniversary,” said Pat Lucas, organizer.

October 5, 2018 1:48 p.m. read more..

Pink is more than a color

The Mid-Columbia Health Foundation threw a small party at its Second Street headquarters Monday to celebrate a contribution to its Breast Health for Strong Families Program. On the first day of October, the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, foundation leaders gathered with representatives from the Fort Dalles Rodeo Association, which turned over a check for $3,500.

October 2, 2018 2:07 p.m. read more..

Skinner family criticizes campaign claims

The Skinner family has called on Jamie McLeod-Skinner to quit using photos of their ranch in her campaign out of the belief that she is “misleading” voters by claiming ties to Eastern Oregon that she does not have. “It’s time to clear up this nonsense about Jamie being part of our ranch family,” stated Bob Skinner, former president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and current officer of the National Public Lands Council, in a press release distributed last week.

October 2, 2018 1:51 p.m. read more..

A Little Box of Hope

Growing up as a refugee after your family escaped mass slaughter in a war-torn country means being continually uprooted and having no place to call home, says Yves Dushime. It took a shoebox full of gifts from caring people in another country to help him see beyond the anger, to understand that there were people who cared and truly wanted to help.

September 28, 2018 2:13 p.m. read more..

Helping vets in crisis

The rate of veteran suicides in Oregon is far outpacing that of civilians — as it is across the nation — and a local group of community members wants to do something about it. The plan of several nonprofits and public agencies is to invite military families and area residents to a “Suicide Alternatives Event” from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, in front of the Wasco County Veterans’ Service Office (VSO), 201 Federal Street.

September 25, 2018 1:20 p.m. read more..

Walden, McLeod-Skinner to debate

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and his Democratic challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner will face off in a televised debate on Friday, Oct. 5, in Bend. The two candidates for the Second Congressional District, which encompasses 20 counties, will square off at 7 p.m. on KTVZ News Channel 21.

September 25, 2018 1:10 p.m. read more..

‘Worm Lady’ at work

It’s hard not to do a double-take when you walk past Lisa Chambers — it isn’t everyone who wears a T-shirt with “Got Worms?” emblazoned across the front. She comes by the reference honestly. Chambers raises worms in the backyard of her East 11th Street home.

September 21, 2018 2:02 p.m. read more..

‘Never forget’

This year’s local observance of National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which takes place Friday, Sept. 21, will focus on the recent return of 55 remains from Korea believed to be U.S. military personnel. “We are gratified to see these men come home so their families can have closure,” said Dan Brophy, chaplain for Point Man International Ministries, who will give the benediction at the ceremony.

September 18, 2018 1:24 p.m. read more..

Candidates square off

Three sets of candidates for state office faced off last week at the “Before the Ballot” forum sponsored by The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce.

September 18, 2018 1:21 p.m. read more..

Candidates heard ‘Before the Ballot’

This is the first of two stories highlighting comments made by local and state candidates during a public forum in The Dalles. This article centers on city council contenders and a second story on Wednesday will feature candidates for state office.

September 14, 2018 1:37 p.m. read more..

Landmark moment

A crew of volunteers have spent hundreds of hours sprucing up the first floor of the old Wasco School and they are inviting area residents to check out the improvements at a community celebration. The board of the Wasco School Events Center are also hoping to entice business owners to think about renting one of the former classrooms for office space, which will provide revenue to operate the facility.

September 14, 2018 1:35 p.m. read more..

Firing debated in district race

The mayor of Phoenix, Ore., is on a mission to “set the record straight regarding false information” being disseminated by Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a candidate for Oregon’s Second Congressional District, about her being fired as city manager in March 2017. “The narrative that she’s portraying about Phoenix and the reasons behind her contract being terminated are just not true. Period,” said Mayor Chris Luz.

September 11, 2018 2:10 p.m. read more..

Film explores ‘The Ripple Effect’

In commemoration of World Suicide Prevention Day Sept. 10, a special screening of a film made to save lives is being presented by Youth Think, an organization that promotes healthy lifestyles. “Kevin Hines’ Suicide – The Ripple Effect” will show at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at The Dalles High School, 220 East 10th Street. There is no charge to attend.

September 7, 2018 1:36 p.m. read more..

Court Club gets new name, new ‘culture’

The Dalles Fitness & Court Club has a new name to go along with major changes in programs and renovations of the Pomona Street facility. The local gym is now called Gorge Athletic Clubs, the same name given the Hood River Sports Club, which is also owned by Clark and Carol Emmerson.

September 7, 2018 1:31 p.m. read more..

A road less traveled

Todd Walter of The Dalles doesn’t have a mechanical background, but he acquired advanced skills by modifying his stock 2007 Toyota Tacoma to hold its own in a grueling off-road race across the Nevada desert. “I am self-taught,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot from friends and other people.”

September 7, 2018 1:29 p.m. read more..

Film explores ‘The Ripple Effect’

In commemoration of World Suicide Prevention day Sept. 10, a special screening of a film made to save lives is being presented by Youth Think, an organization that promotes healthy lifestyles. “Kevin Hines’ Suicide – The Ripple Effect,” will show at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at The Dalles High School, 220 East 10th Street. There is no charge to attend.

September 5, 2018 2:34 p.m. read more..

County eyes commission

Wasco County is restructuring its inactive Historic Landmarks Commission to get people in place to give input on any future building plans with cultural significance. The seven-member commission has not met for at least a decade, which has made it difficult to maintain a volunteer base, Angie Brewer, planning director, told the county board in August.

September 4, 2018 1:50 p.m. read more..

City has three contested races

The filing period for candidates seeking a seat on The Dalles City Council closed Tuesday with three contested races, but only one contender for mayor.

August 31, 2018 1:53 p.m. read more..

To Save A Life

In a moment of crisis, a listening ear can stop a self-destructive impulse, says Susan Gabay, who works tirelessly to encourage a community dialogue about suicide prevention. She said having people be unafraid to ask tough questions when someone is at risk, or check in with isolated neighbors, is more important than ever with suicide rates on the rise.

August 31, 2018 1:49 p.m. read more..

Remembering those lost to addiction

The third annual local observation of National Overdose Awareness Day, Aug. 31, includes a walk to remember people lost to addiction and distribution of flyers with information about treatment options. “We will be using this time to make our community more aware of addiction and how to overcome the impossible,” said Shannon Gilman, a recovering heroin addict who organizes the event.

August 28, 2018 1:10 p.m. read more..

Dufur coach admits abuse

Dufur track coach Ty Lee Wyman, 27, pleaded guilty last week to sex abuse charges involving two female students and was sentenced to 40 months in prison. “It was a difficult case for the victims, for the school staff and for the defendant’s family,” said Wasco County Chief Deputy Leslie Wolf.

August 28, 2018 1:06 p.m. read more..

Women On Deck

When they asked for the 2018 Women Build by Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity to have a “Rosie the Riveter” theme, the visiting team had no idea that the first female to work on airplanes during World War II resided in The Dalles. Ada Wyn Parker, 95, quickly became their hero and even autographed posters at Monday’s welcome dinner, which was held at Sunshine Mill. She also showed up at the Lyle build site the next morning to do a little work and sign the first wall that went up.

August 24, 2018 1:41 p.m. read more..

County seeks input on code transfer

Wasco County is poised to turn the building codes program over to the state on a permanent basis but doesn’t want to make that decision until officials hear from contractors, developers and community members. A dialogue about the issue is planned for the Sept. 19 county commission meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. at the county courthouse, 511 Washington St.

August 21, 2018 1:18 p.m. read more..

Years of helping vets at an end

The Wasco County Commission started Wednesday’s meeting by honoring Jean Maxwell, who is retiring from nearly eight years of recruiting and training a volunteer work force to help veterans. “We have a distinguished guest,” said Steve Kramer, who chairs the county board, when introducing Maxwell to the audience.

August 17, 2018 1:48 p.m. read more..

Fire safety team eyes camp sites

There have been 200 abandoned campfires in the past several weeks within the Mt. Hood National Forest and a special team of fire prevention experts is now on the move to educate visitors about safety restrictions in place during hot and dry weather. “Everybody needs to be aware of the dangers of wildfire, while still enjoying the many recreational benefits the national forest provides,” said Mark Wiles, leader of the Mt. Hood National Forest NW Area Fire Prevention Team.

August 17, 2018 1:45 p.m. read more..

Fire aftermath clouds future

Dufur Gap Road rancher Mike Filbin is relieved that U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., was successful in his bid to have the federal government allow emergency grazing on some preserve lands. The South Valley Fire came within 15 feet of destroying Filbin’s home and outbuildings last week.

August 10, 2018 2:27 p.m. read more..

Getting at the root

The roots of domestic violence lie in childhood trauma and Louise Bauschard, founder and executive director of Voices Set Free, is on a mission to stop the cycle of aggression and victimization. Bauschard said evidence-based research shows that children who grow up with exposure to violence tend to have lifelong physical and psychological issues to grapple with.

August 10, 2018 2:15 p.m. read more..

Giving back to farm workers

Providing health care to migrant farm workers not only meets a critical need but acknowledges the important contribution these families make to the local economy, says Jon Soffer, a nurse practitioner with Mid-Columbia Medical Center. “I think it’s critical for us to give back to this community by improving their health because they are a cornerstone of the industry,” he said.

August 7, 2018 2:23 p.m. read more..

‘Heroes’ event draws rave reviews

Law enforcement officials and firefighters converged on Fred Meyer Saturday morning but there was no emergency — personnel from several area agencies were taking children school shopping. “We’ve never done this before, I think it’s going to be pretty cool,” said Wasco County Chief Deputy Scott Williams.

August 7, 2018 2:02 p.m. read more..

Big day nears

Wheat harvest and firefighting activities have put wedding preparations on hold for Kylie Reed, 24, and Josh Duling, 26, of Maupin, but she’s not worried about being good to go for the Sept. 15 wedding because of her “go-go-go” personality.

August 7, 2018 1:15 p.m. read more..

Feds on the move to get fire assistance

Three members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation are on the move to get federal assistance for farmers in Sherman and Wasco counties who have sustained damage from recent wildfires. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has written a letter asking U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to allow emergency grazing of livestock on Conservation Reserve Program ground. He also asks that farmers be given flexibility to plant cover crops for soil stabilization without being placed in the continuous production category with the Risk Management Agency and having their crop insurance adversely affected.

August 3, 2018 1:37 p.m. read more..



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