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RaeLynn Ricarte

Stories by RaeLynn

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.

Wanted: World War II vets for trip

America is losing 330 World War II veterans every day and 96 percent of the 16.1 million who served in that conflict are now dead. “Time is of the essence to honor our ‘Greatest Generation,’” said Dick Tobiason, a retired Army officer who leads Honor Flight of Eastern Oregon, a nonprofit organization based in Bend. The group is getting ready to fly eight to 10 veterans and their guardians to Washington, D.C., to see the WWII memorial built to honor their service and sacrifice.

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Healing wall honors vets

The Wall That Heals will soon arrive in Goldendale to honor Vietnam veterans and provide area residents with an opportunity to pay respects to the more than 58,000 warriors who fell in battle — and show their support for those who came home. The travelling half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C, arrives in Goldendale about 11 a.m. on Aug. 30.

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County ready for ‘Great Eclipse’

Wasco County emergency managers are ready for everything — from snake bites to traffic snarls, car wrecks, drownings and wildfires — that could result from having thousands of people converge on the region for the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse. Sheriff Lane Magill expects so much action in south county during the weekend prior to the eclipse that he is setting up two command posts to respond to incidents.

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Coins awarded for good work

Cameron Smith, executive director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, recently awarded each member of the local “Got Your Six” band with a military challenge coin for their work to promote and raise funds for vet causes. “I got chills when he handed it to us,” said Chris Mumford, founder and drummer for the band named after the military term for “Got Your Back.”

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Plein Air contest comes to Gorge

Laurel Bushman of Hood River didn’t discover her passion for painting landscapes until eight years ago, but the retired educator’s talent with oils has placed her among 40 artists selected to compete in the 2017 Pacific Northwest Plein Air in the Columbia River Gorge event. Plein Air denotes the 19-centry style of painting outdoors, which was a central feature of French impressionism.

Marr to serve as Gorge publisher

Eagle Media, the company that owns The Dalles Chronicle and Hood River News, is making a bold new move with the Aug. 1 appointment of Chelsea Marr to be publisher over both Gorge publications.

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United Way awards $275K

Columbia Gorge United Way awarded $275,000 to 36 agencies in the Mid-Columbia region Tuesday at the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn. Jeff Heater, president of the United Way Wasco/Sherman Council, said a record number of contributions came in from area residents and businesses in 2016, which allowed more local programs to receive assistance.

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Districts work through election challenges

Wasco County Clerk Lisa Gambee is seeking to educate special districts about election rules after dealing with a variety of challenges to get seats filled this year. She said some of the incumbents with Tygh Valley fire and water districts did not know that they had to file to run for positions in the May 16 election.

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Tax plan restores road funds

Wasco County could gain about $85,000 more per month for road maintenance and repairs seven years after a transportation package approved by the Oregon Legislature is signed by Gov. Kate Brown and enacted. Arthur Smith, county public works director, doesn’t want to become too excited about having $1 million per year to relieve budget constraints until the paperwork is signed — and he learns whether citizens will refer the controversial new taxes to the ballot.

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Cherry market is the pits

The bottom of the cherry market has fallen out with a bountiful harvest across the Northwest, which means that smaller fruit cannot be sold. That bad news has been delivered by Jeff Heater, field man for The Dalles Fruit Company, to about 25 cherry growers in Wasco and Hood River counties who process crops at the packing plant, located in Dallesport.

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New chief plans future of MCMC

Mid-Columbia Medical Center’s new president and chief executive officer, Dennis Knox, wants to see urgent care clinics established in both The Dalles and Hood River. Knox is confident that his 37 years of experience as a health care executive, and co-founder of Urgent Point, a national company, will help move those projects, and many others, forward.

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'King of the Beetles'

Ken Hansen puts thousands of flesh-eating beetles to work cleaning hunting trophies

The idea of beetles stripping flesh from bones sounds like the plot of a horror movie but, in the case of a Lyle business, it is how beautiful pieces of art are created.

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Rep. Huffman will not run again

Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, will not run for his House District 59 seat in 2018 — and may be leaving earlier if he is selected by the Trump administration to oversee Oregon’s rural development programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Block party supports United Way

Community members are invited to a block party Friday that not only provides an evening of fun but helps take care of the area’s most vulnerable populations. Funds from the fifth annual benefit concert hosted by the United Way Wasco/Sherman Council are used in 36 different programs, including those to help domestic violence victims, developmentally disabled adults, seniors on limited incomes, needy families, runaway teens and the homeless.

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Editorial: Celebrating July 4 is important

What happened in The Dalles? The Fort Dalles Fourth decided to honor America’s 241st birthday on July 1 instead of July 4.

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In the Path of Totality

Wasco County prepares for huge spike in visitors as eclipse casts shadow over services

Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill and other local emergency managers are preparing for thousands of amateur astronomers to converge on the region several days before the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse.

Rock Fort deeded to city

The Wasco County Commission has deeded the site Lewis and Clark called “Rock Fort” over to the city of The Dalles, which already maintains the almost five-acre property.

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A birthday to remember

America celebrates its 241st birthday on July 4, and communities across the nation will mark the occasion with fireworks, parades and other social gatherings. The day is a good time to reflect on what the Declaration of Independence meant to early colonists, who were willing to lose everything they owned and risk their lives to be free from the oppression of British rule.

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OSP’s Fish & Wildlife team honored

The local Oregon State Police office has received a second state award for superior performance in 2016, this time by troopers with the Fish & Wildlife Division. “You have done an awesome job and you are still doing an awesome job,” said Capt. Jeff Samuels, who came to The Dalles Area Command office from Salem headquarters to present a plaque June 23 to Sgt. Les Kipper, who headed the team last year, and his troopers.

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Bing harvest gets underway

Cherry harvest is underway in the Columbia River Gorge and there are plenty of pickers despite worries that President Donald Trump’s focus on border security would cause laborers from Mexico and Central America to stay home. “For the most part, all of my growers say they’ve got plenty of people — they’re even turning workers away,” said Jeff Heater, field man for The Dalles Fruit Company, which runs a packing plant in Dallesport.

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Local youth train to ‘share hope’

Two members of the local Church of Latter Day Saints will soon be sharing their faith with people in Hong Kong and Argentina.

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Walden tours The Dalles Dam

Congress seeks to boost power generation

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., went on a tour of The Dalles Dam Saturday to see a new navigation lock gate and discuss power generation and environmental issues with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers administrators.

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Editorial: Railroads essential to commerce

It was hardly surprising that the politically-driven Columbia Gorge Commission decided last week to reject Union Pacific’s proposal to build an extended railroad siding at Mosier. UP attorneys rightfully questioned why their project was being seen in an almost totally different light by commission officials in 2017.

Walden talks shooting, threats

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said having a rifle-wielding gunman open fire during a congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning in Alexandra, Va., brought home the potential danger of serving in a political office. “This is evil, it’s horrible, it’s unacceptable,” he said.

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Benchmark of Success

Third generation carpenter will celebrate 1,000th building at June 17 party

Ken Ingebo built his own tool shed when he was 10, something that didn’t seem unusual to his father and grandfather, carpenters who had taught him how to wield a hammer as soon as he was old enough to hold it. On Saturday, June 17, Ingebo will put the 10th notch — one for every 100 metal pole buildings — on his hammer handle at a celebration of his 1,000th structure.

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Editorial: Government needs more watchdogs

Government needs more watchdogs

Azure, county cultivate weed plan

Azure Farms, Inc., and the Sherman County Court appear close to reaching an agreement about how to keep noxious weed seeds from spreading to neighboring properties and beyond.

Power breakfast to focus on marketing

Businesses wanting to learn how to use social media and digital marketing to increase sales are invited to the “Power Breakfast” hosted June 9 by The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Elliott faced with appeal, settlement options

Ethics commission finds TD official in violation of conflict, conduct laws

After hearing comments from three city officials Friday, the Oregon Ethics Commission voted 7-1 to uphold the staff findings of a six-month investigation that found Taner Elliott in violation of two conflict of interest laws and two involving his use of an elected office.

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Kicking the ball to a new level

Matthew Dallman played soccer on the world stage for nine years and wants to give area youth that same opportunity. To help children and teens hone skills that benefit them on the field, as well as in life, Dallman has arranged for the Portland Pilots men’s soccer team to hold a three-day clinic in The Dalles.

Report: Elliott violated ethics laws

The Oregon Ethics Commission has preliminarily determined that The Dalles City Councilor Taner Elliott violated conflict of interest laws by taking actions that benefitted his development company. Resident Chip Wood, who filed a complaint about Elliott’s actions last fall, was informed Thursday that the commission will decide today what Elliott’s penalties will be.

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All you need is — 100% love

Wasco County has been recognized by the National Association of Counties for its “100 percent Love” culture initiative that was adopted last year.

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Putting a human face on loss

Heat radiating off pavement in front of the Veterans’ Memorial at Kelly Viewpoint didn’t stop a crowd from gathering to pay respects to America’s war dead.

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OSP team wins work site award

The Dalles Area Command of the Oregon State Police has received the Work Site of the Year award from the agency’s Department Awards Committee.

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Memorial Day observances planned

Memorial Day observances are planned in The Dalles and Wasco on Monday, May 29, and each community is marking the annual event in a different way.

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Azure weed plan takes root

Sherman County residents expressed anger Wednesday not only about Azure Farms, Inc., violating local and state weed control laws, but urging a social media uprising against enforcement action.

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Sherman plows into weed issue

Ecclesia of Sinai, which owns the land used by Azure Farms, Inc., is using Old Testament verses as grounds to not recognize the authority of Sherman County to enforce removal of noxious weeds on about 2,000 acres in and around Moro. David Stelzer, president of Azure, which is headquartered in Dufur, said Ecclesia is his company’s landlord, a separate entity from the organic farming operation.

State probes councilor’s actions

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission has spent the last several months investigating a claim that The Dalles City Councilor Taner Elliott used his position to vote for changes in land use policies that saved him thousands in development fees.

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Scam offers ‘millions’

Greg Barnes woke up Monday to learn that he had become a millionaire – five times over. Barnes ascribes to the old adage that, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is,” so he didn’t actually believe he was being gifted with instant wealth.

Mother’s Day features ‘Six’

Mother’s Day at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum will be made more festive with a performance by the new local band “Got Your Six,” which formed primarily to raise money for veteran causes, but is also open to supporting other events.

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Reaffirming the meaning of sacrifice

Out of a sense of duty and respect, local troopers have joined a statewide effort to ensure the gravesites of 32 troopers who died in the line of duty are cared for and their names remembered.

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Clouds gather over Sunshine Mill

The Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency board was conflicted Wednesday about how to deal with a request by the owners of Sunshine Mill to have a balloon payment of $350,000 forgiven 12 days before its due date.

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County updated on Google grants

The Wasco County Commission spent April getting updated about the status of Immediate Opportunity projects that are paid with Google funds.

Six arrested in MINT stings

The Mid-Columbia Interagency Narcotics Task Force recently arrested six people at two residences during narcotics-related investigations in The Dalles.

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Train painting gifted to county

A painting that hung on the wall of the late Wilma Roberts’ studio in The Dalles has been gifted to Wasco County by a friend of the artist.

Wyden talks Trump, policy

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., met Friday with constituents and students in the auditorium of The Dalles High School at his 810th town hall since taking office in 1996, and his 21st in Wasco County.

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County tours lockup

Wasco County Commissioners Rod Runyon and Steve Kramer performed their annual inspection of the regional jail Wednesday and both were impressed with the efficiency of operations.

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