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RaeLynn Ricarte

Stories by RaeLynn

Dufur Fire: Farmers on fire line praised

Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill said it has been “amazing” to watch farmers mobilize to save structures and extinguish flames in three major fires that have roared through the area in the past three weeks. “They organize and get right out on the front lines with heavy equipment to cut a fire line that prevents forward movement,” said Magill.

August 3, 2018 9:47 a.m. read more..

Retracing an ‘Ancestral Highway’

Thousands of Native Americans from across the Northwest and Canada took to waterways this week for the annual Canoe Journey that connects them to rich heritage that dates back millennia. “We are traveling our ancestral highway,” said Daisy Begay, a Wy‘am tribal member from Celilo Village, located about 16 miles east of The Dalles.

July 27, 2018 1:38 p.m. read more..

Local fire sparks evacuations

Level three evacuation notices – leave immediately – have been issued to Wasco County residents between Sherers Falls to Mack’s Canyon along the Deschues River due to a grass fire that started Thursday afternoon.

July 27, 2018 6:25 a.m. read more..

City filing time open

Richard Mays is so far running unopposed for the position of The Dalles Mayor, but that hasn’t stopped him from actively campaigning. Mays, 67, has printed business cards with his contact info and motto “Experience-Independence — Trust” that he is passing out during his travels.

July 24, 2018 1:51 p.m. read more..

‘The flames were like lava’

Kylee VanOrman-Ruby said neighboring farmers did everything they could to save her parents property, but Tuesday’s fire was driven by strong wind gusts that couldn’t be controlled. “Everyone tried to get ahead of it, but it was everywhere — it was just unbelievable,” she said.

July 20, 2018 1:55 p.m. read more..

Families request privacy

The VanOrman and Ruby families are requesting privacy from media inquiries while they are dealing with fire-related tragedies. At this time, the Ruby family is struggling to cope with a death and the VanOrman family with the loss of an extended family member and their home. They ask that reporters refrain from contacting friends and family about the situation and grant them peace.

July 19, 2018 2:41 p.m. read more..

Tractor operator killed in fire

On July 18 at approximately 1:30 p.m., Wasco County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a call of a burnt tractor. Deputies located the tractor and also located the operator of the tractor a short distance away, deceased. It appears the tractor operator died as a result of exposure to the fire.

July 18, 2018 4:16 p.m. read more..

Substation Fire grows to 36,000 acres

UPDATE: As of 1:36 p.m., the Substation Fire is now estimated at 36,000 acres. Wasco Electric reports that a minimum of 90 power poles have been lost and crews have been working through the night to get new poles up, work that is expected to continue through the weekend. Families in the fire zone southwest of The Dalles are reporting that the Gary Van Orman’s house at 6857 Robert’s Market Road has been destroyed by the fire.

July 18, 2018 8:12 a.m. read more..

Dufur boy battling rare disease

A Dufur boy, age 6, is battling a rare form of kidney disease and a restaurant in The Dalles has stepped up to help his family cover travel expenses to Portland for his treatment. “I grieve when I see something like this involving a child and I think we all need to come out and help, this is a local family and we can do something to support them,” said Ken Catlin, co-owner of Beachwood Eatery, 504 W. Ninth Street.

July 17, 2018 1:32 p.m. read more..

"Blueberry Jam" sessions Tuesdays

Area musicians are invited to join the “Blueberry Jam” session on the second and fourth Tuesday in the basement of the Civic Auditorium. The gathering, sponsored by Got Your Six, a group that formed two years ago to support veteran causes, convenes at 6:30 p.m. and continues until “whenever” twice each month.

July 16, 2018 1:52 p.m. read more..

ODFW invites hunters to forum

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a public meeting to discuss big game hunting regulations and tag numbers for 2019 next week in The Dalles. The forum begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 19, in the Dalles ODFW Screen Shop, 3561 Klindt Drive.

July 13, 2018 1:55 p.m. read more..

Hammonds receive pardon

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has been granted his request to have Harney County rancher Dwight Hammond Jr., and his son, Steven, pardoned by President Donald Trump. “Today is a win for justice and an acknowledgement of our unique way of life in the high desert, rural West,” said Walden on Tuesday morning when news broke that President Donald Trump had granted full pardons to the Hammonds.

July 10, 2018 1:30 p.m. read more..

Trump official visits Rufus

Sherman County quietly made history Tuesday with a gathering between farmers and Sonny Perdue, the first U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to visit the region. Perdue, who was appointed by President Donald Trump as one of 15 Cabinet members in 2017, met with about 50 wheat producers, cattlemen and fruit growers at the homestead of the Martin family near Rufus.

July 6, 2018 2:21 p.m. read more..

Drug Warning: “Don’t touch the powder”

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office has recovered plastic baggies of drugs, or syringes containing residue of an illicit substance, often enough in recent months to issue a public safety alert. “We are not trying to scare people, we are just trying to be proactive,” said Wasco County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Scott Williams.

July 3, 2018 1:30 p.m. read more..

Walden bills make history

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said recent passage of 58 bills by the House is a record-setting legislative package to address the opioid epidemic that he describes as a “killer on a rampage.”

July 2, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

McLeod tours TD cherry farm

Jamie McLeod-Skinner toured Orchard View farm near The Dalles last week, learning about cherry production from owner Bob Bailey. “We were talking about everything from business opportunities to the pressure on the industry — how the federal government can either help or get out of the way,” said the Democratic candidate for the Second Congressional District seat.

June 28, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Local troop help sought

“To all who shall see these presents, greetings. Know ye, People of The Dalles, that we have homefront personnel deployed in harm’s way. As we near the Fourth of July, our Independence Day, we urge all citizenry to show their appreciation for the many Freedoms America enjoys by coming forward with donations of gift and coin to care for our own,” said Marine veteran Dan Brophy in a formal declaration about the need for community help with Operation Outreach.

June 25, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Hotel project receives extension

The Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency voted 7-2 Tuesday to extend negotiations for a national brand hotel at First and Union streets by 120 days. That move was made to provide more time for the agency and developer to get a confidentiality agreement in place that protects financial data.

June 21, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Media heads explain Chronicle changes

The Dalles Chronicle office is a blur of activity these days as employees ready for a move and map out content for a twice-weekly publication. “There is definitely a lot of change going on right now and it’s exciting but also a little hectic,” said Publisher Chelsea Marr.

June 20, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

VA honors Vietnam vets

Marvin Elsberry, a Navy veteran, was touched to be among Vietnam veterans who received a commemorative lapel pin last week for his service. However, he said being given the award did not wipe away the memories of abuse heaped on troops when they returned home.

June 18, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Eight years of 'Sunshine'

Molli Martin, co-owner of Sunshine Mill, prefers to work behind the scenes while her husband and daughter handle public presentations and media inquiries, but this year is different. In March, the Martins paid off a nearly $540,000 land sale agreement after seven years and received title to the iconic property on the east end of town. The achievement is cause for celebration, said Martin, who wants to share the family’s success with the community.

June 15, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

City funds fireworks, downtown promotion

The Dalles City Council will review the proposed 2018-19 fiscal year budget Monday that includes $35,000 for next year’s fireworks display organized by the Fort Dalles Fourth Committee and $50,000 for The Dalles Main Street programs. Also included in the budget is $15,000 requested by the Fort Dalles Fourth for The Dalles Mural Society, the nonprofit that umbrellas the committee so that donors can receive a tax break.

June 7, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Vets invited to voice concerns

Veterans utilizing services through the Portland health care network are invited to meet top leaders and voice concerns at a listening session Thursday, June 14, in The Dalles. Dan Brophy, a local Marine veteran of Vietnam, has been distributing flyers and trying to get the word out to other veterans that this is a golden opportunity for them to let VA (Veterans Administration) officials know what is working for them and what is not.

June 6, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Bonham pushes to break poverty cycle

Rep. Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles, is part of a workgroup of legislators age 40 and under who are looking at issues to tackle that matter most to younger Oregonians, including prison reform and early childhood development.

June 5, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Surprise citation shows appreciation

Nancy Cantrell of The Dalles was surprised to recently get a certificate of appreciation from President Donald Trump’s administration for the military service of her late husband, Thurman Doyle Cantrell Jr.

June 4, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Cherry volume down, prices good

The volume of cherries is down this year due to cold spring weather that kept bees from coming out of their hives and pollinating flowers, but orchardists still expect a good return in the marketplace. “Our crop is lighter than last year, but we expect to do alright financially unless we get a rain storm, or there is a problem with trade,” said Ken Polehn, a cherry grower who is president of the Wasco County Farm Bureau.

May 30, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Paying the Ultimate Sacrifice

Editor’s Note: The following story is reprinted from Living the Oath, a book written by RaeLynn Ricarte, managing editor, about the tragedy endured by Monica McNeal, a Gold Star mom who has become a friend through their joint efforts to take care of returning combat veterans and their families.

May 25, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Hourglass speech marks time

Philip Dunagan of Mosier finishes high school this week — he is homeschooled — and looks forward to a future that includes motivational speaking and “meeting extreme needs” around the world. His plan to inspire others with words seems to have great potential given that Dunagan, 17, recently wrote a speech that won first place in a state competition and second place at the national level, netting him $19,275 in scholarships.

May 25, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

A ‘riveting’ adventure

Ada Wyn Parker felt it was her patriotic duty to work at a military base in California during World War II, but never thought about the fact that she was starting a social movement. Parker, 94, has always gone by the name Wyn and was the first “Rosie the Riveter” to build and repair airplanes during World War II.

May 25, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Memorial Day events planned

Memorial Day observances are planned in The Dalles and Wasco on Monday, May 28, and each community is marking the annual event in a different way.

May 24, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Enterprise Zone expansion considered

The Dalles City Council is seeking to loop outlying communities into an Enterprise Zone that will provide eligible businesses with startup tax breaks to promote economic development. Primarily, the zones exempt growing or new businesses from local property taxes on new investments for a specific period of time.

May 21, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

County beats state in turnout

Wasco County was eight points higher in ballot returns for the May 15 primary — at nearly 38 percent participation — than the overall state average of 29 percent.

May 16, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Fate of Gitchell building remains in limbo

The fate of the historic Waldron Drug/Gitchell building at the foot of Washington Street is still up in the air after The Dalles City Council directed staff Monday to prepare paperwork for its demolition or relocation by a citizen group. Both options are to be brought back to the council for review in 120 days.

May 15, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Hazing sea lions not a long-term fix

A peculiar war is being waged on the Columbia River as tribes seek to keep sea lions from decimating salmon runs, and the sea mammals refuse to give up the all-you-can-eat buffet. Three days a week, Bobby Begay and his two-man crew — Reggie Sergeant and Ted Walsey Jr. — from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission board a boat at the North Bonneville dock to mount an offensive against predatory sea lions.

May 11, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Navy pilot taxis toward Salem

The campaign of Greg Wooldridge is soaring as he shares with Oregonians how the leadership skills he learned during 27 years of Navy service — including a world tour as commanding officer of the Blue Angels precision aerobatic team — can create a more efficient and accountable government. “Trust and clear expectations are key,” said the gubernatorial candidate, who brought his message to The Dalles Tuesday evening.

May 10, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

VSO changes hours

The Wasco County Veterans Service Office has changed its hours to accommodate more walk-in clients while allowing personnel to spend uninterrupted time filling out the paperwork for benefit and compensation claims. The new hours at the 201 Federal Street office are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and the office is open only for special appointments on Friday, which is the day two service officers will spend putting together files for submission to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

May 10, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Marine moms take aim at D21 policy

Two Marines will not be allowed by school policy to wear dress blues to their June 9 high school graduation, but administrators have made some concessions to recognize their military service. The mothers of Zain Hartsook, 18, and Brayden Anderson, 17, believe their sons should be granted an exemption to the requirement that they wear traditional cap and gown to The Dalles High School commencement exercise.

May 9, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Candidate wants to bring innovative thinking to Salem

Darcy Long-Curtiss of The Dalles has wanted to serve in a state office for some time, so she decided to become a candidate when Rep. John Huffman stepped down last fall from his District 59 seat. “It was a little sooner than I expected, but I have been getting the experience I need, and I’m ready,” she said.

May 3, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Mental Health takes center stage

Poking fun at mental health issues might not be the polite thing to do typically, but people with a diagnosable condition will soon take the stage in a comedy show to educate others about the challenges they face and overcome.

April 27, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Finding the perfect dress

The Chronicle is covering the preparations of Kylie Reed and Josh Duling for their late summer wedding. This is the second installment of the occasional series and involves one of the biggest challenges for the bride: finding the perfect dress.

April 26, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Standing against violence

The difficult thing about stats to show the number of people who have survived sexual violence is that most incidents go unreported, say advocates from HAVEN of the Columbia Gorge.

April 19, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

LifeFlight open house Saturday

The LifeFlight crew is opening the doors to its new hangar at the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport for an open house from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 21. The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce will lead off the celebration with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12:15 p.m., followed by light refreshments, tours of the facility and a meet-and-greet with flight crews.

April 18, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Primary affiliation sparks questions

Wasco County Clerk Lisa Gambee, who oversees the local elections process, is getting a lot of phone calls that reflect confusion about the difference between an “unaffiliated” or “Independent” voter. She said the calls began after the Oregon Capital Bureau reported that the Independent Party of Oregon (IPO) had opened its primary to unaffiliated voters.

April 17, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

A walk back in time

If you are seeking peace and solitude, or want to learn more about early days when there was a military “hardship post” in The Dalles, you will find what you seek at the Fort Dalles Museum, which is now open seven days a week for the tourist season.

April 13, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Sen. Bentz hits campaign trail

Oregon Senator Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, will ride in the Northwest Cherry Festival Parade in The Dalles and the performance stage has been renamed after him in recognition of his public service to District 30 residents. The stage was previously named after Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, who left the Legislature last fall to serve on the Northwest Power and Conservation Planning Council.

April 12, 2018 3 p.m. read more..

Engineer vies for Walden’s federal post

Jamie McLeod-Skinner believes “government needs to know when to help and when to get out of the way,” something she says U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has failed to do, which is why she is seeking to replace him in Congress. “I’ve always seen serving in a public office as serving the public trust,” she said.

April 9, 2018 3 p.m. read more..


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