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RaeLynn Ricarte

Stories by RaeLynn

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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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Planetree library services moved

Mid-Columbia Medical Center has closed its Planetree Health Resource Center office downtown The Dalles to build a digital platform.

County adopts new vice-chair position

The Wasco County Commission recently took steps to make sure someone was in the position to make decisions when the other members were unavailable. Commissioner Steve Kramer was appointed vice-chair April 5 after Chair Rod Runyon and Commissioner Scott Hege announced plans to be gone for an extended period of time.

MCMC reduces workforce

Administrators move to improve financial health

Last week, Mid-Columbia Medical Center was forced by budget constraints to reduce its workforce by 11 positions, including both manager and staff-level jobs.

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Winter molds, fungus concern farmers

The negative side of having snow on the ground for a record number of days is the emergence of snow mold, a fungus that thrives in a cold, dark environment. Harsh weather also encouraged the growth of another fungal disease, stripe rust, which is airborne and so spreads easily.

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Walden draws fire at TD, HR forums

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., came under fire Wednesday from angry constituents who wanted to chastise him about supporting President Donald Trump’s policies, or question his support for Republican plans to overhaul federal programs, including health care and immigration.

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Farmer’s protest aired in House

Family’s costs for health care see huge jump

When Sherman County farmer Darren Padget recently visited U.S. Rep. Greg Walden’s office in Washington, D.C., to complain about a more than 400 percent increase in his family’s health insurance premium, he didn’t expect to have that information shared in a House floor speech.

Suicidal man sparks TD school lockdown

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office responded to Chenowith Road, near the entrance of Foley Lakes Mobile Home Park, on a report that a suicidal man was on the premises with a gun.

Walden to hold two town halls April 12

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden will hold town hall meetings during the congressional spring break next week in Hood River and The Dalles, two of six public forums during April in his Second Congressional District.

Plane crashes at local airport

A small plane carrying a couple from The Dalles landed short of the runway at a local airfield Friday afternoon and was severely damaged after hitting rocks, but neither passenger sustained more than minor injuries.

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Cow gases permeate Salem debate

The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association is concerned that two bills in the Legislature to regulate “dairy emissions,” or cow flatulence, are setting the stage for rules that will adversely affect ranchers throughout the state.

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Vets home recruits volunteers

Volunteering at the Oregon Veterans’ Home is more about play than work, say Dan and Vickie Brindell, who reside near Lyle and have been taking residents on social outings for years. “Don’t be bashful, come and see what’s it all about,” urges Dan, who spent six years in the Army reserves.

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A changing landscape

It’s hardly surprising that properties along von Borstel Road in Sherman County would be inhabited by von Borstels, but it is notable that so many members of the family remain in agriculture at a time when small farms are on the decline.

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Farmers: Get ready for ICE

Timothy Bernasek, legal counsel for the Oregon Farm Bureau, is seeking to educate farmers about their rights if ICE agents show up to look for illegal immigrants during growing and harvest seasons.

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Gorge life on tap in Salem

Aaron and Kelley Lee, owners of Sedition Brewing in The Dalles, have had two opportunities in just as many weeks to pour their own craft beers and others from the region for state leaders.

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VSO in need of more volunteers

Mark Fortin, an Army veteran, started volunteering at the Wasco County Veterans’ Service Office in the spring of 2016, and sees it as a way to help other military families.

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‘It’s better to be busy’

Few volunteers are willing to donate 63 years to the same cause, but Marlys Krein of The Dalles believes enough in the mission of the American Red Cross to have done just that.

Honoring first responders

The VFW Post 2471 Auxiliary will host its 28th annual Emergency Responder Appreciation Dinner on Wednesday, March 15, at Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue’s Station One. The meal served to firefighters/medics and law enforcement officers from three agencies starts at 6 p.m. at the 1400 W. Eighth Street fire station.

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Editorial: Women’s strike was misguided

Wednesday’s “A Day Without Women” strike was misguided because organizers encouraged women to skip work, even though it is by embracing responsibilities that we get recognition as valuable and contributing members of society.

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Altruism rewarded at foundation’s program

For the 11th year, the Mid-Columbia Health Foundation gave awards to individuals, organizations and corporations for altruistic acts that benefitted area communities.

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Training future leaders

Royal Rangers utilize outdoor activities to teach life lessons

Lucas Knopf, 8, and Joseph Derryberry, 8, can each list plenty of things they like about being a Royal Ranger — including camping, fishing and other outdoor activities —but community outreach tops their lists.

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Basic training for joint surgery

David Deurwaarder signed up for Mid-Columbia Medical Center’s “Joint Camp” to learn what to expect before, during and after a total knee replacement. “The purpose of the class is to de-mystify what is going to happen,” said Kim Hartley, a registered nurse and coordinator of the program.

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Trump sinks water rules

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to begin the legal process of rolling back federal jurisdiction over small waterways, including some stock ponds and irrigation ditches. “I think this is the direction we need,” said Keith Nantz, a Maupin rancher who chairs the Political Action Committee of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.

Build resiliency, cope with stress

The response to stress is primarily determined by a person’s perception of an event, transition or problem, says Ann Farris, personal trainer and health coach at The Dalles Fitness and Court Club. Her quest is to help people find balance in their lives and build resiliency to manage stress.

‘Doc’ focuses on veterans

A Navy corpsman, known as “Doc” to the Marines he cared for, is returning to his hometown of The Dalles to take on the role of program director at the Oregon Veterans’ Home. “I’m really passionate about helping other vets so I bring a very positive attitude to this job,” said Michael Springston, a 2004 graduate of The Dalles High School.

Honoring those who build community

The Mid-Columbia Health Foundation has announced nominees for the 2017 Tradition of Compassion Philanthropy Awards to recognize people who donate their time and talents to build a healthy community.

Farmers face unpredictable year

There’s only one thing that area farmers know for certain about the upcoming growing season — nothing is going to be predictable this year. “It would be nice to have a crystal ball so we would know for sure what was going to happen but we don’t have that luxury,” said Steve Sugg, a Dufur cherry grower.

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Website offers greater access

Wasco County’s new website provides area residents with expanded access to online services and information, and is also intended to aid in economic development. “We’re really excited about launching it and I think people will find it a much better site,” said Lisa Gambee, county clerk, who worked with other department heads to come up with the new design and content.

Program keeps inmates out

A program to lower the number of inmates returning to the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities in The Dalles appears to be working, based on early results, says administrator Bryan Brandenburg.

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Editorial: Suicide — An uncomfortable topic

Suicide: An uncomfortable topic

DA considers cycle of death cases

Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley started 2017 with two death cases to handle, and added two more during the month of January.

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Keys to a big win

Brandon and Katie Kuehnl of The Dalles were recently given the “chance of a lifetime” by Ford Motor Company to get their finances in order and prepare for the future. “We were pretty shocked,” said Katie about learning they had won a sweepstakes prize of a new pickup and a hunting trip.

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Sa-BOT-age moves to a new level

Robotics team Sa-BOT-age won state as rookies in 2016 and is striving to go even further this year. “We are on track for a very successful season,” said Spencer Honald, a junior, gaining agreement from classmate Bill Burns.

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Bridging a political divide

A long cold winter is making it more difficult for people to cope with upheaval at the federal level as new President Donald Trump and other Republican leaders roll out dramatic policy changes that are drawing fire from millions of Democrats, says a professional counselor.

Police identify stabbing victim

The Dalles Police Chief Patrick Ashmore released the name of the victim in Thursday night’s fatal stabbing after the man’s relatives in the Seattle area had been notified about the alleged homicide. Nathaniel O. Preyapongpisan, 21, was pronounced dead Jan. 26 at 517 Liberty Street, a residence where he had reportedly been staying off and on with an unnamed female.

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Editorial: Media needs to change its ways

The world turned upside down for many Americans on Nov. 8 when GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump defied polls and the predictions of political pundits to take the White House. Media collusion with Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign was revealed by the Wikileaks email cache. That alliance destroyed any remaining defense that national news outlets were objective or principled; which was further evidenced by their turn from fawning coverage of the Obama administration to rabid hostility toward President Trump.

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A smoker’s boot camp

Elise Bailey started smoking at the age of 18 and tried for years without success to conquer the addiction. “Nothing worked — I even chewed (cessation) gum while I smoked, and I thought, ‘That can’t be good for me,’” she said. Lung diseases ran in her family, so Bailey knew it was vital to her health that she stop puffing a pack of cigarettes every day.

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Go Red for Women's Heart Health: Stats and facts about a ‘killer’

Hayli Eiesland is armed with dozens of facts and stats about why people should quit smoking for heart health and to prevent other major illnesses. She plans to share some of her information at the Go Red for Women’s Heart Health expo on Friday, Feb. 3, on the second floor of Water’s Edge, 551 Lone Pine Boulevard in The Dalles.

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Fatal stabbing in TD

A 21-year-old man from The Dalles was arrested early Friday morning for the fatal stabbing of an unidentified male victim.

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Work begins on ‘Uplifting’ project

The Uplifting Elevator project at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center has been eight years in the making and excavation finally began on Wednesday.

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