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RaeLynn Ricarte

Stories by RaeLynn

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Contractor flies into win

Bill Ketchum landed a victory at Friday’s Dancing with the Gorge Stars competition by wearing his father’s United Airlines pilot uniform and soaring to the song “Come Fly with Me.”

State budget takes center stage

In October, Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, expressed concern that state officials would divert general fund dollars from veterans’ programs if Measure 96 was approved by voters on Nov. 8. He said that concern became reality when Gov. Kate Brown proposed a $10 million cut in regular funding for veteran services in her 2017-19 budget plan.

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Jail inmate dies

A 34-year-old inmate at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities was pronounced dead in the early morning hours of Jan. 2 after being found unresponsive in his cell. “We are investigating this as a natural death and not under suspicious circumstances,” said Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill.

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Gorge stars step up for show

Practices have been underway for three evenings for six local contestants in the 2017 Dancing with the Gorge Stars competition that takes place Friday evening.

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GOP leader in advisory role

Editor’s Note: This is the second of two stories with U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., about the transition of leadership and his role with a GOP-led White House and Congress: As the only Republican in the Oregon congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden has taken on a new role with a change in national leadership. “I’m in communication with the [Donald] Trump team about people seeking appoints to the administration,” he said. “I am giving advice to counsel and the vice president. That is an added responsibility that I am more than happy to take.”

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Walden wins powerful seat

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has been chosen to chair the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, where some of the biggest legislative battles associated with a major shift in leadership will start.

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Calendar showcases local farm

Tim Dahle, a local farmer who helped pioneer pedestrian orchards in Oregon, will be featured in the 2017 SAIF calendar for his growing techniques that eliminate the need for ladders, one of the leading causes of workplace injuries.

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Sisters for Life

They came from different biological families, but Ashley Almas and Tonya Flory bonded during their fight to escape nightmare childhoods and are now sisters for life.

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Account created for fire victims

People wanting to help a family who lost everything in a house fire Tuesday can contribute to a fund at Wells Fargo Bank, 400 E. Third St., in The Dalles.

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MCMC gifts kids

A group of doctors and staffers at Mid-Columbia Medical Center decided to help needy families as a holiday outreach and raised about $800 in about three weeks. The money was used to fill boxes with books — many donated by Klindt’s Booksellers — games, miscellaneous fun items and winter supplies, such as socks and gloves.

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Fire displaces family of five

Five members of a family, including an infant, lost everything Tuesday, Dec. 20, in a fire at the house they were renting in the 1900 Block of Dry Hollow Road in the Dalles.

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Battle of the Bulge

Remembering the largest, bloodiest conflict of WWII

The 72nd anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, the largest and bloodiest conflict in World War II in terms of U.S. casualties, was Dec. 16, and a local Army veteran recently took time to reflect on that historic time.

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Tonkin sale doesn’t affect TD

Many of the Ron Tonkin’s 21 dealerships have sold to a Spokane-based company, but not the automotive business in The Dalles, or several others. “Nothing is going to change locally,” said Steve Ross, general manager of the West Sixth Street business.

Toy drive to help kids in foster care

Taking care of foster kids is a mission that Tonya Flory takes seriously, having grown up in the state system herself. The thought of children not receiving a gift on Christmas — something she experienced — has led Flory to launch a last-minute toy drive called Operation Gorge Heart to make the holidays merrier for foster children.

‘Got Your Six’ throw party

The new band “Got Your Six” is throwing a Christmas party Dec. 22 at the Oregon Veterans’ Home that will include a buffet and holiday music, all at no charge.

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Dance contestants get pep talk

Six contestants in the upcoming 2017 Dancing with the Gorge Stars competition got advice Monday evening from past winners — and some who didn’t take home the Mirror Ball Trophy.

Agencies look at dam removal

Three federal agencies will take public comment in The Dalles tonight, Dec. 6, about the effect of 14 dams on air, water, land and wildlife along the Columbia and Snake rivers.

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Overcoming life’s hurdles

Special Olympics is far more than giving an intellectually disabled athlete the opportunity to win a medal; the program showcases the determination and strength of the human spirit.

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Keeping star light bright

Volunteers add a little extra shine to the local holiday season

Every holiday season for the past 24 years, a 40-foot star has shone on the west end of The Dalles, illuminating the night sky for motorists and area residents alike. The Fun Group knows that few people are thinking about the logistics involved in keeping the star lit, and that’s the way they want it to be.

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Turning a page for foster kids

A book drive for youth in foster care is now underway and the Wasco County Citizen Review Board is hoping to collect reading material for 200 children, pre-teens and teens.

Body recovered from Columbia

The body of a missing fishermen with ties to Wasco County was recovered Monday,Nov. 14, off the shoreline of Roosevelt, near the location the boat he was in capsized more than two weeks ago.

Youth plan gets boost

The Gorge Youth Center has received a donation of $111,000 to kick off its fundraising campaign that started this week.

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MINT action nets nine arrests in gorge

A 44-year-old male has been charged with four counts of unlawful delivery and possession of methamphetamine following Tuesday’s execution of a search warrant at his home in the Dalles by the Mid-Columbia Interagency Narcotics Taskforce.

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A place for youth

Getting the Gorge Youth Center up and running is a proactive project that can draw the entire community together, says Joe Martin, the driving force behind the plan.

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Marine recounts historic battles

By the time Everett Marvel’s ship arrived off the shoreline of Peleliu, a tiny island in the Pacific, his spirit was calm about the coming firefight between U.S. Marines and soldiers from the Japanese Imperial Army.

Sheriff town hall Thursday

Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill is holding a town hall in Maupin on Thursday to share information about the services his office provides and to hear about safety concerns that residents want addressed.

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Vets honored with meals, events

Community extends ‘thank you’

The musical group “Got Your Six” makes its debut at a local Veterans Day observance Friday and Chris Mumford, band leader and drummer, invites community members to hear them play.

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State election tally now on one site

Wasco County Clerk Lisa Gambee is getting the word out to area residents via social media and other avenues about a revamped centralized state website that makes it easier to track and follow results on election night.

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Fed, state candidates pitch their case in TD

Challengers seeking election to two federal offices and 11 candidates vying for state positions gathered in The Dalles High School auditorium Tuesday evening to share their views on issues with community members.

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City candidates face off

Candidates for mayor and city council came together Tuesday in The Dalles for a discussion of issues that was civil but filled with disparate opinions. Questions asked of three contestants for mayor, two for the at-large council position and two for council Position Two ranged from economic development, beautification along Interstate 84 and housing to the city paying for community concerts, among others.

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Time for fresh outlook

Dana Journey is 30 and running for The Dalles City Council out of the belief that youth and energy are a plus when it comes to finding new ways to create economic development. “What I will bring is a new perspective, and I’m a go-getter – when I get ideas, I like to get them done,” he said.

Gas station robbed

A male and female, both wearing masks and brandishing guns, held up a gas station on the west end of town late Sunday night and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash, police say.

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Long marriage ‘50/50 deal’

Williard “Pete” Johnson and his wife, Eva, have been married 67 years this month and credit the longevity of their marriage to making it a “50/50 deal.” “It’s got to be that or you are not going to make it through,” she said.

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Digging in Deep

Todd Walter has always liked traveling in the fast lane — especially when it’s off road and involves rough terrain. Born and raised in The Dalles, Walter’s lifelong fascination with motorsports recently paid off with a second place win in the Blue Water Desert Challenge in Parker, Ariz., that was organized by the Best in the Desert Racing Association.

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M96 would improve vet services

The Wasco County Veterans’ Service Office will be able to better meet the needs of customers if Measure 96 is approved by voters in the Nov. 8 election, say two local veteran advocates.

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Walden offers 'A Better Way'

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., is highly concerned about the precedent being set by President Barack Obama with a continuing “overreach” of authority that threatens the separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution.

Elections: Apply the Golden Rule

Passions run high during election cycles and sometimes candidates lose perspective about the real reason they should be seeking office — the opportunity to be servants of the people — and the contest becomes ego-driven. When that happens, winning becomes everything and dissenting voices are no longer tolerated. This week, The Chronicle received reports from the camps of two candidates in The Dalles mayoral race about people being harassed for posting campaign signs. Apparently, supporters of the other candidate were upset enough to harass the sign holder for exercising free speech.

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‘Pink’ walk is Saturday

The annual walk to increase public awareness about the threat of cancer to women in the community takes place tomorrow, Oct. 15, in downtown The Dalles.

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Meet your candidates

The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce invites community members to learn more about candidates for local, state and federal elected offices at a special forum on Oct. 25.

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Chronicle plans to move office

The Dalles Chronicle will soon have a new home, and the existing office at 315 Federal Street is now on the market.

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Farmers voice Measure 97 fears

Gross receipt tax ‘threatens’ co-ops

Farmers in Wasco County are on the move to educate people in large urban centers of Oregon, which usually carry the vote, about how devastating passage of Measure 97 would be to food production. In Oregon, agriculture is the second largest industry, supporting more than 326,000 full- or part-time jobs and producing commodities valued at about $5.4 billion per year. So the overall economic loss could be great if the proposed new tax of 2.5 percent on gross receipts — before expenditures are deducted — of corporations with sales over $25 million goes into play.

Western chow, entertainment for good cause

Whether it’s date night or an evening to socialize with family or friends, the Mid-Columbia Senior Center is the place to be Friday evening. “It’s a fall shindig,” said Ashley Lauterbach, one of the organizers and assistant director of The Dalles Meals on Wheels.

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Clinic renamed after decorated soldier

It’s official, the local medical and mental health center for veterans has a new sign posted that designates the building as the Loren R. Kaufman VA Clinic. On Saturday morning, two federal officials joined local government leaders, administrators from the Oregon Military Department and community members at the dedication ceremony. The event took place at the Oregon Veterans’ Home and was attended by several members of Kaufman’s family.

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Simple test saves lives

After prostate cancer claimed the life of his father, Terry Armentrout of The Dalles knew that he would be at higher risk for the disease and made regular checkups a priority.

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City rules govern election signs

When Stephanie Rawlings, a server at Zim’s Brau Haus, hung a campaign banner for The Dalles Mayor Steve Lawrence on the east side of the outdoor parklet, she did not know that act was prohibited by the city’s sign code.

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Score one for youth

Coordinating soccer games for 650 children and teens is no small task, but a volunteer force makes sure there are coaches and playing fields ready for 10 weeks of action each fall.

‘Mammy’ wins essay contest

Widge Johnson of The Dalles decided to share a memorable moment in a grandparent essay contest because “this particular story still cracks me up.” Joan Silver, organizing the contest for the Mid-Columbia Senior Center, read Johnson’s entry, the first to be submitted, and knew instantly that it would be a tough act to follow.

Man drowns in reservoir

An elderly fisherman was reported missing Tuesday, Sept. 20, and his body found the next day in Pine Hollow Reservoir.

Get hooked by fishery plans

Coastal Conservation Association Oregon is asking area sports fishers to join their effort to keep license fees affordable and hatcheries open. A meeting to further explore formation of a gorge chapter is available at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at Charburger Country restaurant in Hood River, 4100 Westcliff Drive.

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Local man dies at White River Falls

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office has called off the search for the body of a man who jumped off the upper falls at White River Falls State Park 10 days ago. Detective Ray Ward said the man has been identified from witness statements as Ben Hammet III, 34, of Sherman County. His family has been notified by law enforcement.

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