The schedule for the 2019 Wasco County Original Courthouse Regional History Forum series has been announced. Programs begin at 1:30 p.m. in the upstairs courtroom of the historic 1859 courthouse (behind the Chamber of Commerce/Visitors’ Center), 410 West 2nd Place, The Dalles. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted. A downstairs monitor will be available for those unable to climb the stairs.

On Saturday, February 2, “World War I, Part 1: Stonehenge and the Great War” covers Sam Hill’s Stonehenge, the war’s beginnings, new technology used in the war, how uniforms differed between combatants, the role of women in the war effort, the trenches, the fall of empires and continuing effects of one of the deadliest conflicts in human history.

On Saturday, February 9, “World War I, Part 2: Living History and Music of the War” features Ranger Mark Harris, who returns in full uniform and unpacks an old kit bag of items a soldier carried into World War I. His first-person “living history” presentation rounds out the story of the war that ended with the Treaty of Versailles 100 years ago. Members of the Cascade Singers offer period music.

On Saturday, February 16, “Japanese Families in the Mosier Area Prior to 1942” covers historic photos and family stories that reveal a vibrant Japanese community that existed on what is now the Mayerdale Estate and nearby properties prior to the World War II internment.

On Saturday, February 23, “The Town Above Celilo Falls: Launching Site for the Upper River,” with local historian John Brookhouse, explores the long-ago town that served as entry point to the upper Columbia River above Celilo Falls. Brookhouse has added to the maps and photos from last summer’s Wasco County Historical Society program and enlarged them for projection on the big screen.

Two free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training programs for adults or older youth are scheduled for Jan. 25 and 26 and Feb. 8 and 9.

The CERT program offers training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. With proper CERT training, you can help protect your family, neighbors, and co-workers if a disaster occurs. It also trains and organizes teams of volunteers that can support their community during a disaster.

For more details or to pre-register, anyone interested should email Susan Coleman at susan.coleman@oregonstate.edu.

Columbia Insight, an online environmental news magazine previously known as “EnviroGorge,” has announced it has hired a new managing editor, Dac Collins, to help expand the publication’s environmental news coverage throughout the Columbia River Basin.

Columbia Insight began operations in 2014 and became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in early 2018, according to a press release.

According to magazine co-founder and publisher Susan Hess, the magazine’s new name better reflects its revised mission — to serve a more diverse group of people throughout a larger geographical region — as well as its goal of providing in-depth coverage on issues.

To learn more about Columbia Insight, visit them online at https://columbiainsight.org.

A request to partition one .42 acre parcel into one .21 acre and one .2 acre parcel has been submitted to The Dalles Community Development Department.

The propery is located at 2212 W. 10th St., The Dalles, and the application was made by owners John and Karen Roberts.

Written comments can be submitted to the city prior to 5 p.m. Jan. 29.

SALEM—The Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers to start the new year with a paycheck checkup to ensure they’re withholding enough from their wages this year. Not withholding appropriately in 2019 could lead to an unexpected tax bill in 2020.

State and federal tax liabilities are different because tax rates and other items claimed on returns—such as deductions and credits—are different.

In past years, these differences were minimal enough that Oregonians were able to use the federal Form W-4 to calculate their Oregon withholding appropriately. However, recent federal tax law changes, including how withholding allowances are calculated, mean that the federal form no longer consistently meets Oregon’s needs.

For tax year 2019, Oregon’s new Form OR-W-4 and an online withholding calculator allow taxpayers to more accurately determine the appropriate amount to withhold for Oregon.

Employers should provide the OR-W-4 to employees anytime they provide them with the federal W-4. Both the Form OR-W-4 and the calculator are available at the department’s website at www.oregon.gov/dor.

While everyone should check their withholding annually, some groups of taxpayers are more at risk for under-withholding than others, including taxpayers who:

• Started a new job in 2018.

• Updated their federal Form W-4 in 2018.

• Previously claimed federal deductions that were impacted by federal tax law changes, such as the employee business expense deduction.

• Live in a two-earner household.

Personal income taxes are the foundation of Oregon’s General Fund. The pay-as-you-earn system of personal income tax withholding is an established and consistent revenue stream for the state.

Most employees have a portion of their wages withheld to cover their state and federal income tax liability for the year.

Employees are responsible for determining the appropriate number of allowances to claim, which will dictate how much their employer withholds.

The employer sends the amount withheld to the Department of Revenue, where it is credited to the employee.

When the employee files their annual tax return, the amount of tax due shown on the return is reconciled against the record of withholding for the year.

If there was too much withheld, it results in a refund. If there wasn’t enough withheld, the employee will need to pay the difference by April 15.

With skiing season underway, the Oregon Department of Transportation is conducting destination safety inspections of buses in winter recreation areas. The department’s Motor Carrier Transportation Division held one of these inspection/chain requirement events at Mount Hood Meadows Jan. 12.

Inspections of 14 buses found three with minor equipment violations. This did not prevent the buses from taking their passengers home on schedule. Inspectors also found one driver in Saturday’s event operating in violation of a medical restriction, but it was easily corrected in time, keeping the bus on schedule.

In addition to inspecting vehicle equipment and driver qualifications, this safety effort also included the enforcement of Oregon’s tire chain law for driving in winter conditions. Inspectors said they were pleased the buses they saw Saturday were carrying tire chains and in compliance with Oregon tire chain laws.

The Motor Carrier Transportation Division of ODOT conducts safety inspections in partnership with motor coach companies and travel destinations such as ski resorts.

Commercial buses—those carrying nine or more passengers, including the driver—are required to stop at ODOT inspection stations for vehicle safety checks.

SAIF will be presenting free half-day seminars on agriculture safety and health on Wednesday, Jan.23, and Thursday, Jan. 24. The seminar on Thursday will be in Spanish, according to a press release.

Both sessions run 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center, 402 E. Scenic Drive, The Dalles. Lunch is included.

The seminars are designed primarily for people working in agriculture, but are open to anyone interested in ag safety and health—they don’t have to be insured by SAIF.

More information: www.saif.com/agseminars. SAIF safety management consultants are available for interviews on the seminars and ag safety. Photos from last year’s seminars are available by request.

Whether operating large farm equipment or spraying chemicals, agricultural workers face a lot of risks on the job,

A full seminar schedule, registration details, and the list of speakers can be found at saif.com/agseminars. You can also register by calling 800-285-8525.

“We see about 1,500 injuries in the ag industry a year,” said Reva Hartenstein, senior safety management consultant at SAIF. “We created these seminars to help reduce those numbers—our goal is for every ag worker to go home safe and healthy each night.”

This year’s sessions focus on four safety topics: training new employees, best practices for chemical use, conscious decision making, and safe driving on and off the farm.

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