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A nationally recognized expert on the effects of screen time on the developing brain is in The Dalles for a free talk Monday, March 18, kicking off a four-part series of talks hosted by YouthThink. Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, from Seattle Children’s Hospital, will be speaking from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Dalles Middle School.

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Nathan Nanez, a senior at The Dalles High School, was chosen to represent the Eastern Oregon area as part of a campaign called Oregonians for Student Success. He was one of four students selected statewide.

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Superintendent Candy Armstrong announced she’s retiring in July 2020, and the D21 school board is gearing up for a lengthy replacement search that will involve community input.

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St. Mary’s Academy in The Dalles is anticipating a like, totally awesome evening at its 44th annual super auction this Saturday with its theme of “This is Our Time: 80s Prom Night.”

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The D21 school board gave the go-ahead Jan. 16 for staff to look at starting a dual language immersion program. Dual language immersion is a form of bilingual education in which students are taught literacy and content in two languages. It contrasts with full immersion, where instruction is entirely in the non-native language.

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St. Mary’s Academy student Sofia Rogers, who provided the artwork, stands with Todd Rogers from Meadow Outdoor Advertising under a billboard advertising the St. Mary’s Family Carnival tonight, Jan. 25, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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As the years go on, Matthew Dallman hopes to see Gorge Soccer Futsal continue to grow. The GSF program, which features boys and girls from nine-years-old to high school seniors, expanded from 17 local teams in 2017-18 to 30 this past winter in seven different age groups with multiple squads hailing from Goldendale, Wash., White Salmon, Wash., Hood River and The Dalles.

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The Dalles High School honored the top athletes for the month of December at a morning ceremony on Friday, Dec. 4 at The Riv located on 401 E. 10th Street.

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Over the past three years, Jason and Julie Hull have consistently shown that their shooting touch is second to none. While facing competitors from The Dalles to Baker City, the Maupin natives combined to shoot 40 of 50 to take home first-place honors for the third year in a row at the Elks Northeast District I Free Throw event held on Sunday, Jan. 6 at Sandstone Middle School in Hermiston.

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The Dalles senior Justin Conklin appreciates the opportunity afforded to him. With former coaches and current coaches standing by his side, Conklin soaked in the moment and tipped his cap to everyone who has been part of his life through his wild ride on the track and field circuit.

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The Dalles High School has announced its first trimester honor roll.

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The Dalles High School saw a record number of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) tests, and a record number of students reaching AP Scholar status as juniors in the last school year. Students achieve AP Scholar status if they get a score of 3 or better, on a scale of 1-5, on three or more AP tests.

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District 21 is seeking grants to do a long-range facilities plan and facilities assessment, and also plans to seek a $4-million matching grant from the state when it again asks voters to fund new schools.

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In his second year in charge, Gorge Youth Basketball League president Brian Stevens had 56 teams with boys and girls hailing from Washington and Oregon, from the first-through-eighth grades, assembled for game action at both Wahtonka High School and Kurtz Gym. Last year, there were 42 teams, and of the 56 this year, 27 represented The Dalles and 29 from outside of The Dalles, with more than 300 signups locally.

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Wahtonka Charter School student Jacob Bartholomew quickly settled on what he would teach kids at the school’s new afterschool program: how to prepare for a zombie invasion. His idea was solid: in a quick poll of kids at the program earlier this week, most of them listed the “zombie class” as their favorite.

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Brick by brick, the building of a powerhouse football program is taking shape in The Dalles. That is why it was an important first step for 11 athletes to earn the chance to participate in the Football University/Island Boy Camp National Championships last week in Tacoma, Wash.

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The growing ASPIRE program at The Dalles High School, which helps prepare students for post-high school training and education, is looking for more volunteers. Right now 65 seniors are taking advantage of the college counseling program, which pairs students with an adult mentor who helps guide them through the process of finding post-high school training, be it in the military, the trades, or at two- or four-year colleges.

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Middle and high school robotics students from across the state will face off in The Dalles for the first tournament of the season Saturday, Nov. 17, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., hosted by local students at The Dalles Middle School. Best viewing times from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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This quilt will be up for raffle at the St. Peter’s Holiday Bazaar Saturday, Nov. 17, at St. Mary’s Academy, 1112 Cherry Heights Rd., The Dalles. Bazaar hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; raffle tickets are $1 or 6 for $5; and the winner will be drawn at 4 p.m.

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The Dalles Riverhawk Booster Club honored its October Athletes of the Month last Friday at the monthly Booster Club Morning Breakfast held at The Riv Cafe: Andy Lopez and Jake Roetcisoender (boys soccer), Addie Klindt (girls soccer), Mikiyle Branther and Caleb Parsons (cheer), Hanna Ziegenhagen, Rey Aviluz and Gabe Lira (cross country), Reed Twidwell (football) and Kilee Hoylman (volleyball).

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Entering the fifth year of the Columbia Gorge Basketball Academy, program coordinator Greg Cummings is seeing the numbers skyrocket and the skill levels rise for local boys and girls across the Gorge. On Oct. 28 at The Dalles Middle School, hoops standouts from third-through-eighth grades participated in a tryout and all 65 were matched up with a team for seven overall, up from the five teams assembled last year.

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Leslie Blakely, Savannah Ezelle, Noah Holloran, and Jacob Valle, students at The Dalles High School, have been selected for the 2019 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall in New York City. They will perform in February with the Honors Choir and Women’s Choir, joining performers from the 46 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, several provinces of Canada, Australia, Bermuda, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, and South Korea.

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It was not your typical calligraphy lesson: last Tuesday, students at The Dalles High School painstakingly wrote their names in Japanese characters, guided by visiting Japanese students. As for the 13 Japanese students, who were on their last day of an exchange through the Sister City program between Miyoshi City, Japan, and The Dalles, they had the tough job of finding the right combination of Japanese characters, called kanji, to sound out each student’s name.

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Oregon’s Poet Laureate, Kim Stafford, will give a public reading Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m., in the lecture hall at The Dalles campus of Columbia Gorge Community College, Building 2, 400 East Scenic Drive. The reading is part of a two-day college visit that also includes classroom discussions with students.

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For The Dalles Middle School seventh grader Owen Withers, earning a spot on the Football University Oregon Screamin’ Eagles is a reflection of his hard work and dedication to the game of football. It would not be possible without the help of so many that have guided him to greater heights over the past few years. After a tryout on Sept. 16, Withers was one of 11 fifth through eighth graders selected to represent the football program and community for an all-star showcase game next month in Seattle, Wash.

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Got any scrap wood lying around, or maybe some tools that could be put to use? Or maybe you know a thing or two about carpentry and would like to help the next generation pick up some skills. The Dalles High School woodworking teacher Jonathan Kranzley is restarting a construction class at the high school, and is putting out a call for wood, tools and volunteers.

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A staff member at Chenowith Elementary School was placed on paid administrative leave pending investigation of reports that one or more students had been “pulled or pushed” during a recess, according to a press release issued Friday afternoon, Oct. 19, by Brian Schimel, director of human resources for District 21.

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Columbia State Bank challenged customers and employees to donate canned and boxed food items for the Community Backpack Program and, by the end of one month, had a big stash to deliver. The “Take a Bag & Fill It” challenge will be an ongoing effort, said Kara Simpson, vice president and branch manager.

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Students at St. Mary’s Academy have a busy week planned as they prepare to join the circus. They will be learning the basics of circus performance ahead of this weekend’s “Masters Family Circus” performances Saturday and Sunday, with two shows daily at 2 and 5 p.m. at the academy, 1112 Cherry Heights Rd. in The Dalles.

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The Gorge Hoops Basketball League is opening a second registration day from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the Riv Cafe, located at 401 E. 10th Street in The Dalles. Local boys and girls, from Washington and Oregon, from first-through-eighth grades, are welcomed to join this gorge-wide league, which is for school teams only.

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The numbers were good, and the competition was even better, as 290 boys and girls from kindergarten-through-fifth grade gathered for the 18th annual Elementary School Cross Country races on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Sorosis Park.

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PORTLAND – With the 2018-19 school year underway, it’s also time for all fourth graders and their families to claim their free Every Kid in a Park pass that allows free entry into all federal parks, forests, and recreation areas for a full year. Fourth graders can print out a paper voucher for free entry into all federal lands by visiting the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov.

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Dufur High School celebrates homecoming beginning Oct. 4, with a “Tropical Tahiti” dress-up day followed by Powder Puff football and a Chili Cook Off beginning at 6 p.m.

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Basketball season is fast approaching. The Columbia Gorge Basketball Academy will again be organizing traveling basketball teams this winter for local boys and girls from the third-through-eighth grades with a tryout tentatively set to run on Sunday, Oct. 28 at The Dalles Middle School. “I’m looking forward to this season,” CGBA coordinator Greg Cummings said.

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The city will apply for a state grant to improve traffic flow at pick-up and drop-off time at the highly congested Dry Hollow Elementary School. It should know by January if it was successful.

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The Columbia Gorge Basketball Academy will again be organizing traveling basketball teams this winter for local boys and girls from the third-through-eighth grades with a tryout tentatively set to run on Sunday, Oct. 28 at a location to be determined. “I’m looking forward to this season,” CGBA coordinator Greg Cummings said.

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Local football athletes will have a chance to showcase their talents in a rare tryout this Sunday afternoon. Football University of Oregon and Island Boy Camp are organizing a free tackle football tryout and mini-camp for sixth- through eighth-graders, who are Oregon residents, at four locations for a chance to participate in an all-star level showcase.

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The 18th annual Jumpstart Elementary Cross Country races are fast approaching and more than 400 boys and girls from kindergarten through fifth grade are expected to join in on the fun, starting at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Sorosis Park.

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In commemoration of World Suicide Prevention Day Sept. 10, a special screening of a film made to save lives is being presented by Youth Think, an organization that promotes healthy lifestyles. “Kevin Hines’ Suicide – The Ripple Effect” will show at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at The Dalles High School, 220 East 10th Street. There is no charge to attend.

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In commemoration of World Suicide Prevention day Sept. 10, a special screening of a film made to save lives is being presented by Youth Think, an organization that promotes healthy lifestyles. “Kevin Hines’ Suicide – The Ripple Effect,” will show at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at The Dalles High School, 220 East 10th Street. There is no charge to attend.

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The 18th annual Jumpstart Elementary Cross Country races are fast approaching and more than 400 boys and girls from kindergarten-through-fifth grade are expected to join in on the fun, starting at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Sorosis Park. Harriers from the Columbia Gorge, Wasco, Hood River and Sherman Counties are encouraged to run.

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Law enforcement officials and firefighters converged on Fred Meyer Saturday morning but there was no emergency — personnel from several area agencies were taking children school shopping. “We’ve never done this before, I think it’s going to be pretty cool,” said Wasco County Chief Deputy Scott Williams.

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Annika Baumgarten never thought she would be pulling weeds in Hawaii. The 14-year-old from The Dalles was happy to do it, however. She recently returned from the United Church of Christ National Youth Event on the island of O’ahu where she spent her time helping the environment, learning Hawaiian culture and bolstering her faith.

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Paul Viemeister, band teacher at TDHS since 2004, has retired. “I didn’t tell my students I was retiring; I didn’t want to say goodbye,” Viemeister said in a recent interview.

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Getting their names in the minds of coaches from across the state, The Dalles Middle School football players, Andre Niko, Alo Heka, Mynoah I’aulualo and Jesus Arceo had an opportunity to participate in the inaugural Oregon All-State Football Showcase held last Saturday at Sheldon High School in Eugene.

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Jeremiah Muma, 3, plays with a jet of water shooting up from the ground in the splash park at Thompson Park, momentarily blocking the jet of cool water with his hand.

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DUFUR – Recent Dufur High School graduates Curtis Crawford and Chloe Beeson were stalwarts in every sport they played. Last week at Dufur High School, athletic director and superintendent Jack Henderson served as the Master of Ceremonies in the school’s year-end awards banquet and presented awards and scholarships to several students and athletes. Crawford and Beeson were each presented with Ranger of the Year awards for their standout 2017-2018 sports seasons.