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New play equipment has been installed at Gateway Presbyterian Church in The Dalles, 1111 Dry Hollow Rd., and will be available to the community daily, dawn to dusk.

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Starting Saturday, Feb. 16, Sorosis Park will close as a contractor removes 35-40 dead and dying trees throughout the park that are infested with the mountain pine beetle.

The words ‘thank you’ are often such a throwaway nicety that it’s striking to hear them when they actually come from the heart. There was no doubt about the depths of gratitude felt by the steady stream of people who showed up last Wednesday morning to get a free load of firewood from Wasco County’s wood program.

A three-part series this week first looks at the AmeriTies West plant operations and then at what is being done to address odor complaints concerning naphthalene. Finally, it recaps an investigative series by the Cascadia Times that says residents in The Dalles are breathing toxic air.

The state’s lone long-term air toxics monitor will be set up in The Dalles soon to take a wide variety of air samples for a year, starting in July. Also starting next month will be a shorter, more targeted 30-day air sampling, focusing on the AmeriTies West plant.

The Oregon Ethics Commission has preliminarily determined that The Dalles City Councilor Taner Elliott violated conflict of interest laws by taking actions that benefitted his development company. Resident Chip Wood, who filed a complaint about Elliott’s actions last fall, was informed Thursday that the commission will decide today what Elliott’s penalties will be.

A snail, found in a nearby flowerbed and placed on a rain-splashed porch railing for observation, crawls along the wet wood.

To the editor: It has become obvious to me that my opponent, Susan Harris, and her supporters, are willing to say almost anything to try and get her elected. Remember, people will say a lot of things but that does not mean they speak the truth. Besides taking my lawn signs or threatening businesses who display my signs, they continue to allege that this town is divided and needs to be healed.

A new retail music business is open in The Dalles. The new store, Gorge Community Music, will be located in the former Columbia River Music location at 410 E. Second St., The Dalles. Steve and Wendy Schaefer of Dufur have been joined by their daughter Ursula Schaefer and her partner Caleb Prescott. Caleb and Ursula will manage the store and website.