Gilliam Co. reports first COVID-19 case

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Gilliam County, according to the Oregon Health Authority. The individual is a resident of Gilliam County living in Arlington who had no known contact with a confirmed case, so the case is being investigated as a community-acquired case. 

The individual has been in isolation at home and has not been hospitalized. The CDC recommends following guidelines which include staying home if possible and practice physical distancing when you can’t stay home.

In addition, residents should take these basic steps to protect those most at risk: 

  • Use face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Woman dies in Wasco Co. crash

A 73-year-old woman from Welches, Ore., died June 29 after the vehicle she was driving colliding with a motorhome on Highway 26, milepost 85, in Wasco County at approximately 11:40 a.m., according to a press release from Oregon State police. 

Preliminary investigation showed that a white Mercedes Benz SUV, operated by Kathy Rayborn, 73, of Welches, Ore., was traveling eastbound when it crossed into the westbound lanes and collided with a motor home operated by Richard Rydman, 76, of Vancouver, Wash.

Rydman and his passenger, Janice Rydman, 73, were transported to St. Charles Hospital in Madras.

Rayborn sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

OSP was assisted by the Warm Springs Police Department, Warm Springs Fire and Rescue, and Oregon Department Of Transportation.

University of Utah graduates

The University of Utah congratulated 8,628 graduates in its first-ever virtual commencement ceremony on April 30. 

The graduating class of 2020 includes students who graduated summer 2019, fall 2019 and spring 2020. 

Local graduates include: Lincoln Gay of The Dalles, whose major is listed as Biology MS, Zev Glass of The Dalles, whose major is listed as Mechanical Engineering BME, and Ford Huntington of White Salmon, whose major is listed as Asian Studies BA.

Deschutes National Forest to reinstate day-use fees

The Deschutes National Forest has begun charging fees at day-use fee sites, including trailheads, boat ramps, staging areas, and picnic areas. 

Day-use fees were suspended at sites that charge fees when day-use sites first opened in May because visitor services were not being provided. The Forest Service is now providing services at these fee sites, so day-use fees have been reinstated. Not all sites charge fees, a table of open day-use sites can be found on the Deschutes National Forest website,

How to get a pass: Visitors may purchase a day-use pass for $5 at the day-use site or online. In lieu of a day-use pass, visitors may use a Northwest Forest Pass, which can be purchased for $35 on-line or from a vendor in Central Oregon; if someone expects to visit more than seven Forest Service day-use sites across Oregon and Washington in a year, the Northwest Forest Pass is more convenient option than day-use passes.

Visitors are encouraged to buy a Northwest Forest Pass from a vendor because of limited access to many Forest Service offices due to COVID-19. A list of Central Oregon vendors is located on the Deschutes National Forest website at .

Northwest Forest Passes and Interagency Passes can also be purchased on-line at 

Day-use passes can be purchased on-line and printed at home from this link: 

While recreating on the national forest, visitors are asked to follow responsible recreation practices. Responsible recreation practices include:

  • Maintain at least six feet distancing from others and respect other people on trails.
  • Alert other trail users of your presence and step aside to let others pass. 
  • Pack out your trash and leave with everything brought in. Pack it in, pack it out
  • Pack out used toilet paper (use a small plastic bag) and bury human waste at least 8 inches deep.  

For more information, please contact one of the Deschutes National Forest’s Ranger District offices.


HR, White Salmon schools start summer meals program

Hood River County School District started its Monday and Wednesday meal service on July 6 at Mid Valley Elementary, 3686 Davis Drive, Odell; May Street Elementary, 1001 10th St., Hood River; Cascade Locks Elementary, 300 WaNaPa St.; and Parkdale Elementary, 4880 Van Nuys Drive, Parkdale. Meal pickup time is 10-11 a.m. 

Two days’ worth of meals per student will be given out on Monday, three days’ worth on Wednesday. They are provided at no charge for all children aged 1-18, according to Heidi Benson, School District Nutrition Services director.

White Salmon School District’s summer meal service started July 1. Pickup time and location are 6 to 10 a.m. at Henkle Middle School, 480 N.W. Loop Road, White Salmon. Meal service will be each Wednesday in July; children will receive five breakfast and five lunch meals each week; meals are available at no charge for children 18 years and under.

White Salmon schools hold kindergarten registration

White Salmon Valley School District has started Kindergarten registration at Whitson Elementary School.

Register online or pick up your packet at the school. Plan to register if your child is 5-years-old or will be 5 before Aug. 26, 2020.

Immunizations must be current on the first day of school.

If you have any questions call or email Sheila Spring at 509 493-1560 or

Regístrese en línea o recoja su paquete en Whitson Elementary School, 450 Main St., White Salmon.

Si su hijo tiene 5 años o cumplirá 5 antes del 26 de agosto de 2020, planifique registrarse. Las inmunizaciones deben estar actuales el primer dia de escuela.

Si tienes algunas preguntas por favor llama Christina Salcedo  509 493-1560 or christina.salcedo@whitesalmon schools.

Washington Gorge Action Programs 4th Annual 'Food for All' goes online 

Where there’s a will, and a need, there’s a way. As COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings remain in place, Washington Gorge Action Programs (WAGAP) will host its fourth-annual “Food for All” as an online wine-tasting opportunity for neighbors to “Meet your Makers” on three separate Saturdays in August.

Join WAGAP on Zoom for an in-home wine tasting event in support of community food banks in Stevenson, Bingen, Klickitat, and Goldendale. On three Saturdays in August (Aug. 1, Aug. 15 and Aug. 29), each event will feature a local winery and wine-maker to walk/talk participants through a tasting experience in the comfort of their own home. Kits can be purchased for $75 and include two bottles of wine, two wine glasses, chocolates and more.

WAGAP is dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities address basic human needs, including food security. For more than 50 years, the organization has offered support services to help people help themselves and reach self-sufficiency.

“The COVID 19 pandemic has made it clear that food insecurity is a huge issue in our communities. Our food banks are needed now more than ever,” said WAGAP Executive Director Leslie Naramore. “Our goal is to serve everyone in our communities who needs food!”

“We have seen the need for our services increase as people have lost their jobs and we also know that our small business community has been hit hard,“ Naramore said. “Not only does this year’s fundraiser benefit our Food Banks but it also helps our local family winemakers.”  

Here’s the line-up: Saturday, Aug. 1 — AniChe Cellars; Saturday, Aug. 15 — Willow Wine Cellars; and Saturday, Aug. 29 — Hawkins Cellars. 

Kits can be picked up at WAGAP during the week prior to the event. Local delivery is also available upon request.

Event sponsors include Insitu, Mid-Columbia Medical Center and others. Kits are on sale now at Brown Paper Tickets (search for WAGAP.) 

For more information, contact Washington Gorge Action Programs at 509-493-2662 or 

Washington Gorge Action Programs (WAGAP) is the Community Action Agency for Klickitat and Skamania Counties. It is a private, 501c3  non-profit organization.