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Join The History Museum of Hood River County on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. for a virtual brewers' roundtable talk and tasting, inspired by the current museum exhibit, Cheers! From Teetotalers to Tasting Rooms, the third and final installment of which covers the history of craft brewing in H…

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HOOD RIVER ­— Victoria Kohner-Flanagan has been named Red Bull’s Emerging by Black Diamond’s photography contest winner for her picture of Jack Nugent climbing “Queen of Heartbreaks” route in Pine Creek Canyon near Bishop, Calif. Kohner-Flanagan was a 2016 graduate of Hood River Valley High …

HOOD RIVER — The Port of Hood River has announced the promotion of Genevieve Scholl to the position of deputy executive director and of John Mann to facilities director. Both are new positions at the port, filled through an internal recruitment last month. Scholl, formerly serving as special…

The Central Gorge Master Gardener Association is a group of volunteers who give of themselves and their talents. Recently, the CGMGA recognized outstanding Master Gardeners for their service to the Association and their community.

There’s a new E-Bike owner in the Gorge! The winning ticket for a 2021 Cube Town Sport Hybrid One 400 E-Bike was drawn on Nov. 1 at the Hood River Valley Adult Center. And the winner is … David Meriwether of Hood River. After winning this E-Bike, Meriwether gave it to his grandson, Dash Meri…

Hood River Soroptimist’s “Holiday Delivery” team went to FISH Food Bank on Wednesday, Dec. 15 to drop off feminine hygiene and bath supplies. Pictured are, kneeling, Barbara Young, and, left to right, Lynna Beaman, Kym Zanmiller, Pennie Burns, Linda Gleeson, Lynda Dallman and Linda Chamberlain.

HOOD RIVER — The Port of Hood River held its Fall Planning Session on Dec. 7. The port commissioners, Executive Director Michael McElwee, Chief Financial Officer Fred Kowell, Property Development Manager Greg Hagbery, Facilities Manager John Mann, Waterfront Manager Daryl Stafford, and Speci…

Hood River County School District is working to strengthen partnerships with families and community members — as well as reopen district sites, a challenging task in this time of COVID.

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A Wasco County grand jury indicted Logan Cantwell, the subject of a multi-day Gorge-wide manhunt, on a charge of attempted murder in the first degree last Thursday. The grand jury simultaneously cleared a Wasco County sheriff’s deputy of any possible wrongdoing for using his service weapon.

HOOD RIVER — Sustainability is at the forefront of every farmer’s mind in the Columbia River Gorge. A new Gorge-based Agricultural-Technology Education Alliance (ATEA) is being organized engage the next generation of farmers using new technologies in the agricultural field. The project’s aim…

Hood River Valley High School FIRST robotics team 6831, A05 Annex, competed in two pre-season events last month, traveling first to the Robot Rodeo in Wilsonville and later to the Storm Surge in Vancouver, Wash.

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Residents in Hood River and White Salmon celebrated the holiday season last week with community tree lightings and other festivities Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4. In Hood River, downtown streets were closed to traffic and crowds gathered to enjoy a static parade, tree lighting and shopping, with most downtown retail stores open for business. Live jazz music was performed early in the evening, and parade entries were parked down the middle of Oak Street.

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Part of last weekend’s Christmas in the Gorge event in Stevenson was the 19th annual Nativities in the Gorge community nativity display, held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on N.W. Gropper Road.

The long running event displays as many as 650 creches on loan by members of the congregation, as well as other local communities in the Gorge as far away as Goldendale, said Coral Zimmerman, Nativities in the Gorge Committee. “Some are private collectors; some of the nativities have been donated to the event to be kept by the church and displayed every year,” she said.

Hood River Rotary demonstrated its ongoing support with a new sign on the front of the FISH Food Bank. Volunteers from the Rotary Club have been working since March 18, 2020, to help their community. Paul Crowley and a team of 14 volunteers work three days a week to organize and distribute f…

HOOD RIVER — The Hood River City Council was approached by the Parks and Recreation District, who is seeking their support in increasing property tax rates for the local parks district. To do this, they must dissolve the current parks and rec district and form a new district. Current tax lim…

When Hood River Valley High School English teacher Hunter Scholtz saw a student walking home in the rain, he wanted to offer a ride to the student, but rules against giving students a ride home from school made him hesitate. The student had to walk a couple miles from home to school each way…

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HOOD RIVER — It wasn’t until Gisela Ayala Echeverria started kindergarten about two decades ago that her family realized she needed glasses.

Her parents are farmworkers and didn’t know where they could receive eye care. While they were eventually referred to a local doctor’s office, the provider didn’t speak Spanish. Despite her young age, she had to provide unofficial interpretation services between her parents and the provider as she had her vision checked.

Now, Ayala Echeverria is determined to ensure others have better — and more culturally appropriate — access to eye care so other families don’t have to go through what hers did.

She is among nine community health workers from Hood River’s One Community Health who were the first to receive training on the basics of eye health in November as part of a statewide effort to improve eye care access for the state’s under-served and under-insured residents.

Called the Oregon Vision Health Network, the effort involves OHSU’s Casey Community Outreach Program growing partnerships with community clinics across the state. OHSU will train local community health workers and clinical staff as vision health navigators who will help local residents determine if they need glasses or if they might have common sight-threatening diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. In addition, OHSU will provide its partner community clinics and their navigators ongoing support and resources, with the ultimate goal of addressing Oregon’s vision health inequities.

“This statewide network provides local health leaders with the knowledge they need to prevent eye issues and preserve vision in their community,” said Mitchel Brinks, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of the OHSU outreach program and associate professor of ophthalmology in the OHSU School of Medicine. “We’re honored to work alongside community health clinics to better meet underserved Oregonians’ eye health needs right in their own backyards.”


Ayala Echeverria is part of One Community Health’s preventative health team, which offers education and support for patients living with chronic illness. At least 500 of the clinic’s patients have diabetes, which can lead to vision-threatening issues if it isn’t controlled. She plans to use the information she learned at the training to help her fellow community members better understand their eye health risks and prevent conditions such as diabetic retinopathy.

In addition to training local clinic staff, the Oregon Vision Health Network will bring advanced eye imaging equipment that uses a technology called Optical Coherence Tomography, or OCT, to up to eight partner clinics. OCT, which takes a quick cross-dimensional scan of the eye’s interior, provides a non-invasive way to diagnose and inform the treatment of eye diseases such as macular degeneration.

Community clinic staff will operate the OCT equipment locally, and send the resulting images to OHSU Casey Eye Institute ophthalmologists in Portland, who will then review and provide recommendations for the clinics’ patients.

In December, One Community Health in Hood River is expected to become the first partner clinic to receive this equipment.

Being a network partner allows One Community Health to expand the services it offers its 18,000 patients, about 64% of whom are on Medicaid or uninsured and about 40% of whom speak Spanish. The federally qualified health center currently offers behavioral health, primary medical care and dental services. Soon, it will also offer some basic eye health services at its Hood River clinic as well as at its mobile health clinics.

Although they won’t provide advanced eye care in house, they will help connect their patients with local eye providers if needed. One Community Health aims to help its patients understand their risks and take preventative steps now, so specialized care isn’t needed later.

“This creates a new level of access for our community,” said Gladys Rivera, One Community Health’s director of preventative health. “When you screen a patient ahead of time, you can treat eye issues early and prevent blindness.”

Throughout the Oregon Vision Health Network’s first five years, patients will receive care for free. The equipment and infrastructure needed to make this possible is supported by two generous gifts, totaling $3.25 million, that were jointly given to the OHSU Casey Community Outreach Program by philanthropist Heather Killough and the Roundhouse Foundation in early 2021.

The Oregon Vision Health Network expands the OHSU Casey Eye Institute’s efforts to end preventable blindness. The OHSU Casey Community Outreach Program’s mobile eye clinic has provided free eye exams to more than 10,000 Oregonians in every corner of the state since 2010. But while the OHSU mobile clinic can only visit each community about every 1.5-2 years, trained community health workers and clinical staff can screen local residents for eye diseases year-round.

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Above, from left to right, sophomores Jennevee Grajeda-Morales, Kimberley Esparza-Avalos and freshman Zanna Diffin, center, leads a walkout in support of sexual assault survivors around Hood River Valley High School (HRVHS) on Nov. 15. Small blue ribbons were given to students and staff who …

HOOD RIVER — County Chair Mike Oates announced that he will not seek re-election in 2022. Near the end of the Nov. 15 County commissions meeting, Oates declared his intention to step away from the chair position. Oates has been in his current position since December 2019. He hoped his announ…


HOOD RIVER — Newly hired City Manager Abigail Elder, and Community Engagement Coordinator Nubia Sánchez-Contreras jumped right into the swing of things on Nov. 1 when they were given guided tours around City Hall and other departments.

Soroptimist, in partnership with the Hood River Valley Adult Center, is launching its annual collection of feminine hygiene supplies for women and girls in need. Donations of tampons, pads, shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste are being collected inside the Adult Center, 2010 Sterling Place,…

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The Port of Cascade Locks is facing a federal civil rights claim for alleged racial discrimination against Puff Factory owner Jacqueline Alexander. That claim is currently under litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon: No ruling has yet been made, as incorrectly reported in the Columbia Gorge News on Nov. 10.

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Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital is accepting nominations through Friday, Dec. 3 for the annual Heart of Gold event, taking place March 5.

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Local butcher and grocery, Treebird Market, is working with community partners to expand into the former Hood River News building by summer 2022.

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Wy’east class of 1970 held its 50th plus 1 reunion Sept. 10-11. The class of 1970 was the last graduating class from Wy’east High School. Pictured are, bottom row, left to right, Tom Sheirbon, Eric Mortenson, Gary Willis, Loyd Dillenbeck, and Steve Curtiss; second row, Carol Hukari Garibay, …

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Prepare yourself and your loved ones for the holidays by getting vaccinated if you haven’t already, or plan to get a booster dose if you are eligible. Beginning this week, there will be a drive-thru vaccine clinic at the Hood River Marina that can accommodate 1st, 2nd, and 3rd doses and boos…

Oregon Humanities has awarded $717,000 in COVID-19 Emergency SHARP grants to 60 nonprofit organizations and federally recognized tribes across the state. Seventy-eight percent of the organizations that were awarded are led by Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) communities, are…

HOOD RIVER — During the Nov. 10 meeting of the Hood River County School District Board of Directors, special recognition was given to military veterans who now work for HRCSD.

The Hood River City Council approved two separate contracts for construction upgrades at the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) at the Hood River Waterfront location. The newly hired City Manager, Abigail Elder, was in attendance for her first meeting since stepping into the position. Tempora…

A Hood River police officer was indicted on several charges related to domestic violence in August, Columbia Gorge News has learned.


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and classes were suddenly online, a lot of teachers found themselves thrust into different roles. Though many just went from teaching their subject in-person to teaching it in an online format, Jen Hart found herself teaching a new subject entirely.

Gorge Translink has launched the 2022 Annual GOrge Pass, offering an easy way to travel to and from Portland/Vancouver and around the Columbia Gorge on both sides of the river. Four Gorge transit providers have teamed up to offer the unlimited, fixed route rides with a GOrge Pass:


HOOD RIVER — Hood River County School District Board Members approved an Oregon Department of Education Re-engagement Opportunity Grant of $240,000, received by Hood River Valley High School, at its Oct. 27 virtual board meeting.

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