BINGEN — Imagine leaving your home, country, and immediate family to arrive in a new country, with a new language and a new family, all at 10 years old. For one White Salmon woman, this was her reality, and she works hard now to help others who have been through similar experiences.

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WHITE SALMON — Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation (CCHC) announced it will purchase White Salmon’s affordable housing complex, Rhine Village. The purchase will extend the time in which the housing development will maintain its affordability.

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East Fork Irrigation District has hired Steve Pappas as its new district manager. Pappas is originally from John Day, and received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Portland. He has worked for more than 20 years in the natural gas industry, overseeing and managing large pipeline p…

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The Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association is inviting local musicians to join its ensembles as they begin a new season of in-person rehearsals and performances. Artistic Director and Conductor Mark Steighner said, “Whether you are a singer or play an instrument, there is probably a place for …

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THE DALLES — The Dalles Kiwanis Club has decided to cancel this year’s Steak Feed fundraiser out of care and concern for the community’s health and well-being. The event was initially scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 9. This is the second year the important and popular fundraiser has been canceled.

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HOOD RIVER — Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Center has selected Andrea Pacheco as its new executive director. Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Center is a nonprofit organization that provides low-cost conflict resolution services to the seven-county Mid-Columbia region.

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PACT — Performances at the Adult Center Theater — will stage Shakespeare’s comedy “As You Like It” outdoors at Jackson Park in Hood River at 6 p.m. on Sept. 10-11 and Sept. 17-18.

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Columbia Gorge CASA is giving away a custom-built child’s playhouse, valued at $7,125, to one lucky person.

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A hearing examiner upheld the Klickitat County Planning Department’s environmental determination following a lengthy appeal hearing on luxury camping company Under Canvas’ plans to develop a “glampsite” near Husum, Wash. The hearing examiner concurrently approved the company’s conditional use permit.

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In response to the rise in COVID cases throughout the Gorge, the Port of Hood River met virtually on August 24. Conversations centered around planned repairs and testing of the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge and changes at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield. Engineers gave updates on the planning for replacement of lift span’s deteriorating wire ropes and live load testing related to the lowered weight limit imposed in March. Considerably far along on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Project Director Kevin Greenwood expects the final draft to be presented sometime early next year, after he announced a delay for the final EIS.

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THE DALLES — The Dalles City Council is expected to vote on whether or not to partner with a company that would bring e-scooters to the city as a means of public transportation at their next meeting on Sept. 13.

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When Casey Hardi and Zoe Mitchell met working at a little bakery in Davidson, Calif., they never would have imagined that, just a few years later, they would be living in Hood River with a backyard full of ducks, their own business and a booth at the farmers market.

“It’s been sort of a crazy ride,” Hardi said.

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The North Wasco County School Board voted to renew the Riverbend Community School Charter agreement for the next three years

On Aug. 26., the board met at The Dalles Middle School for their regular monthly meeting.

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THE DALLES — Community service providers, county agencies and local supporters are working with Mid-Columbia Community Action Council (MCCAC) to site and develop a “navigation center” in The Dalles, according to a press release. MCCAC is the Community Action Agency serving Hood River, Wasco and Sherman Counties.

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Dollar General Corporation is considering opening a store in Bingen. The company recently applied for an environmental determination ahead of development plans to construct a one-story commercial building on the lot currently inhabited by the vacant McDonald’s building on 910 W Steuben Street, west of downtown.

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When Suzanne Thomas was laid off from her position as an in-home caregiver, she really didn’t know what she was going to do. Being in her 50s, it almost felt too late to start over or go back to school. However, as a single woman, she knew she needed to make ends meet somehow.

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Steve Garza, the new priest at St. Peter Catholic Church in The Dalles, comes to the parish after a 35-year career in the U.S. Forest Service.

His unusual route to the priesthood began after his wife, The Dalles native Maria (Nelson) Garza, died of gastric cancer in 2010.

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HOOD RIVER — Hood River County School District Superintendent Rich Polkinghorn shared the district’s operating and COVID precaution plans at the Aug. 25 board meeting. The first day of school will be Sept. 7.

“This year we start the year still gripped in a COVID pandemic,” Polkinghorn told the board in his opening remarks.

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THE DALLES — Two protests for medical freedom were held at The Dalles post office on Wednesday, Aug. 25 and Friday, Aug. 27 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The call for medical freedom was in response to the enforcement of mask and vaccine mandates, both by the U.S. and state governments as well as private businesses.

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Klickitat County will make one last stand to seek a favorable ruling in the Tract D land dispute.

In a split 2-1 vote last Tuesday, the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners signified their intent to appeal their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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THE DALLES — Local nurses employed by Mid-Columbia Medical Center (MCMC) in The Dalles, and represented by the Oregon Nurses Association (OMA), reported “encouraging movement from MCMC” following a rally downtown The Dalles Thursday, Aug. 19.

Bargaining between MCMC and the nurses union continued Wednesday, Aug. 25, with both sides reporting progress.

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Vaccination rates continue to rise steadily in Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties, but COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are also climbing as the surge in Delta variant COVID cases continues.

As of Friday morning, Aug. 27, MCMC had no open ICU beds, and 26 percent of its patient beds were taken by COVID positive patients. It has had to turn away ambulances due to increased volume in its ER. Also Friday, it re-instituted its policy of not allowing visitors due to the surge.

HOOD RIVER — On Aug. 10, a team from Protect Our Parks Hood River (POP) joined Mike Parziale, supervisor with Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation, for a Morrison Park clean-up. The morning’s primary goal was a major push to remove some of the heavy overgrowth of invasive blackberries at t…

We’ve been around the block a few times — even as the blocks seem to keep getting longer. We have learned to accept the blessing and burdens of life while embracing our age. And since the days when we thought we knew it all, we’ve learned many lessons. If you were asked to share those lesson…

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John Andoh, assistant executive director at Columbia Area Transit, was fired by the board Wednesday, Aug. 18. Andoh began work under a probationary contract with the agency on May 1.

You did it! To celebrate its golden anniversary of service to the Gorge community, The Next Door’s 50th Anniversary Campaign sought to raise $50,000. You exceeded that goal, gifting more than $57,000!

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Hiking the short Hood River Pipeline Trail is to cross paths with history, stewardship, nature and modern art all mixed together into a unique, 2.8 mile adventure.

The out-and-back trail (officially the Hood River Penstock Flume Pipeline Trail) begins at the Powerdale Substation just upstream from downtown Hood River, with access via a short paved (mostly) access road off Highway 35 an estimated 1/2 mile from Interstate 84.

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THE DALLES — School District 21 in The Dalles is planning for a return to full-time, in-person learning this fall, but is also making contingency plans should state guidelines change and considering alternative learning options for “medically fragile” and immunocompromised students.

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Remember to bring your face mask when you go to a DMV office. Masks are required inside DMV offices and during drive tests conducted by DMV, regardless of vaccination status.

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A proposed closed-loop pumped hydro storage facility near Goldendale is again moving forward. The Goldendale Energy Storage Project proposes to store “clean” energy generated by wind and solar projects.

Gorge residents encouraged to reduce exposure to poor air quality conditions

Regions of Klickitat, Hood River and Wasco counties are being affected by unhealthy air quality brought about by increased wildfire smoke and excessive heat — especially at higher elevations as found in the Trout Lake, Glenwood, Goldendale, Bickleton and Roosevelt areas. In Oregon, DEQ air quality ranking placed Hood River (104) and The Dalles (116) air quality as “unhealthy for sensitive groups” (https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map). Pendleton, with an index of 155, was ranked as unhealthy.

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Once again, as high summer temperatures enter the region, our houseless and most vulnerable community members are at extreme risk of heat and sun exposure that threatens their health and well-being.

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HOOD RIVER — The potential Westside Park is slowly becoming a reality for Hood River Parks and Recreation District. The 20-acre plot of land directly northwest of Westside Elementary School has been sitting mostly unoccupied for years. The Parks and Recreation organization is considering pur…

When you arrive back home after visiting your health care provider, do you ever ask yourself, “Now what did she mean?” I may not be the sharpest bulb in the drawer, but I am literate and can read, write and comprehend most things — but health literacy is difficult. Health Literacy defined by…

As more people are vaccinated to reduce the risk from COVID-19, many parents in the Mid-Columbia region are returning to the workforce. But the high cost and scarcity of affordable child care is a challenge, both for the general public and students attending Columbia Gorge Community College.

THE DALLES — There’s a certain bottle of hand sanitizer in Dr. Paul Cardosi’s desk that serves as a token of resourcefulness and innovation in the face of a global pandemic. It’s not that it was from someone particularly special or that it was used on a specific occasion: It’s that it smells…

Two back-to-back hearings commenced under a hearing examiner late last month concerning the proposed Under Canvas luxury camping site near Husum.

This year our dine and drink business locations throughout the Gorge have suffered with closures. You can help support your favorites by purchasing take out and gift cards. Many of these business will offer curb-side delivery and some will deliver to your home. Let’s keep the Gorge going strong!

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