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On Jan. 8, new treat shop Berries by Felice held a grand opening to officially open its doors to The Dalles community. With a heartfelt speech, an official ribbon cutting, and some hot chocolate for those waiting outside, Berries by Felice opened its doors and welcomed its first customers.

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A subscriber’s recent call about undelivered issues of the Columbia Gorge News revealed something much more: The subscriber’s mail had been forwarded without his knowledge or permission.

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The director of the state housing agency says she would welcome a full audit of how money was spent on federal and state emergency rental assistance programs — but only after tenants submit their applications and landlords receive their money.

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U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced last week the Oregon Department of Forestry will receive more than $2.2 million in federal funds to help cover costs from fighting the Mosier Creek Fire that destroyed eight homes and threatened hundreds of others in the Columbia River Gorge in…

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THE DALLES — The grass will soon be greener at The Dalles Country Club golf course over the summer if a project to extend a water line from a nearby county-owned well to the edge of the Club’s property line comes to fruition over the next few months.

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…

HRVAC Meals on Wheels; Sally’s Cat Fund; Donate to Christmas box project; VSO holds winter drive; Windermere hosts coat, blanket drive; The Dalles Rotary holiday fundraiser; First Book Hood River, Wasco counties; Red Cross Blood Drive Dec. 16

During the Delta surge, Dr. Tom Nichol, a hospitalist at Mid-Columbia Medical Center, has managed many COVID patients. At one point, of the COVID-19 patients he saw, 17 in a row were unvaccinated.

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Hood River Soil and Water Conservation District (HRSWCD) is again taking orders for its annual native plant sale, online at through March 19. All orders are online this year; an emailed confirmation will be sent after the order is placed.

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Members of the Central Gorge Master Gardener Association crafted holiday wreaths and swags during their annual Greenery Event on Dec. 4. The Central Gorge Master Gardener greenhouse served as the workshop for this community service project. Fifty-seven holiday decorations were crafted, and t…


SDS Lumber Company executives finalized the sale of a vast array of the lumber company’s assets last month, and the three-party consortium that purchased the company’s assets has since revealed a portion of the plans for the future.

During this time of the year, why would I write about the difficult subject of grief and loss? Isn’t this the time to enjoy the Christmas decorations, the “Merry Christmas” greetings, and singing “Joy to the World”?

The December Weed of the Month is English holly (Ilex aquifolium), a fitting invasive for the season when we “deck the halls with boughs of holly.” While English holly does make a festive decoration, it is not welcome in natural areas where it crowds out native plants.

Have you ever juggled too much at once? No doubt that since COVID-19 came to our community, we’ve all endured more than we ever thought we could.

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The public is invited to review and comment on the draft 2022-2027 Columbia Gorge Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) covering Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman counties in Oregon and Klickitat and Skamania counties in Washington. The region develops the CEDS every five years as …

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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.


WHITE SALMON — The White Salmon City Council will consider recommendations to amend the city’s short-term rental code this week. City staff is recommending council discuss the proposal following a public hearing, and provide direction to staff for further consideration.

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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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THE DALLES — Mid-Columbia Senior Center hosted their 2021 Wasco County Ageless Awards on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m.

The Ageless Awards honor volunteers 75 and older for their contribution to their community. Each year, there are four awards given out. This year, the winners were Sherry Munro, Duane and Sue Powell, Darrell France, and Mary Davis and the Fort Dalles Floozies.

When the COVID-19 pandemic closed its live performances in 2020, Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association Artistic Director Mark Steighner and board of directors had one goal: “To keep our performers engaged and to provide as much as possible an uninterrupted flow of musical entertainment, educa…

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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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TD Community Thanksgiving; VSO holds winter drive; Windermere hosts coat, blanket drive; Skyline Health ‘Thanks-For-Giving’ food drive; HRVAC Meals on Wheels

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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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Oregon’s rebound from the delta variant spike in COVID-19 has slowed, with hospitalizations remaining high through February, a new state forecast reported Nov. 11.

The Child Tax Credit has been expanded and many families do not realize they’re eligible for these funds if they were not required to file taxes this year. Each household could receive up to $3,600 for each child under 6 years old, and up to $3,000 for each child between 6-17 years old. This…

The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs will honor all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces during the 2021 Statewide Veterans Day Celebration. This event will return to an outdoor and in-person format this year at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 10 — the day before Veterans Day — at the Oregon State…

Students enrolled in Advanced Manufacturing, Construction Technology and Aviation Maintenance at Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) will receive tools for their new trades thanks to support from the Roundhouse Foundation, according to a press release from CGCC.

THE DALLES — The North Wasco county District 21 school board unanimously voted to approve and adopt the virtual learning curriculum Acellus as the online learning option for virtual academy students in the Oct. 28 regular meeting, .

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The Dalles City Council voted unanimously to enter into a new water agreement with Google at their City Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 8.

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday morning that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for children ages 5-11. Vaccine appointments are available at local doctor’s offices and several local pharmacies.

Appointments will not be available through North Central Public Health District at this time.

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