Bronze fish stolen from memorial

City offers reward in hopes of solving the case of missing artwork

The City of Hood River is offering a reward in hopes of solving a “fishy” mystery.

Sometime last weekend someone took one of five leaping bronze salmon in the fountain of Overlook Memorial Park. Lynn Guenther, city manager, said $1,000 will be turned over to the individual who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thief.

Police Chief Tony Dirks said the sculpture is valued at about $5,000 and was cut from its stainless steel support rods. He said a thorough search was done of the surrounding park above Second and State streets but the missing item was unable to be located. Neither Dirks nor Guenther believe the theft of artwork was in any way related to the recent demonstrations that have taken place on that site in recent weeks.

“I would like to think it has nothing to do with anything else, I would doubt anyone would stoop to that level that was involved in any event here recently,” said Dirks.

Guenther, a decorated Vietnam war veteran, is upset about the disrespect shown to the memorial that was constructed to honor military personnel who died in service to their country.

“What in the world anyone would be thinking to desecrate a memorial in this fashion is beyond me,” he said.

City Prosecutor Teunis Wyers said the suspect could face not only a theft charge in Municipal Court but an additional penalty for Abusing a Memorial to the Dead. He said both charges are Class A misdemeanors and carry a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and one year in jail.

Guenther said if the thief decides to turn over the bronze casting, he/she may leave it on the doorstep of the police department, city hall or even at the fire station.

“We don’t care who has it, if they would only return it there will be no questions asked,” Guenther said.

Meanwhile, Dirks is asking that anyone with information about the incident make a confidential call to his office at 386-3942.

Overlook Memorial Park was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1999. About one year later two young adult males were arrested for pouring detergent into the fountain. They were charged with third degree criminal mischief and not only sentenced to community service but ordered to write a public letter of apology and a report on what the names listed on the veteran plaque mean to the community.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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