509 v. 541? Taggers caught; graffiti goes on


News staff writer

February 17, 2007

Two teenagers have been arrested for tagging by Hood River City Police — but vandals continue to target properties throughout town.

A 16-year-old Ninth Court male was arraigned this week for felony criminal mischief. The juvenile came under investigation because of information posted on his MySpace account.

Frank Kenneth Bales, 18, has been accused of joining the minor in a Jan. 27 crime spree. The suspects are believed by law enforcement officials to have used blue, gray and white spray paint on vehicles, school buildings, houses, and park facilities.

According to reports, traces of matching paint were found on the hands of Bales and his alleged accomplice during questioning. Officers Mike Martin and Sal Rivera also collected empty cans at several sites that were tested for fingerprints.

Police have declined to comment on whether a match was made with either suspect.

Police Lt. Dave Thompson said the arrests of the two teens may have solved some of the recent problems. But he believes that a group of other Hood River juveniles are engaged in a “graffiti war” with White Salmon youth.

On Wednesday night, several neighborhoods in the Heights were tagged with red paint. The Washington state telephone prefix 509 was a common theme sprayed on a billboard, business, house and vehicles. The Oregon prefix 541 has been spray-painted on buildings across the Columbia River.

“We think some of this damage is the result of a rivalry that began during football season. But it is a crime and anyone caught by us will be punished,” said Thompson.

Martin and Rivera received a citizen tip that led them to question Bales and the juvenile male. A Eugene Street woman alerted them to information that she had gleaned from the Internet and believed might help them solve the crime.

She had found a name on the MySpace account of a local teen that matched the one painted on her car.

That same moniker had been painted on the basketball shed of a nearby park. It also appeared on the “bowl” at a skate park across town.

Police then made a visit to the home of the younger teen. Both he and Bales were present and reportedly admitted to the damage at the skate park. However, they denied tagging May Street School, four new houses off Hull Street and three vehicles along Sherman Avenue.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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