Donald McAndie could go to trial in April

Barring a plea deal between the state and defense, Donald McAndie will be heading to trial this spring.

At a hearing Thursday afternoon in Hood River Circuit Court, Judge Paul Crowley set aside April 16-18 for a trial date for the former Stevenson High School teacher and audio technician in Hood River and The Dalles accused of rape and kidnapping.

Crowley said the tentative scheduling of the trial date would not preclude McAndie from being able to reach a plea bargain with the state.

During the hearing Deputy District Attorney Carrie Rasmussen said a plea had been extended to Rasmussen through his attorney Jan Wyers.

Wyers said that McAndie was not prepared to enter a plea and would like to a request a trial date.

However, when Rasmussen pointed out to him that by requesting a trial date, he would be rejecting any plea offer, Wyers responded that “We don’t want to reject any plea offer.”

At a previous hearing, Crowley had requested that lawyers on both sides resolve their issues over a right to a speedy trial.

However neither side appeared prepared to address what Crowley called a “constitutional issue” Thursday.

Crowley also asked Wyers when he felt he would be able to enter an informed plea for his client. Wyers responded that he “could not say with any certainty” and that he was proceeding “as rapidly as possible” to discuss the state’s plea offer with McAndie.

With plea discussions up in the air, Crowley said he wanted to set aside a possible trial date should the case wind up going to trial.

After both sides estimated a trial of three to five days, Crowley set aside the April dates.

He also requested a status check with both attorneys appearing in person before that date (both attorneys attended the hearing via telephone and McAndie appeared via video conference from NORCOR).

Rasmussen informed Crowley that the state’s plea offer expires March 4, and Wyers responded that “we should have a status check well before that.”

The “status check” hearing will be held Feb. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at which point it will likely be determined whether or not the case will proceed to trial.

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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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