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Ben Mitchell

Stories by Ben

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City holds Naito hearing

At issue: Nichols Boat Basin hotel remand

The City of Hood River Planning Commission has set a public hearing for Monday, July 7, to decide on whether a hotel and retail development proposed for the Nichols Boat Basin is in compliance with the city’s comprehensive plan.

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Hood River man has ‘run-in’ with cougar

Kean Dayley was driving on Country Club Road at around 3 p.m. on Wednesday when all of a sudden, he noticed a tawny flash in his periphery.

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A splitting headache: Rain splits cherries, but damage is variable

The concerns packhouses and orchardists had regarding the weather forecast were realized late last week when early summer rains swept through the Gorge and split cherries that were ripening in many Hood River Valley orchards.

Lolley plea date pushed back again

A Hood River man arrested in December of last year on over a dozen counts of first-degree sexual abuse has had his plea date pushed back for a second time.

Kenneth Lolley sex abuse plea scheduled for Monday

A Hood River man arrested in December of last year on over a dozen counts of first-degree sexual abuse is scheduled for an entry of plea Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the Hood River County Courthouse.

Port ‘highly likely’ to receive grant for Nichols Boat Basin

The Port of Hood River recently received word that it is in line to receive a $445,000 state grant to help construct a waterfront bike and pedestrian trail located on the west bank of the Nichols Boat Basin.

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Geotechnical work underway on ‘new’ section of Historic Highway

Physical work has begun on a project that will restore a long-dormant section of the Historic Columbia River Highway in Hood River County to its former glory when it was first constructed nearly 100 years ago.

HR Bridge overlay to start soon

The Port of Hood River is set to begin a $266,000 bridge approach overlay and joint rehabilitation project in less than two weeks, which will cause delays and closures for motorists traveling over the Hood River Bridge for approximately one month.

County creates code enforcement position

Hood River County has been peppered with complaints of various potential land use and building code violations committed by some of its residents, and those complaints have been piling up faster than the county can resolve them.

Punchbowl grant a no-go

While the Port of Hood River’s proposal for a waterfront trail at Nichols Boat Basin will almost certainly receive funding, a county proposal to acquire 102 acres of land around Punchbowl Falls for a public park will almost certainly not.

Cherries look good, but weather and labor a concern

The cherry harvest is underway in Hood River County and the fruit is looking good, with ripening slightly ahead of schedule.

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Bridge ticket discount to be eliminated 1/1

HR Port cites large printing expenses

Those who use paper tickets to cross the Hood River Bridge will no longer receive a discounted rate on bridge tolls come next year.

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Authorities preparing for ‘tough’ fire season

With high temperatures and drought conditions predicted for most of the state of Oregon this summer, firefighting agencies throughout the Gorge are already girding themselves for what is expected to be a challenging wildfire season that is already underway.

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Crews quickly knock down Owens fire

A wildfire that began sometime early Wednesday morning on the site of an active timber sale on Hood River County Forestry Department timberland has been brought under control by fire crews.

County budgets conservatively due to uncertain revenues

Five years after the global recession, the revenue situation for Hood River County has not improved as fast as the county would like, and that doesn’t appear to change anytime soon.

CL to try EMS support fee measure again

City adjusts budget to prepare for lost revenue

The city of Cascade Locks has decided it will make another attempt at passing an Emergency Medical Services support fee during the November general election after the original measure failed during the May primary due to a lackluster voter turnout.

Dog Falls fire fully contained

A fire that started earlier this week on the Washington side of the Gorge is all but out, according to fire officials.

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Developer scales down DeeTour proposal

Parking area, stage footprint reduced

Back in January, the News ran a story on “DeeTour:” a 3,000- to 5,000-person concert amphitheater proposed for construction on the old mill site in Dee located near the intersection of Dee Highway and Lost Lake Road.

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HRVHS Class of 2014 up for whatever comes next

The Hood River Valley High School Class of 2014’s motto is an oft-quoted lyric from John Lennon’s 1971 hit “Imagine,” that states: “You may think that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

CL Port forging ahead in commissioner search

The Port of Cascade Locks is making progress in filling a seat on its commission that has been vacant for the past two months.

HRVPRD withdraws RC flyer field application

A public hearing regarding a proposal to construct facilities for a radio control flyer field at Barrett Park has been canceled after the proposal applicant, Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation, decided to withdraw the application.

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Hood River man back in jail on animal sexual assault charges

A local man convicted last fall of having sexual contact with horses in the Hood River area is once again behind bars after allegedly committing the same crime at the same address earlier this spring.

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Man airlifted after receiving burns in industrial accident

A worker at Hood River Juice Company (Ryan’s Juice) is recovering in a Portland hospital after receiving hot water burns Wednesday afternoon in what a representative of the juice company referred to as a “freak accident.”

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Port, city hope to protect lives with new waterfront sign system

The Port of Hood River has many names for its various waterfront and land features. The Hook. The Spit. The Marina Beach. The Marina Green.

Down Manor sprinklers stop potentially ‘disastrous’ fire

A fire at a Hood River retirement home burned the deck of one of the units early Sunday morning, but Hood River Fire and EMS Chief Devon Wells said the fire could have easily been much worse.

Body of Catholic priest who died on Mount Hood recovered

It took 18 climbers and 17 hours of hard, dangerous labor, but the body of Robert J. Cormier has been retrieved from the north face of Mount Hood.

State grant won’t be used for Barrett Park

HRVPRD votes to invest $494K grant at a TBD park site

A $494,000 state grant Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District received nearly two years ago to develop Barrett Park won’t be spent on the park site anymore.

CL EMS measure passes, then fails

A measure that would provide funding for local emergency medical services seemingly passed handily in the city of Cascade Locks during Tuesday’s primary election, with 138 votes in favor and 78 against, representing an approval of nearly 64 percent.

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Few answers in Muschaweck case

A Parkdale man who went missing in early May has still not been found, and the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office continue to look for clues as to his whereabouts.

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Museum in period of transition

After a tumultuous year, The History Museum of Hood River County is going through some more significant changes.

State Parks says Barrett Park grant could be used for alternate HR site

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has decided to hold off on executing a grant agreement for Barrett Park while the state tries to figure out if Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District’s proposed development for the land still qualifies for funding — or if the money should be used to develop another site of HRVPRD’s choosing.

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Lure of Hood claims another climber’s life

Recovery of 57-year-old’s body on hold due to mountain conditions

The body of a man who died while climbing Mount Hood on Tuesday has been identified, but recovering the man’s body has so far proven too dangerous for local rescuers to attempt.

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Megan Saunders: Braving bears and briars to monitor the health of the Hood

On paper, Megan Saunders has not just one, but two job titles, and in reality, should could have many more.

Evidence of possible cougar attack found at York Hill Drive

Something has been stalking and killing the Barbour family’s animals and they and the Oregon Department Fish and Wildlife have reason to believe a cougar could be responsible for the deaths.

Authorities searching for fallen Mt. Hood climber

Hood River County Sheriff’s Office spent Tuesday looking for a man who was believed to have fallen about 1,000 feet while climbing Mt. Hood.

HRVRC files intent to appeal RC flyer decision with LUBA

The Hood River Valley Residents Committee has announced it intends to appeal to the state level a recent county planning decision that approved a land use permit for a radio-control flyer field at Barrett Park.

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Parkdale man still missing

A 24-year-old Parkdale man who has been missing from his home since May 5 has still not been found.

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HRCSO to acquire drug dog

The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office has received permission from the county to acquire a narcotic detection dog, which Sheriff Matt English said will be “uncharted territory” and the first time HRCSO has owned a drug dog in the department’s history.

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New bike racks latest contribution to CL’s bike-friendly atmosphere

The city of Cascade Locks has been cranking away at becoming an increasingly bike-friendly destination over the past couple of years.

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Dog shot, man missing in Parkdale

The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office is currently searching for a Parkdale man who has been missing from his home since Monday.

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Port enters agreement to buy lower Hanel Mill site

The Port of Hood River made a significant addition to its property portfolio this week after entering into a purchase agreement with Hanel Development Group to buy the site of the former lower Hanel Mill in Odell.

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HRCSO investigating dog shooting and missing person case

The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office is currently searching for a Parkdale man who has been missing from his home since Monday.

CL Port commission postpones GM search

The Cascade Locks Port Commission has decided to postpone its search for a new port general manager and keep on the current port interim general manager, Paul Koch, for the time being.

Reverse 911 service goes live for county

A new early-warning system that will help notify users of emergencies in Hood River County is now live and public safety agencies are encouraging local residents to sign up for the service.

Cascade Locks approves medical marijuana moratorium

Medical marijuana dispensaries looking to operate within the city limits of Cascade Locks will have to wait up until a year to do so after the Cascade Locks City Council voted to enact a moratorium on the dispensaries during its regular meeting Monday night.

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HRVRC renews battle over Barrett Park

Land use watchdogs appeal RC flyer decision, ask state to pull park grant

Barrett Park has been the source of much controversy over the past two years and now, once again, finds itself embroiled in not one, but two new disputes over land use issues.

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Growing glaciers on Mount Hood presents unique challenge

Mount Hood glaciers are the lifeblood of the Hood River Valley. They represent the bulk of the water present in our rivers and streams, create habitat for salmon and other marine life, provide opportunities for recreation, and irrigate the valley’s orchards and farmland.

CL Port approves more Nestlé test wells, hires interim EDM

During a busy meeting on April 17, the Cascade Locks Port Commission approved an agreement with Nestlé Waters North America that allows the corporation to drill more test wells on port property.

Subdivision planned for summer start

Prelim plans for Sieverkropp are approved by City

A new housing development will soon be coming to the Heights in Hood River, pending final approval of the city planning department.

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Nichols Boat Basin waterfront plan hinges on funding

The Port of Hood River is nearing completion of the design phase for a project that aims to revitalize the former site of Nichols Boat Works with a waterfront bike and pedestrian trail that is to be built on the west edge of the boat basin.