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Ben Mitchell

Stories by Ben

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Parks and Rec to hold public meeting on possible dog park

Hood Riverites love their dogs — so much so, in fact, that if things go as planned, Fido, Spot, and Rover may get their very own public park.

Gorge Commission urges moratorium on new fossil fuel transport in Gorge

Commission asks governors to impose hold until comprehensive risk assessments can be completed

After prompts from the public during recent meetings, the Columbia River Gorge Commission has taken a stance on oil and other fossil fuel transported by rail through the Gorge.

County approves MHM park and ride in Mount Hood

The Hood River County Planning Department has approved a commercial land use permit for Mt. Hood Meadows ski resort to construct a gravel park and ride area in the community of Mount Hood.

New weight limits for Bridge of the Gods

Decision will affect short haul trucks

In July of last year, the Oregon Department of Transportation restricted heavy trucks from crossing the Bridge of the Gods after discovering dozens of corroding bridge components that were in need of repair or replacement.

County purchases land to construct workforce housing

Plans for Cascade Ave. parcel in development

Hood River County is the new owner of a 2-acre parcel off West Cascade Avenue that the county says it intends to develop as much-needed workforce housing for the community.

HR man arrested for attempted murder

A Hood River man has been arrested for attempted murder in connection with a stabbing that occurred outside the Dee area Thursday evening.

Planning commission approves Naito permit, opponents ‘likely’ to appeal

A plan to construct a hotel and retail development near the Hood River Waterfront took a big step forward Tuesday night when the Hood River Planning Commission voted to approve a conditional use permit for the project, despite objections from a local citizen group who say the project is improperly sited.

Medical marijuana dispensary opens in downtown HR

The waiting room of The Gorge Green Cross, Hood River’s first medical marijuana dispensary, looks like any other.

Hood River man gets jail time in horse sex abuse case

A Hood River man has been sentenced to 60 days in jail, 24 months probation, and ordered to obtain a mental health evaluation after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting horses in the Oak Grove area.

Port revises HR bridge overlay project dates

One lane closures to start July 21

Repair work scheduled to start earlier this week on the Hood River Bridge has now been pushed back according to the Port of Hood River.

Possible decision on CL Port vacancy this week

The Port of Cascade Locks could make a decision this week on who will fill a seat on the port commission that has been vacant for over three months.

City in need of planning commission applicants

The city of Hood River is looking to fill a vacancy on the Hood River Planning Commission that has been open for months, but so far, no one has been interested enough in the position.

Naito hotel remand remains unresolved

City record to stay open for further evidence intake

In a debate that has now lasted well over a year, proponents and opponents of a development slated for the south shore of the Nichols Boat Basin continued their verbal sparring Monday evening during a public hearing over whether or not the proposal has met land use criteria.

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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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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.”

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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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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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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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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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.

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.

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