Back to profile

Ben Mitchell

Stories by Ben

Tease photo

Suspect crashes vehicle during high-speed chase

A 46-year-old Ontario man is in jail after leading law enforcement on a high-speed police chase through three counties in the Columbia River Gorge that ended when the suspect rolled his vehicle on a curvy road in Skamania County early Friday evening.

Mother and daughter charged with robbery

A mother and her 20-year-old daughter have been charged with third-degree robbery after allegedly stealing less than $100 worth of automobile fuses from Walmart and using physical force against an employee of the store during the theft.

Tease photo

Parks and Rec plans Indian Creek Trail connection

Although it’s not exactly the route they were looking for, the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District has applied to the City of Hood River Planning Department to extend a portion of the Indian Creek Trail that lies behind the Columbia Gorge Community College Indian Creek campus.

USFS lifts closure order for Cloud Cap Road

The United States Forest Service recently announced it has lifted the closure order for Cloud Cap Road located on the northeastern flank of Mount Hood in the Hood River Ranger District of the Mt. Hood National Forest.

Tease photo

City councils take different tacks on marijuana

On April 14, CL talks moratorium; HR puts issue on agenda

By 4-2 vote, Hood River City Council took a measured step Monday toward an official action on requesting a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.

Tease photo

USFS aims to open bridge at Multnomah Falls by Memorial Day

An iconic pedestrian bridge at Multnomah Falls that was damaged by a large falling rock earlier this year is expected to be restored by Memorial Day Weekend, according to the United States Forest Service.

Program to help struggling homeowners expands to Hood River County

The economy and the housing market may be recovering in Oregon, but not every homeowner has stopped feeling the effects of the Great Recession that began over five years ago.

Tease photo

County sets medical marijuana ban hearing for April 21

The Hood River County Board of Commissioners will be seeking the public’s input next month on whether or not it should temporarily ban medical marijuana dispensaries from setting up shop in the county’s unincorporated areas.

Tease photo

Gorge, Puget Sound communities help Doroskis after Jeep theft

Donovan Doroski’s trip to Seattle, Wash., to treat his stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma promised to be anything but easy.

OTC resolves to make Historic Trail completion a ‘priority’

The completion of the Historic Columbia River State Highway Trail is an endeavor that has enjoyed wide public support, but finding enough money to finish the ambitious project hasn’t been as easy to come by.

Dispensary applicant: ‘We really just want to help people’

For Michael Rachford, there are many reasons why venturing into the medical marijuana business seems like a good idea.

County to discuss medical marijuana moratorium

The Hood River County Board of Commissioners may soon take the opportunity to exercise a new law that gives local governments the power to temporarily ban medical marijuana dispensaries, which became legal in the state of Oregon last week.

Tease photo

Fire consumes house on Columbia

A Hood River family must find a new place to live after a fire caused significant damage to their Columbia Street home Monday afternoon.

Medical marijuana dispensaries begin registering in HRC

Oregon’s first-ever registry for medical marijuana dispensaries opened this Monday and has already generated hundreds of applications from prospective dispensary owners looking to start operating their new businesses under the aegis of the Oregon Health Authority.

Local agencies awarded more than $1.3M in health funds

Well over a dozen health and human services-related agencies in Hood River and Wasco counties were recently awarded more than $1.3 million in state funds for programs designed to make healthcare for vulnerable populations more efficient and more cost-effective.

Tease photo

Family escapes unharmed from Subaru fire

A Spokane, Wash., family en route to purchase a new Subaru in Portland got their trip cut short when the current Subaru they were driving burst into flames along Interstate 84 near Hood River shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday.

EMS funding measure to go before CL voters

The City of Cascade Locks will be asking voters this May to approve a ballot measure that aims to bolster funding for its Emergency Medical Services department by tacking on a service fee to its customers’ electric bills.

Increasing truck tolls at BOG

Tolls will be going up on the Bridge of the Gods this spring, but only for heavy vehicles.

Tease photo

Wolf tracks in Mt. Hood NF show a hunter’s gradual return

After a nearly 70-year absence, wolves have returned to the North Cascades.

Tease photo

Car stolen while awaiting cancer treatment

Donovan Doroski arrived in Seattle, Wash., last week to prepare for the harrowing experience of receiving a bone marrow transplant — one of the many medical procedures the 20-year-old Hood River man has had to endure since getting diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011.

Flu impacts ‘lighter than anticipated’

A surge of H1N1 influenza cases in the last week of December 2013 prompted hospital officials to prepare for what was expected to be a particularly bad flu season

Tease photo

USFS pre-approves Meadows’ parking lot

After three years of planning and analysis, a new parking lot slated for construction at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort looks like it might be a go.

Tease photo

Burned clam chowder responsible for fire at Heights apartment

A fire that burned a studio apartment on the Heights and shut down part of 13th and Taylor streets for nearly two hours Monday afternoon can be blamed on a pot of unattended clam chowder.

Lolley makes bail in child sex abuse case

Kenneth Gordon Lolley has made bail and has been released from the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in The Dalles where he has been held for the past three months on first-degree sexual abuse charges.

Tease photo

Landslide forces closure of Dee Hwy. Tuesday

Another weather-related landslide occurred Tuesday evening outside of Hood River, this time on the Dee Highway, capping off a series of geologic events in the Columbia River Gorge that closed roads and snarled traffic for days.

Tease photo

A Sense of Place: Randy Kiyokawa discusses farms and family

Different farming practices may have fallen in and out of favor over the years, but the importance of family is one aspect of life that hasn’t changed for the Kiyokawas.

County looks at ball fields

Does the Hood River Valley need more ball fields? Or do local agencies need to be more efficient in how they manage their fields?

Falling tree hits car traveling on Whiskey Creek Road Friday

A driver narrowly missed a potentially serious injury Friday morning after a tree fell across Whiskey Creek Road and struck his vehicle.

Tease photo

I-84 reopens following rockslide

To the great relief of travelers and Columbia River Gorge businesses, all lanes of Interstate 84 opened Monday afternoon following the cleanup of a weather-related landslide that forced the closure of the freeway’s eastbound lanes for several days.

Four arrested at landslide traffic control

During the evening of Feb. 12, Hood River County Sheriff’s Deputies were assisting with traffic control on Interstate 84 after a landslide closed eastbound lanes at milepost 61.

DEQ issues $5,365 penalty to Mount Hood Railroad

Fined for violating stormwater permit

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a $5,365 civil penalty to Mount Hood Railroad Company for failing to monitor pollutant levels in the rail line’s stormwater — a violation of the company’s stormwater discharge permit.

Tease photo

Hood River Bridge’s lift span is ‘sound’

That Hood River Bridge’s lift span appears to be in good condition following a routine mechanical and electrical inspection on Tuesday by engineers contracted by the Port of Hood River.

Tease photo

Landslide on I-84 snarls traffic

Both eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 will likely remain closed throughout the weekend after a landslide sent down 2,000 cubic yards of rock across the freeway Wednesday about a mile west of Hood River at milepost 61.

On ramps and reroutes

Locals, visitors find ways around the slide

The closure of the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 has caused an odd situation for the residents of Mitchell Point Drive.

Tease photo

ODOT to start repairs on Mosier overpass

The Oregon Department of Transportation is set to begin a $1 million repair project next month to fix cracks that were found in the Interstate 84 overpass near the Mosier exit last year.

Tease photo

Now, the clean-up

First the snowfall, now the melt.

Tease photo

New cell tower for Hood River

The nation’s largest cellular phone provider is looking to install a 100-foot-high cell tower in a field off Multnomah Road, which the company says is necessary to improve cell coverage for its customers in the Hood River Valley.

Tease photo

Light but thick: snow hits the Gorge

Power company, tow owner offer safety and prevention tips for snow and ice

With a state-high snowfall in Parkdale and up to 10 inches in Hood River, January’s question “where’s our winter?” got a resounding answer Thursday.

Head Start gets good news

When the federal sequester budget cuts went into effect March 1 of last year, they impacted some of the most vulnerable families in the nation.

Tease photo

County examining RC flying proposal

With the exception of the Westside Community Trail, Barrett Park has remained largely undeveloped as Hood River County Parks and Recreation has fought and continually lost battles to develop public recreation facilities on the 31.4-acre parcel located on the west side of Hood River.

Port hears comments on waterfront pedestrian trail

The Port of Hood River’s meeting room was packed Tuesday night with members of the public who came to weigh in on a proposal to develop a waterfront bike and pedestrian path planned for the west bank of the Nichols Boat Basin.

Tease photo

Dee concert venue generates a buzz

People respond with positive and negative feedback on proposed amphitheater

In the Jan. 29 edition of the Hood River News, we ran a story about the DeeTour development: a concert venue proposed for the site of the old Dee lumber mill that is projected to draw upwards of 5,000 people for its larger events.

Tease photo

County split on proposal to expand wilderness areas in national forest

A conservation group seeking wilderness expansion in the Mount Hood National Forest got a mixed response from Hood River County Commissioners last week after asking to a proposal that would designate well over 3,000 acres of national forest in the county as protected wilderness.

Tease photo

An outdoor music venue for Dee?

Local developer planning concert amphitheater at old lumber mill site

Will Dee become the premier outdoor concert venue in the state of Oregon?

Tease photo

‘Lava Restoration’ forest thin draws heat

Environmental group calls project ‘a significant assault’ on forests

A proposed U.S. Forest Service timber thin west of Parkdale has caught the eye of environmental groups and resulted in an outpouring of public comment from those concerned about the potential impact of the project — officially named “Lava Restoration.”

Tease photo

County pursues grant to purchase Punchbowl property

102-acre area in Dee currently owned by Western Rivers Conservancy

There are plenty of options in the Gorge for a summer swim, but Punchbowl Falls on the West Fork of the Hood River near Dee is a favorite of many.

Tease photo

HR man accused of raping underage girl

A Hood River man is facing two felony and three misdemeanor charges after allegedly raping an underage girl in Hood River County Jan. 19.

CL Port to hold town hall meeting on toll increases

Repairs to restore the Bridge of the Gods’ 40-ton weight limit were completed last month and big trucks and buses are now back on the bridge, shuttling people and supplies up and down the Columbia River Gorge.

Tease photo

ODOT to start work on final portions of Historic Highway

Marking the beginning of an end to nearly three decades of restoration efforts, the Oregon Department of Transportation is poised to start physical work this spring on reconnecting the final portions of the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Tease photo

Young and old serve at FISH for MLK Day

With Martin Luther King’s legacy in mind, a diverse group of community members spent part of Monday afternoon in service at a place that definitely can use volunteer help: FISH food bank.