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Ben Mitchell

Stories by Ben

Lolley plea date pushed back to June

A Hood River man arrested in December of last year on over a dozen counts of first-degree sexual abuse won’t plea to the charges until this summer, following a request from his attorney to extend proceedings.

Commission says yes to dispensary moratorium

Six-month medical marijuana dispensary ban gets unanimous approval from Hood River County Board of Commissioners

Like the Hood River City Council the week before, the Hood River County Board of Commissioners made a unanimous vote during its Monday night meeting on an emergency ordinance that would place a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries.

Medical marijuana decisions coming soon

County Commission, City of Cascade Locks to consider moratoriums

Local governments will be voting in the next couple weeks on whether to adopt ordinances that would place up to one-year moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries that are now legally allowed to operate in the state of Oregon.

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Mis-mash: Local brewers beef about FDA’s spent grain restrictions

New law could hamper practice of using spent grain as cow feed

Since Full Sail first opened in 1987, the Hood River brewery has a found a win-win-win situation for how to dispose of its spent grain that’s left over at the end of a brew’s mashing process.

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Hard-Pressed a resounding success

Gauging the success of a first-ever event can be “a bit of a crapshoot,” says Mike Glover, executive director of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce. Will people show up? Will the weather cooperate? Will people enjoy themselves

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FitzSimons flies to National titles

When Sean FitzSimons entered the U.S.A. Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championship this year, it was the fourth time the 13-year-old snowboarder from Hood River competed in the event.

City Council not moving forward with moratorium

Medical marijuana dispensaries will not face ban in Hood River

Medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to operate inside the Hood River city limits after the city council decided Monday night it wasn’t interested in pursuing a medical marijuana moratorium.

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HRV enjoys no-hitter, one-sided slugfest against Redmond

Although the mercy rule went into effect, the Hood River Valley Eagles varsity girls softball team showed no mercy in their 15-0 drubbing of the Redmond Panthers during a game Tuesday afternoon at the Westside Elementary fields.

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As child abuse cases rise, CGCAC role grows

On Wasco Street in Hood River, just up from the 13th Street intersection, there lies an unassuming, beige, quad-plex that from the outside, looks mostly like any other apartment building you might find in America.

Sullenger resigns from CL Port Commission

Scot Sullenger has resigned from his position on the Cascade Locks Port Commission, leaving the remaining commissioners to search for his replacement.

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HRV girls take 1st at East County Classic meet

Boys make ‘solid marks’ in 5th-place finish

Last week, Hood River Valley track and field coach Donnie Herneisen referred to Friday’s East County Classic meet at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham as HRV’s “first official test” of the season.

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Fire destroys house, garage in Odell

At least one dog also lost in the Mud Alley Drive blaze

An Odell man is homeless after a fire that started Monday morning in his garage eventually spread to the main portion of his Mud Alley Drive home, totally burning the inside of the residence, and killing at least one of his pets.

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HRV comeback falls short against Grant

A spirited second-half rally by the Hood River Valley varsity girls lacrosse team wasn’t quite enough to overcome the Grant High School Generals, who beat the Eagles, 7-6, during a hard-fought match in Hood River Friday evening.

HRVHS receives funding to install 80 rooftop solar panels

With tight budgets, public schools often have to reconcile cutting costs with maintaining quality educational services.

Leadership changes coming to the Port of Cascade Locks this spring

Some new faces will soon be at the helm of the Port of Cascade Locks following a leadership transition that is expected to wrap up at the end of spring.

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Providence Hospital begins breast milk donor program

Despite the perpetual “breast versus bottle” debate, breastfeeding has been enjoying a renaissance of sorts lately.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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.

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.

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.