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Ben Mitchell

Stories by Ben

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In extra innings, Hood River Valley baseball wins thriller over Pendleton

Eagles hold off Buckaroos, 2-1 in Hood River; go up 2-1 in the season series against league opponents

There may not have been much offense to speak of from either team, but Tuesday’s home game between the Hood River Valley Eagles and the Pendleton Buckaroos still provided plenty of excitement.

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HRV rolls opponents at Blossom Invite

Eagles boys and girls teams take first overall thanks to some stellar performances

Like blossoms in the valley orchards this year, the athletes of Hood River Valley’s track and field team are blooming early: posting top marks in the conference and the state, breaking school records, and winning meets in preparation for the district and state meets that are still about a month away.

Another rally for HRV softball team

Eagles have 7-7 overall record heading into league games

Call them the comeback kids.

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Hood River’s Jason Shaner sixth at World of Wrestling Championships

Competing for Elite Edge Wrestling Academy, Shaner is beating the best

Still fresh off his sixth-place finish at the OSAA state wrestling championships in late February, Hood River Valley High School freshman Jason Shaner has added another notch in his wrestling belt: standing on the podium at a national wrestling championship.

Eagles softball gets gutsy comeback over La Salle

In a makeup game, HRV scores nine unanswered runs to beat La Salle, 9-6

Going into Monday evening’s makeup game against La Salle Catholic College Preparatory, the HRV Eagles had their work cut out for them.

HRV baseball shuts out Wilsonville

Eagles sit at 10th in OSAA

Eagles baseball enjoyed their first non-tournament shutout of the season in a low-scoring affair against Wilsonville, where HRV came out on top, 1-0.

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Another sweep for Eagle boys tennis

Boys tennis results swept the competition for the second consecutive match, this time defeating Pendleton, 8-0. Above, Brandon Campos returns a volley during a doubles competition Wednesday.

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Eagles softball weathers last-minute comeback by Century

Wells and Winans help fend off the Jaguars, 3-2, in Hood River

HRV survived a seventh-inning rally by Century High during a Wednesday afternoon game in Hood River, sliding by the Jaguars, 3-2.

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Girls lax tested in tough outing against OES Aardvarks

Hood River Valley had a tough matchup Wednesday evening with the league-leading Oregon Episcopal School Aardvarks, and the Eagles ended up experiencing their worst loss of the season, in what was ultimately a 15-3 decision.

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Boys lax enjoys blowout against Valley Catholic

HRV now on three-game win streak

The Eagles racked up a case of goals against Valley Catholic in what was a lopsided affair Wednesday evening with HRV routing the Valiants, 24-0, in Beaverton.

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HRV boys lacrosse gets first win

The HRV boys lacrosse team made a big statement in its home debut Wednesday evening, handily defeating the Hermiston Bulldogs by a score of 9-2.

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HRV baseball splits games after return from spring break

Kam Walker and Ryan Ward shine behind both mound and plate for the Eagles

HRV returned from spring break this week after a rough trip down to Phoenix, Ariz., where the Eagles went 1-3 against non-league teams during the Coach Bob Invitational.

HRV track results Milwaukie/Oregon City meet, Top Five finishers

HRV track results Milwaukie/Oregon City meet, Top Five finishers

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Roubaix Redux

The Gorge Roubaix returned for its third annual race this past weekend, and nearly 400 competitors signed up for the event – up from 250 last year – according to Chad Sperry, race organizer for Breakaway Promotions.

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Making the best of what Mother Nature brings: With a fickle snow year, Meadows is forced to get creative

The last time the News wrote about Mt. Hood’s snowpack was Feb. 4 of this year, and we, just like many others in the region, were hopeful that the typically prodigious snowfall months of February and March would help turn around what had been a dismal winter recreation season.

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A team with experience, HRV boys tennis looks to make its mark in 2015

Eagles beat Franklin, Gresham to start the season 2-0

The HRV boys varsity tennis team started their season last week with a bang, defeating Franklin, 5-3, on March 16, and then crushing Gresham, 7-1, two days later (HRV was scheduled to play Century on March 19, but the match was cancelled due to a scheduling conflict.)

Girls lax bounces back with win over Central Catholic

After suffering a heartbreaking overtime loss last Tuesday, the HRV girls lacrosse team wasted no time bouncing back, doubling up Central Catholic, 16-8, during an away game Thursday evening.

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Young HRV golf team is looking to rebuild

HRV’s boys and girls golf program may have a young roster, but it’s an expanding one — at nearly 20 golfers, the team is twice the size in 2015 as it was 2014.

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Eagle girls lacrosse loses a ‘nailbiter’ to Lincoln in OT

Lincoln 10, HRV 9 (OT)

The Hood River Valley girls lacrosse team has been tested early in their season, with their home debut Tuesday evening featuring a contest against the Lincoln Cardinals that was cold, wet, and went right down to the wire.

Track team on their marks in home debut

The first track meets of the season can often mean more about getting into shape and measuring athletes’ abilities than they are about posting record times, but after HRV’s meet Wednesday against the Centennial Eagles, Coach Donnie Herniesen was pleased with his squad’s performance right out of the gate.

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Spring is in bloom

Plenty to do — with your buds

Spring break — March 23 to 27 — is right around the corner for Hood River County School District, Horizon Christian, Mid-Columbia Adventist Christian School and Columbia Gorge Community College students.

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Despite rally, HRV falls to Gresham in home opener

A mid-game rally bolstered by solid pitching from Hood River Valley’s freshmen wasn’t enough for the Eagles to get a win in their home-opener against Gresham Monday night, falling to the Bulldogs, 10-4. The score on paper, though, didn’t accurately reflect how well the Eagles performed for the majority of the non-league contest.

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Spring sports have sprung

Hood River Valley High School athletes were busy this past week practicing and gearing up for the upcoming spring sports season that starts in earnest next week.

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HRV ski team first at state

HRV dominates alpine events

Mt. Hood’s snowpack may be lacking, but Hood River Valley’s ski-racing abilities are not.

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HRV basketball falls just short of state playoffs

One of the best seasons in recent memory for the Hood River Valley boys basketball program came to end Tuesday night, when the Eagles narrowly lost to LaSalle Catholic College Preparatory, 75-70, as well as lost their chance to make the post season for the first time in two decades.

CL Port looks to acquire land near fire hall

Port also considering BOTG toll increases

The Port of Cascade Locks is looking to acquire a county-owned property in the city that the port hopes to use as a site for economic development.

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Drug dog goes from Shelter to Sheriff

Luke patrols with Deputy Travis Paulsen

One of the newest additions to the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office has already been making a name for himself around the department, helping deputies make drug bust after drug bust — and looking pretty adorable in the process.

Oil train issue is heating up again

Report shows increased oil going through the Gorge

The focus on oil trains running through the Gorge has largely remained on the Washington side, where the vast majority of crude, particularly coming from the Bakken formation in North Dakota, enters the National Scenic area.

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Caregiver accused of stealing patient’s money over a period of years

A Hood River caregiver is facing multiple felony and misdemeanor charges after allegedly stealing well over $10,000 from a female patient of hers over a period of three years.

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Man charged with murder in 2009 Eagle Creek death

A Bend man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a Portland woman that occurred in 2009 west of Cascade Locks.

Maxam Nutraceutics’ Jim Cole hit with injunction

Court order results in shutdown of HR business

A U.S. District Court judge has ordered a permanent injunction against Hood River businessman James Cole, who has been accused by the federal government of selling “adulterated” and “unapproved” dietary supplements under his company Maxam Nutraceutics.

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Vaccine exemptions jeopardizing ‘herd immunity’ in local schools

The state of Oregon has the highest percentage in the U.S. of people seeking non-medical exemptions for childhood vaccinations and new data shows that some schools in Hood River County are above that already high state average.

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Man charged with murder in 2009 Eagle Creek death

A Bend man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a Portland woman that occurred in 2009 west of Cascade Locks. Stephen Wagner Nichols, 40, was arrested Feb. 12 at the San Francisco Airport for allegedly murdering Rhonda Kristen Casto, who was 23 when she died Monday, March 16, 2009 on the popular Eagle Creek Trail.

Police arrest juvenile in Feb. 4 vandalism spree

The Hood River Police Department has arrested a 17-year-old juvenile male they say is responsible for a recent vandalism spree on the west side of the city of Hood River.

Sen. Thomsen, Rep. Johnson share thoughts on Leg. Session

The 2015 Oregon Regular Legislative Session began on Monday in Salem and Hood River Republican legislators Sen. Chuck Thomsen and Rep. Mark Johnson are gearing up to promote their bills while also facing a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate.

Ordinance to revise ‘unusual’ BOCC land use review process

Hearing on proposed ordinance Feb. 11

The Hood River County Planning Commission will hold a hearing next week to decide whether it should amend an “unusual” zoning ordinance that currently does not allow the Board of County Commissioners to modify land use decisions made by the planning commission.

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Mt. Hood snowpack lacking

There’s still hope, but as dismal winter continues, water worries grow

For those who have been snow dancing, it may be time to learn some new steps.

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Beer to home and outdoor education highlight local legislators' bills

As the Legislature convenes Monday, a look at what bills local lawmakers are sponsoring

The Regular Session of the Oregon State Legislature opens Feb. 2 — Groundhog’s Day! — and Hood River legislators Rep. Mark Johnson and Sen. Chuck Thomsen have sponsored a total of over a dozen bills for the upcoming session.

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Feds slash timber payments to counties

Funds greatly reduced as Secure Rural Schools ends

Counties that have federal forestland within their borders recently received some bad news after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that this year’s federal timber payments to counties would be drastically reduced due to Congress’ failure to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools Act.

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Giving a boost to Gorge Commission

Legislation would create taskforce, fund more employees

The Gorge may be renowned for its beauty, but the law that protects the area, the National Scenic Act, and the entity that implements it, the Columbia River Gorge Commission, aren’t always so visible.

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Tensing up: Bridge lift span issue tied to cables; re-tension work likely this summer

The Hood River Bridge’s lift span has not been setting correctly and an engineering firm contracted with the Port of Hood River believes it has discovered why.

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Punchbowl Falls park idea sees a flurry of feedback

A call for public input on a plan to develop a county park around Punchbowl Falls has been warmly received by area residents, hundreds of which have already provided feedback on what the future should hold for the popular waterfall near Dee.

DeeTour can proceed

Developer says timeline for music venue TBD

A music venue planned for construction in Dee can now move forward after a local land use watchdog group made the decision to not continue pursuing an appeal it had filed against the project.

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CL City Council approves water rights transfer for Nestlé plant

City to file application, ODFW still on the fence

Cascade Locks took another step forward this week to bring Nestlé to the city by approving an application for a transfer of water rights that will ultimately help supply spring water for a proposed water bottling plant.

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Walmart heads back to LUBA

Retailer files notice of intent to appeal with state agency over store expansion

Just over a month after it was made, a decision rendered by the Hood River City Council on whether Walmart should be allowed to expand its Hood River store has been appealed at the state level.

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Groups seek public input on Punchbowl

First of two public meetings on park proposal held Tues.

Hood River County and conservation groups want to turn an area around a popular waterfall near Dee into a public park and are looking to the public for input on the plan.

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2014 in review

Land use squabbles, marijuana dispensaries, budget woes, and a historic win for the HRVHS soccer team were just some of the many stories the Hood River news reported on in 2014. Here’s a look back at some of the top stories from each month. Stories are categorized by the month in which they were published.

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New cell tower planned for Windmaster Corner

Verizon holds off on Multnomah Road tower

Verizon Wireless is seeking county approval to build a cell tower near Windmaster Corner after deciding to shelve plans, at least for the time being, for a tower that was to be located on Multnomah Road.

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What a gas! People pumped for falling local fuel prices

The anguish of holiday driving was likely a bit more tolerable this season for many American motorists as gas prices continue to fall to levels that haven’t been seen in several years.

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HR man sentenced to 9 months for shooting incident

A Hood River man received a nine-month jail sentence last week after pleading guilty to shooting and injuring a teenage woman on Mitchell Point Drive earlier this year.