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Ben Mitchell

Stories by Ben

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.

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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.

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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Museum in period of transition

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

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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.

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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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.

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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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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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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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Blossom festivities reflect Hood River’s small-town goodness

We Eat Well — "You can't find gooseberry pie anywhere, but we get it here every year," said Longview's Harry Blair, who ate at the Parkdale Grange Blossom Dinner with his wife, Dorothy, and his brother, Terry, and his wife, Suzie.

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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.

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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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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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

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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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.

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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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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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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.

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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.

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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.