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Ben Mitchell

Stories by Ben

County okays restoration fee hike for road rallies

The Hood River County Board of Commissioners is allowing motorsport events to continue being held on county roads but at a significantly higher cost.

Nestlé drilling test wells in Cascade Locks

Monitoring will determine if aquifer viable for water exchange

Nestlé began drilling test wells this week in Cascade Locks to see if an aquifer believed to be beneath Port of Cascade Locks property can be used in a water exchange Nestlé wants for a proposed water bottling plant.

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Shred time: Sunny spring conditions hail start of season at Mt. Hood Meadows

A persistent temperature inversion made opening day conditions at Mt. Hood Meadows on Saturday more akin to the end of the ski and snowboarding season, not the beginning.

Rosauers stores victims of cyber attack on credit card system

Rosauers Supermarkets are advising customers to use cash or check when purchasing goods at their stores after discovering evidence that their credit card system was compromised in a cyber attack.

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CL port talks toll increases

Port of Cascade Locks commissioners came to a tentative consensus during their regular meeting Thursday night to double tolls for trucks and other heavier vehicles crossing the Bridge of the Gods, but to not raise tolls on cars.

Westside Elementary evacuated Thursday due to smoky library

A downed power line was responsible for knocking out electricity for about two-and-a-half hours Thursday morning on the west side of Hood River, as well as indirectly sparking a small fire at Westside Elementary that sent smoke through the school and triggered an evacuation.

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County votes against cutting Dep. DA hours

A county recommendation to cut hours from a deputy district attorney position was voted down by Hood River County commissioners during their regular meeting Monday night.

HR man arrested on meth charges

A Hood River man was arrested Nov. 9 by Portland Police Bureau for drug charges.

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Biologists are ‘cautiously optimistic’ about year’s big returns of fall chinook to the Hood River

This year, fall chinook have returned to the Columbia River in numbers that astound sportsmen and fish biologists alike.

Bridge of the Gods night closures start Monday

Port will discuss raising bridge tolls at Nov. 21 meeting

As the Bridge of the Gods repair work enters its next phase, the structure will be closed to traffic at night starting Monday, Nov. 18.

Three arrested for meth in Hood River drug sting

Three Hood River residents were arrested last week as part of a joint drug sting conducted by Hood River City Police Department and the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office.

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Ryan’s Juice, city dispute over sewer debt continues

City may take legal action if not resolved by Nov. 25

A dispute between Ryan’s Juice and the city of Hood River over a back sewer debt is still simmering in council chambers and may head toward legal action if the situation is not resolved to city council’s satisfaction by Nov. 25.

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Cell tower plan nixed

The Hood River County Planning Commission didn’t take long to deliberate Wednesday night on whether a proposed cell tower would stand or fall.

Local man pleads guilty to sexually abusing horses, sentenced to probation

A Hood River man accused of sexually abusing horses has been released from jail following the approval of a plea deal.

ATC tower decision could come Nov. 13

The Hood River County Planning Commission may decide this Wednesday whether or not a 140-foot cell tower on the west side of Hood River can be built.

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Haunted House has a record year

$8,500 raised for MDA is best in the event’s history

Hood River Fire has once again done a great job of scaring up funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Evolution of the Crag Rats

Nov. 13 lecture reveals history of mountain rescue organization

As the oldest mountain rescue organization in North America, the Crag Rats have a lot of history.

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Coming soon... Facility improvements, plenty of snow in store for Mt. Hood Meadows this season

Although we’ve yet to see any flakes fly in Hood River, Mother Nature is already busy dumping plenty of snow up on Mount Hood.

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Negotiations continue on Ryan’s Juice deferment deal

Hood River City Council was back in session Monday night to once again discuss a controversial deferment deal given to Ryan’s Juice by former Hood River City Manager Bob Francis, who started working as the juice company’s chief operations officer in July.

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The making of a nightmare

Henke's haunted house takes scare tactics seriously

“Once you go upstairs, you’re done.”

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Is 140 feet too tall? Commission will decide

Planning Commission to deliberate on cell tower issue Nov. 13

For the second Hood River County Planning Commission hearing in a row, the meeting room of the County Business Administration Building was standing-room-only the night of Oct. 23.

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Seriously scary

Paul Henke, lieutenant of Hood River Fire, has helmed the production of the haunted house for the past several years, but for 2013, he’s outdone himself.

Bridge deck panels cracking much faster than expected

When the Port of Hood River had new deck panels installed in 2004, they were supposed to last a generation.

Council begins manager search

City plans to make the hire by February

The City of Hood River is moving forward in its search for a new permanent city manager with the hopes of having the new candidate selected by winter’s end.

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Council members question Francis over deferment deal given to Ryan’s Juice

Former Hood River City Manager Bob Francis was back in city council chambers last week, this time, on the other side of the dais.

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Final county meeting on Barrett Park set for Dec. 2

The Hood River County Board of Commissioners has set Monday, Dec. 2 as the date it will hold a public meeting to make a final decision on Barrett Park.

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Harvest Fest Weekend Sampler 2013

Folks enjoy pumpkins, choose fruit from overflowing bins, and munch on pies throughout a sun-drenched Hood River valley autumn weekend

Large crowds of people having fun.

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‘No Confidence’

CGCC faculty members’ vote questions Dr. Frank Toda’s leadership ability

Department chairs and other faculty members of Columbia Gorge Community College have given a “no confidence” vote to the college’s president, Dr. Frank Toda, calling into question his ability to govern the college.

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‘Kicking the can down the road’: Walden alone in vote against shutdown deal

Citing an unwillingness to “kick the can down the road,” U.S. Rep. Greg Walden of Hood River, voted against a bill Wednesday that ended the 17-day federal government shutdown and prevented the nation from potentially defaulting on its debts.

Start date changes for Bridge of Gods work

The schedule for upcoming repair work to be performed on the Bridge of the Gods has changed once again.

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Local man accused of sexually assaulting a horse

A Hood River man was arrested last week after he allegedly sexually assaulted a horse in the Oak Grove area.

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The fate of Barrett Park is still uncertain

County Planning’s 3-2 vote means Board of Commissioners will have final say

The fate of Barrett Park now lies in the hands of the Hood River County Board of Commissioners after the Hood River County Planning Commission failed to make a decision on the park during a public remand hearing Wednesday night.

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Trouble brewing: Shutdown affects local beer makers

This time, the federal government has gone too far.

Runaway found safe in California

A Mount Hood teen who was reported missing nearly three weeks ago was found safe in northern California on Friday.

Government shutdown hits ground

Water planning, land use implications foreseen at county level

As the federal government shutdown stretches into its second week, its far-reaching impacts are becoming increasingly more apparent.

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Out of a flood comes an innovative filter

Hood River’s Farmers Conservation Alliance springs from FID efforts to help fish

In 1996, a historic flood turned the Hood River into a muddy torrent that wiped out roads, rail lines, and a portion of the Powerdale Dam facility.

Plea date set for robbery suspect

U.S. Bank robbery suspect Timothy Bryan Glenn is scheduled to enter a plea Dec. 2 to answer charges brought against him in connection with an armed robbery that was committed at U.S. Bank in Hood River Sept. 12.

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BreezeBy transponders, pricing policy to change

Commissioners made a unanimous decision at the tail-end of Tuesday’s epic, 4-hour-and-38-minute-long Port of Hood River meeting to roll out new BreezeBy transponders and a pricing policy to go with them.

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Bridge of the Gods closure schedule revised

The closure schedule for the Bridge of the Gods has changed as a result of recent discussions between the Oregon Department of Transportation and its contractors who will be doing a series of repairs on the bridge over the next couple months.

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Government shutdown felt in Gorge

USDA Forest Service office closed due to Federal funding issue

As lawmakers squabble in Washington, D.C., the effects of the federal government shutdown that began on Tuesday are already being felt in the Gorge.

September second-wettest on record

The torrential rainstorms that drenched the Pacific Northwest last weekend were largely responsible for producing one of the wettest Septembers on record for the Hood River area.

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Bridge of the Gods closures begin Oct. 11

Closed 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. until repairs are finished

Construction begins next week on the Bridge of the Gods and will require the bridge to be closed to traffic as crews work around the clock to repair the aging structure and allow heavy trucks to cross the span once again.

County slated to decide on Barrett Park/LUBA remand

The long Barrett Park saga could finally be coming to an end as early as next week.

Gorge.net plans big fiber optic upgrade

Local telecom provider Gorge Networks is planning the installation of an expansive new fiber optic network it hopes will be in place to deliver blistering-fast internet to customers in the Hood River area by next year.

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Authorities searching for missing Mount Hood teen

The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a local teen who has been missing for nearly two weeks.

Mt. Hood Rally will go on, but with significant changes

The Mt. Hood Rally race seemed destined for cancellation after Hood River County raised concerns over the event’s impacts on county roads, but organizers say a truncated version of the race will be held next month after all.

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Debut of a view: New hiking trail takes teamwork and tenacity to complete

In 2007, a year before she passed away, Friends of the Columbia Gorge Founder Nancy Russell purchased a 42-acre parcel of land east of Mosier overlooking the Gorge and donated it to the nonprofit she helped form nearly 30 years prior.

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These boots were made for filling

A decade later, HR firefighters still impress with muscular dystrophy fundraising efforts

If the boots of Hood River firefighters look heavier this year, that’s because they are.

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Robbery suspect indicted on three charges

U.S. Bank Robbery suspect Timothy Bryan Glenn was in Hood River Circuit Court again via live video feed Monday morning to hear the results of his indictment.

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New healthcare facilities open next week in CL, Odell

The Hood River County Health Department and the Mid Columbia Center for Living will be providing services at two new healthcare facilities opening up in Cascade Locks and Odell next week.