Hood River man in critical condition after fall from vehicle

05 26 15 Audrey MuehlhausenHOOD RIVER, ORE. – On Sunday, May 24, 2015, deputies were dispatched to Highway 281 near Airport Road after witnesses reported a man laying face down in the ditch. Upon arrival, the responding deputy found that passersby were rendering aid to th e male subject, who was suffering from severe injuries. The man, later identified as Steven Ray Ram, 40, of Hood River, was transported by ambulance from the scene to Providence Hood River Hospital.

It was quickly determined that Ram had been a passenger in a northbound vehicle operated by 25 year old Audrey Josephine Muehlhausen of Hood River. As the vehicle was moving, Ram had fallen out of the car in some manner.

Muehlhausen was later arrested at Providence Hood River Hospital and lodged at NORCOR on charges of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants – Alcohol and Reckless Driving.

Ram was transferred to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, where he remained in critical condition Sunday night.

The cause of Ram’s exit from the moving vehicle is still undetermined and is under investigation.

American Legion, VFW Memorial Day ceremonies

The Dalles American Legion and The Dalles VFW will hold their annual Memorial Day ceremony Monday at noon at the Mid-Columbia Veterans Memorial at Sorosis Park

And in Klickitat County, members of the American Legion will have special ceremonies for Memorial Day in three locations: Centerville at 11 a.m., Stonehenge Memorial at noon and IOOF Hall at Goldendale at 1 p.m. Goldendale’s own State Representative Gina McCabe will be the featured speaker.

ODOT opens I-84 lanes for holiday weekend; overhaul of overpass at Bigs completed

Sherman County's first stoplights are now functional on the overpass at the intersection of I-84 and US 97 at Biggs Junction

Sherman County’s first stoplights are now functional on the overpass at the intersection of I-84 and US 97 at Biggs Junction

The newly reworked overpass at Biggs also features decorative railings with wheat stalks on them, echoing similar railings at The Dalles featuring salmon

The newly reworked overpass at Biggs also features decorative railings with wheat stalks on them, echoing similar railings at The Dalles featuring salmon

THE DALLES – Just ahead of Memorial Day Weekend, ODOT is making travel safer and smoother on Interstate 84 near The Dalles by opening lanes that had been closed for construction.

Three projects in, near and within driving distance of The Dalles are in the process of making way for travelers over the weekend and beyond. They include rebuilding the concrete highway within the city limits, repaving the highway from Celilo to Rufus, and making improvements to aid truck and motorist travel at the Biggs Junction intersection of I-84 and US97.

Each of these projects will be re-opening to two lanes of travel in both directions on the freeway, plus provide improved circulation at the Biggs Junction intersection where ODOT has added lanes and signals. As a result, motorists can expect smoother travels through these construction areas on the highway, especially during the Memorial Day Holiday crush.

However, ODOT does suggest planning additional time for Memorial Day Holiday driving and visiting Tripcheck.com for the latest information.

A formal inauguration of the Biggs Junction project is set for Saturday, June 13.

Jaime Herrera Beutler Stands Up for Salmon Recovery in Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill that Clears House Committee

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler helped advance strong salmon recovery efforts as the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved the 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill. As a member of the Commerce, Science, and Justice House Appropriations Subcommittee, Jaime helped author and voted in favor of this bipartisan legislation that spends $661 million less than the President’s 2016 proposed budget and still funds important northwest priorities.  The bill was approved by the Appropriations Committee today.

“Salmon play a vital role in the Pacific Northwest, so I’m pleased to have helped with this bill that continues successful salmon recovery efforts. With so much economic activity and so many jobs related to healthy salmon populations, it’s critical that we target resources toward specific hatchery management needs and habitat restoration projects,” said Jaime. “Our bill addresses treatment programs for veterans, anti-trafficking efforts, and competitive grants to help local law enforcement – all while making difficult cuts and reducing spending.” 

Salmon recovery efforts supported in the Commerce portion of the bill: 

The Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) – The bill secures $65 million for PCSRF, a program that provides critical funding for recovery and sustainability projects to improve wild salmon and steelhead habitats in Pacific Northwest. As of 2012, PCSRF funding has been applied to 260 fish enhancement projects in Southwest Washington and has restored over 7,100 miles of stream on the west coast for fish passage.

The restoration work done through PCSRF in part helps secure a future for recreational fishing in Washington state – an industry that as of 2011, contributed 5,100 jobs and $247 million in income for Washington residents, generated $654 million in sales and contributed $390 million to the state’s gross domestic product.

Salmon Management Activities – It increases funding for salmon management activities at hatcheries, including 12 salmon hatcheries that are maintained in Southwest Washington. The boost in funding will help improve hatchery production and help prevent incidents like the pump failure that lead to death of more than 200,000 juvenile coho salmon at the Kalama Falls Hatchery in March.

Salmon Hatchery Compliance – The bill also secures $4 million to help hatchery operators gain approval for their hatchery programs that are submitted to the National Marine Fishery Service. There is currently an administrative backlog inhibiting hatcheries from being approved and recognized as ESA compliant, thus putting them at risk of being shut down directly impacting Tribal and recreational fisheries.

Southwest Washington priorities included in the Justice portion of the bill: 

Human Trafficking Grants – The bill includes $25 million for human trafficking task force activities and for services for victims.  It also directs the Department of Justice to support a victim-centered approach to recognizing and responding to human trafficking.

Prescription Drug Monitoring – The bill includes $11 million for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program that seeks to combat the diversion and abuse of prescription medications – the fastest growing drug problem in our nation.

FBI – Funding for the FBI is increased to carry out counterterrorism; counterintelligence; and investigation of computer intrusions, cyber threats and cybersecurity.

Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program – The bill includes $409 million for these grants that are awarded to state and local governments and can be used for law enforcement programs;  prosecution and court programs; prevention and education programs; correction programs; drug treatment and enforcement programs; planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs; and crime victim and witness programs.    

Veterans Treatment Courts – The bill includes $5 million for Veterans Treatment Courts. These are courts that understand and address the unique issues facing many veterans who have come into conflict with the law.  Veterans must make regular court appearances and attend treatment sessions.

 Identity theft and senior citizens – The bill also takes steps to prevent and reduce tax-related identity theft among vulnerable populations, including senior citizens.

Tribute: Blues legend B.B. King dead at 89


Blues legend B.B. King gave the following interview to Rodger Nichols  from his Seattle hotel room Friday, August 12, 2005. It appeared in The Dalles Chronicle in the August 14th edition, dated the same day he appeared at Maryhill Winery Amphitheater.

Can you tell us about your first guitar? My very first guitar was a little red Stella. I don’t know what company made it, but it was a little red Stella, about two and a half feet long.

And how old were you? I was about 11.

Did you start out playing the blues? Well, no, not really. I started out playing gospel.

Just to switch subjects, did you ever wonder what have happened if things had been different and you’d ended up staying with the radio station being a disc jockey. I didn’t quite understand your question.

My understanding is you were a disc jockey at WDIA for a while. Yes, from 1949 to 1955.

Did you ever wonder how it would be if you’d just stayed as a disc jockey instead of making so much good music? No, I never thought of that.

A lot of people are celebrating your birthday next month. I understand you have a new record coming out.Yes we have a new CD coming out. Hopefully, it will be ready just about in time for my birthday.

I understand some pretty special people will be joining you for that. Yes, some very good people, [Sting, U2 and Van Morrison – ed.]

You’ve played with so many people. Is there anybody you haven’t played with that you’d like to? I can’t think of anyone I wouldn’t want to play with.

You’ve played so many gigs in so many places, what was the worst one that ever happened to you? I can’t think of many, but places where it was cold. It’s hard to play when you’re shaking. I guess I’ve played a lot of places like that.

Unfortunately, a lot of our best blues players are gone on. Is there one of them, or several of them, you have missed the most?Not really. I miss them all. I think of most of them that have gone on, I miss most the ones that I knew.

When you relax and play just for your own amusement, do you play songs by musicians other than yourself? I like blues, but I like all kinds of music. I like blues, I like rock and roll, I like gospel. I like classical, light classical, but I also like some rap. That is, as long as they’re not in the gutter. But I like all kinds of music.

Do you have any particular artist that you like to listen to? Anybody that plays is going to play something I like. Everybody I hear has something I like. When I buy CDs, I don’t buy it for the CD. I buy it for one or two tracks on it I like.

You’re like all of us in that respect. I was going to ask you about your museum. Does it feel strange to have a museum in your hometown? [A $10 million dollar museum is being constructed in King’s hometown.] No, it doesn’t feel strange. Ifeel happy about it. I think it will be influential for young people who want to know about the origin of the blues. The more we know about it, the better we can listen. It can be educational.

You also have a new book-part two of your autobiography coming out. What interesting things will we find in that book?.You will find more detail in this book.

Did it take you a long time to put that together? Not really, because I have a writer who is putting it together. I do the talking, and he does the writing.

Working for a newspaper, I wish I could have somebody write my stories and all I do is talk them. Well, you’ve got time yet.[laughs]

In all the interviews you’ve done, has there ever been a question you wished someone would ask you but they never have? I don’t think so. There have been many interviews and many questions asked. I can’t think of one that I wanted them to ask and they didn’t.

You’ve been playing “The Thrill is Gone” for decades. Do you try to put something different on it each time you play? I don’t play it the same way i used to play it. Now each night when I play it, I play it like I feel, not the way I did when it was recorded., and that way, it’s always fresh.

To hear Westwood One’s tribute to B.B. King, click on the grey podcast bar below

James and Molli Martin of The Sunshine Mill and Copa Di Vino Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Urban Renewal Project in The Dalles

painting in progress on Sunshine Mill, taken 06 24 14

painting in progress on Sunshine Mill, taken 06 24 14

The following press release was issued Thursday, May 14. :

The Dalles, OR – James and Molli Martin, President and CEO of Copa Di Vino and Sunshine Mill, celebrate the 5th Anniversary of their Sunshine Mill Urban Renewal Project. The Martins are set to make their first payment on the loan that was granted under the Urban Renewal Project. The project has helped reshape the landscape and add jobs to the former abandoned
mill that was once the home of Cheez-It Crackers creating a flourishing tourist destination to the once desolate area.

“This has been among the most exciting and rewarding experiences of our family,” said Martin. “Given our strong track record, I’m confident it will continue to flourish. We are grateful for the opportunity to help start something so innovative and valuable to our community here in The Dalles. We appreciate the support we as a family have received from our incredible staff and
those in the community that we are proud to be part of and we will continue to foster the rebirth and resurgence that will continue to bring more jobs and innovation to the area and our community.”

On May 15th, the Martins will make their first payment on the loan that allowed them to bring this historic landmark back to life. “My family and I have strong ties to The Dalles. It’s where I grew up and where we raised seven generations of Martins. This is a chance for us to return to a community that is a rich part of the fabric of our family, we love that we have been able to
create 76 jobs and created a strong resurgence within the town that we call home,” Martin said.

On track to meet their sales goals for the fiscal 2015 by the end of the year and with healthy financial reserves, Martin is well positioned for success. As both an entrepreneur (Shark Tank favorite) and as an innovator in the wine and premium beverage industry, Copa Di Vino has been at the forefront of new trends and premium beverages and will continue under James and
Molli’s guidance.

“We have built a strong team that will honor their family’s legacy by ensuring the Sunshine Mill project maintains its unwavering focus on revitalization and renewal of the downtown area better benefits for all of our members of our community in The Dalles.” Martin said.

The Martins will be dropping off a check for $150,000 under terms of a deal negotiated in December. That will be followed by a $100,000 payment on May 15, 2016 and a final payment of $350,000 on May 15, 2017