Listen: U.S. Rep. Greg Walden town hall in The Dalles

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Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden held a town hall meeting Saturday, May 21 at the Readiness Center, next to the Columbia Gorge Community college campus. Walden gave a short summary of recent and pending legislative actions, then opened the floor up to questions from the audience.

To hear the town hall, click on the grey podcast bar below:

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office finds body of suspect in Warm Springs death

The following press release was issued Sunday, May 22 at 12:38 p.m.

5 19 16 Johnson_Jr._Mark_KevinInvestigators have found the remains of Mark Kevin Johnson, Jr., in Deschutes County. FBI agents and Warm Springs Police Officers were trying to locate Johnson as part of the investigation into the violent death of his wife, Candelabra Rhoan. Warm Springs officers who were doing a welfare check on Ms. Rhoan found her body inside her Warm Springs home in the early morning hours of Thursday, May 19th.

At approximately 3 pm on Saturday, May 21, 2016, Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a vehicle over the cliff in the Deschutes River Canyon near Lower Bridge Way (Terrebonne, OR). Deputies arrived and determined a single male occupant of the vehicle was deceased. The vehicle was located more than 100 feet down the slope below a 50-foot sheer cliff. Sheriff’s Detectives responded to the scene to investigate.

Due to the nature of the terrain, Deschutes County Search and Rescue was called out to recover the body. For safety reasons, that recovery was delayed until this morning. On Sunday, May 22nd, 21 Search and Rescue volunteers and two Special Services (SAR) deputies assisted investigators with recovering the body of the deceased. The recovery involved a ropes system to raise the body to the top of the canyon.

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Detectives continue to investigate the vehicle incident in cooperation with other agencies, including the FBI, Warm Springs Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Both Johnson, Jr., 33, and Ms. Rhoan, age 30, were members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

Notice of change in meter reader schedule

THE DALLES, OR – The work schedule for Meter Readers at Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District will change effective Tuesday, May 31, 2016 due to the increase in temperatures during the summer months. Please be advised that the Meter Readers’ work schedule will change from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Check these rules for legal debris buring

Wildfire Awareness Month – Spring Debris Burning

As we continue through Wildfire Awareness Week, The Oregon Department of Forestry would like to take the time to remind everyone about safe debris burning. It is important year round but even more so as we quickly approach fire season. There have been a few escaped debris burning fires in the Gorge lately, so we want to provide some of the important steps that need to be taken to conduct safe and legal burning.

  1. Contact your local City, Rural, or Forestry Agency to obtain a burn permit and their burning regulations. Permits issued by Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, Mosier Fire, or any of the Hood River County rural or city fire departments will be recognized by ODF. All other areas must obtain a permit through ODF.
  1. Make sure your burn barrel, or other burning device, is in good condition and safe to use. The barrel must be solid and not rusted through. The top must be covered with a mesh screen made from 14 gauge steel or heavier, and the holes must be ¼ inch or smaller.
  1. Take precautions to keep your fire from spreading to adjacent fuels and materials. Keep your barrel or pile at least 40 feet from structures, 20 feet from trees, and 10 feet from any other combustible materials. Stay on site with a shovel and charged hose until the fire is DEAD OUT! DO NOT burn when it is windy!
  1. Make sure your fire is cold to the touch before leaving it. Soak the area with water and stir the soil to remove any remaining heat. Use the back of your hand to check for heat. Remember, open pile burning is no longer be allowed after May 15th.

Taking these steps will help to keep your spring cleaning activities safer. Remember, if your fire escapes, you could be liable for cost and damages that occur as a result of the escape. You may also consider chipping or recycling your yard debris instead of burning. If you have any questions or want to report any unsafe burning please contact your local fire agency. If your burn escapes call 911 immediately. We appreciate your help and support in protecting our local communities and resources. Enjoy the weather and have a fire safe day!

You may request a permit from ODF online at the web address below.

For all other permits please contact your local fire department

http://www.odfcentraloregon.com/

Warm Springs woman found dead; FBI and Warm Springs Police looking for her husband

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Warm Springs Police Department officers who were conducting a welfare check found the body of Candelaria Rhoan, age 30, inside her home in the early morning hours of Thursday, May 19, 2016. Although the autopsy is pending, responding officers believe Ms. Rhoan (pronounced “Roan”) died violently.

Warm Springs officers and FBI agents are now attempting to locate her husband, Mark Kevin Johnson, Jr., age 33. Johnson, Jr., was last seen at a friend’s home on the Warm Springs Reservation at about 2 pm on Wednesday, May 18th. He is likely driving a 1998 maroon, 4-door Volkswagen Passat with an Oregon license plate of 223DXW. Johnson, Jr. may be suicidal, and he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Johnson, Jr., is:
* Height: 5’8″
* Weight: 190 pounds
* Hair: Black
* Eyes: Brown

The FBI’s Evidence Response Team is responding to assist in the search of the home, and agents and officers from the FBI’s Bend office and Warm Springs Police Department are investigating.

Anyone who has information about Johnson, Jr.’s whereabouts is asked to call 911. Those with general information about this investigation or the death of Ms. Rhoan should call the Warm Springs Police Department at (541) 553-1171 or the FBI at(541) 389-1202.

Both Ms. Rhoan and Johnson, Jr., are members of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation.

SR 142 traffic to alternate through a single lane in Klickitat County for partial bridge closure

 

GOLDENDALE – All traffic on State Route 142 west of Goldendale will alternate through a single lane over the Spring Creek Bridge (milepost 30) beginning Monday, May 23.

The Washington State Department of Transportation will close the westbound lane following a routine inspection that found deteriorating concrete and exposed rebar underneath a portion of the bridge deck.

Shifting traffic to a single side of the structure allows vehicles to safely continue using the bridge without weight restrictions until repair work can be completed later this summer.

Temporary stop signs will be installed at both ends of the bridge along with directions for drivers to allow for on-coming traffic to clear before proceeding across.

The speed limit will also be reduced from 50 mph to 25 mph.

The SR 142 Spring Creek Bridge was built in 1950 and carries about 700 vehicles each day.

Western governors proclaim May Wildfire Awareness Month

The governors of eight western states have signed a proclamation recognizing May 2016 as Wildfire Awareness Month. The chief executives of Oregon, Washington, Nevada, California, Idaho, Utah, Montana and South Dakota encourage all citizens to “take steps to better prepare their home and communities for wildfires and work toward becoming a fire-adapted community.”

These states, in partnership with fire prevention agencies and organizations, are working together to increase awareness of wildfires. This year’s wildfire season is predicted to pose a substantial threat across Oregon. Gov. Kate Brown’s office, along with the Keep Oregon Green Association, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, is seeking the public’s assistance to help prevent human-caused wildfires this summer.

WILDFIRE RISK
In Oregon, approximately 70 percent of all wildland fires are human-caused. 2013 was an epic wildfire year in terms of state-protected acreage burned (103,809) and suppression costs ($122 million). 2014 was another endless season of fire, with 712 human-caused fires burning nearly six times the 10-year average acreage (20,052). The high cost prompted a substantial change to Oregon’s wildland fire insurance policy, doubling the annual deductible to $50 million and nearly doubling the premium to $3.75 million. Adding insult to injury, Oregon faced another record-breaking fire season in 2015 with record low snowpack, the driest conditions in 25 years, more than 800 human-caused fires, and $76.5 million spent on suppression.

During May, Keep Oregon Green along with federal, state, tribal and local fire agencies, will continue to promote wildfire prevention topics via traditional and social media each week to help homeowners and recreationists learn how to ensure their outdoor activities do not spark the next wildfire. For more information, visit these websites: Keep Oregon Green, www.keeporegongreen.org; Oregon Dept. of Forestry, www.oregon.gov/odf; Office of the State Fire Marshal,www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/pages/index.aspx

Follow Oregon wildfire news and prevention updates on social media: Twitter @keeporegongreen, @ORDeptForestry and Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/keeporegongreen;https://www.facebook.com/odfprevention/?fref=ts