Three Portland men arrested for charges related to shooting in the Gorge

Three Portland men were arrested on Wednesday July 13, 2016 on charges in relation to a shooting that happened on the night of Tuesday July 12, 2016 on Herman Creek Road n ear I-84 in Hood River County.

From left to right:
Austin Steed
Chance Pinkard
Deshone Brooks


The three men, AUSTIN GREGORY STEED age 20, CHANCE COREY PINKARD age 19 and DESHONE JAHEEL BROOKS age 21, all residents from Portland, Oregon were all lodged at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) in
The Dalles on charges of Attempted Murder, Assault 1st degree and Robbery 1st Degree.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the three men drove to Herman Creek Road, which is near I-84 approximately 4 miles east of Cascade Locks on the night of Tuesday July 12, 2016. While at that location, the three met with CHARLES KANE JR., age 23 and CODY DALE RAU age 21, both from Portland, Oregon. KANE JR. and RAU had drove to the Herman Creek meeting site in separate vehicles. While at the Herman Creek location, KANE JR. was shot in the left arm.
KANE JR. and RAU left the scene in their vehicles and stopped along I-84 near the Wyeth interchange. From there, KANE JR. was transported to the Gresham area by RAU. KANE JR. and RAU were contacted by police in the Gresham area. KANE JR. was transported to Emmanuel Hospital in Portland where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

STEED, PICKARD and BROOKS were located in the area of the shooting by troopers from the Oregon State Police The Dalles Area Command and deputies from the Hood River Sheriff’s Office.

An investigation into the shooting is ongoing at this time. The Oregon State Police was assisted by deputies and detectives from the Hood River Sheriff’s Office and the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Hood River District Attorney. No further information will be released pending authorization from the Hood River District Attorney.

Photographs provided by Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility.

Video: Walden and Oregon delegation introduce bipartisan oil train legislation


Washington, D.C. – Today, members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation introduced the bipartisan Community Protection and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5786), legislation that creates a new trust fund to help communities prepare for accidents involving rail cars transporting flammable liquids, including crude oil and ethanol. The legislation was sponsored by Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and co-sponsored by Representatives Greg Walden (R-OR) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

The Community Protection and Preparedness Act would allow the fund to be used for emergency response and clean up after rail accidents involving flammable liquids. The fund would also be used to issue grants to help prepare and protect communities along rail lines. The legislation would require railroads to inspect certain tracks in high consequence areas, such as near waterways, for defects on foot. A high consequence area is defined as a high population area, a concentrated population area, an unusually sensitive area, including drinking water or ecological resource areas that are sensitive to environmental damage, or a commercially navigable waterway. On June 3rd, 16 rail cars from a 96-car Union Pacific crude oil train derailed near Mosier, Oregon on a stretch of defective track that was inspected by employees by vehicle.

In addition, the legislation would also require that railroads periodically use gage restraint measuring systems to measure shifts in the rails and detect weak ties and fasteners. It also authorizes funding for the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to hire additional track safety specialists.

“Every day, thousands of rail tank cars carrying toxic, hazardous materials crisscross the country. The communities along these train routes shouldn’t be on the hook for clean up or damages after an accident and spill occurs. This legislation would help protect and prepare communities by providing funding to help States and Native American tribes develop and carry out emergency response plans, and provide critical training for emergency responders. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation, which will better protect the public and the environment, and help prepare communities both big and small,” said DeFazio.

“Oregon communities—especially ones like Mosier in the Columbia Gorge—deserve the highest level of safety from railways and rail cars. And they certainly shouldn’t be on the hook for damage caused by a train derailment or spill,” said Walden. “This bipartisan plan would boost inspections, help phase out older, unsafe rail cars, and protect lives and property. It continues strong efforts by the Oregon delegation to protect the people who live in communities near railroad tracks, as well as the natural beauty of the place we call home. I’m proud to support it.”

“The derailment in the Columbia Gorge earlier this summer serves as an important reminder about the dangers of how we transport oil and other hazardous materials through our beautiful state. We must do more to ensure safety and transparency. The Community Protection and Preparedness Act will get less safe railcars off the tracks, require more rigorous and thorough track inspections, and make sure that emergency responders are coordinated, funded, and trained to respond to these incidents. This legislation makes sure Oregon is prepared for any outcome,” said Blumenauer.

Creating New Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to Help Communities
The Community Protection and Preparedness Act of 2016, creates a Rail Account in the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, and authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to collect an annual fee of $1,500 for each outdated DOT-111 and CPC-1232 rail tank car that fails to meet the new Department of Transportation (DOT) standards that drastically improve rail tank car safety. The fees are imposed on each person who ships Class 3 flammable liquid, including crude oil and ethanol, in outdated tank cars. The fee would start on October 1, 2017, for the use of tank cars the prior year.

Funds collected will be provided for the payment of removal and remediation costs and other costs, expenses, claims, and damages related to an accident or incident involving the transportation of Class 3 flammable liquids by rail. Funds can also be used by the Secretary to make grants to States and Native American tribes to develop and carry out emergency plans, develop and train regional response teams, and train emergency responders. The legislation allows the Secretary to collaborate with States and Native American tribes in preparing for an accident or incident.

Requiring Railroads to Inspect Track on Foot
The legislation requires Class I railroad carriers to inspect track on foot and periodically use systems to measure shifts in the rail and detect weak ties and fasteners where an accident or incident involving the transportation of flammable liquids or poisonous- or toxic-by-inhalation hazardous materials by rail could affect a high consequence area.

A preliminary FRA investigation of the June 3rd Mosier derailment found that Union Pacific failed to adequately maintain its track and that walking inspections could have found the defective section of rail track and prevented the derailment. They determined the Union Pacific derailment was caused by broken lag bolts leading to wide track gauge. According to the FRA in its report, “Broken and sheared lag bolts, while difficult to detect by high-rail, are more detectable by walking inspection combined with indications of movement in the rail or track structure and/or uneven rail wear, and are critically important to resolve quickly.” The legislation’s requirement to force closer, more thorough inspections, combined with immediate remedial action requirements, will help prevent accidents before they happen.

The bill also authorizes funding for the Administrator of the FRA to hire additional track safety specialists.

Jaime Herrera Beutler authors measure to preserve access todoctors in rural communities approved by committee

WASHINGTON, DC— Thursday, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera’s measure to preserve access to doctors in rural communities was passed by the U.S. House Appropriations committee. In 2009, Washington state implemented a faulty Medicaid reimbursement system that has resulted in many rural health clinics owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in back payments.  Jaime’s provision directs the Federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to work together with Washington state to solve this problem and find a way to ease the burden on rural health clinics.

Washington state is demanding that Rural Health Clinics make back payments for services offered years ago. Now, some of the 118 rural health clinics, including 18 in Southwest Washington, are at risk of closing their doors.

Rural Health Clinics provide high-quality, low-cost care to underserved rural communities. Some of the clinics most affected by this faulty payment structure in Southwest Washington are those that serve children covered by Medicaid.

“Rural Health Clinics are the primary source of health care for many people who live in rural communities like Ilwacco or Goldendale. Unfortunately, the financial burden imposed by this flawed system is threatening to shutter these clinics and reduce access for seniors, children and families in our rural towns. In fact, there are already clinics around the state that have had to shut their doors,” said Jaime. “I’m pleased the U.S. House is moving my legislative directive to force the Center for Medicaid Services work together with Washington state to preserve access to doctors and care for thousands of residents in our region.”

“The State-mandated process of reconciliation is threatening the existence of the Rural Primary Care Clinics in Lewis County,” said Jennifer Polley, MD of Northwest Pediatric Center in Chehalis and Centralia. “The process is not only arduous and complicated — it also has a five-year backlog that makes it impossible for clinics to plan for the future.  We would like to thank Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler for her continued support of rural primary care medical facilities.  Her support is helping primary care offices stay open to serve our community.”

“Unpredictable administration of the state insurance program has been the biggest challenge our group has faced for the last seven years now,” said Dr. Greg Zuck of NorthShore Medical Group in White Salmon and Stevenson. “We very much appreciate Congresswoman Herrera Beutler’s work on this issue, which will enable us to keep caring for our community.”

“Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics operates two Rural Health Clinics, one in Ilwaco, WA and one in Naselle, WA,” said Larry Cohen, MS, Interim CEO/COO. “Without the Rural Health Clinic program, it wouldn’t be possible for our seven clinicians to provide nearly 15,000 primary care and specialty clinic visits per year.  Ocean Beach Hospital is planning to improve care access on the Long Beach Peninsula by opening a third location to be located in in Ocean Park, WA.  Here again, it is being a Rural Health Clinic that will make this possible – and hopefully bring three more providers to South Pacific County. We very much appreciate Congresswoman Herrera Beutler’s support for medical services in our area.”

Volunteer Fair Saturday at the Civic Auditorium

If you’ve ever given thought to do a little volunteer work, here’s your chance to find a perfect fit for you and your talents.  The Dalles Civic Auditorium is hosting a free Volunteer Fair Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.nm at the Civic Auditorium – 323 E. Fourth Street in The Dalles. Some 36 organizations or agencies will have representatives there to answer questions and fill you in on how you can help.

Here’s the list:

  1. Bread and Blessings
  2. Columbia Gorge CASA
  3. Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum
  4. Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity
  5. Community Back Pack Program
  6. Fort Dalles Museum
  7. Fur Footed Rescue
  8. Gorge Literacy
  9. Heart of Hospice
  10. HAVEN
  11. Home At Last Humane Society
  12. Maryhill Museum of Art
  13. MCMC Volunteers
  14. Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue
  15. Mid-Columbia Senior Center
  16. North Wasco County Parks and Recreation District
  17. Original Wasco County Courthouse
  18. Relay for life of The Dalles Area
  19. Rotary Club of The Dalles
  20. School District Archive Museum
  21. SMART (Start Making A Reader Today)
  22. Spruce Village
  23. St. Vincent de Paul Society of The Dalles
  24. The Dalles Chamber of Commerce
  25. The Dalles Civic Auditorium Historic Preservation Committee Foundation
  26. The Dalles HOPE Warming Place
  27. The Dalles Kiwanis Club
  28. The Dalles Lions Club
  29. The Dalles Main Street
  30. The Dalles Theatre Company
  31. The Next Door, Inc. (Big Brothers Big Sisters & Mentor for Success)
  32. The Oregon Veterans’ Home
  33. Wasco Co. MRC (Medical Reserve Corps)
  34. Wasco County
  35. Wasco County Historic Society
  36. Wasco County Search and Rescue

Merkley, Wyden introduce legislation to address oil train derailments

EPA derailment photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden introduced legislation that will take on the threats posed by oil trains and help prevent horrific accidents like what happened in Mosier, Oregon last month. The Mandate Oil Spill Inspections and Emergency Rules (MOSIER) Act would require the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate every major oil train derailment, clarify the Federal Rail Administration’s authority to place moratoriums on oil train traffic when accidents do happen, and require the Department of Transportation to reduce the amount of volatile gases in the crude oil these trains transport.

“As Oregon has seen firsthand, these oil trains are rolling explosion hazards,” said Merkley. “That’s unacceptable. We need long-term solutions that will keep communities safe. Every accident needs to be fully and independently investigated. The Federal Fail Administration needs to have the power to enforce moratoriums until identified problems are fully resolved. And the highly explosive Bakken crude needs to be stabilized before it rolls through our communities. This bill will do all three, greatly improving long-term safety.”


“Oregonians deserve the strongest possible protections from oil train derailments,” Wyden said. “This bill ensures that federal authorities can stop trains after a major derailment until a thorough investigation has been completed, and that the NTSB has ample resources to closely examine the root causes of such a crash.”

The MOSIER Act that was introduced today would:

  • Require the NTSB to investigate every major oil train derailment and provide resources to hire additional investigators.
  • Clarifies the Federal Rail Administration’s authority to put a moratorium on unit oil trains following an accident to allow for investigations to be completed and safety recommendations to be implemented.
  • Requires the Department of Transportation to establish and enforce a standard that reduces the amount of volatile gases in crude oil.

Washington Poison Center unveils warning symbol for products “Not for Kids”

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board will include the warning symbol in its draft rules to prevent child access to edible marijuana products

07 14 16 marijuana warning label OLYMPIA – The Washington Poison Center (WAPC) todayunveiled its chosen warning symbol for identifying products that are not for children at a Liquor and Cannabis Board meeting. The Washington Poison Center (WAPC) developed the warning symbol as a deterrent for children who may access adult-only products, such as edible marijuana products, purchased by adults in their home.

“For over 60 years the Washington Poison Center has been a vital community resource providing free medical help and tools for parents to protect their families,” said Carrie Ulvestad, WAPC’s executive director. “We are excited to present the new Not for Kidswarning label which was created with input from cannabis industry leaders and prevention professionals across the state.”

“The number of calls to the Washington Poison Center related to marijuana exposures reached a single-year high in 2015 with 272 calls,” said WAPC’s clinical managing director, Dr. Alexander Garrard. “With more than 150 calls already this year, it is our hope that the Not for Kids label and our increased education efforts will equip parents and caregivers with the tools to have a conversation with their loved ones ages 1 to 21. Most importantly the label includes our 1-800-222-1222 emergency helpline number, a free, confidential resource for all ages.”

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (Board) will include the warning symbol on all edible products in its draft rules. The Board is expected to file draft rules Aug. 10, 2016.

“This is a perfect example of the public and private sector working together toward a common goal of public safety,” said WSLCB Chair Jane Rushford. “While this is the Poison Center’s warning symbol, they have collaborated with the agency and solicited our input throughout the process. We think their design is excellent and their process impressive. Should the symbol become part of our permanent rules, this will be another important tool in preventing child access to marijuana.”

Earlier this year, the WSLCB included a provision in draft marijuana rules that required the Mr. Yuk® symbol to be affixed to all edible marijuana products. The requirement was based on input at public hearings that a warning symbol was necessary to deter child access to marijuana edibles. The Board later dropped the requirement of using Mr. Yuk® while the Washington Poison Center developed its own symbol. With the new symbol finalized, the Board will move forward with the rule-making process which includes soliciting public comment.
Should the rules follow an expected timeline, the symbol will be required on the rules effective January 17, 2017. The Board would allow 90 days after adoption to give the industry time to comply.

State Police report shooting near Cascade Locks

The Oregon State Police (OSP) is investigating a shooting that occurred along I-84 on Herman Creek Road, in Hood River County.

On July 12, 2016 at approximately 11:30pm, The Skamania County Washington 911 center received a report that a subject had been shot along I-84 west of Hood River. The emergency call was passed onto Hood River 911 center. Officers were able to locate the injured subject and arrange for transport to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland for treatment of a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

Officers from OSP, the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and the Hood River Sheriff’s Office are in the process of conducting an investigation into the shooting. While the investigation is continuing, information gathered indicates that there is no threat to the general public in relation to this incident.
Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, no further information is available at this time.