Free Thanksgiving dinners provided in The Dalles and Goldendale


In Goldendale, there is a free Thanksgiving dinner at noon at Father’s House Fellowship Church, 207 South Klickitat. Free transportation by Ogden’s Mopar Limo Service. Dinners will be delivered to people who cannot get there. Call 509-773-4114 for more information.

In The Dalles, a free Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by the Salvation Army will take place at St. Mary’s Academy from Noon to 3 pm. If you need a meal delivered call 541-705-4656.

MCMC Receives Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission


The following is a press release from Mid-Columbia Medical Center:

The Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that accredits healthcare programs in the U.S., recently accredited Mid-Columbia Medical Center’s Total Hip and Total Knee replacement programs. MCMC is one of less than a dozen hospitals in the state, and the only one in the Gorge, with that achievement. Both programs have been accredited since 2012, when MCMC became the second hospital in Oregon to have received this distinguish accolade.

MCMC underwent a rigorous onsite review Nov. 1. Joint Commission experts evaluated MCMC’s compliance with advanced disease-specific care standards and total hip and total need replacement requirements, including orthopaedic consultation, and pre-operative, intraoperative and post-surgical orthopaedic surgeon follow-up care.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing for the hospital, and it’s a sign for the Columbia Gorge that there’s a great place right here to get a total joint replacement,” said Dr. Jim Reardon, director of joint replacement at MCMC. “I think people look at Mid-Columbia—it’s just a little hospital on a hill, and they are not impressed by it. I came from a hospital in Kansas City. They did 1,200 joint replacements a year, and they did not have accreditation. It really is unbelievable. It’s very special.”

“When you come to Mid-Columbia Medical Center for a total knee or total hip replacement, you can be confident you’re going to get the best care in the state for joint replacement,” Reardon said. “That’s what the accreditation means. The review of the program is so rigorous. That stamp of approval by The Joint Commission means the hospital, and all the processes they have around the total joint replacement, have been looked at under a microscope.”

“Mid-Columbia Medical Center takes a comprehensive approach to total joint replacement,” said Anna Saltonstall, lead therapist at MCMC. “Having that accreditation helps us have this comprehensive approach. The big future push is tracking patient outcomes. We are following patients longer and making sure they get the outcomes we want them to have. The accreditation really holds us accountable to all that, and I think that’s a good thing. It helps us deliver the best quality patient care.”

“The accreditation shows that we have met high standards in the care of total joint patients,” said Kim Hartley, division director and coordinator of the total joint program. “We have proven that we are using evidence-based, patient-centered standards in the care of our total joint patients. We put standards in place that lower infection rate and produce better outcomes.”

Interview: Google unveils new tools and tips for holiday shoppers


Google Search Expert Molly VandenBerg

Google Search Expert Molly VandenBerg

Shopping season is in full swing and shoppers are logging online to find this year’s hottest gifts. From electronics to the must-have toys, Google reveals the gifts that will top the lists in your area going into the big holiday shopping weekend.

If the idea of shopping on your phone while waiting for your morning coffee sounds familiar, you’re not alone. This holiday season, we’re seeing a new kind of shopper emerge: the supershopper. They’re shoppers who utilize the power of their mobile phones to be more informed and efficient than ever before. Google offers insight into how consumers are holiday shopping online this year and the big shift towards mobile browsing and purchasing.

Starting November 22nd in Google Search and Maps, you will have access to a real-time look at how crowded nearby shops, grocery stores and restaurants are at the current time, so you can make the best decision on where and when to go. With this brand new tool, you’ll have the inside scoop on what shops are most crowded on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

To hear our interview with Molly, click on the grey podcast bar below.

Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles awarded large grant

The Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles has received a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs grant to help recruit and retain high-quality nursing staff at the award-winning skilled nursing facility.

The grant, which will be eligible for renewal over the next three years, will assist in funding three new programs at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles: An RN loan forgiveness program, which will reimburse RNs a portion of their school loans, up to $18,500 (cost of the RN program at Columbia Gorge Community College in The Dalles) Signing bonuses, offering a $5,000 bonus (paid over one year) to all newly hired RNs and a $1,000 bonus (paid over one year) to all newly hired CNAs The establishment of a permanent in-house training program for CNAs, which will give the Home much greater flexibility in maintaining an abundant supply of high-quality staff, in keeping with its new, more focused care model

The award was for just over $114,000, which will be matched by Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, under the terms of the grant. This means a total of more than $228,000 will be allocated for these three programs.

Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles was named one of the top rated nursing homes in Oregon by U.S. News & World Report last year.

Busy weekend provides plenty to do


Cousins’ Restaurant in partnership with the Youth Empowerment Shelter & The Warming Place. is sponsoring “A Coat for Every Cousin.” Drive through Cousins parking lot and drop off your gently used or new coats today from 9am – 2pm and receive a $10 Gift Card!

The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce reminds everyone that the application deadline for the Starlight Parade is today Applications can be found at the Chamber office or online at

The Dalles High School drama department presents The Game of Tiaras in which King Lear meets the Game of Thrones tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 at The Dalles High School Auditorium Tickets $6.50 Per Person, $5.00 for Seniors and Children Under 12

Folk singer Moe Dixon in concert tonight at 7 pm at St. Peter’s Landmark in The Dalles. Tickets $10, available at Klindt’s Booksellers.

Tri-county hazardous waste presents a free hazardous waste day from 9 am to 2 pm at The Dalles Disposal at 1317 W. First Street in The Dalles.

Mid-Columbia Senior Center Holiday Bazaar 9 am to 3 pm.

St. Peter’s 38th Annual Holiday Bazaar 9 am to 4 pm at St. Mary’s Academy in The Dalles.

The Condon Chamber of Commerce presents Condon’s Annual Fall Festival from 10 am to 2 pm at the Condon Elks Lodge and Veterans Hall. The festival features artisans, crafters, jewelry, clothing and handmade gifts, a wrapping station, pie and friends.

Goldendale American Legion presents turkey bingo starting at noon at the Legion Hall. Just 25 cents per card per game, and all winners get a turkey.

Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River presents an artists marketing workshop designed specifically for artists who wish to learn better techniques for marketing and selling their art. Kerry Cobb is the Executive Director of the Columbia Center for the Arts and has over 30 years of direct marketing, promotions, and public relations experience. Workshop will be held at Columbia Center for the Arts from 1 pm to 4 pm. Cost is $20 and space is limited to 30 students


Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital is holding a free community screening of the PBS Frontline documentary “Being Mortal” Sunday at 2 pm at the Columbia Center for Arts in Hood River. “Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying and explores the relationships between patients and their doctors. After the screening, Providence Hood River medical, social work, and chaplain staff will lead a guided conversation on how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences.


BNSF Railroad settles with environmental groups on coal dust


Seattle, WA — A coalition of environmental organizations and BNSF Railway (BNSF) have reached an agreement in principle that will ensure that BNSF starts to clean up and prevent pollution from their coal trains.

The agreement, which is expected to be finalized as a court order in the next 60 days, will put on hold the ongoing trial until a final agreement is reached, and includes several requirements that will protect the health of Washington’s waterways:

A two-year study, funded by BNSF, into methods for covering coal trains.
$1 million for conservation or restoration projects in Washington.
Clean up and removal of coal and/or petcoke at specific areas near water bodies most affected by BNSF coal trains.

Plaintiffs put on testimony over the course of the weeklong trial that included multiple eyewitnesses to coal pollution and expert testimony that a million or more coal particles per second come off of each rail car. A coalition of environmental groups — Sierra Club, Puget Soundkeeper, Columbia Riverkeeper, Spokane Riverkeeper, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Friends of the Columbia Gorge — sued BNSF in 2013 under the federal Clean Water Act.

Environmental organizations praised the agreement in principle as a step toward protecting the health of Puget Sound, the Columbia River and other Washington state waterways:

“This is a win for Washington state residents who live, work, and play in the state’s waterways,” said Cesia Kearns, Deputy Regional Campaign Director for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. “For decades, coal from BNSF trains has been polluting our rivers, lakes, and seas. This agreement recognizes that and holds BNSF accountable for its impact on our communities’ health and environment.”
“We now have an agreement in principle with BNSF that should lead to an end to coal pollution in the Columbia River Gorge and cleanup of coal along the Columbia River,” said Michael Lang, conservation director for Friends of the Columbia Gorge. “Importantly, the court will retain jurisdiction to ensure that the terms of the agreement are enforced.”

“We are pleased that BNSF will seek to cover its dirty coal trains and clean up the pollution they’ve already spilled,” said Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper. “It’s the simple solution. The railroad is not above the law.”

“Once again, the Clean Water Act has made it possible for citizens to address major issues threatening Washington waters,” said Crina Hoyer, Executive Director of RE Sources for Sustainable Communities. “We are pleased that organizations across the state were successful in achieving our goal of forcing BNSF to clean up existing coal pollution, and to stop the ongoing pollution of our waterways. The coal car study is the first step toward seeing toxic cargo, like coal, sealed and covered for transport. This is a win for clean water and a win for our communities.”

“This agreement in principle sends a strong message that our public waters are not dumping grounds for toxic coal and other material, and it affirms the crucial role of citizen enforcement in protecting our waterways.” said Chris Wilke, Executive Director of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance. “Now, instead of externalizing their pollution as a cost of doing business, BNSF must take steps to repair the damage to our waterways and advance technologies to ensure that in the future, coal from their trains does not contaminate public resources.”


Law enforcement looking for man who fled them

From Klickitat County Emergency Services:
The Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol is asking the public to be on the lookout for a subject with a warrant that has fled from Law Enforcement in the area of Highway 142 at mile marker 14. This notification is for the town of Klickitat and surrounding areas. The subject is a 52 year old white male, 5’ 8” tall, 175 pounds, brown hair & brown eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a light colored shirt and dark jacket. He may have injuries and clothing damage from a motor vehicle accident. If you see a person matching this description do not approach him. Get yourself to a safe location and call 911. We will provide updates as more information is available. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists, and monitor local media outlets for information.