Update: Two 18-year-olds dead in shooting incident and fire in Goldendale

Hand-With-gunMore details are emerging in the bizarre shooting and arson episode that took place last Thursday near Goldendale. According to Klickitat County Sheriff’s Department Detective Sergeant Eric Anderson, 18-year-old April Lynn Reed of Goldendale and 18-year-old Justin Daniel Plunket of Portland were shot and killed as part of a shooting rampage on the part of her great uncle, Gary Richard Hawkins. Reed and Plunkett were staying in a tent on property owned by her grandparents in the 400 block of Brentwood Road Thursday. Hawkins also lived on the property in an RV.

Anderson said initially the sheriff’s office received reports of a gun battle between Hawkins and his sister, the victim’s grandmother. Hawkins was firing into the mobile home on the property where his 53-year-old sister lived with her 74-year-old husband and she was returning fire. Neither of the two in the house were hurt. In addition to shooting his great niece and her friend in their tent, Anderson said, Hawkins shot two chickens, fired bullets into vehicles, and set his RV on fire.

Anderson said deputy Robert Bianci was the first to arrive on the scene and found Hawkins no longer had the 9mm pistol he had been using. Instead, he walked up to Bianci’s car and said, “I’m the guy you’re looking for. Put the cuffs on me.”

Anderson also said Hawkins showed no sign of drug or alcohol impairment, or of any injury, but when other deputies came to secure the scene, he passed out and had to have CPR to have his heart restarted. He was life-flighted to OHSU where at this hour he was reported to still be unconscious. Anderson said warrents for two counts of murder in the first degree have been issued for him when and if he is released from the hospital. No motive has been listed in the case, which is under investigation.


Below is our previous post:

Two 18-year-old’s are dead after two motor homes and a shed were found ablaze in Goldendale Thursday. A post on the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Facebook page said Deputies responded to calls of an “active shooter” in the 400 block of Brentwood Road about 12:30 Thursday. Deputies said original reports said the suspect shot two people and was walking around in the area. Deputies found the suspected shooter, Gary Hawkins down the road speaking with another male subject in a vehicle. He was arrested him without an issue.

They then investigated the suspected home where they found two people inside and moved to safe location. Klickitat fire crews responded to the scene as well when deputies discovered there were two motor homes and a shed on fire. Fire crews put out the blaze and deputies said they continued to investigate the scene when they found two victims, an 18-year-old woman and man, who had died.

Hawkins reportedly lost consciousness while sitting in the patrol car. He was moved into an ambulance where medics as well as the deputy performed CPR on Hawkins and were able to restart his heart. Hawkins was lifeflighted to a hospital outside the area.

Deputies said they will arrest Hawkins on suspicion of two counts of murder when he is released from the hospital.

Monday morning Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer added some additional details: The full name of the accused is Gary Richard Hawkins, he is 51 years old and he is the uncle of the female victim.


Interview – Sherman County Commissioner Mike Smith urging a write-in vote in November

commissioner-mikeFewer than 60 days remain before the November general election. During the May Republican primary in Sherm

an County, incumbent county commissioner Mike Smith was upset by 16 votes iby Joe Dubalskis. Final total there was 196 votes to 180. Smith said he originally accepted this as the will of the voters, but since  then, he says has been approached be a growing  number of voters asking him to conduct a write-in campaign.

You can hear our interview by clicking on the grey podcast bar below.

Checking with Sherman County Clerk Jeanine McDermid whether there had been candidates for office in Sherman County who had won with a write-in vote.

She found several city races and one county race: November 6, 1990 General Election
County Judge
On the ballot: John W. Buether 286
On the ballot: Sherry Kaseberg 347
Write-In: Rodney Rolfe 387 


Judge dismisses Klickitat County lawsuit

Courtesy of the Goldendale Sentinel

Courtesy of the Goldendale Sentinel

A federal judge has dismissed Klickitat County’s lawsuit against the federal government in a dispute over the boundaries of the Yakama Nation reservation.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that (http://goo.gl/GWCiXt ) U.S. District Court Judge Lonny Suko ruled that the county lacks standing to ask the federal government to make a boundary decision.

Suko did not decide who has jurisdiction over 99,000 acres southeast of Mount Adams known as Tract D. He ruled that when the federal government approved a process that gave the tribe jurisdiction over tribal members in many criminal and civil areas, it didn’t have to clarify the reservation boundaries.

The south-central Washington county sued the U.S. Interior Department in April seeking in part to prevent the agency and Bureau of Indian Affairs from exercising jurisdiction over the tract.

Klickitat County Prosecuting Attorney David Quesnel called the ruling frustrating. Yakama Nation Tribal Council Chairman JoDe Goudy did not respond to a request for comment.

Interview: Pat Arnold gets enough write-ins to be on the ballot for Klickitat County Commissioner

09-08-16-pat-arnoldYou can hear our interview with Pat Arnold by clicking on the grey podcast bar below. The following information is supplied by her campaign:

Pat Arnold will be on the November 2016 ballot as a candidate for Klickitat County Commissioner, District 1, as a result of write-in votes on the primary ballot. Arnold is running as an Independent candidate, with no party preference identified on the ballot.

Pat says “I am amazed and surprised to find myself in the Commissioner race. It is wonderful and energizing to have this opportunity to serve the County. I feel strongly that local government and local politics matter and are what most immediately affect our lives.”

Pat believes in our duty as citizens to participate in the governing process, and she has put this belief into practice in many volunteer activities over the years. She believes that government is where we talk with each other and reconcile our differences over policy and programs. She believes strongly that we can’t move forward unless we move forward together. She is willing to put in the time and work to make county government work better for everyone.

Pat’s campaign focuses on a range of issues.

  • Build a diversified economy, with strong support for locally owned small business and for our working farm, ranch, and forest lands. Join with other Gorge communities in growing the local food system.
  • Keep sufficient affordable housing for working people and families, and seniors, including assisted living.
  • Protect farmland, forest land, and natural resources, especially water resources, to maintain our self-sufficiency.
  • Plan for sensible growth. Growth rates are high in Klickitat County. We need clear, shared goals that move us forward together. We need effective planning to make the inevitable growth beneficial for Klickitat County.
  • Develop emergency response plans for coal and oil train disaster events. Take steps to support dispersed local solar energy production.
  • Health care, and the County’s role in building a safety net for those who need it, including drug and alcohol addiction prevention and treatment programs
  • Build more productive government to government relationships with the Yakama Nation.

There are other issues where the County can influence state and even national government. The County participates in state budget and legislative policy issues such as state funding of education, infrastructure, and transportation. Pat thinks there is more the Commissioners can do to involve Klickitat County voters and residents in this process.

Pat ran for Commissioner in 2004 and lost in a close election. She returned to full time work in the affordable housing field until retirement in April 2016. She also has operated her small shell egg business at her farm in Trout Lake since 1993.

Pat says “If elected, I pledge to bring new energy and new perspectives to county government, with more emphasis on open and inclusive government processes. We can move forward together.”

Union Pacific request for second track at Mosier hearing Tuesday

The Union Pacific rail expansion proposal is set for a public hearing before the Wasco County Planning Commission on Sept. 6 at 3 p.m. at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles. The public is invited to attend and comment on the project.

The project proposes to expand an existing railroad siding on either side of Mosier, Oregon for 4.02 miles of new second mainline track and realigned existing track; place five new equipment shelters; install drainage structures, a retaining wall, new lighting and signage, and wireless communication poles; modify existi ng utilities, temporary landing zones for construction; construct temporary and permanent access roads; and a property line adjustment. The request also includes off-site wetland mitigation east of the primary project site

This is a complex proposal, with an application running to more than 1,000 pages.

Street closures Tuesday and Thursday

City of The Dalles Public Works will be paving East 10th Street from Thompson Street to the east past Morton Street\The section of East 10th to be paved will be closed to all travel between 6:00 AM and 7:00 PM, and no on-street parking will be available for that day.

Thursday, September 8th City crews will be paving East 12th Street from Thompson Street to the east past Morton Street. East 12th Street residents in the work area will need to plan and park accordingly on September 7th to allow for no on-street parking and the closure of East 12th Street from 6:00AM to 7:00 PM on Thursday, September 8th.