KWSO News for 2/24/20

High winds made for a blustery — and sometimes dangerous — day Sunday in Oregon and Washington. As reported by, winds gusting to about 50 mph blew across much of the High Desert, toppling trees onto power lines, homes, cars and parking lots and causing at least three outages affecting some 3000 Pacific Power customers in Bend. Pacific power was able to get power restored to those who were affected by 8pm last night. In Culver shortly after noon yesterday fire officials from JC, Redmond and WS responded to a house fire in the 10000 block of SW Green Drive. High winds made the fire attack difficult for crews and the home and garage were a total loss. The family of the home were not there at the time of the fire and nobody was injured.  In Renton, Washington, high winds sent a 200-foot-tall tree crashing down on an apartment building, critically injuring a man inside one of the units. Power outages closed the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma. Winds also hit Oregon and southwest Washington, with gusts up to 55 mph along the Oregon Coast. Interstate 84 in eastern Oregon was closed due to power lines in the highway and several other smaller state roads were closed due to wind and blowing debris.

Washington state authorities say returns of spring chinook to the Columbia River this year could hit near-record low numbers due to poor ocean conditions. This year’s forecasted return of 81,700 upriver spring chinook is up 12% from last year, which was the lowest number of returning spring chinook since 1999. New fishing regulations this year for the Columbia River set the season at April 1 to May 5. The expected harvest is about 340 adult chinook above the Bonneville Dam and 2,500 below it. Fishing regulations have yet to be set for this year for spring chinook on the Snake River, but the catch is expected to be similarly constrained.

Time is running out for Oregon schools to figure out how they’ll spend money from the Student Success Act. For one school district in central Oregon, the money means boundary shifts affecting more than 300 students. OPB’s Elizabeth Miller has details. “Redmond Schools are set to receive almost six million dollars from the student success act. The plans haven’t been finalized but funds will go to three ‘buckets’: career technical education, training on social emotional learning, and smaller classes. To create those smaller classes, Superintendent Mike McIntosh is moving kindergarten students and teachers. MCINTOSH :15 I had to, A, create more sections of kindergarten because I reduced the class size target and I had no place to do that. The next step was making room for those kindergarten kids in their neighborhood elementary schools. The move will also combine the district’s dual language immersion program under one roof and change a K-8 to an elementary school. The changes have drawn pointed questions from some Redmond parents. The district will ask the school board to approve their plan next week. School districts have to submit applications by April 15. Elizabeth Miller, reporting.”

In local sports: The Madras High School Buff Boys Basketball is on the road to Estacada for their final game of the season. Tip-off is at 7pm. The Lady Buffs are hosting Estacada for their final regular season game of the season. Tip-off is at 7pm and you can catch that game LIVE here on KWSO.

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