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Balancing the Budget

By Rodger Nichols The beginning of the new calendar year is also the beginning of the fiscal year for Northern Wasco County PUD. Chief Financial Officer Harvey Hall handles the utility’s budgeting process. Creating a budget with the responsibility to serve 25,000 people and businesses around the clock and around the year takes careful planning. […]

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Don’t Stop the Presses

Journalism rebounds in the Gorge By Rodger Nichols “COVID-19 claimed three more businesses in the Columbia River Gorge.” That’s what a joint press release from the Northwest Newspaper Association might have said last year. “The first is a 130-year-old daily from The Dalles, the second is a 117-year-old weekly from White Salmon and the third […]

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Station Still Spry at 80

KODL has covered the Gorge through changes in frequency and ownership By Rodger Nichols The oldest radio station in the Columbia River Gorge recently celebrated its 80th anniversary. When KODL signed on the air in October 1940, it was the only station between Portland and La Grande. In the eight decades since, it’s been on […]

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Restoring Habitat Favors Fish

By Rodger Nichols Just like the mighty Columbia River, Northern Wasco County PUD has far more going on behind the scenes than immediately visible on the surface. One of those activities involves the McNary Fisheries Compensation Committee. The group many people have never heard of is looking for good ideas and is willing to pay […]

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Going Up: From Diver to Lineman

Navy diver finds second career in utility industry By Rodger Nichols Erik Gardipee will finish 20 years in the U.S. Navy in January 2021. He is serving the last few months of that term not at sea, but with Northern Wasco County PUD. Erik is job shadowing under a Department of Defense program called SkillBridge. […]

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Two Cents’ Worth — on Two-Cent Pieces

By Rodger Nichols Many people think what Americans consider standard U.S. coinage—the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, and dollar—are all Americans have ever used. That is far from the case. America is a young country. When it declared itself independent from England, it rejected everything, including the British monetary system of 240 pence-to-the-pound sterling. The […]

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Local Power Supply

Northern Wasco County PUD’s power sources continue to evolve By Rodger Nichols Wasco County’s first power plant was a wood-fired steam generator built in July 1888 at Seventh and Union streets. D.M. Smith and J.W. French bought the plant in 1892 and moved it to First and Laughlin streets, where The Dalles wastewater treatment plant […]

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A Buzzing Enthusiasm

A half-million bees keep Jerry Frazier on his toes Story and photos by Rodger Nichols Bees might as well be Jerry Frazier’s mascot. He is just as busy as a member of the hive. Jerry sold his successful Oregon Trail Insurance business eight years ago, but he has not slowed down one bit. He serves […]

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Service with a Smile

Northern Wasco County PUD readily adapts to unusual times By Rodger Nichols Customer service is all about building and maintaining good relationships, quick response times, and satisfactory results. Keeping that up during pandemic conditions offers a new challenge, but Northern Wasco County PUD has stepped up to the demand. Justin Brock, customer service and key […]

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The Ins and Outs of Power Poles

Story and photos by Rodger Nichols Have you ever wondered what the strange shapes on and near power poles are? Even though Northern Wasco County PUD owns and maintains the poles, not everything on a pole belongs to the PUD. Some items belong to phone and internet providers. The first poles to sprout in The […]