POLK COUNTY -- Neighbors and business people met last week with County Commissioners and Community Corrections Director Marty Silbernagel to discuss the county's decision to locate transitional sex offender housing in a downtown Dallas building.July 25, 2006 midnight read more..
INDEPENDENCE _ The July 25 meeting of the Independence City Council will be the last as a member for Carrie Casebeer. A councilor since 1998, Casebeer is stepping down from her Position 1 seat because she and her husband, Scott, are moving into a home they just built outside Monmouth. Council members are required to live inside the city limits.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY _ Willamette Valley grass seed growers are into another season of field burning with hopes that weather will cooperate between now and the fall. If all goes according to plan, valley residents will see the traditional plumes of smoke billowing up from fields but should not be impacted by the smoke. The Oregon Department of Agriculture will once again use a meteorologist and a network of on-the-ground observers to make sure the conditions are right for fields to be burned.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS _"She scored very high in our evaluation of her [Christy Perry] in her role as superintendent," were remarks by Dallas School Board Chair Bob Ottaway at Monday night's meeting of that group. Following that evaluation, Perry's salary was moved from just under $100,000 a year to $106,800 during her second year in the district's top job.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH _ City officials have denied a variance request, preventing Polk County Fire District No. 1 from building a new substation on Helmick Road. The decision also forces developers to delay construction on the proposed Main Street Plaza building until next summer.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY _ The group that is raising money to save Polk County's last covered bridge will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 27, at the Monmouth Library's meeting room, 168 S. Ecols St. Anyone who wants to help save the historic Ritner Creek Bridge is welcome to attend. Participants are asked to bring a dessert or snack to share with the group. Drinks will be provided.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
Editor's note: The Itemizer-Observer prints a variety of commentary pieces, including some it doesn't agree with, in an effort give readers a representative sample of public opinion. We have included several anti-war commentaries; this piece comes from the opposite end of the spectrum, to say the least.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
Whether you're adding a second coat of sunblock while sitting poolside or hiding out indoors, a good page-turner is an indispensable ingredient for the long days and nights of summer. Christian Science Monitor book editor Yvonne Zipp parsed scores of new releases and came up with these recommendations for your next trip to the bookstore.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS _The local branch of the Education First Foundation and Rotary Exchange are looking for Dallas families willing to host a student for a minimum of three months and up to a year. "We have four exchange students coming in August ... and if worse comes to worse they'll stay at our house until we find permanent families," said Lloyd Taber, Education First international exchange coordinator for Dallas.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS _- Explaining why there's more money than expected may be as hard as explaining why there's less money. Dallas School District finds itself explaining why it's starting the 2006-07 fiscal year with $2.5 million on hand instead of the $2 million carryover expected less than a month earlier. And even more than the $1.6 million carryover in the budget approved by the district only weeks before.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH _ Officials of Polk County Fire District No. 1 said a grass fire that scorched a field at 8895 Hoffman Road, Sunday, July 16 was started in a combine grain tank. Nobody was injured and no equipment was damaged. The property and the combine are owned by Bob Cook of Independence. Fire Marshal Jason Cane said the combine was harvesting grass seed and released a hot ember onto the field.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
Has the War on Terror transitioned into World War III? New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin offered that hypothesis in his June 9 column headlined "It's WWIII, and U.S. is out of ideas." Goodwin notes North Korean missiles being fired, Iranian nuclear research, continuing bloodshed in Iraq, Israel fighting in Gaza, earlier subway bombings in England and a plot to blow up tunnels in New York City all make a case for calling the situation WWIII.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
INDEPENDENCE _ A damaged natural gas line forced officials to halt traffic for four hours on Highway 51 near Independence on July 13. Contractors digging on the west side of N. Main Street punctured a high pressure mainline at about 1:30 p.m., said Valerie White, a spokeswoman for NW Natural Gas.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
INDEPENDENCE _ All former students of Independence High School should mark their calendars for Saturday, Aug. 19. That's the date of the annual IHS all-class reunion, set to start at noon at Henry Hill Elementary, 750 S. Fifth St. Henry Hill is the site of the former Independence High, which along with Monmouth High closed in 1950 when Central High School was built to serve both communities.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS _ The Dallas Fire and Police departments will conduct their eighth annual Junior Fire and Police Academy Aug.7-11 at Dallas City Park near the Academy Street entrance. The camp runs from 1 to 3 p.m. for students entering second through sixth grades.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
Life was easier in the "good ol' days," right? For instance, local school funding was primarily funded from local property taxes. A predictable and largely locally-controlled figure resulted. Today schools are primarily funded from the state general fund. Statewide K-12 funding finds 53 percent of general fund revenues come from the state and 33 percent are local taxes.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
Since the advent of the Bonneville Power Administration in 1937 electrical services provided by cities, public utility districts and electric co-operatives has been significantly less expensive than that provided by shareholder-owned utilities such as PGE or PacifiCorp.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY _ Joe Shinkle's Ford F-350 rolls along the bumpy and rut-strewn gravel road that jogs through his 53-acre farm, which sits along the Luckiamute River in a pastoral corner of Polk County. He brought the property six months ago. It has taken almost that long to clear derelict farm equipment left by the previous owner. From his mammoth pickup, he notes projects waiting for completion, like a renovation of his newly acquired 1928 home and a small alfalfa field waiting to be plowed, harrowed and replanted.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY _ Everyone had settled into Polk County Courtroom No. 2, where Deputy Curtis Pitt had planted two marijuana buds in a desk. Then Vader burst boisterously into the room. Vader is the newest member of the Polk County Sheriff's office. He's a 1-year-old German Shepherd trained to detect drugs and search for lost hikers. Last Thursday, he demonstrated his skills for an assembly of Polk County judges and citizens.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
INDEPENDENCE _ Harry Bladow has the itinerary mapped out for his cross-country trip next month. But he would rather not think of the cost. He and wife Suzanne will take off from Independence State Airport (ISA) in their 1966 Beechcraft Bonanza and fly to Oshkosh, Wisc. for the Experimental Aircraft Assocation's annual convention. From there, they'll head to Illinois to visit friends, and finally to Athens, Ga., for their granddaughter's wedding.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS _ A noted expert on such things once stated you never can go home again. New Dallas Les Schwab manager Dan Furrer would like to disagree. Furrer and wife Connie both have roots solidly implanted in Polk County. Furrer was born in Dallas and grew up near Eugene. Connie grew up in Dallas and is a Dallas High School graduate.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE _ Officials of the Monmouth-Independence YMCA are considering establishing a recreation district to help fund a new facility. The district would give the organization authority to put a general obligation bond before voters, but wouldn't impose any permanent tax rate increase.July 19, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS _ Nathelle Norfleet has no formal training as a painter, other than a few oil painting classes years ago. "My dear friend convinced me to attend a class with her ... and to my surprise it filled a missing link in my life," Norfleet saidJuly 19, 2006 midnight read more..
The National Indian Gaming Commission announced the promotion of Joe H. Smith of Monmouth to director of audits and finance. Smith has been with the commission since 1999, most recently in the capacity of acting director of audits. In his new position he will continue to manage the regulatory compliance auditing process, and also will have responsibility for the commission's internal accounting.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
SALEM -- The American Cancer Society and Salem Hospital Regional Health Services are joining forces to create a Cancer Resource Center. Volunteers are being recruited for the mission of guiding cancer patients, caregivers and family members through the journey of treatment.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- Students may have the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing at Western Oregon University starting in 2007. Officials from Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) are considering housing a nursing program in Monmouth, similar to partnerships it holds with Eastern and Southern Oregon universities and the Oregon Institute of Technology.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH - With the clear skies, the racket of pounding hammers, and loads of food laid out on picnic tables, the scene near the south end of the Western Oregon University campus was reminiscent of an old-fashioned barn raising. Last weekend, scores of volunteers gathered at Gentle House to install a new roof and make a series of much need repairs on the nearly 125-year-old historic dwelling.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
*Monmouth High reunion slated *Morris is basic training honoree *Independence girl headed for Peru *Perrydale reunion set for July 30 *Willamina Class of 1971 to meet *Bluegrass festival at Dancing Oaks *Local church hosts annual convention *Ham radio buffs meet Thursday *Coin club meets *Team raising funds *Church hosts class *Monmouth Libray events *Bible school setJuly 12, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- Central High School sophomore Jeff Kessler recently placed sixth at a statewide trigonometry competition. He was honored for his math prowess at the Professional Land Surveyor (PSLO) in Oregon at Oregon State University.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- The 24-Hour Relay Challenge, the overnight fund raiser that has drawn hundreds of communicty residents to McArthur Field every fall, has been cancelled for 2006. The event is the biggest fund raiser for Monmouth-Independence Together (MIT), a service organization which donates thousands of dollars to support local youth programs.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- It could be the shortest meeting of the year for the Dallas School board. Its July 10 meeting took less than an hour to complete as the board took care of its annual housekeeping duties as outlined by state laws and regulations. Director Michael Blanchard made the motion continuing the Board Chair, Bob Ottaway, and Vice Chair, Kevin Crawford, in their respective posts another year. It met with unanimous approval.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Susan Osher sits at a table in a large common room in the United Methodist Church in Dallas. Her long graying blond hair spills forward and sweeps her canvas. It's restrained by getting into her paint by the headphones arched between her ears. She is lost, gazing with stern concentration at the mythical image swirling into shape before her -- growing and glowing out of the white watercolor paper.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Big Valley Lending recently opened at 260 SW Mill St. in Dallas. Big Valley, a branch of American Pacific Mortgage, is a full-service broker offering residential, commercial and construction loans. American Pacific is based in Sacramento, Calif., and has 115 branches in 10 Western states, according to Big Valley branch manager Dan Cooper.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY -- Last month, 13 Oregon counties were awarded a total of $2.5 million from federal and state funding to create drug courts or enhance existing drug courts. Polk County was not one of them. Another $3 million from the same funding sources was set aside for mothers and children affected by drug use. None of that appears headed for Polk County either.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
INDEPENDENCE -- Sgt. Rick Igou arrives at Independence Police Department about 3 p.m., checks his e-mail and fields phone calls. On this evening, shortly before the Fourth of July, he is making last-minute preparations for the crush of people expected to visit the city. It's the start of Igou's 10-hour graveyard shift. Thankfully, it is also one of his last on a two-month rotation cycle. Before this year, it had been almost 16 years since he worked such a stint.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- The Oregon Primate Rescue in Dallas received a $1,535 grant from the PETCO Corporation that it will use to finish building a larger enclosure. "We're going to finish the enclosure for Magna (one of the monkeys) and then whatever is left over will go into our yearly medical testing fund," Primate Rescue Director Polly Schultz said.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY -- The old Wildwood Bridge, located in the fringe wilds of Polk County, is used by logging trucks and the few residents who still live in its tiny valley. At the beginning of July, Polk County contracted with S and K Painting to start the arduous process of stripping the bridge's old lead-based paint and replacing its bent struts.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY -- Genie Stewart sat down in front of her first loom on a whim. She was a young mother, and her days had become long stretches of sameness. She adored her child but needed some adult interaction. A friend and fellow mother invited her to come for a visit and try weaving. Stewart had bounced from one creative endeavor to another, trying to find the thing that would stick -- that would give meaning to her time between naps and diapers.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Joanne Moss married the military three years ago when she wed Sgt. Steve Wintrone of the Oregon National Guard. Moss is a retired school teacher who lost her first husband a number of years ago. She said that when she married Sgt. Wintrone she knew she'd be somewhat of an Army wife, but she didn't know the Guard would become such a huge part of her life.July 12, 2006 midnight read more..
INDEPENDENCE -- An Independence man's appetite for rib eye, tri-tip and other choice cuts of beef may earn him time in jail. Jason Allen Zachary, 30, was arrested June 16 for stealing between $1,800 and $2,200 worth of steaks from the Waremart grocery store at 1737 Monmouth St., where he has worked for the past six years as manager of the meat section.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- The new PEARL Gallery will host a First Friday evening and an after-hours event on Friday, July 7 starting at 6 p.m. The PEARL Artists' Co-op will also be open and will showcase local artists. Food samples from the PEARL Grab and Go Deli will be available at the new PEARL Building, and The Dennis Child's Jazz Trio will perform between 8 p.m and 8:20 p.m.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- City officials gave a green light on June 30 to a $24.71 million budget for 2006-07. The city council delayed adoption of the budget at its June 7 meeting because of concerns by some members over a $16,000 increase over last year for the Monmouth Senior Center. That sum pays for a salary and benefits raise for that center's program director.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Morrison Charter School transferred $51,120 from its checking account to the Oregon Department of Education on June 30. It marks the first of the school's transfer of assets from Dallas to the state. But not the last.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- City officials greenlit a $24.71 million budget for 2006-07 early June 30. City Council delayed adoption of the budget at its June 7 meeting because of concerns by some members over a $16,000 increase from last year of the Monmouth Senior Center.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
WEST SALEM -- Pentacle Theatre has replaced "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," which was scheduled to run July 14-Aug. 5. The new production will be "Talking With," by Jane Martin. All tickets purchased for Virginia Woolf will be honored at the door for Talking With.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
CORVALLIS -- A chemical engineering professor from Oregon State University is so committed to touting the benefits of biodiesel fuel that he off on a solo cross-country adventure that will take him more than 6,000 miles in his 3/4-ton Dodge pickup truck. David Hackleman, a former Hewlett-Packard engineer now in the Linus Pauling Chair at the OSU College of Engineering, hopes to burn 100 percent biodiesel all the way to West Virginia and back.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
What a wonderful 4th of July! The weather is perfect to celebrate the birthday of our nation. There are fireworks aplenty, locally and across the nation. I plan to enjoy the usual foods that are a custom on this day of celebration -- hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and a thirst quencher.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Tina Evans became suspicious of a mole last year. She went into to see a dermatologist to have her skin examined. Evans was a lifelong sun worshiper. Each time summer rolled around, she and her friends began their annual tanning competition to see who could get the darkest, most even tan. In the winter months she used a tanning bed to keep a warm tint on her fair skin.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- When Steve Milligan attends the July 11 Monmouth City Council meeting, he'll be sitting in the audience instead of his familiar spot behind the dais at Volunteer Hall. The council member of three years has officially recused himself of his elected duties in order to enter the running for the vacant city manager position.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- The Monmouth Police Department honored Detective Jodi Shimanek as its Officer of the Year during the agency's annual awards banquet June 23. Shimanek was hired as a reserve in 1994 and became a full-time officer the following year.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
OSU Oregon State University announced that among 4.0 GPA (straight A) students for spring term were: Joshua Beachy (electrical engineering), Randy Springer (pre-computer science), Matthew Stefani (business administration), all of Dallas. Hope Abramson (business administration), Angela Carter (university exploratory studies), Jeremy Gragg (buisiness administration), Amber Massey (education), Makayla Reed (general science), all of Monmouth.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
SALEM -- The Oregon State Police has launched a new web site that publishes information regarding dangerous sex offenders residing in the state. The site can be accessed directly at the internet address http://sexoffenders.oregon.gov or as a link from the state police web site, www.oregon.gov/OSP.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
INDEPENDENCE -- Several downtown businesses have pledged to keep their doors open later than usual on Thursdays in July and August to coincide with Family Movie Nights at the Independence Amphitheater. The businesses also will serve as stops on a "poker walk" of downtown, in which participants can visit each storefront for a chance to win a cash prize.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- A Georgia-based engineering firm has filed a $104,000 lawsuit in Polk County against the Monmouth-Independence Network (MINet). The cities of Monmouth and Independence also are named as defendants. Atlantic Engineering Group, Inc. (AEG) alleges that the local utility breached a contract by not paying for work it performed in 2005, according to a summons and complaint served to city officials on May 29.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Dallas High School Agriculture teacher Marlene Mensch has been named an "Outstanding Young Member" of the Oregon Chapter of the National Association of Agriculture Educators. This qualifies her for the Region 1 award, which will be announced next spring. Among the six regions in the National Association of Agricultural Educators, Oregon is in Region 1 along with California, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii and Idaho.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- The midway in Riverview Park bustles with excited screams as children clamor for a roller coaster ride, while the scent of burgers, elephant ears and other carnival fare drifts from a corridor of food booths. Families fill each grassy terrace of the amphitheater, attention fixed on the activity on main stage.July 5, 2006 midnight read more..