DALLAS -- The kids have been flocking to Dallas' Summertime free lunch program at Whitworth Elementary school. "I think on average we've been serving 111 students per day here. That's up from years past," Food Service General Manager, Terri Tjulander, said. Tjulander isn't sure why the number has risen. She suspects that times may just be hard. Whatever the reason, kids arrive daily by foot, by bike, by skateboard and by car.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- "There is a consensus of committee members and consultants in this room that supports a road improvement levy for Polk County," was the summation of a June 22 meeting of the county's Road Advisory Committee from its chair, Craig Hanneman. County Administrator Greg Hansen offered a staff recommendation that a 10-year bond levy for $20 million be used to address the needs of the road system. Such a levy, he noted, would carry an estimated tax rate of nearly 50 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value on property in the county.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
*Ferry closing for dredge work *Firefighter is finalist for honor * Chamber needs fair volunteers *4-H Hall of Fame inducts Andersen *Cane receives recognition *Volunteers sought for Brunk House *Library slates raptor program *Independence library events *Digital photo class offered *Churches seek items for sale *College news *Valsetz Reunion set for Aug. 5 *Museum seeks items for porch sale *Three receive FFA awards *Monmouth council sets special meeting *Two die in crash on Highway 18 *Shinn completes training *Sheriff's reserve positions openJune 28, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- City leaders want to fill Monmouth's city manager vacancy no later than Jan. 1. Because the search and hiring process is expected to last almost six months, officials plan to bring in an interim city manager within a few weeks. Jim Hough resigned from the position on June 7 at the request of the city council, which said his departure centered on his working relationship with other municipal employees. They haven't offered any specific details.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Last week a group of La Creole eighth-graders sneaked onto the roof of Dallas High School, pried lead roofing caps off the ends of pipe and tossed them over the edge. "It must have been great fun to remove them and drop them to the ground, because they just flatten out when they hit," Dallas High School Principal Keith Ussery said. The roofing caps are designed to keep water from leaking into the school's walls and ceilings. It will cost about $500 to replace them. The boys also got onto the La Creole roof and repeated their game.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- The Monmouth City Council expects to adopt Monmouth's 2006-07 budget before the end of the month. There is division, however, among some members regarding a proposed line item that increases the pay and benefits for the director of the Monmouth Senior Center by $16,000. Officials delayed adoption of the $24.7 million budget earlier this month after concerns arose about that matter, as well as a dispute over the funding method used to pay salaries of city hall personnel.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- The Oregon Donor Program's eighth Threads of Life donor quilt has been completed and will be displayed in honor of the late Donna Jean Case during the Monmouth Senior Center's monthly breakfast, Saturday, July 1 at 180 Warren St. S. The quilt will also be shown Sunday and Monday, July 2 and 3, at Heron Pointe Retirement and Assisted Living facility at 504 Gwinn St. E. The public is invted to both displays.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
It happened -- summer arrived and gave us a blast of sizzling warmth. Mother Nature continues to flex her muscles and teases us with that nice 75-degree weather and then burns us with 100 degrees plus. I'm glad to know summer is here, and hopefully moderation in heat will be the gift of the season.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Erin Pike is tall, with the slender build of a ballerina. She is engaging and well-spoken and excited about her next steps in life. For the summer, the next step will take her to Southern Oregon and the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Jean L. Guadio of Dallas won a life size cutout of actress Judy Garland from the Dallas Post Office, which ran a week-long contest that involved daily trivia questions about Garland's life. The contest was to promote the new "Legends of the Silver Screen" collector's stamp featuring Garland, whose acting career spanned the 1930s, '40s, '50s and '60s. Guadio had to visit the post office every day between June 12 and June 16 to retrieve the questions. She and her daughter, Mary Samerotte, then answered the questions together using their memories and the search engine GoogleJune 28, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY -- Luckiamute Valley Charter School will have a new director when classes start next fall. Board President Fred Weisensee said the board will begin interviewing candidates next week. Christine Cantamessa is leaving after two years as LVCS director. She took the position on Aug. 1, 2004 after John Finkbeiner retired.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Last month, 27-year-old Greg White was delivering pizzas for Track Town Pizza in Eugene. It was a typical night shift, and he was talking on his cell phone to a friend, Nate Birkholz, to help pass the lonely time in his car. White grew up in Dallas, and he and Birkholz are old high school buddies who've kept in touch while White attended the University of Oregon. He was set to graduate soon, but that has been delayed.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY -- A state proposal to enhance Luckiamute Landing with new trailheads and recreational opportunities has neighbors concerned about the increased traffic and other problems it might bring to the Buena Vista area. Concerns range from increased flooding because of the removal of vegetation from the river banks to complaints from some about not receiving proper notification of the plan.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
SALEM -- Only a few steps inside the entryway of the Oregon Capitol, almost everyone in the visiting delegation from Laibin, China, had a camera at the ready. Though they spoke almost no English, one official managed to say "outstanding" several times while he snapped away at the historical murals adorning the rotunda's walls.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Eldon Doty already had an awe for nature when he was 10 years old and living in the Alaskan wilderness. "It's vast, beautiful country that left a lasting impression on me," Doty said. Born with cerebral palsy, Doty has been wheelchair-bound most of his life -- but it hasn't slowed him down.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY -- The group that is raising money to save Polk County's last covered bridge will meet for a potluck dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 29, at the Pedee Women's Club on Kings Valley Highway in Pedee. The Coalition to Restore the Ritner Creek Bridge needs to raise about $25,000 to supplement Polk County and state grants that require local matching funds.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- Officials of the Monmouth-Independence Network (MInet) said they have signed up more customers than projected since the utility began offering services to community residents and businesses in early May. Some, however, are waiting up to four weeks from the time they enroll to get connected.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
INDEPENDENCE -- With wife Karina Newbeck expecting the couple's seventh child, some might think Jim Newbeck bought Independence Gas and Mini-Mart as a way to get out of the house. But Newbeck states that is not the case. Really. "I was a union carpenter for a number of years," Newbeck said. "Being a carpenter, I was going to Eugene and Portland a lot. I wanted something with more flexible hours that was going to keep me in town, and that's what I've got.June 28, 2006 midnight read more..
PEDEE -- Summer Youth Horsemanship Camp for youths ages 8 to 15 will be July 31 to Sept. 2 at Kings Valley Ranch. Campers will learn to care for a horse and improve their riding skills through ring lessons, trail rides and arena games. Other activities include roping, archery, arts and crafts, group games, skits, music and campfires.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
INDEPENDENCE -- A man accused of using his pickup truck to assault an Independence police officer had previously been deported twice from the United States, records show. Jose Flores-Oviedo, 28, was wanted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for another deportation prior to his arrest in Independence on April 30. He now faces 17 charges, including counts of assault on a public safety officer, assault in the first and second degree, reckless driving, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and menacing.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
INDEPENDENCE -- City officials describe the city's $10.85 million budget for the 2006-07 fiscal year as "lean and mean," with little in the way of increases or decreases to any of the city's departments -- although it might not appear that way at first glance. The city council officially adopted the budget at its June 13 meeting.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY -- With summer comes the need for additional donors to participate in area blood draws. The American Red Cross' Pacific Northwest Regional Blood Services (PNWRBS) urges givers to give the gift of life at the upcoming draws in the area.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Sgt. Ron Ritenour is retiring from the Dallas Police Force after 20 years of service. "Well, it's sort of a partial retirement," Ritenour said. "I'll still work as an arms and survival trainer at the Academy." Ritenour started his public service career later in life after an economic downturn in the mid-'80s eliminated his job at Weyerhaeuser. "I had some friends who were police and they encouraged me to join," he said. That was in 1986.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Going away isn't so easy. At least going away from its status as a charter school is proving more difficult than imagined by the five-member Morrison Charter School board of directors. As operations wind down and the charter ceases to function at the end of the fiscal year, the outlook is that there will be money in the bank and equipment in the classrooms.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- Housed in a small, unassuming storefront at the corner of Main and Ecols streets, Nancy Kurz's Spilled Ink Studio is easy to miss. The creativity inside isn't. A short walk from its front door and through a narrow hallway is a makeshift gallery adorned with colorful self-portraits, whimsical clay sculptures and other works by Kurz's students.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY -- Luckiamute Valley Charter School teacher Christopher Highfield will travel to Botswana, Africa, this summer to learn and help write a curriculum for Oregon schools. "I'm a member of the Oregon Geographic Alliance," Highfield said. "It's an organization that promotes geographic education throughout the state. I'll be going with 28 other teachers and two professors."June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
SALEM -- Eldon Bevens' first air mission in Europe was Nov. 30, 1944. He says you don't forget something like that. "We lost seven planes ... 65 people ended up as POWs," Bevens, of Dallas, said as he stood at McNary Field last week. He was there to watch the "Wings of Freedom Fly-in" -- and the sight dredged up memories. "'Bout this time of day we'd be out to the air field to watch the planes come in -- and the ones with injured would fire off red flares. They were allowed to land first."June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released an analysis that estimates costs related to the conservation of the Willamette daisy, Kincaid's lupine, and Fender's blue butterfly and their proposed critical habitat at $25 to $53 million over the next 20 years. The agency also opened an additional 15-day public comment period on all aspects of the proposed critical habitat and economic analysis. It will accept comments until June 30, 2006.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
INDEPENDENCE -- Construction on a 38-unit, $6 million housing development for farmworkers may begin this summer off Gun Club Road. Officials from the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation (FHDC) have scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony on the 3.7-acre site at 3 p.m. on June 25.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY -- Every three months Don Miner heads out in his little four-wheel utility vehicle to clean up a mile and a half of Reuben Boise Road near Dallas. He'll bring his dog along and sometimes his granddaughter. Sometimes his neighbors join him, sometimes his wife. They're serving their community by picking up other people's trash. "We've always been picker-upper people," Miner says of himself and his wife.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY -- Next month, Dallas resident Lisa Shepard will be realizing a dream by opening her own business, a cafe in West Salem. "We are aiming for July 6," Shepard said. "We want it to be a 'soft' opening. That way we can work out all the kinks before the real crowds hit. That's why we're aiming for the week of the Fourth."June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
SALEM -- The State Board of Education unanimously voted to approve the registration of interscholastic activity organizations, including the Oregon School Activities Association, but only for a single year. State law currently calls for a five-year approval when approval is given, but the board passed a temporary administrative rule last week to allow the one-year timeline.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- Coordinators of Western Days don't seem worried that July 4 falling midweek this year will have much of an impact on the annual event's turnout. This year's edition will simply add an extra day of festivities in Independence, beginning on on Saturday, July 1 and ending on July 4, a Tuesday. There will be fireworks displays on Hukly 2 and July 4 at the amphitheater in Riverview Park. Both shows will start at 10 p.m.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
*Sale will aid Sabrina *Reading program under way *Raptor program set for park *Local woman in pageant *Fewer dollars found in ed fund *Collegians earn awards *Student to study in Japan *Jam session is for seniors *Library book sale set *DHS alumni to gather *Class offered to geo-buffsJune 21, 2006 midnight read more..
MARION COUNTY -- The 13th annual Mid-Valley Civil War Re-enactment will be held July 1-4 at Willamette Mission State Park. The park is off Windsor Island Road north of Keizer, reached by Highway 219 (North River Road) out of Keizer.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- Before John Tenny's first retirement, he was a contractor. Now after his second retirement from Willamette University, he and his wife, Sue, had to decide between their historic Dallas home and a cottage in Pacific City. The beach won out -- but not without a battle.June 21, 2006 midnight read more..
FALLS CITY -- T-Mobile held an informational meeting last week to waylay the concerns of Falls City residents who live on Lucas Road, the proposed site for a new cell tower. The property of interest is owned by Ron Carey, and if approved the tower will take up space on a 40-by-40-foot corner of Carey's residence. The meeting was an opportunity for Carey's neighbors to ask questions about what T-Mobile wants to do.June 13, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- Jim Hough officially stepped down as city manager of Monmouth on June 7, officials said. The move came at the behest of the city council, which asked by consensus on June 6 that Hough hand in his resignation. Hough agreed to vacate his spot after meeting with Mayor Larry Dalton and City Attorney Mark Irick the following day. Because details regarding Hough's job performance were discussed in a closed session, city officials cannot talk about the specifics of the departure.June 13, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- Town officials reaffiremd support last Tuesday of a zone change that will allow construction of a Walgreens drugstore near the corner of Highway 99W and Main Street. The decision follows a last-ditch effort by several local residents, many who live near the proposed store, to halt the project over concerns of increased traffic congestion.June 13, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- Officials will delay the adoption of the city's proposed 2006-07 budget following concerns over a spending increase for the Monmouth Senior Center. Some councilors also raised questions regarding the funding method source for key city hall personnel during a public hearing on the $24.7 million budget during last week's first-ever meeting at Western Oregon University..June 13, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- College students face any number of challenges on the road to graduation, from financial debt and thesis papers as long as books, to mastering the delicate balancing act of time management and newfound social freedom. For Daniel Van Winkle, commencement this Saturday will be notable for two reasons. He earned a 3.9 grade point average -- only three others in his class had comparable academic standing -- while tutoring at a high school and competing on Western's rugby team.June 13, 2006 midnight read more..
New assistant principals hired at two schools Insurance comes in two flavors Revised discipline plan OK'd Schools seek growth of fund Community Schools program saved Classified employees get raise A text for each math student Exec director resigns post Evaluation of chief under wayJune 13, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- A Concert in the Park program will feature the Linn-Benton Concert Band and Reconstituted Monmouth- Independence Town Band at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 2. The program in Monmouth Main Street Park will be part of the annual Western Days "Arts in the Park" Celebration in Monmouth. The free event will feature a wide variety of traditional band music of a patriotic and popular vein.June 13, 2006 midnight read more..
POLK COUNTY -- Every year the Oregon State Marine Board blankets media organizations with water safety campaigns. The message has been the same for decades: Avoid alcohol, wear a life jacket and be vigilant a all times. And now add to that list: Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide fumes are dangerous because they are odorless and colorless. Symptoms of poisoning can come on with little warning.June 13, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- Western Oregon University will honor top students and winners of faculty awards during its graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 17. Almost 1,100 students are expected to earn undergraduate and advanced degrees this year, with 610 expected to take part in the commencement at 11 a.m. at McArthur FieldJune 13, 2006 midnight read more..
Each month Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo recognizes one of the hundreds of teachers she meets during her travels around the state as a "feature teacher." This month, Castillo and her staff featured Independence Elementary School teacher Meg Greiner. They wrote:June 13, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- When the Collings Foundation pilots fly their "Wings of Freedom Tour" B-17 and B-24 bomber planes into Salem's McNary Field on Wednesday, Eldon Bevens will be there. "So many people now have an interest in this, and I sure enjoy talking to them about it," Bevens said. Bevens was the ball turret gunner on a Boeing B-17 during World War II. He served two years, two months and 22 days -- the last part of which he spent recovering in South Dakota after he was shot during his sixth and final mission over Europe.June 13, 2006 midnight read more..
When Anthony Ray Kesler of Dallas graduated with honors from Linfield College last month, he was one of several dozen students with the cum laude addition to his diploma. That signifies a 3.75 or better grade point average for all four (or five) years of study. Except that Kesler did it in three.June 13, 2006 midnight read more..
FALLS CITY -- When a representative from T-Mobile approached Ron Carey, it came as a surprise to the Falls City resident. Carey's property is one of a handful of sites T-Mobile has listed as a possible site for a new cellular phone signal tower.June 7, 2006 midnight read more..
DALLAS -- The League of Oregon Cities (LOC) held a board of directors conference in Dallas last week for the first time since the organization's inception. Dallas Mayor Jim Fairchild, current LOC present, was excited to welcome his colleagues to the city.June 7, 2006 midnight read more..
MONMOUTH -- Officials will revive a discussion of replacing city hall during the coming months. Between now and Aug. 28, city leaders are expected to begin contacting qualified developers and gauging interest of those interested in taking on the oft-discussed Monmouth Civic Center project.June 7, 2006 midnight read more..