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Mi Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

Even though students are back in school and department stores are beginning to stock winter clothing selections, these warm September days serve to remind us that summer is still alive and well in MI Town.

But before we know it, the days will get even shorter and there will be less time to enjoy this wonderful season of crisp, cool nights and mornings.

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Our streets are alive with many new Western Oregon University students from faraway places, including other countries. Many of these young people are away from their homes for the first time. They're eager to learn everything they can about American college life and their place in our community. Please remember to welcome these young men and women as they become our new neighbors.

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The Monmouth and Independence libraries are beginning new programs for children and teenagers, and many interesting and exciting offerings are available. Be sure to check with your local branch to learn how you and your family can get involved in library activities. There are programs for everyone.

One of them, "Back to School Bingo," is set for 4 to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at the Independence library. Kids can start the new school year with fun and prizes.

We are blessed to have libraries that are such a wonderful resource for knowledge and fun. Their staffs work hard to keep in tune with the community.

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The Monmouth library's book group meets tomorrow at 7 p.m. to discuss new ideas and suggestions for the upcoming year, and it welcomes new members.

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It's not too soon to think about the upcoming Hop & Heritage Festival scheduled Sept. 28-30 (Friday to Sunday) in Independence. This year's celebration promises lots of fun activities for people of all ages -- and the very best thing about our Hop & Heritage Festival is that is unique to our community. What a great opportunity to get together with friends, family and neighbors to celebrate an important part of this area's history.

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Just a reminder to our new friends and neighbors that the speed limit in MI Town is 20 mph in school zones as well as residential and business areas. Many folks are out and about, walking or bike riding, these days and evenings. Please, be careful and watch out for one another.

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Our local high schools and Western Oregon University continue to offer us a variety of athletic events to enjoy. There is nothing quite like spending a Friday evening or Saturday afternoon at a game or athletic event where you can visit with friends and neighbors. Good times for everyone, right here in our community.

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