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1/18 Mi Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

The weather outside is cool and crisp, and we're smack dab in the middle of a cold winter's day as we go to deadline for this week's column. But the sun is shining and everything looks pretty fine outside my window.

So far (fingers crossed) we haven't had much snow or ice in MI Town, but it sure seems like springtime is a distant future dream. All longtime Oregonians know we've just had a brief respite from a constant cleaning up of muddy footprints from spouses, children and pets, and any day now the closets and laundry rooms might be full of wet coats, jackets, shoes, hats and scarves.

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MI Town's local business leaders are working hard to bring economic growth and services to everyone fortunate enough to live in these special communities.

This year's Monmouth Business Association newly elected president is Ray Stratton (Main Street Pub & Eatery), Scott McClure (Monmouth city manager) will serve as vice president, Mark Fancey (Monmouth community development director) is secretary, and Kevin Raschko (West Coast Bank) is treasurer.

MBA meetings are held at 7:30 a.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at Main Street Pub, 169 W. Main St.

Independence Downtown Association's newly elected officers are Nancy Lodge (city councilor) as president, Phil Hyer (Second Street Antiques) as vice president, Marie Trucco (Business Incubator) as secretary and Julie Starnes (Sterling Bank) as treasurer.

The IDA meets at 8 a.m. on the second Thursday of the month at Andy's Caf‚, 227 S. Main St.

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During these unpredictable winter months, programs for children and youths at MI Town's libraries just keep getting better and better. Even though outdoor activity is more limited than ever at this time of year, it's great to know that our children and teens have fun and interesting options available and they are close to home. Check with either library's website to see the good offerings available to everyone.

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And speaking of books ... if you were lucky enough to receive new books for Christmas and need to clear some space for them in the bookcases, the Monmouth Public Library is in need of books in good condition for the Ongoing Book Sale. Children's books are especially welcome. If one of your New Year's resolutions was to find new homes for old books, look no further.

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January's Monmouth Senior Center newsletter is full of interesting and enjoyable classes and events available to MI Town residents. You'll find something fun to participate in, and it's an opportunity to meet new people and greet old friends in a warm and comfortable place. For more information about upcoming events, including trips and special programs, call Sue Teal at 503-838-5678.

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