Heatwave concerts    to start at Western    Western Oregon University's office of Student Leadership and Activities kicks off another season of the WOU Summer Heatwave Concert Series on Wednesday (today).    The event runs every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through July 23 at the Werner University Center Plaza on the WOU campus, 345 N. Monmouth Ave., Monmouth. Concerts are free and open to the public. Food will be available for purchase and free desserts will be served.    JT and the Tourists will perform rock ‘n’ roll tunes from the 1950s, ’60s and early ’70s this week. Additional scheduled performers and dates are Jackson Michelson (July 2), Nicole Lewis (July 9), Andrew Daniels (July 16) and Misplaced Tropics (July 23). An inflatable slide activity is planned July 30 near The Grove.    For more information: 503-838-8514.    County fair help is    available to 4-Hers    Are you a first year 4-H member going to the county fair and need some help? Maybe you’ve been there a couple of years and still need some help?    Polk County Extension and 4-H is offering a class, “Polk County Fair 101,” on Thursday that will cover all the questions you’ve got in a small project group situation. Come at the time for the majority of your fair exhibits: 5 to 5:30 p.m. — static areas; 5:30 to 6 p.m. — horses; 6 to 6:45 p.m. — small animals; and 6:45 p.m. — large animals.    For more information: 503-623-8395.    Writing workshop    to begin Thursday    A seven-week “Write Your First Novel In a Month” workshop begins Thursday and continues through Aug. 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 311 Monmouth St., Independence.    The class is aimed at people who want to write a novel by participating in a deadline-driven, community-supportive atmosphere. The class will focus on preparation for writing your book (including idea generation), completion of the first draft of your book, and end with a workshop on what to do with a freshly written novel.    Instructor is Maren Bradley Anderson, a literature and writing instructor at Western Oregon University. Class fee is $75, and includes a textbook.    For more information: 503-808-0026; email to maren@marens.com.    Annual poker ride    scheduled Saturday    The Polk County Saddle-ites saddle club will host its annual poker ride on Saturday, with the first riders out at 9 a.m. from 11505 Pedee Creek Road in Monmouth.    Last rider out is at 11 a.m.    Cost is $5 per hand, or five hands for $20. A 50-50 pot will be available. Results and prizes will be handed out at 3 p.m. You must be present to claim prizes.    The ride is about three hours long, with a shorter one-hour loop available. The event will be cancelled if Polk County declares fire season on or prior to Saturday.    The ride benefits local youths though a scholarship for seniors interested in equines as well as helping youths in 4-H and FFA.    For more information: Karen Porter, 503-606-0471; email kporter@peak.org.    Monmouth dairy    plans open house    Double J Jerseys near Monmouth invites you to meet your local Organic Valley farm family on its 300-cow organic dairy farm during a tour scheduled Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.    Attendees will walk the pastures, see an organic garden and various farm animals, make butter and learn more about where organic food comes from.    The farm is located at 13405 Elkins Road, south of Monmouth.    To RSVP for your space on the tour, driving directions and to meet your farmer hosts by video, go online and visit ov.coop/farmdiscovery.    Ballston community    picnic set Sunday    Past and present residents of the Ballston community are welcome to attend the annual Back to Ballston Picnic in the Park on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.    The event, hosted by the Ballston Community Club, takes place at Ballston Park on Ballston Road in northern Polk County.    Attendees are asked to bring a potluck dish to share and photographs of when you lived in Ballston. There is no cost to attend.    The historic school in the park will be open for viewing.    For more information: Judy Whitlow, 503-843-3381; email to judywhitlow@centurylink.net.    Junior gardener    camp coming up    Polk County Extension Service is offering a day camp for youths, the Junior Master Gardener Day Camp, beginning Monday and continuing through July 2 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.    The camp, for youths in grades kindergarten through four, takes place at Gentle Woods Park in Monmouth. Cost is $35, and scholarship assistance may be available. It is designed to give youths a hands-on outdoor learning experience with natural science, forestry, gardening, entomology, soils, crafts and more.    Polk County Extension/4-H is also offering a Robots and Rocks workshop for those in third grade and older Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Polk County Fairgrounds. Cost is $5 for 4-H members; $7 for nonmembers.    For more information or to register: 503-623-8395; email to judi.peters@oregonstate.edu.    Book sale benefit    scheduled Monday    West Valley Hospital Volunteer Services will host a “Books Are Fun” fundraiser on Monday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the hospital, 525 SE Washington St., Dallas.    Children’s story books, cookbooks, general interest books, New York Times best sellers, stationery and scrapbooking items and music collections will be available for purchase.    Proceeds are used for the Volunteer Services Scholarship Fund, which offers annual scholarships to Polk County high school students graduating and wishing to pursue further education in a health care-related field.    For more information: 503-623-7323.    Early-bird rates for    parade end today    The $15 early-bird entry rate for the Monmouth-Independence Rotary Club Fourth of July Grand Parade ends Wednesday (today). Starting Thursday, the cost will be $20 per entry.    To enter the parade, which begins at noon on July 4 at the Western Oregon University campus and winds down Main Street and Monmouth Street to Independence Riverview Park, go online to mirotaryclub.org.    For more information: Jim Birken, 541-760-0295.    Polk County Fair    4-H entries due    All Polk County Fair 4-H entry forms are due in the Polk County OSU Extension Office on Tuesday by 6 p.m. in order for 4-Hers to participate in the 2014 Polk County Fair, scheduled Aug. 7-10.    Entry forms and other required paperwork are now available at the Extension Office or online. Currently enrolled 4-H youth must list what specific classes they will enter in the fair.    For more information: Polk County OSU Extension 4-H Office, 503-623-8395; or visit the office at 289 E. Ellendale Ave., Suite 301, in Dallas.    


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