New advertising rep joins staff at I-O DALLAS — Rachel Best has joined the staff of the Polk County Itemizer-Observer as a sales representative in the display advertising department. Rachel Best A native of Dallas, Best grew up in Falls City and graduated from Falls City High School. She currently resides in Dallas and is the proud mother of three boys. She has lived and worked in Polk County for more than 30 years. Best worked at Forest River Inc. for six years as the sales coordinator for the company’s Dallas division. She recently received her degree in business technology from Chemeketa Community College. She said she is looking forward to helping the Dallas and Falls City communities with all of their advertising needs. When not selling ads, Best enjoys playing volleyball, riding ATVs and gardening. She is also a business partner at Sunset Outdoor Living LLC, specializing in outdoor kitchens. “I am excited to have Rachel working with us,” said Heidi Leppin, the I-O’s display advertising manager. “She is bright, likeable and she cares about the businesses and people in this community. That is always a plus.” Best began her new role with the Itemizer-Observer on Feb. 6. She can be reached at 503-623-2373 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Foundation to present grant awards DALLAS — The Dallas Community Foundation will award 22 grants to 21 local nonprofit organizations at a presentation scheduled Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Dallas Public Library. The foundation will award $35,200 in grants for a variety of projects benefitting youths, seniors and those in need. The public is welcome to the event, which will also recognize the work of local nonprofit organizations. The Dallas Community Foundation was established in 1995 by a group of local residents to benefit the people of the Dallas area. In addition to an annual distribution of funds to local nonprofit organizations, the foundation also administers a number of scholarship funds. The foundation’s financial support for local nonprofit organizations is only possible thanks to donations from the Dallas community. For more information: www.dallascommunityfoundation.com. Cover Oregon assistance is offered DALLAS — Polk County Family and Community Outreach is sponsoring another of its Cover Oregon health care application assistance sessions Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Dallas. Free Cover Oregon application assistance and answers to questions about health care coverage will be available during the event, which takes place at The Academy Building, 182 SW Academy St., Dallas. No appointment is needed. For more information: 503-623-1883; email to email@example.com. Wyden will appear in Independence INDEPENDENCE — U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden will hold his annual Polk County town hall meeting in Independence on Sunday. The forum takes place beginning at 1 p.m. at the Independence Civic Center, 555 S. Main St. Ron Wyden Wyden has been holding town halls in every Oregon country annually since 1996. His Polk County event on Sunday will be his 689th town hall. For more information: Tom Towslee, 503-326-7539. Mortgage payment program available POLK COUNTY — Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative's Home Rescue Program — a mortgage assistance program — has been extended until April 30 and funding slots are available now. Those struggling with mortgage payments may be eligible for up to $20,000 in payment assistance and up to $10,000 to bring their mortgages current. Appointments are available starting March 5 at noon and every second Wednesday until gone. “This program will help local homeowners stay in their homes so they can focus on recovering from the difficult economic times we have been experiencing,” said Rita Grady, executive director, Polk Community Development Corporation (Polk CDC). “If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, don’t hesitate to contact us for help.” To qualify, homeowners must show at least a 10 percent drop in current income compared to 2011 or 2012. An eligibility questionnaire, a complete list of qualification requirements and application cycle schedule can be found at www.oregonhomeownerhelp.org. Homeowners without Internet access can visit: Polk Community Development Corporation (Polk CDC), 657 Main St., Dallas. For more information: 503-986-2025. PSWCD seeking committee member DALLAS — Polk Soil and Water Conservation District is seeking a member from the public to fill an open position on the Polk SWCD Budget Committee. This volunteer appointment is for a three-year term. Applicants must be a registered voter of Polk County. The committee meets two evenings in the spring of each year. Deadline to apply is April 16. For more information or an application: Debbie Miller, 503-623-9680, ext. 101; www.polkswcd.org.