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The Luckiamute Valley Charter School in Pedee graduated 15 students from the eighth grade this year: Enrique Berumen, Tristan Creekmore, Seth Ellingsworth, Callum Francis, Taylor Hill, Colene Kadell, Eric Myers, Robert Phillips, Kyle Reed, Corbin Sedlacek, Daniel Torres, Savannan Trujillo, Thalia Villarreal, Michael Simmons, and Christopher Seiber.  Graduation was after school on June 8 and featured a slide show of the kids and their activities through the years at the school. The ceremony was followed by a barbecue potluck for everyone, then the kids took lead teacher Steve Diehl to Independence to see “Captain America: Civil War.”

Last Thursday Linda North and the Norths’ exchange student from Germany, Anna Tieftrunk, were baptized in the Luckiamute River by Pedee Church pastor Daniel Russell, as several church members witnessed this special event. Anna participated in Dallas High School’s graduation ceremony, and then Sunday the church had a reception for her as she will be going home to Koblenz this week. She was a delight, and the community will miss her greatly.

News to me, but one of Daniel Russell’s hobbies is free diving, which is diving with a wetsuit but no oxygen tanks, so short dives, obviously. He and friend Laurence Rogers, of Monmouth, went to Newport on Thursday and dove off the South Jetty with their spearguns to catch fish. Daniel only got two perch, though.

Nic and Cassandra Heller had a party for family and friends at their house on a very warm Saturday afternoon, June 4, to announce their baby girl’s name, which will be Mercy Rae. They served hamburgers to the guests, who brought gifts for baby and family. Cassandra’s parents, Paul and Polly Ramos, came from Omaha, Neb., for the event.

My daughter Suzanne Burbank and I hosted a shower (really, a “sprinkle” of small gifts) for her son Derek’s fiancé, Ashley Grucza, the next day, June 5. We invited relatives and old family friends for lunch and to bring her either their favorite cleaning product or kitchen utensil. Since we had them tell about the item, we all learned a lot from each other in the process. She got everything from parchment paper and gardening tools to a bottle of ammonia. Very fun! Ashley’s mother, Tina Grucza, of Turner, and grandmother, Gloria Tiefenthaler, of Marion, were there, as well as friends of Suzanne’s and mine.

Immediately after the shower, I left for Portland to catch a plane to go to American Agri-Women’s (AAW) “Fly-In” to Washington, D.C., where we take our concerns to our congressional delegates and agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture. This year, I am secretary of this national organization, so got to sit in on some special meetings as well. Don’t think I’ll do the red-eye flight again, though, as I’m no good without sleep.

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