Stories for March 2016


Thursday, March 31

Council to label Minet debt ‘bad’

In an effort to preserve the city’s cash flow and bond rating, the city of Monmouth will consider labeling receivables from Monmouth Independence Networks as non-collectible.

March 31, 2016 noon read more..

Independence man sentenced for theft, weapon charges

Eric Spier, 29, of Independence, was sentenced by Polk County Circuit Judge Monte Campbell to serve seven and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to a series of theft, drug, and weapon-related crimes that occurred between May 2014 and May 2015 involving multiple victims.

March 31, 2016 11:02 a.m. read more..

Wednesday, March 30

Optimistic about economy

In Chelsea Metcalfe’s opinion, Dallas has a “good problem.” Metcalfe, the executive director of the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce, said she’s been trying to help a local family fulfill their business dream, but has run into a roadblock.

March 30, 2016 2:43 p.m. read more..


This coming weekend, we turn the calendar to the brand spanking new month of April, and we’re looking forward to a new month of longer and sunnier days, and hopes that we can make some headway against the weeds that — given half a chance — could easily take over the garden.

March 30, 2016 noon read more..

MES digs out structure

Students, Scouts, parents and teachers showed up to Monmouth Elementary School on Friday morning, dodging the rain to dig out one of three play structures.

March 30, 2016 noon read more..

Dallas couple wins big

A Dallas couple had the luck of the Irish in Oregon Lottery’s St. Patrick’s Day Raffle, but it took some time to realize it.

March 30, 2016 noon read more..

The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack

MONMOUTH — In the moments after, it hurt. Western Oregon’s men’s basketball team, fresh off a 74-55 loss to Augustana in the NCAA Division II Final Four on Thursday, didn’t feel quite like celebrating yet.

March 30, 2016 11 a.m. read more..

WOU ROUNDUP: Baseball drops two of three to MSUB

BILLINGS, Mont. — Western Oregon’s baseball team got off to a strong start before dropping two of three games against Montana State Billings on Saturday and Sunday. The Wolves won the opening matchup 10-0 on Saturday and lost the other two.

March 30, 2016 11 a.m. read more..

DALLAS ROUNDUP: Baseball earns split

BOISE — Dallas’ baseball team went 2-2 at the Bucks Bag Tournament Thursday through Saturday. The Dragons defeated Bishop Kelley 6-4 on Thursday before falling to Emmett 3-1 on Friday morning.

March 30, 2016 11 a.m. read more..

Tuesday, March 29

Indy markets return Saturday

The weather is going to be perfect — knock on wood — to get out to the Independence farmers markets, said Sue Barker, organizer of the Riverview Farmers Market.

March 29, 2016 3:27 p.m. read more..

Thursday, March 24

Wednesday, March 23


Legislators sound off on minimum wage

The Oregon Legislature wrapped up its 2016 short session on March 3 and left in its wake 166 bills passed by the House and another 157 passed by the Senate. Gov. Kate Brown has signed 63 so far.

March 23, 2016 11:48 a.m. read more..

Vet finds no neglect

In Oregon, horses are considered livestock. That means the legal standard of care for horses is different than for domestic animals.

March 23, 2016 11:47 a.m. read more..

Indy goes into overtime to stop DUII

For the rest of March and throughout April, Independence Police Department officers will have an opportunity to work overtime to look for and arrest impaired drivers.

March 23, 2016 11:43 a.m. read more..

Monmouth Police honors officers

Monmouth’s Officer of the Year award was presented to two officers in a tie vote: Detective Kevin Renfro and Officer Justin Reynolds, both for their outstanding work in 2015.

March 23, 2016 11:42 a.m. read more..

Indy PD honors top officers

Caldelario Navarro earned Reserve Officer of the Year honors from the Independence Police Department for volunteering almost 200 hours of his time to the department, said Sgt. Tino Banuelos.

March 23, 2016 11:40 a.m. read more..

Lack of funding threatens Wagner

The future of the Wagner Community Library in Falls City will be the topic of am upcoming meeting between Mayor Terry Ungricht and library leaders.

March 23, 2016 11:39 a.m. read more..

Letter: Ford program benefits community

The Ford Institute Leadership Program’s Dallas/Falls City Cohort 2 would like to extend a big thanks to everyone that came out to celebrate our installation of the interpretive/way-finding signs on the Rickreall Creek Trail System on Friday.

March 23, 2016 11:34 a.m. read more..

Prepare now for more PE

Kids in fourth grade will have a couple years to get used to it, but by the time they enter middle school, new physical education requirements will ask them to be active for at least 45 minutes a day, Monday through Friday.

March 23, 2016 11:32 a.m. read more..

Dallas families displaced by fire

Two families, including five adults and eight children, displaced in a duplex fire in Dallas on March 15 are having to start over and are in desperate need of help.

March 23, 2016 11:31 a.m. read more..

Investigation shows no proof of burglary

A Monmouth juvenile has been referred to the juvenile department for initiating a false report after Monmouth Police and officers from other agencies, including a canine team, were unable to find evidence to support his claim that he had confronted a burglar.

March 23, 2016 11:30 a.m. read more..

Something sweet?

After a lifetime of experience with her father’s gift for cooking Italian food that would bring the neighbors knocking when they smelled the garlic in the air, Kerner asked him, “Why don’t you open a restaurant?”

March 23, 2016 11:27 a.m. read more..

March 23 Community Notebook

WVH volunteers to host fundraiser; Dallas Garden Club to meet Monday; Sunrise service at Spring Valley Church; Annual doll show takes center stage; Calmlee’s to host book club meeting; Winery to hold ‘adult Easter hunt’; Easter Brunch at Left Coast Cellars; Alzheimer’s class looks at disease

March 23, 2016 11:25 a.m. read more..

Pedee News

Easter is Sunday and Pedee Church will be having their traditional Sunrise Service, celebrating Christ’s arising, at Womer Cemetery at 6:30 that morning.

March 23, 2016 11:20 a.m. read more..

MI Town

As of Monday, it’s officially springtime — and not a moment too soon.

March 23, 2016 11:19 a.m. read more..

CENTRAL: Girls tennis splits opening matches

INDEPENDENCE — Central’s girls tennis team split its opening matches of the 2016 season. The Panthers defeated Blanchet Catholic 5-3 on Thur-sday before falling to North Marion 6-2 on Friday.

March 23, 2016 11 a.m. read more..

PERRYDALE ROUNDUP: Clark places first

McMINNVILLE — Senior Sarah Clark led Perrydale’s track and field team at the Grizzly Bear Open on Friday. Clark took first in the girls javelin with a throw of 114 feet, 11 inches. She also placed fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (1:01.31). Senior Taylor Price took third in the 100 hurdles (17.26). Senior Kirk Fairchild led the boys team with a fourth-place finish in the triple jump (37-31¼). The Pirates will compete at the All-Comers meet at Oregon City High School Wednesday (today) at noon.

March 23, 2016 11 a.m. read more..


PORTLAND — Western Oregon distance runner Bailey Beeson took first in the women’s 800-meter run at the Lewis & Clark Spring Break Open on Friday and Saturday. Beeson finished with a time of 2 minutes, 16.16 seconds. Teammate Stephanie Stuckey placed second in 2:16.49. Emily Wetherell took second in the hammer with a throw of 166 feet, 3¾ inches.

March 23, 2016 11 a.m. read more..

Saturday, March 19

Thursday, March 17


WOU is a valuable community asset

What a weekend in Monmouth, as thousands of fans and student-athletes gathered for the NCAA Division II men’s basketball West Regional at Western Oregon University.

March 17, 2016 9:14 a.m. read more..

Linn County files timber lawsuit

Linn County has followed through on the promise to sue the state of Oregon and the State Forestry Department due to what it claims is mismanagement of Forest Trust Lands.

March 17, 2016 9:08 a.m. read more..

Wednesday, March 16


Book Drive

A book drive is underway to help children in Central School District by increasing their home libraries.

March 16, 2016 noon read more..


A little more than 60 years ago, a Rogers and Hammerstein musical production opened on Broadway in New York City. “South Pacific” was based on stories from Pulitzer Prize winning writer, James Michener’s “Tales of the South Pacific,” and featured stores about U.S. Navy Seabees, French plantation owners, and the local villagers during World War II.

March 16, 2016 noon read more..


“Aunties” Lisa Bennett, Michelle Bennett and Michelle Mahana hosted a bridal shower for their niece Amanda Bennett at the Pedee Women’s Club on March 6.

March 16, 2016 noon read more..

Tuesday, March 15

Monday, March 14


Friday, March 11


Thursday, March 10


RFL celebration swim set for Sunday

Relay for Life of Polk County invites caregivers, cancer survivors, those in treatment and their families for an afternoon at the Dallas Aquatic Center this Sunday.

March 10, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Wednesday, March 9


Feeding the body, soul

Pat Jaffer spent most of January hibernating after stepping down from 23 years of coordinating the Ella Curran Food Bank.

March 9, 2016 noon read more..


The Pedee community increased by one on Thursday with the birth of Ariah Braelyn Crowe.

March 9, 2016 noon read more..


Years ago there used to be a saying: you could tell when it was spring in Oregon because the rain was warmer.

March 9, 2016 noon read more..

AP grading topic of conversation

A couple dozen people showed up at the Central School District board meeting on Monday to share concerns with board members about the atmosphere at Central High School.

March 9, 2016 noon read more..

Morris to face murder charges

Former Polk County resident Mitchell Julio Morris is facing murder and manslaughter charges in connection to the Feb. 26 deaths of his roommates.

March 9, 2016 noon read more..

Going for the big one

LaCreole Middle School robotics team “Shift” didn’t start this season with the perfect robot. That wasn’t a problem.

March 9, 2016 noon read more..


Nominate now for Teacher of the Year - Hospital scholarship applications due - Central High hosting ‘Trades Day’ - WOU, teachers reach agreement

March 9, 2016 noon read more..

CENTRAL GIRLS BASKETBALL: Panthers fall to Hillsboro

HILLSBORO — Trailing by 18 in the second half, Central’s girls basketball team could have quit. Instead, the Panthers continued to fight, rallying to within five before falling to Hillsboro 42-35 in the first round of the state playoffs on Friday.

March 9, 2016 11 a.m. read more..

Tuesday, March 8


Dallas Fire presents service awards

On March 2, Dallas Fire & EMS held its annual years of service and training hours awards, recognizing those who worked to enhance their skill over the last year.

March 8, 2016 3:03 p.m. read more..

Friday, March 4

On this island, we tell the story

Shake the winter blues by taking a short trip to the islands with Central High’s performance of “Once on this Island,” which opens Friday night at 7:30.

March 4, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Thursday, March 3

Fire at Forest River contained

The investigation into the cause of today’s fire at Forest River in Dallas is ongoing, but fire officials know one thing for sure: the RV manufacturing plant’s interior sprinklers saved the day.

March 3, 2016 2:08 p.m. read more..

Grant to outfit FC’s athletes

High school and middle school sports teams in Falls City will soon be donning new uniforms thanks to a grant through the Portland Trail Blazers.

March 3, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Wednesday, March 2


Flowers and more

The owner of Elegant Floral, which opened on Feb. 12 on Mill Street in Dallas, seemed destined to be a flower shop owner. It’s just taken some time for her to make that leap.

March 2, 2016 noon read more..

No space too small to garden

In the fruit orchard at the Inspiration Garden at Mount Fir Park, three fruit trees share one hole. They were placed in their new home on Friday.

March 2, 2016 noon read more..

Letter: Council shows leadership

A shout out and salute to the Dallas City Council. As the I-O reported on Feb. 24 in words of Councilor Wilson, “This has got to be taken care of.”

March 2, 2016 noon read more..

Desire to serve

Anton Alvarez doesn’t volunteer because someone’s watching, but someone was watching — and nominated him for Monmouth-Independence’s 2015 Junior Citizen. Anton is a humble recipient of the award.

March 2, 2016 noon read more..


Did our merry month of March come in like a lion … or a lamb?

March 2, 2016 noon read more..

Bill to provide tax break for industry

Legislation helping rural cities and counties encourage industrial business expansion has cleared the Oregon Senate and is slated for a vote in the House of Representatives this week.

March 2, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Casa orientation to begin this Friday

Casa (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) is holding its volunteer orientation on Friday at the Polk County Courthouse conference room, 850 Main St., Dallas, from 5 to 6 p.m.

March 2, 2016 6 a.m. read more..

Tuesday, March 1

March 2 Community Calendar

Community events from March 2 through March 9. To submit an event to the Community Calendar, email before noon on the Friday before desired publication.

March 1, 2016 3:42 p.m. read more..

March 2 Community Notebook

Pentacle Theatre Diary of Anne Frank; Movie fundraiser set for Monday; MVCA to host banquet & auction; Ash Creek offers two art camps; Monmouth Library to host concert; OSU Master food preservers wanted; UO jazz band part of free DHS concert; WOU symphony winter concert; Rickreall Grange to host market

March 1, 2016 3:40 p.m. read more..

March 2 News in Brief

Salvation Army receives $2,000 grant; Polk County parcel part of timber sale; Minet manager to receive raise; Transgender experience seminar on tap; The Beatles music featured at WOU

March 1, 2016 3:25 p.m. read more..