News in Brief



Monmouth council candidate forum scheduled

The city of Monmouth is hosting a council candidate forum from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 6 at Volunteer Hall, 144 Warren St. S. This is an informational meeting to give candidates and potential candidates an overview of being on the council.

So far, verified council candidates are Roxanne Beltz, Stephen Howard and Steve Milligan.

Cec Koontz has been verified as a mayoral candidate.

Man sentenced for striking, injuring woman in February DUI accident

Lance Mitchell Griesen, of West Salem, was sentenced in Polk County Circuit Court today to serve two years and eleven months in prison for an incident that occurred in February of 2018, in which he struck a woman as she was placing her great-grandchild in the backseat of her vehicle and dragged her approximately 20 feet. The woman received injuries and was treated at Salem Hospital. Griesen’s blood-alcohol level was ultimately determined to be .18 percent at the time of the crash by investigators.

Griesen, 54, was sentenced by Polk County Judge Rafael A. Caso after pleading guilty to third-degree assault, driving under the influence of intoxicants, recklessly endangering another and second-degree criminal mischief.

The investigation was led by the Salem Police Department and the prosecution overseen by the Polk County District Attorney’s Office.

Rafters found missing Yamhill County man deceased in the Santiam River

On Sunday at about 5 p.m. the body of Kerry Albert Letsch was located in the Santiam River, approximately one mile downriver from the Santiam Rest Area. Letsch had been missing since July 13 and had been suffering from dementia and depression. His vehicle was discovered abandoned at the Santiam Rest Area on Interstate 5 on July 20.

The discovery of Letsch’s vehicle prompted a search of the rest area and adjacent properties by the Oregon State Police and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. The search included approximately 9.5 river miles from the city of Jefferson to the Willamette River.

Letsch was located yesterday evening by rafters using the river for recreation. OSP, the Jefferson Fire District, and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office all assisted in the recovery.

A post examination of Letsch will be conducted in the near future, but foul play is not suspected at this time.



Commenting has been disabled for this item.