News in brief

Celebrate Norwegian Independence Day

WEST SALEM — On Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Thor Lodge of the Sons of Norway invites the public to a celebration of the Norwegian Independence Day. It will be held at the West Salem Masonic Lodge, 1625 Brush College Road NW, Salem.

Lodge members will provide traditional Norwegian foods including meatballs, lefse and cookies, and ask the public to bring thier favorite accompanying dishes.

Music will follow by Fossegrimen, a professional Scandinavian folk group from Eugene, Oregon. The musicians perform with a variety of string instruments including fiddle, hardanger fiddle, nyckelharpa, guitar, mouth harp and bass violin.

Norwegian Independence Day is called “Syttende Mai” or the “17th of May” and celebrates the signing of Norway’s constitution in 1814. It was created to avoid the kingdom being ceded to Sweden after Denmark-Norway’s devastating defeat in the Napoleonic Wars.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information call 503-302-7973

Grant to help explore state forests

SALEM — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Forestry announced that the state has received a $750,000 federal grant to explore feasibility of a Habitat Conservation Plan for state-owned forests west of the Cascades.

The grant comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Paired with $250,000 in state matching funds, it will support the initiation phase of a possible Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). This process will enable ODFW and ODF to determine whether such a plan will meaningfully improve habitat used by threatened and endangered species while allowing for sustainable forest management.

With grant funding secured, ODFW and ODF are establishing a steering committee with state and federal agency representatives, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA), the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of State Lands, and Oregon State University.

Indy PD enhances traffic patrols

INDEPENDENCE — For two weeks during the month of May starting Monday, officers with the Independence Police Department will conduct enhanced traffic patrol thanks to a grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

During this time of enhanced patrol, officers will be on the lookout for motorists who violate speed laws, fail to use seatbelts/child safety restraints, and distracted drivers (in addition to other traffic violations).

Studies by NHTSA show that motor vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of death or disability in children from 2 to 14 years of age. This number is due in large part to non-use or improper use of child safety seats and seatbelts. Proper seatbelt and child restraint use is the No. 1 way to prevent injury or death if you or your children are involved in a crash.

Additional information regarding car safety seats and child passenger safety can be found at

The Independence Police Department is dedicated to promoting and improving traffic safety through education, analysis and enforcement.

Dallas doc earns alumni award

DALLAS — Warburg College, of Waverly, Iowa, recognizes alumni for service to their communities with the Young Alumni Award. Recipients must be graduates from the last 15 years who are living the four pillars of Warburg College: leadership, service, faith and learning.

Among this year’s recipients is Dr. Joel Tuttle, of Dallas, a 2003 alumnus who earned his doctor of optometry degree in 2007 from Pacific University in Oregon.

Tuttle worked in optometry in central Iowa for several years before moving to Oregon to work part time and attend Cornerstone School of Ministry, where he earned a certificate in biblical and ministry studies.

Tuttle and his wife, Berina, spent a year living in one of the poorest areas of Jamaica, mentoring teenagers and providing eye care to those in need. After his mission in Jamaica, he was mobilized for a year as a member of the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps and, since 2012, has served with the U.S. Army Reserves as a captain. Since 2015, the family has made their home in Dallas, where he works as an optometrist and is active with professional organizations and his church.

Third property tax payment due Tuesday

POLK COUNTY — The Polk County Tax Office reminds taxpayers who pay property taxes in trimester payments, the third installment is due by Tuesday. Payments may be made by mail, or in Dallas at the tax office.

Credit and debit card, and e-check payments may be made online or by phone. Call toll free 1-888-643-8041 or visit, select Online Services, then Tax Services. A 2.63 percent convenience fee will be issued on credit/debit transactions, and $3.15 for e-checks. Payments that are mailed must bear the May 15 postmark to avoid interest.

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