Thursday, June 20, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
The record of 1,370 graduates is 141 more than last year, representing 10 states and seven foreign countries.
Gabi Esquivel, 7, Jennifer Bey and Isaiah Esquivel, 12, from left, catch a glimpse of Gabi and Isaiahs' father, Charles Esquivel, as the graduates enter McArthur Field.
Graduate Stephanie Howe accepts her bachelor's degree from WOU President Mark Weiss.
Many graduates get creative with decorations on their mortarboard caps, like this student who chose to show some school spirit with a Wolfie emblem on her cap.
Graduate Sylvia Herrold waves to her friends and family in the crowd during the ceremony.
The sun rises behind a tree heavy with ripening cherries along North Fir Villa Road near Dallas Tuesday morning. Mild spring weather has brought an early season for cherries and other tree fruit, so be sure to visit some of Polk County's many farmers markets and U-pick lots to take advantage of the early bounty.
Central High graduate Gavin Aguilana gets the Hawaiian treatment of a bounty of leis from his mother Gloria, center, and father Ray Aguilana, far right, Saturday in the gym following the commencement ceremony at Panther Stadium
Central High principal Sylvia Warren, right, hugs graduate Rahevin Potter-Clark as he collects his diploma.
Falls City High graduate Drew Dennis shows off his diploma to the crowd after crossing the stage Friday.
Falls City High graduates (from left) Kendra Marshall, Tia McConnell, Ethan McConnell, Cheyenne Beauchamp and Desiree Johnson share a laugh during teacher Jonathan Ellingson's keynote speech at Friday's commencement ceremony.
Morrison Campus graduates adjust their caps in the forum at Dallas High School before their commencement ceremony.
Morrison Campus graduates adjust their caps in the forum at Dallas High School before their commencement ceremony.
Perrydale High graduates Rose Bibler, left, and Bryce Baucum pose for a photo on Bibler's phone as they wait for the processional into the school's gym Saturday.
Perrydale High graduates Juan Huerta, left, and Josh Hiebenthal hug during a rose presentation ceremony.
Monmouth Elementary School students (from left) Teo Le, Hayden Kirkpatrick and Eric Bravo-Ibarra take off in a potato sack race as Malachi Fitts looks on Thursday during the school's annual field day activities.
Second-grader Nevaeh Ramsdell keeps a close eye on both of the eggs she attempts to balance on wooden spoons during a relay race requiring that only spoons touch the eggs.
Eight-year-old Vanessa Weems of Falls City found out the hard way that circus clowns like Judy and Punchy will probably take a different tack on simple things like signing posters.
Ron Dykes, the patriarch of a family of Culpepper & Merriweather performers, takes his fire-juggling act to the top of an enormous unicycle to the delight of the crowd.
Ryanne Waugh, 2, takes a pony ride on the midway May 29 under the watchful eyes of her mother Katie, center, and Paulina Dykes, who performs in her family's unicycle show as well as her own "Big and Little" horse act.
"Miss Simone" dazzles the crowd with a death-defying trapeze show high above the ring, with no safety net.
Boz Coomes, 4, of Falls City took it upon himself to devour as much cotton candy as he could in one mouthful.
Culpepper & Merriweather's black-manned African lion Francis takes a little coaxing from trainer Trey Key, right, to take his place atop a perch during the show's big cat exhibition. In addition to Francis, the circus also travels with two golden tabby tigers named Solomon and Delilah. The golden tabby is a rare color variation of tiger that are thought to number less than 30 in the entire world.
"Punchy" makes sure several swords through the box containing his counterpart "Judy" are in the correct position, lest she spring a leak after reappearing from inside.
Nathan Holguin, "Punchy" of the show's clown duo "Judy and Punchy," points out where the midway will sit to a group of Falls City Elementary School students the morning of May 29 as crew members erect the big top for that evening's performances.
Graduate Halley Phelps makes her way to the stage to accept a diploma from principal Steve Spencer during Dallas High School's graduation ceremony Saturday.
Delaney Pape hugs teacher Rebecca Penna as the seniors file toward the stage to receive their diplomas.
Chelsey Bell waves to the audience at Gallaspy Stadium as the graduates take their places on the field.
Keaton Weaver, far left, tosses his mortarboard cap as the graduates celebrate their accomplishment.
Joe Silleman of Dallas unfurls a United States flag Thursday at Dallas Cemetery during setup work for the annual Avenue of Flags display in honor of Memorial Day Monday. Celebrations commemorating those who have died while in the nation's armed forces took place in Dallas, Independence and Grand Ronde on Monday.
Local artist and muralist Kev Kohler, right, works with LaCreole Middle School sixth-graders Malaki Connella and Tommy Freeman, far left, during an art enrichment program Thursday. The school has taken the unique step of inviting qualifed community volunteers to teach enrichment programs that mimic elective classes lost to budget cuts. Only students who have no outstanding work in other classes are allowed to participate, and LaCreole hopes to expand the programs next year. Other activities offered as enrichments include dance, cooking and a video game design class.
Skeeter the Clown reacts to the artwork of a Falls City Elementary School student May 22 after an appearance at the school. Skeeter and the crew from Culpepper & Merriweather Circus will perform two shows in Falls City on Wednesday at 5 and 7:30 p.m. under the big top at the old mill lot across from the post office. Tickets are $13 for adults and $7 for children ages 2-17. For more information: 503-787-4311 or 503-983-1589.
Dallas High School athletic director Tim Larson, right, directs a crew of students and community volunteers May 22 as they remove the protective tarp from the school's softball field in preparation for the Dragons' first-round playoff game against Wilson of Portland. Dallas won the game, 5-4, in off-and-on rainy conditions.
A young foal explores its surroundings in a field along Pedee Creek Road southwest of Pedee as its mother grazes Saturday. Newborn animals of many varieties are a common sight in Polk County this time of year as livestock and wild animals alike rear their young in the fields, forest and marshes of the area.
Second-grader James Winkler celebrates as he runs to pick up his new bike on Friday at Oakdale Heights Elementary School's "Bikes for Books" assembly, an incentive for students during their annual Read-a-Thon.
"Bikes for Books" recipients Devine Matthews, right, and fellow third-grader Avery Shinkle check out their new rides.
Tyler Lalack, left, a special education teacher in the New Options program at Dallas High School, was awarded the district's Distinguished Educator Award Monday night at the district board meeting. Nominator Autymn Galbraith called him an "excellent teacher, a role model for students and a staff 'go-to' person among this coleagues." Mitch Ratzlaff made the presentation on behalf of the Distinguished Educator Award Committee, whose members are local business members who recognize the extra effort made by Dallas School District educators.
Members of the Western Oregon University Nesian Club perform a Polynesian dance number at WOU's International Night on Friday in the Pacific Room of the Werner University Center.
Shi Jiawel wowed the audience with a performance of magic and sleight of hand. Pictured is Shi after making a paper snowflake miraculously transform into a "snowstorm."
Eventual Mr. Central Pageant winner Zacchaeus Avila, right, is aghast at the wizarding prowess of Jeremiah Pantoja, left, during the "Mini-Me" portion of the event Saturday evening at Central High School in Independence.
Ms. Central winner Melissa Whitaker, second from right, performs during the opening dance number of the pageant with fellow contestants Jesus Vera-Manzo, Hannah Riddell and Rahevin Potter-Clark. As of showtime, the annual charity pageant had rasied about $12,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Judy Stuck, a teacher at Morrison Alternative School, was presented the Dallas Distinguished Educator Award for April during a recent schoolwide assembly. Stuck, shown here assessing student projects on Monday, was nominated for the honor by Cameron Steptoe and Scott Autry, two of her students. Among the comments at the award presentation: "She deserves this award not only for her outstanding teaching ability, but for her desire to have all of us reach out highest potential.
Roger Kaye of Turner (far right) looks at a display of minerals as a collection of large amethyst crystals waits for his attention Sautrday at the Polk County Fairgournds and Event Center. The Willamette Agate & Mineral Society, a Salem-based nonprofit that aims to stimulate interest in the study and collection of agates, minerals, gems and fossils, hosted the 58th annual "River of Gems" show Friday through Sunday.
David Eslinger of Lincoln City displays a piece of "bumblebee jasper," actually a mix of minerals in combination, that is mined from volcanic vents in Indonesia.
Seven-year-old Caden Glisson and Mike Ward of Monmouth inspect the fossils on display at the North American Research Group's demonstration booth, where visitors could watch as rocks were chipped and broken to reveal fossilized animals and plants for the first time in millions of years.
The show's many vendors had a stunning variety of polished and mounted rocks and minerals offered for sale.
Five-year-old Josiah Lunde of Salem looks for his next prize during a "treasure hunt" Saturday afternoon.
Ken Guffey (wearing hat), science teacher at LaCreole Middle School, was extremely surprised when he was presented the Dallas Distinguished Educator Award for March during an assembly at the school on April 12. Guffey was nominated for the honor by Nick Nelson, one of his LMS students. Nelson wrote of Guffey: "Mr. Guffey is one of the best teachers I have ever had. He explains why the subject is important, and why it affects you in real life or in the future. He is always trying to find better way sto teach us and he asks our opinion about what helps us learn."
Marissa Jantz, 11, and her brother Evan, 7, wait for a gust of wind to launch their dragon kite Monday evening at Kingsborough Park in Dallas. Fair weather is expected to last through the week, with temperatures peaking in the mid-70s Wednesday.
Members of Westen Oregon University's volleyball team, along with Independence resident Danny Jaffer, far left, clear a hole of extra dirt before planting a flowering cherry tree at Gentle Woods Park in Monmouth Saturday. Volunteers and members of the Monmouth Tree Advisory Board planted 28 trees of different varieties in the greenway area of the park between Highway 99W and Myrtle Drive in their annual Arbor Day Celebration. The tree planting goes along with Monmouth's designation as a "Tree City USA," a distinction it has held for 11 years.
Eighteen-year-old Melissa Whitaker of Independence looks to her 17-year-old brother, Trevor, to keep their timing correct while performing a number in the Oregon Old Time Fiddlers Association's "Fiddle and Variety Show" on Friday, part of the organizationn's state convention at the Polk County Fairgrounds and Event Center.
Dexter the Dragon was all smiles after his namesake race Saturday morning, here posing for a photo with participants Ethan Sandoval (151), Jonathon Sandoval (152), and Emily Sheldon (158).
Jim Rodriguez (150) makes a hard push to overtake Ryan Bibler in the final stretch of the 5-kilometer race on the track at Gallaspy Stadium. The annual event, a benefit for the Dallas Education Fund, raised approximately $5,000 and brought in 487 participants this year, up from 390 in 2012.
Daffodills are in full bloom throughout Polk County -- seen here in Dallas on Tuesday morning -- just one sign that spring is on its way. The vernal equinox occurred at 4:02 a.m. Pacific time this morning (Wednesday), making today the first official day of spring. Temperatures are expected to rise into the upper 50s this week.
Dallas High language arts teacher Shannon Ritter, left, helps senior Kelli Crawford with a question Friday. Ritter was named the district's distinguished educator for February after being nominated by a student. "He helps every student achieve at the highest level," was among comments during the award presentation on Feb. 20.
Perrydale fourth-graders Jake Johnston, B.J. Amador and Leo Woods (from right) face off against a third grade class Friday in the annual "Ag Olympigs."
First-grader Kihya Bailey (third from right) competes against classmates in the milk chugging competition.
Dallas wrestling fan Colby Bodenhamer helps his mother Alicia frame a photo of his brother Triston Ringhouse during Saturday's Mid-Willamette Conference wrestling championships at Corvallis High School. Ringhouse placed second at 195 pounds as Dallas took the team title with 494 points. For more coverage click on Sports on the Itemizer-Observer home page.
Dallas resident Walter Gjersvold, his son-in-law Monte Gingery and Phil Putnam, from left, look over the engine of Gingery's 1936 Chrysler Imperial Airflow sedan Feb. 6 at Gjersvold's home. Gingery and Putnam will co-drive the car in the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2013, which will start in Beijing on May 28 and travel approximately 7,610 miles to Paris through six other Asian and European countries.
Gretchen Schmoyer, left, smiles as Vickie Boer speaks to Schmoyer's fourth-grade class at Whitworth Elementary School in Dallas on Thursday. Schmoyer received the Distinguished Educator award from the Dallas School District after being nominated by Boer and Shelli Hattan -- as well as students -- for what one colleague described as "an outstanidng aiblity to make learning fun for all of her students."
Early morning light beams through a tree and across the clock tower of the Polk County Courthourse in Dallas on Friday. A dense fog and frigid temperatures that morning made for a slick commute around the county; morning fog is expected to remain in the forecast through this week, though daytime highs should warm up.
Ruth Wagner is surrounded by her Lyle Elementary School first-grade students after being presented with the Dallas Distinguished Educator Award in her classroom on Dec. 20. Wagner was nominated for the recognition by Elizabeth Blake, the mother of two students who Wagner taught and her colleagues at Lyle.
A flock of Canada geese take flight Tuesday morning at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge north of Dallas. Established in 1965 as a wintering habitat for the dusy supbspecies of Canada goose, the refuge is a year-round smorgasbord of wildlife viewing opportunities for birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
Reader Pat Henderson captured this double rainbow looking west from Corvallis Road south of Independence Friday. The early morning sun marked the end of an unusually dry fall before precipitation moved back into the area in the afternoon, bringing cloudy skies and rain through the weekend and into the foreseeable future.
By 1961, the armory's front corner parapet was gone. The weight of the tower had caused structural damage to the armory and was removed.
By 1950, the building was clad in painted stucco to strengthen and cover the deteriorating original brick.
The armory in approximately 1914. The building was an imposing sight of stonework among dirt streets.
Capt. Conrad Stafrin (center), who served as Oregon's acting Adjutant General from June 1919 to June 1920, organized basketball teams at the armory during peacetime.
Company L of the 3rd Oregon Infantry, commanded by Captain Conrad Strafin, poses in front of the new Dallas Armory in this photo for the 1914 National Guard Annual.