Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
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.
Western Oregon University's Multicultural Student Union will host the 20th-annual WOU Pow Wow, "Inspiring Culture Through Tradition," Saturday from noon to midnight. Dancers and drummers will be part of the traditional Native American gathering, which celebrates Native culture. The event will take place in the New PE Building, located on the southwestern edge of WOU's campus across from McArthur Field. Traditional Indian tacos will be served at 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information: 503-838-8403 or email to email@example.com.
The Category 4/5 men's field takes a set of curves on Maxfield Creek Road Saturday during the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association's 16th annual Kings Valley Road Race.
Two members of the Evolution Racing Team of Portland lead the peloton of the men's Pro field east along Maple Grove Road southwest of Monmouth on Saturday.
The men's Pro Category 1/2 field was awash with color despite the on-again, off-again rainy conditions Saturday during the 75-mile road race in Polk and Benton counties.
Women's Category 4/5 racers take off from the start at Holiday Tree Farms Inc.'s tree sorting yard in Kings Valley. All six fields start from the same location
Other members of the Masters field are reflected in the glasses of Derek McCammon of Half Fast Velo presented by Ninkasi Brewing prior to the category's start.
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.
From left, Kona, a 7-year-old shepherd mix, Geordie, an 11-month-old Standard Poodle, Kasha, an 18-week-old German Shepherd, and Zuri, a 5-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback take advantage of the mild spring weather to get some much-needed playtime in at the Independence dog park Monday afternoon.
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.
Nancy Lodge of Independence was named First Citizen during the 48th annual Monmouth-Independence Community Awards Banquet Friday at Central High
Monmouth mayor John Oberst received the M-I Chamber of Commerce's Distinguished Service Award.
Holly Sims, an Independence Elementary School first- and second-grade teacher, was recently named Central School District's primary teacher of the year.
Central High social studies and psychology teacher Van Holstad was named CSD secondary teacher of the year.
Large Business of the Year -- Monmouth-Independence Network (MINET). MINET is a municipally-owned fiber optic network created by Monmouth and Independence in 2003, first to serve government buildings and schools. The utility began offering high-speed Internet, television and phone services to homes in 2006 and has nearly 7,000 subscribers today. "I would like to thank the people who work at MINET and make it a great business," said Ross Schultz, MINET interim general manager. "The one thing the cities really got right in terms of MINET is thinking forward and working hard to future-proof this community ... for that I thank you."
Small Business of the Year -- Sing Fay Chinese Restaurant. "My husband and I bought this restaurant 5 1/2 years ago and have worked in it every day since," Sing Fay co-owner Mandy Kuang wrote in a speech read by M-I Chamber officials. "When we moved from Portland to Monmouth, we had no idea we and our girls would be so happy here." Kuang is noted as being a "motherly figure" to Western Oregon University's large population of Chinese exchange students; "she gives them advice and a little taste of home while they're here," award presenter Molly McDermond said.
New Business of the Year -- Yeasty Beasty. Thomas Jones, a former owner of an advertising agency, opened his craft and artisan pizzeria last summer. It's become a local favorite since. "I got on (Yeasty Beasty's) Facebook page today and they have 1,123 `likes,' noted award presenter Larry Sykes. "With that many `likes,' you're doing something right -- and what they're doing right is serving wonderful pizza."
Nonprofit of the Year -- The Ron Wilson Center. The Ron Wilson Center is a private nonprofit agency in Monmouth founded in 1974 by a group of parents and concerned citizens. The agency provides residential care, life skills training and vocational services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It employs 160 people. "It's really an honor to be nominated and be a recipient of this award" said Ron Wilson director Paul Steed. "Our team at the Ron Wilson Center strives daily to be really positive in our approach to supporting those individuals who might need that extra touch."
Central School District Classified Employee of the Year -- Stephanie Heins-Mueller. Heins-Mueller was hired as an instructional assistant at Central High in 1980, then, a year later, was promoted to secretary to the vice-principal. Heins-Mueller still holds that position today. She volunteers her time to serve on committees at the state level to bring attention to the needs of students, educators and classified employees.
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.
First Citizen -- Citizens Bank branch manager Susan Morrill was named First Citizen Friday at the Dallas Community Awards.
Junior First Citizen -- Dani Mouser -- Ambitious, humble and busy are good words to describe Mouser. She is serving as the Dallas Area Visitors Center vice president, Dallas Arts Association president, Art in the Park coordinator, and many more volunteer duties. On top of that, she is an award-winning photographer and owner of Dani Photography. "The people who nominated Dani (for Junior First Citizen) see her as an inspiration and the future of our community," said award presenter Sally Clark.
Lifetime Achievement Award -- LaVonne Wilson (left) -- The exhaustive list of causes Wilson has dedicated time to in 40-plus years in Dallas is key to measuring her community spirit, said Dave Voves, who was Dallas School District superintendent when Wilson was the district business manager and deputy clerk. Wilson is a founding member of the Dallas Arts Association and the Dallas Community Foundation and has served on the Dallas City Council since 1985 -- to name a few contributions. "We can honestly proclaim (Wilson) to be Mrs. Dallas," Voves said.
Presidential Award -- Ryan Friesner -- Friesner is the branch manager of West Coast Bank in Dallas and coordinator of the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce's Ambassador program. The Presidential Award recognizes an individual or organization for special achievement that doesn't fit into other award categories. DACC President Jim Fowler presented the award and said about Friesner: "He's taken his area of responsibility to a height that is almost unimaginable."
Business of the Year -- Dallas Les Schwab manager Dan Furrer, right, and assistant manager Neil Grubbs credit their ability to give back to the community to the company founder's values.
Ag Business of the Year -- McK Ranch -- David and Bette McKibben, the owners of McK Ranch, made a commitment to running a different kind of beef operation in 2000. With the help of a few loyal employees, David is in charge of raising the cattle -- all-natural, grass-fed beef -- while Bette focuses on marketing. "The last 12 years of developing their business required a lot of learning, innovation and, most of all, persistence in reaching the success they've achieved today," said presenter Jim Clawson.
Most Improved Business -- Dallas Bike and Board -- You may not yet recognize the name of the Most Improved Business of the Year, but it's the latest evolution of Electric Peddler. The electric bike business began in Debbie McCleery's garage in the spring of 2011. Soon, McCleery moved her growing business to a storefront on East Ellendale Avenue. Just as fast, McCleery outgrew the space and moved to a location on Main Street in 2012, where the store has expanded to include a skateboard shop, thus the name change.
Small Business of the Year -- Squirrels Taxi Service -- Need a ride? Merlin Berkey, the owner of Squirrels Taxi, is your man. Berkey began by simply volunteering to take people to their destinations, taking only donations. With some urging, Berkey turned his hobby into a business. "Whether it's a ride to and from the hospital, the grocery store, the airport, your bank's drive through, or maybe you just had too much bubbly to drink at the local watering hole, if you need him, he will come," award presenter Ryan Friesner said.
Good Samaritan -- Gene and Lynette Henshaw -- The Henshaws moved to Dallas about eight years ago and promptly decided to get involved in the community. It became a habit. Over the years, the couple has volunteered with the Polk County Sheriff's Office Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) team, the chamber of commerce board of directors, road cleanup programs, and numerous other undertakings. "I know from personal experience, they work as a team and this team never stops," said award presenter Helga Thompson.
Outstanding Organization -- James2 Community Kitchen (represented by Karen Hays, James2 board chairwoman, right) -- James2 started in 2009, with the goal of providing nourishing meals for the needy in the Dallas area. It started small, with a small group of people volunteering to serve twice a month at a local church. Award presenter Brian Dalton said the organization has grown, serving an average of 120 meals twice per week, adding up to nearly 12,500 meals per year -- still all provided by volunteers. "These people are saints," Dalton said.
Excellence in the Arts -- Blair Cromwell -- For 25 years, Cromwell has led Dallas High School's drama program. In that time, the program has produced award-winning actors and high-quality plays and musicals. Cromwell was also instrumental in creating a children's performance art outreach program, Young Artist Playtrium. "She is a beacon of light to our students, bringing to them opportunities they may not get anywhere else in this county," said award presenter Slade Thackeray.
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.