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I have an excuse — last Thursday I was in the ER in Corvallis, where I was writing my column between EKGs and such.

Officials in Falls City have their fingers crossed that come summer, the city’s fire department will have a brand-new duty truck to replace three aging vehicles.

West Valley Hospital, CASA of Polk County, and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office teamed up to provide Christmas gifts for foster kids this year — but there’s another population of children Sheriff Mark Garton didn’t want to be forgotten.

It’s somewhat strange to feel relieved at reading in the daily logs from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office that deputies found someone passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Phil, a resident of Dallas, was born in Riverside, New Jersey, to Peter and Mary Peak Sacco. He had two half-brothers and two half-sisters, al…