Ready for a new year: North Santiam Schools prepare for Sept. 2

September 2014 Posted in School | Comments Off

By Mary Owen

Students return to school Sept. 2  to upgrades at several North Santiam School District schools.

“We are on track to begin moving supplies and equipment back into the rooms that have been disrupted,” said Superintendent Andy Gardner. “We are projected to be on time.”

The work began in June on projects slated for improvements in the almost $23 million construction bond passed by voters last November. NSSD schools had not had any significant improvements in about 30 years.

Orchestrating a beginning: Cascade Strings Academy opens

September 2014 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, School | Comments Off
Julie Preston plays the violin.

Julie Preston plays the violin.

By Mary Owen

Julie Preston’s passion for orchestral music is catching fire with students at Willamette Valley Baptist School in Aumsville.

“I decided to start Cascade Strings Academy because I realized that in both the Cascade School District and also the North Santiam School District, there are not any string programs,” said Preston, who is the band/orchestra teacher at Willamette Valley Baptist, where she attended from sixth to 12th grade. “There are bands, but no string orchestras. Because of this, I saw an opportunity to start a strings program in Aumsville.”

City seats: Voters now know November choices

September 2014 Posted in News | Comments Off

Local citizens have stepped forward to serve their cities by running for mayoral and city council positions slated for the Nov. 4 general election ballot.  Running for office are:

Mayor Harold White will run unopposed for another two-year term. Three city councilor seats will be filled. Incumbents Robert Baugh and Brian Czarnik refiled. New to the field is Della Seney. Incumbent Kim Ferguson is not seeking re-election.

Voters in the city of Lyons will have the opportunity to cast ballots for mayor and two city councilors. Running unopposed for mayor is incumbent Dan Burroughs. Council positions on the ballot are for the seat held by Jesse O’Dell and the one vacated by Bryon Brown. Running for the open seats are Troy Donohue, Lloyd Valentine and Stanley Franklin. A seat left vacant by the recent resignation of Councilor Gary Alkire will not be addressed on the November ballot. Alkire was the mayor pro-tem, library commissioner, Lyons-Mehama Water District liaison and safety commissioner. The seat is not up for re-election until 2016, so that position will be filled by appointment.

Mill City voters will select three city councilors and the mayorl.  Incumbent Mayor Tim Kirsch will face challenger Thorin Thacker.

Filing for the positions are Susann Heller (incumbent), Elaina Turpin, Brandon Haraughty, Penny Keen and Lisa Follis. Incumbents Justin Merrill and Fred Smith are not seeking re-election.

The city of Stayton has four positions to fill, mayor and three council seats. The two councilors receiving the highest number of votes will be elected to four-year terms. The councilor receiving the third highest vote is elected to a two-year term. As of press time, Henry Porter had signed on to run for mayor, a seat now held by Scott Vigil who is not seeking re-election. Ralph Lewis, Joseph Usselman, Priscilla Gildewell and Mark Kronquist are running for the city council seats now filled by Emily Gooch, Catherine Hemshorn and Porter.

Mayor Gene Ditter is not seeking re-election. Joanie Wigginton, currently serving on the city council, and Raymond Heuberger will vie for the position.

Pool repair: Sound system, scoreboard on the list for funding

September 2014 Posted in Community | Comments Off

By Mary Owen

Friends of the Stayton Pool is raising funds for a new sound system to be used for the Stayton Triathlon and swim meets.

“”The pool also has numerous adult classes which would benefit from the sound system, and the children’s swim lessons,” said Linda Rhoten, spokesperson for the nonprofit group that raises funds for the Stayton Family Memorial Pool, which is owned by the city of Stayton and managed by the Santiam Family YMCA.

Also on the committee’s list is a scoreboard to be used for the Manta Ray and school swim teams

A bump up: Quality score benefits Santiam Hospital

September 2014 Posted in Business, News | Comments Off

By Mary Owen

While more hospitals received penalties than bonuses for the second year of Medicare’s quality incentive program, Santiam Hospital got a bump up in payments.

“It feels great to go up instead of down,” said Terry Fletchall, SH’s chief executive officer about the data released by Kaiser Health News. “We were pleasantly surprised this year. A lot of great hospitals had a decrease.”

According to Fletchall, the .41 percent boost will bring in about $150,000 to $200,000, depending on the total cost of Medicare billing by the hospital through September. The funds are a drop in the bucket to what it costs SH to cover Medicare/Medicaid write-off, he said.

Pausing to pray: Community event set for Sept. 24-26

September 2014 Posted in Community | Comments Off
Santiam Prayer Gathering
Wednesday, Sept. 24              
5-9 a.m. Stayton Christian Church
5-9 p.m. Foothills Church

Thursday, Sept. 25              
5-9 a.m. Stayton Christian Church
5-9 p.m. Foothills Church

Friday, Sept. 26                  
5-9 a.m. Stayton Christian Church
7-9 p.m. …Concert of Prayer,
Foothills Church, Stayton

Mehama/Lyons and Gates/Mill City
area locations to be announced.
Information: 503-510-9739 or call
a participating church.

By Mary Owen

Tom Zilverberg said prayer is one of the most powerful tools a Christian has. Last fall, he and his pastor, Sam Duke of Grace Bible Fellowship in Stayton, had the idea of a community prayer event.

Movie making: Salem debut for locally made production

September 2014 Posted in Arts, Culture & History | Comments Off
Chryzinium producers Phillip Wade, Tim Mark Wade and Rick Lord

Chryzinium producers Phillip Wade, Tim Mark Wade and Rick Lord

By Mary Owen

By partnering with a Salem film company, two Stayton brothers have launched their filmmaking career with a short film.

“The movie, Chryzinium, began in September of 2013 from a concept that Rick Lord and my brother, Tim Wade, came up with after watching an end-times theologian discuss the coming Antichrist as discussed in the Book of Revelation,” said Phillip Wade of Ambition Pictures. “I soon became enveloped in the idea, quit my job as a web developer, and plans for the movie quickly transformed into a script written by Rick.”

Curt Ward: Feb. 17, 1921 – Aug. 23, 2014, leaves community a legacy of volunteerism

September 2014 Posted in People | Comments Off

By Mary Owen

Long-time Stayton icon Curt Ward passed away at his home Aug. 23, 2014. He was 93.

“He was one of the most wonderful men I’ve ever known in my life,” said his wife, Fran, also 93, of her husband of 63 years. “I’ve been so fortunate to have him, and all four of my kids were fortunate, too. ”

The Wards moved to Stayton from California in 1981, a time when, Fran said, “People didn’t look too kindly on Californians, but we brought something with us to give, not to take away from Stayton.”

Sports: New coaches for Stayton, Cascade

September 2014 Posted in School, Sports & Recreation | Comments Off

James DayBy James Day

High school athletes are already practicing hard for fall competition. The first date for contests is Thursday, Sept. 4 with most football teams opening Friday, Sept. 5. Football teams received an extra week of practice this year because there were no OSAA endowment games and many squads participated in scrimmages or jamborees Aug. 29.

Here is a look at what is new this fall.

Cascade High School welcomes a new girls soccer coach, Skip Collins.

“We are excited about the experience and enthusiasm that Skip is bringing to our girls soccer program,” Cougars Athletic Director Heidi Hermansen told Our Town.

A Grin at the End: Mary Poppins would agree

September 2014 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off

carl-sampsonBy Carl Sampson

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all of the things that are bad for me. Most food is bad for me, so are most drinks. So are things like television and rap music. Don’t forget about all of that other dangerous stuff, like fire-eating and tightrope-walking.

Oh, and surfing, especially when great white sharks are around. That’s really dangerous.

Almost every day, I go for a walk in Salem during my lunch hour. I’ve found the single most dangerous thing I do is try to cross a Salem street. Drivers actually speed up when they see me. It’s as though I have a target painted on me, even when I’m in a crosswalk and have the light.