Personnel matters: Dismissal of librarian leads to management review

February 2016 Posted in News | Comments Off

By Mary Owen

The termination of the Stayton Library director last month has catapulted into an investigation into the management styles of several city managers.

The decision to pursue looking into recent allegations of wrong-doing that started with the dismissal of Katinka Bryk was authorized by the Stayton City Council at its Jan. 19 meeting. Bryk announced at the meeting that she is appealing her termination by City Administrator Keith Campbell.

Also speaking at the meeting was Rèse Bourdeau, who resigned her position on the Stayton Planning Commission to be able to speak publicly about the issue.

Water quality town hall topic

February 2016 Posted in Community, News | Comments Off

Marion Soil and Water Conservation District will hold a town hall meeting to discuss the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Ag Water Quality Management Plan and the Mill Creek Focus Area Project Thursday, Feb. 18, 6 – 8 p.m. at the Stayton Community Center, 400 W. Virginia St.

All agricultural and rural landowners, agricultural operators and streamside landowners in the Mill Creek Watershed area are invited to attend. An RSVP is requested, but walk-ins will be welcome.

The meeting will be led by district program coordinator Brenda Sanchez, who will discuss cost-share and incentive programs for agricultural water quality management.

Rural tourism ‘studio’: Community invited to help shape vision

February 2016 Posted in Community | Comments Off
Community Tourism Training
Tuesdays, March 20 and April 12
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

By Mary Owen

Starting in March, a pilot program from Travel Oregon will give the communities of the North Santiam River region a chance to explore ways to link assets and attract visitors.

“We began a conversation with Travel Oregon last summer about being their pilot project for the new format,” said Allison McKenzie, executive director for GROW-EDC, who will oversee the progressive program designed to assist rural communities in sustainable tourism development.

Ronald A. Johnson: April 19, 1852 – Jan. 17, 2016

February 2016 Posted in People | Comments Off

On the morning of Jan. 17, 2016, Ronald Allen Johnson passed away peacefully at his home after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 62. Ron (R.J.) was born on April 19, 1952 to Carl and Shirley (Higley) Johnson. He will be remembered as a loving father, husband, and friend.

He was a lumberyard foreman at Hooley Building Supply Inc. (Tillamook). Previously he was a commercial waterproofer and worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Music was Ron’s greatest passion. He was a drummer, singer and guitar player, and enjoyed performing with his wife and friends in the Dusty Trail Band.

Ty Hart: Marine killed in copter crash

February 2016 Posted in People | Comments Off

By Mary Owen

Fond memories of Lance Cpl. Ty Hart, a 2012 Stayton High School graduate, are circulating around his alma mater following his death in a two-helicopter crash off the North Shore of Oahu Jan. 14.

“Ty was a fun, intelligent person both in the classroom and on the playing field,” said SHS Principal Alan Kirby, who was also Hart’s football coach and teacher. “He was just a great kid to be around. He was a quick learner and even though he was very competitive, always seemed to have a smile on his face. He was a part of a close group of friends and teammates. He was and is loved by many, many people here in Stayton, and this is a difficult time that we will all work through together.”

Santiam Hospital: Community investment, service, earns award

February 2016 Posted in Business | Comments Off
Terry Fletchall Santiam Hospital  Chief Executive Officer

Terry Fletchall
Santiam Hospital
Chief Executive Officer

By Mary Owen

Santiam Hospital takes honors as 2015 Large Business of the Year.

“We are honored and pleased to have the support of the Stayton-Sublimity Chamber of Commerce in selecting us for this award,” said Terry Fletchall, chief executive officer. “As the primary healthcare provider in this community, we have provided health services to Santiam Canyon residents for more than 70 years.”

In announcing the award, the chamber credited SH for being an institution that invests with “energy, commitment and willingness to embrace” the communities it serves.

Where to Start Fitness: Healthy community contributions recognized

February 2016 Posted in Business | Comments Off
Tirzah Hawkins of Where to Start Fitness

Tirzah Hawkins of Where to Start Fitness

By Mary Owen

For Daniel and Tirzah Hawkins, Where to Start Fitness in Stayton earning recognition as the Stayton-Sublimity Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Small Business of the Year is an exciting culmination of six years of being a community business.

“During this time, we have always tried to be active members of the community and give back as much as we can,” Tirzah Hawkins, co-owner with husband, Daniel. “We want people to know that there is a safe place they can go to get their health and fitness questions answered. It’s a gym owned by real people who have the same real life struggles as anyone else.”

Going out on top: Carcade Coach Steve Turner retires after state title

February 2016 Posted in School, Sports & Recreation | Comments Off

James DayBy James Day

It’s a whole new world for Steve Turner.

The long-time high school football coach, who led Cascade to the Class 4A state title last season, has retired.

“After 40 years of coaching football, I have announced my retirement,” Turner said in a release on “Next football season will be the first time since 1966 that I will not be part of a football team.”

Steve Turner

Steve Turner

Turner, 61, told Our Town that he plans to “travel, play some golf and do a little fishing.”

Turner said he made his decision during the holidays.

Future First Citizens: Sam Nieslanik, Regis, and Abbie Lucas, Stayton

February 2016 Posted in People | Comments Off

By Mary Owen

Stayton Rotary Club has named Sam Nieslanik, Regis High School, and Abbie Lucas, Stayton High School, as this year’s Future First Citizens.

“Stayton Area Rotary is excited and proud for this opportunity to honor Sam and Abbie as Future First Citizens,” said Karen Andall, Rotary spokesperson. “Rotary values the objectives of service, high ethical standards, personal commitment to serve our community and fellowship. It is clear in knowing the accomplishments and attributes of both Sam and Abbie that they have pursued and demonstrated these values. We congratulate them and wish the best in what are certain for both to be successful and rich futures as they move forward in their lives.”

First Impressions: Stayton Veterinary’s work appreciated

February 2016 Posted in Business | Comments Off

By Mary Owen

Stayton Veterinary Hospital earns this year’s First Impressions award from the Stayton-Sublimity Chamber of Commerce.

The award is given to the business or organization that completed exterior improvements or remodeling and/or major landscaping enhancements, maintaining high standards for curb appeal.

“It is a distinct honor to be given this award with so many other deserving businesses in this city,” said Dr. Jeffrey Brubaker, co-owner of the veterinary hospital with Dr. Michael Reynolds.

Associate veterinarians at the clinic are doctors James Welch and Brittany Hale.