Highlights #1: Stayton High dance team wins 13th state title

April 2017 Posted in Community, School, Sports & Recreation | Comments Off on Highlights #1: Stayton High dance team wins 13th state title

stay-dance-routineBy James Day

The Stayton Highlights dance team finished second to Valley Catholic of Beaverton at the past two state championships.

This year’s squad was determined not to let that happen again.

“This team is driven beyond words,” longtime coach Robin Meier told Our Town. “They came into this season with a goal. They wanted that state title. They were determined to improve, work and sacrifice to make that goal a reality.”

On March 18 all of the hard work paid off. The Highlights scored 91.33 points, just 0.38 points ahead of another strong Valley Catholic squad, to take the Class 4A-1A title at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

Teaming up: Stayton Sublimity Chamber builds on varied skill sets

April 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Teaming up: Stayton Sublimity Chamber builds on varied skill sets
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Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce’s new president and CEO Holli Thomas

By Mary Owen

The Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce selected two executive officers to build its strong identity with business owners in the communities it serves.

Holli Thomas steps in for former executive director Kelly Schreiber, as the SSCOC’s new president and chief executive officer.

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Vice-president and chief operations officer Carmélle Bielenberg

Interim president/CEO Carmélle Bielenberg takes on the role of vice-president and chief operations officer.

Body work: Stayton shop opens

April 2017 Posted in Business, Community | Comments Off on Body work: Stayton shop opens

FlemingsAuto-1By Mary Owen

A Salem auto body shop owner is expanding to Stayton.

Tom Fleming has been doing body work for more than 40 years.

“My older brother used to do custom airbrushing and painting in Seattle, which gave me the bug to work on cars,” Fleming said, owner of Fleming’s Body and Paint.

Fleming has spent most of his life developing his knowledge and skills in the automotive industry, from writing estimates to hammering out dents to wielding a paint gun. Over the years, his small home shop grew to occupy a 17,500 sq. ft. building in Salem before deciding to open his second shop in Stayton.

Providing a little lift: Artist uses her talent to create smiles – and funding for Shriners Hospital

April 2017 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off on Providing a little lift: Artist uses her talent to create smiles – and funding for Shriners Hospital
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“Girl on a Swing” by Denise Goodin-Vasquez

By Mary Owen

A local artist uses her talents to help support Shriners Hospitals for Children, a charity “near and dear” to her heart.

“I began this journey by painting gifts for my grandchildren, and then upon request,” said Denise Goodin-Vasquez, 48, who started dgvPaintings last year. “During the winter months, my husband’s painting business slows down due to weather. I thought I might try to paint Christmas presents for my grandkids – easy audience!”

Goodin-Vasquez is a Stayton wife and mother of four grown children and three stepchildren. She is also “Grandma Naunie” to six grandchildren, one due in April.

Silver Falls State Park: Offers many opportunities for volunteers

April 2017 Posted in Community, Nature | Comments Off on Silver Falls State Park: Offers many opportunities for volunteers
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Earl McCollum

By Mary Owen

When visiting the South Falls Nature Store at Silver Falls State Park, be sure to stop and smell the flowers.

Placed on the table by the front entrance, the ever-changing, fresh bouquets of spring flowers come from the backyard of Earl McCollum, who has been volunteering at the store since 2005.

“A volunteer at the Nature Store talked to me about how great it was to volunteer there,” said McCollum, who trained as an agriculture teacher and worked at a community college for 22 years. “I studied botany and crop information. I also taught wildflower identification.”

Educational priorities: School board candidates share their thoughts

April 2017 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on Educational priorities: School board candidates share their thoughts

Editor’s note: Election preview of additional races will be included in the May 1 edition of Our Town.

By Mary Owen

Candidates have filed for the school board seats that will be decided with the May 17 ballot. While many seats on locals boards are uncontested, with just a single person filing, a few positions have challengers.

North Santiam School District

Four people are vying for three open director positions on the North Santiam School Board this May.

Fuel tax: Stayton goes to voters with street repair plan

April 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Fuel tax: Stayton goes to voters with street repair plan

By Mary Owen

A measure for establishing a 3-cent motor vehicle fuel tax will be up for voter approval on the May 16 ballot.

“Street funding levels have not kept pace with needs,” City Administrator Keith Campbell said about the fuel tax proposal. “Supplemental funding could be generated by implementing a gas tax, increasing the transportation fee, a bond, or by other means.”

A “yes” vote will raise funds to go toward improving Stayton’s nine miles of streets needing reconstruction and 12 miles of streets needing pavement overlays.

New coach: Stayton’s Nyquist took West Albany to three state titles

April 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, School, Sports & Recreation | Comments Off on New coach: Stayton’s Nyquist took West Albany to three state titles

James DayRandy Nyquist wanted to come home, and Stayton had a place for him. Sometimes life is that simple.

Nyquist, who won 119 games and three Class 5A state championships in 15 years at West Albany and fielded three Class 6A playoff teams at Oregon City from 2014-16, is the new football coach at Stayton High.

Nyquist, 55, will teach physical education and health at the high school. He replaces Andy Campbell, who led the Eagles to the playoffs in his two seasons at the helm. Campbell will coach defensive linemen at Willamette University.

A life changer: Sweet, sweet music memories

April 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on A life changer: Sweet, sweet music memories

carl-sampsonI remember the day that changed my life.

I was in ninth grade and a friend and I got tickets to a concert. It wasn’t just any concert. Gladys Knight and the Pips and the Temptations were the featured acts. By the time they got through their playlists – think of most of the greatest Motown songs of all time – it was as though a switch in my head had been turned on.

Life saving: Red Cross training prepares trio to save a man at Stayton Pool

February 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Life saving: Red Cross training prepares trio to save a man at Stayton Pool

By Mary Owen

Three employees of the Stayton Family Memorial Pool will receive life-saving citations from the American Red Cross this month.

“We’re lucky in this community to have people so well trained looking over us at the pool,” said Jack Burnett, president of Stayton Friends of the Pool. “We’re very proud of what they did. They did an awesome job!”

Lifeguard Jacob Rothrock of Mill City, lifeguard Aleya Hill of Stayton, and Billie Hight-Maurer, former aquatic director, of Aumsville, helped save the life of Michael Hefner of Stayton last June 23.