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Silver Falls School District

Moving forward – Silver Falls School District hires interim superintendent

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has hired Kim Kellison, current superintendent of the Winston-Dillard School District, as interim superintendent effective July 1. The SFSD Board unanimously approved a two-year contract with Kellison during a special meeting June 4, with the contract running through June 30, 2026. Kellison told board members she believes SFSD can “move forward […]

Confidential: Board defends closed-door interviews

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District Board is defending its decision to hold closed-door interviews for interim superintendent, saying this improved the quality of candidates and the process itself. After voting June 4 to extend the position to Winston-Dillard School District Superintendent Kim Kellison, board members said it was important for the public to know why the process […]

New Silverton High School Principal Kirstin Jorgenson Submitted Photo

Jorgenson named Silverton High principal

Longtime Scotts Mills School Principal Kirstin Jorgenson will become principal of Silverton High School starting next school year, according to a June 5 announcement by the Silver Falls School District. In a ParentSquare broadcast that evening, the district said Jorgenson will take over the role currently held by acting Principal Patrick Mulligan, who will return to his previous role as […]

Silverton City Hall opening ceremony

Open house: Ceremony held to celebrate new City Hall in Silverton

By James Day On a warm Friday night a crowd of more than 100 people gathered to participate in a ceremony noting the new Silverton City Hall. The $19.5 million project replaces the City Hall about a half mile down Water Street. The old building is no longer big enough to accommodate city staff and it is seismically unsafe. A […]

Roberto Ponce Velez OSU

Silverton grad wins Goldwater scholarship at OSU

By James Day A Silverton High graduate at Oregon State University has been selected for a prestigious national scholarship. Roberto Ponce Velez, who will enter his senior year at OSU in the fall, was one of three OSU students to receive the Goldwater Scholarship, which is offered by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. Also earning awards, […]

JFK High School seniors Manya Vaquera, left, and Sailor Hill have received the annual Maureen Ernst Memorial and Junior First Citizen scholarships, respectively, presented by the Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce. Submitted photo

Mt. Angel Chamber announces ’24 scholarships

The Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce has awarded the Maureen Ernst Memorial and Junior First Citizen scholarships to JFK students Manya Vaquera and Sailor Hill, respectively. In a June 7 announcement, the chamber said both students exemplified the leadership and volunteerism at the heart of the scholarships. Each received $2,000 toward college. Vaquera’s accomplishments included planning a successful blood drive […]

Wurdinger Enterprises

Wurdinger honored with Small Business Award

By James Day A Silverton agricultural freight company has been honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA has named Wurdinger Enterprises the Portland District Family-Owned Small Business of the Year. Owned and founded by Anthony (Tony) and Karen Wurdinger, Wurdinger Enterprises is a multi-generational family business, growing from humble beginnings to being an important part of the […]

Imagination Library participant, Talon Najera reading a book. Alicia Najera

Imagination Library – Dolly Parton program’s Silverton branch turns five

By Melissa Wagoner It’s been five years since the Silverton Kiwanis Club and the Silverton Library District joined forces to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – a program that gifts one curated book each month to kids ages zero to five – to the children of Silverton. “I was tasked with contacting the Dolly Parton Foundation,” library director and head of […]

US Naval Academy grad Jon Rivoli Submitted

Moving on to Marines – SHS alum graduates from Naval Academy

By James Day Silverton High graduate Jon Rivoli has put in four years of excellent work at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Now even tougher work begins. Rivoli graduated from Silverton during the COVID-19 spring of 2020 and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the Marine Corps on May 24 after graduating 66th in the Academy graduating […]

Doug Ousterhout

Curtain call – Doug Ousterhout retires after directing SHS theater for 34 years

By Melissa Wagoner When asked how long he has been a teacher, Doug Ousterhout (or “Mr. O” as his students affectionately call him) says, “All my life.” But what’s incredible about that answer is how close he came to never becoming a teacher at all. “I grew up in Monmouth and started out at Western,” Ousterhout said, recalling his freshman […]

Steph Baker, right, and her sister, nominator Esther Nelson-Garrett -- courtesy of Steph Baker

Angels Among Us: Stephie Baker

Stephie Baker always knew she wanted a house full of kids. And so, although she was already a mother to two biological children, when she was presented with the opportunity to also adopt, she didn’t hesitate. “My son was best friends with another kid in the fourth grade and he was spending so much time at our house that I […]

Silver Falls School District staff members picking up donated pies. Melissa Wagoner

Pies given to School District employees

By Melissa Wagoner When Andrew Martin, director of grocery sales for Willamette Valley Pie Company, wants to make a difference in his community his thoughts naturally turn to pies. “This pie thing doesn’t fix it but that’s what we’ve got,” he said of a recent giveaway he hosted in partnership with Larsen Flynn Insurance and The Satern Agency. The goal, […]

PFLAG Silverton

Picnic helps launch new PFLAG chapter

By Stephen Floyd A local chapter of national LGBTQ+ advocacy group PFLAG has opened in Silverton, with a Pride Family Picnic scheduled for June 22 at Coolidge McClaine Park to help kick off the group. In a May 15 press release, local organizers said the goal was to promote PFLAG’s work of “creating a caring, just, and affirming world for […]

Charles Leslie (Les) Reid

In Memoriam: Charles Leslie (Les) Reid (Sept. 17, 1923 – May 22, 2024)

Les was born in Ames, Iowa and died peacefully at home in Silverton, Oregon where he lived for almost 50 years.  Shortly after his birth he moved to Lochee, Scotland, a suburb of Dundee, with his Scottish parents, Charles and Willimina, who worked in a local jute mill. He spent most of his childhood in a small apartment lacking indoor […]

Linda Lee Averette

In Memoriam: Linda Lee Averette (Dec. 9, 1940 – May 23, 2024)

Linda Lee Averette beloved mother, grandmother and sister passed peacefully at her home on May 23, 2024, at the age of 83.  She was born on Dec. 9, 1940, in Silverton, Oregon to Hilman and Rose Lovlien. Linda grew up in Silverton and attended Silverton High School. On June 10, 1960 Linda married Ronald Averette and they moved to Canby, […]

Deloris ‘Shortie’ Hanson

In Memoriam: Deloris ‘Shortie’ Hanson (May 28, 1940 – May 17, 2024)

With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Deloris “Shortie” Hanson on May 17, 2024. Deloris was born in Silverton, Oregon and cherished her upbringing on the family farm. She attended Evergreen Grade School and graduated from Silverton High School in 1958.  She had a fulfilling career with the State of Oregon in Data Processing, where she served for 32 […]

Jill Marie Adams

In Memoriam: Jill Marie Adams (Jan. 12, 1943 – May 9, 2024)

Jill Marie Adams, beloved mother, grandmother, and pillar of the Adams-Johansen family, passed away peacefully on May 9, 2024, at the age of 81. She was born on Jan. 12, 1943, in Eugene, Oregon to Lucille Marie McMullen Adams and Carson Glenn Adams. Jill grew up in Harrisburg, Oregon, where she attended Harrisburg High School, forming many lifelong friendships. Jill […]

City of Silverton

Election nears – Jess Miller not seeking another term on Silverton council

By James Day There will be at least one new councilor in Silverton next January. Jess Miller, who was elected in 2020, told the council at its June 3 meeting that he will not seek a second four-year term. Miller told Our Town that he will be focusing his community service time on working to pass parental equity legislation at […]

Legal Matters: Arrested – New Year’s murder suspect

By Stephen Floyd A Mount Angel man accused of killing another man at his ex-wife’s apartment on New Year’s Day is in custody after eluding authorities for six months. Agustin Barocio, 43, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Mexico May 24 and was returned to Marion County May 31, according to a press release from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office […]

The Ifenuk family, owners of Island Fusion Barbecue in Mount Angel. Melissa Wagoner

Island Fusion – Sharing food, culture through barbecue

By Melissa Wagoner The food of the islands has made its way to Mount Angel in the form of the food cart, Island Fusion Barbecue, located at 235 North Main St. “When you say ‘island’ everyone thinks Hawaii,” Jayceleen Ifenuk – who runs the food truck with her family – said. “But there are way more islands.” Including the Micronesian […]

Scott Kritzer

Classical guitar: Bach, cello pieces highlight Mount Angel Abbey series

By James Day The Classical Guitar Immersion, a mixture of concerts, instruction, student recitals and lectures, runs from Monday, June 24 through Saturday, June 29 at the Mount Angel Abbey. This is the 19th season of the event, which is organized by veteran guitarist and teacher Scott Kritzer. The free series also marks Kritzer’s return to performing. Because of the […]

Crews work on one of the homes in the 18-unit Habitat for Humanity development on Pine Street in Silverton. Celebratory public events are scheduled for the site on June 22 and 23. James Day

Habitat for Humanity sets fundraiser, open house at Silverton project

By James Day Habitat for Humanity has scheduled a fundraiser and an open house at the site of its 18-home Peters Garden development on Pine Street in Silverton. On Saturday, June 22, the job site will host a $75 per person fundraiser from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at 1459 Pine St. The North Willamette Valley Habitat for Humanity board of […]

Spirit of Aloha – Community Luau

If a trip to the Hawaiian Islands aren’t in your summer plans, don’t despair. The Spirit of Aloha will take over Coolidge McClaine Park Saturday, June 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Park Pavilion, 300 Coolidge St., Silverton. It’s an event designed for the entire family with Paradise of Samoa dancers and fire dancers entertaining. The evening includes a Hawaiian dinner, […]

James Day

Ch-ch-ch-changes – District budget cuts cost Foxes a hoops coach

Once again, the Silverton High boys basketball program is looking for a new head coach. Jamie McCarty, who has coached the Foxes for six of the past seven seasons, has resigned amid the fallout from the Silver Falls School District’s budget crisis. McCarty, who serves as the principal at Robert Frost School, lost a support staff person to the budget […]

Children play on the climbing structure at the new all-abilities playground at Old Mill Park in Silverton. The soft-surfaced attraction experienced weather-related construction delays. James Day

Now open: Silverton’s all-abilities park finally ready to welcome kids

By James Day The all-abilities playground in Silverton’s Old Mill Park has opened. The playground features multiple wheelchair-accessible amenities, strength-building components and musical elements and aims to foster use by as broad a group of users as possible. It also includes a rubber-like surface that makes it safer for all users. Mayor Jason Freilinger noted at the June 3 City […]