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This emerald ash borer was discovered last summer in Forest Grove. Oregon Department of Forestry

Emerald Ash Borer – Forestry departments work to save Oregon’s ash trees

By Melissa Wagoner The current trajectory of the invasion of the emerald ash borer (EAB)– a wood boring pest known for its decimation of the ash trees on the East Coast of the United States since its introduction in 2002 – leaves little hope for the future of Oregon’s mature ash trees. “I think that folks believe that eventually EAB will kill […]


In the April 1 issue of Our Town, the article titled “In the ring – Eight file for four seats on SFSD Board” should have referred to Jo Tucker by the personal pronoun “she.”  The article should have also included a brief biography on Eliza Torlyn.  She has raised her children in the district and has served on the SFSD Bond […]

DUII chase caught on camera

A Silverton man is facing DUII and multiple other charges after a police chase caught on camera ended with the suspect allegedly crashing into a local resident’s front yard. Michael James Imel, 36, was arrested Wednesday, Dec. 7, after officers with the Silverton Police Department attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Imel allegedly fled in his vehicle and drove recklessly […]

Fall update: Football teams fill in schedule slots

The high school football schedules for fall are taking shape, with Silverton High opening on Friday, Sept. 2, with a Mid-Willamette Conference game at Dallas. The Foxes, under new coach Dan Lever, will prep for the Dallas game with an Aug. 26 scrimmage at Sheldon of Eugene against both the host Irish and West Salem. The Foxes will be playing […]

Sharing space – Oregon nonprofit offers new solution to housing crisis

By Melissa Wagoner When Emily and Elijah Neves got engaged and began searching for a place to live in their hometown of Silverton, the prospects looked pretty grim.  “We both really love this community,” Emily began. “So, we were looking everywhere but it was a month before we got married and I was freaking out because I didn’t want to […]

Food equity – Defining the problem a first step in finding the solution

By Melissa Wagoner Food is necessary for the survival of all humans but that doesn’t mean access to it is always equitable.  In fact, every month within Marion and Polk Counties more than 45,000 individuals – 15,000 of them children – rely on food assistance according to Marion Polk Food Share (MPFS), an organization of which Silverton Area Community Aid […]

Funding boost – CTE modernizes

By James Day The Silverton High School career and technical education program has received a $125,000 shot in the arm. The CTE grant, one of 54 from the state, was part of $7.3 million that will assist 148 middle schools and high schools in programs such as advanced manufacturing, engineering, agricultural science, app development, robotics, tourism, forestry, home renovation and […]

Lions Club sends $5,000 for Ukrainian relief

In April, the Silverton Lions Club members voted to send $5,000 in humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people through Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF). It is the largest donation the club has ever made to any cause. Silverton Lions can donate to causes in the community and worldwide through fundraisers such as the fireworks booth, Harvest Breakfast and holiday See’s […]

Counterpoint: Grasses provide both aesthetic and practical benefits

An article in the April 1 issue of Our Town [specifically in Your Garden] didn’t have a lot of good things to say about lawns. While we believe the author is entitled to her opinion, as grass seed growers in the area we are proud of the crop we produce and would like to point out some of the many […]

Tripped up – Elks settle personal injury lawsuit

By Stephen Floyd A $975,000 personal injury lawsuit against the Silverton Elks has been dismissed after the parties settled out of court two weeks before trial. The suit was filed Dec. 31, 2019, by Salem resident Patty Wolford, 88, for an incident in 2018 when she fell and suffered serious injuries during an event at the Elks Lodge. A trial […]

Back on the ballot – Brentano enters Marion County treasurer race

By Stephen Floyd Former Sublimity Mayor and Marion County Commissioner Sam Brentano is coming out of political retirement to run for Marion County Treasurer with an eye to merge the office with the county Finance Department. Brentano filed unopposed for the Republican nomination for the May 17 primary, with the office itself to be decided during the Nov. 8 general […]

Public defender challenges Marion County DA

By Stephen Floyd Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson is being challenged by a public defender for the role as top prosecutor. Spencer Todd, of Salem, filed for the May 17 primary to unseat Clarkson, also of Salem. She was first elected DA in 2018 while running unopposed. Because only two candidates filed for the non-partisan office, they will automatically […]

Relief package – Mount Angel allocates $800K in ARPA funds

By Stephen Floyd Mount Angel is moving forward with several upgrades to city departments after allocating more than $800,000 in COVID-19 pandemic relief funds. The city spent months seeking public input and recommendations from staff and committees before the City Council gave final approval March 7. A total of $803,382 was divided between the Parks, Public Works, Library and Police […]

Datebook: April 2022

Frequent Addresses Mt. Angel Public Library, 290 E Charles St. Silverton High, 1456 Pine St., Silverton. Silverton Senior Center, 115 Westfield 50 & older. 503-873-3093 Silver Creek Fellowship, 822 NE Industrial Way, Silverton. Weekly Events Monday SACA Food Pantry, 9 a.m. – noon, SACA, 421 S Water St., Silverton. Repeats Thurs. 503-873-3446, silvertonareacommunityaid.org Bridge, 10 a.m., Silverton Senior Center. Mt. […]

Tower’s shadow – Old Wilco property to be cleaned, cleared, sold

By Stephen Floyd Residents in Mount Angel will soon see cleanup activity at the site of the Old Wilco Building after fire investigators concluded the cause of the blaze that destroyed the structure last October could not be determined. Barbara Hettwer, sister of late property owner Bob Bodkin, said the initial stage of cleanup has begun with testing for potential […]

TRACE – Silverton gets in on the ground floor of wastewater testing for COVID-19

By Melissa Wagoner Tyler Radniecki knows first-hand that there is a lot to be learned from studying the wastewater of cities. An Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University, he has spent years cataloging the microbes and pathogens found in sewer systems to, amongst other things, determine the spread of diseases in a community.  Which is why, when […]

Creekside overlook project moves forward

The city of Silverton was accepting bids through March 3 for the “overlook” project, which will repair a washed-out section of pathway along Silver Creek near the library. In 2015 during high flows of Silver Creek the old wall from an abandoned mill was damaged and the city closed the area.  In the summer of 2015 the city demolished the […]

Recognition – Local author wins prestigious Oregon Spirit Book Award

By Melissa Wagoner  When author Lisa Gerlits learned that her book, A Many Feathered Thing, had been named a 2022 Oregon Spirit Book Award (OSBA) winner under the category of Best Debut Book, she almost didn’t believe it. “It’s unexpected because it’s two years after the publication date,” Gerlits said. “I thought my husband was joking.” But it was no […]

Update: Barn fire at Mallorie’s site still being reviewed

Fire agencies and law enforcement still are investigating a barn fire at the site of the old Mallorie’s Dairy west of Silverton on Hazelgreen Road. The fire, which was called in at 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 26, reportedly burned close to 1,500 tons of wheat straw. Deputies at the scene, along with fire investigators from the Oregon State Police and […]

Sustainable Silverton – A push to address city’s changing needs

By Melissa Wagoner Addressing sustainability and climate change concerns on a city-wide basis is a complicated issue and one that is often exasperated by the very nature of city government. “[The] City Council is comprised of volunteers with limited time and terms, while changing city code requires significant time and effort, especially as parties who may not share the City’s […]

Scholarship powerhouse – Silverton alum group has $2M in assets

By James Day In 1993 the Silverton High School Class of 1963 held its 30th reunion. Event organizers decided to invest $900 in excess funds at the end of the reunion and use the proceeds for scholarships. From that small beginning the Silverton High School Alumni Association has grown to become a $2 million enterprise. Its most recent annual fundraiser […]

Rarely retired – Stadeli receives Judy Schmidt Lifetime Achievement Award

By Brenna Wiegand Otto Stadeli said you could have “knocked him over with a feather” when the Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce crashed his pinochle game to name him recipient of this year’s Judy Schmidt Lifetime Achievement Award. Stadeli, 93, says doing good business and volunteering are just part of being in a community. Born and raised in Silverton, Stadeli […]

Personal recovery – No-cost workshops encourage thriving, boosting, wellness

By Melissa Wagoner If you’ve ever been interested in planting your own vegetable garden, curating an art collection, improving your job interview skills, understanding your children, reducing stress, eating better or just becoming a happier person then now is your chance to take the leap – for free. “[The courses are] intended to focus on topics that will support all […]

‘If I were mayor’ – Student ideas encouraged

By Melissa Wagoner Mayor Kyle Palmer is well aware that the future of Silverton lies not in his own hands, but in those of the city’s youth – a fact that he finds inspiring. “I’ve spent 23 years coaching youth sports and had spent 18 years operating the veterinary camp where I used to work. I recognize and appreciate the perspective that […]