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Stacey Harker at the Pre-Incan Ruins in Ecuador -- Submitted Photo

Broadening the mind – STEM Europe 2025 tour open for registration

By Melissa Wagoner Travel isn’t just about going somewhere new. It can also be a way of learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics – commonly referred to as STEM – in an entirely new way. “I want students to have the opportunity to engage in hands-on interactive STEM activities at significant locations around the world, where they learn first-hand about topics […]

Cultural passes – Summer adventure just got easier

By Melissa Wagoner Summer is a great time to visit the many museums, gardens and educational venues located within a two-hour drive of Silverton. But, if expenses ae running  high, the price of admission can be a barrier. That’s where the Silver Falls Library’s Cultural Passes can help. Offering free admission to places like the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, the […]

Travelers’ Choice Award goes to Oregon Garden Resort

The Oregon Garden Resort has received Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award for 2023. The award is a highly regarded within the hospitality industry. Only the top 10 percent of hotels worldwide receive the honor. Winners have earned positive traveler reviews and ratings over the past year. “This achievement is a direct result of the hard work, dedication, and passion of our […]

Science teacher offers eco-trip to Belize

By Melissa Wagoner “Opening the world through education,” is the mission of the educational travel company, EF Tours, but it’s also the mission of Stacie Harker – an avid traveler and science teacher at Butte Creek Elementary. “I think international travel is so important,” Harker said. “To get insight on American culture by seeing other cultures… to see culturally that […]

Children’s health, globally – Pediatric dentist creates nonprofit

By Melissa Wagoner When Dr. Tim Richardson was in dental school at the University of Washington, he had a dream of becoming a traveling dentist. During the summer of 2006, he flew to Kenya with a Washington-based nonprofit to find out just how to make his dreams come true.  “I stayed in a little volunteer hut with no running water […]

Pudding River project – Bridge work to close Hazelgreen access in 2024

By James Day Silverton-area residents who commute in and out of the Salem-Keizer area will be facing another detour. Marion County will be replacing the bridge over the Pudding River on Hazelgreen Road NE near Torvend Road. The good news is that project planning is just beginning and that construction is not scheduled to begin until 2024. The bad news […]

Electric vehicles – Car owners share personal benefits of making the switch

By Melissa Wagoner With the cost of gas soaring to well over $4 a gallon, more people than ever are considering an electric vehicle (EV) which, according to David Deckelmann – owner of a Nissan Leaf since 2019 – is a very good thing. “I will always have a gas car because I love vintage cars,” Deckelmann, a self-proclaimed car […]

Now open: Silverton Road bridge repair complete

By James Day The Silverton Road bridge over the Little Pudding River between Silverton and Salem has reopened to through traffic. The $6.4 million bridge work on the span on Highway 213 is completed to the extent that it is safe for motorists to use, although a few loose ends will be tidied up later this spring, said Steven Preszler, […]

Oktoberfest 2021: Planning a big festival during the age of COVID-19

By Melissa Wagoner There have been a lot of sleepless nights for Oktoberfest board members since the COVID numbers began climbing in mid-July because, by then, planning for Mount Angel’s annual festival was well underway and organizers – having spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in planning – were loath to pull the plug.  “We thought long and […]

Silverton Road: Detour continues

By James Day The six-month detour for bridge work on Silverton Road between Silverton and Salem appears to be going well, project officials say. “Overall the detour has been very successful, although there is always an adjustment period with any detour and this one was no exception,” said Steven Preszler, the project manager with Marion County Public Works.  The county […]

Geology rocks: New book guides exploration of the Pacific Northwest

By Melissa Wagoner The Pacific Northwest is a land of movers and shakers – when it comes to geology that is. “The PNW is known as an active margin,” geologist Leslie Moclock described. “That means it’s a place where different tectonic plates interact with one another, pushing and pulling the Earth’s crust and driving exciting, fundamental geologic processes. It’s why […]

The hiker’s quest: Learning what’s important from the Pacific Crest Trail

By Melissa Wagoner “In a heartbeat,” is Anna Koch’s instant reply when asked if she would once again hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) – the 2,650-mile track from Campo, California, on the United States-Mexico border, to Manning Park, British Columbia. “I actually didn’t finish and that’s a huge bummer to me,” 20-year-old Koch lamented. “I want to go back.” […]

District champs: Kennedy blasts Culver, moves to No. 1 in Class 2A

On a cool autumn Senior Night the Kennedy High football team checked off the final box in an undefeated Special District 2 season. The defending state champion Trojans dismantled Culver 40-6 on Oct. 25 to improve to 5-0 in league play and advance to No. 1 in the OSAA’s Class 2A rankings. And because Chemawa shut down their program midseason […]

More than maps: Geography curriculum developed with trip to Greece

By Melissa Wagoner Teaching geography can be difficult, but it is especially tricky when the students are five years old.  “We don’t have a specific geography curriculum,” Savannah Sinn, a kindergarten teacher at Bush Elementary School in Salem, lamented. “And they don’t come in with anything.” In order to give her students a more well-rounded geographical education, Sinn has had […]

All in the journey: Silverton teen hikes Pacific Crest Trail

By Melissa Wagoner 19-year-old, Anna Koch is setting out on the journey of a lifetime – a 2,663 mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail. “I’m starting in Idyllwild, [California,] which is the worst spot because they’re getting dumped on every day,” Koch shuddered. “I’m totally nervous because this year is a record snow year. I’d like to think I […]

In the elements: Silverton hiker rescued after two days in Columbia Gorge

By Melissa Wagoner “Since this has happened I’ve had these moments where I’m like, ‘Am I really alive?’” avid outdoorswoman Leslie Drapiza of Silverton said during a recent retelling of the harrowing rescue that saved her life in the early hours of Feb. 5.   “I had gotten complacent,” she admitted. “I should have been better prepared.” Drapiza, who is […]

Traveling with kids: Adventure for the whole family

By Melissa Wagoner It took Lisa Gerlits a number of years to find the joy in traveling with children. The mother of three – Alexander, 11; Annabel, eight; and Mieke, five – Gerlits and her husband, Michiel Nankman, have traveled to the Netherlands, Nankman’s home country, since Alexander was just a year old. “It’s not the sort of carefree, free-wheeling […]

Summer adventure: Foxes brothers take baseball Dominican Republic tour

By James Day Riley and Kyle Kramer had a bit of a different summer vacation. The Silverton brothers played baseball, yes, but they did it 3,500 miles away in the Dominican Republic. Riley, who just started his senior year at Silverton High, traveled to the Caribbean with Northwest Diamond Sports of Tualatin. Brother Kyle, a sophomore, and mom Tara, owner […]

Roaming Reeders: Family packs up for two-year Cambodian adventure

By Melissa Wagoner Emily and Tyrone Reeder love living life outside their comfort zone, which is why this August they are packing up their bags and heading to Cambodia. “We like being in another culture,” Emily explained. “We actually enjoy not understanding and being able to communicate. We come into it knowing it’s going to be hard.” Although neither Tyrone […]

Checking in: McClaine House revitalized as bed and breakfast

By Nancy Jennings Karen Choules is a “homebody” who loves decorating, painting furniture, cooking and gardening. These qualities suit her well as the new owner/innkeeper at Silverton’s The McClaine House, which opened last year during Memorial Day weekend. The stately two-story historical landmark was originally built in 1878 by namesake Jake McClaine and his wife, Sophronia. Now, the refurbished cream-colored […]

Patagone: Adventurer shares her pack through Patagonia

By Brenna Wiegand Though her party consists of herself, her dog and two horses, Stevie Anna Plummer is taking the whole world along on her 1,000-mile trek through Patagonian back country. Plummer will remain live on social media throughout her journey through this vast, mostly uninhabited region. Plummer, 29, grew up outdoors, a young rodeo rider with a great love […]

Cuban adventure: A land old, new, and changing

By Steve Ritchie It was 9 a.m. on a Monday morning in early February. We were God knows where, bouncing around the pot-holed back roads of Cuba in the second rear seat of a 1948 Plymouth sedan packed with nine people and all our bags. Needless to say, this was no tour group. The older, long-haired Frenchman in front of […]