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Silverton First Baptist’s new lead pastor, JD Winters, his wife Crystal, and their children. Submitted Photo

Called to lead – Silverton First Baptist welcomes new lead pastor

By Bruce Kingwell Silverton First Baptist church is welcoming its new lead pastor, JD Winters.  The congregation has gathered at its current location on Westfield Street, between Safeway and Robert Frost Elementary School, for more than 70 years. While in that time much has changed, a congregation of seven decades learns to recognize joyful change when it comes. Such was […]

Datebook: April 2024

Frequent Addresses Mt. Angel Public Library, 290 E Charles St. Silver Creek Fellowship, 822 NE Industrial Way, Silverton. Silver Falls Library, 410 S Water St. Silverton Arts Association, 303 Coolidge St. Silverton Community Center/Council Chambers, 421 S Water St. Weekly Events Monday Low Impact Aerobics, 9:30 a.m., Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 303 N Church St., Silverton. Silverton Senior Center members free. Non-members […]

Gregg Harris, Don von Weller, Greg Hoffman, Lance Kamstra and Scott Stebbins of the Noble Men of Oregon. Brenna Wiegand

Chronicled – Bible Study group seeks to reach audiences through movies

By Brenna Wiegand A group of local men who came together for a Bible Study are finding ways to reach out to their community. They call themselves the Noble Men of Oregon. They meet weekly at Noble Inn, owned by study leader Gregg Harris and his wife Bonnie. Built by June Drake in 1904, the historic home is now a […]

Datebook: March 2024

Frequent Addresses Mt. Angel Public Library, 290 E Charles St. Silver Creek Fellowship, 822 NE Industrial Way, Silverton. Silver Falls Library, 410 S Water St. Silverton Arts Association, 303 Coolidge St. Silverton Community Center/Council Chambers, 421 S Water St. Weekly Events Monday Low Impact Aerobics, 9:30 a.m., Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 303 N Church St., Silverton. Silverton Senior Center members free. Non-members […]

Don and Debbie Bennett, owners of The Home Place Restaurant Submitted photo

Lifetime Achievement Award: The Home Place Restaurant – a true community hub

By Stephen Floyd For many Silvertonians, The Home Place Restaurant represents a rite of passage. It’s where they got to have their first big birthday party, where numerous teenagers got their first jobs, where generations of athletes gathered for pre- and post-game celebrations. Co-owner Debbie Bennett said the establishment is old enough now that customers bring their own families, talking […]

First Citizen, Laura Wanker Melissa Wagoner

First Citizen: Educator and SACA board member Laura Wanker lauded

By Melissa Wagoner It’s been 40 years, nearly to the day, since Laura Wanker became a part of the Silverton community, initially working as an educator and volunteer tutor, mentor and educational advocate for students at Silverton High School before joining the Silverton Area Community Aid’s (SACA) board. “Laura Wanker’s impact on the Silverton community is broad and substantial,” former superintendent […]

John Friedrick received the Distinguished Service Award for 2023 Submitted Photo

Distinguished Service: John Friedrick – pastor, champion, safety net

By James Day Sometimes your ability to make a difference in your community can be as simple as how often you say ”yes.” That’s been the case in recent years with Oak Street Church and its pastor John Friedrick. Yes to continuing its Monday meal tradition. Yes to using the church building for a warming shelter. Yes to hosting listening […]

Silverton Willamette Valley Bank operations manager Johna Overfield, branch manager Joshua Keck, and staff member Rachel Sepull. Submitted Photo

Business of the Year: Willamette Valley Bank has community roots

By James Day From its arrival in Silverton in 2002 Willamette Valley Bank has lived by the motto that to serve the community you must be involved in the community. “Twenty-two years ago a group of business owners opened Willamette because they believed the community would be better served by a locally headquartered bank, managed by people who understood the […]

The board of the Silverton Sidewalk Shindig includes Elizabeth Hess, Emily Pawlak, Sarah Weitzman, Poppy Shell Wiegand and Alan Mickelson. Courtesy of Maddy Traver Photography

Service Group of the Year – Silverton Sidewalk Shindig honored

By Melissa  Wagoner When Alan Mickelson joined forces with Lawrence Stone, Greg Hart, Gregg Sheesley and Ron Nelson to put on the very first Silverton Sidewalk Shindig in 2012, he never could have predicted that 12 years later the event would still be going strong or that the organization would be the recipient of the Silverton Chamber of Commerce’s Service […]

Marion Polk Food Share

Bethany students pitch in at Marion Polk Food Share

By Melissa Wagoner Kim Merklin has taken her students on a lot of field trips during the 14 years she has taught at Bethany Charter School, but few have been as impactful as those she and her class of 30 seventh and eighth grade students have taken to the Marion Polk Food Share. “I was astonished the first time I […]

Carlo Antinucci, Pietro Sangiorgi and Craig Bazzi, participate in the Italian Conversation Nights at the Silver Falls Library. Melissa Wagoner

La vita è Bella – Shared Italian heritage brings people together

By Melissa Wagoner Growing up, Craig Bazzi’s grandparents – immigrants from Northern Italy – spoke mostly Italian, as did their neighbors. “But it wasn’t spoken in our home,” Bazzi recalled. And so, the language wasn’t something he ever learned. Then, as an adult, he took a trip to Italy with his wife, to reconnect with distant relatives and to see […]

Silverton Senior Center

Storm damage: Burst pipes wreak havoc on Senior Center

By James Day The Silverton Senior Center was heavily damaged during the recent ice storm and is currently closed until repairs can be made. Board President Jenny Ohren told Our Town that when officials returned to the Center on Jan. 18, after being closed during the ice event, “broken pipes in the attic” led to the collapse of a ceiling because […]

Datebook: February 2024

Frequent Addresses Mt. Angel Public Library, 290 E Charles St. Silver Creek Fellowship, 822 NE Industrial Way, Silverton. Silver Falls Library, 410 S Water St. Silverton Arts Association, 303 Coolidge St. Silverton Community Center/Council Chambers, 421 S Water St. Weekly Events Monday Low Impact Aerobics, 9:30 a.m., Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 303 N Church St., Silverton. Silverton Senior Center members free. Non-members […]

Sofia Perez. Melissa Wagoner

Together – Silent reading book club

By Melissa Wagoner When Victoria Martusheff – a shift supervisor at Silverton Starbucks on North First Street – came across an advertisement for the Silent Book Club, “a global community of readers and introverts, with more than 500 chapters in 50 countries,” she just had to share it with fellow supervisor, Sofia Perez. “I’m a very big reader,” Perez, who […]

Dodie Brockamp. James Day.

Brockamp retires from directing Silverton Senior Center

Somehow it seems that Dodie Brockamp, outgoing executive director of the Silverton Senior Center, will be busier in her “retirement” than she was during her 12 years at the center. A celebration of the Senior Center career of Brockamp is set for noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Senior Center, 115 Westfield St. A light luncheon […]

When the city’s lease on the Silverton Community Center expires at the end of March it is likely that the Silver Falls Family YMCA will take on the lease and manage the property. James Day

Building transition – YMCA likely to take over Community Center lease

By James Day The lease on the Silverton Community Center likely will transfer to the Silver Falls YMCA when the Silverton City Council moves its meetings to the new Civic Center building next spring. The Oregon Military Department owns the Community Center building on South Water Street, with the city’s lease set to expire March 31, 2024. The council discussed […]

Datebook: January 2024

Frequent Addresses Mt. Angel Public Library, 290 E Charles St. Silver Creek Fellowship, 822 NE Industrial Way, Silverton. Silver Falls Library, 410 S Water St. Silverton Arts Association, 303 Coolidge St. Silverton Community Center/Council Chambers, 421 S Water St. Weekly Events Monday Silverton Senior Center, 115 Westfield St. Seniors 50 and older. Daily, weekly, monthly events. 503-873-3093, silvertonseniorcenter.org Low Impact Aerobics, […]

Fentanyl – Cheap, available statewide, and deadly

By Melissa Wagoner In late September one Silverton father got a call he hoped he would never get. His 16-year-old daughter had just overdosed on fentanyl and was being rushed to the hospital. “I didn’t expect it to be her,” the father – who has asked to remain nameless – said.  His daughter, who has since recovered, had been sold the dangerous […]

Bernard Hall will be purchased by Father Bernard Youth Center for expanding youth programs. Stephen Floyd

Changing spaces – Monastery sale pending

By Stephen Floyd The impending sale of Queen of Angels Monastery in Mount Angel will mean larger spaces for local Catholic ministries, although details of the transitions must still be hammered out. Catholic Community Services (CCS) is expected to finalize its purchase of the monastery this month and plans to move its transitional housing program, St. Joseph’s Shelter, into the […]

Shelter in need of items for Christmas dinner boxes

St. Joseph Shelter and Mission Benedict are in need of donations of nonperishable food items for the Christmas Dinner Box Program.  Any of the items listed below can be brought to Mission Benedict, 925 S Main St., Mt. Angel, by Dec. 15 to be included in the boxes. • Grocery gift cards • Canned green beans • Canned corn • […]

Band funds – Silent auction raises money for trip

By James Day Main Street Bistro is spearheading a fundraising effort to assist the Silverton High band with its expenses for an upcoming tour in March in preparation for the League Band Festival. A silent auction begins on Friday, Dec. 1, in conjunction with festivities surrounding the tree lighting ceremony in Town Square Park. Auction sheets will be available for […]

Santa Cares set for Dec. 9

Karen Garst had one goal when she came up with the idea for Santa Cares in 2018 – to make sure everyone has a gift to give on Christmas. “[A]fter working with Sheltering Silverton and SACA I knew there were many in need,” Garst said. Inspired, Garst developed the Santa Cares event during which community members can donate gently used items – toys, children’s books, sports […]

A look inside the new Sheltering Silverton facility at the city shops on McClaine Street. A grand opening celebration was held Nov. 21 at the site. James Day

Compassionate space – Sheltering Silverton opens new facility

By James Day Sheltering Silverton has hit a milestone in its serving of the homeless in town with the opening of its new warming shelter and cabins outside the parking lot of the city shops complex on McClaine Street. “It’s not the end, but it’s a new chapter,” said board president Mary Jane Schaffer, one of the speakers at an […]

Silverton United Methodist Church’s Snack Sack group completes the week’s batch with help from students of Silverton’s Community Transition Program, also housed at the church. Front row, CTP students Paulina Rubio Saavedra and Kiele Pahia; back row, Luana Foster, Tally Stoffey and Donna Eberle. Not pictured, Carole Hogue. Brenna Wiegand

Snack sacks: Collaborative effort – with hands-on volunteers – get treats to kids

By Brenna Wiegand Every Wednesday a small group of women at Silverton United Methodist Church meet to provide extra goodies for the kids of families served by Silverton Area Community Aid. The church’s Friends Helping Friends, also known as the Snack Sack People, have decorated, filled and delivered some 35,000 bags to SACA since its inception in 2011. “A group […]

Todd Ferrell, nominated as an Angel Among Us by neighbor and friend, Marianna Davis

Angels among us: Neighbor builds sense of community

By Melissa Wagoner In the eyes of Marianna Davis, Todd Ferrell is an absolute angel. “One definition of a person who is angelic is someone of exemplary conduct and virtue, someone with outstanding qualities and abilities,” Davis said, adding that, in her opinion, Ferrell fits the bill. Originally from Southern California, Ferrell moved to Silverton with his wife, Ann, in 2007 and […]