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A Grin at the End: Only a breath away from being president

Carl Sampson

Who’s it going to be?

By the time the Democrats meet for their national convention in Denver at the end of this month, and the Republicans meet in Minneapolis during the first part of September; speculation over who Barack Obama and John McCain will choose as running mates will have reached a crescendo.

Gonzalez arraigned, two more counts added to sex abuse charges

During Silverton Police Officer Tony Gonzalez’s July 22 arraignment on charges of sexually abusing a minor, Judge Joseph Ochoa announced the grand jury had added two additional counts, bringing the total to three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and four counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

First-degree sexual abuse is a Measure 11 crime and carries a mandatory sentence, in this case 75 months for each count. Measure 11 was a 1994 ballot initiative that set minimum mandatory sentences for serious crimes.

Grand Jury unanimously concludes police shooting justified

A Marion County grand jury deliberated one day before clearing Silverton police officer Tony Gonzalez of any wrongdoing in the fatal June 30 shooting of Irish national Andrew James Hanlon, 20.

“They were in session until just past 5 sometime last night,” Deputy District Attorney Don Abar said July 25, the day after the Marion County District Attorney’s office released information to the press regarding the grand jury’s decision.

The 9-1-1 tapes

On separate occasions two families called 9-1-1, each fearing for their safety due to the violent behavior and threats of the same young man. To the first callers, he was a brother and a brother-in-law. To the second, he was a stranger.
The actions of Andrew James Hanlon, 20, instigated both calls.

On April 6, 2008, according to a police incident report and 9-1-1 tape, an emergency call was made by Nathan Heise, Hanlon’s brother-in-law.

Heise called 9-1-1 at 12:31 p.m. to report Hanlon was having a “mental breakdown.”

Silverton FFA garners awards at Marion County Fair

Silverton FFA brought back all blue banners as well as several high individual awards and trophies at the Marion County Fair, which took place at the State Fairgrounds July 9-13.

The landscape team – Megan Veach, Kaylee Spencer, Bethany Ross, Megan Schmaltz, Riane Towery and Colby Qualey – came up with a design relating to the theme this year, which was “Summer Days and Country Ways.” The landscape took first place.

Metal man adorns Silverton buildings with ‘twisty-cue’ art

Out-of-the-ordinary metal work is the frosting on the cake for buildings restored in downtown Silverton by Mo Salem and his crew.

Salem’s current project on the corner of Main and Water streets opposite the Wolf Building, are trimmed with metal fixtures that have a definite artistic touch.

The artistry is by Jesse Cox, who lets sparks fly as he welds the fence into place.

The work is by Jesse Cox, a 28-year-old metal fabricator, who admits, “I don’t like building things you see every day.”

All Aboard! Crossing Canada by rail

Recently my husband, Ray, and I took a long train ride through Canada. Starting at Vancouver, B.C., we traversed Canada’s Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, lush green-and-yellow agricultural quilts and urban cities.Waterfalls in the Rockies were full of spring run-off

We call it our “rock n’ roll ride” because sleeping on a VIA Rail Canada train leaves something to be desired when you’re used to quiet nights on a large, soft bed. We chose berth accommodations, less expensive than a compartment and kind of interesting, though nothing like the hilarious berth scenes in the movie, Some Like It Hot.

Always fashionable: white flowers are perfectly cool for summer heat

\'Margeret Merrill\', Courtesy of Herloom Rose Gardens

White flowers are always in style, go with everything in every season and are particularly pleasing and welcome during the dog days of summer.

Whether you plant a “moon garden” – a whole area solely comprised of white flowers and gray foliage – or simply have white things blooming here and there, you’ll appreciate the tranquil mood set by adding neutral tones to your yard.


Winnie Bolton

As I watched children play in the schoolyard it made me think about what it is that makes children so daring?

Homer Days celebrates smalltown life

Hang on to your baseball cap, here comes Homer Davenport – as in Homer Davenport Days – Silverton’s three-day celebration of the famous newspaper cartoonist and native son.

Lennez Hitzemann, president of the festival board, is busy during the final hours before the event, but able now to reveal who will be leader of the hometown parade on Saturday, Aug. 2. The grand marshal will be Marcella Gentzkow, who originally suggested the name for the nearly 30-year-old festival honoring Davenport. Gentzkow, formerly of Silverton, now lives in Mt. Angel.

Family vows to pursue answers

Andrew “AJ” Hanlon’s family was left unsettled when the Marion County grand jury determined the use of lethal force by Police Officer Tony Gonzalez was justified.

“There are things about the justification of Officer Gonzalez’s shooting that simply do not add up to me,” Nathan Heise, Hanlon’s brother-in-law, said after the grand jury’s report was released. “I have even more questions than answers,” he said, listing thoughts including, “why was the taser not drawn instead of a weapon?”

Silverton police shooting turn of events

Responding to the report of a burglary June 30, Silverton Police Office Tony Gonzalez, 35, shot and killed Andrew James Hanlon, 20. The incident occurred after 11 p.m. near the intersection of Oak and Mill streets. Hanlon, “AJ” to his friends, was an Irish citizen who had been visiting his sister and brother-in-law, Silverton residents Melanie and Nathan Heise. Nathan […]

Silverton job market about to undergo another change

By Linda Whitmore There’s a book of June Drake photographs published in the 1920s from which one can get an insight into how Silverton’s economy functioned in the past. There are pictures of several lumber mills, a flour mill, a bottling plant and thriving stores that sold everything residents of the town and the surrounding farms might need – food, […]

Homer Days seeks volunteers

By Dixon Bledsoe The celebration of Homer Davenport, the local boy who made good as an internationally renowned political cartoonist, returns for its 28th year Aug.1- 3. But to ensure the festival runs smoothly, volunteers are needed. How to get involved To help out call 503-508-9591, visit www.davenportdays.com.or attend a board meeting held Tuesdays, 6 p.m. or 8:30 a.m., at […]

Helping Olympic hopefuls: DeShaw’s love of sports medicine leads to Olympic Trials

By Steve Ritchie What does it take to be an Olympian? For most athletes who reach that elite level, it takes years of dedication, the ability to maintain focus, tremendous determination and countless sacrifices. Not to mention natural ability and talent. There is something more, though. No athlete gets there by herself or himself. Each requires the support of family, […]

Director resigns, changes afoot for Silverton Together

By Kristine Thomas The resignation of Silverton Together’s director has led to the cancellation of August’s annual Celebrate Families Picnic. Director O.B. Bergin, who announced earlier this month her last day would be July 25, is leaving to pursue “other professional opportunities.” Interested in helping? To find out about organizing the Celebrate Families picnic call Silverton Together, 503-873-0405 Her departure, […]

Department procedures, officer training, determine when deadly force is justified

By Matt Day Whenever there is a police officer-involved shooting in Oregon, a predetermined series of events is put into motion. That was the case when Silverton Police Officer Tony Gonzalez shot and killed Andrew James Hanlon the night of June 30. According to the protocol, the police agency connected with the case can’t conduct an investigation of its own […]

Auxiliary fulfills role as ambassador between hospital and community

By Kristine Thomas They raise money to buy equipment for Silverton Hospital and sew anatomy dolls for children who are having surgery. They plan and host fundraisers. They greet visitors and patients at the hospital, manage the gift shop and espresso bar, and award scholarships to students pursuing medical careers. And that’s only a snippet of the volunteer work done […]

The Man About Town: Flip-flop philosophy

Pete Buffington reports that his Abiqua Wind Vineyard’s 2007 Mueller Thurgau recently won a double gold medal in an international competition in San Francisco. Their 2006 Early Muscat also won a double gold at last year’s event, proving that there is quite an emerging wine region on the east side of I-5. The Man says to quit yer “wining” and […]

Brother, friend, artist: AJ Hanlon’s life remembered

By Matt Day Almost every day, Andrew James “AJ” Hanlon would buy a cup of lemon chamomile tea at the Silver Creek Coffee House in downtown Silverton, a popular spot for teens and twenty-somethings. Frequently, Hanlon would linger for the conversation. Hanlon, an Irish citizen, arrived in Oregon in June 2007 planning to spend a few months living in Silverton […]

Welcome to Our Town online!

We hope this will complement the work we already do in print and provide a forum for feedback and interaction.

All of the stories that are delivered to your mailbox in the print edition were posted online at noon today. Some are missing photos, others have some glitches here and there. We hope to have that worked out soon. Features like Datebook and Marketplace are also empty right now. Forgive the delay, we’ll get those up and running as soon as possible.

In the meantime, take a look around the site. Let us know what works and what doesn’t, and what you’d like to see in Our Town online.

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Peeking into the parlors of Silverton’s past

By Linda Whitmore

One of the 11 sites open to visitors during the home tour is the 1922 bungalow at 810 N. Water street that was for many years the home of the Cooley family. Owners of old houses often wonder about the lives of the people who tread the stairs before them. Passers-by might be curious about how current residents live in a vintage home.

On Saturday, July 19, Silverton Country Historical Society’s “Within These Walls” home tour offers a peek into the parlors and porches of homes and businesses built before 1940 – and a couple of well-done recreations of vintage houses.

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Mt. Angel author publishes book after years of planning

By Matt Day While taking a creative writing class in college in the early 1970s, Don Dunn wrote a short story. Part sci-fi, part historical fiction, the tale centered on a man coming of age in trying times. Dunn went on to graduate from Mt. Angel College in 1971 with a degree in humanities. The story wound up in the […]

The Oregon Garden keeps growing

By Linda Whitmore The Oregon Garden, which celebrated its seventh anniversary June 29, is blooming like an established landscape. Now solidly rooted, Silverton’s botanical garden is flourishing. Not only have the individual garden spots been expanded and plants within them matured, the Garden is on sound financial footing, allowing for further growth and development. There has been a bloom of […]

Juvenile crime an issue of attitude

By Matt Day

In her 10th year of work with Silverton Youth Peer Court, Cynthia Schaeffer is noticing a trend she’s never seen before.

Theft is up from last year. Between January and May of 2008, 33 percent of peer court cases were theft-related, up 10 percent from the same period in 2007. But theft fluctuates year to year, and she isn’t worried about the jump in cases.

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