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The Silverton Future Foxes sixth grade girls basketball team won the gold division in March in Bend and Redmond.  Submitted Photo.

Champs again – Future Foxes claim state title in girls hoops

By James Day The Future Foxes sixth-grade girls are on a roll. The squad won its second consecutive state championship last month in Bend and Redmond by capturing the gold division. Last year the squad won the fifth grade competition. Payton Brautigam was named player of the year and her father Dave earned coach of the year honors. Mirren Knudsen […]

James Day

Decade of dominance: Fox girls state title caps historic period

The Silverton High girls basketball squad’s Class 5A title last month capped 10 years of staggering success by the boys and girls programs, both in terms of league accomplishments and statewide achievement. Consider: In the ten-year span from 2015-2024 the girls team has won or shared seven Mid-Willamette Conference titles, won two state Class 5A titles (2016 and 2024) and took […]

Sports Datebook: April 2024

Monday, April 1 Baseball 4:30 p.m. Kennedy vs Monroe/Alsea Wednesday, April 3 Softball 4:30 p.m. Kennedy vs Dayton Thursday, April 4 Boys Tennis 4 p.m. Silverton vs Woodburn Friday, April 5 Softball 4:30 p.m. Kennedy vs Rainier Baseball 5 p.m. Silverton vs Woodburn Monday, April 8 Baseball 4:30 p.m. Kennedy vs Colton Softball 4:30 p.m. Kennedy vs Colton 5 p.m. […]

Scott Drue (foreground) resigns as superintendent of the Silver Falls School District Wednesday night during a special meeting of the SFSD Board.

Scott Drue resigns as SFSD superintendent

By Stephen Floyd Scott Drue has resigned as superintendent of the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) as the district braces for an $825,000 budget shortfall and faces a crisis of employee trust. Drue’s resignation was accepted by the School Board during a special meeting Wednesday night effective immediately. The board then named Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch as acting superintendent. In […]

Residents and district employees pack the Silverton High School library for the March 11 meeting of the Silver Falls School District Board amid ongoing discussions of a projected $825,000 deficit. Stephen Floyd

$825K shortfall: Silver Falls School District details complex layers

By Stephen Floyd Community members walked away with more answers but no fewer questions about an $825,000 deficit after the Silver Falls School District Board meeting March 11. An estimated 120 people attended in person and more than 200 watched by Zoom. The large audience was prompted by the deficit projection announced to the board at its Feb. 26 meeting. […]

Members of the Executive Team of the Silver Falls Education Association share concerns aboutalleged financial mismanagement March 11 during the Silver Falls School District board meeting. Stephen Floyd

‘Financial negligence’ Education association files formal complaint

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA) is filing a formal complaint against Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Superintendent Scott Drue amid a budget crisis that appears to threaten June paychecks. During the March 11 meeting of the SFSD Board, the SFEA Executive Team shared a statement alleging Drue committed acts of “financial negligence” that resulted in a […]

City of Silverton

Goal-setting – Silverton council establishes goals for year

By James Day The Silverton City Council has finalized its work on goal-setting for the new fiscal year beginning July 1. The goals were discussed at length at a nearly four-hour special session at The Oregon Garden on Feb. 6, tweaked at the Feb. 26 work session and received unanimous support at the March 4 regular meeting. The goals are […]

Rural industry – Marion County revives tax incentives

By Stephen Floyd Marion County has extended a recently-expired tax incentive program that allows rural industrial businesses to delay paying property taxes on facility improvements that create jobs. During the March 6 meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, the Rural Industrial Property Tax Exemption Program was extended to 2030 after it expired Jan. 2. The program was first established […]

The Axis Garden at The Oregon Garden in Silverton. Kristine Thomas

Sustainability boost – Garden Foundation awarded $150K county grant

By Stephen Floyd The Oregon Garden Foundation has been awarded a $150,000 grant from Marion County to help develop financial sustainability in its operations of The Oregon Garden. The Board of County Commissioners approved the grant during their March 6 regular meeting, with funds coming from the Oregon Lottery. Oregon Garden Director of Operations Delen Kitchen told Our Town the […]

Prop Master, Kelly Farrah

Prop master – Local production specialist gets back to work

By Melissa Wagoner Kelly Farrah is a self-taught historian who never does anything halfway. As a child growing up in Southern California, he developed an interest in both the American Civil War and the Revolutionary War. But it was the materials used during those time periods – the flags, guns, clothing and everything that was a part of daily life […]

Sean and Jessica McClellan of Flyin High Hat Company. Stephen Floyd

Flyin High Hat – New addition to Silverton’s ‘Maker’s Row’

By Sailor Hill Silverton is now home to a creative and ambitious couple of hatmakers in the Historic Wellman Building downtown. Sean and Jessica McClellan are born artists, passionate about fashion, craftsmanship, and above all: hat making. They recently opened their first storefront, Flyin High Hat Co., where they create and customize western-style hats. “We’ve taken an idea of having […]

Members of the Think  Robots  club show off their hardware after strong performances at the state tournament in Sandy. From left are  Noah Stoneking,  Jim Zitzelberger, Logan Sullivan, Ezra Vegh,  Aiden Adams, Robbie Bruns and Gus Kowalczyk. Submitted PHOTO

Robotics club scores big in state tourney

By James Day The Marion County 4-H ThinkRobots Club, which includes students from the Silverton area, placed three teams in the top 5 at the Feb. 24 elementary and middle school state tournament at Cedar Ridge Middle School in Sandy. A total of 26 middle school teams and 19 elementary school teams competed in the all-day event. One ThinkRobots team […]

Members of the Community Roots School chess club are shown after participating in a regional tournament on Feb. 24.  Front row, from left: Abraham Hughey, Gretl Yarzak, Ramona Bahrke and Jackson Mandall. Back: Deklan Pozos, Grayson Huebsch, Jack Fenteman-Bladen, Amos Yarzak, Christopher McQueen and coach Michael McQueen. Submitted PHOTO

Community Roots shines at regional chess event

The Community Roots School chess team of Silverton finished second at a regional chess tournament on Feb. 24 at Tallmadge Middle School in Independence. The team, in its second year, was led by Grayson Huebsch and Deklan Pozos, who finished second and third, respectively, in the 4th grade and under division. The tournament brought together teams from Marion, Polk and Benton […]

Wildfire danger – State takes another crack at judging fire risk

By James Day Two more meetings of a rulemaking advisory committee on updating the statewide wildfire hazard maps will be on Zoom in the coming weeks. The committee’s focus for these sessions will be to provide input on whether irrigation for farmland and agricultural crops should be incorporated into the calculations for wildfire hazard assessments.   One meeting was held on […]

Marion County

Marion County hosting environmental hazards survey

Marion County is encouraging residents to participate in a health and environmental hazards survey. The county is teaming up with Polk County and Willamette University on the survey, which is intended to gather community concerns about how heat waves, severe storms, wildfires, poor air and water quality and drought affect residents. You can participate by going to  co.marion.or.us/HLT/PH/PS  and clicking […]

In Memoriam: Jean Marie Schaecher (July 23, 1952 – Feb. 11, 2024)

On Sunday Feb. 11, 2024, Jean Marie Schaecher passed away at the age of 71. She was born July 23, 1952 in Silverton, Oregon to Joe and Jean Tomminger and was the third child of five. She had two sisters, Chris and Mary, and two brothers, Leslie and Steve.  She married Richard Schaecher on April 8, 1972. They lived in […]

Nancy Lee Bleakney

In Memoriam: Nancy Lee Bleakney (June 21, 1936 – Feb. 19, 2024)

Nancy Lee (Benson) Bleakney was born on June 21, 1936, to parents who adored their only child, Willard and Martha Benson.  She left her three children and friends who adore her on Feb. 19, 2024. Nancy grew up on the Benson family farm in the Silverton Hills, attending the tiny grade school there with classmates that included Lewis Earl Bleakney, […]

Almina Jean Larson

In Memoriam: Almina Jean Larson (Feb. 9, 1941 – Feb. 4, 2024)

Almina ‘Ginger” Jean Larson passed away on Feb. 4, 2024 in Salem, Oregon. Born in LaGrande, Oregon on Feb. 4, 1941. Ginger loved her childhood, moving to several small towns in eastern Oregon with her family, her dad being employed by the State Highway Department. Ginger always had fun being the “new girl” at school.  Her family eventually landed in […]

James Day

Victorious! Silverton girls make inspiring run to state hoops title

Every team is a novel, a story that evolves over time. Practices. Nonleague games. League contests. And then the playoffs, the ultimate climax. The Silverton girls basketball team wrote a masterpiece this season, with far too many elements to wrap into a 750-word column. But I will try. First, was the historic comeback. The Foxes rallied from a 17-point third-quarter […]

Special Olympics Unified Sports

Unified teams shine – Set alumni game for March 20

By James Day The Silverton High unified basketball teams are back from strong success at a regional tournament and are ready to show off their skills before the home fans on March 20. Silverton’s competitive orange team took gold in its division with a 3-0 record in the Special Olympics South Regional Unified Basketball Tournament on Feb. 24 at Oregon State […]

Silverton Community Development Director Jason Gottgetreu points out the features of a ground-floor entry area of the new Silverton Civic Center. The building is tentatively set to open in late April. James Day

A bit behind – Late April new tentative opening for Silverton Civic Center

By James Day The new Silverton Civic Center, a years-long $19.5 million project, likely will not open until late April, city officials said. Our Town participated in a tour of the building Feb. 15, along with project manager Jason Gottgetreu, the city’s community development director, new city manager Cory Misley and Luis Mendoza of Compass Project Solutions, which is providing consulting services […]