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Your Garden: Consider a Cutting Garden

By Brenna Wiegand Flowers signify love, well wishes, congratulations, holidays… Church flower committee members take turns lovingly creating Sunday’s arrangement. Many of these are gardeners who perish the thought of purchasing cut flowers. But it can be a stretch at times. Each flower bears its own message – the peony’s is ‘bashfulness’ while larkspur brings levity. Bringing bouquets is one […]

Flies - not admiration - is what the Dragon Lily craves.

Your Garden: Pick-me-not – At least during pollination

I can’t think of too many flowers best enjoyed outside, but surely the dragon lily is one. It is darkly exotic, unique, and called by several names not nearly so flattering. Mild interest only is roused when determined green-striped white shoots unfurl into antlers of foliage spiraling upward. But the unfurling of its striking deep purple-black spathe, which then sends […]

Legacy Silverton Medical Center President Joe Yoder, left, and James Berokoff, Legacy Health Senior Construction Manager, give a tour of the newly expanded Emergency Department.

Hospital expansion – New spaces bring in light, nature, calm

By Brenna Wiegand A visit to the emergency room is never fun, but having swifter care, greater privacy and up-to-the-minute amenities doesn’t hurt. March 18, Legacy Silverton Medical Center opened its brand-new entrance doors upon an expansion/remodel project that includes a new, state-of-the-art Emergency Department (ED). The 21,000-square-foot expansion brings visitors through a covered entrance into a spacious lobby and […]

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 […]

Michael Husser. Submitted Photo

Life’s bass line – Michael Husser on six decades making music

By Brenna Wiegand Michael Husser is approaching 60 years as a professional bass guitar player, but he’s been entertaining as long as he can remember. For his high school graduation in 1964, Husser asked for an electric guitar to accompany himself and better his odds with the opposite sex. Yet, upon starting guitar lessons, he discovered that, due to 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 […]

New Gardenripe owner, Melissa Pylipow (right) greets customer Regan Schultz at Silverton Farmers Market. Brenna Wiegand

Passing the baton – Seasoned farmhand embraces Gardenripe ownership

By Brenna Wiegand As he considered retirement, Bill Schiedler, founder of Gardenripe Produce in Silverton, hated the thought of closing the business he’d nurtured for 23 years. The answer came unexpectedly in the form of Melissa Pylipow, one of many WWOOFers in the program known as Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. In it, farmers open their land to people who […]

The next step: How students navigate life after high school

By Brenna Wiegand When the seniors at Silverton High School in Silverton, presented their post-graduation plans to underclassmen, it was obvious that career paths are all over the map. Some students will go from high school to work while others pursue a trade. In many cases, students decide that their goals will require attending a two- or four-year college. “There […]

On target – Legacy Silverton upgrade due to wrap in fall

By Brenna Wiegand When Legacy Health affiliated with Silverton Hospital seven years ago, the health care company committed to making significant improvements toward optimizing the medical center’s ability to provide top-notch health care for Silverton and the surrounding area, including a $58 million investment into the medical center over the next several years. Until now those dollars have been spent […]

Distinguished Service – Meg Feicht’s commitment recognized

By Brenna Wiegand Meg Feicht – better known as Teacher Meg to generations of kids and their families – was bestowed the Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Service Award for 2022 at its First Citizens Awards Gala on Feb. 25. Feicht began leading classes focusing on kids and families nearly 25 years ago as a volunteer for the YMCA. […]

Service Group of the Year – Legacy Health Auxiliary awarded

By Brenna Wiegand Legacy Health Auxiliary was named Service Group of the Year by Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce at its First Citizen Award Gala Feb. 25. The hospital auxiliary has been dedicated to raising funds for the Silverton Health Foundation and to serving the hospital, Legacy Silverton Medical Center, for 65 years and is still going strong.  “The auxiliary […]

Heart: Darkness to Light Silverton Poetry Festival reopens its doors

By Brenna Wiegand Silverton Poetry Festival is back in person for the first time in three years. Founder Steve Slemenda was all for calling its 20-year run good when the pandemic hit, but Kelley Morehouse, his longtime colleague in the undertaking, just couldn’t let poetry slip away that easily. She kept momentum going through the pandemic through regular open mic […]

Update: Fountain goes deeper – Sharing the stories behind the tiles

By Brenna Wiegand A string of past Our Town stories reflect the flurry of activity encircling the old wading pool in Silverton’s Coolidge McClaine Park. It all started in 2014 when Silverton participants in that year’s Ford Family Foundation Leadership program chose to beautify the wading pool/fountain in Coolidge McClaine as its public service project. Ford Family Foundation offered $5,000 […]

Watercolor dreams – Mount Angel artist leads bustling business

By Brenna Wiegand Kimberly Shaw began painting individual greeting cards for friends as a labor of love and a satisfying counterpart to her work as an architectural draftswoman in Southern California.  She’d been with the firm for 17 years when she quit her job and grew her card business into a national concern that supported her family for the next […]

Caring about kids – Silver Falls Young Life celebrates 25 years

By Brenna Wiegand Area Director Jenifer Ridgeway is happy to report that the Silver Falls Young Life program is still going strong after 25 years and has continued to grow despite the setbacks of COVID. Silver Falls Young Life is open to all middle school and high school students in Silverton and the surrounding area. Its overarching goal is to […]

Detectable – Silverton wastewater data on COVID-19 presence open to public

By Brenna Wiegand In some ways more telling than tracked test results, the prevalence of COVID-19 in a community may be seen in its wastewater. Though Silverton has been taking samples and sending them to Oregon State University’s School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering twice a week for about a year, only lately have the ongoing results been made […]

Groundbreaking: Silverton medical center starts $35 million expansion

By Brenna Wiegand When Silverton Hospital affiliated with Legacy Health six years ago, the health care company committed to making significant improvements toward optimizing the medical center’s ability to provide top-notch health care for Silverton and surrounds. “Part of that commitment was a pledge on the part of Legacy to invest $58 million into Silverton Medical Center over the next […]

Old-world goodies – Silverton Hills farm raises, preserves chestnut trees

By Brenna Wiegand Paul’la Allen used to accompany her husband Jack to the cemeteries where he conducted graveside services. Jack Allen, a mortician and owner of Pearson-Allen-Caldwell Funeral Home in Portland, traveled around to small community cemeteries where headstones go back hundreds of years. Paul’la and young daughter Julie were never bored on these trips. “While Jack was doing the […]

Vince’s store – Mural Society starts tours, downtown store

By Brenna Wiegand Silverton Mural Society is getting a big shot in the arm through efforts led by local businessman Lance Kamstra. He would be quick to tell you it wasn’t him but God who orchestrated it all; he’s just remaining faithful. Every year the mural society has struggled for the funds needed to maintain the town’s 29 murals, let […]

Reimagining care – Legacy appoints a Chief Medical Officer for Silverton

By Brenna Wiegand Christopher Thoming, MD, MBA, has been selected to serve as the vice president and chief medical officer for Legacy Silverton Medical Center. Dr. Thoming will work closely with Legacy Silverton Medical Center President Jonathan Avery and Chief Nursing Officer Karen Brady to promote safe, high-quality care and clinical operations and contribute to the medical center and service […]

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 […]

Backyard burning – Restrictions are part of a ‘good neighbor’ policy

By Brenna Wiegand Being a good neighbor excludes backyard burn piles that pollute the air and/or threaten to burn down the house next door. “We’ve had to shut doors and windows because of the smell and smoke from a neighbor’s burn pile,” a rural Silverton resident said. “We’ve seen burn piles that included plastic bins, a plastic table and rugs. […]

Omicron peak: Legacy foresees a return to record-setting hospitalizations

By Brenna Wiegand Like health systems across the country, Legacy Health, which includes Silverton Legacy Medical Center, is seeing a significant increase in visits and hospitalizations due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant. As of Jan. 24, Legacy Health was caring for three times as many COVID-19 positive patients than just a month before.  “The recent wave of COVID-19 cases and […]