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Turkey Shoot returns with new venue

By Stephen Floyd After three years on pause, Mount Angel American Legion Post 89 is celebrating the return of its annual Turkey Shoot with both new prizes and a new venue. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18, 1 to 6 p.m. at Tiny’s Tavern, 155 N. Main St., Mount Angel. Proceeds support Post 89 and the Legion Hall. […]

Sign of the times – SFEA marches downtown

By Stephen Floyd It was an unprecedented week for the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA), between a rally in Downtown Silverton and a meeting directly with the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board. The district and union continue to negotiate a contract one year after bargaining began in April of 2022. A sixth mediation session is scheduled for April 17. […]

Your Health: Doctors, state officials urge return to indoor mask use

Seasonal caseloads of flu and respiratory viruses coupled with the continuing presence of COVID-19 have led a group of Portland-area physicians and state officials to urge a return to indoor mask use. Masks and the prevalence of seasonal illnesses on hospitalization rates were discussed at the Oregon Health Authority’s monthly media briefing on Dec. 8, although no state order on […]

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 […]

Casting a long shadow – Community members share experiences after two years of COVID

By Melissa Wagoner It’s been two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. And while we still have not reached the “end” (wherever that may be) Our Town asked readers to describe what the pandemic era been. “My best friend’s marriage fell apart after 35 years…” Yvette Marty recalled. “Without all of her activities, not seeing her children and grandchildren… she […]

COVID burnout pushing teachers out of Silverton

By Stephen Floyd Roughly half of teachers within the Silver Falls School District have either considered leaving during the current school year, or are open to the idea, according to a recent survey by the teacher’s union. Members of the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA) were anonymously polled to gauge their level of burnout due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Around […]

Unintended consequences – Vaccine mandate ends some careers

By Melissa Wagoner When Robin Hyslop left her shoes on the sidewalk in front of Legacy Silverton on Sept. 30, she left behind a lot more than a pair of worn-out sneakers – she left behind a 33-year career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, coworkers she’s come to think of as family and trust in a system she feels has […]

People Out Loud: Unequivocal – You have a choice on vaccinations, your employer does too

Social Media is rife with misinformation, especially in the chaos of COVID.  Lazy people use it as their “research.” VAERS is the “Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System”, a reporting system co-managed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). People grab stats at random from VAERS and then perpetuate inaccurate data to anyone who […]

Answering the call: Neighboring fire districts team up to vaccinate public

By Melissa Wagoner What started as the Mt. Angel Fire District (MAFD) providing COVID-19 vaccinations to their own paramedics and firefighters this February, quickly grew as they reached out to other districts – Silverton, Woodburn, Lyons and Mill City among them – to provide vaccines. “We ended up doing around 400 first responders,” Fire Chief Jim Trierweiler said. “Fortunately for […]

The Good, the bad, the lessons: Looking back over a year of the pandemic

By Melissa Wagoner One year ago, April Newton and her husband Tom were at a medical conference in Hawaii when he received some sobering news – Oregon had its first confirmed positive case of the new coronavirus disease. “We spent a blissful week on Kuai… but we were there with a big group of doctors and lots of discussions about […]

Vaccinated: Health professionals discuss their decisions and experiences

By Melissa Wagoner When Brian Reif – a clinical nurse who works directly with COVID patients – was offered the COVID-19 vaccine as a member of the tier one medical community, he did not hesitate to roll up his sleeve, likening his participation to a patriotic duty. “What we have achieved to create and now deliver, a novel vaccine in […]

No fall sports: New activities calendar starts Dec. 28

By James Day The Oregon School Activities Association has updated its plans for the 2020-21 school year. The upshot? The official calendar starts Dec. 28, with practices and features much shorter seasons. And football and other “fall” sports are moving to the spring. The decision of the OSAA’s executive board, announced Aug. 5, supersedes a previous outline, released July 22, […]

Spring into action: Silver Falls district snaps into gear to address needs

By Brenna Wiegand Help often comes from unexpected places, and there is plenty of evidence that this pandemic has brought the community together in novel ways. Last week, Silver Falls School District Superintendent Paul Peterson was part of a virtual meeting with several other community leaders. “I told the story of how we wanted to collect the students’ supplies from […]

Feeding the workers: An idea turns into an inspiring movement

By Melissa Wagoner Sometimes all it takes is a single, great idea to start a movement – and on Friday, March 27 Andy Diacetis had a truly great idea. “I was scrolling through Twitter and I saw a post from Shake Shack thanking Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan for buying lunch for a hospital in NYC,” Diacetis recalled. “I thought ‘that […]

Adapting to closures: School superintendents discuss service strategies

By Brenna Wiegand Since Oregon closed its schools in mid-March due to the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus, local superintendents have been on a wild ride, chasing after ways to maintain their responsibility to the students. Buildings may be closed, but teaching and learning needs to continue. Mount Angel School District Superintendent Troy Stoops says it’s new territory for […]

Policy change: Cities change access rules because of virus

By James Day Silverton and Mount Angel both have changed their policies on public access to municipal buildings in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and the governor’s social-distancing orders. City Hall offices in Silverton and Mount Angel were closed to the public through March, with Silverton officials indicating a reassessment will take place at the end of March. The […]

Surge protection: Legacy, Santiam hospitals prepare

By Steve Ritchie As the number of COVID-19 cases quickly grows in Oregon and throughout the country, government leaders and public health authorities have focused their attention on the readiness of hospitals to deal with an influx of coronavirus patients. With 43 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Marion County (as of March 25), Our Town contacted our two regional hospitals, […]

Shockwaves: Silverton’s community aid suppliers plan for hard weeks

By Melissa Wagoner This time may very well be the calm before the storm for many community aid organizations, including both Sheltering Silverton and Silverton Area Community Aid (SACA), as more and more people lose their jobs or are laid off due to closures stemming from the COVID-19 virus outbreak. SACA “On Friday we ran a few reports and were […]