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In Memoriam: Donald M. Murtha (Jan. 17, 1937 – March 1, 2022)

Don Murtha passed away at the age of 85 on March 1, 2022. He was born in Queens, New York to John Charles and Selma Alberta Murtha and lived in his younger years in Hempstead, New York. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism. Don was a reporter in the old style of Walter Cronkite. […]

Water study: Cities join for grant

By Don Murtha The cities of Mount Angel and Silverton are looking to see if aquifers could provide millions of gallons of water storage for long-term availability. The cities have joined forces to apply for a grant from the Oregon Water Resources Department to conduct a feasibility study for an Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) system. An ASR could be […]

One-way streets: Mayor Stu Rasmussen says it’s time for a change

By Don Murtha After 40 years, it’s time to change Silverton’s one-way traffic system back to the two-way streets. Or so says Silverton Mayor Stu Rasmussen The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is discussing his proposal to change traffic flow in downtown Silverton. As rationale for changing the streets back to two-way, Rasmussen cites improved business vitality, pedestrian safety, visitor […]

The show goes on: Brush Creek Players ready for new season

By Don Murtha To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the demise of the Brush Creek Playhouse are greatly exaggerated. Even despite the stories of the theft of $45,000 from the playhouse, board member Michael Wood said. “We survived without missing a beat,” he said. Wood said discrepancies in the Playhouse finances were discovered when the report of the treasurer did […]

Honoring heroes: Fallen Heroes War Memorial moves forward

By Don Murtha Seaman First Class Carrol Gale (Ted) Greenfield of Silverton was serving aboard the USS Arizona when a Japanese aircraft bombed the battleship on Dec. 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. Greenfield is now entombed in the hull of the ship along with more than 1,000 other American servicemen. Father Richard Carberry of Silverton was an Army Chaplain in […]

In Victorian tradition: Carolers bring holiday cheer to Silverton

By Don Murtha Whether you have a case of the humbugs or are bustling with holiday cheer, you are bound to be delighted by a wonderful musicial treat this Christmas season. Festival Chorale of Oregon and the Festival Carolers who are a part of the acclaimed Festival Chorale will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 at Silverton United Methodist […]

A reminder of care: Prayer Shawl Ministry creates gifts

By Don Murtha At a long table in the parish office at Saint Mary’s Church in Mount  Angel, several women sit knitting or crocheting under the guidance of Sister Dorothy Jean Beyer. The women are members of the Prayer Shawl Ministry. They knit and crochet shawls to give to the sick; those who have lost a loved one or to […]

Enterprise zone: Cities look for way to attract jobs

By Don Murtha  The cities of Mount Angel and Silverton may soon work together to entice new business to bring jobs to their communities through a project known as an Enterprise Zone. The Mount Angel City Council took its first step to demonstrate interest in the undertaking by endorsing a resolution indicating the city’s interest in the joint enterprise zone. Mount […]

Hometown heroes: Two Mount Angel women step in to save another

By Don Murtha The Mount Angel City Council honored two courageous women for risking bodily harm when they saved a woman who was being attacked by her ex-boyfriend. Mount Angel residents Autumn Brown and Leanne Zuccone were each presented a plaque for their brave actions in “a potentially deadly situation.” Mount Angel Mayor Andrew Otte, along with Mount Angel Police Chief […]

Flying The Hump: Proving ‘we can fly anything, anywhere’

By Don Murtha Silverton native Don David had one of the most dangerous missions of World War II – flying The Hump over the Himalayan Mountains from India to China. The Hump was the name given by American pilots to the route from Assam in Northern India to Kunming, China. It was a supply route supporting the Chinese Army in the […]

Destination Asia: Wilco helps wheat farmers meet international needs

By Don Murtha A major segment of the world gets a portion of its food by way of Mount Angel. Headquartered on Industrial Way, Wilco employees ship more than a million tons of wheat to countries in Asia. Wheat growers in the Willamette Valley provide food to Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. “Eighty percent of the  Willamette Valley […]

Resource rich: Administrator Eileen Stein eager to serve Mount Angel

By Don Murtha Eileen Stein knows her way around city government. And what she knows will bring a new outlook to Mount Angel, she said. Susan Muir, a friend and former Mount Angel city administrator, in several conversations urged Stein to apply for the job. “The city council hired Eileen to be the new city administrator because Eileen has the […]

Time travel: Renaissance faire takes guests to merry ol’ England

By Don Murtha Geoffrey Chaucer would be right at home with his Canterbury Tales at the fifth annual Canterbury Renaissance Faire in Silverton with jousting, sword fighting, food and drink and the Queen and her court in 16th century period costumes. This year’s faire is July 20, 21, 27 and 28. “We have  performers and vendors coming from 10 states,” […]

100 years of service: Silver Falls community celebrates its library

Silver Falls Library 410 South Water St. 503-873-5173 Visit www.silverfalls.plinkit.org to see the libary’s events, hours and offerings. By Don Murtha From meager beginnings in 1913 in a private home in Silverton, the Silver Falls Library has grown to a 17,172 square-foot building housing 75,800 volumes and serving 19,500 people within the 186 square miles the district encompasses. This year the library […]

Final three: Mount Angel Council narrows field in search for city administrator

By Don Murtha The Mount Angel City Council expects to offer one of three candidates the job as its next city administrator. The candidates vying for the title are Eileen Stein, most recently city manager of Sisters, Ore.; Aaron Palmquist, operations manager for the Central Oregon Health Board; and Richard Meyer, recently development and operations director in Cornelius, Ore. All […]

Jazzing it up: Wine and Jazz series opens

By Don Murtha The Silverton Wine and Jazz Festival will launch a series of concerts beginning  May 4 and continuing through the fall at venues throughout the Silverton area. “The wine and jazz festival organizers expect to gain momentum to carry us through into 2014 with even greater and broader scope,” said Lori Webb, festival board secretary. “This  year we expect […]

Free music festival April 20 in Silverton

By Don Murtha The Marion County Citizens Band hosts the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Band Festival, featuring five area community bands on Saturday, April 20 at Silverton High School’s auditorium, 1456 Pine St. “We encourage the public to come and enjoy the performances of each band,” said  Dale Sroufe, band director. “There will be a grand finale of the massed band […]

At Mount Angel’s helm: Jennie Messmer, Susan Muir trade roles

By Don Murtha For Jennie Messmer, city government is nothing new. She has been involved in government one way or another since she was 21 years old. Messmer recently retired from the League of Oregon Cities, only to land another government job. She is the interim city administrator for the city of Mount Angel. The irony is Susan Muir, who […]

It’s not all roses: New bar’s name creates quite a stir in Mount Angel

By Don Murtha So what’s in a name? Potentially, an uproar. Ask David Borchers, owner of  The Drunken German, a soon-to-open bar and restaurant on Church Street and Highway 214 in Mount Angel. He will tell you the name is “unforgettable.” He does not mean to imply that the entire nation of Germany are drunks, he added. “I certainly don’t […]

Perserving the past: Ford projects fill Dale Deshon’s retirement

By Don Murtha Dale Deshon has nine reasons why he stays out of trouble. Make that nine vintage cars he has restored at his Mount Angel home. His favorite is a blue 1933 Ford coupe which he takes to local car shows. He has a 1966 Ford Mustang coupe and a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible both in new condition. Of […]

Hoffer service award: Rick Schiedler honored for commitment to city

By Don Murtha After a lifetime of community service, Mount Angel’s former Mayor Rick Schiedler is ready to sit back and enjoy playing with his four grandchildren, working in his woodshop and being outdoors. “I’ve always been involved since I was a kid and picked corn for my parents for the Oktoberfest booth,” Schiedler said. “It was my parents’ philosophy […]

Muir moves on from Mount Angel City Administrator

By Don Murtha Mount Angel City Administrator Susan Muir has accepted a position with the League of Oregon Cities. She said her start date is yet to be “determined so that we can ensure a smooth transition for the city of Mount Angel. “I was not looking to move on, but this was a unique and rare opportunity that connects […]

Mr. Mayor: Mount Angel’s Andy Otte says it’s all about giving back

By Don Murtha Ask Mount Angel Mayor Andrew “Andy” Otte what makes him tick and he will  say simply “It’s my turn to give back.” He is giving back in many ways. Besides being mayor, Otte is a member of the Mount Angel Fire Department; a football and basketball coach at Mount Angel Middle School; and a school booster club […]

No ordinary shop: Old Stone Coffee and Collectibles strives for more

By Don Murtha  Cheryl Blanchard and Wendy Burton describe themselves as two creative women who are bursting with ideas to make Old Stone Coffee and Collectibles, 95 Main St. in Mount Angel, a place to be. “We are here for anyone to come in to study for exams, use the Wi-Fi or just sit and read with a cup of […]

Local focus: Wine shop opens in Mount Angel

By Don Murtha If you are searching for locally made gifts, visit the new Mount Angel Cellars and Vineyards, 215 N. Main St. Jeffrey and Lisa Scrimenti have opened a wine shop where whether you are a connoisseur or just enjoy an occasional glass, you are welcome to relax and taste in friendly surroundings. Jeffrey, who has been making wine […]