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Submissions open for 10th annual art show

Submissions are open for the 10th annual Community Art Show at Oak St. Church and local artists are invited to share their talent, skill and creativity. The show is Saturday, May 4, 3 – 8 p.m. at 502 Oak St., Silverton. Art submissions are due April 24. To enter, artists can email [email protected] with a well-lit, in-focus photo of their […]

Letter to the Editor: School district leadership in question

On the Silver Falls School District financial situation: Where was (Assistant Superintendent) Dan Busch during the last 12 months? … Where was the School Board? The School Board absence and neglect during the past 12 month is completely unacceptable. The “thank you note” delivered to Mr. Drue at the March 13 public meeting is totally incomprehensible.  I invite you to visit […]

Legal Matters

Fraud charges filed for hardware store scheme A Silverton man has been implicated in an alleged large-scale and sophisticated fraud scheme targeting hardware stores throughout Oregon, including new local charges. Elton Bud Ralston, 40, has been charged in four separate cases in Marion, Linn, Yamhill and Washington counties for alleged thefts involving tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise. According […]

Silverton First Baptist’s new lead pastor, JD Winters, his wife Crystal, and their children. Submitted Photo

Called to lead – Silverton First Baptist welcomes new lead pastor

By Bruce Kingwell Silverton First Baptist church is welcoming its new lead pastor, JD Winters.  The congregation has gathered at its current location on Westfield Street, between Safeway and Robert Frost Elementary School, for more than 70 years. While in that time much has changed, a congregation of seven decades learns to recognize joyful change when it comes. Such was […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Elise Trask and Clarissa Rapacz, owners of The Farm on Golden Hill. Submitted Photo

Up on Golden Hill – New tasting room opens in Silverton

By Melissa Wagoner In 2011, when Elise Trask decided to get married on the farm where she grew up, she not only gained a husband, she gained a career as well. “That got our wheels turning,” Trask’s sister and business partner, Clarissa Rapacz, said, recalling how that wedding – held amongst a field of flowers – became the first of many, thanks […]

Documentarian Michael Turner

Monument – New documentary explores family history, Holocaust

By Melissa Wagoner Growing up, Michael Turner knew that his Hungarian grandmother, Lici, was a Holocaust survivor and that both her parents and sister were killed in Auschwitz. But it wasn’t something Lici talked about – at least not with her grandson. “When I was in high school, some video producers came and interviewed my grandma about her experiences in […]

Linda & David Gerlits

Linda & David Gerlits celebrate 50th wedding anniversary

David and Linda (Esser) Gerlits of Silverton, Oregon will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on March 23, 2024. They were married on March 23, 1974, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Silverton by the bride’s cousin, Father Michael Sprauer. The bridesmaids wore green polyester dresses, and the groomsmen wore their hair long. Both Dave and Linda are life-long residents of Silverton. […]

Don and Debbie Bennett, owners of The Home Place Restaurant Submitted photo

Lifetime Achievement Award: The Home Place Restaurant – a true community hub

By Stephen Floyd For many Silvertonians, The Home Place Restaurant represents a rite of passage. It’s where they got to have their first big birthday party, where numerous teenagers got their first jobs, where generations of athletes gathered for pre- and post-game celebrations. Co-owner Debbie Bennett said the establishment is old enough now that customers bring their own families, talking […]

First Citizen, Laura Wanker Melissa Wagoner

First Citizen: Educator and SACA board member Laura Wanker lauded

By Melissa Wagoner It’s been 40 years, nearly to the day, since Laura Wanker became a part of the Silverton community, initially working as an educator and volunteer tutor, mentor and educational advocate for students at Silverton High School before joining the Silverton Area Community Aid’s (SACA) board. “Laura Wanker’s impact on the Silverton community is broad and substantial,” former superintendent […]

John Friedrick received the Distinguished Service Award for 2023 Submitted Photo

Distinguished Service: John Friedrick – pastor, champion, safety net

By James Day Sometimes your ability to make a difference in your community can be as simple as how often you say ”yes.” That’s been the case in recent years with Oak Street Church and its pastor John Friedrick. Yes to continuing its Monday meal tradition. Yes to using the church building for a warming shelter. Yes to hosting listening […]

Silverton Willamette Valley Bank operations manager Johna Overfield, branch manager Joshua Keck, and staff member Rachel Sepull. Submitted Photo

Business of the Year: Willamette Valley Bank has community roots

By James Day From its arrival in Silverton in 2002 Willamette Valley Bank has lived by the motto that to serve the community you must be involved in the community. “Twenty-two years ago a group of business owners opened Willamette because they believed the community would be better served by a locally headquartered bank, managed by people who understood the […]

The board of the Silverton Sidewalk Shindig includes Elizabeth Hess, Emily Pawlak, Sarah Weitzman, Poppy Shell Wiegand and Alan Mickelson. Courtesy of Maddy Traver Photography

Service Group of the Year – Silverton Sidewalk Shindig honored

By Melissa  Wagoner When Alan Mickelson joined forces with Lawrence Stone, Greg Hart, Gregg Sheesley and Ron Nelson to put on the very first Silverton Sidewalk Shindig in 2012, he never could have predicted that 12 years later the event would still be going strong or that the organization would be the recipient of the Silverton Chamber of Commerce’s Service […]

Legal Matters: Sentencing – Courts hand out penalties for hit-and-run, domestic violence

100 months for DUII fatality A Silverton man has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for a DUII collision last year that killed a Keizer teenager. Gustavo Sosa, 27, pleaded guilty Feb. 1 in Marion County Circuit Court to second-degree manslaughter and hit-and-run for the May 23, 2023, death of Victor Andre Cortez-Andrade, 16. He also pleaded […]

A Keeton family photo from the 1990s with Joe Keeton (in hat) with his father and three of his daughters as children. Courtesy Autumn Keeton

Slipping through the cracks: Reflections on a life lost

By Melissa Wagoner When Jenna Keeton received a phone call from her mother alerting her that her father had died, she wasn’t surprised. “I had been preparing myself for his death for years,” Jenna admitted. “But I was expecting a heart attack or an overdose.” Instead, Jenna learned that her father, Joe Keeton – a man who had struggled with […]

Carlo Antinucci, Pietro Sangiorgi and Craig Bazzi, participate in the Italian Conversation Nights at the Silver Falls Library. Melissa Wagoner

La vita è Bella – Shared Italian heritage brings people together

By Melissa Wagoner Growing up, Craig Bazzi’s grandparents – immigrants from Northern Italy – spoke mostly Italian, as did their neighbors. “But it wasn’t spoken in our home,” Bazzi recalled. And so, the language wasn’t something he ever learned. Then, as an adult, he took a trip to Italy with his wife, to reconnect with distant relatives and to see […]