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By the numbers: SFSD $138 million bond measure rejected by the voters

By Stephen Floyd More than 7,700 ballots were cast and $23,000 donated for Measure 24-486 on the ballot in the Nov. 7 election. Had it passed, the measure would have raised more than $138 million for facility improvements throughout the Silver Falls School District (SFSD). According to election results published Nov. 17, the measure was failing by 55.71% out of […]

Next steps? May school bond seems less likely after SFSD Board meeting

By Stephen Floyd A May 2024 bond proposal seems less likely – but has not been ruled out – after the first meeting of the Silver Falls School District Board since the defeat of Measure 24-486 on Nov. 7. The measure would have raised $138 million for school improvements including $75 million to replace Silverton Middle School. At the latest […]

City of Mt. Angel

Streamlining – Mt. Angel sewer grants revised

By Stephen Floyd The City of Mount Angel is removing barriers to sewer lateral repair grants in the hopes that more residents will apply for assistance. During the Nov. 6 meeting of the Mount Angel City Council, amendments were made to the Sewer Lateral Replacement or Repair Assistance Program that took effect immediately. The city started the program in 2012, […]

Silver Falls School District

Holding steady – No big surprises in SFSD scores

By Stephen Floyd Student data for the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) was mostly status quo in the ’22-’23 school year compared to ’21-’22, as the district works to improve test scores. In the state’s At-A-Glance reports, published in October, the district saw little change in standardized test scores including 3rd grade reading and 8th grade math. The rate of […]

Attendance gap – MASD hopes to close it

The Mount Angel School District sees opportunities to improve student attendance now that the state is tracking regular attendees across all grade levels. According to the state’s At-A-Glance reports, published in October, 62% of all MASD students attended at least 90% of their enrolled classes during the ’22-’23 school year. Specifically regular attendance was at 59% for St. Mary’s Public […]

Bond fails – Silver Falls School District discusses next steps

By Stephen Floyd A $138 million bond measure for the Silver Falls School District failed by a wide margin in the Nov. 7 election. Results published Nov. 8 by the Oregon Secretary of State showed Measure 24-486 failing by 55.37% out of 6,782 ballots cast by voters in Marion and Clackamas counties. The SFSD bond would have funded improvements to […]

Hazelgreen – County discusses flood mitigation for road

By Stephen Floyd Marion County is nearing the construction phase of replacing the Pudding River Bridge on Hazelgreen Road NE and has begun discussing follow-up work to address road flooding. The project would replace the current wooden bridge, built in 1969, with a concrete structure above flood levels, as the Little Pudding River inundates the current bridge during heavy rain. […]

City of Mt. Angel

Mount Angel to start chlorinating water

By Stephen Floyd The City of Mount Angel plans to chlorinate its water supply after being directed by the Oregon Health Authority to reduce the presence of potentially harmful microbes. On Oct. 17, OHA sent a letter to the city after tests revealed a high number of coliforms, which are bacteria commonly found in human and animal intestines. Because the […]

Nuts! Fest returns to Festhalle

By Stephen Floyd Hazelnut Fest is returning to the Festhalle this year in Mount Angel, along with a renewed emphasis on local hazelnut producers and vendors. Scheduled for Dec. 1 – 3, the event is free to attend. It will feature food, specialty beers, live entertainment and Christmas shopping opportunities. Sarah Bauman, president of the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce, […]

Legal Matters: January trial set in Joe Keeton death

By Stephen Floyd A January trial has been set for a Bend woman accused of negligently causing the fatal dog mauling of a former Silverton man over the summer. Jessica Rae McCleery, 38, was given a trial date of Jan. 9, 2024, during an appearance Nov. 7 in Deschutes County Circuit Court, with the trial expected to last eight days. […]

Legal Matters: Police chase ends with suspect in Silverton

An Aumsville man with a pending kidnapping charge was arrested in Silverton Oct. 25 after a high-speed chase that ended with the suspect hiding in a local resident’s basement. Steele James Davidson, 30, was pursued by police after allegedly contacting the victim of a domestic violence incident for which Davidson was arrested in March. He is charged with second-degree kidnapping […]

MASD launches community toy drive

The Mount Angel School District (MASD) has created a new toy drive program with the goal of reaching a greater number of district families. Donations of new toys are being accepted at all MASD schools between Nov. 27 and Dec. 8, as well as at the district’s toy drive booth during Hazelnut Festival Dec. 1 – 3. Donations benefit MASD […]

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. […]

American Legion

Legion Hall – Business sponsors upgrades

By Stephen Floyd The American Legion Hall in Mount Angel has some new upgrades thanks to sponsorship from a local business, and Legion leaders say it has already made a difference. Silverton-based John’s Waterproofing reached out to Legion Post 89 in September with a desire to support a veterans’ group for their regular community sponsorship program. Post 89 Adjutant Jim […]

Update: Silverton High – Teachers link modern design to student success

By Stephen Floyd When Silverton High School (SHS) was completed in 2009, the campus benefited from modern design and tailor-made classrooms. Students could learn to cook in a commercial kitchen, learn the basics of firefighting in full gear, and learn car maintenance in a multi-bay auto shop. SHS teachers interviewed by Our Town said a custom learning space helps students […]

Legal Matters: Settled – Resort to pay Garden Foundation

By Stephen Floyd A lawsuit against the Oregon Garden Foundation by the owner of the Oregon Garden Resort has been settled after three years of litigation. Parties agreed to terms Aug. 29 during a settlement hearing in Marion County Circuit Court including a financial payout to the foundation and the return of online login credentials. The case was otherwise scheduled […]

Legal Matters: Dog owner arrested in Joe Keeton’s death

By Stephen Floyd A Bend woman accused of negligently causing the death of a former Silverton man during a dog attack in July has been taken into custody despite recent efforts to quash her warrant. Jessica Ray Charity, 38, who uses the last name McCleery, was booked into the Deschutes County Jail Oct. 16 for her alleged role in the […]

Legal Matters: Davis facing 16 years for luring minors

By Stephen Floyd A Silverton man has pleaded guilty to attempting to lure minors into sexual acts and similar charges and could face nearly 16 years in prison. Jaiden Ethan Davis, 24, pleaded guilty Sept. 25 in Marion County Circuit Court to attempted first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, first-degree encouraging child sex abuse and four counts of luring a minor. He […]

The home of Emily and Greg Sisk, in Mount Angel, is thoroughly decorated for Halloween. The display has gained the attention of 1.4 million viewers on TikTok and sparked meaningful interactions. Submitted photo

This is Halloween – Mount Angel family goes all out for spooky

By Stephen Floyd Halloween has become a lot more fun this year for one family in Mount Angel. Emily and Greg Sisk were already prepared to go big after their lederhosen-themed skeletons got a lot of attention in 2022.  Little did they know their efforts would be viewed by more than 1 million people online and touch the lives of […]

Gervais schools talk dissolution into neighboring districts

By Stephen Floyd School officials in Gervais have discussed possibly dissolving their district if a facilities bond fails next year, which could lead to schools in Silverton and Mt. Angel absorbing Gervais students. Bond proposals for the Gervais School District suffered landslide defeats in 2022 and 2023, and the district’s board is considering a third attempt for May of 2024. […]

What if? Board contemplates bond alternatives

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District Board has started discussing potential outcomes if a $138 million facilities bond does not pass during the Nov. 7 election. At the board’s Oct. 9 meeting, possibilities ranged from a followup bond in May of 2024 to moving middle schoolers to the high school or outlying K-8 schools. The board said there […]

Update: Bid to replace Middle School hopes to aim higher than ‘good enough’

By Stephen Floyd There aren’t a lot of mild opinions about plans to rebuild Silverton Middle School through a proposed facilities bond for the Silver Falls School District. Supporters of the $138 million bond describe the 1938 wing of the middle school as beyond saving and say it could have collapsed in on itself years ago. Opponents argue the $75 […]

Update: Failing pieces – Unexpected repairs impact budget, emergencies threaten safety

Editor’s note: Our Town is presenting a school-by-school review of the facility challenges at each building covered by the Silver Falls School District bond proposal on the Nov. 7 ballot. For previous stories go to ourtownlive.com.  By Stephen Floyd Mark Twain and Robert Frost elementary schools both recently had extreme examples of building failures during the start of a school […]

Legal Matters: Dog owner indicted in Joe Keeton death and more

By Stephen Floyd A Bend woman has been indicted for manslaughter after her three dogs mauled a former Silverton man to death in July. Jessica Rae Charity, 38, was indicted Sept. 15 in Deschutes County Circuit Court for second-degree manslaughter and criminally-negligent homicide for the July 19 death of Joe Keeton, 56. The indictment accused Charity of “unlawfully and recklessly” […]

Mount Angel City Manager and Police Chief Mark Daniel, left, swears in his new deputy chief, Charles Hall. submitted photo

Hall sworn in as deputy chief in Mount Angel

By Stephen Floyd The City of Mount Angel has promoted Charles Hall to the new position of deputy police chief as the department evolves following Chief Mark Daniel assuming his co-role as city manager. Hall was promoted during a ceremony in City Hall July 24 from his position as sergeant, which he had held since 2018. A statement from the […]