Here you'll find work published in the Creston News Advertiser, The Western Journal and the Polk County-Itemizer Observer.

Newport News-Times

Newport shelter warms hearts and bodies

NEWPORT — A year ago, Tammy Brant was coming to the Lincoln County Emergency Warming Shelter in Newport as a guest. Now, she runs the place. “I’ve been homeless on-and-off myself — between couchsurfing, living in a tent, living in a vehicle — for 12 years,” said Brant. She knows all about the dangerously cold nights that face the area’s homeless population — many of whom have been heading to the warmth the shelter provides. That demand will continue in the coming weeks, especially as the weath

Citizen Academy gives inside view of sheriff’s office

LINCOLN COUNTY — For those curious about the inner workings of the county sheriff’s office, or who would like a say in how things are run, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy may be the perfect program. Applications are now being accepted for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy, a 14-week program that gives county residents an opportunity to learn more about the operations and duties of the sheriff’s office. After its success last year, the curriculum has become even more pack

Local library receives national honor

WALDPORT — Waldport Public Library has received national recognition as one of the top 20 public libraries in its peer group across the country. “We’re very honored and excited about it,” said Sue Bennett, Waldport Public Library Director. “We’ve been working hard to increase our programs for adults and children, and we’ve got a really great staff. So we’re really thankful to the Library Journal for recognizing us.”

Newport hospital gearing up for grand opening

NEWPORT — The new building which will house Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital is on track to open Jan. 31, hospital CEO Lesley Ogden has confirmed. Construction of the new, three-story structure began in mid-2017 and though Jan. 31 will mark the opening of the hospital, this is only step one of the plans for improvement on the Newport campus. After construction is finished, renovation of the “88 building” will begin and is expected to finish a year later in February 2020. The demolition of

'Welcome to America

The Oregon Coast Chamber Orchestra has opened its 2018-2019 season and will be performing the second concert of their fall program in Yachats tonight (Friday, Nov. 16), which features works by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Leroy Anderson, Henry Mancini and brothers George and Ira Gershwin. Among the many soloists in the program are English horn player Suzanne Monks and alto saxophone player Richard Jones, who each play a major solo. The theme is “Welcome to America,” which is reflected in the music sele

Autumn Festival features local artists

NEWPORT — Artists and craftsman from all over the central coast are headed to Newport this weekend. The reason is the season: the Autumn Festival Art Show will return to the Newport Recreation Center for its second year on Saturday, Nov. 17. In its past life it was known as the Holiday Artisan Show, which was hosted at the old city pool. After the construction of the new pool, the event stopped for two years until it was reborn as the Autumn Festival Art Show under the leadership of Jenni Remil

New 4-H club focuses on accessibility, inclusivity

LINCOLN COUNTY — When longtime 4-H parent Patti Murphy saw a lack of access to the clubs of her county, she knew she had to do something about it. Her quest began with requesting accessibility improvements for those in wheelchairs, such as her son and husband. But after years of having to point out and make room for those with special and accessibility needs, she decided to take things into her own hands, saying that her approach “is not to fight it, but to fix it.”

Annual pow-wow celebrates a tribe restored

LINCOLN CITY — As the grand entry for the Siletz Tribal Restoration Pow-Wow began on Saturday night, the conference room of the Chinook Winds Casino Resort was filled with the sound of regalia chiming, along with drums and song. But that song wasn’t one that could just be heard; it could be felt and seen with the movement of the floor, much to the surprise of many in attendance. Because the convention center is built to withstand an earthquake, the floor was moved slightly with the beat of the d

Book goes behind scenes

A native to the central coast has published his first book with Dancing Moon Press in Newport: a nonfiction work filled with colorful anecdotes and the resulting philosophical questions he found while working in the marijuana industry for six years. Born and raised in Newport, Michael Clark attended Oregon State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology — a degree that served him well in documenting what he saw and experienced in a small medical marijuana growin

Christmas program brings joy to south county families

WALDPORT — Christmas elves are hard at work in the workshop above South Lincoln Resources’ warehouse in Waldport, getting ready to bring the joy of Christmas to low-income families. Raenette Mohni has been the lead organizer of the South County Children’s Christmas Program for 15 years — her official title is head elf. But the program has been in existence for 35 years, collecting Christmas gifts, wrapping and distributing them to low-income and homeless families.

Aquarium plans for new rehabilitation center

NEWPORT — The Oregon Coast Aquarium has announced a fundraising campaign to build a new sea otter holding facility, but that’s only the first step in their plans for a new rehabilitation facility. A more comprehensive Marine Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is just part of the aquarium’s $12.5 million plan for improvements, but the sea otter holding area is an important place to start for the endangered species which hasn’t lived off of the Oregon coast in over a century.
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The Creston News Advertiser

Creston City Councils backs CCSD on school safety grant

Creston Community School District’s superintendent, Steve McDermott, took the podium at the city council’s regular meeting Tuesday to ask the council for its blessing on a federal grant application. “We’ve recently worked on a grant application that’s federal money for some additional school safety measures. The list right now includes a shooter alert system, a panic button system in our offices, additional fob entry system, lighting upgrades — primarily, additional exterior lighting around our

City council to hold open hearing on city code reform

Creston City Council passed a resolution at Tuesday night’s regular meeting to hold a public hearing on Aug. 21 to hear public opinion on its proposed amendments to the city codes. The current proposal is to repeal one ordinance and one sub-section of another ordinance, and to modify two sections and three subsections of another ordinance. Those wishing to voice their opinion will be able to speak on the matter at the regular meeting on Aug. 21, and will be permitted to speak before the council

City council meeting ‘out of hand’

The Creston City Council held a regular meeting Tuesday night, the agenda for which held an open hearing on proposed ordinance changes, numerous resolutions and five individual appointments — one of which was added to the agenda after its official release. The meeting was adjourned after Mayor Gary Lybarger commented, “I’m sorry if I offend anybody, but it kind of got out of hand, OK?” Lybarger’s comment referred to the council’s third appointment, which set with Danny Bird to discuss removal o

Water board weighs options pending SIRWA decision

The Creston City Water Works Board of Directors held a special meeting Tuesday to meet with representatives from Snyder & Associates, Inc. and discuss potential options the board could pursue if Southern Iowa Rural Water Association follows through on its proposed plan to end its service with Creston Water. At the board’s joint work session with Creston City Council on July 10, the board announced SIRWA had made it known to them that it intended to either buy Creston’s current plant or build it

Sec. of Ag candidate visits Union Co. Fair

Come November of this year, Iowa residents will be given the opportunity to vote for, among other things, their next Secretary of Agriculture. This election follows the resignation of Bill Northey, who left office to serve as Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service at the USDA. I had the opportunity to sit down with with Democratic candidate Tim Gannon to talk about this issues at the top of his agenda.

City council funds UCDA project after near split vote

Creston City Council will provide $100,000 over a 10-year period to Union Couty Development Association for the UCDA Board of Trustees Building 301 Project after passing a resolution during Tuesday’s regular meeting with a split decision. Seven community members took podium during the meeting’s public forum to discuss various issues, the first of which was Melvin Scadden, who came to voice concern over the resolution to fund the UCDA’s project. Scadden expressed that this may not be the best u

Fairgrounds buildings to open Thursday

In August 2017, the Union County Fair Board announced the “Building on Tradition” campaign, the aim of which was to raise money so that improvements could be made to the fairgrounds. The majority of the funds were going to be allocated to building two new buildings: one for cattle, the other for sheep and goats. Just under a year later, those new buildings have been built and will officially open Thursday night.

The Western Journal

Here is what’s in a name - The Western Journal

Every year on Yom HaShoah, these disturbing little flags are planted around campus to educate passersby about the effects of the Holocaust and — debatably — honor those whose lives were lost in concentration camps. There are different colors for different groups, and a key so you can read which groups are represented by what. It is this sign that I take issue with. Having attended Western for four Shoahs now, I am disappointed to say that Western’s signage still uses an ethnic slur.

Review: “Big Bear, Little Bear” - The Western Journal

On Jan. 15, Rusty Clanton released his EP “Big Bear, Little Bear.” The Tennessee-native singer-songwriter has grown a substantial following in the last five years through YouTube and touring with the likes of Tessa Violet, dodie and Emma Blackery. For those unfamiliar with his work, when Clanton asked his fans on Twitter to name other acts that his work sounds similar to, followers listed acts from Vance Joy to Bonnie Tyler, from Bon Iver to Sleeping at Last and Passenger.

Harmonica player steals spotlight in jazz performance - The Western Journal

Under a wash of colored lights — which would shift throughout the night, from reds and purples to blues and greens — four men took the Rice Auditorium stage on Jan. 19 for one purpose: to play jazz. The quartet was composed of: DJ Ginyard on bass; Shedrick Mitchell on keyboard, organ and piano; Nathaniel Townsley on drums; and headliner Gregoiré Maret on harmonica. The group were old friends, Maret explained after their introduction. But the four were not the only musicians on stage that night

The Polk County Itemizer-Observer

Keeping science, and kids, cool

INDEPENDENCE — At Talmadge Middle School and Henry Hill Education Support Center, the Summer Science Program will be wrapping up this week. The program has provided more than 100 children with activities to keep them in engaged and air conditioned, as well as providing them with free breakfast and lunch every day, said Angelica Gloria, the school district’s Summer Programs Coordinator. “(The program is important) because it’s giving students the opportunities that enrich them during the summer,

Camp teaches theater to kids

INDEPENDENCE — This week at Central High School, the Little Actors Acting Camp is taking center stage. Founded last year by CHS thespian Matisyn Robischon, the camp began as a fundraiser for the CHS Thespians, but has evolved into something more. “I thought, ‘oh, we can do this camp and it’ll be super fun, and the volunteers would learn something,’ because we were working on getting our thespian troop closer together,” Robischon explained. “I wanted to originally make it a community kind of th

Something new in ‘Much Ado’

Something new in ‘Much Ado’ Valley Shakespeare Company puts twists on classic work, opens Thursday at Western MONMOUTH — Comedy and heroism will seize the Leinwand outdoor stage on Thursday as Valley Shakespeare Company at Western Oregon University opens their third summer show. This year the company is putting on its rendition of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” which will be set in the wine country of 1890s Italy. The story, which the company’s press release describes as a “romantic

Teens honored for rescue efforts

DALLAS — “Every job is a self-portrait of the one who does it. Autograph your work with excellence.” This is the inscription on the challenge coins which were given to Ethan Collins, Kyra Orwick and Noah Woods by Sgt. Todd Fenk, along with plaques of commendation from Polk County Sherriff Mark Garton. In the community conference room of the Polk County Courthouse on Friday, Ethan, Kyra and Noah were given commendations for their actions on June 30.

‘Lessons in Grace’

DALLAS — In the late ’70s, Petra Cole and her husband adopted two children: Jay and Sally. Sally was the younger sister of Jay, who, it would later be discovered, was what Cole refers to as a “drug baby” — a child affected by their mother’s drug and alcohol use while pregnant. In 2016, Cole published a book titled, “Lessons in Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness: Adopting a Drug Baby,” recounting her experiences raising a drug-affected child and the challenges she faced.