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

Newport News-Times

Candidate kicks off fight for Congress

NEWPORT — A Republican primary candidate for Oregon’s fifth congressional district, Joey Nations, stopped in Newport on Saturday morning for a town hall event in which he spoke about his platform and opened himself up for questions from the crowd. With his wife and two children in attendance, the audience was made up of 15 people — which he commented was more than he had seen at other candidates’ town halls, so he was happy enough with that.

Strings, stars and stripes

Crowds flocked to Newport Middle School on Thursday afternoon for a beloved Independence Day tradition: the Newport Symphony Orchestra at the Ocean’s free Fourth of July concert. This free Fourth of July concert started as a gift from the Newport Symphony to the community about 15 years ago. Though originally held at the Newport Performing Arts Center, it quickly outgrew that venue and is now held in the gymnasium of Newport Middle School each year.

Job Corps safe, for now

YACHATS — Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers across the country are off the chopping block — at least for now. A spokesman for Sen. Jeff Merkley notified members of the media late Wednesday afternoon that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had told the senator that Job Corps would not be transferred to the Department of Labor or closed. In a press conference the following morning, the senator expounded on his conversation with Perdue and explained that the centers may not be entirely out

Senator shows school spirit

LINCOLN COUNTY — To start of his town hall meeting on Friday, Sen. Jeff Merkley called up the Sam Case Surfriders to recognize them for their work in the community. After congratulating them on the plastic bag ban that was passed in Newport and presenting them with an American flag, he allowed one of the students to crack the discussion open by asking the first question. He also allowed Sam Case Elementary teacher Olivia Schroeder to close the meeting with the last question.

Merkley meets Lincoln County

NEWPORT — Over 100 people filed into the Newport Middle School commons on Friday to hear Sen. Jeff Merkley speak about his work in Washington D.C. and answer questions from Lincoln County residents. The top two question topics of the day: the environment and the upcoming election. The topic of climate change was a common one among the questions fielded by Merkley. In response to a question regarding plastic pollution from one of the Sam Case Surfriders, Merkley stated that not nearly enough was
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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

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.
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