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

Newport News-Times

Waldport introduces new forestry course

WALDPORT — Forestry has been offered at Waldport High School before, but not like this. Forestry is offered in Lincoln County School District as a science credit, but Waldport will now be offering Career Forestry: a separate class which counts as a CTE or career and technical experience credit. CTE classes are skill-centric classes which allow students to fulfill required Career Related Learning Standards and Experiences. Principal Amy Skirvin presented a course outline to the school board for

Lincoln County test scores drop

LINCOLN COUNTY — State test scores are out, and there’s more bad news than good for Lincoln County. The Oregon Department of Education annual test results reflect the passing rates of students across the state in tests on English language arts, mathematics and science. On Thursday, ODE released the results from assessments conducted in May, and he average amount of passing students in the state of Oregon for the 2017-18 school year, factoring in all grades, is 55 percent in English language art

Questions remain after recall vote

TOLEDO — Toledo’s city council briefly discussed plans to handle its sudden vacancies resulting from the recall election of Sept. 11. During his report at the council’s regular meeting on Wednesday, City Manager Craig Martin stated that the council would have the official election results from the county clerk at their Oct. 3 meeting. At that time, the council will canvas the votes and an official announcement of the election’s outcome will be made. Martin explained that the city will receive

A bridge to healing

WALDPORT — Nearly 140 people joined hands and recited the serenity prayer on the Alsea Bridge on Saturday to celebrate addiction recovery as part of National Recovery Month. The morning began with people meeting at the Alsea Bridge Interpretive Center. The parking lot was full of people laughing, taking pictures together, hugging and saying “it’s so good to see you!” At the heart of it all — addiction, and how you heal from it.

Newport businesses stand against offshore drilling

NEWPORT — Offshore drilling may not be on the mind of every American, but for coastal businesses, it could have a grave effect. The federal administration proposed a plan in January to open 90 percent of U.S. waters to new oil and gas drilling. That drilling threatens the health of the Pacific coast marine environment, which in turn could cost the livelihoods of coastal businesses which depend on it. On Thursday, Local Ocean Seafoods hosted the Surfrider Foundation’s traveling surfboard, a sym

Old city pool sees new day

NEWPORT — What was once a place to swim is now home to a host of child- and community-oriented services. On Oct. 1, local officials and school district employees attended the ribbon cutting of Lincoln School District’s new Teaching and Learning Center at 1212 Northeast Fogarty Street. “Today we are officially opening a newly metamorphosed — and I’ve waited years to use that word — building,” announced Mayor Sandy Roumagoux. “And celebrating the beginning of its second life from the city’s publ

Local shelter serves all

LINCOLN COUNTY — There’s a lot more that goes on at the Lincoln County Animal Shelter than just adoption. While they love to serve animals, they also work hard to serve the community. Outside of its adoption operations, the shelter provides a number of public services. For pet owners, the shelter offers microchipping and ID tags for a small fee, as well as processing dog license applications for the county. For pet owners in need, the shelter provides a food bank program, with the requirement
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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.