Day: February 16, 2011

Death in W. Keizer ruled homicide

A west Keizer woman found dead in her apartment was a victim of homicide, police said Wednesday. The victim was Christine Michelle Speten, 43, of Keizer. She was found dead Monday, Feb. 14, in her apartment on Orchard Court N. It’s the second homicide in Keizer in two months. A Keizer Police spokesman said the city averages a homicide every 18 months. An autopsy performed Wednesday by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office revealed the victim died of blunt force trauma to the head. After not hearing from Speten for several days, a relative went to her apartment at 1143 Orchard Court N. #C and discovered her body. Keizer Police Capt. Jeff Kuhns said it appeared the victim had been there at least 24 hours. Police responded to a call there at 2:07 p.m. Monday. Officers executed a search warrant Tuesday, but declined to say what they found. The woman lived alone and had been there for years, neighbors said. Blake Wheeler lives in a neighboring apartment and said he last saw Speten about four days prior to when her body was found on Feb. 14. He said she came to their apartment after he overheard her side of an argument with a man, claiming she was being “manipulated.” She asked to use a cell phone, and called her own phone after it apparently had been stolen, Wheeler said....

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Chamber board will oppose big box measure

The Keizer Chamber of Commerce Board has voted to oppose Measure 24-314, which would restrict retail buildings bigger than 65,000 square feet to the developed portion of Keizer Station. The board took a vote via e-mail Wednesday, said Rich Duncan, president of the board. Duncan doesn’t expect the chamber to play a financial role. “It’s just an opinion at this point,” Duncan said. Keizer voters will be asked to vote on the measure March 8. He said he saw the chamber’s role more as “educational,” such as the recent forum the chamber hosted with both proponents and opponents of the measure. Duncan said he voted to oppose the measure. “The main thing is the hindrance of business and growth in our community,” Duncan said. “It closes the doors to Keizer and that message cannot ring out.” The board voted to endorse the findings of its Economic Development and Governmental Affairs committee, which found “the initiative itself is poorly written” and “has potential to hinder...

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