Day: March 6, 2012

Newberg woman files to challenge Thatcher

A Newberg caterer and Democratic activist has filed to run against Rep. Kim Thatcher. Sharon Freeman filed paperwork Tuesday. She’s the only Democrat who has entered the race. Thatcher, R–Keizer, was first elected in 2004, and is seeking her fifth term. “The main thing is jobs and growth for our region here has sort of stagnated,” Freeman said. “I’d like to help that along. We need jobs and direction for getting business into Yamhill County. It needs to be managed growth, but we just need some help here.” Freeman holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal arts from the University of Texas at Tyler. A San Diego native, she moved with her husband to Yamhill County in 2003. She traces her party involvement back to George McGovern’s presidential bid in 1972 and managed Sal Peralta’s legislative campaign in...

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Keizer cops honored for saving man after fiery crash

CAUTION: Video contains some graphic language around 2:00 mark (Video courtesy Keizer Police). By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Two Keizer Police officers were awarded a Medal of Valor for putting their lives on the line. Sgt. Andrew Copeland and Officer Rodney Bamford were first on scene to a crash in north Salem. A man was trapped in a car that had turned upside down at the intersection of River Road and Front Street, with a downed power transformer in flames nearby. They were awarded the medals at Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting. The crash was in September 2011, when Salem requested the two officers to check out a crash just south of the Keizer border. “Because of Sergeant Copeland’s and Officer Bamford’s quick thinking and willingness to risk their own safety, a citizen’s life was saved,” said Keizer Police Chief Marc Adams. Copeland arrived on scene to find a car turned upside down on the pavement, with an adjacent vehicle in flames just feet from the car, and a live power line nearby. Witnesses said the car had been going at least 80 miles per hour. The driver was upside down in the car when Copeland tried to talk him into getting out of the car before the fire got worse, but he wasn’t interested. In fact, he kept insisting he was fine. “The fire was getting bigger...

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Driveway storage unit restrictions lifted

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Portable storage units will soon be legal in Keizer – for 30 days a year. The Keizer City Council passed regulations allowing them at its February 21 meeting. The Planning Commission voted last month to allow the units up to 30 days per year. Councilors must formally approve an ordinance before the matter is final. Such units, known by brand names like PODS (Portable On-Demand Storage) aren’t an entirely uncommon sight on Keizer streets today. Sam Litke, the city’s senior planner, said the development code simply needed to be updated. “Because it doesn’t address (portable storage), it makes it illegal,” Litke said. “We’re trying to recognize these uses occur. it’s something technically not allowed in code, which makes for an awkward conversation.” The units cannot be in a street or other public right-of-way (i.e. completely contained on private property) and also must be on a paved surface, like a driveway. A proposal to allow them on some streets with the public works department’s permission was struck. Litke explained that cars have reflective surfaces and lights that can be fairly easily spotted while driving on a public street. “It’s clearly not vehicle shaped, it doesn’t have the reflectors on it,” Litke said. “It’s a box that’s in the road. We just felt it would be an inherent safety risk.” That was one reason Planning...

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