Day: March 18, 2014

Gunman on the loose after armed robbery

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes A suspect in an armed robbery at the former Roth’s building early Tuesday afternoon escaped. Deputy Chief Jeff Kuhns with the Keizer Police Department said his department received a call around 12:30 p.m. March 18 about an armed robbery inside the former Roth’s building, located in Schoolhouse Square at River and Chemawa Roads. According to Kuhns, one employee of the Brinks armored vehicle called police and said his partner had been robbed while servicing the ATM from the inside. “We learned the other employee had sheltered in place in the store,” Kuhns said. “He goes inside and at some point he is confronted by the armed male suspect. He was able to get into a room, locked the door and protected himself.” Kuhns said the suspect was described as a white or Hispanic male, standing 5’11” with a medium build. He was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt with the hood drawn tight, leaving little of his face visible. Police shut down River Road from Sandy Drive to Chemawa at 12:40. Assistance soon came from Salem Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and the FBI, in addition to the Salem SWAT team. In all, about 35 to 40 officers responded. Employees at the GISI Marketing Group business, which shares a common wall with the Roth’s building, were soon evacuated as the...

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Election races filling up

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes The race is still in the early stages, but some things are starting to shape up. This fall, Keizer will elect a new mayor. Lore Christopher has held that position since being elected in 2000 but is hanging up her hat. Keizer City Councilor Cathy Clark is thus far the only person to announce intentions to run for mayor. “We need to listen to the people,” Clark told the Keizertimes in January. “Where are we now and where are we going?” Clark filed to run for mayor in 2012 but didn’t. Current council president Joe Egli also filed but, like Clark, didn’t run. He is still deciding whether to run this year. “I would love to run for mayor and I think I would do a great job,” Egli said in February. “I’ve had a lot of people calling to ask me.” Former councilor David McKane lost to Christopher in 2012 and hasn’t indicated whether he’ll run this year. However, he made it clear he’s looking forward to a change. “I’m happy Lore Christopher is not going to be mayor next year,” McKane said. As far as council races, the seats of Egli, Clark, Kim Freeman (appointed last summer to fill the vacancy created by Ken LeDuc’s resignation) and Jim Taylor are up. Taylor has already announced he won’t be running again for...

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Saunders to sign with Willamette Bearcats

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes In every coach’s career, there are moments when they’re ready to write a play off before it’s ended. Those are the moments when Kevin Wise is happy to have a player like McNary High School’s Dani Saunders. “Dani never quits. She was the one who made the plays when we had already written them off. She’s going to give it all she has,” Wise, Celtic head coach, said. Saunders is set to sign a letter of intent to continue her softball career at Willamette University Friday, March 14. “Last summer, I met the coach, Damian Williams, and he’s a really cool guy and made me feel really comfortable. I knew that we would be sympatico as far as the way he runs his team,” Saunders said. For Saunders, the opportunity to play softball is a bonus to her actual reason for choosing Willamette: its law school. “They have a really good law program and, if all the stars align, I want to be a corporate lawyer,” she said. “I looked at a few schools on the east coast, but I would rather stay close to my family if I can get that good education.” Saunders, who played as a freshman on both the softball and volleyball varsity teams, makes her presence known in ways that Wise is happy to support. “On our...

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Medical marijuana resolution clarified

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Wait, what was that you said? And no, the haze had nothing to do with the subject matter. Instead, it was the question city staff had March 4, about decisions made by councilors the night before at the Keizer City Council meeting regarding medical marijuana facilities. A motion to establish a moratorium on medical marijuana facilities in Keizer failed by a 4-2 vote, but a task force to look into the issue was approved, leading to some confusion. As such, the subject was brought up again during an already-scheduled special meeting on Thursday, March 6. City manager Chris Eppley acknowledged it was his decision to bring the topic up again. “What the council did didn’t make sense to us,” Eppley said. “We wanted clarification as to what you meant by telling us to do a task force, but not giving transition time for the work to be done. Two ways make sense: either no moratorium, in which case you forget a task force developing regulations and won’t be able to change regulations; or develop a task force and give it time for work to be done. Those things made sense. No time but a task force made no sense.” City attorney Shannon Johnson had a suggestion for councilors. “It’s much cleaner and simpler if there’s a period of time for us to develop...

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