Day: March 21, 2014

Celt actors will take you to Almost, Maine this weekend

By ERIC A. HOWALD/ Of the Keizertimes Who do you call to heal a broken heart? Is it possible to recapture lost love? Do opposites really attract? What happens when any of those scenarios play out? Those are a few of the questions pondered in Almost, Maine. The McNary High School drama department is staging a production of the award-winning play March 21-22. Curtain time is 7 p.m. each night. Tickets are $5 at the door. The play is a series of vignettes connected by the theme of love and all the joy and ache it bestows upon those who fall in. Each of the students who landed roles in the production is taking on two separate characters in different vignettes. Senior Maddie Valish was first exposed to the play when she went to see a production at West Salem High School. “I fell in love with it. When it was announced we would be doing it, I wanted to be involved,” Valish said. In one vignette, Valish plays Gayle, a long-term girlfriend who begins to wonder if her lengthy courtship will ever be anything more. She makes a 180-degree turn for the second part. “I play Hope, who is going to respond to a marriage proposal that she didn’t answer years before,”  Valish said. In one of the more gut-wrenching scenes, Where It Went, Emma LeDuc plays Marci...

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Keizer couple arrested on sex abuse charges

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes A Keizer couple has been arrested for an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor. Casey Wenger, 33, and his wife, 31-year-old Rosa Wenger, were both arrested Thursday, March 20. In addition to holding state jobs, both were also volunteers with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team. Sgt. Chris Baldridge, public information officer for the MCSO, confirmed Friday morning the Wengers have been terminated from the Search and Rescue team. The MCSO had received a complaint the Wengers had engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old volunteer. Since the Wengers reside on Tynel Court NE in Keizer, deputy chief Jeff Kuhns with the Keizer Police Department got a call from the MCSO on Monday morning. KPD officers had been investigating the case since then. “We contacted Casey on Thursday and arrested him for one count of sex abuse in the second degree,” Kuhns said Friday. “We took him in to custody in the mid-afternoon, then picked up his wife last night.” Kuhns said officers on late Friday morning were in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the couple’s home, which was taped off Thursday evening. Casey was employed at the Oregon State Hospital. Rebeka Gipson-King, a spokesperson from the hospital, said on Friday Casey was “not on a paid status.” Rosa’s Facebook page lists her as having...

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Fire board douses Big Toy

      By ERIC A. HOWALD/Of the Keizertimes The Keizer Fire Board denied a request to pony up $7,000 for the Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park at its meeting Tuesday, March 18. Director Joe Van Meter was the most adamant in his denial. “I am never going to vote for using tax money to support a city proposition,” Van Meter said. The request came in the form of a letter from Keizer Mayor Lore Christopher asking for money to help purchase a pair of playground fire truck structures and fire station façade. The total cost of those elements in the build amounts to $16,000. Christopher asked for a decision by Friday, March 21. Board President Greg Ego identified a couple of hurdles in addition to Van Meter’s opposition based on tax money, including the adoption of a supplemental budget that took place just prior to the Big Toy discussion. “We can’t earmark that kind of money when it isn’t there in the budget now, and we just asked our community to support an increase in our levy and it wouldn’t look right to go and give some of that away,” Ego said. Ego added that if the community build organizers wanted to send a request to the Keizer Volunteer Firefighters Association, that would be another angle, but it couldn’t come through the board or Chief Jeff Cowan....

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Support for Barbara Jensen

To the Editor: Barbara Jensen has the skills and experience to serve our community. I had the pleasure of working with Barbara at the Oregon Department of Energy and was pleased to hear that she is now running for state representative. As a small business owner and successful project manager, Barbara has the proven leadership skills to find solution and be accountable for the work she does. I have worked in the electric utility industry for many years and as a native to this area Barbara understands how important our affordable energy is for our economy. Further, as a hazelnut grower, I know that Barbara understands the needs of the agricultural community. Barbara shares our community’s traditional values. She has worked tirelessly on the “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive” campaign to honor the legacy of the men and women who fought in WWII and to teach our youth about the values of the greatest generation. Barbara has already proven herself as an asset to our community, and I look forward to her representation in the Legislature. Don Godard...

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House District 25

To the Editor: With the excitement of yesterdays filing day, I know many of us are now looking to what the general election holds.  I want you to know that I am backing a particular house district candidate that I believe will represent my district with the best leadership and experience to move us forward. That candidate is Chuck Lee, who will run as an Independent, in House District 25.  Joining me are a number of prominent supporters from both sides of the aisle, including Gerry Frank, Dick Withnell, Yamhill County Commissioner Mary Stern, and former Newberg education administrator Paula Radich. While I personally know that this district is tough, I believe Chuck will have the resources and energy to run a successful campaign and win.  The demographics and politics of this district will allow an independent like Chuck to win.  Chuck has spent most of his career as a Catholic school administrator, is pro-life, and has served on the school board and city council.  He helped build Blanchet Catholic School in Salem to an institution that sends 95 percent of graduates on to college.  We need his leadership at the state capitol. I urge you to join me in supporting Chuck as we head into the general election.  Please visit his website www.votechucklee.com to learn more and contribute to his campaign. Vic Backlund...

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