Day: March 28, 2014

Debate grows over Big Toy site

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes The grumbling has been increasing regarding the placement of The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park project. As previously mentioned in the Keizertimes, for months it appeared certain the community build play structure would be built between the amphitheater and the boat ramp area of KRP. In late January, however, mayor Lore Christopher opined filbert space at the front of the park, along Chemawa Road, would be a better site. That site is not within Keizer’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), necessitating coordination with several local jurisdictions in order to use the land. Earlier this month the Keizer Rotary Foundation Board unanimously approved a motion to give $30,000 to the project – but only if it’s built in the original location. “It was not just one thing,” board president Greg Frank said of the decision. “It was the UGB process, tearing down the filberts, the grounds, moving it from where it was originally, the parking lot. There were so many reasons why it should be left where it was.” A development last week, however, could change that. “Evidently the Keizer Parks Foundation has opted not to accept any donations with any conditions,” Frank said. “So next Wednesday we will discuss this again. At our last meeting we talked about it for 20 minutes. We talked about the pros and cons. It was a unanimous decisions...

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Blazing bats put Celts over Foxes

  By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes If the McNary High School varsity softball team set out to make a statement in its season opener, Silverton High School heard it loud and clear. The Lady Celts had 22 hits in the 22-0 win March 18, behind a one-hitter from junior pitcher Megan Ulrey. Ulrey also had eight strikeouts. “The score didn’t reflect it, but Silverton is a good team with five seniors, but you could see them deflate around the fifth inning,” said Kevin Wise, McNary head coach. McNary’s line-up strung together enough hits for a 10-run third inning and eight in the fifth. Mercy rules ended the game after only five innings. Highlights abounded for the Keizer team. In addition to her performance in the circle, Ulrey made waves at the plate going 3 for 4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and four runs scored. Freshman Nicole Duran went 4 for 5 with two doubles, two RBIs and four runs scored. Senior Dani Saunders went 3 for 4 with a home run, a double and three RBIs. Kimi Ito led the team in RBIs with four. By the end of the game, all 10 players on the McNary roster had at least one hit. “The energy and chemistry on this team this year is amazing,” Wise said. “It’s a great thing to have and we...

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Medical marijuana dispensary task force gets going in Keizer

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes The city’s Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force has been established. Just don’t expect many meetings for the group. The task force held its first meeting last Wednesday, March 19, at Keizer Civic Center. City councilor Dennis Koho, who chaired the initial meeting, passed around a calendar and had the seven task force members indicate what days would not work for a meeting. “Looking at the calendar, not many dates line up,” Koho said towards the end of the meeting. “It looks like Tuesday (April) 22 and maybe the 29th of April.” As such, April 22 at 7 p.m. was set as the date for a public hearing on the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries in Keizer. The topic has been a hot one throughout Oregon recently due to new state laws allowing for the formation of dispensaries. Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, gave a rundown of rules regarding dispensaries at the city, county and state level. House Bill 3460 and Senate Bill 1531 both went into affect earlier this month. “When the implementation of this rule started March 1, there was a lot of activity that occurred,” Brown said. “A lot of cities moved to ban dispensaries outright. The rest of us struggled with what the appropriate response would be. It takes time to go through the process. We established...

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New details come out in Keizer murder case

  By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes A positive has emerged in the past week concerning the murder of a Keizer mother. On the other hand, disturbing details of the murder were also unveiled. Michelle Pearson was killed in her Ventura Loop home the night of March 5. Husband Wilfred “Bill” Pearson was also shot and taken to Salem Hospital with gunshot wounds. The couple’s 17-year-old son, Brett Angus Pearson, was arrested about 90 minutes later. Also arrested was Brett’s friend, fellow 17-year-old Keizer male Robert Daniel Miller II. The two teens, who are being tried as adults, had a second arraignment last Thursday, March 20. The day before, the family released an update on Bill via the hospital. “We are grateful for Bill’s continued progress with his recovery,” the statement said. “We’re also thankful for the continued support from our faith community and friends.” Last Saturday, the news got even better. “Wilfred ‘Bill’ Pearson was discharged from Salem Hospital on Saturday, March 22,” a short statement from the hospital read. During last week’s proceedings, Brett Pearson and Miller were arraigned on two counts each of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder with a firearm. Pearson also was handed down aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder charges from a grand jury indictment. Miller was charged with two counts of aggravated murder with a firearm and attempted...

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