Month: April 2016

Young grappler has star potential

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes At age 11, wrestler Destiny Rodriguez is racking up awards and trophies that would make a senior high school wrestler green with envy. In recent months, Destiny has won state championships in the collegiate, freestyle and Greco wrestling – also known as the Oregon Wrestling Association Triple Crown. She also traveled to the Reno World Championships earlier this month where she won her weight class in the girls division and took second in the boys division. “Reno is different because there are a lot more elite wrestlers. It’s not too different wrestling boys or girls because you have to wrestle hard with everybody,” Destiny said. She has been wrestling since she was five years old and was inspired by relatives. “My dad (Isrrael Rodriguez) wrestled and I knew I wanted to do it after seeing my cousin wrestle,” Destiny said. While she started with McNary’s Mat Club, she’s since moved on to club wrestling with All-Phase and success hasn’t eluded her. This year marks the second time she’s won the Triple Crown. She prepares for matches by listening to music and thinking about her strategy. Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger and Alicia Keys’ Girl on Fire are two of her favorite pre-match tracks. In many ways, Destiny’s career is just beginning, but her mom, Veronica, said she’s already seen positive effects. “She used...

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Portraits for Keizer’s next public mural selling well

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Portraits for Keizer’s next public mural have proven to be popular. As for getting people to paint those portraits? That’s a different story. Jill Hagen, mural project manager, gave an update during the April 26 Keizer Public Arts Commission (KPAC) meeting. Before the meeting, Hagen laid out a one-fourth scale paper replica of the mural, which depicts various scenes from the Keizer Iris Festival Parade. The replica showed where the various images will be lined up when the mural gets put on the north wall of Town & Country Lanes this summer. KPAC members liked what they saw. “This is spectacular,” Lore Christopher said. Hagen began accepting requests to purchase portraits to be put on the mural at the start of April, at $200 each. At last month’s KPAC meeting, it was decided 10 spaces would be sold at that price. “We have sold 10 photos so far for $200 each,” Hagen said at Tuesday’s meeting. “Plus we have three people on the waiting list. Everyone has gotten receipts for the 10.” As for the three people on the waiting list, Hagen suggested offering the faces being put in the crowd of spectators – which would be smaller – for $100 each. “It would be just three to take care of the waiting list, then we’d keep the raffle the way it is,”...

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Celts rebound after tough losses

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes McNary High School’s varsity baseball team had a rough start to its week April 19, enduring a 7-5 loss to South Salem High School in the seventh inning. Fortunately, it did get better. “We had a good start and ended on a bad note against South, but we really bounced back and showed what we are made of deep inside by the end of the week,” said Celt Josiah Gilbert. In the South game, McNary’s Collin Young hit a three-RBI triple in the first inning. Young crossed the plate on a hit by Trent Van Cleave that ended with the latter being thrown out at first. The Celts held on to that 4-0 lead, with Gilbert on the mound, for the next five innings. In the top of the seventh, the wheels came off on the Keizer team. The Saxons took advantage of walks, errors and a struck batter to run up a 7-4 lead. McNary’s Matthew Ismay finally took over on the mound and allowed the team to make its last stand at the dish. Ismay scored the final run of the game on an error by South, but that was all the Celts could muster for the 7-5 final. “We felt like we took a punch to the gut. It was hard to swallow, but we didn’t make the plays...

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NOW ARRIVING: Holiday Inn Express at Keizer Station

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Perhaps you’ve heard this one before: a hotel is coming to Keizer Station. Yes, such talk is running rampant again. This time, however, there are some differences. Jack Yarbrough confirmed this week he recently sold his vacant hotel lot at Keizer Station – between Panera Bread and Outback Steakhouse – to an experienced hotel operator, Cheo Tzeo. Tzeo and his family worked with Yarbrough and realtor Pam Rushing from Coldwell Banker Commercial Mountain West Real Estate to purchase the property. Though county records as of Monday still showed the most recent transaction being Yarbrough’s purchase of the property for $1,361,605 in March 2014, Rushing said a sale to Tzeo went through last week for $1.25 million. “I sold the property,” Yarbrough said. “They’re pretty experienced operators. They are decent people. He’s experienced. I think he’ll be able to build a nice hotel. I got paid off last week.” Rushing said Tzeo, a Vietnamese refuge who came to the United States in the 1970s, first contacted her in January about the property. “I’m excited for Keizer Station,” Rushing told the Keizertimes. “He is going to put in a Holiday Inn Express. He’s getting it all approved. He has everything lined up. He’s an existing franchisee. He’s going to put one in here. It’s pretty exciting. He’s been working with the city. He’s really super...

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