Author: Candace Johnson

Guardian Shield & Arachnight: Heroes or Menace?

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes It’s Saturday, Sept. 30, roughly 11 p.m., when Arachnight suffers one of the many small indignities of being a community superhero: his kneepad comes loose. Arachnight and Guardian Shield are out on patrol together, something that they do when they can, because there’s strength in numbers. Patrol might be a bit too formal a term for what they are doing. In the past hour, they’ve walked up and down River Road turning on whims without a specific destination or planned course. They’ve walked in front of buildings, around buildings, and drifted into...

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Congressional inaction threatens at-risk youth

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes A statewide advocacy group mobilized a notable selection of local supporters in Salem to call on the U.S. Congress to reauthorize and expand two federal programs that deter crime through early intervention. Keizer Police Chief John Teague, Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore, and Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton were all called on to speak on behalf of the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting Act (MIECHV) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The trio met with Martha Brooks of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids and Patrice Altenhofen, executive director of Family Building Blocks, Monday, Oct. 2 for a press conference. Funding for the two programs expired Sept. 30 and will need to be reauthorized by Congress or local families might lose resources viewed as critical by law enforcement and justice officials. “As a cop, when we can teach families how to raise kids well, it makes kids safer, it makes children, families and the community more productive, and it decreases crime. I am sincerely hopeful that Congress will reappropriate funds for these programs,” Teague said. Teague spoke specifically to programs funded through MIECHV, which pays for low-income, new parents to be screened and arrange for voluntary in-home visits after the birth of their children. “There are some basic things these families just don’t know because they have generations of uninformed...

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Keizer Christian celebrates 54 years with KHC exhibit

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Keizer Christian Church is celebrating its 54th anniversary this month and the congregation is celebrating with a special service on Sunday, Oct. 8, all of it coincides with a new display at the Keizer Heritage Museum. Kim Free, wife of Keizer Christian’s new pastor, Erik, led the charge to get the display into the museum and is hoping it paves the way for the church itself, at 6945 Wheatland Road N., to become an official historical point of interest in the city. “It was either the third or fourth church in Keizer to have its own building, and it’s the only one that still contains part of the original structure,” Free said. Keizer Christian Church, which is associated with the Disciples of Christ, held its first services in October 1963 at the Keizer Grange Hall. The congregation built a home of its own on the corner of Lockhaven Drive Northeast and River Road North between 1966 and 1968. When Albertson’s bought that property in 1984, the original structure was moved to its current location. “The original building was split in half and a new sanctuary and offices were built between the two halves. The old sanctuary is now a community space and the space that was the school is still our preschool,” Free said. The move was not without its harrowing moments....

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Open cars hot targets

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Keizer Police Department officials are reminding residents to clear their cars of valuables and lock them up at night because thieves are targeting unlocked vehicles with increased frequency. There have been at least 167 illegal entries into cars since January, nearly double the amount there was during the same time period last year. “Especially with the holiday shopping season coming we want people to be more aware,” said KPD Lt. Andrew Copeland. Cara Steele, the KPD crime analyst, said thefts from vehicles, known as car clouts in police parlance, have been a featured part of her briefings to patrol officers since the beginning of the year. “Ninety to 95 percent are the result of an unlocked door or window. It’s not windows being broken or locks being jimmied,” Steele said. “We might see a change [in method of entry] if everyone starts locking their door, but it is something we’re tracking and we will notice it.” The problem with tracking car clouts – and apprehending offenders – is that by the time the crimes are reported and trends emerge, the thieves are long gone and the trends already over. “We have had some areas hit more than once, but with car clouts it’s very transitory. I can tell you that neighborhoods all over the city have been hit,” Steele said. Motive also factors...

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Bend schools coming to GVC?

Final decision Oct. 16 By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes McNary student athletes, coaches and parents may soon become more familiar with the Bend area. In its final recommendation, the Oregon School Activities Association Classification and Districting Committee placed Bend High School, Mountain View and Summit in the Greater Valley Conference with the Celtics, McKay, South Salem, Sprague and West Salem beginning with the 2018-19 school year. The decision came after 12 meetings over the course of about a year. The committee looked at everything from dropping to five classifications, to putting the three Bend schools in the Southwestern Conference with southern Oregon and Eugene schools or with east Portland schools. In the end, the committee stuck with six classifications and chose the GVC. “Though it has become evident that no current league is interested in adding the three Bend schools, the group believes that choosing the shortest of the three travel options makes the most sense when applying the criteria (safety of athletes and spectators, minimizing loss of class time, minimizing expenses, and school enrollment,” the committee wrote in a release. The committee also noted that a standalone three team Central Oregon league was not a viable option, nor was separating the three schools into different leagues. Bend, Summit and Mountain View are all moving up from 5A. North Salem has been approved to play down and will...

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