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Day: May 7, 2010

Surprise party

Submitted photo by Jennie Banuelos

It was a surprise party for Lauren Ronning when her father, Major Mark A. Ronning, appeared unexpectedly at an Oregon Panthers game. The game was during a softball tournament in Kelso, Wash. Major Ronning, who was stationed in Iraq, promised his daughter he would be home in time for her 15th birthday, which was Sunday, April 25. But things moved a little slower than planned and that date was pushed back to Friday, April 30. But Ronning arranged a pass to surprise his daughter at the tournament. The Ronning family lives in Keizer.

Pair nabbed for theft, check fraud

Thedford (left), Jewel (right)

An observant Keizer Police officer helped nab a pair accused of forgery and theft.

The arrests stemmed from a Wednesday, May 5 incident at Keizer Station. There, at about 11:38 a.m., a witness heard a car alarm and saw a passenger-side window broken out of a vehicle parked in front of Ross Dress For Less. The witness also saw a small sport utility vehicle backing out of a parking stall next to the victimized vehicle.

The victim did confirm there were items stolen from her vehicle. Suspect photos were captured on Ross’ in-store surveillance system.

Police said the suspects then drove to the Bank of the Cascades location in Keizer, where an off-duty officer happened to be. Observing them “acting suspicious,” Keizer Police Sgt. Trevor Wenning said, the officer wrote down their vehicle license plate number and a description of the two. They left the bank after unsuccessfully trying to cash a check, which police said was stolen in a burglary in Portland.

They then went to a Bank of the Cascades location on Hawthorne Avenue in Salem trying to cash the same check, police said. They ultimately were apprehended by Salem Police. Wenning said they admitted to both theft and attempted fraud in Keizer.

Arrested was Charles A. Thedford, 29, for forgery, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, second-degree theft, second-degree criminal mischief, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a restricted weapon. He was also held on a warrant out of California.

Also arrested was Brandy E. Jewel, 33, for two counts of forgery. Both are transients from the Portland area.

Lady Celts make most of their three hits

By LANCE MASTERSON
Of the Keizertimes

The Lady Celts varsity softball team proved Friday that it can scratch out a win against a quality opponent.

McNary, which was held hitless through the first five innings, pushed across all of its runs in the sixth inning, then hung on for the 3-2 win against the Saxons of South Salem.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth and South up 1-0, Keri Stein, the Celts’ left fielder and ninth hitter, drew a walk.

She stole second on a pitch in the dirt to put the tying run in scoring position. Hannah Bouska, who is headed to Oregon State next fall, singled home Stein.

Hannah Bouska prepares to tag out the South Salem runner for the final out in the fifth inning. The play was set up on a missed suicide squeeze attempt. Also pictured are Hailey Decker and catcher Genetta Bennett.

An Olivia Yarbrough bunt was mishandled to put runners on first and third.

“It was kind of an important bunt to get down, just because we needed to move the runners,” said Yarbrough, a sophomore. “I just tried to do everything I could to make sure I got it down. I didn’t want to miss it and have something happen.”

Mission accomplished, even though the pitch was a bit difficult to handle.

“I noticed it was high, so I kind of focused on making sure I got it down instead of a pop up so they could catch it for an out.”

That set the stage for what McNary Coach Jeff Auvinen called “the play of the game.”

Auvinen sent Olivia with two strikes on Hailey Decker.

“(Hailey) hits a line drive to shortstop and we’re dead to right, but the shortstop kind of hesitated a little bit and threw a so-so ball over to first, which the first baseman didn’t handle. The defensive lapse was kind of a lucky break on our part.”

On the miscue, Bouska scored from third and Yarbrough ended up on second, where she was singled home by Courtney Castronovo.

“I was just thinking ‘hit the ball,’” said Castronovo of her at-bat. “I just hit it. Just hoping that no one would catch it and that it would go into a hole, and that the runner would score.”

The hit got past the Saxons’ pitcher and shortstop and into the outfield.

In its half of the seventh, South added another run and had the tying run at second, but a lazy infield fly ended the game.

The fact the Saxons’ tying run was left stranded was par for the course on this day. As Celts’ starting pitcher Erin Henton was at her best with runners in scoring position.

In fact, three of her four strikeouts came with a Saxon runner in scoring position. And the game’s final two outs came on routine play, thus stranding the tying run on second.

“Erin battled,” said Auvinen. “She’s been doing a great job. They out hit us eight to three, but she kind of scattered their hits in most the innings. She came up big, along with our defense.”

The Saxons threatened to double its advantage in the fifth, but a suicide squeeze attempt failed when the bunt was missed and the Saxons’ runner at third was thrown out.

South Salem starting pitcher Corrie Phillips took the loss despite allowing just three hits. She didn’t strike out a batter.

Each team began play ranked in the state’s top 10, and a playoff intensity was present with the first pitch.

In baseball… Playoff dream still alive

A split of a Monday doubleheader at Redmond left the Celts varsity baseball team tied for third with South Salem in the Central Valley Conference standings.

Only the top four teams from each conference advance to the Class 6A state playoffs.

Against the Panthers, McNary (7-7, 10-9 overall) took the opener, 16-10, but dropped the nightcap, 15-5.

“Winning the first one was huge,” said McNary Coach Craig Nicholas. “We played in sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. To say that each fly ball was an adventure is an understatement.”

Winds were so bad that at one time the umpiring crew wanted to stop the game.

“We were up 12-2 at the time,” said Nicholas. “But we talked them out of that.”

McNary pitcher Spencer Rice continues to baffle opponents, often at the most opportune times.

“He scattered 17 hits (in the win). And just when they think they have something going, he’ll get out of it.”

Nicholas praised shortstop Sean Curry’s defensive play. He also added three hits and four runs scored in the opener.

Taylor Shepherd chipped in four hits and three RBIs.

McNary owns the tie-breaker over South Salem and Redmond, which is in fifth place.

“We are in third place and control our own destiny,” said Nicholas. “Goal number one is to get into the playoffs; then we’ll see what happens.”

In an 11-3 win over South Salem on Friday, April 30, Zach Olpet  delivered three hits, three runs and an inside-the-park home run.

“Zach plays as hard and as well as anyone on the team,” said Nicholas. “He is is a tough nut, a solid third baseman and right now is pounding the ball. He is one of the reasons why we are still in the hunt.”

Something old is new again

McNary’s Danny Hokanson, No. 1, weaves between Lakeridge defenders in junior varsity lacrosse action from Claggett Creek Park. McNary, which is playing a junior varsity schedule, won the contest. Below, the tools of the trade. .

By LANCE MASTERSON
Of the Keizertimes

One of this country’s oldest sports is new to McNary underclassmen this year.

The sport is lacrosse, and according to published reports it was first played by early Native Americans and later by the French and Canadians. It has been played in the United States for more than a century.

But it hadn’t been an option at McNary, until now. The boys team, with its club status, is open to freshmen, sophomores and juniors. As of last week, the team’s record against junior varsity opponents stood at 10-2-1.

McNary plays a varsity schedule next year.

McNary defensive coach Luke Rien, who teaches physical education at Claggett Creek Middle School, said there are 18 athletes on the squad, though a more optimum number is in the mid to upper 20s.

“We’ve got some kids with big hearts,” said Rien. “So we’re pushing it. We’re nice and conditioned.”

The conditioning comes in handy.

“The secret to our success? Speed. We condition. I believe fast teams win games. We can outrun everyone. That’s our goal, that we will not be tired by the fourth quarter,” said Rien. “Because if we keep outrunning teams, we will keep out-scoring teams. So we don’t get tired. We just run, run, run.”

Seven of the McNary players had lacrosse experience prior to this spring. The rest are first-timers. Junior Dan Hokanson is one of the team’s more experienced players.

He described lacrosse as a combination of hockey and soccer.

“It’s a lot like hockey in the positions and the way you play,” said Hokanson. “But it’s on the field and you have sticks.”

Hokanson added the sports’ biggest misconception is that the sticks are mostly window dressing.

“People ask me all the time if you can get hit,” said the junior. “When I tell them that you can, it’s a big surprise.”

The sport, in general, was a surprise to the team’s freshman goalie, Taylor Purkey.

“I was not familiar with lacrosse at all. I heard about it earlier this year. It caught my attention because it seemed it would be a very fun sport to play.”

Not only is Purkey playing a sport new to him, he’s playing one of its most demanding positions.

“It was a little scary at first, just because I didn’t know what to do, what to expect,” said Purkey. “But I have shown a tremendous amount of improvement, being able to block more goals and being able to tell where everyone is.”

Each team fields 10 players, three on defense, three on offense, three who play either side of the field and the goalie. Like soccer, the idea is to get the ball past the goalie and into the net. Unlike soccer, players use sticks.

“It’s a fast sport,” said Rien. “It’s a very fast-paced sport, which is what makes it nice.”

There’s a rougher side to lacrosse.

“A lot of people don’t realize how physical it is. There’s contact with stick and body. So you’re either getting moved on, pushed on or running,” said Rien.

Players get sticks slapped against their arms in an effort to knock the ball lose. Rules define legal and illegal hits and slaps.

“So you can’t just flail and whack away.,” said Rien.

The sports also feature body checks, screens and box outs.

It’s a blend of basketball, cutting and pushing and blocking, with some football hits and some soccer speed” thrown into the mix, said Rien.

Rien played lacrosse at Western Oregon University, and coached at Willamette University last year. The team’s other coaches are Ryan Bowlby and Rob Riesling.

Everett Harold Walls

In loving memory of our father, grandfather and great-Papa , Everett Harold Walls, age 86, who went to be with his precious angel eyes, Bernice on May 3, 2010.

E. Walls

Everett was born to William and May Walls in Yale, Oklahoma.  They later moved to Salina, Oklahoma where he attended Salina High School.  The family moved to Oregon in 1945 while he was serving our Country.  He enlisted in the United States Navy to fight for our Country’s freedom during World War II (1943–1946) where he proudly served on the U.S.S. Dunlap.

Everett married the light of his life, Bernice, in February 1948 in Salem, Oregon.  They started their life in Toledo, Oregon for the first 13 years with their 6 children before moving to the Willamette Valley in 1961.  In 1978 they moved to Keizer where he lived until his death.  Everett retired from CG Long Building Supply after 26 years of service.

He spent many years hunting, fishing and exploring the mountains of Oregon with his sons and grandsons, teaching them the fine art of the wilderness.  He was an avid bowler, bowling weekly in League Bowling in Toledo from 1952-1961 and then at Town and Country Lanes from 1961–2009.  He was also a member of the Toledo and Keizer Grange hall from 1952 until his death.

Everett is survived by five of his children, Ronald (Sharon) Walls, Keizer, OR, Tony (Bev) Walls, Dallas, OR, Darrell (Jeni) Walls, Anchorage, AK, Eloise (Joe) Geer, Gresham, OR and Denice (Kevin Pace) Walls, Woodburn, OR; 29 Grandchildren; 32 Great-Grandchildren; sisters, Lucy Marich,, Oakhurst, CA, Juanita Long, Salem, OR, Rosebud Melder, Cypress, TX and brother, Franklin Walls, Oak Harbor, WA.  He is preceded in death by his son, Lonnie H. Walls (1954), his loving wife, Bernice L. Walls (1997), great-granddaughter, Savannah Nahme (2001) and brothers, Vern Walls (1986), Harley “Carl” Walls (1990), Alfred Carver (2000) and Albert Walls (2007), sisters Lola Kelly (1991) and Stella Roberts (2003).

Services will be held at St. Edwards Catholic Church in Keizer, Oregon on Friday, May 7th at 1:00PM with a grave side Military internment to follow at Belcrest Memorial Park Cemetery.  A viewing will be held on Thursday, May 6th from 1–5 PM at Keizer Funeral Chapel.  Arrangements by Keizer Funeral Chapel.

Rebecca Radish

Ms. Radish, of Keizer, died Saturday, May 1, 2010. She was 49.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 8, at Church on the Hill in Turner.

Arrangements by Keizer Funeral Chapel.

Everett Talman

Mr. Tallman died Saturday, May 1, 2010. He was 88.

Visitation and funeral services were held May 4, at Keizer Funeral Chapel. Graveside services were at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

Small business owners say sign rules too strict

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

The city’s sign code – and how it’s enforced – wasn’t on the Keizer City Council’s agenda Monday, May 3.

But by the time a handful of local business owners were done testifying, it just may be that the issue comes to the forefront.

Disgruntled entrepreneurs were directed to the Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development and Government Affairs committee to come up with some proposals. It may be the topic of a Keizer City Council work session with the Chamber in June.

Kim Lewis, who rents a chair at  Classic  Touch Salon on River Road, organized the group that came before the Council Monday. She had purchased a rolling portable sign, and said it made all the difference in attracting foot and vehicle traffic: No customers came on a day when she didn’t have it out and “five to seven” came when she did.

“That’s significant for a person like me,” Lewis said. “I’m building from scratch, and it’s live or die for people like us.”

File photo

Of particular interest to those testifying was portable signage as well as city ordinances that only allow one free-standing sign per business complex. While businesses in a complex can put a sign on their wall, they can’t have another one on River Road.

Specifically, portable signage is prohibited. Temporary signs are allowed up to 90 days per year, but they must be secured.

Councilor Richard Walsh acknowledged that, in reigniting the sign debate, whatever comes out in the end won’t make everyone happy.

“It’s not a simple thing,” he said. “There are many competing interests,” including aesthetics, business and property rights concerns.

Lewis said that “a difficult economy calls for … us to be creative,” and asked councilors if there was a middle ground to be found, while at the same time accusing them of being “out of touch with local businesses.” She asked if portable signs, such as the A-frame one she had made for her business, could be put out for limited hours or days.

Councilor David McKane indicated he would “be willing to” discuss portable signage on private property, but not in a public right-of-way such as a sidewalk.

Walsh, an attorney who owns a firm at Inland Shores, said he’s run into issues with the sign code as well.

“The Inland Shores complex probably owns the most River Road frontage, but you’d never know it,” Walsh said. “… We have no presence on River Road.”

Margie Rey, who owns Images Salon, said nearby bars have had A-frame signs out advertising Oregon Lottery machines.

McKane also said he had noticed out-of-compliance signs along River Road, but Community Development Director Nate Brown said it was difficult to enforce the laws uniformly because the process is complaint-driven. Unlike the City of Salem, which has a department devoted to patrolling local streets for code violations, Keizer has only one staffer who investigates code complaints. And even then, he said, the code enforcement officer has other job duties.

“The ones who don’t get complained about, they don’t get looked at,” said Councilor Mark Caillier. “… I don’t like it. I don’t have a great answer for it right yet.”

In other business, the Council:

• Passed revisions to the process to build a municipal well in residential areas. It eliminates the need for a conditional use permit, but requires screening, setback and design standards.

• Amended an area of the city’s ordinances related to annexations, allowing said actions consistent with county standards.

• Awarded a bid of $159,586 to Westerberg Drilling to drill two new replacement municipal wells.