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Day: November 7, 2011

Center aims to be part and parcel of southeast Keizer

Cande Medina carves a pumpkin with granddaughter Jennell Navarro, 1, at a Southeast Keizer Community Center event. It’s housed in Salem Mennonite Church on Candlewood Drive NE. (Submitted Photo)

Of the Keizertimes

The new coordinator at the Southeast Keizer Community Center said she was drawn to Salem Mennonite Church because it aims to be a central part of the neighborhood.

“The church and community center share a space, and I love that this space is open to all kinds of functions throughout the week – (English) classes, celebrations, meals, soccer games,” said Sarah Roth-Mullet, who succeeds Joseph Penner in the role.

The SEKCC started out as an outreach effort by the church, Catholic Community Services, Keizer United and the Southeast Keizer Community Association. While grants provide much of the funding, Salem Mennonite provides the floor space and many of the volunteers.

The center hosts a Friday night neighborhood dinner that’s open to the community, hosts English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes and provides community garden space. Cooking classes recently got started, with costilla de puerco con nopales (pork rib with cooked cactus paddles) set for Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m.

In partnership with Mid-Valley Literacy Center, they may soon start offering citizenship classes.

“It’s a safe place where they can build relationships,” said Pastor Jack Knox.

Roth-Mullet said a lack of informal places to connect places added importance on gatherings like the Friday night dinners.

“Yet those relationships are so important to creating strong, safe neighborhoods,” Roth-Mullet said. “… We hope the relationships built at the community center extend beyond its walls and strengthen family support networks in the Keizer community.”

Roth-Mullet’s position is actually two half-time jobs, one as community center coordinator and the other as youth pastor at the church. Pastor Jack Knox said the combination allows for a person to have full-time employment, stabilizing the position.

She comes to the Salem area by way of Mexico City, where she worked with a non-government organizations promoting sustainable community development projects like small-scale gardening and building water cisterns.

The Indiana native is a graduate of Goshen College, and lives in Salem with husband Luke.

The man with the dragon tattoo

Keizer Police released a sketch of a dragon tattoo on a suspect in a home invasion case last spring. (Submiited)

Of the Keizertimes

A home invasion and assault in May remains unsolved, and police are seeking the public’s help to find the suspect.

He  is described as a light-skinned Hispanic or black male with a medium build, standing 5 feet 9 inches tall, wearing a dark-colored hoodie and dark jeans. A newly released drawing shows a line tattoo of a dragon, which isn’t colored in. The dragon depicted has three toes on its feet.

In addition, the victim told police the man smelled of motor oil and was wearing dirty jeans.

Information on the man’s tattoo was initially withheld from the public for investigative purposes, said Keizer Police Capt. Jeff Kuhns.

“Investigators initially thought they would be able to use this information to their advantage to identify and arrest the suspect, but this strategy has not paid dividends,” Kuhns said.


The suspect knocked on the door at a home in the 1000 block of Koala Street on Wednesday, May 25. When a 27-year-old female resident opened the door, the man tried to strangle her before she was able to fight him off and he fled, Kuhns said. Two small children were inside at the time.

The victim didn’t require hospitalization but suffered minor injuries. She told police she didn’t know the man.