Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Day: April 6, 2012

McNary student arrested after punching staffer


Of the Keizertimes 

A McNary High School student was arrested Wednesday for punching an administrator.

The student, a 17-year-old male, was told to report to class by an administrator, but then ducked into a bathroom, according to Capt. Jeff Kuhns.

The staffer followed the student into the restroom, which apparently agitated the juvenile, Kuhns said. He cursed at, then punched, the administrator, whose injuries did not require medical attention.

Student Resource Officer Brian Hunter arrested the student, who was charged with fourth-degree assault. He was transported to the Marion County Juvenile Detention Facility.

It’s the second arrest at McNary involving a student striking a faculty member this school year. A girl was charged with harassment earlier in the year for slapping a school teacher. Jay Remy, Salem-Keizer Schools spokesperson, said such incidents are rare.

“But it’s happened twice this year at McNary, and students get very serious consequences for doing that,” Remy said.

$20M shortfall expected for school district

For the Keizertimes

Another painful budget message came from Superintendent Sandy Husk to the Salem-Keizer Budget Committee on Tuesday.

Everyone knew that the school district, which has been struggling financially in recent years, would have to adjust to a shortfall of $20.5 million. Husk, knowing that she had to present unwelcome news about ways to adjust, noted that the administration was keeping the same goals.

A screen presentation accompanying her talk began with “Our vision: All students graduate and are prepared for a successful life.”

“This year’s budget message,” Husk said, “is not quite as dramatic as what we had last spring.”

The screen showed several charts indicating financial changes in recent years and changes in student achievement.

“We saw increases in student achievement in the past six years,” she noted.

The estimated total district revenue for 2012-13 is $343,423,734. This includes “flow-through” revenue from property taxes, interest and fees.

Expenses are estimated at $363,455,805, not including about $500,000 for technology. The total is $365,955,805, for a shortfall of $20,532,071.

To decide what to cut to balance the budget, Husk recommended that the committee start by determining what the district needs to meet its goals. She noted that the greatest concerns of school staffers are class sizes; time for teachers to compare notes with their peers; losses of support systems such as counselors, office staff, administrators and college connections; efficiency of technology; and loss of colleagues.

Budget committee concerns Husk noted included class sizes, programs for students, and technology funding.

She listed recommendations of reducing the ending fund balance to 3 percent, and adjusting associated payroll costs such as employment, which would cut the shortfall to $9,724,783. Repurposing of small schools, cuts in supplies and materials, reductions in transportation and cuts in contracted security services would reduce it to $8 million.

Under discussion, Husk said, are employee concessions and possibly still other cuts.

She noted that reductions must be legal, sustainable, operationally sound and supportive of academic achievement.

Further budget committee meetings will be at 6 p.m. April 23, 24 and 25, with public testimony and possible recommended budget approval April 25. If the committee is not ready with a recommendation by then, meetings on April 26 and 27 will be possible but without public testimony. School Board adoption of the budget is scheduled for a May 8 public hearing. All meetings will be at the Support Services Center, 2575 Commercial St. SE, in Salem.

Celts win 2 at Volcanoes Stadium

Cody Jackson is welcomed home after rounding the bases during the Celtics game with Cleveland high School at Volcanoes Stadium Wednesday, March 28. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity baseball team took two wins in a rain-soaked Volcanoes Spring Break Tournament last week.

The Celtics started the tournament with a five-inning, 16-1 win over Cleveland High School. Wednesday, March 28. After a slow start, Celtic sticks ignited, and some free bases helped, the team put seven runs across the plate in the second inning. The streak was highlighted by a two-RBI single by Chris Burger.

Cleveland managed a single run in the third inning, but the Celtics stormed back to the dish putting nine more runs on the board.

Travis Marks handled starting pitching duties with D.J. Harryman, Cody Jackson and and Kaleb Simpson capping the performances on the mound for the Celtics.

In addition to his RBIs, Burger tripled in the game. Cody Bond, Garren Robinett and Jon Stong smacked doubles.

The team’s meeting with Marist High School, slated for Thursday, March 29, was rained out, but the team returned to the diamond at Volcanoes Stadium Saturday, March 31, to take an 8-1 win over David Douglas High School.

McNary begins Central Valley Conference play traveling to meet North Salem High School Friday, April 6.

The team is hosting a fundraiser breakfast at Applebee’s, 2625 Liberty St N.E., in Salem, on Saturday, April 7, from 7-10 a.m.  Cost is $7 per person.

Freshman baseball off to roaring start

Celt Tim Hays launches a pitch during McNary’s game with Canby High School Monday, April 2. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School freshman baseball team started the season with eight pitchers, four catchers and two second basemen, but the limited specialties haven’t kept them from winning.

“We’ve had them play positions they’ve never played before and they’ve done a good job of adapting to the positions I’ve put them in,” said Louis Tiller, head coach of the team. “I’m proud of this team and they’re a really good group.”

The Celts’ most recent win came on Monday, April 2, in a homestand against Canby High School. McNary won 14-3.

“We had strong pitching and good patience at the plate with a lot of walks that helped out,” Tiller said.

Jordan Emmerich went 2 for 2 on the day with four RBIs and three runs scored. Cole Thomas made the most of his only hit, which brought in two runs. He was walked on his other two at bats.

Tim Hays led the team on the mound with two strong innings. Robbie Johnson followed him and Nick La Fountaine and Mickey Walker finished off the Cougars.

Despite starting the season with a throng of specialty players, the team is adjusting well to new roles, Tiller said.

“We have some trouble on first-and-third situations right now, but we’re working on routine plays and making sure we’re fundamentally sound,” he said.

He credited lead-off hitter Jacob Vasas and clean-up man Hays with keeping the Celtics rounding the bases.

“Mickey Walker has been performing well at pitching and at short stop, and Ben Cummings working hard at becoming a strong outfielder,” Tiller said.

The entire pitching staff has kept games close leading to a 4-1 record.

“I’m really pleased with the unselfishness of the kids and their willingness to play in different positions,” Tiller said.

Mary A. Unger

Ms. Unger, of Keizer, died Thursday, March 29, 2012. She was 82.

Born in Compton, Calif. to Harry Allen and Lillian Smith, she worked as a nurse and later as an administrative specialist for the State of Oregon.

She was preceded in death by two sons, Kevin and Jeffrey. Survivors include: Three sons, Michael and Joseph of Keizer and Patrick of Weston, Fla; daughter, Julie Unger of Keizer; sister, Polly Platt of Salem; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

No services will be held at Ms. Unger’s request.

The family expresses gratitude to the staff at Odyssey Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the hospice or the American Cancer Society.

Arrangements by Keizer Funeral Chapel.