Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, September 27, 2017, Image 1

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    S ERVING THE S ILVERTON A REA S INCE 1880
50 C ENTS
●
A U NIQUE E DITION OF THE S TATESMAN J OURNAL
V OL . 136, N O . 41
Former nurse
sentenced to
8 years for
raping woman
SALEM TO
SILVER
FALLS
WHITNEY M.
WOODWORTH
STATESMAN JOURNAL
Participants cycle from Spong’s Landing outside of Keizer to Silver Falls State Park in the River 2 Ridge event on Sept.
17. Participants kayaked the 6.2 miles from Salem’s Riverfront Park to Spong’s Landing north of Salem, then biked
47.8 miles to Silver Falls, where they ran a 5.8-mile loop of the state park. MOLLY J. SMITH / STATESMAN JOURNAL
Wind, rain greet racers in relay from Salem’s
Riverfront Park to Silver Falls State Park
JONATHAN BACH
STATESMAN JOURNAL
A more than 50-mile race Sept. 17 took compet-
itors on a winding tour of the Willamette Valley as
they raced from Salem’s new pedestrian bridge all
the way to Silver Falls State Park.
The first-ever Salem River 2 Ridge Relay
kicked off in the morning on the southwest end of
the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bicycle and Pe-
destrian Bridge between Salem’s Riverfront Park
and Minto-Brown Island Park.
The first stretch was a run from the pedestrian
bridge to Wallace Marine Park, where colorful
kayaks then streamed into the Willamette River
for a second leg, heading toward Spong’s Landing
Park, a county park just north of Salem.
From there, cyclists pedaled a harrowing 47.8
miles to Silver Falls State Park, about the same dis-
tance as driving Salem to Portland. They wound
through idyllic farmland, though some got
splashed by afternoon rain.
After the bikes, competitors on foot worked the
last leg, 5.8 miles through Silver Falls State Park.
“We consider it kind of an adventure race,
where you’re basically putting multiple disci-
plines together, all human-powered,” said Chad
Sperry, the race’s director.
The race is set to return the next two years. This
go-round, it attracted racers from Salem, Port-
land, Eugene and elsewhere, with more than 36
registered to race on their own and 83 on teams.
Unlike many, competitor Dan Davenport was
going it alone, nervous before the start of the race
about the long bike ride. “I’m on a mountain bike,
so that makes it even more fun,” the 50-year-old
Keizer resident said.
He said he had always wanted to compete in a
triathlon but can’t swim.
“So I figured a kayak would be the best way to
go,” he said.
Racers got creative with their team names. One
female team was called “Faster in our Minds,”
while a male team went by “Past-R-Prime.”
The first team to actually finish the relay was
the coed “Willametteam” from Eugene. Members
Ben Marean, Salmon Norgaard-Stroich and Jenn
Randall divvied parts of River 2 Ridge between
themselves.
Marean, 43, ran from the bridge to Wallace Ma-
STATESMAN JOURNAL
A Silverton man safely
escaped his burning home
Thursday after his dog
alerted him to the flames.
Silverton Fire crews
responded to a burning
home on the 4300 block of
Silver Falls Highway
shortly after 7 a.m.
Crews arrived to find
fire shooting out of the
home’s door and windows,
catching nearby trees on
fire.
Firefighters
from
Mount Angel and the
Drakes Crossing Fire Dis-
trict were called in to help
extinguish the two-alarm
fire.
Silverton fire officials
said the home did not have
working smoke alarms,
but the owner’s dog
roused him. Both the man
and the dog safely es-
caped the burning home.
Crews brought in wa-
ter tanker trucks because
of the home’s remote loca-
tion. Firefighters brought
the blaze under control
Online at SilvertonAppeal.com
NEWS UPDATES
PHOTOS
» Breaking news
» Get updates from the Silverton area
» Photo galleries
For the second time in
less than 18 months,
Christopher Gerig ap-
peared in Marion County
court accused of rape and
sexual abuse.
He was acquitted of the
first charges in early
2017. A few months later,
he was arrested on new
charges involving a dif-
ferent victim.
This time, the charges
stood, and a jury convict-
ed Gerig, 34, of first-de-
gree rape and first-de-
gree sexual abuse. He was
sentenced to eight years
and four months in prison
Sept. 18.
Gerig, a Silverton resi-
dent and former regis-
tered nurse, was accused
of raping and assaulting a
woman following a house
party in May.
Gerig previously faced
criminal charges and the
possible revocation of his
nursing license after the
first set of sexual assault
charges against him sur-
faced in 2016.
The Oregon State
Board of Nursing served
Gerig with a notice of pro-
posed revocation in July
2016 after they were noti-
fied of alle-
gations that
he sexually
abused
a
woman.
Accord-
ing to the
Gerig
complaint,
Gerig allegedly used his
nursing education and
knowledge to establish
trust with a woman then
planned a rape-like sexual
encounter between him-
self and her, claiming it
was a therapeutic exer-
cise to help her recover
from past trauma.
Gerig told the woman
they would need to re-en-
act a sexual assault as a
form of therapy, accord-
ing to court records.
Trusting Gerig's nursing
education and training,
the woman agreed to the
encounter.
One week later, she
told a friend she felt even
more traumatized. The
friend encouraged her to
report the incident to po-
lice and the nursing
board, which she did.
Gerig was arrested and
charged with first-degree
rape, second-degree sex-
ual abuse and strangula-
tion.
Finding that the prose-
See RAPE, Page 2A
CREEKSIDE CHAT
School reports,
music and civic
activity
A participant runs through Silver Falls State Park for the
final leg of River 2 Ridge on Sept. 17. MOLLY J. SMITH /
JUSTIN MUCH
STAYTON MAIL
STATESMAN JOURNAL
rine Park, passing off the river section to Nor-
gaard-Stroich, 50, who then passed back off to Ma-
rean for the nearly 50-mile bike ride.
Headwinds upped the difficulty on the long
ride.
“I was grateful to have the wind to blow away
the smoke because the smoke would have been
worse,” Marean said.
Still, fighting headwinds where they were pre-
sent “was the toughest part,” he said.
After he made it to the state park, Randall took
it home, facing some hard uphill sections of trail
on foot but ultimately beating the competition.
“My teammates put me in a really good spot,”
the 25-year-old said.
A former Salem mayor’s trip to Japan spurred
the creation of the Oregon race.
Mayor Anna Peterson traveled there years ago
and found out about SEA TO SUMMIT, a similarly
styled race.
“I thought, ‘We could do this in Salem, and we
See RELAY, Page 3A
Dog saves man from house fire
WHITNEY M.
WOODWORTH
W EDNESDAY , S EPTEMBER 27, 2017
SILVERTONAPPEAL.COM
within 45 minutes and
fully extinguished re-
maining hot spots by 11
a.m.
Fire officials said the
home and all of its con-
tents were a complete
loss, with an estimated
damage of $75,000. There
was no insurance on the
home. The American Red
Cross Cascades Region is
providing assistance to
the man, the home’s sole
occupant.
The cause of the fire is
under investigation, but
officials said it appears to
have been accidental.
Silverton fire offi-
cials reminded resi-
dents that working
smoke alarms save
lives and encouraged
them to check alarms
every six months.
For questions, com-
ments and news tips,
email reporter Whitney
Woodworth
at
wmwoodwort@states-
manjournal.com, call
503-399-6884 or follow
on Twitter @wmwood-
worth
INSIDE
Classifieds..............................3B
Life in the Valley.................4A
Obituaries .............................4B
Sports......................................1B
©2017
Printed on recycled paper
When you have some
good news, you want to
share it.
That’s the impetus be-
hind posters going up
around Silverton this
week created by Silver
Falls School District and
carrying the message
“Moving forward togeth-
er…and it shows!”
District Superinten-
dent Andy Bellando and
Board Chair Tom Buc-
cholz stopped into Silver
Creek Coffee House on
Wednesday, Sept. 20, to
share a look at the poster,
talk about statistics pre-
sented on it and have a
Creekside Chat about pos-
itive elements within Sil-
verton area schools.
Schools, seniors and
music were all focal top-
ics that Wednesday. An-
gela Rose stopped in to
share information about
Bethany Charter School’s
upcoming carnival and its
long-stand-
ing tradi-
tion;
Jan
Holowati
apprised us
of the Coats
for
Kids
Angela Rose
drive,
which extends a peripher-
al boost to local school stu-
dents who need it; Dodie
Brockamp enlightened us
on a host of Silverton Area
Seniors activities, includ-
ing a 50-50 Invitation &
Challenge, escalating ef-
forts to allure 50 some-
things to join the fun and
the senior center.
Meanwhile, the young-
est recorded Creekside
attendee, 7-month-old Isi-
dore (Sid) Weitzman
kept a sharp eye on the
discussion as Silverton
Sidewalk Shindig organiz-
er Gregg Sheesley and
Silverton Friends of Mu-
sic
President
Sarah
Weitzman shared infor-
mation about the annual
See CHAT, Page 3A