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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2018 ܂ SILVERTONAPPEAL.COM
PART OF THE USA TODAY NETWORK
Silverton teen wins statewide contest
High school student John Baldwin
utilized aerial drone footage to
impress judges in his short ﬁlm
Christena Brooks Special to Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
Great ﬁlmmakers can typically remember a time
when they were just a kid with a camera, trying to
make a movie for the ﬁrst time.
For Silverton High School student John Baldwin,
who won a statewide digital media contest this sum-
mer, the ﬁrst real ﬁlmmaking experience came at age
12. It involved a GoPro camera, a ramp and three
friends with bikes.
“Kids Jumping over Kids with Bikes” is one-and-a-
half minutes of preteen fun, captured on camera in Sil-
verton ﬁve years ago that John now laments is “poorly
edited … it’s trash.” And yet, in the unpredictable world
of social media, it remains his most popular ﬁlm on
John Baldwin began making short ﬁlms when he was
12. Now, he has recently won a statewide digital
media contest. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN BALDWIN
YouTube, with more than 38,000 views.
Now John’s YouTube channel is packed with other
short ﬁlms, among them a 3-minute piece that just
‘The water is safe,’
city manager says
won ﬁrst place the Oregon Mayors Association’s “If I
Were Mayor” contest. He was honored at the organiza-
tion’s summer conference in Florence on Saturday,
“It’s an incredible point of pride for our community,”
Silverton Mayor Kyle Palmer said.
“The OMA members span the state, and there was
no divisional separation for city sizes. It’s a reminder
of something I’ve always known – we have some very
incredible, talented, and insightful students in our
Baldwin’s beautiful cinematography of Silverton –
especially his aerial work with a drone – impressed the
“I was vicariously ﬂying over the top of Silverton
with the drone footage, and I just thought, ‘One of the
main things you want to do is get people’s attention,’”
said one of the judges, Eagle Point Mayor Bob Russell,
See TEEN, Page 2A
area to see
Zach Urness Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
A new era is beginning in the Santiam Canyon and
Detroit Lake area.
Dave Halemeier is taking the reigns as district
ranger on the Detroit Ranger District, a swath of
300,000 acres of forest, streams and wilderness in
Willamette National Forest surrounding Detroit
Lake, Opal Creek and Mount Jeﬀerson.
Halemeier took over Aug. 3 following the retire-
ment of Grady McMahan, who held the position for
A district ranger balances a wide array of respon-
sibilities, making decisions on timber sales, ﬁghting
wildﬁres and recreation management.
Halemeier most recently worked in Malheur Na-
tional Forest, but he’s no stranger to the Detroit area.
A former hydrologist, Halemeier worked on the De-
troit district for 25 years beginning in 1988 during the
peak of the so-called Oregon Forest Wars.
“It was pretty hot here during the 1990s with the
spotted owl protests,” Halemeier said. “We worked
through that and my take home-message was how
important communication and collaboration is. My
Brandin Krempasky, a watershed program coordinator with the City of Salem, takes a water sample on
Blowout Creek at Detroit Lake on June 7. Water samples are being taken and tested everyday as a toxic
algae bloom is being detected. ANNA REED/STATESMAN JOURNAL
See LEADER, Page 3A
Tests: Oregon clear of cyanotoxins outside Santiam
Connor Radnovich Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
The ﬁrst results from new statewide testing re-
quired in response to Salem's drinking water crisis
showed surface water sources in the state are clear of
cyanotoxins, excepting the Santiam River.
Out of the 102 water systems required to test bi-
weekly for algal toxins, only six — Salem, Gates, Jef-
ferson, Stayton, Lyons and Albany — are testing more
frequently because of the recent, or current, presence
of those toxins.
No algal toxins have been identiﬁed in samples
gathered from treated water reaching consumers.
"So far, we haven’t seen anything anywhere else,
but we’ve also only done one sampling anywhere
else," said Brian Boling, Department of Environmen-
tal Quality lab administrator.
Results from the City of Salem show cyanotoxins
remain above health advisory levels as the water en-
ters the treatment facility, as they have throughout
the month of July. Albany hasn't recorded a detection
at its intake since the end of May. Boling said Lyons
has been clear for at least two weeks.
The City of Salem is continuing its daily testing,
but despite six weeks of results showing cyanotoxins
absent from the city's drinking water, some in the
community still worry about the safety of their water.
During a meeting at the Salem Public Library last
week, dozens of mostly gray-haired residents ques-
tioned city and state oﬃcials about cyanotoxin health
impacts, ﬁltration techniques and the state's initial
Oﬃcials spent much of the meeting trying to as-
suage those concerns.
"The water is safe, without any qualiﬁcations or
conditions, for everyone," Salem City Manager Steve
See WATER, Page 2A
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Vol. 137, No. 33
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body found in
Olivia Heersink Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
A 62-year-old man missing since July 13 was
found dead in the Santiam River Sunday evening.
Kerry Albert Letsch's 1999 Dodge Ram pickup was
discovered abandoned at the Santiam Rest Area on
I-5 July 20, prompting a search of the
property and several other areas
The Yamhill County resident's
body was found by rafters around 5
p.m. about a mile downriver from the
"A post examination of Letsch will
be conducted in the near future, but
foul play is not suspected at this time,"
Yamhill County Sheriﬀ 's deputies said in a news re-
Letsch reportedly suﬀered from dementia and de-
pression, according to the sheriﬀ 's oﬃce.
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