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About Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current | View Entire Issue (July 8, 2020)
WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2020
Continued from Page 1A
ary, hiring a private company to con-
duct the nationwide search and net-
ting nine applicants just as the coun-
try closed down.
Suddenly, all the usual tools for
evaluation were oﬀ the table. Mt. An-
gel’s council typically brings candi-
dates to town to meet the community
and staﬀ at City Hall before a ﬁnal de-
cision is made. But this year, phone
calls and Zoom meetings had to suf-
“I was skeptical going into a virtual
search because that isn’t how you do
it,” Wall said. “I’m a big believer in non-
verbal communication, and all you get
online is facial expressions.”
“It was a weird feeling for all of us,
not just me as a candidate,” Cronin
said. “I would much rather have come
in person. We were trying to get
through this virtual hiring process to-
gether, just like we’re all trying to get
through this tough time together.”
After spending a full Saturday in
May virtually interviewing the top sev-
en candidates, Mt. Angel’s search
committee narrowed its picks to three.
These were “qualiﬁed and talented
people, which made it diﬃcult for us,”
Wall said, but Cronin ﬁnally emerged
as the leading choice.
His specialty is community devel-
opment. Among his other jobs, he
spent nine years working to revitalize
the Lents District in northeast Port-
land. His employer, now dubbed Pros-
per Portland, promotes housing, eco-
nomic development and other im-
provements in the city’s 11 urban re-
“Working in city planning, I’ve been
allowed to work on the thing I love,” he
said. “I knew I wanted to work on im-
proving the environment from the time
I was young.”
Cronin grew up on the East Coast, in
a borough 25 miles north of Philadel-
phia. The county seat, Doylestown, re-
mains a small town today, with a pop-
ulation just over 8,000. As a high
school student, he still remembers be-
ing excited when curbside recycling ﬁ-
nally arrived in his town.
“I was one of those kids who was
saving up glass bottles when I heard a
statewide recycling initiative had
passed,” he said.
He went on to earn a bachelor’s de-
gree in environmental studies from
Penn State, moved to Oregon in 1996,
and was awarded a master’s degree in
Community and Regional Planning
from the University of Oregon. Over the
years, he’s worked mainly in the Port-
land area, with the last ﬁve being on the
Working in Mt. Angel now allows
him to live full-time in Portland, where
he owns a home and his children live.
“Even though the commute is now
80 miles per day, I can sleep in my own
bed at night,” he said.
Cronin replaces Gene Green, interim
city manager since last October, who
was hired to ﬁll in for City Manager Am-
ber Mathisen, who resigned last fall af-
ter three years on the job.
Address: P.O. Box 13009, Salem, OR 97309
Web site: www.SilvertonAppeal.com
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USA TODAY NETWORK
A Stayton man was charged Tuesday for connection
with several thefts and burglaries in Marion and Linn
counties – including a hydroelectric plant near Sweet
Home and the Santiam Ski Lodge near Hoodoo.
Linn County Sheriﬀ ’s detectives served a search
warrant Tuesday in the 700 block of Virginia Street in
Stayton, where they recovered nearly
200 items they believe were stolen from
Anthony Fennimore, 30, and Brittany
Davidson, 32, were arrested and taken to
the Linn County Jail.
Oﬃcials said thousands of dollars
worth of items were stolen during these Fennimore
thefts, including a ﬁrearm.
The investigation began in early May
when the sheriﬀ ’s oﬃce received sever-
al reports of a man using a face covering
to steal from remote areas in Linn Coun-
Deputies responded to a hydroelec-
tric plant east of Sweet Home where Davidson
multiple items were stolen from the
United States Forest Service.
In June, oﬃcials took a burglary report at the San-
tiam Ski Lodge near Hoodoo where a male and female
broke into the ski lodge.
A Nissan Pathﬁnder was used at both locations.
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The agency isn’t totally opposed to tree removal and
will look at options once river ﬂows begin to drop in
July. But they also don’t want to create the false im-
pression that the river is ever that safe for inner tubes.
“As ﬂows drop and the channel condenses, it could
also become more hazardous because there may be
less water around the obstructions and you’ll be
pushed right into them,” Henry said. “Sometimes low-
er water helps, sometimes it makes it worse.”
Where are the hazards?
Signs have been placed at Greens Bridge access
warning floaters about the danger on the North
Santiam River due to downed trees.
ZACH URNESS / STATESMAN JOURNAL
Man charged with multiple thefts
in Marion and Linn counties
Salem Statesman Journal
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Continued from Page 1A
Luckily, there have been no deaths this year, despite
a number of close calls. That prompted the Marine
Board and local sheriﬀ ’s oﬃces to look at removal.
“There are just so many trees in the river, and be-
hind them are many more waiting to come down. It’s a
mineﬁeld of fallen trees and root balls that are very dif-
ﬁcult for ﬂoaters to avoid,” Henry said. “Removal
would require heavy equipment getting access to, and
going out in the river at relatively high ﬂows. I would
want to engage ODFW and other agencies before put-
ting heavy equipment in the river like that and remov-
ing that many trees.
“Some trees could probably be trimmed by people
with chainsaws in drift boats lining down to the trees
and cutting from the boats, but this can be quite dan-
The Marine Board has some options for removing
blockages in exceptional circumstances, but they
don’t actually have funding or authority to manage in-
ner tubes or swimmers, only motorboats or paddle-
crafts 10 feet and longer, which pay into the agency’s
Classifieds: call 503-399-6789
Retail: call 503-399-6602
Legal: call 503-399-6789
Deputies were able to identify the male associated
with the vehicle as Fennimore.
On June 28, deputies investigated several reports of
vehicles that had been broken into in the Marion Lakes
area of Linn County. That same day, deputies also in-
vestigated a report of a vehicle stolen from the Paciﬁc
Crest Trailhead oﬀ Highway 20 near Hoodoo.
On Tuesday, deputies found the Nissan Pathﬁnder
and the vehicle stolen from the Paciﬁc Crest Trailhead,
parked at a residence on Virginia Street.
Deputies served a search warrant and recovered the
stolen vehicle, in addition to nearly 200 items believed
to be stolen from both Marion and Linn counties.
Fennimore faces charges of possession of a stolen
vehicle, unauthorized use of a vehicle, second-degree
burglary, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, two
counts of ﬁrst-degree theft, ﬁrst-degree theft of a ﬁre-
arm and two counts of second-degree criminal mis-
Brittany Davidson was charged with second-degree
burglary and second-degree criminal mischief.
Oﬃcials said additional charges are expected as the
The Stayton Police Department and the Marion
County Sheriﬀ ’s Oﬃce assisted Linn County Sheriﬀ ’s
Anyone with additional information is encouraged
to contact Det. Steve Frambes at 541-967-3950.
Virginia Barreda is the breaking news and public
safety reporter for the Statesman Journal. She can be
reached at 503-399-6657 or at vbarreda@statesman-
journal.com. Follow her on Twitter at @vbarreda2.
There are two main hazard areas, both on the North
Santiam River, upstream of its conﬂuence with the
The ﬁrst danger area is in a new channel, about
halfway between Greens Bridge and the conﬂuence of
the two rivers.
“The water has created a new channel on the right
side of the river, and people are getting sucked into
that new channel that is ﬁlled with a bunch of root
wads and strainers,” Jeﬀerson Fire division chief Louis
Gisler said. “We’ve had some very close calls there and
people have been very lucky to get washed through.”
The second dangerous area is just upstream of the
conﬂuence. It often has downed trees, but recently at
least two large trees have fallen into the river while the
river carves new channels, creating more danger.
“The majority of people are not wearing life jack-
ets,” Gisler said. “There has also been a gentlemen out
there in a private boat warning people, even putting up
his own signs about the danger, telling people to get
out and walk around, and people are not listening, so
that’s been frustrating.”
The man in the private boat rescued a number of
people as well, Gisler said, meaning well over a dozen
History of problems
This isn’t the ﬁrst time the area just above the con-
ﬂuence of the North and South Santiam Rivers has
been a problem.
Henry said there was at least one kayak fatality, and
a large number of inner tube rescues, in 2014 around
the same location. At the time, a local landowner pro-
vided access and a contractor who donated time and
heavy equipment helped remove a single log jam.
“The diﬀerence then was the largest problem was in
one concentrated area with land access,” Henry said.
“This year’s situation is much more scattered.”
So for now, the stretch of river should be avoided,
especially by those using boats without paddles. And,
he said, while this speciﬁc problem might improve
sometime in the future, the danger, especially near the
conﬂuence, is unlikely to dissipate.
“I would expect this to remain dangerous for the
foreseeable future,” Henry said. “The North Santiam is
actively cutting into forested banks all the time, it’s
kind of the nature of the river. The bank adjacent to the
large grouping of fallen trees has a continuous supply
of large cottonwood trees that will continually fall into
the river with each high-water event.”
Zach Urness has been an outdoors reporter, photog-
rapher and videographer in Oregon for 12 years. Urness
is the author of “Best Hikes with Kids: Oregon” and
“Hiking Southern Oregon.” He can be reached at zur-
ness@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6801. Find
him on Twitter at @ZachsORoutdoors.
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Continued from Page 1A
ceiving this revenue to complete
Perrydale uses its old gym,
which dates to the 1940s, as a cafe-
teria since building its new gym in
the early 2000s.
The district had a $3.4 million
bond in the May ballot, but it failed
after the district asked voters not
to vote for the bond after the CO-
VID-19 pandemic hit.
Now it will receive $2,342,562
for improvements to keep the old
“The grant itself will be a huge
deal for our school,” Perrydale
Principal Dan Dugan said. “When
we found out we got that money,
it’s just great. It’s exciting for our
school and our community.”
The Scio School District will re-
ceive $1,547,940 for improvements
on the Scio Middle School gym.
It also received a $2.4 million
grant in 2018 for seismic work on
its high school gym.
The Sheridan Fire District will
receive $2,092,758 for the Sheri-
dan Fire Station.
On many occasions when pub-
lic institutions are dealing with
older buildings and considering
putting out bonds, they frequently
choose to build new buildings as
it’s more ﬁnancially feasible.
This grant assures those histor-
ic buildings will survive and serve
their intended purpose for decades
“You can’t go wrong,” Drill said.
“A ton of forethought goes into this
in partners that are looking at K-12
education. It’s safety for kids.
“Before we did the work with
Turner (Elementary School), that
was 100% coming down in an
earthquake. Now that building can
withstand a major earthquake.”
Bill Poehler covers Marion
County for the Statesman Journal.
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