Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current | View This Issue
Volume 140, Issue 14
April 8, 2015
IN YOUR TOWN
Thursday Dallas High School’s brightest acting
and technical theater performers will test their
skills against the state’s best at the Oregon Thespi-
ans State Festival in Salem.
This year, Dallas’ contingent consists of three stu-
dents: Selena Harris, Rachel Tilgner and Alicia
The partnership between Harris and Tilgner
arose from DHS drama teacher Blair Cromwell’s
suggestion. She saw something in their work ethic
that made her think they make a good match.
FALLS CITY NEWS
Dallas High School’s crowded hallways will become the norm with decreasing school budgets.
State 2015-17 school budget comes up short
By Jolene Guzman
POLK COUNTY — One Polk County
school district will be making cuts
while others should keep programs in-
tact, but not much else with the 2015-
17 school’s budget now awaiting Gov.
Kate Brown’s signature.
The Oregon Senate passed the budg-
et Monday afternoon in the amount of
$7.255 billion, about
$600 million more
than in the current
biennium. The House
voted last week to ad-
vance the budget,
contained in House
Bill 5017. Both cham-
bers voted on party
lines, with Democrats
supporting the proposal and Republi-
cans asking for more.
School leaders from across the state
asked for more, too.
Falls City Superintendent Jack
Thompson described the $7.255 billion
biennial budget as “a slap in the face to
education.” He said the state began
what he thought was reinvesting in ed-
ucation in the current two-year budget.
To him, it was like being taken off life
support, but now he believes the state
has taken a step backward.
“We will be on life support again,” he
said. “I will be able to maintain exactly
what I have, less any pay raises. If it
goes through at $7.255 billion, I will
have to make some cuts.”
That isn’t considering a long list of
programs that had to be eliminated,
deferred maintenance projects on
buildings, forgone equipment purchas-
es, and athletic uniforms in need of re-
“It saddens me. It does,” Thompson
said. “I have higher hopes for Oregon
than what we are providing our kids.”
In other school districts, the figure
probably won’t result in cuts, but cer-
tainly not much in the way of hoped-
for program expansions.
In Dallas, the district will be able to
pay for full-day kindergarten, though
not with as much classroom support as
originally planned for. The newly re-
vived electives at LaCreole Middle
School should stay.
“We believe we will be able to con-
tinue programs that we have,” said In-
terim Superintendent Dennis Engle.
School officials had hoped to see a
figure closer to $7.5 billion.
“We would feel much better and be
able to continue supports into the sec-
ond year (of the biennium) and per-
haps consider adding back some of
what was lost,” Engle said.
That would have been the case in
Central School District, as well, if the
figure had been higher.
Superintendent Buzz Brazeau said
the district has bene-
fited from enrollment
growth and changes
to the formula used
t o c a l c u l a t e h ow
much money districts
receive for students,
so it won’t be making
Brazeau said if
more funding was on
the way, the district would have con-
sidered adding to foreign languages, a
marketing program at Central High
School and programs such as FBLA
and DECA that were eliminated when
“Unfortunately, at this funding level
we will not be able to do those things,”
Perrydale Schools are in a unique
position of being able to add some-
thing back into its budget. Superinten-
dent Eric Milburn said it’s not a huge
increase — the agricultural
teacher/FFA adviser post will be in-
creased from part-time to full-time —
but it’s part of a long-held goal to ex-
pand the program.
See BUDGET, Page 5A
More background checks not the answer
Come football season, the Falls City Mountaineer
faithful purple and gold-clad fan base will brave
any weather conditions to see its favorite team
But beginning next season, that will be a little
easier, as work building a cover over the bleachers
at the Falls City High School football field will be
underway shortly, if it hasn’t already begun.
Last week, the lumber was delivered to build the
cover, one of the final steps in a project that has
been on the district’s to-do list for a number of
Whether opening a new business or honing
skills to run a long-standing one, a pep talk can be
Promote Enterprising Performance workshops
are back at Monmouth-Independence Chamber of
Commerce starting Tuesday. The series of six semi-
nars will cover everything from developing and
building a budget to marketing to fundraising.
“The concept is to provide information, best
practices, tips, things of that nature, to help busi-
nesses and organizations in our community,” said
Jean Love, executive director of the chamber.
Since April 1, four candidates for Western Ore-
gon University’s next president have been on cam-
pus visiting with students, faculty, staff and the
Fernando Delgado, Christopher Ames, Margaret
Madden and Rex Fuller each spent time in open fo-
rums and answered questions about how they
would shape the future of WOU. See daily coverage
on open forums on the Itemizer-Observer’s website.
A decision on the president should be made by
Friday, with an announcement to be made by Mon-
day or Tuesday.
Sheriff, gun dealers speak out against SB 941 proposals
By Emily Mentzer
POLK COUNTY — Gener-
ally speaking, criminals
don’t pay much attention to
laws, including gun laws.
“Guns that are used in
crimes are typically either
stolen or they’ve taken it
from somebody without
permission,” said Sheriff
Senate Bill 941 calls for
background checks on pri-
vate party transfers — that is,
one individual selling a gun
to another — but will do
nothing to make the com-
munity safer, Wolfe said in a
letter to Sen. Floyd Prozanski
and the Senate Committee
on Judiciary, which passed
the bill Monday, sending it to
the Senate for a vote.
“It would simply add re-
quirements and unneces-
sary laws for our law-abid-
ing citizens, which ultimate-
ly would waste time and
limited resources which
could be better utilized ad-
dressing the bigger issue:
mental health issues and
crimes committed by indi-
viduals while using a gun,”
Wolfe said in the letter.
Under the proposal, pri-
vate citizens would have to
appear at a licensed gun
dealer in person with both
the person who wants to
buy the gun and the person
who wants to sell it.
The gun dealer would be
responsible for conducting
the background search on
the buyer to ensure he or she
is not a felon or has a history
of violent mental illness.
The proposed measure
makes exceptions for family
members, law enforcement,
inherited firearms and cer-
tain temporary transfers.
Gun laws about back-
ground checks are already
extensive. Each time some-
one wants to buy a gun, a
new background check is
conducted, said Bryan Jobe,
co-owner of Fifty1Fifty3 Tac-
tical in Monmouth.
“If someone consigns a
weapon with us, it’s their
g u n , t h e y ’re s e l l i n g i t
through us,” Jobe said. “If
they change their mind, we
have to do a background
check to give them their gun
See GUNS, Page 5A
POLK COUNTY NEWS
Polk County’s tentatively approved 2015-16
budget is a “tale of three budgets,” according to
County Administrator Greg Hansen.
“This budget is much better from a fiscal stand-
point than what we’ve had in the past,” he said
while delivering his budget message March 30, at
the beginning of four days of budget hearings. “No
layoffs are proposed in this budget.”
But as Hansen characterized it, there are three
distinct components to what will end up being the
county spending plan for 2015-16.
Learn how to care
for those blueberry
bushes at a Master
at Trinity Lutheran
Church in Dallas.
7 p.m. Free.
Check out Eric
Loftin’s new exhibit,
“Mind the Gap,” at
an artist reception
at MaMere’s Bed and
5-7 p.m. Free.
Fiddlers take the
stage at the Oregon
Old Time Fiddlers
and Variety show in
6:30 p.m. $3-$6.
The final show of
the 2014-15 Smith
Fine Arts Series fea-
tures Jose James
and the Metropole
7:30 p.m. $11-$28.
What’s new in home
and garden? Find
out at Spirit Moun-
tain Casino’s Home
& Outdoor show’s
Noon-7 p.m. Free.
Get inspired by the
watercolor, ink and
drawing artworks of
Charlotte Lamb on
display at Dallas
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.
Today is National
Dolphin Day. Dol-
phins live in pods of
up to a dozen and
are highly sociable