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HONORING THE FALLEN
THROWING IT DOWN
Volume 140, Issue 21
May 27, 2015
IN YOUR TOWN
Thanks to a grant from Petco Foundation, the
city of Dallas has launched a program to address
the growing number of feral, or “free-roaming,” cats
who call the city home.
The $10,000 grant will pay for a “trap, neuter, and
return” (TNR) program, with the goal of preventing
growth in the feral cat population.
To put the money to use, however, the city
needs feline friendly volunteers to help trap and
care for free-roaming cats. Once captured, they will
be taken to be spayed or neutered, given vaccina-
tions, and returned.
DA, Sheriff begin
work to restore
staff, patrol hours
By Jolene Guzman
POLK COUNTY — The
day after Polk County’s pub-
lic safety levy was approved
by voters, District Attorney
Aaron Felton had to shuffle
his office’s crammed sched-
ule to attend that morning’s
budget committee meeting.
Wednesday is grand jury
day, and he had to find
someone to fill in for him
while he listened in on the
discussion, which took
about 90 minutes.
That he had to do some
creative scheduling illus-
trates why his office sorely
needs the additional staff
the levy will provide, he said.
That help — also for Polk
County’s other public safety
departments — will be on
the way as voters in the
county approved the levy by
a 56 percent to 44 percent
The five-year, 45 cents per
$1,000 in assessed value tax
levy will provide additional
staff in the DA’s office (five),
Polk County Sheriff’s patrol
(12), jail (5), and two more
juvenile detention beds.
For Felton, the help can’t
arrive soon enough.
“Fortunately, I’ve been
told I can begin the hiring
process almost immediate-
ly,” Felton said. “I’m pushing
to get hiring notices out as
quickly as I can.”
Those notices will call for
three deputy district attor-
neys and two administrative
assistants. Felton believes
he can be running with a
full staff within a few
“I can’t emphasize how
critical this vote was,” Felton
said, noting it prevented a
further decline of the law
enforcement system in the
county. “This is a very, very
good decision made by the
people of this county.”
Polk County Sheriff Bob
Wolfe said his office will take
more than a year to get to
full operations due lengthy
training requirements, espe-
cially for new officers.
He hopes to have six offi-
cers — perhaps some al-
ready certified officers — on
staff by year’s end.
“It’s going to be a lot of
work,” Wolfe said of hiring
more deputies, but he’s
pleased to be able to “move
forward instead of trying to
figure out what I’m going to
Wolfe said he met with his
management staff Friday to
decide how to proceed and
get hiring notices out.
His office will resume 24-
hour patrols by July 1, 2016
at the earliest.
Help in the Polk County
Jail is also critical.
See LEVY, Page 3A
FALLS CITY NEWS
Six candidates have applied for Falls City’s part-
time city manager position that opened when in-
terim manager Jon Hanken accepted a job else-
where in April.
The Falls City City Council will consider its next
steps in a special meeting yet-to-be scheduled.
Falls City is looking for a manager to work 20 to
24 hours per week. However, at its May 18 regular
meeting, the council added more options to con-
sider, including contracting the position instead of
hiring someone or even bringing in an intern to
lend a hand.
JOLENE GUZMAN/ Itemizer-Observer
Sgt. Bradley Holbrook hugs his son, Landon, 6, during a surprise homecoming Thurs-
day. Holbrook, with the Oregon Army National Guard, had been gone for 11 months.
A welcome home
Headed into Central’s softball team’s play-in
matchup against Ashland on Friday, Panthers
coach Kendra George wanted just one thing: maxi-
Central answered the call, earning a 14-2 win.
“They came on the field ready to play,” George
said. “The girls had a lot of good energy and were
consistent the entire time. They had a lot of fun
while they were playing and were there to com-
pete and play hard.”
Ryanne Huffman hit a triple in the second inning
and a grand slam in the sixth to clinch the victory.
Hero Dad surprises son at Lyle Elementary
By Jolene Guzman
DALLAS — As soon as Lyle Elementary
School first-grade teacher Stephanie Hof-
ferber read the final words of the children’s
book, “Hero Dad,” her student Landon
Holbrook glanced to his right.
With the words “My dad, my superhero”
still ringing in the school’s library, Landon
laid his eyes on his own father, Sgt. Bradley
It took him a few seconds to realize what
he was seeing. He hadn’t seen his dad, a
soldier with the Oregon Army National
Guard, for almost a year.
But soon, he said, “Daddy,” and ran into
his father’s arms, not letting go for a long
Landon’s classmates, equally surprised,
buzzed with excitement and followed the
happy dad and son into the hallway before
school staff scooted them back into the li-
brary to give the family privacy.
Holbrook, who coordinated Thursday’s
surprise homecoming with his wife, Jessica
Holbrook, cherished seeing Landon and
his 3-year-old son, Sawyer, for the first time
since leaving last June. He could hardly
stand waiting outside Lyle while Jessica
and school staff set up the surprise.
“Oh my gosh, it’s so great,” Holbrook
said of seeing his boys. “I was holding my
phone just waiting for Jess to text me (to
Still seemingly shocked, Landon simply
said having his dad home was “good” and
that he missed him “a lot” while he was
Revenue for Monmouth Independence Net-
works (MINET) is expected to increase in 2015-16,
but by about 7.4 percent, less than the 24 percent
expected increase from last year.
The total annual revenue is expected to be
$4.886 million, compared to $4.548 projected in
Chief Financial Officer Mark Thoenes said
MINET’s income from operations is expected to be
$999,926 in 2014-15, 25 percent less than the
$1.345 million the company made in 2013-14.
Jessica Holbrook, Landon’s mom, reacts
as Bradley Holbrook walks into the li-
brary at Lyle Elementary School. Lan-
don, center left, doesn’t see him yet.
“Can we play XBox?” Landon asked his
father when he was told he would be leav-
ing school early to go home with his par-
Jessica had mentioned to school staff
months ago that she and her husband
wanted to surprise Landon and they
agreed to help. The plan took shape after
Jessica picked Bradley up Wednesday.
“I had to hide him,” Jessica said, noting
Landon and Sawyer’s grandparents took
them for the night. “That was hard.”
Holding back tears, Jessica said Thurs-
day was everything she hoped it would be.
“It was just such a relief to see him,” she
said. “It was definitely a moment we will re-
See HOME, Page 15A
POLK COUNTY NEWS
Three Polk County elected officials will receive
raises in fiscal year 2015-16, while others, including
all three Polk County Commissioners, will not see
an increase in pay.
The county’s budget committee made the deci-
sion on May 20, along with offering formal ap-
proval of the 2015-16 budget.
Those receiving raises are the Polk County clerk
(6 percent), assessor (2.5 percent), and treasurer (6
percent). Pay raises were not approved for Polk
County Sheriff Bob Wolfe and the Board of Com-
Donate blood for
the American Red
Cross at Western
Meet the artists at
Tom Kunke Art Stu-
dio’s exhibit, “Iconic
open today through
6-8 p.m. Free.
Find all your fresh
fruits for the week-
end at two farmers
markets in Inde-
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free.
Relay for Life — a
event — wraps up
today, raising aware-
ness and money to
10:30 a.m. -4 p.m. Free.
Kitchen in Dallas
provides meals to
anyone who wants
one in the commu-
4:30-6 p.m. Free.
Say Something Nice
Day, which is an ef-
fort to counteract
bullying and the
lack of civility and
Head to Main Street
Park in Monmouth
for Polk County
Bounty Market for
all your baked
goods and produce.
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free.
10 a.m.-10 a.m. Free.