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About Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current | View Entire Issue (July 29, 2015)
Volume 140, Issue 30
July 29, 2015
IN YOUR TOWN
In years past, the Old Timers Reunion in Dallas
brought hundreds of people to Dallas City Park
The Dallas Area Visitors Center, which organizes
the tradition going in its 53rd year, would like to
see it regain those numbers.
In recent years, the attendance has been closer
to 50 people.
“It used to be a huge thing, 200 to 300 people,”
said Bonnie Dreier with the Dallas Area Visitors
Center. “I don’t know if we can bring it back, but we
are going to try.”
FALLS CITY NEWS
Steve Roberts flies a helicopter to fight the fire on Ohms and Fishback roads from the sky on Friday afternoon.
More than 250 firefighters from 22 agencies respond
By Emily Mentzer
MONMOUTH — Smoke
filled the air on Friday after-
noon after a combine
sparked a 250-acre field fire
off Ohms Road near Fish-
back Road and Monmouth
Fire departments from 22
different agencies attacked
the blaze on all sides. A heli-
copter unit with the Oregon
Department of Forestry
fought the fire from the sky.
Residents were under vol-
untary evacuation orders by
the Polk County Sheriff’s Of-
fice, with the recommenda-
tion to gather any animals
and leave the area. An emer-
gency shelter was set up at
Central High School by the
Red Cross in case it was
needed. More than 250 fire-
Apparatus from 22 fire agencies from Yamhill, Benton,
Polk and Marion counties quickly responded to and bat-
tled a 250-acre field fire sparked by a combine on Friday.
fighters tackled the fire.
None were injured. No resi-
dents reported injuries, and
no livestock was reported in-
The call came in just after
2 p.m. on Friday, and the fire
was under control about
four and a half hours later,
said April Welsh, Dallas Fire
and EMS community servic-
es. In total, firefighters were
on scene for about 10 hours
to ensure no hot spots
“It was incredible how
many apparatus showed
up,” Welsh said. “That kind
of response just facilitated
that fire getting under con-
trol, going from one point of
not having containment to
in an hour having 90 percent
At one point, the fire began
to spread to nearby timber,
but was never considered a
timber fire. A “finger fire”
began spreading away from
the main location toward the
staging area on Monmouth
Highway, where firefighters
arrived for directions.
See FIRE, Page 6A
Dancing in the Rain
Last year’s summer of trouble in Falls City’s parks
doesn’t appear to be repeating itself. In fact, a
group of residents are working to improve the en-
vironment in the town’s three parks this summer.
Activities in the parks — particularly near the Lit-
tle Luckiamute River falls — were a point of con-
tention with residents last year, with drinking, loud
music and people carrying guns the most common
complaints. Falls City Mayor Terry Ungricht said city
hall has gotten calls from residents living next to
the parks who are concerned about troublesome
and possibly illegal actions taking place.
The city of Independence wrapped up a new
parks master plan, which was presented to the city
council on July 14.
“The big shiny piece is the riverfront,” said Shawn
Irvine, economic development director. “Part of the
reason we (the city) purchased the Valley Concrete
site was to maintain control of the riverfront.”
The city owns 2-1/2 miles of land along the
Willamette River, and whoever buys the Valley Con-
crete site will have to allow public access, Irvine
“We want to extend (trails) to the south, ideally
out to the island,” he said.
Some ride for pleasure. Others to get into shape.
For those taking part in Bike MS, which takes place
Friday through Sunday at Western Oregon Univer-
sity, they are riding for a purpose.
“A lot of bike events are just about getting on our
bike and riding,” Bike MS Manager Amy Harris said.
“More than that, this ride is about supporting peo-
ple with multiple sclerosis (MS). Many of the people
who ride with us either have MS or love someone
who has MS or has a family member with MS.”
MS is an often disabling disease that affects the
central nervous system.
POLK COUNTY NEWS
In 2014, the timber harvest in Polk County fell,
following a statewide trend.
Polk’s overall harvest declined from approxi-
mately 161 million board feet to 150 million board
feet, according to an Oregon Department of
Forestry (ODF) report. A board foot of lumber
measures one foot wide, one foot long by one inch
Statewide, the overall harvest decreased 1.74
percent to approximately 4.13 billion board feet,
making 2014 the second consecutive year Oregon’s
harvest has been more than 4 billion board feet.
Dancers from M.O.M. Dance Company don’t let a little rain stop them from dancing in the parade on Saturday.
World’s Finest, a reg-
gae and bluegrass
band, will fill Main
Street Park with
music as part of
Music in the Park.
6:30 p.m. Free.
music, food and fun
will be at Christ’s
Church’s second an-
nual summer block
6-8 p.m. Free.
Check out the “Huge
$6 Sale” fundraiser
benefiting the West
Valley Hospital Vol-
unteers and local
high school seniors.
8 a.m.-3 p.m. Free.
Interested in own-
ing a horse, or al-
ready do? Old Mill
Feed & Garden hosts
the horse owner’s
Mel Brown and
Friends perform a
free evening of jazz
at Main Street Park
to kick off the an-
nual jazz camp.
5 p.m. Free.
Today is National
Grab some Nuts day.
What better way to
farms than by pick-
ing up some nuts?
It’s National Night
Out, when commu-
nities gather to
stand together with
Times vary. Free.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.