Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current, March 29, 2017, Image 1

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Page 14A
Page 11A
Volume 142, Issue 13
March 29, 2017
Friends of the Dallas
Library to host a book
sale April 7-8.
»Page 5A
Itemizer-Observer staff report
DALLAS — The Polk
County Sheriff’s deputies
still are searching for sus-
pects — a man and a
woman — in a home inva-
sion reported Thursday.
“It’s still ongoing,” said
Sheriff Mark Garton. “We
been getting lots of tips.
It’s allowing us to track
those down to see if they
are legitimate. There’s
been lots of help.”
So far, though, none of
those tips have led an ar-
A woman living on
James Howe Road outside
Dallas reported that at
about 2 p.m. Thursday, an
unknown man and
woman entered her home
and threatened her and
her children if she didn’t
open the safe in the home,
according to the sheriff’s
The female suspect
used force to get the
woman to comply — grab-
bing her by the hair and
shoving her around the
residence. The male sus-
pect didn’t use force, but
remained in the house
during the incident, ac-
cording to sheriff’s reports.
“The unknown female
then forced the victim to
the lower level of the resi-
dence, and bound her
hands to a table, and fled
the residence,” the sher-
iff’s office press release
read. “It took about 10 to
15 minutes for the victim
to free herself and call 911.
The children were un-
harmed during the inci-
dent, but the victim had
marks on her wrists, face,
and knee.”
The female suspect is de-
scribed as about 35 years
old, 190 pounds, about 5-
foot-6, with dark hair. At the
time of the incident, she
was wearing a pink hoodie
shirt (not a sweatshirt),
black sweats, brown Ugg-
style boots, gloves and sun-
glasses. The man was de-
scribed as about 35 years
old, 6 feet tall, medium
build, clean-shaven, and
wearing a black hat, jeans,
and a dark shirt.
If anyone has any infor-
mation on the possible
identity of the two sub-
jects, contact Detective
John Williams at 503-623-
9251 or at williams.john-
@co.polk.or.us or message
the sheriff’s office on Face-
A plan to build a gym
is taking shape.
»Page 14A
JANET WHEELER / for the Itemizer-Observer
Dallas resident Janet Wheeler poses with a statue of Ernest Hemingway at La Floridita, the author’s favorite bar, on
a recent trip to Cuba. Wheeler spent almost two weeks in the country, staying in three different cities.
Local markets return
A time-forgotten land
Dallas woman travels to experience the art, the food and the beauty of Cuba
By Jolene Guzman
The Itemizer-Observer
DALLAS — Of the nearly
100 countries Janet Wheeler
has visited in her well-trav-
eled life, Cuba is one of the
few places she plans to re-
turn to.
That’s saying something,
considering that she’s trav-
eled to all seven conti-
nents — yes, including
“Cuba was a place I really
wanted to go and it’s one of
the few places that I say I
want to go back because I
want to know what’s going
to happen,” said Wheeler,
who lives in Dallas. “I want
to see the change that is
going to happen.”
That change may already
be taking place. Restrictions
on Americans traveling to
the island nation have loos-
ened, and millions have al-
ready visited this year. With
tourists come money, and
Cuba’s artists, musician and
restaurants are benefiting,
Wheeler said.
Wheeler’s trip was from
Feb. 24 to March 8. She
booked it with a people-to-
people exchange, in which
American travelers become
ambassadors to Cubans. She
stayed in three cities: Havana,
Trinidad and Cienfuegos.
JANET WHEELER /for the Itemizer-Observer
If you look closely at some old buildings in Cuba you will
see signs of decay — even plants growing on them.
The group she traveled
with visited with a basket
weaver, a coffee farmer,
fishermen, and artists at
several dance companies
and art institutes.
“The people are lovely,”
Wheeler said. “They are so
At first glance, Cuba looks
like a place stuck in time.
The streets are filled with
cars made pre-embargo,
which started in the early
Wheeler said she took
photo after photo of the
brightly painted cars when
she arrived.
“These cars, although
they look marvelous, are
sometimes painted with
house paint. They have
Russian engines. They are
running on Venezuelan gas,
which causes them to back-
fire,” she said. “Any kind of
metal or any commodities
were so hard to get. The em-
bargo really influenced
The colorful buildings, in
many cases, are the same
way. They are beautifully
painted, but oftentimes
“It’s not what you think it
is. You think it’s a well-
groomed city,” Wheeler said.
“You see these gorgeous
buildings painted these
beautiful colors and then
you look at them. They don’t
have windows, and they are
falling apart on the inside,
and the sea atmosphere has
destroyed the wood, so they
are rotting. And there are lit-
tle trees growing out of the
tops of the buildings.”
See CUBA, Page 7A
Polk BOC approves Sedcor support
By Jolene Guzman
The Itemizer-Observer
Polk County Board of Com-
missioners approved an eco-
nomic development grant
helping support the Strate-
gic Economic Development
Corporation efforts in Polk
County for the next three
The request was to pro-
vide $35,000 annually, a
combination of yearly dues
and $20,000 to partially pay
for the Polk and Yamhill
re t e n t i o n
and expan-
sion posi-
ti o n cur-
rently filled
by AJ Fos-
Fo s c o l i
and Sedcor President Chad
Freeman gave a presenta-
tion to the board on March
“In the last three years,
we’ve had an agreement
with Polk County to support
Sedcor for about $25,000 per
year. We are looking to in-
crease that level to $35,000,
which will help us maintain
the level of staffing we have,”
said Chad Freeman, Sedcor’s
Foscoli has worked with
Sedcor since 2014, when the
Make it the Willamette Valley
initiative began. That pro-
gram was designed to help
manufacturing companies
in Polk, Marion and Yamhill
counties expand their busi-
nesses and bring jobs to the
It was paid for through a
federal grant, funding from
Polk, Marion, and Yamhill
counties, as well as PGE,
Since being hired, Foscoli
said he has been involved in
six business expansion and
recruitment projects; the an-
nual Polk County job fair;
providing support in devel-
oping career and technical
education classes at Dallas
High School; and Innovate
Independence, a workforce
development program.
See SEDCOR, Page 5A
Stop by a local busi-
ness and help cele-
brate National Mom
and Pop Business
Owners Day.
If you can brave our
wild weather, take a
stroll outside and be
a part of National
Take a Walk in a
Park Day.
The Naomi OES
spring break rum-
mage sale will be on
Clay Street today
and tomorrow.
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free.
Polk County Free
Clinic offers medical
and mental health
services for those
who are uninsured
or underinsured.
7-11 a.m. Free.
Help make Easter
baskets for those
who are home-
bound at the Evan-
gelical Bible Church
in Dallas.
4:30 p.m. Free.
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»Page 2A
Council considers de-
claring Monmouth an
inclusive city.
»Page 3A
Caedmon Blair looks
to excel this spring.
»Page 11A
C ou r t ho u se c hi l d
care may become reali-
»Page 3A
Child Abuse
kicks off
Itemizer-Observer staff report
DALLAS — Families,
businesses and commu-
nity members are invit-
ed to participate in the
Polk County Awareness
Walk at noon in support
of child abuse preven-
The gathering will be
in front of the steps of
the courthouse, 850
Main St, in Dallas. Judge
Sally Avera and District
Attorney Aaron Felton
will kick off the event
with a welcome and
brief overview of data re-
lated to child abuse and
crimes in Polk County.
The walk commemo-
rates Child Abuse Pre-
vention Month, and is
one of many events in
the area to help raise
Participants will walk
around downtown Dallas
with signs and pinwheels
to raise awareness. Those
joining the walk are
asked to wear navy blue
to show support for child
abuse prevention and
crime victims.
For more informa-
tion: polk.midvalleypar-
Drawing for begin-
ners starts tonight
at the Ash Creek
Arts Center and
goes four weeks.
6-7:30 p.m. $129.
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The Oregon Mobile
Vet will return to
Dallas City Hall to
give the first 50 li-
censed dogs free
4-7 p.m. Free.
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