The annual Year in Review begins with a look at fun and intersting stories from January to June 2018


Quilts for Empowerment give hope to Kenyan Women

What is the connection between a small art gallery in Aurora and a not-for-profit program that improves the lives of impoverished at-risk women in Kenya?

At first glance –nothing. But for Susan Black, owner of Black Star Watercolor, and Sherwood's Mary Ann McCammom, founder of Quilts for Empowerment, the answer lies in the power of individual expression in art.

"My gallery is all about original and unique art – primarily watercolor paintings by local artists, but other forms as well," said Black. "Mary Ann's program teaches the art form of quilting to individual Kenyan women who have survived obstetric fistula, sexual assault and other trauma. Not only does quilting help them recover, it gives them a path towards economic independence."

A Commanding Presence

The theme of "Family First" is a message that Denise Rodan hopes to spread throughout the United States. It's a message Rodan, the American Legion national commander, brought to Canby American Legion Post 122 Thursday morning.

Rodan, who has made it her goal to visit one Legion Post in all 50 states, was on hand to talk to Legion members and answers questions. But family – in the military, Legion and in America – was very much on her mind during the visit.

"Our American Legion is a family," she said. "We want to make sure we take care of our veterans and when we are doing that, we are taking care of our family."

JOHN BAKER - Things got off to a good start in the area in 2018 with a visit from Denise Rodan to the area. Rodan is the American Legion national commander and stopped in Canby at the local Legion Hall to talk about the state of the American Legion.

Kennemer says 2018

will be his last

Oregon House Rep. Bill Kennemer (R-Canby/Oregon City) announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in 2018.

It was an announcement that surprised many, including Kennemer and wife Cherie on some levels, he admitted.

He said the decision happened quickly after taking stock of things following surgery just after Christmas.

"Not too long ago I had some (internal) plumbing issues and had surgery that went very well," he explained. "I'm in good health and don't think it will shorten my life, but it's one of those worries you have in life as you get older. It gets you reflecting on things."


Canby Mourns Teen Deaths

The community of Canby is mourning after two high school teens took their own lives last week. The deaths came just days after the same act by a North Marion student and a Silverton student.

The high school activated the Crisis Response Team, making additional counselors available on campus as a resource for students who needed to cry, talk or otherwise process the events.

"Student safety and emotional security are top priorities at Canby School District," said Superintendent Trip Goodall. "Our staff grieves with our community."

The high school is now decorated with a plethora of hearts and posters that read: "You matter" and "Eres importante."

At Last, the fix appears to be in

The Union Mills Road and Highway 213 intersection is infamous for traffic crashes. Perhaps not any more.

Clackamas County and Oregon Department of Transportation are teaming up on a safety improvement project to help reduce the number of crashes at the intersection, with ODOT taking the lead.

In a recent audit of Highway 213 and the intersection at South Union Mills Road, the county and ODOT identified 11 crashes that occurred at the intersection between 2010 and 2014, with one life-threatening injury, according to Joel Howie of Clackamas County Department of Transportation, who spoke at a recent public open house.


Getting ready for ladies night

Former Gov. Barbara Roberts will be on hand when the Canby Heritage and Landmark Commission launches Oregon's first heritage trail dedicated to women on March 22.

"Building a Better Community: The Canby Women's Heritage Trail," will be unveiled in a ceremony with Roberts the featured speaker. The trail will tell the stories of the women who shaped and reshaped the community's economic, social, cultural, and political landscape.

"The nine women featured are representative of the hundreds of women who played a significant role in making Canby a better place," said Carol Palmer, HLC chair.

The curious case of Canby's

ex-chamber director

Former chamber director Liz Marcum was just three months into the job when her employment ended by what she described as a "forced resignation" and what the chamber called a "mutual decision."

The Canby Area Chamber of Commerce hired Marcum at the end of October 2017 and she began work as the executive director on Nov. 6. Her job was terminated Feb. 8, 2018.

Students learning to walk the walk

Last Wednesday, students from Baker Prairie Middle School and Canby High School joined thousands of schools across the nation in the #Enough National School Walkout as they walked out of their classrooms at 10 a.m.

It was an act of solidarity with Parkland, Fla. students and a stand against gun violence.

"We are very proud of our students," Baker Prairie Principal Jennifer Turner said. "They were quiet and respectful."

Prior to the walkout, Baker Prairie Eagle Council (the school's student leadership) read a letter to all students.

"We are participating for two reasons," the letter said. "To honor those who passed, and to show that we want to create a safer future in schools."

Four…and counting

Make it four straight for the Canby High School dance team.

The Cougars brought home its fourth consecutive show division title Saturday with a score of 96.37 to easily outdistance second place Stayton (91.65).

Canby's finals score was an improvement on its preliminary round score, which was 95.55.

JOHN BAKER - In only a few years, the Oregon Renaissance Festival has grown to two weekends and thousands of people descending on Canby.


Canby FFA member wins state office

It's Monday, March 26, in Redmond. While piles of students have taken off on Spring Break adventures, Canby FFA members are huddled together in nervous excitement at the close of a successful Oregon FFA State Convention as they await the announcement of the new state officers.

"When the music started playing, Olivia Palacios and I were gripping each other so tightly," said Canby junior Lauren Iverson.

The crowd roars when Canby senior Devin Thacker is called out as the 2018-2019 Oregon State FFA Secretary.

"It was the best thing to see Devin run up on stage with tears of joy filling his eyes after he was elected," Palacios said.

Record Bonanza

There's a culture that goes with music and music memorabilia that's hard to explain. Fortunately, each year in Canby no one has to explain it, they simply live it.

The 35th Annual Record Bonanza is back, but it's going to look a little different. The salute to music of all types, genres and eras is moving from its long-time home at the Clackamas County Event Center to Ackerman School (350 SE 13th Ave.) in Canby. The move, said event founder and organizer Don Rogers, will have some benefits.

"This will give us a little more room and we'll be able to have all the tables in one room now, so that's going to be really nice,"

Milk dispenser

project to expand to more schools

In September, when milk dispensers were installed in the Knight and Carus cafeterias, Canby became the first school district in Oregon to use the dispensers instead of milk cartons, reducing waste significantly.

The program is going so well that now Galina Dobson, Canby's director of nutrition services, wants to put milk dispensers in all of the elementary schools next year.

"It's a huge percentage of our waste every day…not just the stuff that's going down the drain, all the leftover milk, but the cartons fill up the garbage can over and over," Dobson said.

What might

another hotel in

town look like?

The Canby City Council held a work session on April 4 before their regular meeting to discuss the possibilities of adding a new hotel to the city and a transient hotel tax to boost campaigns to develop a robust tourism program.

Renate Mengelberg, the city's economic development director, discussed a study initiated recently that found about five sites that would be good spots for a hotel serving tourists and business people.

That would boost hotel rooms in the city to between 136 to 156.


Canby High School's Concert Choir sang their way to the title of 2018 Three Rivers League champions on Wednesday, April 11. With the win, they advance to the OSAA Music State Championship in May.

The choir, under the direction of CHS vocal music teacher Brooks Gingerich and composed primarily of juniors and seniors, performed a music set lasting just under 20 minutes and then participated in a clinic with Ethan Sperry, Portland State University's choir director, to receive feedback on their performance.

Then the students performed strongly in a sight-reading competition, where they were asked to demonstrate their ability to read music they had never seen before.

New chamber

director in the saddle

Kyle Lang officially took over the executive directorship of Canby's Area Chamber of Commerce on April 23, although he'd already been spending some time at the Chamber office the previous two weeks.

The man who was born and raised in Canby is "really excited" to take over the Chamber's reins and has plans to get going as soon as possible.

In fact, he spent three or four days ahead of his official start date to take care of administrative duties and start learning about how the chamber works and its culture.

From Dream to a decade

"The Canby Center is truly the place where hope started for us again," Camille Hall said to a crowd of hundreds at the Canby Center's 10-year celebration and fundraiser at Willamette Valley Country Club on Friday, April 13.

Hall shared the testimony of her life, including life-threatening medical conditions from birth and again just a few years ago. When she and her husband were at a point where they couldn't imagine life going back to normal, they asked the community where to go.

"They said the Canby Center, thank God," Hall said.


Joint Relay event

coming together

The joint resources of Molalla and Canby are coming together for a unique Relay for Life event in June. To that end, the next meeting of the Relay for Life of South Clackamas County will be held Wednesday, May 16, at 7 p.m. at Smyrna United Church of Christ (3119 S. Hwy. 170).

So far, the Relay appears to be coming together nicely, according to chairperson Sharon Braden.

"It has been going really well from the very start with Molalla," Braden said. "We just started with meetings and made some decisions and decided on combining our efforts."

CHS students

hold anti-bullying week campaign

At the end of April, Canby High School leadership groups launched an anti-bullying campaign called "Talk About It." They invited former CHS Associated Student Body president and Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor Brandon Wolf to speak at the high school and at several community events.

In a letter to parents, Principal Greg Dinse said the campaign involved activities that, "encourage respect and community while encouraging students to actively address and report negative behaviors like bullying."

Canby equestrian team gets 3rd at state

The Canby High School equestrian team left the state competition in Redmond May 10-13 with some state title hardware and a third place team trophy.

The Cougars, it seemed, were everywhere and scoring nicely during the action. And when it was over, Canby's riders had scored 275 points to finish behind only Forest Grove (321) and Oregon City (320) in the team race for large division schools.

Hanna Jacobs and Maisie Rowley snagged a state title in Working Pairs, while Rowley was able to double back for a state championship individually in Hunt Seat Equitation. Joining the ranks of state champs was Kira Tipikin, who won the title for Driving.

Offering an international experience

From the food carts of Portland to the cold waters of the Oregon Coast, Alfousseni Sidibe enjoyed a nice slice of life's firsts during a recent visit to Canby.

And why not, there's plenty to see and experience for a young man hoping to shape his country's fortunes in his native country of Mali. A guest of Deni and Bob Cooperrider, Sidibe got to spend several days in the area exploring and discovering. It was, he said, an enjoyable experience.

"I was impressed by the different places we visited," he said. "I was impressed with Powell's Books, saw the food carts (where he enjoyed a kabob), visited Oregon State University and the Rose Garden.

"What amazed me most was the Pet Smart," he added. "That was my very first time seeing something like that. It was really impressive."


North Marion Jazz Band wins state title

In its first year going to the state competition, the North Marion High School Jazz Band has taken home first place in the 4A division.

Oregon Music Education Association awarded the prize at the May 19 competition at Mount Hood Community College.

While band teacher Kaden Christensen, who's only in his second year at the helm of the music department at the high school, said this is only the second year there has even been a state jazz competition, it's still a big accomplishment for his 20 students in the group.

Ren Faire Success

While it may have been a tale of two weekends, this year's Oregon Renaissance Faire leaves the Clackamas County Fairgrounds with nothing but positives in its pocket.

Last weekend the faire battled rain, hail and wind, while this past weekend the sun delivered brightness and warmth.

But no matter which weekend you fancied, Oregonians turned out in big numbers both weekends to make this year's faire the most successful yet.

"Things were amazing," said director Tracy Nietupski. "We have the best guests. Our patrons just rolled with it all. They were in the hail and rain and they were here in the sunshine. Everyone seemed to have a good time.

Claiming victory

Canby High School's equestrian team finished its season with a flourish, claiming a trio of titles at the Pacific NW Invitational Championship in Moses Lake, Wash., last weekend.

The regional championships featured the top 5 state finishers in Oregon and Washington competing against each other.

Kara Tipikin won the title in driving; Hanna Jacobs won for showmanship, and Maisie Rowley added a title in hunt seat.

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