1994: School district copes with suicide


With the gas crisis in full swing, motorists had an extra incentive to make sure their driver’s licenses were valid.

The newspaper cautioned “If the federal government begins gas rationing using drivers’ licenses for indentification, drivers who do not have their licenses up to date could find themselves out of gas.”


Clayton Schmitt shocked the city council by resigning as city manager.

He had been selected from 186 candidates to become the city manager for Florence.

Schmitt told the newspaper his decision was partly prompted by, what the paper paraphrased as, “a disturbing philosophical trend among the council to pay heed to non-city residents and to butt in the manager’s job.”

During Schmitt’s three years and nine months in Estacada, the city installed a storm sewer system, stabilized a slide area near downtown, completed a city warehouse and shop and started repaving streets and doubled the hours of police protection and avoided increasing residents’ taxes for two years.

In other news, unknown vandals contaminated an elderly man’s drinking well with gasoline and dirt. They also slit the dipping bucket and threw in furniture sitting on the back porch.

Luckily, the man’s guardian stopped him before he drank the water.


The Estacada School District called in a “crisis team” of counselors to the junior high following the suicide of a seventh-grader.

The move marked a shift from the last student suicide in Estacada, which had occurred in the early 1980s. Back then, staff was ordered not to discuss the incident with students and to adopt a business-as-usual approach.

This time was much different.

When word of the suicide reached the school, teachers spent the next morning talking with students, answering questions and lending a shoulder to cry on. They even discussed the contents of the students suicide note. (The family had granted permission.)

However, school officials decided against “glorifying” the incident with assemblies or moments of silence.

“Kids see things like plaques, memorials and dedications as a sort of validation, forgetting the tragedy of an improper choice,” said Charles Juenemann, principal.

On a lighter note, the newspaper’s thought of the week came from Nelson Algren: “Never eat at a place called ‘Mom’s.’ Never play cards with a man named Doc. And never lie down with a woman who’s got more troubles than you.”


A notice was placed on the door of Food Forum informing the store’s owners that the lease had been terminated due to non-payment of rent and other breaches of lease.

Three days later, the glass on one of the front entry doors of the store were shattered.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the incident.


The school board evaluated Superintendent Howard Fetz in executive session.

The annual performance evaluation was part of Fetz’s contract with the Estacada School District.

“It’s both constructive criticism and also an acknowledgement that you’re doing certain things well,” Fetz said. “Those two, combined, are how we like to look at the evaluation process for principals, teachers and for classified staff as professional development. We’re trying to enhance our respective performances and respective roles and ultimately, the bottom line is, are we doing a better job of educating kids?”

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine