The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Articles written by Scott Swanson

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 By Scott Swanson    Opinion    July 11, 2018 

Being part of the news isn't always fun

It’s kind of an unwritten rule for print journalists to stay out of the news. We cover news. We try not to make it. So we sometimes find ourselves in awkward positions when we become part of a news story, even sometimes when we actually experience...

 By Scott Swanson    News    July 11, 2018 

Commissioners approve bed tax, discuss rural recycling costs

Linn County Commissioners last week approved what amounts to a 5 percent transient occupancy tax that will be collected from county businesses that offer lodging to visitors. The approval was...

 By Scott Swanson    News    July 11, 2018 

Local residents get serious about pledging allegiance to flag

They stood in a tight semicircle, 30-some local residents on the morning of the Fourth of July, quietly waiting for a signal that it was time. To say the Pledge of Allegiance. They were gathered in... Full story

 By Scott Swanson    News    July 11, 2018 

Fire danger on rise, with new restrictions

Things are drying out fast. The public fire danger went to “high” on Monday and the industrial regulated use will be at Level 2 at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. “Fire risk is going to increase,” said Chad Calderwood, fire protection supervisor for...

 By Scott Swanson    News    July 4, 2018

Council pushes to hold down trash rate hike

City Council members made it clear Tuesday night, June 26, that they believe a 16 percent garbage rate increase proposed by Sweet Home Sanitation to cover its increased recycling costs is excessive and questioned why it took so long for the matter...

 By Scott Swanson    News    July 4, 2018

Council approves budget for 2018-19 among other actions on busy evening

The City Council approved a $17,878,561 budget for the fiscal year 2018-19, which began July 1, at its meeting Tuesday evening, June 26. City Finance Director Brandon Neish told council members that though the Budget Committee approved the budget...

 By Scott Swanson    News    July 4, 2018

LBCC Small Business Development Center upping efforts in E. Linn County

Linn-Benton Community College's Small Business Development Center has reignited its efforts to boost business in east Linn County, SBDC representatives told a Lebanon Chamber of Commerce Forum...

 By Scott Swanson    News    June 27, 2018

Local firefighter honored with statewide award

Craig Wilson, a Sweet Home teacher who spends his summers as a member of the local Oregon Department of Forestry fire crew, has been named the state's Seasonal Firefighter of the Year . "Craig's...

 By Scott Swanson    News    June 27, 2018

Fire season begins in Linn County

Fire season began Thursday, June 21, in the Oregon Department of Forestry’s South Cascade Fire protection districts from the mid-coast through the southern Willamette Valley to the crest of the Cascades. “We’re in fire season a couple of weeks...

 By Scott Swanson    News    June 27, 2018

Longtime inventor has plans to help destitute in Sweet Home

Alvin Kimble has faith – that if God wants him to fulfill Kimble's goals to help local individuals who are down and out, it will happen. If that perspective seems unusual, Kimble acknowledges that h...

 By Scott Swanson    News    June 20, 2018

Trash haulers: Recycling 'crisis' forcing rates up

Sweet Home Sanitation executives warned the City Council last week that a rate increase will be needed to cover what they described as rapidly rising costs for their company in dealing with recycling that cannot be shipped overseas. Sweet Home Site...

 By Scott Swanson    News    June 20, 2018

Concert band to play first concert in Sweet Home

Sweet Home will be treated to a smorgasbord of all-American musical favorites as the Willamette Valley Concert Band presents a Patriotic Pops Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 30, in the reconditioned...

 By Scott Swanson    Opinion    June 20, 2018

Recycling right may involve learning curve

I clearly remember the first time I visited a landfill. I don’t remember why, exactly, but I recall driving up a winding dirt road into the hills of Central California, where I lived at the time, and seeing … a giant flock of seagulls descending...

 By Scott Swanson    News    June 20, 2018

Council renews contract with water/sewer plant operator

The City Council last week agreed to renew the city's contract with Jacobs Engineering to operate Sweet Home's water and wastewater treatment plant. The approval was unanimous for Mayor Greg Mahler...

 By Scott Swanson    News    June 13, 2018

Graduation hats go up as rain comes down

An overflow crowd packed Sweet Home High School's Main Gym Friday night for the Class of 2018's graduation exercises. The ceremony was moved indoors after weather reports predicting almost certain...

 By Scott Swanson    Opinion    June 13, 2018

Alum's advice right on the money for Class of '18

It’s been a bit of a tradition for us to offer up some advice to our graduating classes on this page each year, but for a number of reasons that I won’t go into here, we didn’t this year. As it turned out, that was a genius move because it...

 By Scott Swanson    News    June 13, 2018

'Ordinary' kid from Fern Ridge, retired optometrist honored with High-Q Award

Gerald Wodtli, a 1965 Sweet Home High School graduate and longtime optometrist, was honored with a High-Q award at the school's graduation ceremonies Friday, June 8. Wodtli, 71, received the award...

 By Scott Swanson    Sports    June 6, 2018

Justin Kurtz to wrestle for Umpqua

Justin Kurtz signed a letter of intent Tuesday, May 22, to wrestle for Umpqua Community College. Kurtz, a senior, is the first wrestler this year to sign to compete after high school. He's the sixth...

 By Scott Swanson    Sports    June 6, 2018

Haley May opts to play golf at Corban

Haley May signed a letter of intent Friday, June 1, to play golf for Corban University. May is the first female Sweet Home golfer in recent memory – if ever – to move on to play at the college...

 By Scott Swanson    News    May 30, 2018

Find ornament on trail, win trip for two to D.C.

You're hiking one of the mountain trails in the Sweet Home Ranger District when you suddenly spot a green glass Christmas ornament, maybe in a tree off the trail. You notice it has a website and a...

 By Scott Swanson    News    May 30, 2018

Noah Project at Fir Lawn seeking 'boat elves' to help teens build crafts

Fir Lawn Lutheran Church's sailboat-building project is gearing up for its second year and Pastor Joe Medley says help is needed. Specifically, some "boat elves." Medley has had a hankering for years...

 By Scott Swanson    News    May 23, 2018

Hero Half Saturday to honor veterans with much more than just a run

The sixth annual Hero Half race series in Sweet Home this Saturday will once again focus heavily on honoring veterans and, especially, service men and women who have fallen in action. The event includes a half marathon and 8K (roughly 5 miles) runs a...

 By Scott Swanson    Sports    May 23, 2018

Gingerich finishes high school track with a flourish – state title in 300 hurdles

Bethany Gingerich broke a long famine for Sweet Home track and field, winning the 300 hurdles and placing second in the 100 hurdles at the state championships Saturday, May 19, at Hayward Field at...

 By Scott Swanson    Sports    May 16, 2018

Keegan Holly signs letter to play football at Lewis and Clark

Keegan Holly signed a letter of intent Monday, May 14, in a ceremony in the Sweet Home High School Library, to play football at Lewis and Clark College. Holly is the fourth Sweet Home athlete this...

 By Scott Swanson    Sports    May 16, 2018

Boys 2nd in district track as Huskies make state in 11 events

Sweet Home's boys track team finished second, to Cottage Grove, Saturday, May 12, at the end of the Sky-Em District track championships as the Huskies qualified five individuals – three boys and two...


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