From Our Files (Oct. 6, 2021)

Oct. 7, 1971

White’s Electronics initiated a four-day workweek, a move that had been in discussion for a year following a poll of employees. The four-day workweek is optional, but most employees have opted to do so.

With Fridays off, women (who make up more than 75 percent of the work force) are able to schedule appointments, and complete shopping and chores on Friday, leaving two remaining days to focus on family activities. It also makes one less day of babysitting costs.

Wallace Wilson, a log truck driver from Dallas, escaped with only a bruised foot and possible minor internal injuries when his loaded truck overturned on Highway 20 about four miles above Cascadia. He was driving for Wilmer Logging Co. of Albany.

Witnesses said his load shifted as he approached a turn, and the truck and trailer rolled completely over, dumping the load nearly 100 feet into the South Santiam River and pinning the driver in the cab.

A load of logs spilled onto Highway 20, near the truck scales. Driver Duane Wesley Rouse, of Albany, said the dual tires of his tractor-trailer went into the gravel when he swerved to avoid a pickup camper which crossed over the center line while coming toward him on a curve.

When the wheels struck the gravel, the trailer jerked from the tractor and spilled the logs.

State police captured Charles Edward Evans, an escapee from Oregon State Penitentiary, in Sweet Home. He was staying in a local residence, and had a pistol in his possession when he was taken into custody.

Evans was reported missing from the penitentiary on Aug. 1, and is the second escapee to be captured in Sweet Home this month.

The Sweet Home Solid Waste Station, a controversial dump site near the south end of Pleasant Valley Bridge, served its 1,000th patron this week.

The dump station serves about 20 customers a day. People living outside the city limits account for 85 percent of the 100 patrons.

Voters in all parts of the Sweet Home District gave a decisive “no” vote to the proposed $2.6 million bond issue to remodel and enlarge the Sweet Home High School.

Oct. 2, 1996

Ground was broken for the Wiley Creek Community assisted living facility this week.

Two phases of the $5 million project are planned. The first phase includes a 42-apartment assisted living facility; completion is expected next summer. The second phase calls for 12 to 20 independent living apartments. Construction for those is planned to begin next summer, and is expected to finish by the end of the year.

The founders of Sweet Home’s largest homegrown industry were honored when a new park was dedicated in their name by the city and volunteers.

Kenneth and Olive White moved to Sweet Home in 1943, and owned and operated White’s Furniture and radio repair shop.

Skilled in electronics and interested in geology, Kenneth produced the first White’s geiger counter in the 1950s, launching White’s Electronics. In the 1960s, the metal detector business accelerated.

Kenneth passed away in 1991.

Recently, Mona and Bob Waibel developed the concept of a park where Pleasant Valley Bridge crosses the Santiam River. The spot had become a popular fishing location, which soon alerted the attention of the traffic safety committee.

The land was owned by the Whites, and Kenny White welcomed the idea of a park as a memorial to his parents. Brush and blackberries made way for parking and a scenic view of the river.

The Sweet Home Library will connect to the Internet, possibly as early as November, using a grant through the Oregon State Library. The grant provided the library with an IBM-compatible Pentium 130, monitor, laser printer, modem and software necessary to access the Internet.

The library is required to advertise its free access to the Internet, provide table and chairs, train the public in Internet searching, and track Internet use during the 12 months of the project. The state will pay for Internet access and connection for one year, but limits usage to 120 hours a month.