From Our Files (Sept. 7, 2022)

Sept. 7, 1972

Vern and Gladys Topp were Sunnyside Park’s first campers when it opened this weekend, but they had to move locations when their neighbors kept them awake most the night and hit their “home” with airborne knives intended to land on a tree.

Otherwise, the park’s opening was quiet and without fanfare, but those who used the facilities over the holiday weekend were enthusiastic in their praise of the area.

Visitors appreciated the “islands” of picnic tables, the paved walkway that was likened to a short nature walk, and the wild blackberries growing along the banks. Wayne Tabler, who used to live in the area, camped at Sunnyside with friends and said the three-lane boat ramp is one of the best in the state.

The City of Sweet Home is considering annexing Foster into the city, spurred by pressure from the Department of Environmental Quality, the State Board of Health and the Linn County government, which insist the areas install new water and sewer systems.

The DEQ informed the city it must begin immediate plans for a new sewer plant to be complete by the end of 1973 or face denial of any new building permits.

The sewage plant is 25 years old and at capacity, and the DEQ will not allow more hookups. The city was already planning construction of a sewer plant, but wanted more time before beginning, with hopes Foster residents would join the city for such services.

City Manager Mike Gleason set up informational meetings to combat rumors of a conspiracy to force people into the city.

An annexation election is slated for November.

The former Quartzville Guard Station, valued at about $10,000, has been transferred free of charge to the City of Sweet Home for recreational use under a program called “Legacy of Parks.”

The property, consisting of three acres and several buildings, about 30 miles from Sweet Home, above Green Peter Dam, was declared surplus to the federal government. City officials said the land will be used for picnicking, swimming, gold panning, camping, hiking and day camping for under-privileged children.

Thirty chosen primary and intermediate teachers in Linn and Benton counties will be part of a study called “micro-teaching,” which involves running videotape close-ups of each instructor at work with up to four kids so that facial and bodily expressions and voice communicate clearly. The teachers will have already completed a course through the Systems Approach to Behavior in Reading Education (SABRE). The opportunity to record themselves while instructing kids who fell short in performance is intended to help advance the teachers’ ability to help youngsters learn to read better.

Sept. 3, 1997

City officials are considering ideas on how to address problems with youths and criminal activity at Sankey Park.

The park caretaker had left his position partially due to the difficulties with vandalism and other criminal mischief.

Councilwoman Mona Waibel said at a City Council meeting that the park caretakers are supposed to be there for care-taking, not security.

Data indicates problems at the park increased in the past two years. There were 73 calls in 1994, 52 calls in 1995 and 55 in 1996, but this year (to date) there have been 69 calls.

Vandalism, graffiti, littering and inappropriate behavior are among the complaints, but the youths are said to have refused to stop their activity.

Linn County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the death of a person whose body was found in a remote area of the Willamette National Forest northeast of Sweet Home.

A hunter found the body in a 1984 Ford Bronco about 10 miles above Quartzville in brush just off the edge of a logging landing. The Bronco suffered extensive burn damage and the body inside was burned beyond recognition.

The car is registered to a man in Salem who was reported missing a week earlier.

Police took 13-year-old Doug Hile into custody following the second incident involving firing a BB gun in a week.

An eyewitness said she saw Hile on the roof of a garage and firing at a residences. He was charged with two counts of endangering another person. Hile has other charges of fourth-degree assault, recklessly endangering another person and violating city ordinances for a separate incident involving another BB gun that was confiscated.

It is alleged he shot at 12-year-old Daniel Steiger, grazing him in the cheek before hitting him in the leg.