Dinners Given to Military Families

Military ThanksgivingEUGENE, Ore. — One hundred military families got thanksgiving meals this Wednesday morning at an Albertsons in Eugene. The store on 18th Ave. donated the money from its Turkey Bucks campaign to support those who serve America and the loved ones they leave behind.

Sandy Giles’s husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan for the holiday season and their 25th anniversary, which is in December. While Giles will have to celebrate without him, she says she’s glad she won’t feel so alone now.

“It’s real comforting you know, because he’s not here. So, it’s nice to get together with people who realize what’s going on and it’s just an honor, really an honor to be here and be recognized for being military,” says Giles.

Each meal included a turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and sparkling cider.

Sheldon Grad Receives Special Gift

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EUGENE, Ore — A Sheldon High School senior gets the gift of a lifetime, her dad watched her graduate from half a world away.

It’s a proud moment for any parent and it only happens once on graduation day.

There’s no place a parent would rather be, watching their child cross the stage.

But for one dad seeing his daughter graduate from Sheldon, meant he wouldn’t get to sit in the Hult Center along side other dads.

But he still got a front row seat.

“It was really emotional, I mean I kind of just thought you know that it wouldn’t be possible,” said Cpt. Stephen Chizum.

Thousands of miles away a bond between a father and daughter can’t be broken.

Cpt. Chizum is serving overseas in Afghanistan and knew he had to see his daughter Marissa graduate.

So instead of being there in person he did the next best thing — he skyped in for the ceremony.

“A great gift, and I’m very proud of my daughter. I’m really excited that she’s going on to college,” said Cpt. Stephen Chizum.

“There were so many times that I wish that my dad could be there over the years. And the fact that he could be here for this part, this really big monument of my life — it’s a miracle,” said Marissa Chizum.

A special moment between the two as they live worlds apart.

Although they can’t embrace in a warm hug, technology brings them within inches of each other.

“It’s a lot better than having to not see him for a whole year,” said Marissa Chizum.

“It’s just difficult but, I’m proud of her and I’m glad we get to share this moment together,” said Cpt. Stephen Chizum.


Banners to Honor Active Military Members

CRESWELLCRESWELL, Ore. — If it weren’t for the light poles on Main Street, the heart of Creswell wouldn’t shine very bright at night.

In this close-knit town where each face is not only unique but familiar, the community wants some to fly high.

“We have a real strong sense of community here and we have a lot of kids that have chosen to serve their country, that have chosen to do things that you and I don’t, and that are putting their lives on the line everyday for us,” said Adam Pelatt, Creswell City Councilor.

Pelatt says a community member brought up the idea of hanging banners along Main Street with pictures of active military members, which Pelatt then brought forward to the council, which approved the plan.

“The fact that this community has not just said, ‘Yeah, we like it’ but they’re excited about it and unanimously supporting it. That speaks volumes about the character of this town,” Pelatt said.

And that enthusiasm has carried over to local business who have taken the financial burden off of tax payers.

“We’re always out to support the troops. I’m a veteran myself, so anything we can do to show our support in the community and make community awareness a little higher for our troops is always a good thing,” said Raye Gunther, Emerald Valley Armory owner.

“I’m always looking to get involved and my mother was in the Air Force; she did 20 years so I’m always looking to support,” said Adrianne Lewis, Hot Shots Coffee owner.

“I think every single business person I’ve approached to sponsor a banner, everyone one of them has said absolutely. They’d be thrilled,” Pelatt said.

Together this small town looks to shine its lights on the heroes that line the heart of Creswell.

“We want to make sure that these service members know that even when it’s challenging out there, that when they come home, we as a community honor them and support them,” Pelatt said.

Pelatt says there are 15 light poles that can hold the banners, and so far it looks like they’re on track to fill all of them. The banners are set to go up in the next few months. If you’d like to have a service member on a banner, you can email Pelatt at [email protected].

Women Veterans Conference in Eugene

WOMEN MILITARY CONFERENCEEUGENE, Ore. — Set-up is under way for the seventh bi-annual Oregon Women Veterans Conference in Eugene.

The event begins Friday, March 28 at the Eugene Hilton and lasts through Saturday.

Event organizers say they’re expecting 370 female vets to attend from all over the state of Oregon.

The conference features workshops on employment, benefits, health and wellness and military sexual trauma.

Organizers say it’s important for women veterans to share their stories.

“Getting together with other women who might’ve had those experiences can be very healthy for them and help them work through some of the struggles they might have so that they can continue to strive,” said Renee French, Oregon Women Vets Coordinator.

It’s estimated Oregon has more than 28,000 women veterans.

September 30 – Morning Headlines

EPD faces first student lawsuit - College is back in session.


  • Multiple Vehicle Accident At 2:16 this morning on I-5 southbound at milepost 195: MOTORCYCLE VS SEMI. RIDER DOWN. The motorcycle rider hit the rear of the semi.
  • Multiple Vehicle Accident at 2:28 this morning at Territorial Hwy and Hwy 126 in Veneta, Life Flight was called to the scene.  Update to follow.
  • Photos: Hazmat spill downtown
    A haz-mat spill in downtown Eugene prompted Lane Community College to cancel classes.
  • UO law student alleges excessive force by Eugene police
    A University of Oregon law student contends in a newly filed federal lawsuit that a Eugene police officer used excessive force and illegally entered his home to arrest him without a warrant after police arrived at his west university neighborhood resid…
  • Report: Crime Increasing in Downtown Eugene
    Crime is going up in parts of downtown Eugene   Eugene police say there’s been a spike in property crime near West 7th and West 11th avenues.   The latest report shows more auto break-ins and car thefts there than last month.   …
  • EPA Regulations Would Affect Wood Chip Burning
    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering new regulations that could have a huge impact on the timber industry.   If passed, the rules would classify certain leftover wood chips as a waste product.  That would requir…
  • Man jailed in Eugene bank robbery case
    A Eugene man is being held in the Lane County Jail after police arrested him in connection with last Friday’s robbery of a Key Bank branch at 1980 River Road in north Eugene. Daniel Blake Bigelow made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in …
  • Just the lights — for now — coming down at Civic Stadium
    Heads up, Civic Stadium fans. Part of the historic structure in south Eugene is about to come down. But people wanting to preserve the wooden stadium need not worry, at least not yet. Demolition crews in the next week or two could remove the pair of li…
  • Feds give Eugene woman free pot
    A Eugene woman gets free pot from the federal government because of her glaucoma. She’s one of four in the country.
  • Many find military presence at UO is welcomed
    On a campus famous for its patchwork student body comprised of environmentally conscious green activists and tie-dye-loving peaceniks, camouflage is finding its place in the quilt. Out of more than 8,000 schools surveyed for “military friendliness”…

Tim Chuey Weather:

Enjoy the sunshine and warmth today because it will go away as the weekend gets underway.

High: 77  Low: 50  Chance of Rain: slight

A  ridge of high pressure (“Arch” shape on orange line) has taken over for one more day keeping us warmer . A frontal system will come in today along with a new trough of low pressure to return increasing chances of precipitation.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: A mix of clouds and sun today, mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers late tonight and Saturday AM, a (40%) chance of showers Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, a mix of clouds and sun in the AM, a slight (20%) chance of rain Sunday afternoon, then mostly cloudy with a good (50%) chance of rain Sunday night highs 77-69 lows near 50. Mostly cloudy with a (30%) chance of rain Monday AM, rain likely (60%) in the afternoon, rain Monday night through Wednesday, rain likely (60%) Wednesday evening, then showers likely (60%) late Wednesday night and Thursday highs 68-56 lows 52-48. (seasonal averages high 72 low 44)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather:

Which Winery Will Wine Down Your Memorial Weekend?



Benton-Lane Winery

Memorial Day Weekend Winery Open Houses
May 28th, 29th, & 30th

Blue skies and warm days are on their way, and local wineries will be swinging their doors open for one of the South Willamette Valley’s highly anticipated and most celebrated 3 day wine events: Memorial Day Weekend Winery Open Houses. It’s the official kick-off to the summer season at the wineries; featuring, special releases, barrel tastings, live music, artisan treats and an endless flow of their locally, hand crafted wine- from Pinot Noir and Petit Syrah to Huxelrebe and Sweet Rosé. Each winery entices us to head their way for a number of reasons, so here’s a list of what they’ll be indulging us with this 2011 Memorial Day Weekend:

Benton-Lane Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 11a-5p. $10 admission includes logo glass and gourmet tapas. Live music with Jerome Monaco Saturday and Sunday- 12:30-4:30p. Gourmet Pizza Tapas on Monday. Also hosting the new Ebony Wines-grown in Oregon’s rockiest vineyards!

Brigadoon Wine Company: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11a-4p. Enjoy a Pinot-Picnic in the Park. Bring a lunch, chairs or a blanket & sample the Shown families 3 delicious Pinot’s while relaxing in a beautiful park-like setting at the Brigadoon Wine Co. property. FREE admission

Chateau Lorane's Lake Louise

Chateau Lorane: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11:30a-5:30p. $10 admission includes logo glass (free under 21). Taste over 20 different wines, live music, art festival, delicious food available for purchase provided by Flavors Catering. All this on the shores of the beautiful Lake Louise! Rain or Shine.

Domaine Meriwether: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11a-4p. $10 fee for 4 tastes of wine and a plate of food. Live music

Capitello Wines will be featured at Domaine Meriwether!

Iris Vineyards: Open Saturday, Sunday, Monday 11a-5p. Free wine tasting all 3 days! 25% discount on case purchases, including mixed cases.

King Estate: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday. New releases & restaurant open daily for lunch and dinner.

The deck at LaVelle Vineyards

LaVelle Vineyards: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday, enjoy live performances by the 5 piece band-‘Concrete Loveseat’ on Sunday and Monday. Delectable food will be catered by Field to Table.

Noble Estate Vineyard & Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 12-5p, live acoustic music Saturday & Sunday. $5 tasting fee which includes 6 wines- fee waived with a bottle purchase.

Pfeiffer Winery: Open Wednesday – Monday 11a-5p, offering Italian Chocolates & appetizer’s with wine tasting. Private Pinot Clinics will be held in the Grotto every 90 minutes. Owners Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer will be your guides with barrel tasting of their 2010 Pinot Noir Futures and official release of the highly anticipated 2008 Blue Dot Pinot Noir Reserve. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy their water garden falls and streams.

RainSong Vineyard: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 12-5p. Featuring new releases, 20% case discounts, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and barrel tasting! Admission is FREE.

The tasting room red barn at Saginaw Vineyard

Saginaw Vineyard: Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11a-5p, but open late Friday for live music with Timothy Patrick 6p-9p

Silvan Ridge Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 12-6p wine tasting, live music, sales on wine; Sat. 2-5p “The Valley Boys” Live; Sun. 2-5p “Just Say Yes” Live; Mon. 2-5p “Apropos” Live. FREE admission

Sarver Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday, Monday 12-8p, complimentary tastings paired with cheese and chocolate.

Sweet Cheeks Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday, Monday from 12-6p, Live Music by “Taste”, food available for purchase, wine specials, and an art festival. New vintages of Rosy Cheeks and Riesling will be available & admission is free

Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company: Friday 6-9p live music; Saturday 3-9p live music starts at 6p; Sunday 3-7p; $7 tasting fee for flight of 7 wines. Light snacks.

Opine Cellars wines will also be available to sample at Territorial.

We are truly blessed to be in the midst of these unparalleled wineries of the South Willamette Valley. Thanks to the efforts and hard work of all the people involved in meticulously planning these fun-filled Memorial Day Weekend events, there will be loads of fun to be had by all.

But, know this: Before I blow off the dust from my flip flops and sun-glasses, and unpack the boxes that have housed my favorite t-shirts and shorts for the last 8 months, I’ll take a moment to remember those who have fallen in battle fulfilling their obligation to the great country in which I live. The freedoms that I enjoy everyday are protected and ensured by men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect my country and what it stands for.  After a moment of silence and heartfelt gratitude so deserving of our military, I’ll be ready to swirl, sip, and savor all that our stellar local wineries have to offer, and I will raise a glass to our American heroes.

Cheers to my Dad, my hero: Lt. Col. Maurice H. Leiser, 1954 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Dedicated to God, his beloved family, and the United States Army–he is forever in my heart. 1931-2009.

Julia – Writing about Eugene’s Wine Scene

May 4 – Evening Update


Here are this evenings local headlines:
We’ve had some questions about why we didn’t add this headline or that headline. If it isn’t Lane County, we generally don’t publish it. If its a non-story: “So and so is considering what might happen if, and what they would do then…” – sorry, not included. We may include a headline or link to a story about a specific individual in our area; if you have a story you think needs to be told, we’d like to know about it. –ed.

Tim Chuey: Mostly clear this evening, partly cloudy at night, a mix of clouds and sun Thursday. Set your alarm for early and get out to see the planets while the skies are clear.

1 opening for every 6 job seekers in Lane County
Getting a job in Lane County isn’t impossible, but experts at the Employment Department won’t lie: it isn’t easy.

Oregon House votes to expand bottle deposit system
The Oregon House has voted to expand the bottle deposit system to cover energy drinks, tea bottles and most other beverage containers.

Cabela’s opening will bring traffic challenges
Cabela’s expects thousands to attend Thursday night’s grand opening at Gateway Mall. That’s why they are working with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Springfield police.

Collection of income tax at issue
Terri Williams, the head of the city of Portland’s Revenue Bureau, isn’t being coy when she says she doesn’t know how much it would cost her department to administer Eugene’s proposed income tax for schools.

Before and after… derelict military artifact now restored museum exhibit
More than six years after it left Creswell, a derelict piece of former Air Force equipment at Creswell’s “Hobby Field” Airport has been restored to become a valued display at the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.

Spring Street Fair kicks off with great weather
Hundreds gathered on the first day of the fair to listen to music, eat food and enjoy the warm weather. EUGENE (KMTR) – The 2011 University of Oregon Spring Street Faire is underway and will run until Saturday.

Creswell School District wraps up superintendent candidate interviews
Both finalists for Creswell School District’s superintendent position have completed their final interviews, leaving the hardest part of the task, the decision of whom to hire.

Springfield Students Compete in Aircar Competition
Students from three Springfield middle schools will test their car building skills Wednesday in the seventh annual Aircar Competition.

Lane County Releases Cold Case Playing Cards
LANE COUNTY, Ore. — The Lane County Sheriff’s Department hopes a deck of playing cards will help investigators find information on unsolved homicide and missing persons cases.

A restored HH-43 fire fighting package

Not Just Another Football Game For The Ducks


Not Just Another Game
– Sam Finley EDN

46k fans turned out for a preview of what's coming this season.

It didn’t determine much as far as how the Ducks will do in the fall, but this year’s Oregon spring football game was one of the most spirited in recent memory.  A record crowd of 43,468 fans showed up at Autzen Stadium on Saturday to view an event that was probably more emotional for the events between the plays than during the action.

The Ducks saluted members of the U.S. military for the second consecutive year with ceremonies before kickoff, during halftime, and after the game.  They also honored the recent death of Eugene Police officer Chris Kilcullen, by providing a special jersey bearing his badge number 248 to members of his family. According to coaches and players, moments like these put certain things like football in perspective.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable,” explained head coach Chip Kelly. “It’s not just about our football program, and they weren’t just here for the game.  They came to honor the troops as well as to honor the memory of officer Kilcullen.  It was a chance to say ‘thank you’ to the people who make the ultimate sacrifice for the rest of us on a daily basis.”

Officer Chris Kilcullen was honored with a ceremony at halftime

“It was an eye-opener for a lot of us,” said junior quarterback Darron Thomas. “It’s all about caring about one another and helping out one another. Today was all about putting a smile on our soldiers’ faces. It was certainly a big joy for me.”

As for the actual game itself, the green team defeated the white team 16-0 in a game where the offensive output on both sides was sparse.  Junior running back LaMichael James scored the game’s only touchdown with a 68 yard run early in the first quarter.

“It was just great blocking from the offensive line,” said the potential Heisman trophy contender about the score. “They blocked well and all I had to do was run.”

Another offensive spark came from incoming freshman tight end Colt Lyerla.  He caught three passes from Thomas for 36 yards. Not a bad performance considering that over a month ago, he was attending Hilsboro High School. The 6’5, 225-pound newcomer believed his decision to graduate early to practice this spring was worth it.

“I definitely got a taste of what it’s going to be like,” explained Lyerla about his spring. “It’s been tough learning the offensive schemes, but it’s definitely a work in progress.”

Junior Lamichael James made the only score of the game

Otherwise, the defense on both the green and white squads dominated the day. There were several hard-hitting plays, as the normally high octane offensive players were held in check by defensive end Dion Jordan, who had two sacks, as well as some hard-hitting tackles from linebackers like Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay. As the spring comes to a close, Clay believes that there is plenty of talent on the squad ready to replace defensive leaders such as Casey Matthews, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend.

“Casey had an awesome football IQ,” claimed Clay.  “But I think we all know bits and pieces, and if we put it together, then we know a lot.  For that reason, I think we’ll be just fine.”

Indeed, when fall camp opens in August, the Ducks will have a month to prepare for their season opener.  They’ll start in Dallas, Texas against LSU.  It won’t be an easy first one, but it’ll certainly determine if they will once again contend for a national title.

“We’ll have to put our man pants on for that one,” said defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti.

Yet the Ducks don’t seem to be sweating the opening game, and are eager to apply any lessons learned this spring over the summer.

“We just have to keep improving as a team,” explained senior tight end David Paulson. “I like how we progressed in the past couple of weeks.  Now we just have to get focused on getting stronger in the weight room and get ready for fall.”

“I really happy with how the spring went and I’m looking forward to the summer,” said LaMichael James. “They say defense wins championships and offense wins games.  Well, I think we have one of the best defenses in the country and our offense will be ready to go.”

EDN is pleased to welcome sports writer Sam Finley to the team.

March 20 – Weekend Update


Did you catch our waning gibbous supermoon last night? Me either. Here is the Sunday morning weekend update:

Tim Chuey Weather
Shower chances increase again. It’s time for the Springtime warmer temperatures, but where are they?
Harry & David sued over contract issue involving call centers
An Ohio company contracted by Harry & David to provide call center services has filed a nearly $10 million lawsuit after the financially troubled Medford company abruptly severed their relationship last month
Eugene business challenges community to raise money for Japan
A Eugene paint business, Forrest Paint Company, is stepping up to help Japan, while encouraging and challenging other local business and groups to do the same.
Peace march moves through downtown Eugene on 8th anniversary of Iraq invasion
A loud, visible reminder, and a push for peace in downtown Eugene on Saturday, the 8th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War. — wonder if they are planning one for the Libyan war. -ed.
Tillamook Cheese Factory pauses amid E. Coli concerns
The Tillamook Cheese Factory halted production and stopped serving food Friday and Saturday after fecal coliform and E. coli bacteria were found in the local water supply.
Testing finds no health threat along West Coast
Federal and state officials say testing indicates there are no health threats along the West Coast from radioactivity spewing from Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors.
Bank robbery suspect sought for two heists
Eugene police are looking for a man they believe robbed a U.S. Bank branch not just once, but twice this week. Officers responded to a bank robbery at the U.S. Bank at 1400 Highway 99N at 4:36 p.m. Friday
Bill aims to protect custody rights
Lawmakers are considering a bill that would help protect the custody rights of Oregonians who serve in the armed forces.