Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
October 3, 2012     The New Era Paper
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October 3, 2012

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Hometown Newspa :)er of Mike DeChellis Serving the Sweet Home community since 1929 Wednesday, October 3, 2012 Vol. 83, No. 40 75 Cents I II Northside Drive resident forced to put animal down By Sean C. Morgan Of The New Era A cougar attacked a horse off Northside Drive Sunday morning in broad daylight, severely wounding the horse, which had to be put down. U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Specialist and trapper Jim Schacht said he believes that the cougar probably startled the horse, which panicked and ran, triggering the cat's instinct to chase and attack. Owner Robert Day said he was keeping the horse near his house, in the 1000 block of Northside Drive, where See Cougar, page 8 Photo by Sean C. Morgan Robert Day holds up papers showing a photo of Cash, his paint horse that was severely wounded by a cougar Sunday morning off Northside Drive. pol nab suspect in local burglaries The Sweet Home Police Department has arrested a suspect in a recent series of residential burglaries. Police arrested Gabriel Frank Graji01a, 29, at 8:41 p.m. on Sunday at 1102 Nandina St. on two counts of first-degree burglary and one count of first-degree attempted theft. Grajiola is a suspect in four burglaries inside the city limits and at least one outside the city limits, said SHPD Det. Cyndi Pichardo. He also is a suspect in a case of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle. Items stolen in the Grajiola burglaries include firearms, electronics and personal identification, Pichardo said. The burglaries occurred in July, August and September. Police located Grajiola based on information they received from a member of the public, Pichardo said. - From staff reports Fire officials say no sign of end to fire season By Sean C. Morgan Of The New Era A little moisture the past couple of weeks didn't go far toward closing down fire season. The Sweet Home area has been more than 100 days without significant rain, said Craig Pettinger, Oregon Department of Forestry Sweet Home Unit forester. Anything less than a quarter inch is not considered significant. The ODF South Cascades District, of which Sweet Home Unit is a part, is investigating the cause of an 18-acre fire, the Buck Mountain Fire, off Brush Creek Road just across the Lane County Line south of Crawfordsville. The fire was reported at about 8:15 p.m. on Thursday night. The Sweet Home Unit is up to 48 or 49 fire calls this season, Pettinger said. A couple of them have been caused by target shooting, while most are abandoned campfires. The U.S. Forest Service Sweet Home See Fire, page 3 .lsance taws By Sean C. Morgan Of The New Era The Sweet Home City Council held the first reading of an ordinance Sept. 25 that will require property owners to meet new standards for property deemed vacant and blighted or face sanctions under the public nuisance ordinance. The proposed ordinance applies to buildings that are not in use and are in disre- pair, unsecured and open to the weather. The ordinance would affect properties that have been vacant after at least three months unless they have an active building permit. To be affected, the properties also must be in disrepair. The ordinance also would require that boards used to secure a building be painted the same color as the main color of the building. Temporary pro- tection of the property from the weather is permitted for 90 dayL Failure to meet the requirements of the ordinance could result in a fine of up to $500 per day. The city also may abate a blighted structure, with a lien placed on the property. The council also took public comment on the proposed ordinance. "I kind of feel like a lot of this ordi- nance is overly broad." said Bruce Hobbs, who is a candidate for the City Council in the November election. He said he understands the concerns that brought the ordinance proposal before the council, but property addressed by the ordinance still belongs to someone. Hobbs told the council he was con- cerned about the definitions of building as obsolete and dilapidated or who determines whether the design is defective or the qual- ity of construction. See Council, page 7 Samaritan Local medicine on cutting edge of innovation By Scott Swanson Of The New Era East Linn County is on the cut- ting edge of new advances in the way medicine is done, Samaritan Health Services CEO Dr. Larry Mul- lins told a Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce dinner forum Wednes- day, Sept. 26. Speaking to a crowd of about 30 chamber members and visitors at the Police Services Building, Mul- lins'outlined some of the changes and challenges facing the medical industry, particularly those brought about in the state of Oregon by the statewide effort to reform health care that went into effe.ct Aug. 1. Mullins called the changes in health care at the federal and state level "confusing." He said they will result in changes in how health care is pro- vided. "We're changing the delivery model to make sure you have access to care," he said. "This is not the old Good Sam Hospital." He said those changes are driv- en by both economics and govern- ment mandates. Before the recession set in, Sa- maritan Health - with hospitals in Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon, New- port and Lincoln City, together with dozens of affiliated physician clin- ics, several health plans and a senior care facility - employed some 5,000 Photo by Scott Swanson Samaritan Health Services CEO Larry Mullins shows and Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital CEO Becky Pape show a chart of the de- velopment of the new medical campus across Highway 20from SLCH. people and had an annual budget of about $1 billion, of which approxi- mately $650 million were operating expenses. Mullins said those ex- penses have dropped to about $550 million in the last several years. "We have to reduce costs to match up to the dollars coming in," he said. Those efforts have included centralization of some services, which might be offered at one or two locations in Samaritan's system, in- stead of all five hospitals. Also, he said, Samaritan is changing some of the ways it of- fers its services, including increased See Mullins, page 12 t3