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Family
Where to find Memorial Day events around Douglas County

Below are a list of Memorial Day events held around the county:

  • The Canyonville annual Veterans Remembrance Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at the VFW Veterans Memorial, located in front of Canyonville City Hall. The event includes speakers, patriotic music and refreshments.
  • The Glide Veterans Memorial at the Glide Community Center, 20062 N. Umpqua Highway, will host the annual Glide event at 11 a.m. Monday and will features a special recognition of the Korean War, a wreath laying ceremony, and the playing of taps. Guest speaker will be 1st Sgt (Ret.) Jim Barnett, USMC.
  • The Myrtle Creek Memorial Day Breakfast, hosted by the American Legion Fallin Post No. 123, will be held 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, 252 S. Old Pacific Highway. Breakfast is free for veterans, with contributions accepted from others. Members of Post No. 123 will also place nearly 200 flags throughout the south county community.
  • Reedsport Memorial Weekend begins Sunday with the 2019 Memorial Day Parade, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The parade will begin at Highland Elementary School on Longwood Drive, travel south to 10th Street, then Winchester Avenue, and end at the War Memorial at Hahn Park. A War Memorial Service at Hahn Park will be follow the parade.
  • A “Meet, Greet and Honor Veterans” reception will be held 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday in the lobby of the Pacific Auditorium at the Reedsport Community Charter School. Afterwards, there will be a Veteran’s Dinner at the Presbyterian Church — conveniently located next door. Veterans eat free, donations accepted from all others.
  • The celebration will end with the annual Patriotic Concert at 7 p.m. back at Pacific Auditorium. Amateur and professional musicians will present a varied program of traditional and modern patriotic music. The event is free for all.
  • Roseburg will host its annual Memorial Day Tribute and Picnic on Monday. The Tribute begins at 11 a.m. at the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex on the Roseburg VA Medical Center campus and will include a ceremonial laying of wreaths, music and speakers. A picnic will follow the ceremony at Stewart Park Pavillion. American Legion Post No. 16 will host the event, which is free for all veterans and their families. Donations are also accepted.

Education
Sutherlin Middle School teacher named Douglas’ Regional Teacher of the Year

SUTHERLIN — Even with an impressive resume that includes easily two decades of teaching under her belt and known for her dedication to her students at Sutherlin Middle School, the 2020 Douglas’ Regional Teacher of the Year is still quick to deflect attention from herself.

“It’s super humbling. It’s a nice honor,” said Sutherlin Middle School teacher Janel Sorenson. “I’ve said this almost every single time but nobody does their job in a vacuum. I work in a really great school with really great people. I’ve got good administration, our school board is super supportive, I like to come to work and we like to do what we do.

“I can shine and get this award, but it really is a reflection of all of the people that I work with, all the way down to the custodians who love the kids as much as I love the kids. It’s a group effort.”

Although Sorenson sees the award as a result of team effort, others recognize the hard work Sorenson herself has contributed.

“She is often concerned about the social emotional well-being of the Sutherlin Middle School students and fellow staff members,” Sutherlin Middle School Principal Jon Martz said in a press release. “Janel wears many hats within our school district and it is always amazing how she is able to find a balance between teaching science/robotics full time, working on many different school-wide committees, and volunteering within the community. Janel is a standout teacher because of her sheer dedication to students!”

Regional teachers of the year are nominated by students, colleagues, administrators, friends and family members. Douglas Education Service District then organized a selection panel, which included educators from around the Douglas County, to choose the winner from the pool of nominees. It was this panel that chose Sorenson for the award.

Sorenson has been teaching for 18 years, though she says it would be closer to 27 if she had not taken time off to raise her children. She grew up in Cave Junction before attending Western Oregon University. She taught in the Portland area before Sorenson and her husband decided to move to Sutherlin.

“We wanted to raise our kids in a small town. My daughter was a year old and we could live down here cheaper and we loved the river, so we moved to Sutherlin. We’ve been in Sutherlin for 20 years,” Sorenson said.

Sorenson currently teaches science, robotics and coding at Sutherlin Middle School, though she has taught every elementary and middle school level except first grade. When she isn’t teaching or raising her kids, she is active in her community.

“I say yes way too often. I sit as the teacher representative on the middle school PTO and I’m the team leader for my team. Just, ya know, anywhere there is something going on I tend to help get it done. I also am really involved in the community, I’m on a couple of nonprofit and advisory boards,” Sorenson said. “When you live some place for 20 years and its a small town, you kinda have a cog in every wheel and that certainly describes my husband and I.”

Sorenson says her biggest challenge is seeing kids that need help that she cannot assist.

“For me personally, the part that I struggle with the most is not having the resources to help the kids that need it the most. The kids that are coming with mental illness — and you can spot it really easily — or such family trauma that they are not able to learn. And we know that they need help and we know that there is stuff that should be being done for those kids,” Sorenson said. “I wasn’t trained in any of those specialized skills, so I can teach you science and I can see that you are hurting but if I don’t have the resources to refer you to a mental health specialist or to get your family help, that is probably the hardest part.”

Along with recognition for her work, Sorenson will receive a $500 cash prize and is in the running for Oregon’s 2020 Teacher of the Year.

“I really believe in kids and that they need a lot of opportunity and support,” Sorenson said. “If it involves kids or health in the community, I usually throw in my hat.”


Crime
Curtin man arrested after shooting at girlfriend

A Curtin man was arrested Thursday after allegedly shooting at his girlfriend inside a home and in the presence of a small child, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, deputies responded to a report of a domestic dispute that occurred in the 1000 block of Bear Creek Road, Curtin earlier that day.

The initial report was that 43-year-old Gregory Wayne Ferguson had fired at his girlfriend, but that she, and the small child, were able to get out unharmed.

Deputies attempted to contact Ferguson, but weren’t able to contact the man until Thursday morning.

Deputies obtained a search warrant for the house and found a “substantial quantity of methamphetamine and other suspected controlled substances,” said Sgt. Nick Hansen.

Ferguson was arrested on suspicion of unlawful use of a weapon, menacing, pointing a firearm at another, recklessly endangering another person and methamphetamine possession, methamphetamine manufacture and methamphetamine delivery.