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One dead after shooting near Rose Villa apartments in Roseburg

One person is dead after a shooting near the Rose Villa Apartments on Northeast Stephens Street in Roseburg Thursday night, according to police.

Just before 7 p.m. police officers responded to the area after receiving multiple calls of shots fired in the area. Two Roseburg men — Terrence Wade Beason, 37, and Gregory Allen Bennett, 57 — were involved in the shooting, according to a press release. Both were flown to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland. Bennett eventually died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Beason’s condition is not known, according to Daniel Allen, a spokesman for the Roseburg Police Department. Allen said police believe the men knew each other.

Casandra Terra, a resident of the Rose Villa Apartments, had just pulled into her parking spot and was still in her car when she heard two sounds which she believed were firecrackers going off.

“I got out of my car and saw a young man walking toward the street limping and bleeding,” Terra said. “He says, ‘He shot me!’ and just kept walking, and his dad was following him on the scooter.”

Terra called 911 and entered her apartment when she heard a third gunshot.

A man who arrived on the scene moments after the shooting told The News-Review that when he got there, the man taken into custody had his hands in the air and a pistol on his hip. It was unclear at the time if that man had been involved.

Thai Thomas of Myrtle Creek described what he saw when he arrived in a parking lot across Northeast Stephens Street from the scene of the shooting.

“There was a guy walking away when the cops got him,” Thomas said. “He was just casually walking.”

Thomas described one victim lying in the grass next to another apparent victim on a motorized scooter. The victim on the scooter had a pistol in his hand, according to Thomas.

Glide Elementary School latest school garden to receive donation, lesson on biochar

GLIDE — Scott McKain of the Umpqua Biochar Education Team filled 28 five-gallon buckets with biochar on the sweltering Tuesday afternoon. The buckets were then hauled into the school garden by Glide Elementary School students.

Sixth grader Brix Madsen hauled most of the buckets to the garden, putting some biochar in the compost. Most of it went into storage.

Brix is one of several students who help in the garden at the school, which is open to students two lunch recesses a week.

“It’s where I get away and release stress,” Brix said.

In addition to hauling the buckets of biochar, he’d gotten a lot of experience in plumbing when fixing the water lines in the garden.

Mary Brown, who runs the Glide Elementary School Paw Patch said most of the students who help in the garden are younger, and when they get older they start realizing how much work is involved.

Brown tries to teach the students about gardening, soils, plants, composting and more. And recently the lessons have revolved around biochar.

A sign as students walked into the garden taught them about the four Ms of biochar: minerals, microbes, moisture, and micronize.

“Biochar is basically charcoal, and when you plant it in the ground it has a lot of chemicals in it that are beneficial to the environment,” sixth grader Rebecca Layton said. “It helps it grow faster, and not only that it also helps so that you don’t have to replant as much so you save more money.”

Don Morrison with the Umpqua Biochar Education Team said biochar is a byproduct of places like sawmills that take wood waste to make electricity.

Biochar will be mixed into the school’s compost to absorb nutrients, enhance fungal networks, raise the soil’s pH, store water and loosen heavy clay soil.

Morrison had been donating some of his private reserves of biochar to the school district, according to Brown.

“It’s super cool for us to have groups like UBET around who spread the information,” Brown said.

In total, the school received 150 gallons of biochar. No more than 10% of the school’s compost will be biochar to optimize the results.

Umpqua Biochar Education Team and Douglas County Global Warming Coalition bought a large amount of biochar to deliver to local schools. They received support from Douglas County Farmers Co-Op and Rogue Biochar.

Fremont students rally around band teacher Ross Hansen who was diagnosed with cancer

Grace Ipsen wanted to win her school’s fundraising challenge, not just because she wants to be principal for the day but also because she truly believes in the cause: Helping Fremont Middle School band teacher Ross Hansen as he battles colon cancer.

“At first it was to be principal for the day,” Grace said. “But I also had him as a sixth grade band teacher. Then, after a while, I didn’t really care about being principal anymore.”

Grace is an eighth grader at Fremont Middle School and poised to win the fundraising competition, as she raised more than $7,500 through a GoFundMe page by Thursday afternoon.

Hansen said he was overwhelmed by the support and was not expecting anything like this. Hansen recently finished his first six-round cycle of chemo, which has shown to be helping.

Fremont Middle School Principal Ben Bentea said Hansen has done an amazing job of connecting with his students, from introducing them to new instruments to getting them ready for high school.

“I think a lot of it just has to do with how well he connects with kids,” Bentea said. “Our band programs are probably the highest requested electives that we have on campus, so he’s done a really, really good job.”

Grace added, “He’s really patient. Even with all the sixth graders blaring their instruments as loud as they could, he would not get mad.”

Eighth grader Savannah Sanders never had Hansen as a teacher, but said that sometimes she’d stop by his classroom just to talk with him.

“He’s really kind. He always listens to what people have to say,” Savannah said. “Sometimes I would just go into his classroom and talk to him because he’s just like that really nice type of person.”

The Fremont Leadership class hosts a fundraiser each year. This year, Bentea made the suggestion that students raise money for Hansen and the students were eager to oblige.

Students have been going out in the community to raise money with prizes for the top fund-raiser and the grade that raises the most money. The goal is to raise $25,000. While the fundraiser ends Friday, the school district will continue to take donations and make sure they get to Hansen. Grace’s goal with the GoFundMe is to raise an additional $25,000.

Hansen hasn’t been at school recently, but keeps in touch — at least weekly — with Bentea and the substitute teacher who took over his class.

Bentea said he hopes to have Hansen back in the classroom in the fall. “I have him on the master schedule for next year,” he said.

In addition to having taught at the middle school for 16 years, Hansen is also an assistant professor at Umpqua Community College and a guitarist.

Grace said that she hoped to take beginning guitar lessons when she starts at the high school in the fall.

But first, she wants to have a pizza party for the students in the developmental learning center when she’s named principal for the day. She also wants to pick Savannah as her vice principal.

Grace also won the school’s fundraising contest when she was in sixth grade, raising money for veteran housing.

She raised about $1,000 then, but really ramped up her efforts this year by creating the webpage, talking to service organizations, businesses and media.

Grace’s mother, Catherine Barry, who is a dermatopathologist, explained how expensive chemotherapy and cancer treatment can be.

“You can burn through $5,000 in a day,” Barry said. “We tried to make as much money as we can for him. You don’t know what insurance will cover. Teachers have good insurance typically, but you just don’t know.”

Bentea said Hansen never asked for money, but “knowing how ridiculous the cost is for cancer treatment, I think anybody in a similar situation would probably appreciate the support.”

Grace said her mother’s explanation of what cancer treatment is like made her feel bad and scared for her teacher.

“I was scared for him because he’s a great teacher and I didn’t want anything bad to happen to him,” Grace said. “He would always wave at people in the halls and he’d always be nice even to the mean kids at our school that would goof off in his class and just didn’t care. He still respected everyone.”