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Sutherlin police arrest man suspected of kidnapping, attempted car-jacking

Sutherlin police arrested a man on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping and violating a restraining order after a 12-hour ordeal which began in Fife, Washington, Friday night.

Demetrius Damien McCain, 41, who also goes by Nathaniel Charles Edward McCain, is suspected of taking a woman from her motel room in Fife around 9 p.m. Friday and driving her to Oregon despite a standing restraining order the woman had against McCain, according to court documents.

McCain got the woman to leave her motel room by telling her he would take her to her favorite hamburger restaurant. But McCain drove past the restaurant and then said he was taking the woman to Muckleshoot Casino Resort in Auburn, Washington.

McCain drove the victim between Portland and Lebanon, detouring to Mount Hood, before heading south and stopping at a gas station in Drain. While at the gas station, where the victim was allowed to use the restroom, the victim reportedly wrote a note that said, “Help, Call 911,” and then threw it toward a worker while being pulled from the store.

McCain continued south to Sutherlin and attempted to obtain another vehicle in the 500 block of South Calapooia Street, where his victim saw an opportunity to run and called 911 using McCain’s phone.

Upon his arrest, McCain reportedly told officers he had no recollection of the previous 12 hours except for those which happened in Washington.

McCain was taken into custody after the failed carjacking and lodged in the Douglas County Jail on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping, third-degree robbery, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and fourth-degree assault. McCain was arraigned in Douglas County Circuit Court Monday, but that arraignment did not include the first-degree kidnapping charge. Bail was set at $15,000.

Phoenix Charter School celebrates two years of graduates

Phoenix Charter School celebrated both the class of 2021 and the class of 2020 during its graduation ceremony Tuesday evening at the Nichols Band Shell in Stewart Park.

Coronavirus restrictions altered much of the instruction for students who graduated this year, but also derailed a graduation ceremony for last year’s graduating class.

Phoenix Charter School Principal Brandy Osborn said she was proud of the resilience of the graduates and was honored to provide them with this shared ceremony.

“They showed that they are resilient,” she said in her speech at graduation. “They rose up to be who we know that they are, and we are all so very proud of them.

“We want to thank the family, the friends, the aunts and uncles, parents, and siblings, and grandparents. All of the staff as well. We cherish all of you. And we are so honored to be able to provide this for you. We are so very proud of you and we love you.”

Three members of the graduating class of 2021 spoke at the ceremony about how their life has evolved over the years they’ve been in school, and how it will continue to evolve once they leave school.

Members of the class of 2020 were the first to walk across the stage and receive their diploma holders from school board chair Rick Wesenberg. Graduates would pause for a photo just in front of the band shell before returning to their chairs. The class of 2021 graduates were next in line to receive their diploma holders.

Two of the students brought their children along to join them in the graduation celebration on stage.

All students with children wore a special cord, similar to the ones that indicate which students complete college courses or were enrolled in special programs at the school.

Family members were seated in the grass, many on blankets provided by the school district to celebrate the graduates and cheer them on.

When all graduates received their diplomas, Osborn asked them to move their tassels and then turn around to face their families. Osborn then announced that they were now officially graduated.

“You’re free to go, you’re graduated,” she said.

Summer Reading Program launches in libraries across the county

Crafts, colors and books are the highlights of this year’s Summer Reading Program, as various libraries across the county embrace this year’s theme of Reading Colors Your World.

The program is designed to help combat summer learning loss. According to a 2020 assessment conducted by the NWEA, children in third to fifth grades lose an average 20% of their school-year gains in reading and 27% in math during summer break. This is on top of learning difficulties posed by adaptations made to the education system during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the not-for-profit company that provides assessments for K-12 educators.

“The theme this year of Reading Colors Your World to me highlights how we frequently experience new things through books first,” Roseburg Public Library Youth Services Librarian Aurora Ropp said. “If a child has an interest in an animal or place, they get a book about that subject. Reading about situations and places gives us that first taste of something new to add to our understanding.”

Riddle’s theme varies from other libraries in the county. Their events focus on the theme Tails and Tales. They will mix reading goals with a scavenger hunt, art lessons geared towards teens and an obstacle course for younger patrons.

“What child doesn’t enjoy a little climbing, balancing, tunneling or splashing through a challenging course on a hot summer day?” said Rita Radford, Riddle city library director of library services.

Each local library offers a variety of events meant to engage young readers and encourage them to explore their interests. Many have reading logs available for participants to fill out and submit to be entered to win prizes. Several libraries also offer free books.

Some events will be held at the library hosting them, while others will be held virtually. The Roseburg Public Library in particular has compiled a schedule that embraces social distancing, though the library has opened for limited hours.

Grab-and-go craft kits will be available every other Tuesday through Aug. 24. The Roseburg library has also brought back StoryWalk, where five different stories will be visually displayed throughout different city parks. Visit facebook.com/roseburglibrary for the StoryWalk schedule and roseburgpubliclibrary.org/summer-reading-program details specific to the Roseburg Public Library.

Each schedule is filled with festivities for all ages, while some libraries have decided to split events between age groups.

The Roseburg Public Library will also offer an adult Summer Reading Program, which includes participation in the library’s reading group on Facebook as well as prompts listed in the Summer Reading Program’s brochure to guide participants to a variety of reading opportunities.

“Summer reading is important for kids to be encouraged to read for fun,” Ropp said. “It is also important to help kids keep practicing their reading skills so that they do not lose their educational progress over the summer. My focus with summer reading is on reading for fun about topics that are interesting.”