Articles written by Jessica R. Wheeler


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  • Sherman senior three-time state champ in discus

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated May 22, 2024

    Sherman County School senior Sophie Hulke ended her high school track career on a high note last weekend, earning her third consecutive 1A state championship in discus. She also scored a personal best in shot put, taking 1st place and setting a new school record at the state track meet at University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene. The last record in shot put for Sherman was set in 1997. In March, Hulke signed a letter of intent to join the track and field team at...

  • Wasco gears up for Memorial Day celebration

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated May 22, 2024

    Community members are hard at work preparing for the annual Wasco Memorial Day celebration, a long-running tradition for the town. The festivities kick off Monday, May 27, with a Country Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Wasco School Events Center. A Memorial Service will follow at 10 a.m. downtown at the Wasco Train Depot, with a parade planned for 11 a.m. An Oregon Air National Guard military jet flyover also is planned, subject to availability. The event features a...

  • Sherman Kids Zone honored by flag over U.S. Capitol

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated May 1, 2024

    Sherman Kids Zone received a high honor last weekend at a town hall for Sen. Jeff Merkley in Rufus. Board members attended the town hall to accept a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the nonprofit organization. Sherman Kids Zone was launched in spring 2021 by a small group of parents who hoped to create a free indoor play space for children and families. Three years later, the organization is deemed a remarkable...

  • Sherman Kids Zone honored by flag over U.S. Capitol

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated May 1, 2024

    Sherman Kids Zone received a high honor last weekend at a town hall for Sen. Jeff Merkley in Rufus. Board members attended the town hall to accept a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the nonprofit organization. Sherman Kids Zone was launched in spring 2021 by a small group of parents who hoped to create a free indoor play space for children and families. Three years later, the organization is deemed a remarkable...

  • Lohrey receives Sheriff of the Year award

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey received a remarkable honor from one of the largest sheriffs' organizations in the nation. The Western States Sheriffs' Association honored Lohrey with its esteemed Sheriff of the Year award in March. The organization encompasses 18 states, including Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, California, Arizona, Nevada, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma. One of the big...

  • Sherman chapter shines at state FFA convention

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Mar 27, 2024

    FFA chapters from Sherman County School and Condon High School had a big weekend at Oregon FFA State Convention last weekend. Held in Redmond, the 96th annual Oregon FFA State Convention featured a number of state level career and leadership development events, workshops, keynote speakers, a college/career expo and the election of the next year's Oregon FFA State Officers, Sherman FFA advisor Nels Swenson said. Swenson is Sherman's agriculture science teacher and FFA advisor....

  • Wasco Market honors its staff after Chamber award

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Mar 14, 2024

    The historic Wasco Market has come a long way in just four short years, and its crew has clearly made quite an impact on their community. Owners Michelle and Travis Lawrence were presented with Sherman County's 2023 Small Business of the Year award last month at the Oregon Frontier Chamber of Commerce annual membership meeting. Michelle Lawrence said all credit goes to their dedicated and hardworking staff. "I couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with at the...

  • Sherman chess team scores at state tournament

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Mar 14, 2024

    Sherman County students pulled off a big chess victory in Portland last weekend. Youth chess players Gage Simpson, Cohen Burgett, Caiden Walker, Erin Burbank and Daria Duong traveled to Oregon Episcopal School on the west side of Portland to participate in the 60th annual Oregon High School Chess Team Association State Tournament. This was a U.S. Chess Federation-rated tournament, with five rounds of team competition over two days, Sherman teacher and club leader Kevin Stuart...

  • Sherman County School committee releases new survey on four-day week

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Mar 11, 2024

    An investigative committee for the Sherman County School District four-day week proposal has released a new survey for community members. The responses are due by Jan. 4, after which the committee will present the results of the survey to the school board Jan. 9. Committee spokesperson Jessie Fields said the group is hoping to get as many responses from the community as possible. "Every voice matters, and we want to do what is best for students, parents, staff and community...

  • Sherman County School principal announces resignation

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Mar 11, 2024

    The Sherman County School District Board of Directors voted Monday, Feb. 5, to accept the resignation of K-12 Principal Trent Kroll. Kroll, who also fills the role of Athletic Director for the district, announced this week he will be stepping down at the end of the 2023-24 school year, citing personal reasons. Kroll came to Sherman from Hood River Valley High School, where he served as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director for five years. Prior to serving in an...

  • Sherman senior signs with Linfield for track and field

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Mar 6, 2024

    A senior from Sherman County School's Class of 2024 has announced her intention to join Linfield University's track and field team next year. Senior Sophie Hulke signed a letter of intent Friday, March 1, to join the team at Linfield for the 2024-25 school year. Linfield University is a private college located in McMinnville, Oregon. Hulke currently holds the Sherman County School record in the discus, previously held by 1999 Sherman graduate Kara (Blagg) Lanthorn of Grass...

  • Wasco Gym and Fitness Center to see major upgrades

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Mar 4, 2024

    The Wasco Gym and Fitness Center is set to receive big funding for upgrades, thanks to approval from city leaders and the hard work and dedication of its all-volunteer crew. Located outside the east end of the Wasco School Events Center, the Wasco Gym and Fitness Center will soon see an investment of up to $15,000 to update the interior and much of the exercise equipment. Wasco City Council voted Tuesday, Feb. 20, to designate money from its community development funds to the...

  • Sherman boys basketball sets school record with 21 consecutive wins

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Feb 9, 2024

    The Sherman County School varsity boys basketball team set a new school record for consecutive wins last week. "I want to thank the basketball coaches, the volunteers and the fans for a great basketball season so far," Sherman Principal and Athletic Director Trent Kroll said Monday. "It's pretty exciting, our boys are 20-0 and our girls are 9-11 going into playoff week next week." With a win against Lyle on Monday night, the boys team is now 21-0, with three regular season...

  • Highway 97 closes for first time in decades

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Jan 24, 2024

    Northcentral Oregon's main thoroughfare closed twice last weekend due to heavy snow and ice accumulation, the first time this major highway has seen a prolonged closure in decades. Oregon Department of Transportation officials, with input from local EMS and sheriff's agencies, made the decision to shut down traffic on Highway 97 from Biggs to Madras on Saturday, Jan. 20, at about 10 p.m. The highway reopened to traffic Sunday at 11 a.m. The area had accumulated more than a...

  • Dozens gather to oppose racism at Sherman vigil

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Jan 17, 2024

    Several dozen Sherman County residents gathered under cloudy skies Monday evening for a candlelight vigil at the county courthouse in Moro, to bring awareness to racial injustice and police brutality, organizers said. Co-organizer and local schoolteacher Talese Slay of Wasco emphasized that the vigil was not targeted at local law enforcement. "We want our deputies to be safe, and we appreciate all that they do. From protecting our school, our children, our staff, to coming to...

  • Historic Wasco Market under new ownership

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Jan 17, 2024

    Ownership of the Wasco Market changes hands this week, marking the end of an era for retiring owner Gary Hayden and his wife Debbie Hayden. Hayden has been owner and operator of the town's only market since 1986, but the store's history goes back much further - at least 110 years, he said, making it arguably the longest-running brick-and-mortar business in the town of Wasco. Hayden believes the early owners of the market were the Richelderfer and VanGilder families. Sitting at...

  • Oregon Frontier Chamber Exec. Director K'Lynn Lane to receive Oregon Partnership Award

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Jan 15, 2024

    A crew from Travel Oregon was in Condon last week to film a short video showcasing Oregon Frontier Chamber of Commerce Executive Director K'Lynn Lane. Lane will be receiving the coveted Oregon Partnership Award at the 2023 Governor's Conference on Tourism, set for April 3-5 in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center. Lisa Itel, director of Strategic Partnership Development for Travel Oregon, said that filming went well and that Lane had clearly made an impact on the region....

  • Sherman school board votes to end mask requirement

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Nov 29, 2023

    The Sherman County School Board of Directors met in a special meeting Thursday night to discuss new guidelines announced by Oregon Department of Education this week. Several changes were made to ODE's Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 school year, most notably the end of the indoor mask requirement for Oregon students. ODE is following Centers for Disease Control community level guidelines, which as of March 12 will recommend, but not require,...

  • Dr. Seuss Carnival in Sherman County

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Nov 25, 2023

    The Sherman Parent Teacher Organization is only partway through the academic year, but it has already hosted a full slate of events for families and youths - and there's still more fun yet to come. Tonight, the Sherman PTO will host the Dr. Seuss Carnival on March 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Later this month, the Missoula Children's Theatre will put on two shows next month, March 24 at 7 p.m. and March 25 at 3 p.m. Sherman PTO is a group of parents and teachers of Sherman County...

  • Sherman superintendent search ends quickly

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Nov 25, 2023

    The Sherman County School Board of Directors met in a special session Thursday, April 27, and ended the meeting with a new superintendent for the 2023-24 academic year. The board voted unanimously to appoint Sherman Principal Julia Fall to the superintendent role as of this summer. The board will work with legal counsel on contract negotiations. The district soon will begin posting for either a K-12 principal or dean of students position. "I have full confidence that Julia...

  • Biggs TA Travel Center burns to the ground

    Jessica R. Wheeler|Updated Nov 25, 2023

    The TA Express Travel Center on the west end of Biggs Junction caught fire early Tuesday morning, reducing the building to rubble in a matter of hours. The fire was reported by staff about 5 a.m. Tuesday, with a dryer vent being the possible source of the blaze. An official investigation into the cause of the fire will be carried out by the state fire marshal, Sherman County Undersheriff James Burgett said, but he's not sure how soon. "If it's still hot and smoldering,...