Sherman County eNews #340


  1. Oregon Air National Guard to track Santa on Christmas Eve

  2. Santa Sightings: Official Santa Tracker

  3. Committee appointments give Eastern Oregon a voice in policy and budget

  4. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth,
good-will to men!
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

1. Oregon Air National Guard to track Santa on Christmas Eve

Christmas.Santa5PORTLAND, Oregon — The Oregon Air National Guard will be on high alert again this Christmas Eve as they work closely with the United States Air Force and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to monitor the skies and track the annual flight of Santa Claus.

“It is not uncommon for our pilots to fly alongside Saint Nick in the skies this time of year,” said Col. Duke A. Pirak, commander of the 142nd Fighter Wing. “He expects to see us and the reindeer have become quite accustomed to flying in formation with our F15s.”

“Year after year, we receive reports on Christmas Eve from the Western Air Defense Sector at McChord Air Force Base, Washington,” said Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, spokesperson for the Portland Air National Guard Base. “They report high-speed radar returns from their defense network radar systems. Our F-15 aircrews are on continuous alert, so they may be ordered to intercept and investigate anything that can’t be positively identified on radar.”

For more than 65 years, the Oregon Air National Guard’s mission in Portland has been to provide Air Defense of the Pacific Northwest — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Oregon Air National Guard is also prepared to respond to state and local emergency contingencies under command of the governor.

To obtain audio, click on the following link:

To see the background information from NORAD/NORTHCOM on Santa’s annual flight around the world, visit:

2. Santa Sightings: Official Santa Tracker

Christmas.Santa.MerryFor the official Santa tracker, visit:

On Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight. NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations. Trackers worldwide can also speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to

Official NORAD Tracks Santa apps are also available in the Windows, Apple and Google Play stores, so parents and children can countdown the days until Santa’s launch on their smart phones and tablets! Tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. Santa followers just need to type “@noradsanta” into each search engine to get started.

Any time on Dec. 24, Windows Phone users can ask Cortana for Santa’s location, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa.

3. Committee appointments give Eastern Oregon a voice in policy and budget

Oregon.Flat.poleCommittee assignments for the House and Senate released on Wednesday show Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner), Rep. Greg Barreto (R-Cove) and Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) serving on a total of 13 different committees that will help make policy and budget decisions for the state.

Committees, according to the Oregon Legislature’s website, are where “the majority of the work to shape legislation and public policy is done.” Small groups of legislators hear public testimony, study proposals in depth, craft budgets, make amendments and choose whether to table a measure or pass it on to the House or Senate floor for debate.

Smith was appointed by Speaker Tina Kotek to the House Revenue Committee, Joint Committee on Ways and Means (co-vice chair), Joint Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on General Government (co-chair), Joint Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Capital Construction, Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization, Joint Committee on Tax Credits and the Legislative Administration Committee.

“What Oregon needs now are problem-solvers dedicated to finding the center-ground where we can craft a budget that works for all Oregonians,” Smith said in a statement. “A budget the business community can support, public employees can support, and a budget that supports Oregon families. Such a budget has been achieved in the past and can be done again.”

The Joint Committee on Ways and Means and its subcommittees review all bills with revenue attached and facilitate adoption of the biennium’s budget, meaning Smith’s appointments will put him in the center of Oregon’s budget conversations. The Subcommittee on General Government crafts the PERS agency’s budget and the Subcommittee on Capital Construction determines large state capital investments in projects such as the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center and Blue Mountain Community College’s Early Learning Center… … [continue here:

4. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do 

Christmas.Santa.mailSanta Tracker 

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Committee appointments give Eastern Oregon a voice in policy and budget

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