Sherman County eNews #265


  1. WANTED: Three for the Sherman County School Football Chain Gang, Oct. 26

  2. Posters for Sale: 150 Years of Sherman County Education

  3. Kids’ Gym Begins, Nov. 8

  4. Editorial: Sherman County Talent at Wasco School Events Center

  5. Child Abuse Hotline Report Highlights First Year of Operations

  6. Learning to Take the Risk

  7. History Tidbits: Moving to Rufus, 1896

1. WANTED: Three for the Sherman County School Football Chain Gang, Oct. 26

sign.helpwantedSherman County School is short 3 people to help with the Chain Gang on Saturday(10/26) at noon for our final football game here against Gilchrist. It should only take a couple hours and is a very easy job. If anyone is willing to help, please contact Mike Somnis @ or the School @ 541-565-3500.

2. Posters for Sale: 150 Years of Sherman County Education

The 150 years of Sherman County Education; One-Room Schools to One Campus Timeline was dedicated on 10/19/19.   The timeline will hang permanently in the school outside the cafeteria.   Posters of this timeline are available for purchase.   The posters are 16 x 36 and are $30 each.  There are only seven left.  You may purchase them by calling the Sherman County School 541-565-3500 and asking for Kim McKinney.

3. Kids’ Gym Begins, Nov. 8

Wasco School Events Center will again be hosting “Kids’ Gym” on Fridays this winter. This is an opportunity for parents/care providers and their pre-school child(ren) to play inside for a couple of hours.

Kids’ Gym begins on November 8, and will be held on Fridays through March, except when there is no school due to holidays or inclement weather. It begins at 10 a.m., and last until noon. Cost is $5 per week, or free if you are a member of the WSEC Fitness Center. This is not a babysitting service; children must be accompanied by a parent/care provider.

Feel free to bring toys, trikes, etc. for your kids to play with. Contact WSEC Director, Melissa Kirkpatrick, with any questions.

4. Editorial: Sherman County Talent at Wasco School Events Center

pencil.spiralSunday afternoon, another splendid event in Sherman County, An Afternoon of Sherman County Talent was a benefit for the Wasco School Events Center! We were pleased to see significant support by local artists, showing their work and donating to the silent auction.

Artists showing their work were Anna Alley, Cathy Brown, Vonda Chandler, Nancy Drinkard, Martha Flatt, Dan Hochstetler, Doris Hubbard, Tyson Huckins, Jeanney McArthur, Kathy McCullough, Clint Moore, Roy and Debbie Shafer, Dick Voll and Jessica Wheeler.

The generous and talented silent auction donors of paintings, button-craft, greeting cards, gift tags, metal art, photographs on canvas, books, bracelet, quilts, wall hangings, seasonal signs, barrel stave bench, wood bowls, wine bottle holder, wood flag, and cut & polished rocks were Anna Alley, Debbie Bird, Stacy Bird, Keith Blaylock, Cathy Brown, Karla Chambers, Vonda Chandler, Penny Eakin, Martha Flatt, Shirley Fritts, Jessie Fuhrer, Dan Hochstetler, Doris Hubbard, Amy Huffman, Cam Kaseberg, Kevin Kaseberg, Linda Krafsic, Patti Moore, Kaleb Lavine, Carol MacKenzie, Gail Macnab, Jeanney McArthur, Kathy McCullough, Clint Moore, Patti Moore, Janet Pinkerton, Roy & Debbie Shafer, Kathy Thompson, Pat & Clarence Turner, Dick Voll, Jessica Wheeler and Jane Root Winter.

It’s heartwarming to join in the support for nonprofit fundraisers – the groups that provide services … Sherman County Child Care Foundation, Little Wheats Daycare, Sherman County Athletic Foundation, Sherman County Historical Society & Museum, Wasco School Events Center and the Grass Valley Pavilion-Max Nogle Dinner. We can imagine the people-power required to produce these events! We’re grateful! Thank you! Well done!

5. Child Abuse Hotline Report Highlights First Year of Operations

(Salem, Ore.) – Since it launched in August 2018, the statewide Oregon Child Abuse Hotline has made significant progress in protecting Oregon’s children by implementing a system that ensures the best possible safety decisions, that calls are handled consistently, and callers are respected and responded to in a timely manner. Dropped call rates have decreased, average call waits have gotten shorter, and 98,404 calls reporting concerns of child safety were screened by hotline staff.

This data is available in the recently released Oregon Child Abuse Hotline Annual Report.

“As the Hotline reflects on progress made during its first year, we also acknowledge that there is still much room for improvement,” said DHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “We will continue to use data, customer feedback, predictive analytics, and training to better serve and protect the children in our communities.”

The statewide hotline resulted from the centralization of 15 previously independent, regional hotlines in order to improve consistency in how rule and procedure were applied, including screening reports of child abuse. When someone calls the Hotline, a screener gathers sufficient information to assess whether the allegation meets the criteria of suspected abuse and whether there is imminent danger to the safety of the child. Calls can remain anonymous.

Over the last year, DHS partnered with Action for Child Protection, Portland State University, and other community partners to develop a 56-hour training for DHS screeners. This training, along with the centralization, has increased screening consistency, decreased the potential for bias, and integrated robust and intentional data in the Hotline’s efforts to keep children safe. Along with predictive analytics and access to past reports from multiple sources, screeners now have more information in assessing safety for children at their fingertips.

The management consulting firm hired to assist DHS through Governor Brown’s Executive Order on Child Welfare performed significant work to track and analyze hotline call data to improve screening outcomes. The Hotline will also soon be adding an additional queue for more general child welfare questions, so that screeners can focus on calls that require immediate attention.

Screeners also can now receive reports of child abuse and neglect in multiple languages. By adding an additional queue for Spanish speakers to speak with Spanish speaking screeners this summer, more children are now represented and protected.

Other highlights of the hotline’s first year include the final hiring and training phase of 18 staff expected in November and newly created advanced screener training modules on Tribal Engagement, Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Substance Abuse Disorder, and Domestic Violence.

While great progress has been made, the Hotline is still facing challenges. For example, in September as children returned to school and interfaced with more mandatory reporters, the Hotline saw average wait times increase to approximately 7 minutes. Still, even with the spike in September, more than 60 percent of the calls were answered within 2 minutes. The maximum wait time in September was 100 minutes, an outlier in the month’s average data, and an issue DHS is addressing.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).  This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. You can also report child abuse by calling a local police department, county sheriff, county juvenile department, or Oregon State Police.

6. Learning to Take the Risk

Do you consider yourself a risk-taker? For a great many of us, the answer would be, “No!” In this day and age, that isn’t an unreasonable response. In myriad places around the world, taking a risk, and failing, sometimes requires the ultimate price to be paid. However, today, let’s take a slightly different look at this question regarding risk.

In one of his many books, Leo Buscaglia wrote that, “To laugh is to risk appearing a fool, to weep is to risk appearing too sentimental, to reach out for another is to risk involvement, and to expose feelings is to risk exposing one’s true self.

“To place your ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss, to love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying, to hope is to risk despair, to try is to risk failure.

“But all risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

“The person who risks nothing also does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. If we avoid risk, we may avoid suffering and sorrow, but we simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or live.”

By now, you are probably agreeing with Leo Buscaglia. If, out of our fears, we refuse to risk, we also forfeit our freedom because only a person who risks is truly free. Only a person who risks can grow, because all personal growth involves risk.

If you stay focused on the benefits of the risk, instead of putting all your energy into worrying about what could go wrong, and if you consistently affirm and visualize what achievement will look and feel like, it will be much easier for you to take the risks you need to take, in order to grow and to be the best you can be. ~The Pacific Institute

7. History Tidbits: Moving to Rufus, 1896 Dalles Daily Chronicle, Saturday, January 11, 1896:

Moving to Rufus. Ever since the flood of 1894, which almost obliterated the town of Grants, there has been a three-cornered rivalry for the chief town of Sherman County touching the railroad. When the waters receded and dry land appeared, some patriotic citizens began the work of re-building; others who figured out a better location, chose Murray Springs as the site of a new town, while the remainder pinned their faith to Rufus. All three of these towns line the railroad within the space of two miles, and each one has set up claims to be the shipping point of Sherman county. The struggle proves to be unequal and Mr. R.C. Wallis, who was in The Dalles today, informs us that the buildings at Murray Springs are to be removed to Rufus. Mr. Wallis has the contract for moving the large general merchandise store of J.W. Smith, and the stable of George Crosfield and the McDonald Hotel are to take up their beds, so to speak, and walk. Rufus has already become the largest of the towns, and with the consolidation of Murray Springs will be placed in the lead. Of the three sites that of Murray Springs is the pleasantest for a town, but the channel of trade has been diverted elsewhere, and the people must go to meet it. The starting of the distillery again will give Grants a boom and the vigor of the contest between Seattle and Tacoma may be repeated in our neighboring towns.”