This is the second in a four-part series of articles reviewing news that occurred in 2022. This second installment breaks down the period of April 1 to June 30.

Posing for a photo with Mayor Chas Jones, far left, were First Citizen award recipients David Low (Senior First Citizen), from left, Eric Niemann (First Citizen), Maeve Dempsey (Junior First Citizen) and Blaise Pindell (Future First Citizen). (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)


• April 1 — Following the reassignment of Mike Bussard last fall and then bringing in former administrator Brent Belveal out of retirement to serve in an interim role, the Philomath School District is working on hiring a new high school principal.

• April 2 — Linn-Benton Community College tries to navigate through pandemic-related enrollment challenges.

• April 2 — Training videos, lectures and even so-called “burn boxes” can only do so much to prepare firefighters for the real thing. As a result, the opportunity to stage a live burn takes training to a new level, especially for those just starting out.

• April 6 — The Philomath Area Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Samaritan Awards with first citizen honors going to Eric Niemann (First Citizen), David Low (Senior First Citizen), Maeve Dempsey (Junior First Citizen) and Blaise Pindell (Future First Citizen).

• April 10 — Benton County Sheriff Jef Van Arsdall sits down for a Q-and-A with the Philomath News.

• April 11 — The Philomath City Council approved an ordinance to grant easements to the Oregon Department of Transportation during its meeting at City Hall but only after “emergency” status was removed and following a renewed, contentious discussion on the bioswale piece.

• April 16 — The Community Easter Egg Hunt returns to Philomath this year with a new organizer in a new location and even features a new event that involves lots of mud and a $50 prize.

• April 18 — Maxtivity, a Philomath-based arts and crafts creative space organization, and cardboard artist David Lynch are teaming up to create a three-dimensional window display replica of Maxtivity’s studio.

• April 19 — The Philomath Farmers’ Market received a surprise honor this spring when the Oregon Farmers Markets Association recognized the local organization with its award for 2021 Outstanding Small Market.

• April 21 — Beginning this fall with the 2022-23 academic year, free meals for all students regardless of family income levels will no longer be available with the Philomath School District reverting back to pre-pandemic conditions.

• April 22 — Amoris Walker, who graduated with Philomath High’s Class of 1997, authors the book, “You and Me in the Trees.”

• April 22 — Gov. Kate Brown hunted for truffles on Starker Forests land just outside of Philomath as part of a tour to learn more about the industry.

• April 26 — Benton County will celebrate Historic Preservation Month throughout May with a series of special events, including a handful of tours in the Philomath vicinity.

• April 26 — Local students take the stage for the Philomath High School Talent Show.

• April 29 — Benton County Board of Commissioners Democratic candidates Helen Higgins and Pat Malone answer Philomath News questions as ballots go out for May 17 primary election.

• April 29 — The Philomath School District announces the hiring of Mark Henderson as Philomath High School’s new principal.

• April 29 — Philomath third graders and Kings Valley kindergarteners took advantage of an opportunity to get outdoors with a trip to the city’s Public Works yard for a special Arbor Day celebration.

• April 30 — One person died and two were seriously injured in a head-on collision on Highway 20 in an area located roughly halfway between Blodgett and Eddyville.

• April 30 — On a rainy early afternoon at Mount Union Cemetery, a good-sized crowd gathered around the grave marker of Reuben Shipley to witness a ceremony that featured the dedication of a bronze plaque.

More than 200 veterans are buried at Mount Union Cemetery. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)


• May 1 — On the 54th anniversary of his half brother’s death, Fritz Baier revisited the Philomath property where his biological mother’s house once stood on the corner of College and North 16th.

• May 5 — Linn-Benton Community College answers Philomath News questions on a bond measure that will appear on the May 17 ballot.

• May 6 — On the afternoon of April 29, a Philomath resident came home to find that someone had been in the house. Several items were stolen that in total carry an estimated value of nearly $175,000, including a rare violin that alone is worth $85,000.

• May 9 — Ten-year-old Kalei Rynearson let out a squeal of delight when she realized what the Philomath Police Department had brought to her house. It was a new bicycle, complete with a new helmet and some cool accessories to complete the package. Just two weeks earlier, Kalei had been hit by a vehicle.

• May 9 — Construction-related cost increases are hitting the Philomath Downtown Safety and Streetscape Improvements project hard to the tune of $1.7 million over the budget that had been established a year ago, City Manager Chris Workman said.

• May 10 — Community theater debuted during the week in Philomath with Jeannette Miller Mickenham teaming up with Patsy Cline for her company’s first production at Marys River Grange Hall.

• May 14 — A special event at Mount Union Cemetery remembers veterans as well as fallen military and peace officers, including an Air Force pilot and OSU graduate lost in Vietnam.

• May 17 — Benton County Board of Commissioners incumbent Pat Malone will square off against Republican Bill Currier in November after defeating challenger Helen Higgins for the Democratic nomination. In addition, a Linn-Benton Community College bond measure ends up with a 71% approval rate among voters.

• May 19 — The Philomath School Board approved a request by the school district’s nurse to stock a specific medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. The medication, called naloxone, will become available at all schools in the district.

• May 30 — On a mission to build community and get more folks to take in Philomath’s downtown area, Mayor Chas Jones added event organizer to his skillset. The result of those efforts was the Philomath Block Party and Concert on Memorial Day.

• May 26 — A single-vehicle crash off Decker Road turned out to be a tricky situation for the driver. The car landed in the middle of a bunch of blackberry brambles — those prickly shrubs that produce sweet berries but have sharp thorns that can be painful to the touch.

A portion of the Philomath Fire & Rodeo grandstands burned late Monday night. (Photo provided by Jacob Coon/Philomath Police Department)


• June 3 — The Philomath Community Carnival returned for the first time since September 2019 after pandemic restrictions led to the cancellation of the popular youth event in both 2020 and 2021.

• June 3 — The latest innovation from the minds behind Dax, the cute little delivery robot that has become a common site around Philomath, launched an online portal that offers a new level of convenience for customers and businesses. 

• June 4 — Philomath Fire Chief Tom Miller shares his district coverage strategy with the Wren substation but both the union and volunteer association have concerns with those plans. At the same time, a new agreement with Hoskins-Kings Valley is on the horizon.

• June 5 — The Philomath Farmers’ Market kicked off a 20-week run with new hours and more weekends.

• June 8 — The path to a high school diploma takes a number of twists and turns for many teenagers. But few stories can match what Kyron Amerling has gone through to take the diploma walk with Philomath High School’s Class of 2022.

• June 9 — Twenty-one Philomath students and one Blodgett student receive degrees from Linn-Benton Community College.

• June 9 — The Philomath School District recently hired Cynthia Barthuly to take over as its student services director, Superintendent of Schools Susan Halliday announced.

• June 10 — Philomath Academy celebrates its first-ever graduation ceremony with 20 students that beat the odds to earn diplomas.

• June 11 — Diploma day arrives after a tough four years for Philomath High School’s Class of 2022. Seventy-seven seniors make the transition to graduates in a ceremony at Clemens Field.

• June 13 — Philomath Fire & Rescue’s board of directors listened to a lot of information and perspectives related to plans to bring the Wren substation into the district’s emergency response equation.

• June 13 — In a move intended to incentivize new business and create jobs, the Philomath City Council established an enterprise zone — a designated area within the city limits that will abate local property taxes for three to five years.

• June 16 — The Philomath School District and Kings Valley Charter School will continue to work together to educate students at the rural campus through the renewal of a charter agreement. Philomath’s School Board unanimously approved the document and the KVCS board was expected to vote on the matter at its next meeting.

• June 20 — A natural musical talent, Philomath teen Jayden Noble finding success at a young age.

• June 23 — A Philomath town hall brings wildfire preparedness strategies into focus with panelists from various agencies sharing their insights on what can be done to live with wildfire.

• June 27 — The Philomath City Council’s long and intense debate on how to pay for recommended improvements to North 11th Street reached resolution with approval of a plan that does not financially burden the neighborhood’s property owners through a special assessment.

• June 27 — A fire broke out in the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo grandstands and caused heavy damage just 10 days before the opening of the community’s biggest celebration.

• June 28 — A devastating fire that burned three bleacher sections at the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo arena was caused by a propane torch that had been up to an hour earlier to clear weeds from the area, according to the fire investigator’s conclusion.

• June 28 — A disagreement between Philomath Fire & Rescue’s chief and the department’s volunteer firefighters’ association over the staffing of a rural substation intensified when the chief suspended the president and vice president of the association.

• June 28 — Just 12 hours after the rodeo arena’s grandstands burned, the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo’s board of directors announced that the rodeo will go on as planned on July 7-9.

• June 29 — The community stepped up in the aftermath of the grandstand fire with Philomath Frolic & Rodeo seeing an outpouring of support. Meanwhile, demolition of the burned section occurred with temporary bleachers to be brought in.

• June 30 — Gale T. Phillips, who started a business called Razorback Woodworking in Philomath two years ago, has allegedly taken more than 35 customers on a ride by charging deposits on custom jobs and then never doing any of the work.