Philomath Police Chief Ken Rueben, left, and Benton County Sheriff Jef Van Arsdale, right, present 4 Spirits Distillery owner Dawson Officer with a check for $7,500 as this year’s chosen recipient of the Public Safety Chili Cook-Off. (Photo provided by Ken Rueben/Philomath Police Department)

The Public Safety Chili Cook-Off organizers reported a successful event out of the Sept. 11 competition that raised money for three charities.

The 37-year-old man who had just been released from jail and allegedly entered a Philomath woman’s home and attempted to rape her before he was stabbed had a second hearing in Benton County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

And the Benton County Sheriff’s Office released the name of the man who was killed in an Oct. 27 crash in a construction zone on Alpine Road. 

Chili cook-off raises more than $16,000

The story: A record number of teams were scheduled to participate in the Public Safety Chili Cook-Off on Sept. 11 at the Yew Wood Corral on the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo Grounds  (“The smells, the tastes, the fun all return to the rodeo grounds on Sept. 11,” published Sept. 5). The popular event was being staged for the first time since 2019 — it had been canceled the two previous years because of the pandemic. The cook-off’s primary recipient of money raised through the event was 4 Spirits Distillery, which maintains a scholarship fund that helps veterans further their education.

The latest: This year’s chili cook-off brought in $16,330 in total with $7,500 going to 4 Spirits Distillery, Philomath Police Chief Ken Rueben reported. The rest of the money goes to the Benton County Sheriff’s Foundation and the Philomath Police Foundation.

Rueben and BCSO Sheriff Jef Van Arsdall presented 4 Spirits Distillery owner Dawson Officer with the check (see accompanying photo).

Morgan agrees to be represented by attorney

The story: Linus Ezra Morgan, 37, of Corvallis, was arrested on multiple charges that included first-degree attempted rape, two counts of first-degree burglary, strangulation, fourth-degree assault, menacing and harassment following his alleged home invasion on Oct. 27 of a Philomath woman (“Philomath woman fights off would-be rapist in home invasion,” published Oct. 31). The woman fought off her attacker with a knife, stabbing him twice before he left her residence. Police caught up to him a short time later.

Morgan told the court that he wanted to represent himself and attempted to plead guilty to all charges. However, the judge appointed Corvallis attorney Christian Strahl amid Morgan’s protests. Strahl entered a not guilty plea on Morgan’s behalf and told the court that he intended to talk to his client about options related to entering a plea and waiving counsel. The judge set another hearing for Nov. 1 to “address the attorney situation.”

The latest: At the Nov. 1 hearing before Benton County Circuit Court Judge Joan Demarest, Morgan elected not to pursue a waiver of counsel and the court ordered Corvallis attorney Dan Armstrong to substitute for Strahl as the defendant’s attorney. Morgan’s bail remained at $1 million. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 1.

Detectives release name of man killed in crash

The story: A motorist driving on Alpine Road near Bellfountain Road in rural Benton County was killed Thursday after crashing into a dump truck in a construction zone, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office reported (“Motorist killed in construction zone at Bellfountain and Alpine,” published Oct. 27).

The sheriff’s office was dispatched at around 11:48 a.m., to the site of the crash, located between 4 and 5 miles west of Monroe and roughly 17 miles south of Philomath. According to the BCSO investigation, a 2005 Subaru traveling east on Alpine Road entered into a construction zone where the Benton County Road Department was doing work. The Subaru failed to stop for the flagger, who at the time was holding a stop sign. Law enforcement officials were withholding the identity of the driver until next of kin could be notified.

The latest: After notifying next of kin, BCSO detectives reported that Michael James Miller, 44, of Corvallis, was the person who had been killed in the Oct. 27 crash. Detectives also said that the investigation of the incident remains ongoing.