The Philomath Police Department accepts unwanted drugs with a year-round collection bin. (Photo by fstop123/Getty Images via Canva)

It happened on more than one occasion over the years — prescription drugs disappearing out of the medicine cabinet.

Those situations surfaced after one of my out-of-state relatives would visit for a few days over the holidays or while traveling through the region. Through family conversations, I would later learn about other relatives of mine who had the same thing happen with this particular loved one.

Yes, he had an addiction and when someone reaches a particular state of mind and needs to find relief, it doesn’t matter if it involves stealing from a relative’s medicine cabinet. The pills that most often disappeared were painkillers — Percocet or Vicodin, for example, that remained in a prescription bottle in the bathroom after I had worked through a physical injury. Yes, I’ve had my share of those over the years.

Probably eight or nine years ago when I first started covering Philomath, I first wrote about what was called a drug take-back event. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office organized this annual opportunity for folks to get rid of unused or unwanted prescription or over-the-counter drugs. At the time, the Philomath Police Department was one of the event’s community partners.

Benton County sent me a press release a few days ago about this year’s drug take-back event, scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 22 the Kalapuya Building at 4500 SW Research Way in Corvallis. Wondering if Philomath still participated, I reached out to Philomath Chief of Police Ken Rueben.

The answer was no — Philomath no longer has the need to participate. That’s because the local police maintain their own collection bin at the station. And it’s not an annual event, folks can drop off their medications year round.

Some people might think it’s OK to just flush unwanted medicine down the toilet but that’s a big no-no according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The federal agency said the No. 1 choice to get rid of those products is to participate in a drug take-back event.

If for some reason you’re not apt to drop off your drugs, there is an alternative as explained in this EPA document.

But heck, it’s easier just to drop them off. As I’ve written, Philomath PD accepts them any time and at the county’s drug take-back event, you don’t even need to get out of your car.

PYAC needs volunteers to help with baseball and softball. (Photo by RonTeach2000/Getty Images via Canva)

2. Coaching youth

Philomath Youth Activities Club Executive Director Eddie Van Vlack sent out an email Thursday — timed to coincide with Major League Baseball’s opening day — looking for volunteers to help with baseball and softball.

“As we begin to gear up for our baseball and softball season, we find ourselves in need of some volunteers in order to make the season run smoothly,” Van Vlack wrote. “We are in need of volunteer (and paid) umpires for our older kids. Please let our office know if you are interested.

“We are also in need of a coach for our seventh- and eighth-grade baseball team. Please let us know if you have any interest in coaching with us this season.”

I’ll be honest … Eddie texted me yesterday asking if I’d be interested in coaching T-ball. My 5-year-old son is signed up, so I understand why he would ask. I felt bad, but I needed to decline. There’s a back story.

Back in college — geez, it’s been 35 years ago now — I took a class on coaching. With a great love for athletics, I had my sights set on being a coach. I passed the class and became certified.

After earning my college degree and taking my first job, I volunteered to help coach a Little League baseball team. Sure, it was fun most of the time, but I’m too competitive. I get too wrapped up with the desire to win. At that age, it should be about fun and developing skills. I placed too much of an emphasis on winning.

The next year, the newspaper where I worked organized a softball team to compete in the city league. The publisher asked me to be the coach. About halfway through the season, I got into a heated argument with the home-plate umpire over a call that I obviously questioned (I can’t even remember what it was about now). He threw me out of the game.

Then it happened again. My boss wasn’t happy (the publisher who had asked me to coach) and the league threw me out. This was city league softball with beer drinking and good times in the evening air.

But yes, I’m too competitive. I decided after that experience to never coach again. I just don’t have the right temperament for it. I’d be too scared to take on a little group of T-ballers. I should just be a quiet bystander and support my kid in a positive way. I’m competitive, sure, but I can do that for my son.

If you’re interested in helping PYAC, send an email to Van Vlack.

An image from Friday’s “Today With the Editor” liveblog. I was illustrating how I was ready to work again with a full cup of coffee. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

3. Blogging live

In an effort to communicate more with readers and pass along various types of content, I’ve decided to try my hand at blogging live. I launched this new idea earlier this week and this is still in the experimental phase but I’m actually having some fun with it so far.

The original vision was to start blogging live from public meetings and sporting events to give the readers updates. Watching meetings can be a little dry — maybe I can provide a more lively translation of what’s going on. As for sports, it’s natural to want to provide scoring updates. I don’t know to what extent I can do this because I’m also shooting photos and keeping statistics. I’ll give it a try for the first time at a home baseball game next week and we’ll see how it goes.

My wife asked me why I don’t just use Facebook or Twitter for this type of reporting. In a nutshell, I’m not a big fan of social media and with these live-blogging apps, you can do much more with no limitations and pretty much have total control of what you’re putting out there. Plus, it keeps people on the website, which is good for analytics.

Besides, I wouldn’t want to scare off Facebook followers with countless posts that become an annoyance. As for Twitter, I don’t like the character limits and some of the glitchy experiences I’ve had with that tool. So yes, to me, it makes more sense to have a liveblog on my website — so far it seems to work better and people would voluntarily read it, not have it forced on them.

After I got it set up this week, I didn’t want to wait for a meeting or game to try it out. So I launched a liveblog that I’ve been calling, “Today With the Editor.” I start the liveblog when I sit down for work each morning and keep it running all day with news updates, miscellaneous notes, random thoughts, story insights, sports commentary and so on. Some of the items I put on there do not appear anywhere else on the news site — I don’t have time to write a story about every single thing that comes across my desk but it doesn’t take much to throw in a few paragraphs in the blog about something that’s happening or an email that I received.

So, I thought maybe there are people out there who might find the news-gathering process interesting. Or not, we’ll see. Again, the primary purpose was to get used to the app so I’m ready to blog in a busy environment like a baseball game. But it’s been fun, I’ll keep it up for a while and see if people find it interesting.

All of my liveblogs are archived. Here’s a link if you want to go back and read any of them.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at

Brad Fuqua

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.