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2004 Argus Observer Archive

      2004 Argus Observer Archive

          2004 Argus Observer Archive

              2004 Argus Observer Archive

                  2004 Argus Observer Archive

                      2004 Argus Observer Archive

                          2004 Argus Observer Archive

                              Tami Hart Argus Observer

                              A lockdown at May Roberts Elementary School Tuesday, prompted by a call from the Ontario Police Department, ended without incident.

                              Ontario Police received a call at 3:07 p.m. from a woman driving by the school who had witnessed a youth, carrying two steak knives in his hands, who was being chased by a group of nine Hispanic boys near the school. The group of boys was pelting the lone youth with snowballs and ice. The witness saw the boy point the knives at the other boys, which prompted her 911 call, OPD Sgt. Jeff Milton said.

                              "We didn't know what the boy's intent was, so we notified the school and advised them to enact whatever security measures they have in place," Milton said.

                              May Roberts principal Frances Ramirez said she instituted a lockdown, which secures all the classrooms in the school.

                              "We have a procedure that we follow," Ramirez said. "Anytime anything like this happens, you have step-by-step things to do." Ramirez said she would normally be the person making the decision to lockdown the school, although that could be affected by who has the information about the incident.

                              "In this case, I didn't have any information about it and the police department gave me the directive," Ramirez said.

                              OPD officers arrived on the scene and Milton called the school with a description of the youth carrying the knives. May Roberts officials advised OPD that a boy matching the description had come into the school's office.

                              "He was seeking refuge from the gang of boys," Milton said.

                              The youth, who is 11-years-old, had walked to May Roberts to pick up his sister, Milton said.

                              He told police the other boys, who ranged in age from 11 to 13, had been making fun of him and that it had started when he left the middle school.

                              "He knew he had to go to the school to get his sister and he knew the others were after him, so he stopped and got the knives from his home for protection," Milton said.

                              Officer George Tolman, school resource officer, investigated the incident and spoke with the parties involved.

                              There were no charges pressed, Milton said.

                              Ramirez said she incident should act as an alert for all schools.

                              "Since we have had everything in the news that's happened at other schools, I think the school is really aware of keeping the kids and staff safe," Ramirez said. "We just have to be prepared,"

                              She said she was impressed with her staff's handling of the security procedure.

                              Ramirez said she believes the school has not had a lockdown in the past two years.

                               Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                              "I cannot tell the guys not to play hard," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said after the Tiger's boys' basketball team thumped Burns 88-38 in Greater Oregon League action Friday night.

                              Everyone on the Tiger roster saw playing time in Friday night's victory.

                              "My starters were only in for the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter, then everyone else got to play," Helmick said.

                              Ontario jumped out to a huge 21-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.

                              Wade Douglas scored 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter including a slam dunk with 10 seconds remaining in the quarter.

                              Nick Babij, Jacob Blaylock and Kyle Hart each scored a two-point bucket in the first quarter for the Tigers and Hart also completed a free throw.

                              By the end of the first half, the Tigers had nearly sealed the victory with a 46-16 lead over the Highlanders.

                              The 25 points scored in the second quarter was by a mixture of Tigers.

                              Marcus Uchida, Tyler David, Douglas, Tommy Infante, and Jason Hart each scored two points.

                              Jake Lacey and Kyle Hart each added four points.

                              Babij hit two 3-pointers and eventually went on to hit another before finishing the game with 11 points.

                              Blaylock landed a free throw to round out the scores for Ontario in the second quarter.

                              Only hitting 10 points to the 22 poured in by the Tigers put the Highlanders further behind at the end of the third quarter.

                              In the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter, Douglas laid in four points and Babij hit a 3-pointer then the other Tigers began to shine.

                              David landed three 2-point baskets and a 3-pointer in the third quarter. He would go on to finish the game with 15 points for the Tigers.

                              Infante racked up four points, and Uchida scored two more for Ontario.

                              Jaime Contreras and KJ Toombs both hit two 3-point buckets to be a part of Ontario's 20 points in the fourth quarter.

                              David added a pair of free throws and a 2-pointer while Jake Gaschler scored his two points of the game and Infante found his seventh and eighth point for the Tigers.

                              The Highlanders only scored 12 points in the fourth quarter.

                              Burns was led by Brett Thomas with 10 points followed by Luke Benafel with eight points and Aaron Glerup with six.

                              Kyle Hart led the Ontario rebounders pulling down eight.

                              Matt Mejia had four steals and Uchida finished the game with five assists.

                              The Tigers (12-4 overall, 5-0 GOL) traveled to La Grande Saturday evening for another Greater Oregon League game.

                              Ontario girls fall to Burns -Feb. 1, 2004   Argus Observer Sports Staff

                              Down 8-0 in the first quarter the Ontario girls' basketball team never regained the momentum and dropped a Greater Oregon League match to the visiting Burns Highlanders.

                              The Tigers lost 55-43 Friday night at Ontario High School.

                              "We need to not play scared and not be afraid to attack and pass the ball inside," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said.

                              In the first quarter, Ontario scored a total of five points in comparison to the 18 piled in by the Highlanders.

                              Maggie Smith-Davidson scored three for Ontario - one bucket and a free throw - while AJ Hawk laid in the other two points.

                              In the second quarter, the Tigers cut Burns' lead down to nine points outscoring the visitors 10-6.

                              Kylie Roberts hit two of her three 3-pointers in the first minute of the second quarter while Smith-Davidson hit two 2-point baskets in the second half of the second quarter.

                              Chelsea Ross piled in four points in the second quarter for the Highlanders and teammate Maria Clemens added the other two points.

                              At the end of the first half Burns led 24-15.

                              Burns extended its first half lead in the third quarter after scoring 19 points to the 11 posted by the Tigers.

                              Kristy Church and Jami Arant each scored their first two points of the game in the third quarter for Ontario (12-5 overall, 3-2 GOL).

                              Roberts hit her third three with 4:01 left in the quarter and Smith-Davidson completed two free throws and hit a jumper for the other four points.

                              The Clemens sisters - Jessica and Maria - poured in 10 of the Highlanders third quarter points.

                              The Tigers scored 17 points in the final quarter while the visitors only racked up 12 points but it was not enough for a victory.

                              Vanessa Gomez scored her four points of the game in the fourth quarter for Ontario.

                              Smith-Davidson made her final six points to lead the Tiger scorers with 17 points in the loss.

                              Church added her remaining five points to end the game with seven total points and Arant landed her final two points.

                              "In the second half we regrouped and went after them," Buck said. "We have a ways to go. Lack of experience can be seen at times. In tomorrow's game against La Grande we will be playing to hold on to a top three spot."

                               Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                              Local residents eager to take in the familiar smell of cornbread and chili should plan to visit Cairo Elementary School Thursday.

                              The school's long-standing -- and by decree very popular -- chili feed has been a mainstay of local fundraisers for more than 40 years. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. Thursday.

                              Tickets for the event cost $5 for ninth-graders and older and runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. Kindergartners to eighth-graders can get into the dinner for $3 while preschools eat for free. The ticket price includes chili, salad, cornbread, beverage and dessert -- including cupcakes, pies and brownies.

                              Renae Corn and her husband Bruce Corn said they have been involved in the chili feed since their first child started attending Cairo. Corn estimated their involvement spans the course of 13 or 14 years. Now, their youngest child is a fifth-grader at Cairo.

                              "We're both real believers in education," Corn said.

                              Corn said she has attended the chili feed every year -- even when her children were enrolled in a private Christian school in Ontario. This is the first year her children have returned to the Ontario School District, they said.

                              Bruce Corn served as the chairman of the committee for the chili feed, soliciting donations from local businesses and organizing the committees in charge of various tasks associated with the event. Renae also helped with ticket sales, cooking the chili, and gathering community support for the event. The Corns have also assisted financially to the event, purchasing pots to cook the chili in.

                              "The wonderful thing about the chili feed, is that we don't see much anymore, is it's a community effort," Corn said.

                              Since the cost of the dinner is minimal, business donations are a key to the event's ability to raise money for the school. Proceeds of the chili feed are allocated to the Cairo PTO (parent teacher organization) that funds the needs of the school.

                              Cindy Feibert, parent, volunteer and PTO member, and her husband, Erik Feibert, have volunteered at the chili feed for 11 to 12 years, she said. Cindy said most of the ingredients for the chili are donated, and hundreds of pies are bought, donated or home baked. Feibert noted the recipe for the chili has remained largely the same since the tradition began 46 years ago.

                              Steve Bishop, principal of Cairo Elementary, said the school's focus for the money raised from the feed is on purchasing new playground equipment. Bishop said the school has not received new equipment -- other than small updates and repairs -- since the building opened in the late 1950s.

                              The fundraising event -- one that collects an estimated $4,000 each year according to Bishop -- has supported a new basketball court and computer software in past years. As of Tuesday, Cairo had sold 400 adult-priced tickets. Bishop said the previous year there were as many people that did not buy advanced tickets as those that did. The chili feed at Cairo also showcases student artwork. Cairo Elementary has a contest for artwork to be printed on the sales tickets and posters advertising the event.

                              This year, Tana Halligan's artwork is on the full admission priced ticket; Leila Feibert's artwork is on the discounted tickets; and Rebecca Dodson's design is printed on the complimentary tickets. Miranda Bourasa and Angela Monroe's poster designs were the winners. The students were third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders.

                               Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                              A recently release report by the Oregon School Boards Association shows that teacher salaries and benefits in Oregon vary between school districts.

                              The report, dubbed "Salaries, Economic Benefits and Selected Policies for Teachers in Oregon School Districts" is an annual survey by the OSBA.

                              On the Oregon side of the Treasure Valley, school districts' caps on salaries, retirement pensions, and perks and benefits - such as the number of paid holidays - fluctuates as well.

                              Treasure Valley teacher data

                              Nyssa school district pays its teachers, according to the survey, a minimum of $26,305 and a maximum of $49,166 a year. To reach the $49,166 benchmark, teachers must earn a master's degree plus 45 additional post-graduate credits.

                              The average annual salary for 2002-2003 in Nyssa School District was $39,664 according to the survey. Teachers receive three paid bereavement days, two personal days, and seven holidays. Nyssa teachers contract for 186 days with 172 student school days. Teachers in Nyssa negotiated a two percent increase in their salary from 2002-2003 to 2003-2004.

                              The minimum pay for teachers at Vale School District is $24,470 and a maximum pay of $49,259 with the same qualifications (master's degree and 45 additional units of study). The annual average salary for 2002-2003 was $43,316. Teachers receive two personal days, five bereavement days, and six holidays. Vale teachers contract for 174 days with 148 student school days. The teacher's union in Vale negotiated a four percent raise in their salaries effective this school year.

                              Ontario teachers receive a minimum salary of $26,686 and a maximum salary of $50,982. The annual average salary in 2002-2003 was $43,468. Teachers receive five paid holidays, two personal days and five bereavement days. Teachers contract for 191 days with 176 student school days. Teacher salaries are up 2.75 percent from 2002-2003.

                              Adrian school district teachers receive a minimum salary of $25,233 and a maximum salary for a master's degree of $41,475. The annual average salary in 2002-2003 was $35,836. Teachers receive up to $10,000 in tuition reimbursement at the University of Oregon. They also get two personal days and three bereavement days. Teachers contract for 185 days with 177 student school days. Teachers at Adrian did not receive a pay increase for 2003-2004.

                              The Oregon School Boards Association reports the average pay increase for teachers this year was 1.67 percent. Ron Wilson, director of human resource development at the Oregon School Boards Association, said 35 districts did not negotiate a pay increase for teachers.

                              Looking at Portland

                              By contrast to school districts in the Malheur County, the largest school district in Oregon is Portland, which rests in Multnomah County. The district contains 45,989.8 resident average daily memberships (ADM or average amount of students each day). Nyssa has a resident ADM of 1,176.6; Vale is 981.9; Ontario is 2,650.6; and Adrian's ADM is 230.7. Teachers in Portland school district receive a minimum pay of $29,013 and a maximum pay with a master's degree and 45 additional units of post-graduate study of $60,673. Teachers are paid for two professional days, three personal days, three family illness days, and bereavement varies.

                              They contract for 190 days of work and 177 student school days. They are reimbursed six hours of credit at Portland State University. Teachers at Portland school district negotiated a 0.5 percent pay increase for this school year. Teacher pay and benefits is slightly more attractive in the Portland School District than area school districts. However, the cost of living in the Portland metro area compared with Malheur County differs significantly. The cost of living also varies between Ontario, Vale, Adrian and Nyssa.

                              Cost of living

                              Property value and housing in slightly more expensive in Ontario than Nyssa, Vale, and Adrian. According to the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, in Ontario the median housing cost was $85,900 in 2000. Data reported Vale's median housing cost in 2000 at $67,300; Adrian was $61,900; and Nyssa was $61,800. The median housing cost in 2000 for Multnomah County was $157,900 and in Portland the cost was $154,700. While Multnomah County's housing prices have risen to a median cost of $189,000 and average cost of $225,308 in 2003, the Malheur County's assessor office reports unchanged figures in 2003 from 2000. Economically, Multnomah and Malheur Counties deviate. The state department reported per capita income in Malheur County at $19,530 in 1999 and 32,095 in Multnomah County in 2000.

                              As the Portland School District offers more money to teachers, the adjusted cost of living between Malheur County and Multnomah County causes Portland teachers to pay more to live in the metro area. Similarly, Ontario teachers receive slightly more pay - on average - than teachers in Vale, Nyssa or Adrian, but the housing costs in Ontario are also higher.

                              Beginning salaries similar

                              Lyssa McKrole teaches first-grade at Alameda Elementary School. McKrole recently finished her master's degree at Eastern Oregon University while living in John Day. McKrole chose to move to Ontario for her first year of teaching.

                              She said she researched school districts in Oregon, and found that for beginning teacher salaries, Ontario was comparable to other districts in the state.

                              McKrole also said that Oregon seems to have the most widely accepted teaching standards in the state. Most teachers come into the system now with a master's degree, she said. McKrole added the accepted standards force teachers to work harder than most states to pass tests and obtain higher degrees.

                              "The pay is better in Oregon, I believe, than Idaho and Utah. Washington state is comparable to Oregon," McKrole said.

                              implicating that hurdles teachers in Oregon must go through to pass tests and obtain degrees translates into higher teaching pay than some neighboring states.

                              The Ontario boys' basketball coach, Scott Helmick, is hosting a Young Tiger Basketball Camp at the Ontario High School gym.

                              Boys in the fourth, fifth and sixth grade are invited to attend.

                              The camp will run Feb. 4, 5, 11, 12 and 17 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

                              The cost for the camp will be $25. The cost includes a T-shirt, instruction provided by the high school coaches and players.

                              To register, call coach Scott Helmick at Ontario High School, (541) 889-5309.

                              Softball umpiring clinics to be held

                              BOISE-Anybody interested in umpiring girls' fast pitch softball in either Oregon or Idaho, clinics will be held to review rules.

                              Monday, at Caldwell High School, registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the clinic running from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

                              Feb. 23, there is a mandatory Idaho State rules meeting, at Mountain View High School at 6 p.m. Registration for umpires is at 5:15 p.m.

                              A reminder to all high school coaches, this is a mandatory meeting, a representative from your school will need to be present.

                              If there are any questions, contact the Softball Commissioner, Gary McCarney, (208) 642-4675.

                              Weiser girls' hoops team selling Kryspy Kreme's

                              WEISER-Kryspy Kreme doughnuts are being brought to Weiser by the Girls' Basketball Team Wednesday.

                              The event is being sponsored to help raise funds for summer camp and tournaments.

                              Contact any girls' basketball player or coach to place your order.

                              Each dozen will cost $7.50 each.

                              Coach Erhard is also taking orders at (208) 414-2620 or at (208) 549-0882. Doughnuts will be delivered to the high school at about 8:30 a.m., Wednesday.

                              Ski Bus Available to Brundage

                              Ontario-The Ontario Parks and Recreation Department will offer a ski and snowboard bus to Brundage Mountain for the 2003-2004 ski season.

                              Session dates include-Session 3 (cost of $32): Saturday, February 7, 14, 21, and 28.

                              Registrations are taken at the Recreation Department at the Ontario Aquatic Center between 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

                              Registrations by session will take priority over individual date tickets. Individual dates can be purchased for $10 per trip.

                              All trips depart from Ontario City Hall at 7 a.m. and will return at approximately 7 p.m.

                              Trips must be paid for by the Wednesday prior to the trip in order to hold a reservation.

                              Lift tickets are $23 for 12-18 years old. $32 for 19 and over and $16 for kids 7-11.
                              For more information contact the Ontario Parks and Recreation Department, at (541) 889-7686.

                              Ten Star All Star Basketball Camp

                              Charlotte, NC - Applications are now being evaluated for the Ten Star All Star Summer Basketball Camp.

                              The camp is by invitation only.

                              Boys and girls ages 10 through 19 are eligible to apply.

                              Past participants include: Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse, Grant Hill and Antawn Jamison.

                              Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                              The Ontario School District has reported three accidents involving a school bus or an activity vehicles this school year but the number is not unusually high, according to the district operations manager, Bob Nelson.

                              Nelson said he estimated the district averages three accidents a year, whether they are the fault of school authorized drivers or a second party vehicle.

                              Nelson also said during some school years there will be more than three accidents, depending on the weather.

                              A particularly severe winter will cause more cars to slide into school buses, he said.

                              The first accident this school year occurred on Sept. 9, 2003 when Matt Suitter, 32, Ontario, driving a 1991 Ford van failed to yield at the controlled intersection of Southeast Fourth Street and Southeast First Avenue. Sheri Acree was the driver of the school bus transporting 56 Ontario middle and high school students and four students from Four Rivers Charter School. No significant injuries were sustained from the accident. Acree was determined to be not at fault for the accident and is still driving for the district, according to Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement for Ontario School District.

                              The next school bus accident occurred nearly one month later on Oct. 6, 2003. The certified bus driver, Janet Kittelmann, 57, drove onto the curb near the corner of Southwest Fourth Street and the mirror of the bus struck Ontario Middle School student, Isabel Rodriguez, 11, who was walking with her eighth-grade sister, Alicia Rodriguez.

                              Rodriguez sustained scratches and a concussion after being struck by the mirror. Collins said Kittelmann no longer works at the district as a bus driver. Collins said after the completion of an investigation, the school district does not have information beyond Kittlemann's claim she blacked out while driving over the curb.

                              The latest incident occurred Monday and involved a shortened school bus technically labeled an activity vehicle and adverse weather.

                              Leadership adviser Laurie Grim, 50, was driving 11 leadership students from OHS to a leadership conference in Hermiston when the vehicle ran into icy conditions and slid off Interstate 84.

                              One student required knee surgery related to the accident. Nelson said the school district is still investigating the accident. Investigations of this kind, he said, typically take two to three months. Grim is still working for the district, but her certification to drive activity vehicles is temporarily restrained, Nelson said.

                              Ontario school district operates approximately 32 school buses with approximately 25 bus drivers.

                              New buses are bought every year, Nelson said. The lifetime of a bus is around 160,000 to 170,000 miles, he said.

                              The certification for a school bus driver, like Kittelmann and Acree, requires more stringent guidelines than certification to operate an activity vehicle for the school.

                              Registered school bus drivers must meet guidelines set by the federal government and additional guidelines set by the state. Nelson said Oregon has more restrictive guidelines that many other states.

                              An individual must apply for an open position as a bus driver; obtain a CDL (commercial drivers license) and attend a behind-the-wheel training session. The potential bus driver is then hired on a substitute basis where he or she drives the school bus with an district examiner. Bus drivers must attend eight hours of training each year and keep their first aid and CPR training up-to-date.

                              Certification to drive an activity vehicle requires an individual be a licensed driver, take a first aid course, have a fairly clean driving record, take a one-time training session and maintain current first aid training and drivers license.

                              Grim said she had never been in a car accident prior to the school-related accident on Feb. 2.

                              Nelson said that bus drivers with the Ontario school district have been terminated in the past, but he did not have an exact number.

                              Tigers get better of Vale and New Plymouth  
                              Tricia Alvarez - Argus Observer

                              The Ontario Tigers wrestling team defeated the Vale Vikings 38-28 in a Greater Oregon League dual meet Thursday at Ontario High School.

                              Defending state champion Paul Rangel received the first points for Ontario at 145-pounds when he received a technical fall over Vale's Mark Moreno with a 22-7 score.

                              Vale's Luke McSweeney won after Ontario's Charles Cowperthwait was disqualified at 152-pounds.

                              The next three matches were decided by pins.

                              Vladimir Dhidzhiyeshvili of Ontario pinned Sam Zinie of Vale in 4:59 at 160-pounds.

                              At 171-pounds Todd Smith of Ontario pinned Brady Wolfe of Vale in 1:52.

                              The Vikings Joe Meredith pinned the Tigers Luke Owens in 3:31 at 189-pounds.

                              Vale's Kyle Netcher, 215-pounds, and Willie Maupin, 275-pounds, received decisions over Ontario's Colin Gundle, 10-7, and JJ Anthony, 6-2.

                              Vale loss the next three matches by forfeit to Alex Turner, 103-pounds, Jace Nakumara, 112-pounds, and Mark Mizuta, 119-pounds.

                              The Tigers' Juan Trejo pulled out a 19-14 decision over Vale's Ian Morcom at 125-pounds before Vale went on to win the final three matches.

                              Tyler Andersen of Vale, at 130-pounds, pinned Casey Erlebach of Ontario in 22 seconds.

                              The Vikings Kyle Bates received a 2-1 decision over the Tigers Justin Allison in double overtime at 135-pounds.

                              Vale's Chamberlain finished off the dual matchups by defeating Jose Rivera of Ontario 4-3.

                              "I thought we did well against Ontario. I thought the Bates-Allison match was great. They are great wrestlers. When you give up points off of forfeits, their is more importance on individual matches," Vale assistant coach Dave Eyler said.

                              The Viking's 0-5 in GOL play host to Ontario (4-1 GOL) and MacHi Friday.

                              New Plymouth 44    Vale 12

                              After falling to Ontario, the Vale Viking's wrestlers dropped a tough match to the New Plymouth Pilgrims 44-12 Thursday at Ontario High School.

                              "We did not wrestle as intense against New Plymouth as we did Ontario. I think we were emotionally spent," Vale assistant coach Dave Eyler said.

                              New Plymouth won the first four matches before forfeiting the 215 and 275-pound matches to Kyle Netcher and Willie Maupin of Vale.

                              John Chapman and Chet Johnson of New Plymouth pinned Luke McSweeney and Sam Zinie of Vale in 51 seconds and 1:53 at the 152 and 160-pound weight classes.

                              At 171-pounds, Marc Richter of New Plymouth major decisioned Brady Wolfe of Vale 11-1 and Charlie Pollock received a decision over Vale's Joe Meredith 3-1 at 189-pounds.

                              There were double forfeits at both the 103 and 112-pounds before the Pilgrims Willis Griffith won by forfeit at 119-pounds.

                              Another double forfeit was called at 140-pounds but not before Eric Hinson of New Plymouth received a 17-7 major decision over Ian Morcom of Vale at 125-pounds.

                              At 130-pounds Casey Dill of New Plymouth pinned TJ Bennett in 1:20

                              Jess Painter of New Plymouth decisioned Kyle Bates of Vale 6-1 at 135-pounds.

                              The nonleague dual ended with a Khris Katpati of New Plymouth pin over Derek Chamberlain in 51 seconds at 145-pounds.

                              New Plymouth (5-5 overall, 3-0 WIC) will take part in the Weiser Invitational Friday and Saturday in Weiser.

                              Ontario 39    New Plymouth 36

                              After a victory against the Vale Vikings, the New Plymouth Pilgrims were beat 39-36 by the Ontario Tigers wrestling team Thursday night in a nonleague match at Ontario High School.

                              New Plymouth was up 9-0 before an Ontario wrestler put points on the board.

                              New Plymouth received six points at 152-pounds when Chet Johnson won by forfeit.

                              Ontario's Luke Fields loss by a 8-4 decision to John Chapman at 160-pounds.

                              The Tigers jumped back on the board scoring the next 33 points before New Plymouth would have another victory.

                              At 171-pounds Vladamir Dzhidzhiyeshvili of Ontario decisioned Marc Richter 9-5.

                              Ontario Todd Smith pinned Charlie Pollock in 1:09 at 189-pounds.

                              Collin Gundle of Ontario won by forfeit at 215-pounds.

                              The 275-pound heavyweight, Dennis Tolman of Ontario, pinned Brian Smallwood of New Plymouth in 31 seconds and then it was on to the light weights.

                              Alex Turner and Jace Nakamura each won by forfeit at 103 and 112-pounds.

                              Three New Plymouth wrestlers received pins to bring the score to 33-27 before Justin Allison of Ontario scored six points at 135-pounds for a forfeit.

                              At 119-pounds Willis Griffith of New Plymouth pinned Mark Mizuta in 1:51, the Pilgrims Eric Hinson pinned Keith Brandon in 3:17 at 125-pounds and New Plymouth's Casey Dill pinned Casey Erlebach in 56 seconds at 130-pounds.

                              Jess Painter of New Plymouth scored six more points for his team when he pinned Jose Rivera of Ontario in 3:11 at 140-pounds.

                              In the last match of the night, within seconds of the start of the match, Paul Rangel of Ontario landed on his neck and after a brief timeout got back on the mat.

                              New Plymouth's Khris Katpati went on to beat Rangel 6-1 at 145-pounds.

                              "I am not unhappy with the win but we need to be sharper. New Plymouth is impressive. They are very physical and very tough. They are tougher than nails," Ontario head coach Charlie Anthony said.

                              Ontario 8-11 overall and 4-1 in the Greater Oregon League travel to Vale Friday to take on MacHi while New Plymouth heads to Weiser Friday and Saturday for the Weiser Invitational.

                              Kristin Gribben -- Argus Observer

                              The Ontario School District does not have a specific plan regarding emergency lockdowns, but instead relies on a flexible procedure - focused on "unauthorized persons or intruder alert," situations - framed to meet a variety of emergency situations.

                              The emergency response system was the focal point of a Jan. 27 incident when May Roberts Elementary School was placed in a lockdown because of suspicious activity involving a youth and a knife.

                              Ontario School District has a handbook that includes procedures for nearly every emergency possible, Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement for the district said.

                              The school district does not have a specific policy regarding lockdowns, but does have a procedure regarding "unauthorized persons or intruder alerts," according to Collins.

                              The result of a procedure focusing on "unauthorized persons or intruder alerts," Collins said, would most likely be a lockdown.

                              Collins emphasized the flexibility of the OSD procedure and pointed out school officials need to be prepared to make ad hoc decisions, because they do not always have the time to consult a step-by-step procedure manual in the onset of an emergency.

                              "We have to have people in leadership roles that are effective decision-makers," Collins said.

                              Collins added that emergencies at schools are aided by the strong and close relationship the school district has with area police, fire and sheriff's departments. Collins said the school district's close relationship with local agencies is not as common in more urban school districts.

                              Collins said a handout sent to teachers and administrators outlines four major steps to take in any emergency that focuses on assessing the situation and making a rational decision, she said.

                              Collins said Ontario schools have infrequently gone into a lockdowns mode in past years. Alameda Elementary School went under a lockdown in 2001, Collins said, because the principal felt an individual at the school was a threat to staff.

                              Don Grotting, superintendent of Nyssa School District, recalled an incident several years ago when the entire school district was under a lockdown.

                              Nyssa School District has had a lockdown procedure outlined in its manual that includes procedures for nearly every emergency possible, Grotting said.

                              The lockdown policy has been in place since Grotting came to the district more than three years ago.

                              Grotting said that to his knowledge, the lockdown procedure was used once in the 1999-2000 school year. The school district received a threat of a possible shooting involving a weapon, Grotting said.

                              A district-wide lockdown was executed and police were notified.

                              There was a plan to intercept the suspect before he or she was on school grounds. Windows were barred and doors were locked inside school buildings, Grotting said.

                              After the lockdown, which ended safely, the lockdown procedures were revised, Grotting said.

                              The last revision for lockdown procedures was made during the 2002-2003 school year.

                              Grotting said the highest priority during a lockdown - or any emergency - is student accountability, and that involves taking into account students that walk home, students whose parents pick them up from school, and students who ride the bus, he said.

                              The newest lockdown procedures for Nyssa schools vary slightly between the high school, middle school and elementary school. Variations are small - such as different phrases sent over the intercom warning teachers that the school is enacting a lockdown.

                              The lockdown procedure at Nyssa schools begins with the announcement (code word, phrase or signal). Doors are immediately locked, students crouch down to avoid being seen through windows, and office staff take radios and cell phones with them to the room holding student records - dubbed the "safe room."

                              In addition, Nyssa Elementary school has an evacuation map showing different exit routes for students in scenarios depending on where the intruder is situated.

                              Grotting added that an important element of lockdown procedures is making sure that local law enforcement and agencies have access to the buildings at schools.

                              Grotting said the local fire department and the sheriff's office have maps and keys - or ready access to administrators, maintenance staff and transportation staff with keys - to each school.

                              "There has been concern, a little bit, with terrorism. There is a little bit more incentive to make sure those processes are in place," Grotting said. "And certainly the school shootings in the past have heightened concern of parents, administrators and teachers."

                              Vale school district has similar procedures to Nyssa school district. Al Butler, Vale schools superintendent, said for the past four years he has been working with the Malheur County Sheriff's Office on crisis plans concerning all types of emergencies, from bomb threats to planes crashing into a school building, he said.

                              Every teacher and staff member in the Vale district has a manual that outlines procedures for a lockdown and other emergency-related procedures.

                              Butler said he could not recall a time when any school in Vale was under lockdown. He said there have been reports of suspicious behavior from people that have prompted a call to the local police department.

                              on, OH; Lock Haven, PA; Lebanon, TN; Commerce, TX; Blacksburg, VA; Poultney, VT; and Beloit, WI.

                              Argus Observer Sports Staff -- Milton-Freewater

                              Even without Jaimi Arant 'running the show' the Ontario Tigers' girls' basketball team defeated the Mac-Hi Pioneers 49-36 Friday in Greater Oregon League action at Mac-HI.

                              The Tigers, who ran off with a 15-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, extended their lead to 28-10 by the end of the first half.

                              Vaness Gomez and Maggie Smith-Davidson each made four baskets for eight points in the first half.

                              Kylie Roberts and Kristy Church each scored six points in the first half and AJ Hawk made a hoop for two points.

                              In the second half Ontario scored 11 third quarter points and 10 fourth quarter points.

                              Mac-Hi had a combined 26 second half points.

                              Church scored her last of three, 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead the Tigers with 13 points.

                              Smith-Davidson finished the second half with four points.

                              Added to her eight in the first half, Smith-Davidson finished behind Church with 12 points.

                              Gomez landed nine points and Roberts scored eight points in the victory.

                              "We played pretty well the first half. We had 14 turnovers in the second half and that combined with a great effort by Mac-Hi kept us from ever completely putting them away," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "Kayla Mitchell, Stephanie Babij, Stephanie Montgomery, and Mimi Benitas helped us out at the guard position with Jaimi Arant being gone. We miss Jaimi running the show out there. We were a little out of sync at times but the players dealt with the frustrations and overcame them enough for the win."

                              The Tigers (14-5 overall, 5-2 GOL) will host Baker Friday evening in what is said to be a 'big game' by coach Buck.

                               Argus Observer Sports Staff -- Milton-Freewater

                              The Ontario boys' basketball team scored their sixth Greater Oregon League victory Friday night against the Mac-Hi Pioneers at Mac-Hi.

                              The 71-53 victory was nice for the Tigers after such a long bus ride, Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said.

                              "We came out slow in the first quarter. It was a long bus ride," Helmick said.

                              The Tigers were down 15-11 at the end of the first quarter."

                              "They came out and hit some threes and made some points. We didn't start real smooth, but then we had a 21 point second quarter," Helmick said.

                              Ontario's 21 points to Mac-Hi's eight second quarter points gave Ontario a 32-23 lead going into the break.

                              Helmick said Nick Babij came out and made some shots for the Tigers in the first half scoring 21 of his 24 game points.

                              Babij hit all six of Ontario 3-pointers in the win.

                              In the third quarter Ontario again outscored the Pioneers 27-11 and had a sizeable lead going into the final quarter.

                              "Wade came out and was solid with 24 points also," Helmick said. "He does not have to score 20 points a game this year, He has a whole lot of kids that can score with him. Most other teams have one main scorer. It is nice to have three guys in double figures."

                              The Tigers allowed Mac-Hi 19 fourth quarter points while only piling up 12 of their own.

                              Along with Babji and Douglas, Jason Hart contributed nine points for his team in the victory.

                              Mac-Hi had two players in double digits for the night - Ryan Fleming piled up 13 and Curtis Carlson racked in 12 points.

                              The Tigers (13-5 overall, 6-1 GOL) play host to Baker Friday night before heading to Riverside Saturday.

                              Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                              NYSSA - Future Farmers of America students from area schools descended on Nyssa High School Wednesday to take part in the FFA Snake River District Leadership contest.

                              Students from Ontario, Adrian, Jordan Valley, Vale and Crane attended the all-day event.

                              The competition tests the speaking, presentation and leadership skills of high school students, and is one of the few FFA contests that puts less emphasis on agricultural skills and more attention to broader-based skills, Nyssa High School FFA adviser, Cody Porath said.

                              Participants at the conference are judged by the Snake River district's high school advisers: Victor Noble, Vale; Ann Marie Pimm, Crane; Adam Ineck, Jordan Valley; Troy White, Adrian; Porath; Roger Watkins, Ontario; and Snake River District Adviser Les Linegar, Ontario.

                              Porath said the mission of FFA is to promote leadership, growth and success through agriculture.

                              The top two speakers in each event, as determined by the panel of judges, advance to a sectional competition in La Grande on Feb. 17.

                              The top two winners in each category - except for the top winner in the parliamentary procedure contest - will attend the state FFA convention at Oregon State University in Corvallis during the weekend of March 19.

                              One winner from the state convention is selected to advance to the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky during the last week in October.

                              Last year, Ontario high school student, Dan Corn, was selected to attend the national convention for extemporaneous speaking - an event where a topic is assigned to a student 30 minutes before the speech must be given. Corn is also the Oregon FFA student president.

                              Nyssa High School has had the FFA program off and on during the high school's history. The program was reintroduced five years ago, Porath said.

                              Porath said he advises 65 students at Nyssa.

                              The one FFA membership requirement at NHS is a student must be enrolled throughout the year in at least one agricultural class. Porath said he teaches six different classes throughout the year.

                              The following students from Wednesday's competition will advance to sectional in La Grande: Cody Ables, Ontario, creed speaking; Christie Linford, Ontario, creed speaking; Ruth Corn, Ontario, sophomore prepared public speaking; Stephanie Montgomery, Ontario, sophomore prepared public speaking; Josh Roberts, Ontario, extemporaneous speaking; Nick Maag, Vale, extemporaneous speaking; Nick Maag, Vale, advanced public speaking; Amanda Bennett, Nyssa, advanced public speaking.

                              Josh Roberts, Ontario and Mark Noble, Vale, won the top two slots for the co-op quiz contests. They will advance straight to state competition.

                              This time of year always sees a large array of events that continue throughout the summer.

                              Last week, I attended the Cairo Chili Feed with my friend (and Independent-Enterprise reporter) LisaAnn Riddick. The turnout, as I have heard in the past, was remarkable and so was the food. I especially enjoyed the salad, which was set out in large bowls on every table. I am sure I ate half a bowl. Before we left, we picked up a to-go order for her husband. This service can be found at a large majority of the fundraisers in the valley.

                              Wednesday I made a mad dash to Ontario Tuxedo and Bridal to find a dress for Saturday's Center Ball, the Four Rivers Cultural Center's annual fundraiser. I found a darling red dress for the Ball, and returned Friday to pick up a pair of shoes.

                              This is the second Center Ball I have attended, the first being three years ago. My boyfriend and I arrived at the valet parking 15 minutes after social hour began.

                              Once inside FRCC, I saw numerous people from our community. We shared a table with Argus Observer Society Editor Christen McCurdy, Argus Observer Advertising Director John Dillon, Argus Observer Newsroom Clerk Sheri Bandelean and her husband, and Ontario Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Connie Nysingh and her husband.

                              Former society editor Kim Nowacki e-mailed me before the Ball and said I should be sure and dance with Ontario's comic book guru Randall Kirby.

                              He really is as good as she says. Unfortunately, he had to do a whole lot of leading.

                              Much later in the evening, fellow Lion Peter Lawson made an entrance and gave a dramatic story about being stranded on the outskirts of Vale for most of the night. He then promised me a dance, which I never received.

                              Coming up, I have my eye on the River of Life Christian Center's annual potato feed (I am obligated to support that one, since my children go to day care there).

                              Of course, LisaAnn has already agreed to attend with me. I made it our goal (I haven't told her this yet) to go to as many fundraising functions this year as possible.

                              (If you want to be cool like us, I suggest you start attending local fundraisers as well. Just check out your Daily Argus Observer for those upcoming events. And if you want to have your fundraiser printed, please contact me or Christen McCurdy at the office.)

                              Also on the "Cool Club" agenda is Bethany Presbyterian's annual Heavenly Stew Feed.

                              I will be there March 13 looking for some good stew.

                              Another upcoming fundraiser I am looking forward to is the annual Basque Dinner and Dance at FRCC Feb. 28. I have word that Peter is going too, so maybe I can get that dance after all.

                               Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                              Anyone who has watched an Ontario High School softball game in the past few year has seen Ontario head coach Gordy Ogawa in the dugout and at third base barking orders.

                              Well, not any longer though. Ogawa has moved on and there is a new big dog in charge.

                              Ontario resident and Fire Chief Randy Simpson is now the Ontario High School head softball coach.

                              Simpson said when Ogawa resigned he just threw his name in the hat for the position.

                              "I love softball and enjoy coaching. I have a self interest in the team with my daughter playing," Simpson said. "If I was not the head coach, I would have been here helping out anyway."

                              Simpson's daughter Stephanie is currently a junior at Ontario High School and has played softball for two years.

                              Simpson has been a part of the Field of Dreams coaching staff for the past four years - two at the U14 level and two at the U16 level.

                              "I wanted to see all the summer work continue," Simpson said.

                              When Simpson took over the team earlier this year, he found that there was just one big problem - there was no equipment.

                              "Except for a few bats, all the equipment that the high school had been using belonged to the Field of Dreams teams," Simpson said.

                              Simpson immediately went on a fundraising campaign.

                              "We sent out letters asking for donations and advertising banner sales,"   Simpson said.

                              Thus far with donations, fundraising and with a small amount from the high school, Simpson and the team have raised enough funds to be able to purchase catching gear, batting helmets and some balls.

                              A portable shed was donated to the team to store their new equipment, but they still need more.

                              "The uniforms the teams are wearing are in bad shape. They are between six and ten years old," Simpson said.

                              The team would like new uniforms and a pitching machine is in the works.

                              With just 21 players for two teams, including only three seniors, Simpson hopes to have a winning season.

                              Simpson and the Tigers will hit the field Wednesday against Caldwell High School in their season opener.

                              Argus observer sports staff

                              The Ontario softball team committed 12 errors and allowed 14 walks in a 30-0 blowout loss to Caldwell Wednesday in nonconference softball action at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center.

                              The game was called after the top half of the third inning.

                              The Cougars, who entered the game 0-4, jumped on the Tigers early, scoring seven runs in the top of the first inning. The first six Caldwell hitters reached base and all six scored.

                              "Our inexperience showed," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "Caldwell took it to us and they were very aggressive from the start."

                              The Cougars pounded Ontario pitching for 22 hits, while Ontario (0-1 overall) managed just one basehit - a double from Kailey Poole.

                              "The girls were hitting the ball, just right at people," Simpson said.

                              Poole finished 1-for-2 for the Tigers. Kayla Yano took the loss for the Tigers. Yano pitched the first two innings, before being lifted in the third.

                              Shane Parson led the Caldwell (1-4 overall) offense with a 4-for-4 outing. Parson scored five runs. Kim Harry, pitching her first game of the season, threw a one-hitter. Harry also went 4-for-5 from the plate. Caldwell's Sydni Garza hit 4-of-5 with 5 RBIs. Nicole Becvar was a perfect 3-of-3 on the afternoon.

                              Ontario returns to action Tuesday at Vallivue.

                              Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                              Two retired Ontario School District administrators have been rehired on a temporary basis to assist principals at Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools in conjunction with a federal grant.

                              Ontario School District applied for the Administrative Support Supplemental Grant in November, and received approval in December. The district began implementing the program in January.

                              The grant is supplemental to another grant, called Reading First, that the state of Oregon was approved for in October, 2002.

                              The grant pays for John McDonough, former principal at Lindbergh Elementary School and associate principal at Ontario Middle School and Ontario High School to assist at Alameda Elementary School for 30 non-consecutive days.

                              The grant also also extends funds for Doyal Snyder, former principal at Pioneer and Alameda elementary schools, to assist at May Roberts Elementary School for the same amount of time. The federal government offered $5 billion to states across the country for the Reading First program that focuses on low-income school districts with a high number of students reading below average levels.

                              Oregon received $7 million of the lump sum the United States Department of Education was offering. OSD received $492,773 of that amount.

                              The program focuses on boosting the reading skills of students.

                              According to the U.S. Department of Education, 40 percent of fourth-graders in the country demonstrate a reading level below their grade level.

                              Already receiving federal funds for the Reading First program, OSD qualified for the administrative support grant to assist with the demands of the reading grant.

                              The district stated in its application for the Administrative Support Supplemental Grant the funding was needed because both Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools have more than 400 students enrolled in each school with one principal and one part-time assistant principal. Neither elementary school has a school counselor.

                              May Roberts principal Frances Ramirez said Snyder has been coming to May Roberts once a week when she is in meetings. She plans to have the former principal come to the elementary school until the end of the school year, or when the grant money runs out, she said.

                              McDonough and Snyder's main duties include filling in for Ramirez at May Roberts and for Alameda Elementary School Principal Paul Erlebach.

                              Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                              Senior citizens looking to earn a little extra money while spending time helping young children read are encouraged to volunteer for the Ontario School District's foster grandparent program.

                              OSD is looking for residents 60 years or older to sign up for the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Program, a federally funded project from the Corporation for National Service - the same agency that initiated Americorps.

                              The program - which has serviced eastern and central Oregon for more than 20 years, and OSD for 10 years - requires elderly applicants be in good health, pass a background check and meet income requirements to receive a stipend of $250 a month, or $2.65 per hour of nontaxable income.

                              One-occupant households can make no more than $1,075 a month and have at least $140 of medical, dental or insurance bills a month. Two-person households can make no more than $1,451 and have $140 bills a month.

                              Senior citizens who make more than the maximum amount allowable to qualify for the stipend are still encouraged to volunteer. Frank Hunter, OSD's newest foster grandparent, and the only male in the Ontario group of volunteers, does not qualify for the monthly stipend.

                              Hunter said he decided to become a foster grandparent because he likes to keep himself youthful by being around children. He joined his students on a walk-a-thon at Aiken Elementary School last week, and although he used a cane, he said he was able to keep up.

                              Aiken, May Roberts, Alameda, Pioneer and Cairo elementary schools and St. Peter's Catholic School - all in Ontario - have 13 volunteers, but Katherine M. Collins, OSD director of public information and community involvement, said the district is always seeking more.

                              Collins said the purpose of the program is twofold: to reward deserving, low-income seniors, and help students struggling with reading. Collins said getting students to read at grade level is the No. 1 priority of the school district.

                              Volunteers meet with a small group of elementary students reading below their grade level for 30 minute sessions. Students are usually in first-, second- and third-grade. Volunteers commit to working a minimum of 20 hours a week, Collins said.

                              Collins hosts a monthly training session for the volunteers. The latest one was held Friday, at the Holy Rosary Medical Center. Collins said the training session is an opportunity to offer support to the volunteers, give them new ideas, and share information.

                              John Brenne, the program's regional director who covers the largest section of Oregon, drove from his office in Pendleton for the meeting Friday to assist with the training.

                              Brenne said there is a possibility that more funding will become available to hire a couple more seniors who qualify for the stipend. He said he anticipates it will be six months before he will know.

                              Most of the Ontario volunteers said they joined the program to give them motivation to get out of their house - something that became a challenge after they retired, many said.

                              "You have something to look forward to every day," foster grandmother Jean Barnett, who volunteers at Pioneer Elementary School, said.

                              Tigers off to good start    Mar. 25, 2004   Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                              The Ontario baseball team has put up numbers that resemble video game baseball.

                              The Tigers have lit up the scoreboard, scoring 12, 18, 13 and 17 runs in wins over Vallivue, Kuna and Caldwell. The fast start has Ontario head coach Chad Hartley excited about what this team is capable of.

                              "To put runs on the board like that early in the season is exciting," Hartley said. "The kids have executed everything we have asked them too. They have beaten three teams pretty well."

                              The Tigers get another chance Friday and Saturday in the Bucks Bags Tournament in Meridian. Ontario plays Hillcrest and Minico during the first day.

                              Hartley said his group is having fun during their quick start to the season.

                              "This is a good bunch of kids, they work hard and they do what they are supposed to do," Hartley said. "They are having a lot of fun right now and I think that is a lot of it."

                              The Tigers went 25-3 last year, making it all the way to the 3A state title game, before losing to Mazama 4-3. Ontario rode the backs off five players - T.J. Presley, Greg Keim, Tugger Roberts, Mike Lissman and Drew Echanis - all of whom are playing college baseball. This year the Tigers have a whole new identity.

                              "In this program we will be good for the next five years," Hartley said. "We knew we had guys that had the talent, but you never know how they will react in critical situations.. There are a lot of kids on this team looking to show they

                              are good players. Maybe they are not the top-hand talent that we had last year, but I don't know if I would trade for that team. I really like this team. They are good kids and they don't question what I'm telling them. They do what they are supposed to do."

                              Ontario senior Shane Schiemer said he is a little surprise with the start his team is off too.

                              "I am surprised about the way we have started, after losing all the seniors," Schiemer, who is hitting .625 with six doubles and 11 RBIs, said. "We have been putting up the numbers. No.'s 1 through No. 9 are pretty solid."

                              As a team, the Tigers are hitting .489 and have 54 RBIs in four games.

                              "If you look at the stats, when you're team is hitting .490 and your onbase percentage is .600 you are going to score a lot of runs," Hartley said.

                              The Tigers have scored a lot of runs, outscoring their four opponents 60-17.

                              "Caldwell and Kuna were decent ballclubs," Schiemer said. "They put up a fight until the end."

                              Hartley said he believes the tougher nonconference schedule will pay dividends in the Greater Oregon League chase and in the postseason.

                              "Caldwell is as good as we will see this season. I was very impressed with them," he said. "Kuna and Vallivue are probably in the top end of the GOL. I was very impressed with them. The tougher schedule should help us later in the season. In the past we hadn't seen many pitchers with two or three pitches."

                              Schiemer summed up his teammates' feelings about the 2004 edition of the Tigers.

                              "A lot of us have a lot of heart. We have always wanted to play baseball," he said. "Just being on the ballclub, being on the baseball field is what we love. For us seniors, this is our last chance to get to a state championship and we have the ability to do just that."

                              Argus Observer Sports Staff

                              Shane Schiemer pitched a one-hit complete game Friday afternoon, striking out 13 batters, as Ontario defeated Minico High School 9-1 in a nonconference game during the Buck's Bags Tournament at Storey Park in Meridian.

                              In a game previous to the Tigers victory, Ontario lost 6-2 to Hillcrest, as the Tigers were only able to muster together four hits in the game.

                              Against Minico, the Tigers scored all nine runs in the fifth and sixth innings, after falling behind 1-0 after four innings of play.

                              In the game, the Tigers did not get any extra base hits, but had eight singles and took advantage of four walks, a hit batter and three Minico errors on way to the victory.

                              Against Hillcrest, the Tigers never seemed to be able to get anything going, scoring one run in both the second and the fourth innings.

                              In the two games, Matt Mejia picked up three hits to lead the Tigers' offensive

                              Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                              The Nyssa Bulldogs thumped Jerome, 8-0, in the first game of a nonconference doubleheader Friday, only to have the Tigers throw a scare into Nyssa in the nightcap. The Bulldogs held on for a 5-4 win, completing the sweep of Jerome at Payette High School.

                              The Bulldogs scored the first run, of the second game, in the first inning after Cody Waldo hit a grounder past the short stop to land himself on first base, he then stole second base and scored on Jesse Garcia's RBI single.

                              After Jerome's Brady Black and Nyssa's Cory Hansen settled on the mound, both teams defenses kicked into high gear and the game remained at 1-0 through five innings, before Nyssa once again started pouring in the runs in the sixth inning.

                              Nyssa's Trent Holcomb singled, then scored on an RBI double from John Whitmire to make the score 2-0. Cory Hansen chased Whitmire home with an RBI single. Mitch Holliday singled to score Hansen, and Holliday eventually scored on a wild pitch by Jerome pitcher Ben Edwards. The four-run outburst put Nyssa up 5-0.

                              Jerome came back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, including a solo home run by Jed Semans. The Tigers' Preston Hill scored on Jarod Sour's RBI single. Sour scored later in the inning on Jordan Jensen's RBI single.

                              The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the seventh inning before Waldo closed out the Tigers.

                              "Both games were good. We had good pitching and defensively we played well all day," Nyssa head coach Swede Mason.

                              Hansen, who earned the win in the nightcap, had four strikeouts for the Bulldogs, before Waldo nailed down the save by pitching the seventh inning.

                              "Our sophomore (Hansen) pitched really well. I have high hopes for our pitching this season," Mason said.

                              Semans finished the game for Jerome 2-for-2 from the plate with the home run and a double.

                              Garcia went 3-for-4 for the Bulldogs with three singles, while Holliday, Waldo and Holcomb each went 2-for-4, leading Nyssa's 12-hit attack. Holcomb had a triple and a single. Holliday and Waldo each had two singles.

                              In the opener, Holliday hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, sparking the Bulldogs to the win. Whitmire finished with eight strikeouts in the first game, earning the win. Rigo Paz went 2-for-4 from the plate with two singles.

                              The Bulldogs (3-2 overall) open up Wapiti League play with a doubleheader against Grant Union April 9 at Nyssa High School.

                              Tricia Alvarez is a sports reporter for the Argus Observer. She can be contacted at (541) 889-5387, or by e-mail, TriciaA@argusobserver.com. Story ideas are always welcomed.

                              William Anderson Argus Observer

                              After gathering nine hits against Madison, in a 7-4 victory, the Ontario baseball team's bats went ice cold, connecting for only one hit in a 11-1, five inning loss to Twin Falls Saturday afternoon at Storey Park in Meridian.

                              The Bruins' Nick Carr struck out 10 Ontario batters in the nightcap, allowing only one run on one hit and one walk. Carr hit two Tigers in the process to pick up the win on the mound.

                              "He (Carr) is their No. 1 guy. They saved him for us. There was not a whole lot we could have done against him this early in the season," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "I am sure we will not see a team as good as Twin Falls all year. They are a good team, very well-coached."

                              In the second inning, Twin Falls got all the run support it would need the rest of the game.

                              After a ground out, Nathan Robertson took a 1-0 pitch from Jake Beck over the left field fence, for a solo home run, to get the scoring started. Following a Bruin out, Carl Ott hit a double to left center and Drew Bernhard drew a walk, to put runners on first and second. Leadoff hitter Todd Rehbein hit a sharp single to left center to score the two runners and give Twin Falls a 3-0 lead.

                              The Bruins tacked on two more runs in the third and Ontario scored its lone run in the top of the fifth inning.

                              Matt Mejia began the inning, picking up Ontario's lone hit, with a flair to right field. A strike out and two hit batters later, Ontario had the bases loaded with one out.

                              Mejia scored and the two other base runners advanced, when Carr made one of his only mistakes of the game, throwing a wild pitch, helping Ontario get on the board.

                              In the bottom of the fifth, Twin Falls scored six runs to end the game.

                              To start the frame, Twin Falls drew three straight walks, before Alex Hill picked up a single and Ott reached first on a dropped third strike. The next two Bruins struck out before Tim Mealer hit a single and Luke Hawkins hit a double to knock in the final two runs and end the game.

                              In the opening game of the day, Ontario defeated Madison 7-4, as Zach Park picked up the win on the mound.

                              Ontario hosts Vallivue Saturday in a nonleague contest.

                              William Anderson is the assistant sports editor for the Argus Observer. He can be contacted at (541) 889-5387, or by e-mail, WilliamA@argusobserver.com. Story ideas are always welcomed.

                              Argus Observer Sports Staff

                              After staying even for one inning, Vallivue's bats woke up, scoring 10 runs over the next two innings, as Vallivue scored in every inning, beating the Ontario softball team 15-5 in a five inning nonleague softball game Saturday in Ontario.

                              In the third inning, the gates were blown wide open, as Vallivue sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on only two hits.

                              "They jumped on us early," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "(Kayla) Yano threw well early. Then ran into trouble. AJ (Hawk) threw the ball well. It was a good day offensively."

                              Offensively, Hawk went 3-for-3 from the plate, to lead the Tigers (1-3 overall), driving in four runs. Jamie Arant picked up two hits and scored three runs, picking up the lone extra base hit with a double.

                              Vallivue scored another run in the fourth and three more in the fifth in the victory.

                              Ontario picked up three runs in the bottom of the fifth in the loss.

                              Argus Observer sports staff

                              The Weiser softball team broke things wide open with a seven-run sixth inning, handing Ontario its fourth loss of the season, 11-6, Tuesday at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center in Ontario.

                              The Wolverines strung five straight hits together - from Tot Saito, Jennifer Giambo, Kayla Branstetter, Sally Grandi and Erin Wall - to start the sixth inning. Ontario helped the Wolverines with three errors in the inning to take an 11-2 lead.

                              "They took advantage of three errors and a walk in the big inning," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said after his team fell to 1-4 on the season. "We only walked one batter in the inning, plus they had six hit that just seemed to fall in between people. Combine the two and it leads to a disastrous inning."

                              The Wolverines improved to 4-4 on the season.

                              "A lot of those hits in the sixth inning were those little dingers," Weiser head coach Dale Emert said. "They had eyes and found a spot."

                              The Tigers rallied with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Kailey Poole delivered a three-run triple that scored Kayla Montgomery, Jaimi Arant and Kristia Maeda.

                              Poole finished the game 2-for-3 with a double and a triple and four RBIs. The junior drove in Ontario's first run in the first inning with an RBI double that chased home Arant, who led off the inning with a double. Arant finished 3-for-4 with three doubles and two runs scored.

                              "We just need to get over our mental errors," Simpson said. "That is just inexperience."

                              Megan Kautz picked up the win for Weiser, throwing a complete game. Kautz struck out nine and issued four walks. Saito led Weiser's 10-hit attack, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Grandi was 2-for-4 with two runs.

                              Kayla Yano took the loss for Ontario, throwing the first two innings, before being lifted for A.J. Hawk in the third inning.

                              Weiser faces another Greater Oregon League squad Thursday, travelling to Vale. Ontario begins GOL play Thursday at Baker.

                              Argus Observer Sports Staff

                              Nine teams came to compete in the Ontario Girls' Invitational golf meet Wednesday afternoon at the Ontario Golf Club. Homedale took home first place honors, shooting a 174 as a team, beating out Weiser by 10 strokes to capture top team honors.

                              Not only did Homedale spoil the Tigers first home meet with the victory, but Homedale's Kerie Kushlan shot a 37, to take home the medalist honor.

                              Behind Homedale, Weiser shot a 184, La Grande a 197, Ontario a 213, McCall-Donnelly a 241 and Payette a 244 to round out all the teams, while Fruitland, Idaho City and Middleton all sent golfers.

                              For Weiser, Amy Sutton led the way with a 43, while Sara Huston shot a 45 and Nicole Picard had a 46.

                              Mandy Greif shot a 43 to lead Payette and Jennifer Jaramillo shot a 49 for Ontario.

                              "I think we played really well. We are only returning three starters and lost state co-champion Anna Jaramillo," Ontario girls' golf coach Russ Leininger said. "We have three freshmen and a sophomore. The way the freshman develop is how the team is going to do. We are getting better every week."

                              Fruitland's lone representative, Raquel Rode, shot a 49 for the Grizzlies.

                              Ontario travels to La Grande Tuesday.

                               Argus Observer Sports Staff

                              The Ontario softball team had a little trouble getting hits in a 11-0, 11-0 Greater Oregon League conference sweep to No. 3 Baker Thursday afternoon in Baker City.

                              The Tigers managed to squeak out three hits, while allowing 13 hits to Baker, as the Tigers also had 11 errors in the two games.

                              "We could not get our offense going," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "We did not do so bad considering we are playing the second team in the state last year."

                              In the opening game, Baker got off and running, scoring two runs in each of the first three innings, before scoring five runs in the fourth inning. Baker held Ontario scoreless in the top half of the fifth inning, as Baker won the game with the mercy rule.

                              In the nightcap, Ontario managed only one hit, to Baker's eight, as Baker took a 10-0 lead after three innings of play.

                              On the day, Jamie Arant had two hits to lead the Tigers (1-6 overall, 0-2 GOL).

                              Ontario is back in action Saturday, when they host Mac-Hi Saturday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.

                              Argus Observer Sports Staff

                              The Ontario softball team suffered a Greater Oregon League doubleheader sweep Saturday afternoon, dropping the opener 9-7 and being shut out in the nightcap, 6-0, to Mac-Hi in Ontario.

                              In the opener, the Tigers battled back to take a 5-4 lead after five innings. Unfortunately, the score would not hold up, as Mac-Hi scored five runs in the final two frames and held Ontario to only two runs in the seventh inning, as Ontario dropped the opener 9-7, after belting out 12 hits.

                              The second game was not much better for the Tigers (1-8 overall, 0-4 GOL), as they managed only two hits in the game, both in the bottom of the seventh inning, and struck out 13 times, as Mac-Hi completed the sweep.

                              "In the first game, we had 12 hits, the girls were firing the ball, but we just had some errors in the last two innings, when they scored five runs," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the second game, we had one disastrous inning. I am still seeing improvement."

                              Ontario travels to Vale Thursday in a Greater Oregon League contest.

                               William Anderson Argus Observer

                              Two good pitching performances lifted the Ontario baseball team over the Riverside Pirates, 16-2 and 7-3, to earn the sweep in the Greater Oregon League twin bill Saturday afternoon at Ontario High School.

                              In the opener, Shane Schiemer pitched the entire game, going five innings, striking out nine Pirates and allowing only two hits, as the Tigers scored in each of their four innings.

                              "We played fantastic, Shane threw fantastic. He kept us motivated and kept a good tempo. He got a lot of strikeouts," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Shane kept us swinging the bat, he got guys out. That was nice to see, he has been doing that all year."

                              In the first inning, the Tigers got on the scoreboard when Schiemer hit a two-run home run, driving home Chance Cruickshank, giving Ontario a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, Ontario exploded offensively scoring seven runs, on five hits, as Matt Mejia hit a two-run single and Kyle Mitchell drove in two runs, one with a single and one with a base on balls.

                              After another two runs in the third inning, Ontario scored five runs in the fifth, to take a 16-0 lead.

                              Riverside scored its two runs in the fifth inning, but it was not enough to extend the game.

                              In the nightcap, the Tigers' (9-2 overall, 2-0 GOL) pitching again kept them going, as Jake Beck picked up the win, throwing a complete game, allowing three runs to cross the plate, as the offense did not score as many runs.

                              Ontario got off early, scoring four runs in the first inning, as Schiemer had a two run single and Zach Park and Chance Cruickshank also picked up RBIs in the inning.

                              The Tigers added two more in the second inning and one more in the fourth inning.

                              "I think we started to get tired at the end," Hartley said. "I think we lost focus after we jumped out 7-0. We waited for someone else to get it done."

                              Losing focus could have been the reason the Tigers surrendered three runs in the fifth and sixth innings, including a two-run home run.

                              "We executed well all day long. We started breaking down," Hartley said. "Offensively, we tried to do things we could not do."

                              Regardless, Ontario came away with the sweep, as Schiemer was a double shy of hitting for the cycle on the day, finishing 6-for-8 on the day, with seven runs batted in. Mejia ended the twinbill with a 5-for-7 performance, scoring four runs and knocking in three. Cruickshank also added three RBIs.

                              Ontario travels to Baker Friday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.

                              Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                              The atmosphere is always tense when the Ontario Tigers take on the Vale Vikings in a sporting event. It was the same Friday afternoon when their tennis teams faced off in a Special District 4 tennis match, a match the Tigers won, 6-4.

                              "We played pretty well today," Ontario girls' head coach Dennis Gill said. "Vale is always good competition for us. The No. 2 and No. 3 singles were a lot tighter than I would have liked."

                              The Ontario girls nearly swept Vale, dropping just one match to the Vikings in the girls' singles. Cassandra Andrews picked up the lone win for the Vale girls, winning 7-6, 7-6 over Christie Linford.

                              Ontario's Stephanie Babij picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win over Rachel Carmichael in the girls' No. 1 singles.

                              Carmichael said the match was something she could learn from.

                              "It was a learning experience," she said. "I am used to being a doubles player, so I am getting use to being a singles player. This is the way you get better."

                              Kristy Church and Kelsey Pobanz remained undefeated on the season, beating Vale's Krystal Carmen and Megan Haueter, 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 1 girls' doubles match. The Tigers completed the doubles sweep with wins from Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz in the No. 2 match and Julie Hall and Jenna McClean in the No. 3 match.

                              The Vale boys' fared better, winning three of the five matches.

                              The Tigers Payton Aarestad handled Vale's Francisco Enduro 6-1, 6-4, in the No. 1 singles match. Vale rebounded to take the next two, getting victories from Fabian Faehndrich and Joe Adams.

                              Ontario's top boys' doubles team - Nick Babij and Philipp Dimakopulos - won, beating Robbie Seals and Travis McFeteridge 7-5, 6-2.

                              "I was really disappointed in the No. 1 boys matches. I thought we could play better. Ontario is always well coached and they just played better than we did," Vale head coach Susan Seals said. "The girls played pretty good. Rachel (Carmichael) is disappointed that she did not get more games. I am pleased with the No. 1 (girls) doubles. This is Megan Haueter's first year playing tennis and they did really well. Our second and third singles were really close matches. The girls stayed in and played tough the whole time."

                              The Ontario girls team (5-0 overall) will stay home to face Fruitland Monday, while the boys (2-3 overall) will travel to Fruitland to take on the Grizzlies.

                               Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                              Ontario School District officials are labeling a March 31 incident at Ontario Middle School as a situation that could spark awareness and dialogue between students and parents about the dangers of drug abuse.

                              The incident revolves around the buying, selling, possessing and consuming of NoDoz/Vivarin tablets and involved about 30 middle school students.

                              School officials were notified about the NoDoz/Vivarin selling spree through another middle school student, according to Ontario School District Director of Public Information and Community Involvement Katherine M. Collins.

                              Information regarding the incident, though, remains sketchy. Collins refused to identify specific punitive measures, if any, carried out in the wake of the case or provide a time frame for when students involved in the incident received, or will receive, penalties.

                              Collins said, however, the consequences for students involved in buying, selling and consuming NoDoz/Vivarin on campus were administered in accordance with the school policy.

                              According to Ontario School Board Policy, students caught with possession of drug paraphernalia, using, possessing or under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or "dangerous drugs" on or near campus will be recommended for suspension up to seven calendar days. The school will also notify parents and law enforcement of the drug activity.

                              Under the policy mandates, students caught sharing or selling narcotics, alcohol or "dangerous drugs" on or near campus will be recommended for expulsion with at least seven days of suspension and a chemical abuse evaluation.

                              Immediately following the incident, OMS Principal LaVelle Cornwell sent a letter home to parents that outlined the results from a school probe into the situation. The letter encouraged parents to talk to their children about "making choices."

                              Collins said the situation that occurred at OMS can result in a positive dialogue between parents and children.

                              "We can't do anything about what has happened in the past. We can only do something about the future. And, if parents will talk to their children about this subject, maybe we can keep this type of incident from happening again," Collins said.

                              NoDoz/Vivarin is an over-the-counter stimulant that contains 200mg of caffeine per tablet. Collins said the stimulant can have varied effects depending on the amount taken and size of the individual consuming it.

                              Cornwell said she cannot recall the last time there was a drug-related incident of this magnitude at OMS. Cornwell has handled a situation regarding a student found with an unopened package of cigarettes at school and an incident involving the unauthorized consumption of Tylenol by two students. Both events occurred in the past five years since Cornwell has been an administrator at OMS.

                              Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                              The Ontario School District board meeting Thursday covered an array of key issues in the school district, including updates on grants, preparation for summer school and new transportation policies.

                              The first major item on the agenda was an update on the three-year Reading First grant the Ontario School District received last year. The federal Reading First initiative allocated money to individual states in an effort to raise the reading level in public schools - which is a significant component of President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind policy.

                              The Reading First grant was awarded to Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools from federal monies funneled through the Oregon Department of Education.

                              The first stage of the grant allocated $325,824 for the hiring of reading coaches and updating classroom library materials. The second stage of the grant included $179,525 for special programs that work in conjunction with the Reading First initiative goals.

                              Ontario will receive funding next year, although the federal government has not released the final figures on the amount of funding. OSD can then reapply for another three-year Reading First grant. If the district is approved, the program will officially end after six years.

                              Sherri Sims, OSD director of school improvement, said the grant implementation is working well at both elementary schools. She added she is optimistic the school district will be accepted for the three-year extension of the grant.

                              Summer School

                              In other news, Alameda Elementary Principal Paul Erlebach - the chief principal in charge of summer school - discussed new goals he has for the summer session. Erlebach vision included increasing summer school enrollment, retaining the higher enrollment numbers and better identifying children with special needs.

                              Andy Kovach, principal of Pioneer Elementary School and director of the migrant student summer school, reported the migrant program will operate this year with 10 percent less federal funds. He said he was not sure why there will be less funding, but is confidant this year's migrant student summer school will be more successful than previous years because there is a clear set of goals and expectations for this session.

                              Transportation

                              In other unrelated business, Superintendent Dr. Dennis Carter gave a presentation on the changes that will take effect next year in regards to elementary students who currently take shuttle buses to attend a school that is not their "attendance area school."

                              Three years ago, the school board voted to end the district's policy of school choice, which gave parents and the district authority for children to attend an elementary school that is not closest to their home. The policy was intended to provide parents with choices on what school their child would attend and allow the school district to ensure each elementary school maintained fairly equal classroom sizes.

                              The school board determined the school choice policy created some confusion and increased district expenses for transporting the students who lived in the country, for instance, to an elementary school like May Roberts located in the city.

                              Along with the school board's resolution to end the school choice policy, they also said students currently attending an elementary school outside of their "attendance area school" could continue attending the school until they graduated to the middle school.

                              In addition to the provision in the resolution, the school board also passed a plan stating the district would provide three more years of shuttle transportation for these students.

                              Carter reported the three years of shuttle transportation expire at the end of this school year. But, there are still elementary students - though he could not provide an exact number - that would utilize the bus shuttles next year.

                              Carter plans on sending letters home in the next couple weeks to these families to notify them they will have to personally transport their children to the school they are attending if it is not their "attendance area school" or enroll their children in the school they would normally attend.

                              Air Conditioning

                              The school board finished the meeting by approving funding for a project to install air conditioning in Alameda, Pioneer and Aiken Elementary Schools. The approval for the funding passed unanimously.

                              Simpson takes the reigns    Mar. 16, 2004   Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                              Anyone who has watched an Ontario High School softball game in the past few year has seen Ontario head coach Gordy Ogawa in the dugout and at third base barking orders.

                              Well, not any longer though. Ogawa has moved on and there is a new big dog in charge.

                              Ontario resident and Fire Chief Randy Simpson is now the Ontario High School head softball coach.

                              Simpson said when Ogawa resigned he just threw his name in the hat for the position.

                              "I love softball and enjoy coaching. I have a self interest in the team with my daughter playing," Simpson said. "If I was not the head coach, I would have been here helping out anyway."

                              Simpson's daughter Stephanie is currently a junior at Ontario High School and has played softball for two years.

                              Simpson has been a part of the Field of Dreams coaching staff for the past four years - two at the U14 level and two at the U16 level.

                              "I wanted to see all the summer work continue," Simpson said.

                              When Simpson took over the team earlier this year, he found that there was just one big problem - there was no equipment.

                              "Except for a few bats, all the equipment that the high school had been using belonged to the Field of Dreams teams," Simpson said.

                              Simpson immediately went on a fundraising campaign.

                              "We sent out letters asking for donations and advertising banner sales,"   Simpson said.

                              Thus far with donations, fundraising and with a small amount from the high school, Simpson and the team have raised enough funds to be able to purchase catching gear, batting helmets and some balls.

                              A portable shed was donated to the team to store their new equipment, but they still need more.

                              "The uniforms the teams are wearing are in bad shape. They are between six and ten years old," Simpson said.

                              The team would like new uniforms and a pitching machine is in the works.

                              With just 21 players for two teams, including only three seniors, Simpson hopes to have a winning season.

                              Simpson and the Tigers will hit the field Wednesday against Caldwell High School in their season opener.

                              Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                              May Roberts Accelerated Elementary School cafeteria was transformed into pizza-making and necklace decorating stations, while in the main corridor, the sounds of both an electric saw and guitar echoed through the hall last week.

                              The third annual May Roberts Hobby Day began Friday, for the kindergarten, first- and second-grade students. An array of activities for the younger students were squeezed into a one hour block of time.

                              Elementary school student council members helped organize the event.

                              Another Hobby Day is slated for Friday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. for the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders.

                              Most of the activities tomorrow be the same as last week's Hobby Day but they will be presented at a more advanced level, according to May Roberts music teacher and student council adviser Teresa Gartung. School officials sent out a notification to parents and community members before Hobby Day was scheduled. Several volunteers offered to present their skills and talents with the students. Gartung said there were at least 10 presenters Friday that were parents or other volunteers from the community. May Roberts Principal Frances Ramirez said the idea for Hobby Day originated about three years ago from the Parent Intervention Cadre - a task force of teachers and parents formed to create more involvement. The result has been a positive one school official said.

                              "According to research and our own observations, parent involvement is one of the most important and essential factors in providing a successful school experience," Gartung said.

                              Some of the hobbies involved physical activity, such as lessons on Mexican dancing with the traditional clothing, or learning to cheerlead from parent volunteer Keri Rock, who has a gymnastics background. Local firefighters Jarrod and Danyale Simontacchi demonstrated wildland fire equipment and taught students about fire prevention.

                              Students in the cafeteria were one step closer to becoming culinary experts after learning to make mini pizzas, snacks, necklaces out of candy and decorations filled with candy and chips. Other activities were focused on arts and crafts. Some elementary students assembled computer generated images into a coloring book and bound it with leather. Others made mini photo albums, learned origami (Japanese art of folding paper to make shapes and figures) and woodworking techniques.

                              Argus Observer Sports Staff

                              The Ontario baseball team took the opener 7-5, before dropping the nightcap, 7-3 to Baker in Greater Oregon League baseball action Friday in Baker City.

                              In the opener, the Tigers struck first, scoring one run in each of the third and fourth innings and five more in the fifth inning, to take a 7-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Baker scored four runs to get back in the game, but only scored one run in the seventh, as their comeback attempt fell short.

                              "We played a good team from Baker," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "We did some good things to come away with a split. If this team could stay focused and execute for an entire doubleheader, I think we could have won both games."

                              Shane Schiemer pitched six plus innings for Ontario, striking out 11 Bulldogs to pick up the victory. Jake Beck pitched the seventh to pick up the save.

                              Schiemer also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Matt Mejia and Brandon Coley each went 2-for-3 from the plate in the win.

                              In the nightcap, the Tigers were unable to put together a big inning, scoring only one run in the fourth and two runs in the sixth.

                              "The Baker pitching staff did an amazing job making us swing the bats today. Neither starter from Baker gave up any walks, and that is something I want our pitchers to strive for. I know we are capable of making that happen," Hartley said.

                              Ontario's Zach Park and Juan Trejo each hit doubles for the Tigers. Park and Derek Kygar were the only Tigers to drive in runs.

                              The Tigers are back in action Tuesday, when they travel to Nyssa in a nonleague contest.

                              Argus Observer Sports Staff ONTARIO

                              The Ontario softball team dropped a pair of Greater Oregon League games, 12-1 and 10-0, to the Riverside Saturday in Ontario.

                              The Ontario batters could not get anything going, combining for five hits in two games.

                              "Offensively, (Erica) Hancock just kept us at bay," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the first game other than the two errors the girls really played well, but we only got two hits."

                              In the second game, the Tigers (1-12 overall, 0-8 GOL) were able to hold off the offensive threat of the Pirates for the first two innings, allowing just one run. Riverside's bats came to life, scoring four runs to grab a 5-0 advantage in the third inning.

                              The Pirates added three runs in the fourth inning and two in the fifth, ending the game with the 10-run mercy rule.

                              "We are improving every week. AJ (Hawk) pitched very well in the first game and Kayla (Yano) only allowed six hits in the second game. The girls are playing their guts out," Simpson said. "The girls played better than the score indicates."

                              In the first game, Ontario's Jamie Arant and Stephanie Simpson each went 1-for-3.

                              In the nightcap, Simpson, Kailey Poole and Kayla Montgomery had the Tigers' only hits and were 1-for-2.

                              The Tigers continue GOL play Saturday when they play host to the La Grande Tigers.

                              Andrew Cutler Argus Observer CORVALLIS - It hasn't taken a little known talent from Ontario long to run with the big dogs of the Pac-10 Conference.

                              Michael Lissman, who is a 2003 graduate of Ontario High School, has provided the Oregon State University baseball team with plenty of power during his freshman season. Lissman has clubbed four home runs - tied for third on the team - and has driven in 21 runs entering a weekend series at Cal State Sacramento. Lissman's contributions have helped the Beavers 22-11 start.

                              "This is everything I've wanted," Lissman said. "Baseball and school. I love baseball, that's everything I ever want to do in college."

                              Lissman was questionable entering the series with the Hornets because of a strained achilles tendon suffered before pregame warmups during a series with the Washington Huskies a week ago.

                              "I'm getting treatment, it just matters how I feel," Lissman said. "If it feels good, it shouldn't affect playing time."

                              Lissman did not play in Friday's 7-2 win over Sacramento State.

                              The Ontario standout batted .529 and hit 10 home runs with the Tigers during his senior season at OHS. Lissman averaged a home

                              run less than every seven at bats and had 45 RBIs, helping the Ontario Tigers to a second-place finish at the 3A state tournament. Ontario finished the 2003 with a 25-3 overall record. The Tigers had a 22-game winning streak snapped by Mazama in the 3A final, 4-3.

                              Lissman said there is one big change from playing in the 3A Greater Oregon League and the NCAA Division I Pac-10 Conference - pitching.

                              "Every pitcher I go out and face is better than any pitcher I ever saw in the GOL," Lissman, who is second on the team with a .361 batting average, said. "Every pitcher I see is good. They are Division I baseball players Division I pitchers. They are here for a reason. It's amazing going from one day guys that throw in the high 70s or low 80s to guys that hit the high 80s, low 90s every day. That is a big jump."

                              It hasn't taken the freshman long to show he belongs among the nation's best.

                              On April 9, Lissman homered twice and drove in four runs, helping the Beavers to a 5-4 win over No. 2 Stanford. In the bottom of the second, Lissman poked a 1-ball, 1-strike pitch over the fence in right-center field. In the bottom of the fourth, Lissman drove another 1-1 pitch out of the park, this time into the fir trees beyond the center field fence.

                              It's been the highlight of a stellar freshman season.

                              "The win against Stanford is the highlight, just because of who they are," Lissman said. "They are No. 2 in the nation. They are there for a reason, they are good.

                              "But the thing is we are capable of so much more, that's the thing that keeps me excited. I know we are better than what we are. It makes everyone keep pushing to get better."

                              Lissman, who splits time between being the Beavers' designated hitter and roaming left field, said when Oregon State kicked off the season February 13 in Surprise, Ariz. it was like a "dream."

                              "The first game of the year (against Utah) I started," Lissman said. "We played in one of the nicest parks I've ever played in. It is where Texas (Rangers) and Kansas City (Royals) have Spring Training. It's different. It's something you have to change to. It's like a dream I'm living in and I love it.

                              "Every day I go out and give 100 percent. You never know when it could be the last game. It's an opportunity that I got to go to Oregon State. I figure I might as well run with it. Ride it until the wheels fall off."

                              Tigers bats silent in GOL sweep  April 19, 2004  Argus Observer Sports Staff ONTARIO

                              The Ontario softball team dropped a pair of Greater Oregon League games, 12-1 and 10-0, to the Riverside Saturday in Ontario.

                              The Ontario batters could not get anything going, combining for five hits in two games.

                              "Offensively, (Erica) Hancock just kept us at bay," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the first game other than the two errors the girls really played well, but we only got two hits."

                              In the second game, the Tigers (1-12 overall, 0-8 GOL) were able to hold off the offensive threat of the Pirates for the first two innings, allowing just one run. Riverside's bats came to life, scoring four runs to grab a 5-0 advantage in the third inning.

                              The Pirates added three runs in the fourth inning and two in the fifth, ending the game with the 10-run mercy rule.

                              "We are improving every week. AJ (Hawk) pitched very well in the first game and Kayla (Yano) only allowed six hits in the second game. The girls are playing their guts out," Simpson said. "The girls played better than the score indicates."

                              In the first game, Ontario's Jamie Arant and Stephanie Simpson each went 1-for-3.

                              In the nightcap, Simpson, Kailey Poole and Kayla Montgomery had the Tigers' only hits and were 1-for-2.

                              The Tigers continue GOL play Saturday when they play host to the La Grande Tigers.

                              William Anderson Argus Observer

                              From the first pitch of the game the Ontario baseball team set the tempo.

                              After warmups and all the pregame business, Nyssa's John Whitmire delivered a pitch to Ontario's Matt Mejia, who hit a triple to right field and scored on a throwing error on the play, as Ontario took a 1-0 lead after one pitch.

                              The Tigers went on to defeat the Bulldogs 8-3 in a nonleague baseball game Tuesday afternoon in Nyssa.

                              Following Mejia's triple, Kyle Mitchell walked and Zach Park hit a 3-1 pitch to left center, to give the Tigers (11-3 overall) a quick 3-0 lead.

                              Whitmire settled down, getting Shane Schiemer to fly out to left field and Derek Kygar to ground out to the shortstop, before Walking Chris Schauer on four straight pitches, fol-

                              lowed by a fly-out to Scott Curtis to end the inning.

                              "We started out hitting the ball well," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "All you can do is hit the ball hard."

                              The Bulldogs (7-6) in the bottom of the frame had some luck as well. Mitch Holliday opened up the inning, drawing a base on balls, before Jessie Garcia hit a sacrifice fly to center field, to score Holliday. Cody Waldo later came around to score on a wild pitch.

                              Unfortunately, that would be as close as Nyssa would get, as Ontario again scored three runs in their half of the second inning and one more in the third inning, before Nyssa responded with one run in the fourth inning, after a leadoff double by Rigo Paz.

                              "We were kind of surprised they hit the ball as hard as they did," Nyssa head coach Swede Mason said. "Three runs is not too much to make up."

                              Ontario added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Jared McLean reached on a single and scored on a Jake Beck single to left field.

                              "I think Mejia started it out, ripping a triple to the gap," Hartley said about his team's quick start. "It is nice when your leadoff guy gets on. (Chance) Cruickshank did a good job making Nyssa put the ball in play."

                              On the day, Ontario's Park finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs batted in, and Schiemer and Beck finished the game with an RBI.

                              Nyssa was led by Trent Holcomb, going 2-for-3 from the plate and Garcia picked up the Bulldogs' lone RBI.

                              Ontario is at Burns Saturday in a Greater Oregon League matchup, while Nyssa is in Pine Eagle for Special District 8 action.

                              Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                              Thirty years after she first started teaching, Georgia Navarro, assistant principal at Ontario Middle School, will retire at the end of the school year.

                              Navarro started her teaching career in 1973, after graduating from Idaho State, Pocatello. Her first job was as a language arts teacher at Mount Vernon High School.

                              "There were only 45 kids in the school. It was fun. I took the senior class (five kids) on a trip to British Columbia in my car for their senior trip," she said.

                              Navarro continued on as a language arts teacher in Prairie City from 1975 to 1977.

                              After the new special education law was put into place in 1976, Navarro started her 12-year career as a special education teacher.

                              In 1977, she went to work at Ontario High School.

                              "I was the first special education teacher Ontario High School ever had. I got to set up my own programs," Navarro said.

                              After marrying, Navarro went to work in La Grande as a special education teacher for two years before returning to Ontario and where she took on the task of special education specialist at Lindberg and Pioneer Elementary Schools.

                              A few years later, Navarro moved on to what was know at the time as Ontario Junior High.

                              When Don Sutherland retired as the language arts and social studies teacher in 1988, Navarro went back to teaching his subjects to seventh graders.

                              "Seventh-grade was my favorite age group," Navarro said.

                              Seventeen years after she started teaching, Navarro wanted to do something else. Already equipped with a teaching credential and her masters degree, she decided to earn her administrative credentials. In 1991, she Navarro received those credentials after attending Albertson College.

                              That same year, Navarro became the assistant principal of Ontario Middle School under the direction of Gene Bates.

                              Ontario School District superintendent contacted Navarro in 1995 and offered her the position of principal at Pioneer Elementary School and she accepted, she said.

                              "I was not only the principal, I was also the special education specialist there," Navarro said.

                              When Irene Bates retired from May Roberts Elementary School, Navarro became the principal at that school.

                              In 2000, Navarro landed her final and current position as one of the assistant principals at OMS.

                              "I think changing jobs or locations every four or five years keeps thing fresh and you are not in a rut," Navarro said.

                              In her current position, Navarro has a multitude of responsibilities. She supervises breakfast and lunch, attends meetings nearly every morning, reads the morning announcement, disciplines students and performs the athletic director duties for the middle school.

                              "The best part of the athletic director job is that I get to see some of the best kids doing good stuff and I have gotten to meet other AD's and coaches from other schools," Navarro said.

                              Though the years at the elementary and secondary schools have been good ones, Navarro is looking forward to retirement.

                              "I will be a part-time instructor at TVCC. I will teach nine hours per quarter in low-level English classes, and I will be supervising student teachers for Eastern Oregon University," Navarro said.

                              Tigers take two more GOL losses    April 25, 2004    Argus Observer Sports Staff

                              The Ontario softball team's troubles continue, as they were swept in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader Saturday afternoon, falling 9-0 and 14-1 in two games to La Grande.

                              In the opening game, the Tigers (1-14 overall, 0-10 GOL) managed only one hit in the game. Ontario allowed nine hits and finished with two errors.

                              "The girls have got to be able to play complete games," Ontario softball coach Randy Simpson said. "We are not at the point were we are playing complete games."

                              In the nightcap, things did not get much better for the Tigers, as they committed seven errors, but got five hits and scored a run in the six inning contest.

                              "Jamie Arant played some of the best defense she has played all year," Simpson said. "She made some phenomenal plays."

                              The Tigers host Baker Thursday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.  Prep Tennis

                              The Ontario tennis team barely broke a sweat Saturday, picking up a pair of Special District 4 wins.

                              The Tigers blanked both Madras and Burns, handing each a 10-0 defeat at Burns High School.

                              "We played well," Ontario boys' head coach Ernie Alger said. "The kids really stayed in it from start to finish."

                              No Tiger was extended past two sets in either match.

                              The closest match came in the No. 3 girls' singles match against the Hilanders. Ontario's Marcela Ramirez took a close 7-5, 7-5 win over Melissa Thomas.

                              "The girls did well," Ontario girls head coach Dennis Gill said. "Madras always gives us good competition. We just did a great job."

                              The Tigers (8-0 Special District 4) will entertain Homedale Tuesday in nonleague play.

                              Ontario nine manages split with Bulldogs    April 18, 2004    Argus Observer Sports Staff

                              The Ontario baseball team took the opener 7-5, before dropping the nightcap, 7-3 to Baker in Greater Oregon League baseball action Friday in Baker City.

                              In the opener, the Tigers struck first, scoring one run in each of the third and fourth innings and five more in the fifth inning, to take a 7-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Baker scored four runs to get back in the game, but only scored one run in the seventh, as their comeback attempt fell short.

                              "We played a good team from Baker," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "We did some good things to come away with a split. If this team could stay focused and execute for an entire doubleheader, I think we could have won both games."

                              Shane Schiemer pitched six plus innings for Ontario, striking out 11 Bulldogs to pick up the victory. Jake Beck pitched the seventh to pick up the save.

                              Schiemer also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Matt Mejia and Brandon Coley each went 2-for-3 from the plate in the win.

                              In the nightcap, the Tigers were unable to put together a big inning, scoring only one run in the fourth and two runs in the sixth.

                              "The Baker pitching staff did an amazing job making us swing the bats today. Neither starter from Baker gave up any walks, and that is something I want our pitchers to strive for. I know we are capable of making that happen," Hartley said.

                              Ontario's Zach Park and Juan Trejo each hit doubles for the Tigers. Park and Derek Kygar were the only Tigers to drive in runs.

                              The Tigers are back in action Tuesday, when they travel to Nyssa in a nonleague contest.

                              William Anderson Argus Observer

                              Thirteens were running wild Thursday afternoon in Ontario.

                              First off the Ontario softball team lost both games of a Greater Oregon League doubleheader, 13-0, to Baker at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center.

                              The two defeats were the 13th straight losses on the season for Ontario.

                              During the nightcap, the Tigers never seemed to have anything swing their way.

                              After allowing three runs in the first inning, Ontario's leadoff hitter Jamie Arant hit the ball to right field, as Baker's rightfielder, Amber Uriarte, came up firing, gunning out the sliding Arant at first base.

                              "(Heidi) Boyer pitched a great game. She kept us at bay the whole time. That is why they are the No. 3 team in the state," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "We were playing well, then we had some breakdowns on errors. The girls are still learning and they are improving."

                              Over the next four innings for the Tigers (1-16 overall, 0-12 GOL), they held Baker to only two runs, before they scored eight runs, on six hits and two Tiger errors in the sixth inning.

                              One bright spot for the Tigers, was Arant, picking up the lone hit for the Tigers, while playing solid defense at shortstop.

                              Jessica Horn drew a two-out walk in the first inning for Ontario, as she and Arant were the only two base runners of the game.

                              Overall, the Bulldogs picked up 10 hits in the game.

                              In the opening game, Boyer pitched a no-hitter against the Tigers, as Tara Wilson had a triple and a double, knocking in two runs, while Amber Uriarte had a triple and two RBIs in the game.

                              Ontario continues its Greater Oregon League schedule today on the road against Mac-Hi.

                              Argus Observer Sports Staff

                              Two Ontario Tigers won at least two events Thursday afternoon at the Vale Invitational track meet in Vale.

                              Riley Frisby and Sheryl Page each won two individual events, while Page helped the 4x400 relay team to a first place finish.

                              Frisby won the 800 and 1,500 meter, with times of 2 minutes, 2.95 seconds, and 4:17.3 respectively, as teammate Jacob Blaylock was not far behind in each event, taking third and fourth in the 800 and 1,500 respectively.

                              "I thought it was a very good meet. A lot of GOL (Greater Oregon League) teams. We got to see a preview of what would happen in district," Ontario track coach Randy Waite said. "We set a lot of personal records and did very well."

                              Page also won the 800 and 1,500 meter races with times of 2:18.05 and 5:01.05 respectively, as she also helped the 4x400 meter relay team to first place finish, at 4:11.

                              Also on the relay team are Angie Hamman, Kristen Hamman and Jordan Bainbridge.

                              William Anderson Argus Observer

                              After taking the first game a Greater Oregon League doubleheader 11-1, the Ontario baseball team had a hard time closing out the deal in the second game, over the stubborn Vale Vikings, Friday afternoon as the Tigers picked up the sweep with a 12-6 nightcap victory at Elks Memorial Field in Ontario.

                              In the nightcap, the Tigers had the Vikings down 8-1 after four innings of play. With the Vikings not wanting to end their trip to Ontario prematurely, Vale scored two more runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Ontario matched the Vikings on the scoreboard, but the Tigers (14-4 overall, 6-2 GOL) never were able to end the game early.

                              "We could have shut down after that first game when we were down 8-1," Vale head coach Tom Cuellar said. "When we play teams that are solid in the field and at the plate, we have to rise to their level."

                              Still, the Vikings (4-16, 2-8) never gave up on the day, scoring five of their runs in the final three innings and pounding out seven of their nine hits in the same stretch.

                              "I thought we played very well as a team today," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Those who watch us play, know I put a lot of pressure on my players, especially when we are ahead. Whether we are bunting with two strikes or trying to pick guys off, when we really do not need to, we are preparing for the playoffs."

                              In the opening game, Ontario jumped out early, scoring nine runs in the first two innings.

                              "We have a young team, that is not an excuse, we are just young," Cuellar said. "It seems like we always get ourselves behind the 8-ball."

                              Ontario's Brandon Coley pitched the first game, allowing only two hits and one run in the game to pick up the win.

                              Overall on the day, Vale's Mark Moreno went 3-for-7 and Kyle Bates went 3-for-4, while teammate Pat Verdun knocked in two runs.

                              Ontario was led by Matt Mejia, who went 4-for-5, while Shane Schiemer, Jared McLean and Kyle Mitchell all picked up three hits on the day. Chance Cruickshank knocked in six runs in the two games, while Schiemer and Mitchell each knocked in four and Jake Beck knocked in three.

                              Vale heads to Middleton Thursday in a nonconference game.

                              Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                              With great defense and a triple in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Ontario Tigers baseball team was able to defeat the Kuna Kavemen, 3-2 in a nonleague game Saturday at Ontario High School.

                              Ontario's Matt Mejia got up to the plate with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning and the score still tied at 2-2. Mejia let the first four balls go past him. Ball, ball, ball, strike. Now he was ready.

                              The next pitch came across the plate and Mejia drove the ball deep to left centerfield. He jumped on his wheels and before Kuna could get the ball back to the pitcher, Mejia was safely on third base.

                              With the winning run on third, Chance Cruickshank stepped up to the plate. He faked a bunt and at the last second belted the ball down the third base line. Mejia scored and the game was over.

                              "I was very pleased with our defensive efforts. Chris (Schauer) forced a lot of ground balls, and I thought we played really well behind him," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Offensively, we have some work to do executing, but I thought Matt really stepped it up today."

                              Mejia was 3-for-4 from the plate with a triple, double, single and an RBI for the Tigers. Zack Park was 2-for-3 with two singles.

                              Ontario catcher Jared McLean made some key outs for the Tigers in the close victory.

                              "Jared McLean has really been great to have behind the plate this year. He's had to work with a lot of different pitchers and he still keeps balls in front of him while throwing out more base runners than any other high school catcher I have ever seen," Hartley said.

                              The Tigers (16-4 overall, 6-2 GOL) continue Greater Oregon League action Saturday when they take on Mac-Hi in a doubleheader in Ontario.

                              Andrew Cutler Argus observer

                              Seven Ontario Tigers drove in runs, helping the Tigers to a 12-0 rout of Mac-Hi in the nightcap of a Greater Oregon League baseball doubleheader at Elks Memorial Field.

                              The Pioneers scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning, stunning the Tigers for a 3-2 win in the opener.

                              "It was very nice to see us bounce back after the first game," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Unfortunately the time is coming when you don't have a chance to make up losses like that."

                              The Tigers (7-5 overall, 7-3 GOL) had eight hits in the nightcap. Kyle Mitchell led the way with a 2-for-3 outing.

                              Ontario got three runs in the bottom of the third. Scott Curtis and Matt Mejia each drew bases loaded walks and Chance Cruickshank had a sacrifice fly.

                              It was more than enough for Cruickshank.

                              The Ontario starting pitcher scattered two hits and one walk over five innings, while striking out four. Cruickshank did not allow a hit until the fourth inning when Jesus Gonzalez lined a single to right field.

                              Ontario went on to add nine runs in the bottom of the fourth. Brandon Coley and Scott Curtis each had two-run doubles. Mejia, Shane Schiemer, Zach Park and Kyle Mitchell all had RBIs in the frame.

                              Curtis finished with three RBIs, while Coley and Mejia each drove in a pair of runs.

                              In the opener, Wayne Williams had an RBI single to highlight the Pioneers' seventh-inning comeback.

                              Mac-Hi's Carlos Ruualcaba fanned 10 and walked three in the complete game.

                              "Ruualcaba is a quality lefty and he threw very well for Mac-Hi today," Hartley said. "We will have to learn to beat someone like that or our season is about over."

                              Mejia and Coley each had RBI singles in the third inning for Ontario.

                              The Tigers host Nyssa at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Elks Memorial Field, before closing the regular season Saturday at La Grande in GOL action.

                              Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                              The eighth-grade Rocket team at Ontario Middle School explored the roots of its heritage during a cultural diversity fair Monday.

                              The diversity fair - in its eighth year at OMS - provided the students with an opportunity to showcase a major project they have been working on since the beginning of the school year.

                              Inspired by a seminar Ontario School District brought to the middle school nine years ago called "Project Reach," OMS English teacher Donna Edwards and social studies teacher Dennis Hironaka developed the idea for an integrated project that combined math, social studies, English and science.

                              Edwards and Hironaka said they thought relating the project to students' cultural roots would hold the interest of the students and instill in them pride and appreciation for their heritage. Edwards said the program has been successful in doing both.

                              The students begin the project in the fall by researching their heritage. Some students have a difficult time tracing their genealogy, Edwards said. A simple Internet search on a students' last name, however, will provide at least a little information about a students' cultural background, Edwards said.

                              After researching their heritage, students write a report about the culture of the country their relatives emigrated from to fulfill requirements for the English portion of the project. For science, students study the climate of their country and create a travel brochure. In social studies class, the eighth-graders give speeches about their project that is videotaped, and in math class, they make charts and graphs comparing commodities in their countries.

                              The eighth-graders were able to showcase their projects from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday at the middle school gym for select elementary classes from Aiken and Cairo Elementary Schools and other middle school students.

                              Parents and grandparents were invited to come to the middle school Monday night to view the projects.

                              Edwards said the fair during the evening draws some of the largest crowds of parents and relatives than many other events at the middle school.

                              During the fair, several eighth-graders dressed in traditional clothing from their country.

                              And even more students brought music to play and food for sampling from their countries.

                              Edwards said almost every country was represented during the cultural fair.

                              One of the few that was not represented was China. Mexico and Germany were among the popular countries represented at the fair.

                              Edwards said the projects have evolved into more elaborate productions during the cultural fair each year as technology improves.

                              William Anderson Argus Observer

                              With a first-place finish and a second-place finish, the Ontario girls' and boys' golf teams head to Redmond with individual and state title hopes in mind.

                              The Ontario girls tee off at the Eagle Crest Resort, while the boys will compete at Eagle Crest Ridge. Both courses are in Redmond. The tournament is Monday and Tuesday.

                              The girls' team will be taking five girls - Cecilia Garcia, Jennifer Jaramillo, Camilie Davis, April Patton and Holly Houston - to the two-day tournament.

                              With the exception of Davis, the girls' team is comprised of underclassman, with Garcia a sophomore and Jaramillo, Patton and Houston each freshman.

                              "(Overcoming their youth) will be our biggest challenge," Ontario girls' golf coach Russ Leininger said. "The girls are playing good."

                              Leininger said that Garcia, who played fourth position at state last season, has really stepped up her play and became a leader.

                              "I think Garcia will place in the top five, if she plays well," Leininger said.

                              The Ontario boys' finished second to La Grande, last week at district, shooting a 690 as a team.

                              Headlining this year's team is Wade Douglas, Marcus Uchida, JC Schram, Brady Kameshige and Dane Dinsmore. Colby Eyre is the alternate.

                              "I think we have a shot to do well at state. We did not play very well at district. The guys did not play as well as they wanted to," Ontario boys' golf coach Scott Helmick said. "We are ready to go, really focused this week."

                              Helmick said that Douglas and Uchida have pretty identical averages, with each having a good shot at placing in the top 10.

                              The teams are traveling today, with a practice round this afternoon in Redmond.

                              William Anderson Argus Observer VALE

                              The Ontario tennis team extended its dominance in the girls' singles, as freshman Stephanie Babij won the Special District 4 championship match, against Vale's Rachel Carmichael, 6-1, 6-2 Saturday afternoon in Vale.

                              Overall, the Ontario tennis team is bringing 10 players to the state tournament, Friday and Saturday, in Eugene.

                              Babij, Ontario's lone girls' singles state qualifier, took over the reigns of graduated Amanda Iseri, who had won four straight district titles.

                              "I played pretty well," Babij said of her performance in the championship match. "I am just excited to get to go to state. The score does not show how tough the match was."

                              Carmichael also earns a spot to state, as Cassandra Andrews of Vale and Bakers Gloria Ho.

                              "I thought she played very well, he handled the pressure outstanding, as a freshman,"

                              Ontario girls' tennis coach Dennis Gill said.

                              As far as girls' doubles go, Ontario claimed the top four slots, with Kristy Church and Kelsy Pobanz taking the No. 1 slot into state, with a 6-3, 6-3 win over teammates Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz in the championship match, while Jenna McClean and Julie Hall defeated Vale's Trish Lacey and Tracey Romans 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in the third-place game.

                              The Tigers are bringing seven girls' to state, while Vale has four girls heading to Eugene.

                              "Seven is the most I have taken," Gill said. "We want to make a run at the team title. That is a goal of the team - be first in state."

                              On the boys' side, Ontario will be sending three guys, while Vale will have four boys make the trip west.

                              Ontario's Peyton Aarestad lost to Baker's Luke Rembold, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, in the boys' singles championship match, while Vale's Francisco Endara defeated teammate Fabian Faehnrich, 8-3, as all four earned state slots.

                              In the boys' doubles, Ontario's Nick Babij and Philipp Dimakopoulos defeated Vale's Robby Seals and Travis McFetridge, 6-0, 7-6 (7-2), to claim the No. 1 spot, while Adam Behrends and Omer Goodson, Madras, defeated Baker's Shawn Ho and Lowell Curtis, 8-,5 for third place.

                              The Vale boys' won, with 18 1/2 points, while the Ontario girls won with 28 points. Overall, Ontario collected 44 team points, while Vale had 36 1/2 points.

                              Argus Observer Sports Staff

                              The Ontario baseball team had a strong finish their regular season Saturday, picking up a pair of Greater Oregon League wins, as they defeated La Grande 11-1 and 18-1 in a doubleheader, in La Grande.

                              In the opening game, Ontario scored one run in the first inning and added two more in the third, before exploding for six runs in the fourth inning, to take a 9-0 lead.

                              After one run in the fifth by La Grande, Ontario scored twice more in the top of the sixth, to implement the 10-run mercy rule.

                              "We had some fantastic pitching and offensive performances today," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said.

                              Altogther on the day, the Tigers scored 29 runs on 30 hits, as nearly every batter that went to the plate for Ontario picked up a base hit, led by Zach Park and Shane Schiemer, each picking up five hits on the game.

                              On the mound for Ontario, the pitchers gave up five hits and two runs in the games, Hartley said he was very pleased.

                              In the nightcap, Ontario scored five runs in the first and six more in the second, to take a quick 11-0 lead.

                              Shane Schiemer picked up the win on the mound, pitching four innings of nohit ball, while striking out seven.

                              "I think we are right where we need to be right now," Hartley said. "We have a week to get everyone healthy and I think we have all the tools to make a run at the title."

                              Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                              The Ontario girls' tennis team is back to take care of some unfinished business - winning a 3A/2A/1A Oregon State Tennis title.

                              The Ontario girls, along with three Ontario boys qualifiers and eight Vale representatives, begin play in the state tournament Friday morning in Eugene.

                              Ontario has been on the threshold of its first girls tennis title the last two seasons. Last year, with only three girls, Ontario finished third. In 2002, Ontario took fourth place.

                              "This group of seniors wants to go out and preform well," Ontario girls' head coach Dennis Gill, who has seven girls making the trip to Eugene, said. "They want to end their high school careers with a state title."

                              Kristy Church and Kelsey Pobanz are the No. 2 seed in girls' doubles. The duo is un-defeated this season after a third place finish at state last season. The duo is looking to continue Special District 4's dominance in girls' doubles.

                              "They have a real shot (at winning)," Gill said. "The league has dominated doubles at state. last year, our league took first, third and fourth in girls' doubles."

                              Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz are the No. 3 seed at state, after finishing second to Church and Kelsey Pobanz at district.

                              Gill said he hopes the number of girls he has at state will help against some of the traditionaly strong tennis schools.

                              "Catlin Gabel is not taking very many and Marist is always tough," Gill said. "Those two teams have done real well in the past and they have good teams back."

                               Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                              Ontario School District Superintendent Dr. Dennis Carter announced May 12 to district staff members his plan to advance Ontario Middle School Principal LaVelle Cornwell into a position as principal of both the middle school and the high school.

                              The announcement came one day after Ontario High School Principal Patrick Royal officially resigned from the district - effective June 30.

                              Royal said he is leaving OSD to take over the principal slot of Coquille High School in Coquille to be closer to his family, he said.

                              Cornwell, who has been with the district 26 years and principal of OMS since 2001, will manage her days between the high school and middle school with five associate principals to assist her.

                              One of the five associate principal positions will need to be filled since Georgia Navarro, associate principal at OMS, is retiring June 30.

                              The new administrative arrangement is intended to help students with the transition between middle school and high school, according to Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement at OSD. She said the district wanted to create a more cohesive sixth- through 12th-grade school system.

                              Carter said the district would also like to increase the high school retention rate. He said since the No Child Left Behind Act and the boost in federal school regulations, high school drop out rates are becoming a larger liability for the district.

                              However, Carter said Cornwell's new position as OMS and OHS principal will not immediately and directly cause high school drop out rates to decrease.

                              "This in itself isn't going to make changes in that (drop out rates), but in time they (joint middle school and high school administration) will come up with solutions," Carter said.

                              The new administrative plan places Ontario High School as the only Class 3A high school in the state without a full-time principal, Royal said. Other high schools in Oregon have part-time principals but they are much smaller schools, he said. For example, Jordan Valley High School and Adrian High School operate with a superintendent who also serves as principal.

                              Royal remained optimistic the new administrative plan could be effective, but added it will be "very time consuming" for Cornwell. He said only "time will tell if it works" since there is no precedent for the administrative organization in Oregon.

                              While no high school in Oregon comparable to Ontario's operates with a part-time principal, across the state border Nampa High School and Skyview High School in the Nampa School District are managed in a similar fashion to the new OMS/OHS administrative configuration.

                              Nampa School District's superintendent instituted a new administrative structure four years ago. Skyview High School and South Middle School were divided into one group and Nampa High School and West Middle School into another. Two chief education officers (CEOs) sit at the head of each group. There is one permanent administrator, called the "lead building administrator" at each middle school and high school. In addition, there are three administrators, six total, within each high school/middle school group that handle single-issue items, such as special education. Jeff Read, CEO of Nampa High School and West Middle School, said the administrative arrangement between the high schools and middle schools has been altered since its inception and continues to evolve. Read said the district implemented the new arrangement because there was a break-down in the communication between the high schools and middle schools. He said the plan was met with confusion and doubt when it was first proposed, but after four years the district is now beginning to see positive results.There is lingering doubt among some Ontario School District employees about the new administrative plan as well. Joe Garner, president of the teachers' union, was reluctant to provide concrete information on how many teachers were upset over the new administrative plan.

                              Garner said though, that some of the initial and still relevant concerns from teachers he has spoken with include time constraints Cornwell may have with managing two schools in addition to instances when teachers need immediate principal, not associate principal, approval on a matter. Garner said the teachers had meetings with district staff, including the superintendent, Wednesday night and tonight to discuss concerns teachers may have regarding the new plan. He said after these meetings he will be more prepared to offer a statement on behalf of the teachers.

                               Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                              To wrap up the 2004 tennis season, Ontario Middle School hosted the sixth annual Middle School Invitational Tennis Tournament May 15 in Ontario. With all the teams at the district tournament, the middle school teams had full reign of all the courts in town.

                              Teams that came to Ontario for the competition were Baker, Vale and Parma.

                              "With the combined effort and help of Baker coach Marsha Smith, Vale coach Dr. Al Butler and Parma coach Lary Nielsen, the action packed day ran smoothly. OHS had districts out of town, so we had the use of all the courts in town. This kept the tournament moving at a timely pace," Ontario Middle School head coach Suzie Robertson said.

                              The Ontario girls swept the singles competition, earning all three top spots and also placed second in the doubles competition.

                              Chris Babij placed first, Krista Holloway second and Mimi Kameshige third in the singles and the duo of Ashley Plaza and Lindsay Wilson took second in the doubles.

                              Ontario's Kegham McGraw placed third in the boys' singles and Levi Heiple and Grant Saito took third in the boys' doubles.

                              Trophies and ribbons were awarded to first through third place in all categories.

                              "The Baker coach donated funds from the Baker tennis program and along with the small amount of money Ontario had already given, we were able to get some nice trophies from Trolee Awards," Robertson said.

                              William Anderson Argus Observer

                              Without even collecting a single base hit in the seventh inning, Ontario was able to load the bases and score a run, to complete a four-run rally over two innings to come back and defeat Wilsonville, 7-6, in the first round of the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Oregon 3A Baseball State Championships at Elks Memorial Field in Ontario.

                              With the score tied 6-6, with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom half of the inning, Kyle Mitchell hit a line drive to center field, where Dylan Bruck was waiting for it, waiting to throw home.

                              Brucks' throw was offline, as Jake Beck came in to score the winning run.

                              "They are a great team, and we are excited to be able to beat them," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "I am worried anytime we are down, because it opens the door for someone on their team to clutch up."

                              Still, the Tigers had to rally to to cut into the 6-3 deficit.

                              Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, down by three, the Tigers' season was on the line. Ontario rallied to score three runs in the bottom half of the inning, with two outs. Zach Park knocked home two runs, when he hit a two-run triple to center field, just a couple feet shy of exiting the park, to cut the lead to 6-5.

                              Wilsonville promptly pulled starting pitcher, Bryon Roby, and brought in reliever Matt Bressler.

                              Ontario's cleanup hitter Shane Schiemer welcomed Bressler to the game with a double to left field, to tie the game.

                              "It was a wake up call to go into the sixth inning down by three," Hartley said. "Our at bats got more focused as the game went on. That is probably the one thing we are going to have to stress throughout the playoffs. Every at bat is important, especially now."

                              Schiemer was stranded on second to end the scoring for the Tigers (21-5 overall).

                              Opening the game, Ontario scored first, with two runs in the bottom of the second, when Jake Beck hit a two-run home run.

                              The Wildcats (15-8) responded, scoring three runs in the top of the third, to take a brief lead.

                              Ontario scored once in the bottom of the third, to tie the game.

                              Wilsonville scored three times in the fifth inning, to take a 6-3 lead, heading into the sixth.

                              Ontario had one great opportunity to put some runs across the plate, in the fifth inning, when Schiemer led off the inning with a triple. The next three Ontario batters were retired to end the threat, leaving Schiemer on third.

                              Ontario moves on to face top-ranked Douglas, Wednesday in the second round in Douglas.

                              William Anderson Argus Observer

                              State records and personal records were falling like rocks Saturday, at the 3A Oregon Track and Field meet at Hayward Field in Eugene.

                              Also Saturday, the Ontario boys' and girls' track team combined for 35 team points, thanks in large part to a second place finish by the Tiger girls' 4x400-meter run.

                              "I was hoping for at least 30 team points heading into today," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said. "They all ran really well and had some good times."

                              The Dalles girls' scored 51 team points for a state title. The Ontario girls finished fifth with 31 total points, while Vale was seventh with 28 points.

                              Ontario had four of its athletes set new personal records. And all four of the new PRs were good enough to place in the meet.

                              One of the new records set for the Tigers, was in the 1,500-meter, when Jacob Blaylock ran the event in 4:07.80 seconds, beating his old time, by nearly six seconds. With the new personal best, Blaylock finished eighth to pick up the final spot in the event.

                              "I am happy. I placed, which is what I wanted to do," Blaylock said. "I did not want to get out too fast. They took off and I wanted to stay with them. I just tried not to let them get too far ahead."

                              Blaylock said that the success this season was due to the hard work and his teammates always pushing him.

                              Page picks up three second-place state finishes Saturday

                              For another Tiger trying to get into the top eight, Sheryl Page had three opportunities - the 800-meter, the 1,500-meter and the 4x400-meter relay - to get the job done.

                              Page finished second in all three events.

                              In the 1,500-meter, Page ran a time of 4:45.28, just under two seconds behind Coquille's Holli Dieu. The second-place finish for Page set a new personal best for the Ontario distance runner.

                              "I felt like I did really good," Page said about her 1,500 meter run. "I was happy to run it with competition. I felt I was strong throughout."

                              In the 800-meter, Page also picked up a second-place finish, behind Marist's Emily Collins. Page finished with a time of 2:21.37. In her final event of the day, the Ontario sophomore anchored the 4x400 relay team to a second-place finish. The foursome - Page, Kristen Hamman, Jordan Bainbridge and Angie Hamman - turned in a time of 4:02.35. The Dalles won the event in 3:59.48.

                              "This was a much better day to run. The rain stayed away and the wind was not blowing too hard," Waite said. "I was pleased with (Page's) running. I think I am pleased with everybody."

                              Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                              After 32 years in the class room, Bill Feeley will be retiring from Ontario High School but not from his position as driver's education instructor.

                              Feeley began teaching in Middleton and, after four years, transferred to OHS and began his 28 year stint.

                              For the first 26 years he taught lower level math and for his final two years at OHS he has been a basic physical education instructor.

                              "The switch a couple of years ago was nice. Teaching was a really neat experience. If I could go back, the only thing I would try to do is maybe reach some more kids," Feeley said.

                              Feeley has more than 100 students go through his drivers education class each year. Of the 100, half continue on with the behind-the-wheel instruction.

                              "I get kids with a wide range of driving abilities. I think there is a series of steps to driving. First you start on a trike, then a bike and then a car. Some of the kids I teach do not even know how to ride a bike," Feeley said.

                              Driver's training was a lot harder to teach when Feeley first started at Capital High School in Boise. Capital had three automatic transmissions and three manual transmission vehicles, he said.

                              "Some of the kids it would take a week just to get the car moving," Feeley said.

                              For the past 18 years Feeley has been teaching behind the wheel training in automatic transmission vehicles.

                              In all of those years, he has not had a student wreck a vehicle.

                              "I once had a student take a corner too fast. I think we were up on two wheels. I could not hit my brake. We just rode it out. A mile down the road, when I had finally collected myself, I had the student stop the car, make a three point turn and we tried the corner again," Feeley said.

                              Each student that goes through Feeley's class must complete six hours of driving and six hours of observation.

                              His planned route is best suited for two drivers.

                              The first half hour of the class is car orientation.

                              The second half hour is in residential areas.

                              During the class, the students take a trip on the back roads to Nyssa and another to the rest area in Weatherby.

                              "They learn to pass trucks, go up and down hills and go around curves. The speed limit is 55 to 65 and they must slow down for the corners," Feeley said.

                              The students also drive down Oregon Street and practice lane changing and go to the state park and work on backing up around the circle in the parking lot.

                              "In the last two months, I have had the cops show up at the state park four or five times. People report a car going in circles backwards and they think it is a drunk driver. The administration also asks me occasionally if I have been practicing lane changes over by Mallards. People call the school saying the drivers ed car is making radical lane changes," Feeley said.

                              With new Oregon laws popping up all the time, Feeley must keep himself up to date.

                              What began as sitting on the curb waiting for her sister to get out of school type-of-job, turned into an after-school volunteering task at Aiken Elementary for April Patton.

                              Patton, an incoming sophomore at Ontario High School, said she knew a teacher at Aiken, and so she decided to start helping out in the teacher's class.

                              "I met Miss Ortiz because she was a student-teacher at my school. The bus would not drop me off at my house anymore so I would have to go wait for Ali. Instead of just sitting outside, I would go in and help. I knew most of the kids in her class anyway, so it was a lot of fun," April Patton said.

                              April Patton said she used her math skills to help the youth in Miss Ortiz's class.

                              When school finally released, the Patton sisters would head home together.

                              April Patton does not only volunteer at Aiken Elementary, she, and her sister, also volunteer at the Lions Club and at their church.

                              Ali Patton helps the Ontario Church of the Nazarene with its puppet show for the youth. Putting on a puppet show takes preparation but Ali Patton said she is up to the task.

                              "We usually practice after church for the coming week, or we go early and practice before, so we know when to move the puppets," Ali Patton said.

                              April Patton is part of the worship team at the church and also sings in the choir.

                              For the Ontario Lions Club, the Patton girls have volunteered their time in the concession stand at the Ontario High School football games and will also be working the Lions booth at the Malheur County Fair this week, before taking a few days of vacation.

                              With a career in math or science in her future, April Patton will continuing taking all the science, math and technology classes she can while attending Ontario High School and said she hopes to continue to be a part of the golf team.

                              Despite having played softball for eight years, April Patton said she feels golf is more her speed.

                              "I think golf is better for me because I am such a perfectionist," April Patton said.

                              Ali Patton will work her way through middle school with her sights set on a career in the medical field when she become an adult.

                              "I would like to be a pediatrician or a nurse. I like little kids. I would even consider being a kindergarten teacher," Ali Patton said.

                                  Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                              Ontario High School graduate Brooks Dame wanted to do something for the people of El Salvador - so he picked up his camera.

                              Dame, who graduated from high school in 1997, first traveled to the country as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He went back several times as a college student working with a nonprofit humanitarian aid organization - meeting his current wife on one such trip.

                              The last time he went to El Salvador, Dame decided to do something different, something he hoped would bring more attention to the problem of poverty in the country.

                              He purchased two cameras and began visiting the garbage dumps in El Salvador, which is where literally dozens of people in the country make their living.

                              There is no recycling program in El Salvador. Instead, "pepenadores," or sifters, go through the garbage looking for metal or other scraps they can turn in to private companies to be recycled. The sifters also eat leftover food found in the dumps - and if they find food they consider unsuitable for themselves, Dame said, they bag it up and take it home for their animals.

                              He said people reported they were making about $1.25 a day working in the dumps. Dame said he met a couple which had given up higher-paying jobs to work there, though.

                              The man worked as a security guard and the woman worked in a textile mill, garnering an income of $5 to $6 a day, but $3 to $4 of that money was spent traveling, and the commute did not enable them to spend much time with their children, he said, so they came to the garbage dump.

                              Dame said it took a while to get to the point where people were comfortable enough to speak to him on camera, but he just kept returning to the dumps and interacting with people until they were more at ease.

                              He said he was inspired to make the film last winter after he attended the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and realized he could make a movie about the problems he had seen previously.

                              "To hear it isn't the same as actually seeing it," he said. "I just think capturing it on film gets it across."

                              The film is now in the editing process.

                              Dame hopes to sell the movie and send some of the money back to help the people of El Salvador - but also is not waiting for that to happen.

                              Before he left the country Dame traced the feet of several of the children working in the dumps and is now attempting to collect shoes for them.

                              Often, he said, the poverty of the small country overwhelmed him. One day he and his wife spent $150 on small hygiene kits - including items such as toothbrushes and deodorant - and distributed them to people at the dumps. At the end of the day, there still weren't enough to go around and his wife broke down crying, he said.

                              He said he felt he had to start somewhere, though, which is why he is starting with the shoe project. Those wanting to donate shoes may contact him at bwdame(at)hotmail.com.

                                  Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                              As area students make the transition from summer vacation back to the classroom, local law enforcement authorities urge motorists to use caution and be more attentive while navigating area streets and roadways.

                              Ontario Police Department officers will be out in force in the school zones in the mornings and OPD will make it a point to rotate through the different schools zones throughout the day, OPD Sgt. Police Sgt. Jeff Milton said.

                              "We'll be strictly enforcing the school zone speed limit, which is 20 miles per hour," Milton said. In most zones, the speed limit is clearly posted by either the use of flashing yellow signals that notify motorists when the restricted speed limit is in effect, or the traditional sign postings.

                              "Whether the signals or signs are there or not, it's still 20 mph, in the school zones," Milton said. He said drivers might not be aware that portions of Southwest Fourth Avenue are marked as school zones. The intersection of Alameda Drive and Southwest Fourth Avenue and southeast along Alameda are posted as school zones, Milton said. Another safety issue is pedestrians in crosswalks, OPD Chief Mike Kee said. The law provides that drivers wait until pedestrians are entirely out of the street before they can proceed, he said.

                              "What makes it so scary with kids, especially on multi-lane streets and roads, is kids trust drivers to keep them safe," Kee said. "So, when they see one vehicle stopped, they assume every vehicle will stop. We've probably had half a dozen crashes in the last half a dozen years where kids will be waiting to cross on a multi-lane road and the outside lane driver will stop, the kids will walk out, and not know the driver in the inside lane is not paying attention at all."

                              That's why Oregon has a law that states if one driver stops for a person in a crosswalk, every driver has to stop, Kee said.

                              Milton said primary schools such as Aiken Elementary and St. Peters have crossing guards posted to help children make the trip across the street.

                              Drivers also need to be aware of the laws that prohibit vehicles from passing school busses when the flashing red lights are activated.

                              "It's a Class A infraction if a driver fails to stop for lights or if the driver meets or overtakes from any direction any vehicle that has stopped on a roadway and is operating bus safety lights," Milton said. "Drivers have to stop before reaching the bus and remain stopped until the bus lights are no longer operating."

                              Milton said it typically takes a couple of weeks before drivers get used to having more children on the streets.

                              "We generally have a lot of complaints early in the school year and it's getting into late September when it seems the complaints slack off," Milton said.

                                  Tami Hart Argus Observer

                              When the Ontario Tigers take the field this fall they will have one distinct advantage over their opponents - the offensive line.

                              The Tigers return four starters - JJ Anthony, Colin Gundle, Todd Smith and Jon Paulsen - from a team that piled up nearly 2,500 yards on the ground.

                              With that kind of advantage upfront, it is no wonder Ontario head coach Randy Waite sleeps easy at night.

                              "It is definitely comforting having those guys back," the second-year head coach said. "I like to have experienced linemen to make the whole learning process easier for the backs and recievers."

                              Smith was a first team All-Greater Oregon League performer in 2003. Anthony and Gundle were second team picks and Paulsen was an honorable mention selection.

                              "It is a talented bunch," Waite said. "Throw in Mike Rankin, who started half the games last year, and he might be our fifth guy at strong tackle."

                              The Tigers graduated Reno Folden from a last year's 7-4 team, but Waite still thinks this bunch of linemen may be the most talented in the GOL.

                              "I think it is one of the better groups, Baker has a good group coming back," he said, "but I like ours too."

                              Last season the Tigers overcame inexperience along the front wall.

                              Only Anthony, who is a three-year starter for Ontario, had any starting experience. This year the group knows it won't be easy, but it is planning on big things.

                              "I think it is going to be tough," Paulsen said. "I think we can pull together, but it is going to take work and effort. We had our struggles and demons last year. We weren't perfect. I think if we work and gradually get better we can hold our own."

                                  Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                              Masato Ogawa never set out to win awards for his teaching, it just happened that way.

                              Ogawa, who teaches social studies and Japanese at Ontario High School, will be recognized by Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pa., for his innovative method of teaching his students about the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

                              The Japan native said he is excited about being honored.

                              "This award is for educators interested in teaching about Sept. 11," Ogawa, who holds a doctorate degree from the University of Georgia, said. "I submitted my lesson plan to Dickinson College and they selected me as one of the four winners for teaching Sept. 11."

                              Ogawa, who has taught at Ontario since 2001, began teaching the course - "Should the government go beyond the normal limits of its authority during wartime" - after a question from a student sparked the idea.

                              "That (2001) was my first teaching year and I was very shocked to watch the World Trade Center in New York. Students asked me what to think about what happened. At first I didn't tell him anything about it. As a teacher I was very afraid of sharing my ideas with my students, but as a teacher I have to teach something," Ogawa said. "I felt like I should tell something to my students. After that I became interested in teaching about Sept. 11. I have a social studies background. I have a masters and doctorate degree from the University of Georgia. As a social science educator or researcher, I knew everything about social studies, how to teach social studies. However, my students asked me a very good question how to feel about it. I was not prepared to answer that. This was the reason why I thought to make my lesson plan and submit it to Dickinson State College."

                              Ogawa teaches the course in two, 80-minute periods. During the course, the students discuss the Bill of Rights, the Japanese-American Internment during World War II and the Patriot Act.

                              Ogawa, who will be in Washington, D.C. Thursday, said the reaction from his classes has been positive.

                              "I gave the lesson plan to students taking Asian studies two years ago. My Asian studies course is not traditional style, they discussed and researched. My students response is very different," he said "Most of the students did not know anything about the history in this community. I was very shocked. They have many Japanese-American friends, but they did not know why there were so many Japanese-Americans here. So I taught a brief history of the community, and also Japanese internment camp also."

                              For the competition, educators submitted their teaching materials, an essay explaining their goals in developing their materials and a biographical statement for review by a panel of judges.

                              Ogawa, along with the other three winners, will receive a $1,000 honorarium check, travel and two night's accommodations in Washington, D.C. Once in Washington, D.C., the four finalists will participate in a "Best Practices" panel discussion at a conference, "Teaching 9-11: The Role of the Media, Museums and Schools in Constructing National Memory."

                                 Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                              After shaking off some first set jitters, the Ontario girls' volleyball team went to work to earn a three set victory over Grant Union, Tuesday evening in a nonleague volleyball match, at Ontario High School.

                              The Tigers came away with a 25-23, 25-19, 25-17 victory over the Prospectors.

                              "We tend to start slow, when we are home or away," Ontario coach Rod Williams said. "Our blocking took them out of the their game. Our blocks did pretty well, it really took us out of getting digs and them our of their offense."

                              On the night, Ontario was led by Kylie Roberts and Jennifer McDannel with four blocks each.

                              In the final game, Ontario (2-1 overall) led throughout, but always letting Grant Union hang in there.

                              "We have been working on our attitude, but we still have work to do," Williams said. "Anyone can play well when things are going their way, but it takes a real player to play well with adversity."

                              Although the Tigers did not have much adversity against them Tuesday night, they still went on to win the matches.

                              Leading the way for the Tigers in kills, was Melissa Malstrom with seven kills, while teammate Carrie Heninger had six kills in the game.

                              Jerrimi Hoffman had 18 'perfect' sets, according to Williams, while Janie Hernandez had five service points, with two aces.

                              The Tigers will begin Greater Oregon League play Saturday, when they host Mac-Hi and Riverside.

                              "We have played a couple of league tams at tournaments, and we are matching up really well. We should make it competitive in league play," Williams said.

                                  William Anderson Argus Observer

                              With three quick goals to open up the second half, the Payette girls' soccer team started to pull away to a 8-2 nonleague victory over the Ontario Tigers, in a girls' soccer matchup Tuesday afternoon, in Ontario.

                              At the half, the two teams were knotted at 1-1, before Payette's offense picked up, scoring three goals in a matter of 12 minutes, including two strange goals.

                              Opening up the half, a Payette player took a shot at goal from about 20-yards out on the right side, that slipped through Ontario's keepers hands, off the crossbar and back into play, where another Payette player was there to kick it into the open net, giving the Pirates (3-0-0 overall) a 2-1 advantage.

                              Three short minutes later, Payette was at it again, when a shot came in from the left side. This shot bounced a couple of times in front of the net, when a Payette forward kicked the ball in the net, while standing backwards, to go up 3-1.

                              "We did really well, we just got tired in the second half," Ontario head coach Greg Walk said. We started moving people around and to different positions. Our keeper did an excellent job."

                              Ontario's keeper, Asja Hart, recorded eight saves on the day, plus many balls that she played not recorded as saves.

                              On the night for the Pirates, Mandy Greif finished with four goals and an assist for the Pirates. Jessica McCarty, Hannah Peterson, Jennifer Stemple and Kimberly Ashton all picked up goals for the Pirates. Katie Franklin, McCarty, Peterson, Stemple and Eve Thomason all had assists for Payette.

                              "We started a little sluggish at first and got it together in the second half. We are really a second half team," Payette head coach Vonnie Paul said. "We possessed the ball and got it together. We tried to control it a little."

                              In the opening minutes of the game, Ontario (0-1-0) struck first, when Jennifer Reyes scored in the second minute, off a corner kick from Nastassia Zacarias.

                              Ontario added another goal in the 57th minutes, when Kayla Mitchell scored from about 30-yards out, on a free kick, putting the kick in the top right corner of the goal.

                              "We now know what we have to do, we know that Payette is a good team," Walk said. "After those quick goals, there was a let down."

                              Both teams are back in action this week, as Payette travels to Homedale Thursday, in a conference matchup, while Ontario hosts Kuna Saturday, in a nonleague battle.

                                William Anderson Argus Observer

                                 William Anderson Argus Observer

                              It is never good for a volleyball team to start the season off hosting a three-way tournament and losing all their matches.

                              This was the possibility facing the Ontario Tigers Thursday evening as they hosted Nampa Christian and Weiser in a three way volleyball match. Nampa Christian on the night went undefeated, beating both Weiser and Ontario in straight sets. Ontario, after falling to Nampa Christian, responded to bounce back and defeat the Wolverines 25-19, 25-15 to finish the night 1-1.

                              Only Weiser came away from the match without a victory, although they played the Trojans tough in their first matches 25-20, 25-22.

                              During the first game of that match, the Wolverines and Trojans were tied at 20-20, before Nampa Christian scored the game's next five points.

                              In the second game, a similar thing happened to the Wolverines, as they led 22-20, looking to close the deal and send the match into a third game. Again, Nampa Christian stepped up and scored the next five points to earn the victory.

                              "I was glad to be there. What I thought would be three really good teams, it was," Weiser head coach Jon Lundberg said. "I felt like at least we had played well against Nampa Christian in the match, it is a disappointment that we did not go to three games."

                              Weiser and Nampa Christian squared off in the first varsity match of the night, followed by the Ontario and Nampa Christian matchup.

                              In that matchup, it was evident that this match was Ontario's first of the season, as they struggled against the Trojans, to fall in two games.

                              "We came out with good attitudes and a good spirit," Ontario head coach Rod Williams said. "The main thing we wanted to work on from last year is keeping our good attitude. Last night in the Nampa Christian game, we kept that good attitude."

                              Williams also said they they were running a new defense and making some adjustments.

                              After the Nampa Christian contest, Ontario and Weiser squared off, to a 25-19, 25-15 victory for the Tigers.

                              "I thought Ontario played well and served and hit the ball well," Lundberg said. "We did not execute at the level we did against Nampa Christian. I am real disappointed in that respect, not in the kids."

                              As for Williams and the Tigers, he said the defense kept improving all night long.

                              "We have a lot of athletic ability on the team and we are running a defense many run in college," Williams said. "It gives you more creativity. We were out of position a lot of the time, and defense is 90 to 95 percent positioning, but we improved as the game went on."

                              The Wolverines dropped to 2-5 overall on their season, while the Tigers went to 1-1 on the year.

                              Ontario travels to Burns Saturday for a tournament, while Weiser begins their conference schedule Tuesday, when they travel to McCall to take on the McCall-Donnelly Vandals.

                              Jordan Valley 3

                              McDermitt 0

                              JORDAN VALLEY - The Jordan Valley Mustangs won their first volleyball match of the season Thursday, a 25-9, 25-17, 25-21 victory over McDermitt, in Jordan Valley.

                              The Mustangs were led by Lauren Cuvelier, with eight kills and 10 blocks, while Bailey Kershner had 32 assists for the Mustangs (1-0 overall. )

                              Not every Ontario Middle School student can afford to participate in a music education program, even if he or she wants to.

                              That is something OMS band teacher Matt Gilman wants to change.

                              Gilman said he has many students this year who have signed up for band but whose parents cannot afford to purchase an instrument, and the school has no instruments available to them.

                              Right now, he has those students performing breathing exercises to prepare for their eventual transition to playing an instrument.

                              "The most important thing band students can do is develop their embouchure," Gilman said, referring to effective breathing. Most of the students want to play the flute, which takes a lot of air, he said.

                              He has also made contact with other schools regarding the problem. Cairo Elementary School, he said, no longer has a band program so he has made contact with them regarding donations of instruments.

                              He is also seeking to make contact with members of the community who may donate instruments they are not using. The greatest need is for flutes and trumpets, he said, but the school will accept any instrument.

                              "We'll take bagpipes, krummhorns, hurdy-gurdies," Gilman said, laughing.

                              Gilman said in the past OMS has purchased donated instruments from members of the public or has provided a tax receipt to reflect an in-kind charitable donation, so they can be deducted from taxes.

                              Other than that, Gilman said he has high hopes for the program at OMS as well as music programs around the western Treasure Valley.

                              The beginning band, as well as the seventh- and eighth-graders, are progressing nicely.

                              "It's been nice to see band programs taking off as far as numbers are concerned," Gilman said, citing programs at Ontario High School, Treasure Valley Community College, and secondary programs in Nyssa, Adrian and Weiser as having grown in recent years.

                              "Things are looking up in the world of music," Gilman said.

                              For more information on donating instruments, contact Gilman, (541) 212-6045 or by e-mail, mgilman(at)ontario.12.or.us.

                                Christen McCurdy, Argus Observer

                              Frank Hunter is as much a fixture at Aiken Elementary as the swings, basketball courts or the sandboxes - he just belongs there.

                              Hunter, who the students call "Grandpa Frank", is part of the Foster Grandparent Program, which is a program funded by the Corporation for National Service, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Hunter, 86, spends one-on-one reading time with students to help them reach their grade level reading skill and sometimes to improve their self-esteem.

                              "I think the Foster Grandparent Program adds an additional layer of support to students that are struggling with reading," Aiken Elementary Principal Mark Hinthorn said. "The volunteers provide constant intervention, as well as, developing relationships with students that help motivate them to do better with their schoolwork."

                              In addition to Hunter, the Ontario School District has 12 "grandparents' within the district's five elementary schools. St. Peter Catholic School also has a "grandparent."

                              Hunter, who owned City Cleaners for 33 years, said he saw an ad for the spot last year.

                              "I saw the ad in the paper, so I answered it," he said, "they figured I made to much money, I got too much Social Security. So last year I just volunteered. Now this year I work with the Foster Grandparents Program."

                              Erin O'Hara-Rines, who is a third grade teacher at Aiken said Hunter is a big help.

                              "Just the fact that he is able to spend that one on one time makes the difference," she said, "he's a great help."

                              The grandparents in the program receive a stipend of about $225 a month as well as mileage reimbursement.

                              "I'd do it whether I get paid or not," he said. "I get their love. They are fun to have around."

                              Hinthorn said the students get as much out of Hunter's presence on the Aiken campus, as Hunter does.

                              "He's an excellent resource," Hinthorn said. "He finds ways to get information from students about things they are excited about. He works to make those connections into the reading they are doing.

                              "The kids gravitate toward him," Hinthorn added. "They share stories, they talk about what's going on. He's an important person in these kids' lives."

                              Hunter helps out at Aiken four days a week - Monday through Thursday - and volunteers about four hours a day. Teachers fill out an assignment plan, for the students requiring Foster's help, indicating the different areas the student needs help in.

                              "After a period of time, the lesson plan is reviewed and we look at the progress the students have made," Hinthorn said. "We are seeing great results. Sometimes students work with Grandpa Frank for two or three months before being exited out. Sometimes students have the chance to work up to six months with Grandpa Frank. He's designed to work with the kids who are just below the level they need to be at. So he's providing that extra layer of intervention. It's not working with that student who is three or four grade levels behind, but more just off-level and needs an extra push."

                              Hunter said the chance to be around the children helps him feel younger.

                              "That's the main thing, to be with the kids," he said. "It makes you feel a lot younger when you are with the kids. They give you life."

                                Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                              Michelle Olsen said she just likes being around children.

                              The Ontario High School freshman gets to do just that each day when she fills her volunteer role at Aiken Elementary School.

                              Olsen, 14, leaves the high school around noon and heads to Aiken to assist in the lunch room. During her hour or so at Aiken, Olsen said she helps staff keep the gymnasium in order.

                              "I help clean up tables, help stack trays, take out the trash and sweep floors," Olsen said. "They had a sign-up sheet for third-, fourth- and fifth-grade to sign-up and help out with the cafeteria. Three kids signed up and they help me with the trash."

                              Olsen began her work at Aiken shortly after school began in August. Problems with her legs hampered the freshman in physical education class. So counselors suggested working at Aiken as an alternative to P.E.

                              "The counselors set up the job," Olsen said. "I got a little nervous about starting a job. I had to see what it was like. Once it got started it's fun." Aiken Elementary Principal Mark Hinthorn said Olsen helps keep the lunch room looking good.

                              "Michelle provides constant help in our cafeteria, by cleaning tables, helping students stack trays and keep things organized," Hinthorn said. "She helps take out trash and once lunch is over she helps us clean up the floor."

                              Olsen said she enjoys interacting with the students and staff at Aiken.

                              "It's fun. I like helping the staff, and the kids are fun," she said. "I like working over there. I always ask if they have anything else they want me to do. Sometimes they say yes, sometimes they say no."

                              Hinthorn said Olsen is a positive influence during her time in the lunch room.

                              "She does interact positively with some of our fourth- and fifth-graders," he said. "She provides some mentorship to a couple of girls as well."

                              Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                              For a brief period Friday night against Mac-Hi, the Ontario Tigers looked like they might be in for a long game.

                              On the opening kickoff, Mac-Hi surprised Ontario with an on-side kick. Mac-Hi recovered the kick and then put together a solid, five play scoring drive to grab a 7-0 lead.

                              Then it was Ontario's turn.

                              The Tigers (2-3 overall) recovered from the early deficit and scored on their first three possession of the game on the way to a 42-7 Greater Oregon League victory.

                              "We played a lot better. We are changing things up," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said. "We are pretty happy about the win, but we made mistakes. We seemed to be flat. We need to change something."

                              Matt Mejia and Aaron Mauney each had 4-yard touchdown runs in the first quarter, and Mejia also scored on a 15-yard pass from KJ Toombs in the stanza.

                              The Tigers scored another 10 points in the second quarter, as Tyler David connected on a 26-yard field goal and Nick Alvarado scored on a 2-yard run. Ontario built a 31-7 halftime lead.

                              "Overall we did well," Waite said.

                              Ontario's offense continued to add up the points in the fourth quarter.

                              Nick Alvarado scored his second touchdown of the game when he found the end zone from nine yards out, only 21 seconds into the quarter. On the ensuing extra point, Mejia, the holder, picked up the ball and pitched it to David on the right side, for a two point conversion, to put the Tigers out in front 39-7.

                              David scored again for the Tigers over 10 minutes later, when he kicked a 44-yard field goal, with just over a minute remaining, to finish off the scoring.

                              Ontario's defense held Mac-Hi to only 136 total yards.

                              "After the first couple of minutes, we picked it up," Ontario defensive coach Trever Wilson said. "The defense stepped up and did what they were supposed to do."

                              Ontario finished offensively with 387 total yards, with 346 coming on the ground, led by Mejia with 125 yards on the ground. Ontario also racked up 19 first downs compared Mac-Hi's 11.

                              Ontario travels to Burns Friday in a Greater Oregon League football game.

                               - William Anderson Argus Observer

                              Ever since the Ontario football team's victory over Vale, the Tigers went from an 0-3 record a to three-game winning streak, defeating Vale, Mac-Hi and Burns

                              According to head coach Randy Waite, the Tigers have turned the season around in the past three weeks with the secondary playing a key role.

                              "KJ Toombs, Matt Mejia, Eddie Mendoza, Tommy Infante and Jose Rivera, our defensive backs have all become a whole lot better," Waite said. "A lot of our players grew to be unselfish and accepted the role they were assigned to."

                              Ontario (3-3 overall, 2-0 GOL) running back Nick Alvarado believes the team has been coming together lately.

                              "(The team) is starting to not care about individuals but rather starting to care about the whole team. As long as we win as a team, that is pretty much what our ultimate goal is," Alvarado said. "Our line started out with pregame jitters then they really stepped it up after they got over that."

                              The Tigers are in action tonight for another Greater Oregon League test against La Grande. Game time is 7 pm at Tiger Stadium.

                              -Jennifer Jaramillo Argus Observer

                              On the first offensive play from scrimmage, Ontario's Nick Alvarado hurdled over and ran past defenders on an 86-yard touchdown run to give Ontario the lead.

                              The Tigers would never trail, going on to defeat the La Grande Tigers 29-8 in a Greater Oregon League football contest Friday night at Tiger Stadium in Ontario.

                              "The first play was obviously good. We needed to get up early, that was the plan to set the tone of the game," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said.

                              On the ensuing extra point, following Alvarado's long run, the La Grande special teams blocked the Tyler David attempt and Ricky Gloria returned the blocked kick to the end zone for two points for La Grande.

                              That is as close as the game would get, as Ontario added 11 and 12 points in the second and third quarters, respectively.

                              In the second quarter, Matt Mejia connected on a 41-yard touchdown strike to Tommy Infante. The same combination connected for the two point conversion as Ontario (4-3 overall, 3-0 GOL) went up 14-2.

                              Ontario added a 35-yard field goal by David with 40 seconds remaining in the half for a 17-2 advantage heading into the half.

                              "Our defense again is playing pretty well. Each week it seems to get a little better. We are prepared for all those sort of things," Waite said about his defense's performance Friday night.

                              Starting out the second half, Ontario received the ball and proceeded to march down the field for another touchdown drive. This drive again was capped off by a long run by Alvarado - who finished with a game high 124 yards rushing - this time for 32-yards for the score, only 1:16 into the second half, to go up 23-2 on a missed PAT kick.

                              "I think he again is running really well for us. I have always said we have a lot of guys who can carry the ball and run hard. That is definitely our strength this year," Waite said. "We made quite a few mistakes that wasn't the weather. A couple of pass plays slipped out of our hand. We did not play as well as we would have liked."

                              La Grande (2-5, 1-2) scored its lone touchdown in the fourth quarter, as Landon Weaver found Tad Fox for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

                              Ontario held La Grande to 195 yards of offense, while compiling 320 total yards, including 274 on the ground.

                              Ontario travels to Baker City Friday to face the fourth-ranked Bulldogs for the GOL championship.

                               - William Anderson Argus Observer

                              Students from Ontario and Nyssa elementary schools obtained a firsthand look at life on a college campus.

                              Students from the SMILE Program made the trip to Treasure Valley Community College Monday, to do some hands-on work with science and math projects and experience college life.

                              "For the science lab, they were mixing chemicals and looking for the different reactions that occur," Paula Barnhart, who is a fourth-grade teacher at Nyssa Elementary School, said, "and they were learning some science terminology and how to measure. It was a lot of fun."

                              The students also had the chance to visit a math lab at TVCC and in the process the opportunity to do several hands-on math activities. Students also participated in a scavenger hunt around the TVCC campus.

                              The students also had the opportunity to ask questions of TVCC students about campus life.

                              "We were here for a tour, so the students can get an experience of what campus is like," Velma Rojas, who is a first-grade teacher at May Roberts, said. "They are getting a chance to ask questions of the college students and see what it is like."

                              The SMILE Program stands for Science, Math Investigative Learning Experience and is designed to help students prepare for college.

                              "I think that field trips like this give the students the opportunity to experience the college atmosphere," Monica Thompson, who is a SMILE Club advisor at May Roberts, said. "It is so important for students to start thinking about college and career opportunities even at the fourth- and fifth-grade level."

                              The SMILE Program is a partnership between Oregon State University and 14 Oregon school districts, to provide science and math enrichment for underrepresented and other educationally underserved students in grades 4-12. The purpose of the program is to increase the number of students enrolling in college and pursuing careers related to science, math, health, engineering, and teaching. In the Ontario School District, there are SMILE Clubs at the high school, middle school and at May Roberts.

                              However, there are students from the other elementary schools in Ontario who participate in the club.

                              "We do have a student from Alameda and a student from Aiken," Rojas said. "We are trying to get more clubs at the other elementary schools. If teachers are interested in setting one up, they should call the SMILE office."

                               - Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                              When knowing goals would be at a premium in Tuesday afternoon's matchup, it appeared the team who scored last would win.

                              That is how the game turned out, but in fact, the last goal of the match was also the first goal of the match, as Ontario came away with a 1-0 win over La Grande in a Special District 7 girls' soccer match at Alameda Elementary School in Ontario.

                              Ontario's lone goal of the afternoon came in the 61st minute, when Kayla Mitchell broke away from the defenders and nudged the ball past a charging keeper to find the net, giving Ontario a lead with only 19 minutes to play.

                              Shutouts are becoming a familiar theme for the Ontario girls. Tuesday's shutout of La Grande is the fourth straight game Ontario has posted a scoreless game. Ontario keeper Danni Thomas has been in goal the majority of the time.

                              "I was hoping it would have been higher scoring. I didn't think with the conditions as they were, it would be," Ontario head coach Greg Walk said of the wet field. "We played well but seemed to be slow, we were trying to keep our footing, which made us late to the ball."

                              Late to the ball or not, the two teams battled to a scoreless first half, with Ontario's offensive attack producing seven shots on goal in the first half.

                              Thomas finished the game with seven saves, three came in the second half, but she played many more balls than that.

                              "Danni had a great game in goal," Walk said. "We are having a hard time finding the goal right now. We will be working on that the next couple of weeks. When you play a big game like this and your adrenaline is up, your foot gets under the ball."

                              The win moves the Tigers record to 7-4-1 overall and 6-1-0 in Special District 7 play, and moves them into a tie with La Grande for first place in District play. Ontario will finish their regular season on the road Saturday against Mac-Hi.

                              William Anderson Argus Observer

                              Election day came early for Ontario High School students who participated in a mock vote Thursday.

                              Hosted by the OHS leadership class and advisers John Taggart and Laurie Grim, the entire high school voted for federal, county and city positions. The following are the results of the vote in which approximately 500 students participated.

                              President of the United States

                              Republican and incumbent George W. Bush won the OHS mock vote with 62 percent of students placing ballots in his favor. On the Democratic ticket, John F. Kerry garnered only 37 percent of student vote and write-in Ralph Nader snagged 9 of the votes cast.

                              Malheur County Judge

                              With almost the same percentage of votes cast as the presidential election, current county commissioner Dan Joyce, Juntura, was selected by the students as the next Malheur County Judge with 34 percent of the ballots. Ontario businesswoman Cheryl Cruson took home 34 percent of the ballots. Ontario City Council for the three open Ontario City Council slots, the students re-elected councilman John Gaskill who captured 61 percent of the votes. Dan Cummings and Louie Allen were also elected into office with 57 percent and 49 percent of the ballots respectively. Some students opted to write in Jim Mosier and Joe Dominick.

                              1 percent sales tax

                              It was the 1 percent Ontario sales tax that saw the largest majority of OHS voters. The proposed city levy floundered as 396 students, three quarters of the student body, voted no.

                              Only 131 students voted in favor of the tax.

                                - Casey L. Keller Argus Observer

                              It has been six years since the Ontario girls volleyball team has made it to the state tournament.

                              That streak comes to an end this season.

                              The Tigers finished third in the Greater Oregon League and are heading to play Yamhill-Carlton in the first round of the OSAA Class 3A State Volleyball Tournament Saturday.

                              The Tigers captured the third place finish with a 6-4 record, finishing behind Burns and La Grande. Ontario enters the state tournament with a 12-5 record overall.

                              Ontario's only losses have been to the No. 1-ranked 2A team in Idaho (Nampa Christian) and the No. 1-ranked 3A team (Burns) and No. 4 team (La Grande) in Oregon. Both Burns and La Grande have defeated Ontario twice.

                              "Our biggest challenge is Yamhill-Carlton because that is who we play first. But I feel that we are in good shape to play them because we have only had a few losses." Ontario head coach Rod Williams said. "Their (Yamhill-Carlton) league is not as strong as ours. I expect us to be at least as good or even better."

                              Junior Vanessa Gomez believes if the Tigers play as they have in the past, or even better, they have a good chance of taking home the state title.

                              "The teams we compete against are not going to just give it to us," Gomez said. "We need to play our own game."

                              According to Williams, it is going to take more than one player to compete well at state.

                              "I am depending on everyone on the team to play their best. It is going to take the whole team," he said. "There is always a challenge because the teams that we have to compete against are the two teams that we have gotten beaten by."

                              Last year, the volleyball team did not graduate any seniors letting the team be together for two years now. Williams said that last year their goal was to make it to state.

                              "There should be competitive games coming up and teams that we have never seen before," junior Jerrimi Hofmann said. "We need to work as a team."

                              The Tigers play Yamhill-Carlton this Saturday in the first round of the tournament at 2 p.m. MST

                                JENNIFER JARAMILLO ARGUS OBSERVER

                              It came as no surprise to former Ontario High School science teacher Glenn Crosby when former OHS student Pat Jacobs retired from the United States Navy Oct. 14 as a captain with full honors.

                              "I would have been disappointed had he not succeeded at this level," Crosby, who taught Jacobs biology and was also his supervisor at the Ontario Aquatic Center, said. "He was one of the best students I ever had."

                              Jacobs, who graduated from OHS in 1972, earned his bachelor's of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned as an Ensign in 1976.

                              His mother, Ontario City Councilwoman Audrey Jacobs said her son knew he wanted a future in the Navy as early as high school.

                              "Pat had a vision of that when he in high school," she said. "That seemed to be the place he was going. When he went in, there were a lot of rumbles and discontent about the military and some people said he was a fool to go in, but Pat said that was what he wanted to do."

                              Jacobs completed flight training in Kingsville, Texas, and was designated as a naval aviator in December 1977. He joined the "Diamondcutters" at Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Fla., and with the USS Forrestal. He served on the USS America from 1985 to 1987. The USS America was the first carrier to operate in the Vest Fjord of Norway and also supported operations in the Gulf of Sydria, which included inland strikes into Libya.

                              Jacobs then joined the "Topcats" at NAS Cecil Field and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower where he served as the administrative and maintenance officer. During that time he was recognized with the Lockheed "Golden Wrench" award which lauded the most outstanding maintenance department in the naval community. He was instrumental in leading his department through major aircraft modifications adding air-to-air refueling capabilities and the avionics update for the S-3B Seacontrol aircraft.

                              During his next assignment as the Assistant Program Manager for Systems and Engineering at the Naval Air Systems Command, he spearheaded a variety of engineering projects and investigations, including management of multi-million dollar acquisition programs for a new radar altimeter and carbon brakes systems.

                              Jacobs returned to Kingsville in 1993 as executive officer and assumed command of the "Professionals" on July 7, 1994. After his change of command ceremony, Jacobs transferred all of his officers to various Kingsville commands and then relocated 52 aircraft and 13 enlisted personnel to Naval Air Station Meridian. His squadron was awarded the Chief of Naval Training Goldthwaite Award for Training Efficiency.

                              Fellow OHS graduate from the class of 1973, Jack Fields, was a student of Jacobs' in Kingsville.

                              "He taught me how to fly," Fields said. "He was a good pilot and a good instructor."

                              Jacobs was then assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt as Air Officer and participated in numerous actions in support of national and international interests in Bosnia. He then earned his masters of science degree in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University Industrial College of the Armed Forces and became a member of the college faculty as a professor of acquisition.

                              "Academically speaking, he was a model student," Crosby said, reflecting on Jacob's high school academic career. Jacobs completed the Advanced Program Managers Course at Defense Management College in 1999 was Level III certified in program management. At the time of his retirement he was assigned as Chief Aviation Officer, Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers in Washington, D.C. In his career, Jacobs earned more than 4,000 total flight hours.

                              Audrey Jacobs, who attended her son's retirement ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, said the affair was very impressive.

                              "The military actions that went on, piping them in, the four bells, the admirals that came, everything was so military and so very impressive," she said. Crosby said Pat Jacobs was a motivated student.

                              "Pat was one of our finest students in our high school," Crosby said. "He has that American spirit and has done a great credit to our community."

                                 Tami Hart Argus Observer

                              Good leaders will rise to the occasion.

                              Ontario's Matt Roberts may not have a wealth of experience in a time of crisis, but the expertise he is getting as the Ontario FFA Chapter President and also District FFA President is rewarding.

                              "It is really fun. There is a lot of work that goes with it, but it is a pretty rewarding experience," the Ontario High School senior said. "You can see everybody. How they can be so shy and intimidated and over the course of the year become great speakers and get leadership skills in the activities in the FFA."

                              Last school year, after filling out an application and an interview process, Roberts was selected president by the Ontario FFA Chapter members by a secret ballot.

                              According to Les Linegar, the Ontario Ag Instructor/FFA Advisor, Roberts is doing an outstanding job.

                              "He runs the chapter meetings, he is in charge of all the major activities that we produce, from contests to our fun activities," Linegar said.

                              Being the FFA District President, Roberts coordinates chapter activities in Jordan Valley, Adrian, Nyssa, Vale, Ontario and other places.

                              Four times a year, Roberts also travels to Salem to attend the state executive committee meetings.

                              "Last year, I was the district treasurer and I kind of got a feel for what it was like to be a district officer," Roberts said. "Being the president is much more demanding time-wise and a lot more organization. You cannot be afraid to call people up and then to do things or let them know. It requires going to Salem or Crater for different meetings. You get to meet a whole bunch of different people. I like doing it." Another accomplishment, he said, is earning his state FFA Degree as a junior.

                              Linegar said that only the top three percent of the state receive the high honor.

                              "To get this, the student has to be well rounded. In FFA, school, community and church," Linegar said. "They have to have a certain GPA, participate in a certain amount of FFA activities and have earned and invested 1,000 hours in their project."

                              Roberts has met this criteria. Roberts is an Eagle Scout, he runs cross country and track, is involved in his church youth group and also participates in the Future Business Leaders of America.

                              "It is a big relief, it is a really hard thing to get. I decided a while ago that I wanted to get it. I had to make sure I was doing those things," Roberts said about getting his State FFA Degree early.

                              Roberts did the majority of his essay project as a farm hand on his father's farm, working on machinery, driving tractors and semis and irrigating. He also worked at Murakami Produce during the winter months.

                                 William Anderson Argus Observer

                              Turnabout is fair play and the Ontario Tigers intend to teach Marist a harsh lesson Saturday afternoon.

                              The Tigers hosts Marist in the first round of the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Class 3A Football State Championships at Tiger Stadium. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

                              "The boys are excited," Ontario defensive coordinator Trever Wilson said. "They are looking forward to a second chance against Marist."

                              The Spartans (6-3 overall) hammered the Tigers 38-23 in Eugene last year in the second round of the playoffs. Marist rode that momentum all the way to a 47-14 win in the 3A state title game.

                              "They ended up going on to win it all," Wilson said. "We are excited about the opportunity we have to play them again."

                              Ontario stumbled out of the block, falling to 0-3 to begin the season, but the Tigers turned things around with a 4-game winning streak during the season, which helped the Tigers to finish the regular season 5-4 overall.

                              Wilson said Ontario used the preseason to figure out who went where. Now that the pieces are in place, Wilson said the Tigers should be formidable.

                              "The way (head coach) Randy (Waite) and I look at the preseason is, it's just that," Wilson said. "It's a chance to look at each kid, look at the positions and see who goes where."

                              Wilson said one example was Jake Gaschler. The junior began the season at free safety, but wound up playing the year at defensive end, where Gaschler was an All-Greater Oregon League selection.

                              "It was a matter of finding the right pieces and putting them in the right place," Wilson said.

                              The Spartans pose plenty of problems for the Ontario defense. Marist runs a multiple-formation offense. Wilson said the Spartans will spread the field, run from an I-formation, or run two wide receiver and two wing back sets.

                              "They are about 50/50 pass/run ratio," Wilson said. "We have to stop the counter, which we've been susceptible to the counter at times. If we do that we will be in good shape."

                              Leading the defensive charge is linebacker Ricky Ramirez. The senior, who has been injured the majority of the past two seasons, leads Ontario with 96 solo tackles. Ramirez also has three sacks and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown last week at Riverside.

                              "He's the leader of the defense. He makes the majority of the tackles," Wilson said.

                              Ramirez will have plenty of help with linebackers Colton Fenton (39 tackles) and Todd Smith (45 tackles).

                              Wilson credits the defensive linemen for making the linebackers' job easier.

                              "The down linemen make piles and we pressure the QB and get our sacks," he said. "That's the way our defensive is geared."

                              The game will be a homecoming of sorts for Marist head coach Lance Lovitt.

                              Lovitt is a graduate of Adrian High School and his father - Carl Lovitt - has had two stints as head coach of the Antelopes.

                                Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                              The Ontario Tigers need someone to make a play.

                              So Matt Mejia did just that.

                              The senior intercepted a pass from Marist QB Chris Vitus and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown, giving Ontario a 22-14 lead in the third quarter. The Tigers went on to post a 36-14 win over the Spartans in the first round of the OSAA Class 3A State Football Championships at Tiger Stadium.

                              "I pretty much just read the QB," Mejia said. "I picked it and it was all (the defense), they blocked for me. I just ran it in, I didn't do anything."

                              Mejia's play typified the trouble Marist had against an inspired Tigers' defensive unit.

                              "That was huge," Ontario defensive coordinator Trever Wilson said. "I thought that was the turning point. Matt bringing that back and we had two excellent blocks to spring him."

                              The Spartans managed just 213 yards, including just 65 in the second half.

                              "They played good, it was just up to us," senior linebacker Ricky Ramirez said. "We had poor tackling in the first half, not wrapping up, not bringing them down. In the second half we came out and made the adjustments and wrapped up."

                              Things did not begin well for Ontario. Marist opened the game with an eight-play, 80-yard drive, capped by Tyson Cochran's 1-yard run.

                              The Spartans managed just one other score - a Chris Vitus 20-yard pass to Jerran Johnston - before the Tigers' defense clamped down.

                              "We talked about a couple of things we needed to do. In the first half, we were not playing assignments like we should and we were not tackling very well," Wilson said of the halftime talk. "We talked about the way we needed to tackle a little bit better. And trust each other, trust the person next to you and we'd be alright if we would play as a team."

                                 Andrew Cutler Argus Observer Ontario

                              Nov. 4 and 5 about 30 people traveled from Osakasayama, Japan, to see their sister city of Ontario.

                              Some were students in middle school or high school and some were community leaders, including the city's mayor..

                              Local events included a banquet and visiting with host families, as well as touring businesses in the area.

                              The delegates even introduced themselves at a pep rally at Ontario High School Nov. 5, and were greeted with a Taiko performance by a Boise group and even a Japanese-language cheer by OHS cheerleaders.

                              The delegates' visit marked the 30th anniversary of Ontario's relationship with Osakasayama.

                              Ontario resident George Iseri helped spearhead the sister city program and said the goal of the program is to help foster world peace and friendship.

                              Iseri said his family, like many Japanese-American families in the Treasure Valley, came to Ontario during World War II to avoid being placed in internment camps. He said he had family members fighting for both Japan and the United States during the war, and that he did not want the events of that war to be repeated.

                              "I want world peace," he said.

                              According to a brochure published by Sister Cities International, cities around the world began forming affiliations after World War II. The U.S. became involved after President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed a "people-to-people" concept for involving ordinary people in diplomacy in 1956.

                              Iseri said the late Mayor Morgan Beck approached him about locating a possible sister city in Japan and after traveling and investigating several cities he took an Ontario group to Sayama, Japan. Later a city council member from Sayama visited Ontario and the relationship between the cities was formalized Oct. 23, 1974.

                              Sayama was renamed Osakasayama in 1987 when it reached a population of 50,000. Iseri said the city has a strong industrial base, the oldest reservoir in Japan and 1,300 years of history Americans can learn from.

                              He also said he hopes in the future there is more of an economic relationship between the two cities, but more importantly, that friendship can be fostered between people in both places.

                              "Right now, we're at war with Iraq," Iseri said. "Do you think that would be happening if we were all friends with all of them?"

                              He said during the 1950s and 1960s Japan was struggling economically and had no manufacturing base. Now, he said, Japan is the second largest economy in world, with Americans forming a large part of its market for electronics and cars.

                              Iseri said Japan's economic growth would not have been possible if not for the United States' commitment to fostering peace and prosperity in the country - and the relationship has been mutually beneficial.

                              Iseri said he had also traveled to the Basque country in Spain with the hopes of establishing a sister city program there.

                              He said the best way to learn about the sister city program is to learn more about it and become involved directly as a volunteer or as a host family.

                              Tim Cables of the Ontario Sister City Organization said there will be a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday night at Rusty's Pancake and Steak House to discuss sending an Ontario delegation to Osakasayama in November 2005.

                               Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                              The Ontario football team scored 20 second-half points, while the defense held the defending 3A state champs scoreless, as the Tigers posted a 36-14 victory over Marist in front of a sparse crowd during the first round of the OSAA Class 3A State Football Championships Saturday, at Tiger Stadium in Ontario.

                              The win is a little revenge for the Tigers (6-4 overall). Marist defeated Ontario 38-23 last season in the second round of the playoffs.

                              Coming out of the half, Marist (6-4) trailed 16-14, but had the momentum. The Spartan defense forced an Ontario punt, giving Marist the ball at its own 30-yard line.

                              After two plays and an illegal motion penalty, the Spartans were looking at a third-and-21 from their own 33-yard line, when Spartan quarterback Chris Vitus dropped back to throw the ball. Ontario's Matt Mejia came down with the pass and returned the ball 52 yards for a touchdown, giving Ontario a 22-14 lead, with 8:57 left in third quarter.

                              From that point on, the Tigers never gave back the momentum, tacking on two fourth quarter touchdown passes to seal victory.

                              "I think the kids really wanted to win. It is always good to beat Marist," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said. "Marist had the momentum at the end of the first half, we needed to take the momentum back. We came out really well and our defense played big.

                              "Our defense stepped up. Marist came out and threw the ball on us and Matt's (Mejia) interception really juiced us."

                              The rest of the third quarter was scoreless. Early into the fourth quarter, Ontario tacked on another touchdown. The Tigers used a fake punt, on a fourth-and-four, as Jordan Hart ran for a 12-yard gain. After a loss on first down, Mejia threw a strike to KJ Toombs, which was tipped by a Marist player, and scampered to the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown pass, putting Ontario up 29-14, with just under 11 minutes left to play in the game.

                              After the Ontario kickoff, Marist started with the ball at its own 19 yard line. The first play of the drive resulted in Jake Gaschler diving to intercept a Ryan Bell pass, giving Ontario the ball at the Marist 21.

                              After a Nick Alvarado run for two yards, Bryson Sap connected with Toombs for a 19-yard touchdown pass, on a triple reverse pass, to go up 36-14 with 9:50 remaining in the game.

                              "We do better when people count us out. Not many people thought we would win," Waite said.

                              Alvarado led all rushers with 64 yards, while Mejia added 59 yards on the ground.

                              Ontario's defense stepped up to record three sacks, and force four turnovers. Paul Rangel recorded two of the three sacks for a loss of 15 yards.

                              "I was just doing my best. I am happy, but I wish I had more," Rangel said about his defensive effort. "Our defense will have to step up. Our offense did a good job, but we will have to step up."

                              Marist had a tough time getting going after their first drive, an 80-yard drive for a touchdown, as they only had 133 yards following that drive.

                              "Coming into the game, we definitely had four starters out and pretty much from the first play, our quarterback was rattled and it was questionable whether or not he would come back in," Marist head coach Lance Lovitt, an Adrian High School graduate said. "We just could not get the job done with backups. It was tough to get the right mixture together."

                              The win advances Ontario to the second round game against Central in Independence.

                              Ontario has a tough task  William Anderson Argus Observer

                              Heading into Saturday's second round matchup, the Ontario football will have its work cut out for them against Central, in the 3A OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires State Football Championships in Independence.

                              According to Ontario head football coach, Randy Waite, the defense for Central will plug up the middle.

                              "They really plug up the middle pretty well, which is not bad for us," Waite said. "We are going to have to block a whole lot better than we did against Marist. We did not block very well, we missed some assignments. Those things cannot happen."

                              Waite said the missed assignments were not from the linemen, but from the receivers, since the Tigers like to run the ball outside.

                              "We need to make sure everybody is doing their assignments," Waite said. "When playoff time rolls around, whoever executes best will win."

                              One thing the Tigers (6-4 overall) have on their side, is they have seen a version of Central's defense quite a bit - every day in practice.

                              The Tigers run a 5-3 defense, while Central runs a 5-2 defense, with three down lineman, and two standup 'outside' linebackers, which, according to Shane Hedrick, Central's head football coach, looks just like Ontario's defensive front.

                              "We have had some success with it. We have not seen a team with the motions and formations and the threats they have," Hedrick said. "The different formations is the No. 1 problem. We have gone through notebooks for their formations alone. Their motions are another concern, but the different formations are a real concern for us."

                              Hedrick said he knows his team will have to contain Ontario senior Matt Mejia, and try to slow him down.

                              Mejia has helped the Tigers amass over 300 yards of total offense a game, with 240 yards coming on the ground.

                              Ontario junior Nick Alvarado leads the Tigers with 744 yards on the ground, rushing for 6.5 yards per carry and seven touchdowns. Mejia is right there, rushing for 583 yards and 10 touchdowns.

                              Aaron Mauney has rushed for 407 yards and Jordan Hart has 373 yards for 7.5 yards per carry, for the Tigers.

                              "It looks like it should be a pretty good matchup," Alvarado said.

                                William Anderson Argus Observer

                              Hanna Dinsmore, 17, Ontario, was crowned Winter Wonderland Queen Monday. Amy Hernandez, 17, Weiser, and Jessica Tschirgi, 17, Payette, were crowned as princesses.

                              Those in attendance at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce noon forum Monday voted for the candidates.

                              The queen and princesses will pose for public pictures, grant interviews to local media, promote and participate in the Dec. 4 Winter Wonderland Parade and attend Santa's Breakfast, Crystal Bartoschek at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce said.

                              Dinsmore is a senior at Ontario High School and is the daughter of Todd and Jan Dinsmore, Ontario.

                              She said she was surprised she won the title.

                              "All of the girls were awesome," she said. "Everybody deserved it. It was quite an honor."

                              Dinsmore said she has been involved with OHS' leadership organization for four years and serves as president of the Snow Club.

                              She is also involved with KOHS, the school's in-house video production and broadcasting program and Future Business Leaders of America.

                              Dinsmore said she hopes to become a social worker or do something else that would help people.

                              Nominees for the court included eight high school students from around the western Treasure Valley who had been named homecoming queens at their respective high schools this fall: Rebecca Welsh, Harper, Tessa Roberts, 18, Nyssa, Amalia de Jesus, 16, Huntington and Kimberly Schaffer, 17, Fruitland. Traci Romans, 17, Vale, was not able to attend the forum.

                               Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                              The Ontario defense rose to the occasion last week, limiting Marist to 65 yards in the second half of Ontario's 36-14 win.

                              It will take that same kind of effort Saturday, for the Tigers to continue their state playoff march.

                              Ontario (6-4 overall) travels to Independence to face Central High School in the second round of the OSAA Class 3A State Football Championships.

                              While the final numbers, from the win over Marist, look good, the Tigers' defense got off to a rough start, allowing the Spartans to go 80 yards for a touchdown on the game's opening drive. Senior defensive back Matt Mejia knows the Tigers have to get off to a better start.

                              "We need to come out stronger," Mejia said. "We need to make them go three-and-out and punt the ball. We can't let them drive and build momentum."

                              Central head coach Shane Hedrick said the Ontario defense is an active unit with the ability to make big plays.

                              "It's just like every other Ontario team," Hedrick said. "They fly to the football and they are rough, tough kids that just get the job done."

                              Central, which won the Val-Co League and is 7-2 on the season, will have to contend with all-league running back Trevor Fine, who leads the Panthers with 650 yards. Fine rushes for 4.5 yards each time he carries the ball. Central also relies on fullback Adam Smith around the goal line.

                              "They are a very big team," Ontario defensive coordinator Trever Wilson said. "If we don't tackle very well they will be able to run at will on us. If we do what we should do, we should be alright."

                              Ontario must contend with the passing of QB Joe Pratt, who according to Mejia is a very mobile QB.

                              "He likes to scramble a lot," the senior said. "He's pretty mobile and he throws the ball pretty well."

                              Pratt is the younger brother of former Central QB Jordan Pratt, who is in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

                              Wilson said his defense can expect a lot of I-formation sets and a straight-ahead running attack.

                              "They run a lot of iso plays and they come right at you," WIlson said. "They have the idea they are bigger than most teams and that they can go right over people. But they do have a passing game too. That's their counter, they run and run then they will go to the play-action pass. We need to play our assignments and make sure it's a run before we come up and help."

                                Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                              English as a Second Language programs within the Ontario School District received a big financial boost recently thanks in large part to Oregon U.S. Congressman Greg Walden.

                              Walden announced last week the district will garner $130,000 in the wake of Congressional approval of the recent appropriations bill.

                              Walden, who met with school district officials and observed an eighth-grade ESL class in October, requested the funds in the House version of the appropriations bill. Oregon U.S. Sens. Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden sponsored the ESL funding request in the Senate, which was part of a long list of funded projects and programs in Oregon. The state received several hundred million dollars in funding from the 2005 omnibus spending bill.

                              Of the approximate 2,600 students in the Ontario district, 30 percent of them speak English as their second language and that population is growing at a rate of five to eight percent annually, according to an announcement from Walden's office.

                              The money will be used to purchase the English Language Instruction System for the ESL programs which will be used in all buildings in the district, according to Sherri Sims, director of school improvement for the school district.

                              As far as English proficiency, on a scale of 1 to 5 - 1 speaking no English and 5 almost totally English proficient, Sims said, "The bulk of our students are mid-range."

                              ELIS is a computer-based program, she said, which can be adapted to all levels. It was used during summer school this year, Sims said, and teachers were very happy with it.

                              "It's very versatile," she said. "It's a tool. It's very user friendly," she said. All the graphics are done live, she said.

                              "This will certainly help kick-start this program," Sims said of the funding. She said the district was planning to buy the program in small pieces at a time.

                              "It (the software) will be used across the board, in grades K through 12," she said.

                              Students work on the computers individually, but the teachers can set the levels of study and the proficiency standard which the students are expected to meet, Sims said. Students also work with the teachers and volunteers and work individually on drills. Each building's staff will decide how the software will be used.

                              Another value, Sims said, is that the ELIS program teaches the students material which they will be tested on by the state, every year, she said.

                              The program is used to help improve reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.

                              "It goes along well with our reading program," Sims said.

                              James Torruellas, Ontario Middle School ESL instructor, said he was happy to hear about the money approved for the district. He could use a couple of more computers, he said.

                                Larry Meyer Argus Observer

                              Aug. 2, 1949 - Nov. 26, 2004

                              Jamie Jo Hasebe, 55, Ontario, died Friday, Nov. 26, 2004, in a local care facility. Memorial services will be at 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4, 2004, at the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple, Ontario, with the Rev. Marvin Harada, Orange County Buddhist Church, Anaheim, Calif., officiating. Arrangements under the direction of Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario.

                              Jamie was born Aug. 2, 1949, in Ontario, the daughter of James Tadeo and Ruriko Lulu Kitamura. She was raised in the local area from Brogan to Vale. She attended school at Willow Creek Elementary, Vale Elementary and graduated from Vale Union High School in 1967. Jamie then graduated from Treasure Valley Community College and was employed for a short time in Los Angeles, and at TVCC. She married Roy Hasebe Dec. 23, 1972, in Ontario and raised two beautiful daughters, Jennifer and Traci. She began working for the Ontario School District in 1986 at Ontario Junior High School and in 1996 transferred to Cairo Elementary School where she was the secretary and a friend to all the students, faculty and staff. She was active in the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple and a member of the Buddhist Women's Association and a Dharma School Teacher. She was the driving force behind keeping HAPPY BOWL going for 22 years at the Malheur County Fair.

                              Jamie loved to rubber stamp, travel, shop and visit her daughters. Her family fondly remembers Jamie's large family gatherings with good food and lots of laughter.

                              Jamie is survived by her husband of 31 years, Roy, Ontario; two daughters and sons-in-law, Jennifer and James Upshaw, Vancouver, Wash., and Traci and Jonathan Yudman, Portland; a brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Cheryl Kitamura, Nyssa; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Susan and Gene Nishimura, Irvine, Calif., and Jill and Erick Lace, Winnetka, Calif.; numerous aunts; uncles; nieces; nephews and cousins.

                              Jamie was preceded in death by her parents; and a sister.

                              Area residents attending the 45th annual Winter Wonderland parade Saturday can expect about as much entertainment as in the past.

                              Crystal Bartoschek, assistant secretary for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce - the key organization behind the event each year - said this year's theme, selected from suggestions made by Ontario Middle School sixth-graders, is "The Family Christmas." The parade traditionally kicks off the holiday season in Ontario.

                              "This is the major holiday event," she said.

                              The idea for this year's theme came from middle school student Ali Patton. Bartoschek said in her entry, Patton wrote most families spend Christmas together watching children unwrap presents, warming feet in front of fires and drinking cocoa and eggnog, which is her idea of an ideal Christmas.

                              The parade - which travels down Southwest Fourth Avenue, continues on Oregon Street before turning onto First Avenue and ends at the middle school - begins at 1:30 p.m., and lasts about two hours.

                              This year's parade features about 50 entries, including floats, horses, representatives from the Ontario Fire and Rescue Department and Ontario high and middle school band students. Parade Grand Marshal is Al Hicks, and Winter Wonderland Queen is Ontario High School senior Hanna Dinsmore. Wonderland princesses are Kimberly Schaffer, Fruitland; Rebecca Welsh, Harper; Amalia de Jesus, Huntington; Jessica Tschirgi, Payette; Traci Romans, Vale; and Amy Hernandez, Weiser. One special float this year, from the Ontario and Payette Albertson's, will be collecting new, unwrapped toys to donate to Helping Them to Hope during the parade.

                              Virginia Franek, assistant store director at the Ontario Alberstons, came up with the toy drive as a way to help ensure less fortunate children have presents to open this Christmas.

                              "This was just a way to help the community," she said. "And I know there are a lot of children out there who aren't as blessed or as fortunate as other children. We just want to make sure as many children in the community get toys this Christmas."

                              The Albertsons float, which will feature an Albertsons employee reading Christmas stories in a rocking chair surrounded by children, will be pulled by a pickup truck. During the parade, three seniors from Ontario High School will be walking along the float gathering toys to put in the pickup truck.

                              "If it works, we'll do it every year, as far as I'm concerned," Franek said.

                              Bartoschek said it is not too late for people to enter the parade. Entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. Thursday. Interested individuals can pick up entries at the chamber office, located at the Four Rivers Cultural Center. For more information call 889-8012.

                                  Jessica Keller Argus Observer

                              In a matter of 13 seconds, with less than six and half minutes left to play in the game, Ontario's Kylie Roberts converted back-to-back three-point plays, to give Ontario its first double digit lead and eventually sending the Tigers a 50-45 win over Weiser in a nonconference girls basketball game Tuesday evening in Weiser.

                              Leading 36-28 with 6:26 left in the game, Roberts hit a lay-up and was fouled by Weiser's Cassie Carlson. Roberts converted the free throw, and following a Weiser turnover, Roberts was again fouled by Carlson on a lay-up, again sinking the free throw, to go up 40-28, with 6:13 left in the game.

                              Roberts led all scorers with 18 points in the season-opening win for the Tigers, as they moved to 1-0 to start the season.

                              "It was a good win for the first game," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "We are trying a pressure defense. We have to learn not to foul, and we had our share."

                              Each team committed many fouls, as Ontario had 28 total fouls and Weiser had 22 total fouls, which translated into 55 free throw attempts in the game.

                              Following Roberts' six straight points, Weiser went on a 9-1 run over the next 3:30, to cut the lead to 41-37.

                              Ontario responded however, when Roberts scored back-to-back field goals, finishing the quarter with 11 points and Ontario extended its lead to 45-37.

                              From that point on, free throws dominated the game, as only two field goals were made the rest of the game, including a 3-pointer by Weiser's Stephanie Loomis with two seconds left, for the final margin of victory, as Ontario held on for the win.

                              "I think we had a lot of people play and play pretty good," Buck said. "We need to work on ending the game. We are geared up for running and not stopping. We need to keep getting better in all aspects of the game."

                              Helping Roberts, was Vanessa Gomez with 15 points.

                              Paige Walker and Sara Bates each had nine points in the loss.

                              Weiser head coach Tim Erhard was not available for comment after the game.

                              The Tigers are back in action Friday, traveling to Nampa for a nonconference matchup.

                                William Anderson Argus Observer

                              t seems year after year the Ontario girls basketball team never rebuilds - it reloads.

                              And that could mean trouble for the Greater Oregon League.

                              The Tigers, who finished 20-9 overall last season, return three starters from a team the finished second in the GOL and fifth at state.

                              "You never want to rebuild," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "Hopefully we are training younger kids as we go. I think the whole program is focused on getting players better for that time they do get to the varsity level."

                              Ontario, who opened the season with a win over Weiser, will miss the departed Maggie Smith-Davidson and Kristy Church, both of whom took their games to the collegiate-level.

                              "We have had some really good star players come through here," Buck said.

                              But the cupboard is not totally bare for Buck.

                              Back are seniors posts Vanessa Gomez (5.5 points, 7.5 rebounds last season) and A.J. Hawk, along with juniors Jaimi Arant (5 points, 3 assists) and Kylie Roberts (9.5 points, 6 rebounds).

                              Buck believs this edition of Tigers has the opportunity to be balanced offensively, but the strength of this team could lie in the team's ability to play defense.

                              "We should be a lot more balanced than we have in years past," Buck said. "I think the strength, eventually, will be the defense. The girls have been giving the effort in practice. I think the defense will trigger everything."

                              The Tigers' ability to play defense could play a role in their ability to naviagate the always tough GOL.

                              "The league is always tough," Buck said.

                              How tough?

                              Burns, the 3A runner-up in 2003 and 3A champion in 2004, is back with almost its whole arsenal, including first-team all GOL picks Maria and Jessica Clemens.

                              "I think Burns will be the team to beat," Buck said.

                                 Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                              A quick, pressuring defense and deadly accuracy from the perimeter helped the Ontario boys basketball team shut down Payette, on way to a 65-43 nonconference victory Thursday evening at Payette High School.

                              The Tigers used their defense to force 29 Payette turnovers, while connecting on 10 3-pointers, on way to building a 32-17 lead at the half.

                              "I think the kids played hard. They were excited and ready to play," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said. "It was our typical first game. There were way more positives than negatives."

                              Helmick said his players really love to play defense and frustrate other offenses, by getting all over them.

                              "The pressure got to us," Payette head coach Shawn Scow said. "They have got outstanding quickness at every position. We could not match them."

                              The Pirates (1-1 overall) could not answer the Tigers' offense, trying all sorts of defenses to shut down the Tigers (1-0).

                              "We tried a couple zones and man. Ontario just executed well. They were not afraid to shoot the three," Scow said about Ontario's offense. "Once they started hitting them, they were on a roll."

                              For the Tigers, KJ Toombs led the way, scoring a game high 20 points, including four 3-pointers, while teammate Nick Babij scored 13 points. Tyler David added 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

                              Payette countered with two 3-pointers, both by Cameron Oxnam, who finished with nine points for Payette. Mark McCarney led the Pirates with 10 points in the contest.

                              "We have to get in better position to rebound," Helmick said. "Payette did a good job of fighting for position and rebounding."

                              Scow said the Pirates needed to work on their defensive rebounding and boxing out, but was pleased with his players effort.

                              "Even though we got beat by 20, I liked our kids' effort," Scow said. "We played very aggressive. It is important to get our mindset to be aggressive."

                              Ontario is back in action tonight, when the Tigers travel to Weiser, while Payette is at Parma on Monday, both games are in nonconference action.

                                 William Anderson Argus Observer

                              With 1:45 left in the game, Ontario's Nick Babij hit two free throws to put Ontario up 50-38, clearing Ontario's bench, and helping Ontario to a 53-40 win over Nyssa in a nonleague boys basketball game Saturday evening at Ontario High School.

                              In the final two minutes, Ontario's Brady Kameshiga put the finishing touches on the Tigers' (3-0 overall) victory, drilling a 3-pointer.

                              Despite the 13-point margin of victory, Ontario was outscored in the second half, 27-25, after building up a 28-13 halftime lead.

                              The difference in the game came on defense for the Tigers, as they forced 27 Nyssa turnovers and picked up 17 steals.

                              "We played scared," Nyssa head coach Matt Perry said. "No one wanted to dribble, pass, shoot. We have not seen that kind of pressure.

                              "I do not think we will see anybody that quick again all year."

                              Both teams played tough defense, getting a hand in the face of most shooters, as Nyssa (1-2) shot only 36 percent from the floor and 38 percent from the free-throw line, and Ontario shot only 33 percent from the floor and 13 percent behind the arc.

                              "We played with good energy on defense," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said of the game. "I am glad that we were able to limit them to only 40 points. We play pretty well defense, quick hands, quick feet, we will go a long way with that."

                              Offensively, neither team seemed to get on a roll, as Babij led all scorers with 12 points, while Tyler David added 11 and Daniel Schram had 10. Babij and Jacob Blaylock had seven rebounds and Babij added five assists and four steals.

                              Nyssa was led by Marshall Ackley with 10 points and Jose Escobedo added six points, and 11 rebounds in the loss.

                              Ontario hosts Middleton Thursday in a nonleague contest, while Nyssa travels to Marsing on Monday in a nonconference matchup.

                                 William Anderson Argus Observer

                              The Ontario girls basketball team made sure its home opener was a successful one.

                              The Tigers picked up their third straight win, drubbing the Kuna Kavemen, 59-31, Tuesday night in a nonleague girls basketball game at Ontario High School.

                              The game was the Tigers' fourth game in five nights, and improved Ontario's season record to 4-1 on the season.

                              Ontario and Kuna battled to a 7-5 Ontario advantage after the first quarter of play, before the Tigers blew the game open with a tenacious defense and a workmanlike effort on the offensive glass.

                              The home team held Kuna to only 5-for-25 shooting from the field in the first half, and Kuna only managed 12 points in the first half, as Ontario extended its lead to 30-12 lead at the half.

                              "It took a little time to get going offensively," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "The offensive boards got us going. We were not sharp offensively."

                              The Tigers picked up 19 offensive rebounds and 20 second chance points, compared to only seven by the Kavemen.

                              In the second half, Ontario continued to pour it on, outscoring the Kavemen 15-10 in the third quarter. The Tigers' Kristin Saito connected on a field goal and a free throw to end the third quarter, as Ontario took a 45-22 lead.

                              "We played an excellent first half," Buck said. "The girls do everything I ask them to do. We have played three solid games in a row."

                              In the fourth quarter, Ontario kept extending their lead, going on an 11-2 run over the first four and a half minutes to claim a 56-25 lead - the largest difference in the game - before Ontario got everybody some playing time.

                              "I think this is a continuation of this weekend, Saturday and Monday we played really well," Buck said.

                              Ontario was led by Kylie Roberts with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, while A.J. Hawk had 17 points. Vanessa Gomez had six rebounds in the win for the Tigers.

                              Ontario travels to Nampa Christian Thursday in a nonconference matchup

                                 William Anderson Argus Observer

                              At first glance, Alameda Elementary School student Katie Phelps appears to be a normal fourth-grade student.

                              She likes to have fun with her friends and is even a little shy.

                              Still, Phelps has a big heart.

                              So big, in fact, she was willing to give up her hair to prove it.

                              Phelps, 9, recently had 12 inches of her hair chopped off for the Locks of Love charity.

                              The Locks of Love program earmarks human hair for wigs for children - many suffering from cancer or other diseases - who lose their own hair during treatment. The day after Thanksgiving, Phelps had her hair cut off by Amy Bezona, of Ontario, for the second time for this charity. Two years ago, Phelps had her hair cut at her mother's request. This year, Phelps decided to donate her hair, all on her own.

                              "It was OK," Phelps said about getting her hair cut off. "I like helping people."

                              The desire to help others and give of herself is something that separates Phelps from many other children.

                              According to Phelps' mother, Sharla Phelps, Katie does a lot of giving, whether it be to her brother or her friends.

                              "I think it is pretty neat. She has a heart for giving," Sharla Phelps said of Katie.

                              Katie said she also has helped her neighbors rake their leaves, and completed other tasks to help people.

                              Sharla Phelps said she heard about Locks of Love from a co-worker, and Phelps checked out the Web site to get more information. After cutting her hair off twice, so far, Katie Phelps plans on doing it again in the future.

                              "I wanted to do it this last time," Phelps said about getting her hair cut. "I am going to do it again."

                                 William Anderson Argus Observer

                              Starting from the tip-off, the Ontario boys basketball team used a stingy defense and good passing to knock off the Middleton Vikings 60-37 in a nonleague boys basketball matchup Thursday evening in Ontario.

                              Ontario built up an 11-3 first quarter advantage, which was pushed to 16-5 to end the quarter, with the Tigers controlling the game.

                              "I think it was a combination of the press works really well at the beginning and how you continue the press through the middle and end of the season," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said.

                              Ontario kept things rolling in the second quarter, to build a 30-15 first half lead.

                              In that second quarter, Middleton showed some signs of life, scoring 10 points, with Clark Short scoring all four of his points in the quarter.

                              Ontario on the other hand, had five players with five or more points by the end of the first half, led by Jacob Blaylock.

                              The Tigers (4-0 overall) came out strong in the third quarter, starting the quarter on a 8-1 run, to open up a 38-16 lead, over the first 3:15 of the quarter.

                              Ontario kept expanding its lead in the quarter, going on another 8-0 run during a two minute stretch, as Ontario pushed the lead to a game high, 28 points, 46-18, with 1:39 left in the quarter.

                              "It is always our goal to win the third quarter," Helmick said. "Some teams have let downs in the third quarter, even our band takes the quarter off. The third quarter is important."

                              In the final minutes of the game, Ontario held off Middleton, as the Vikings managed to outscore the Tigers 15-14 in the final quarter of play, but Ontario's lead was too much, as they went on to win.

                              Blaylock finished with a game high 13 points, while teammate Nick Babij had 10 points. Marcus Uchida had eight points and eight assists, including five in the third quarter.

                              Middleton was led by Kyle Sorensen who had 11 points, and Brandon Peterson had 10 points for the Vikings.

                              Ontario hosts Payette Saturday in a nonleague boys basketball contest.

                                William Anderson Argus Observer

                              Families all over the United States are lining up to watch "The Polar Express," the new Christmas film combining computer animation and live action. The movie is based on a popular children's book by Chris Van Allsburg.

                              Kelsey Zimmerman, a fourth-grade teacher at Alameda Elementary School, decided to celebrate the season and the book in a new way.

                              Zimmerman has her students create a "literature quilt" out of paper based on "The Polar Express."

                              The quilt now decorates one of the bulletin boards in her classroom. Each child created a paper block using 1-inch squares and triangles to create the trees.

                              Zimmerman said the idea came from a book she has which gives suggestions for paper quilts based on various books.

                              She said the students had just finished a two-week unit on Van Allsburg and his books, and were excited about the movie, so they were enthusiastic about the project.

                              She added many of the quilt patterns relate to books with a holiday theme, and help the students practice geometry and other spatial skills, as well as writing.

                              For this quilt, for instance, the children put together blocks featuring pictures of themselves, with their response to the prompt, "If I could have the first gift of Christmas, I would want

                              Some students at Ontario Public Schools have already performed their annual Christmas programs, but there are plenty yet to be staged before school lets out for winter break.

                              "They're all musical," Katherine M. Collins, public information director for Ontario Public Schools, said, adding all the programs are directed by music teachers at the respective schools.

                              Collins said some of the teachers are producing programs from material they have written, and others are staging popular programs written by others. Some of the programs focus mostly on music and some contain a plot and dialogue.

                              "All the students do something," Collins said.

                              She said the district appreciates the efforts of the music teachers and encourages parents, grandparents and other community members to come out.

                              "There's always some little person who's singing extra loud or curtsying after each applause," she said. "Those are the precious moments that really make it enjoyable."

                              TODAY

                              Second and third graders at Alameda Elementary School will perform "Christmas at the OK Corral" at 6 p.m. at Four Rivers Cultural Center.

                              THURSDAY and FRIDAY

                              Aiken Elementary School will perform "Aiken School Revue" at the school. The yellow cast featuring Mrs. Ortiz's fifth-grade class, Mr. Lopez's third-grade class and Mrs. Pelayo's morning kindergarten class, will perform at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. The green cast, featuring Miss Cornett's fifth-grade class, Mrs. Rines' third-grade class and Mrs. Pelayo's afternoon kindergarten class will perform at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

                              The pink cast, featuring Mr. Johnson's fourth-grade class, Mrs. Hill's second-grade class and Mrs. Knight's first-grade class, will perform at 9:30 a.m. Friday. The blue cast, featuring Mrs. Johnson's fourth-grade class, Ms. Blaylock's second-grade class and Mrs. Clark's first-grade class will perform at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

                              FRIDAY ONLY

                              Students at May Roberts Elementary School will perform three programs centered around the theme "Joy, Peace, Happiness and Winter Fun." Kindergartners and first-graders will perform from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Second- and third-graders will perform from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Fourth- and fifth-graders will perform from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

                              MONDAY

                              Ontario High School's orchestra, elite choir and symphonic concert band will perform a holiday concert at 7:15 p.m. at Four Rivers Cultural Center. There will also be a gala sing-along at the event. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for students and senior citizens and $10 for a family pass.

                              TUESDAY

                              Students at Pioneer Elementary School will perform at 10 a.m. in the Pioneer Elementary School gym. Kindergartners and first-graders will perform "A Tribute to Santa" and second- through fifth-graders will perform a "'Tis the Season" musical revue.

                                  Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                              Free throws were the difference Tuesday in Ontario's 53-37 nonleague win over Weiser at Ontario High School.

                              The Ontario Tigers made the most of their chances at the foul line. Weiser barely had the chance to get to the stripe.

                              Ontario converted 24-of-30 free throws on the night, while the Wolverines missed both of their free throw attempts in the game.

                              Most of the Tigers' free throws came in the first half. Ontario scored 16 of its 33 points at the charity stripe, with Nick Babij leading the way, going 13-for-14 from the line in the first half.

                              "We decided we wanted to go to the basket and not rely on the outside shots," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said of the Tigers' advantage in free throw shooting. "We were going to take our shots and if not, we would take it to the basket."

                              Starting the second half, the Wolverines (2-4 overall) trailed the Tigers (6-0) 33-20.

                              Ontario's defense continued to swarm the Wolverines, holding Weiser to only four third-quarter points. Ontario held on to a 43-24 lead.

                              "We had to expect a tight game. They are a good team, and good teams make adjustments," Helmick said. "We did little different types of presses, with a man and zone press."

                              Ontario's presses forced 21 Weiser turnovers on the night.

                              In the final quarter of play, Weiser continued to hang around, outscoring the Tigers 13-10.

                              Still, it was not enough as Ontario hung on for the victory.

                              "My guys played hard," Weiser head coach Dave Shirts said. "I am satisfied with the effort, but we are capable of playing better still."

                              Babij led all scorers with 20 points. Babij connected on 17-for-20 free throws, and hit just one shot from the floor. Jacob Blaylock added 11 points for the Tigers and Tyler David had 10 points in the win.

                              Weiser was led by Mikel Overgaard's 10 point performance in the blowout loss.

                              Both teams are back in action Thursday, as Weiser travels to Vale in a nonleague matchup, while Ontario travels to the Junction City Tournament, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

                                 William Anderson Argus Observer

                              The Tigers landed three individual champions, and placed 15 wrestlers in the top five of their weight classes, on the way to a team tournament title Saturday at the Caldwell Invitational.

                              Ontario won the tournament with 238 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Caldwell (202) and third-place Nyssa (198.5). Parma (120) finished sixth and Cambridge-Midvale (24) was 10th.

                              Andres Hernandez (130), Paul Rangel (160) and Colin Gundle (275) all won their respective weight classes for the Tigers.

                              "We had a pretty good meet Friday and the kids continued that and wrestled really well today," Ontario head coach Charlie Anthony said. "We have a lot of weight classes with two pretty good kids in them. When you can enter two per weight class that's to our benefit.

                              "This is pretty exciting when you think district is run the same way."

                              Ontario's depth showed, particularly at 275-pounds. Dennis Tolman and Jon Paulsen finished fourth and fifth, respectively, behind Gundle.

                              The Tigers got second-place finishes from Jose Rivera (145) and Todd Smith (189) and third-place finishes from Tom Martinez (103), Kaz Honjo (119) and Pedro Nunez (215). Michael Gonzalez (112), Bryan Brandon (125), Keith Brandon (135), Casey Erlebach (140) and JJ Anthony all brought home fifth-place finishes.

                              Ontario heads to Pasco, Wash. Tuesday and Wednesday for the Pasco Invitational.

                              Bulldogs place nine at Caldwell Invitational, team finishes third

                              CALDWELL - The Nyssa Bulldogs took 10 wrestlers to the Caldwell Invitational, and nine of them placed in the top four of their respective weight classes.

                              That production helped the Bulldogs to a third place finish at the two-day tournament.

                              Ontario won the tournament with 238 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Caldwell (202) and third-place Nyssa (198.5). Parma (120) finished sixth and Cambridge-Midvale (24) was 10th.

                              "We had a really good weekend," Nyssa head coach Luke Cleaver said. "We ended up with four champions and five in the finals. Every varsity kid I brought finished in the top four."

                              Nick Hartley (135), Cody Peterson (145), Braden Bair (189) and Bobby Deleon (215) brought home individual championships for the Bulldogs.

                              "I think everybody had a tough match in the tournament," Cleaver said. "Everyone stepped up to the challenge."

                              Nyssa also got a second-place finish Juan Sandoval (140), and third-place finishes from Smitty Hartley (112) and Bryce Vanzels (275). Bowe Midland capped the tournament for Nyssa with a fourth-place finish.

                              The Bulldogs are off until Jan. 4 when they will travel to Nampa for a three-way dual with Emmett and Nampa.

                                  Argus Observer sports staff

                              The Ontario School Board made minor revisions to its board policies in an otherwise uneventful regular meeting Thursday night.

                              The revisions addressed two sections of the school board policies, regarding the superintendent position and the budget.

                              Ontario schools Superintendent Dennis Carter said the revisions are done annually based on the recommendations of Oregon's state school board.

                              Instead of going through their policy book all at once, Carter said, board members are breaking it down to about two sections a month.

                              One revision was to the qualifications of the superintendent's position. Instead of only requiring "educational leader and administrator" experience, a superintendent candidate can be considered if the person meets transitional administrator or "exceptional administrator" licensure requirements.

                              Another revision permits the superintendent to recommend contract renewals or nonrenewals, contract extensions or nonextensions of any employee as provided by law, policies and the employee's collective bargaining agreement.

                              While the superintendent can still recommend an employee's demotion and discharge, language allowing the superintendent to recommend the suspension of an employee was removed.

                              When developing and adopting criteria and policy directives for hiring a superintendent or interim superintendent, the board will now address those topics in an open meeting in which the public can comment.

                              The Ontario School Board, however, may also notify the superintendent of unsatisfactory performance in writing, identifying those areas that need to be remedied.

                              The superintendent must be allowed time to correct those problems, but if poor performance continues, the board may dismiss the superintendent.

                                Jessica Keller - Argus Observer

                              The Tigers shot only 2-for-12 in the first quarter, but rebounded enough to shoot 19-for-40 the rest of the game to come away with the victory.

                              Part of the reason Ontario's offense picked up, was point guard Jaimi Arant dished out 12 assists, to go with her six points.

                              "I think she is really playing well for us," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "I think if she had been able to play more than the 15 minutes she played against Junction City, because of foul trouble, we would have been playing on the winner's side of the bracket."

                              The Tigers finished the tournament as consolation champions.

                              The Tigers (8-2 overall) got a big performance from Kylie Roberts, dropping in 18 points and grabbing six rebounds. AJ Hawk added 12 points and seven rebounds.

                              Vanessa Gomez had eight points and nine rebounds for the Tigers.

                                  Argus Observer Sport Staff

                              The Ontario boys opened the 2004 Fruitland Christmas Tournament in convincing fashion with a 75-39 win over Parma Wednesday night in Fruitland.

                              The Tigers (8-3 overall) led from the opening 10 seconds of the game and never looked back with a combination of excellent shooting and a defense which left Parma attempting to play catch-up the entire game.

                              "The kids played well tonight," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said. "They executed well and played the way they are capaable of playing. Parma tried to take out (Nick) Babij early in the game, and Tyler David stepped up and made the plays."

                              Parma (2-6) stayed close through the first quarter, starting the second behind by only seven. But Ontario caught fire and scored 27 points in the quarter including a 12-0 run early in the second to take the lead for good.

                              "They are a good team," Panthers head coach Kevin Sitts said referring to Ontario. "But our boys never quit. It was nice to see Sam Sells come out and contribute to the team after the injury to his ankle. We need to work on our turnovers and keep them down."

                              The Panthers committed 21 turnovers, while forcing Ontario into only 10.

                              Ontario was led by David's 15 points, and Jaime Contreras' 13 points. Ontario also shot a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line as a team.

                              Ontario will meet Fruitland for the championship at 8 p.m. tonight. Parma will play for the consolation at 6:15 p.m. against Vale.

                                John Braese Argus Observer

                          Call to OPD sparks lockdown at May Roberts, Feb. 1, 2004

                          Tami Hart Argus Observer

                          A lockdown at May Roberts Elementary School Tuesday, prompted by a call from the Ontario Police Department, ended without incident.

                          Ontario Police received a call at 3:07 p.m. from a woman driving by the school who had witnessed a youth, carrying two steak knives in his hands, who was being chased by a group of nine Hispanic boys near the school. The group of boys was pelting the lone youth with snowballs and ice. The witness saw the boy point the knives at the other boys, which prompted her 911 call, OPD Sgt. Jeff Milton said.

                          "We didn't know what the boy's intent was, so we notified the school and advised them to enact whatever security measures they have in place," Milton said.

                          May Roberts principal Frances Ramirez said she instituted a lockdown, which secures all the classrooms in the school.

                          "We have a procedure that we follow," Ramirez said. "Anytime anything like this happens, you have step-by-step things to do." Ramirez said she would normally be the person making the decision to lockdown the school, although that could be affected by who has the information about the incident.

                          "In this case, I didn't have any information about it and the police department gave me the directive," Ramirez said.

                          OPD officers arrived on the scene and Milton called the school with a description of the youth carrying the knives. May Roberts officials advised OPD that a boy matching the description had come into the school's office.

                          "He was seeking refuge from the gang of boys," Milton said.

                          The youth, who is 11-years-old, had walked to May Roberts to pick up his sister, Milton said.

                          He told police the other boys, who ranged in age from 11 to 13, had been making fun of him and that it had started when he left the middle school.

                          "He knew he had to go to the school to get his sister and he knew the others were after him, so he stopped and got the knives from his home for protection," Milton said.

                          Officer George Tolman, school resource officer, investigated the incident and spoke with the parties involved.

                          There were no charges pressed, Milton said.

                          Ramirez said she incident should act as an alert for all schools.

                          "Since we have had everything in the news that's happened at other schools, I think the school is really aware of keeping the kids and staff safe," Ramirez said. "We just have to be prepared,"

                          She said she was impressed with her staff's handling of the security procedure.

                          Ramirez said she believes the school has not had a lockdown in the past two years.

                          Tigers maul Burns, 88-38, in GOL play, Feb. 1, 2004

                           Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                          "I cannot tell the guys not to play hard," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said after the Tiger's boys' basketball team thumped Burns 88-38 in Greater Oregon League action Friday night.

                          Everyone on the Tiger roster saw playing time in Friday night's victory.

                          "My starters were only in for the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter, then everyone else got to play," Helmick said.

                          Ontario jumped out to a huge 21-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.

                          Wade Douglas scored 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter including a slam dunk with 10 seconds remaining in the quarter.

                          Nick Babij, Jacob Blaylock and Kyle Hart each scored a two-point bucket in the first quarter for the Tigers and Hart also completed a free throw.

                          By the end of the first half, the Tigers had nearly sealed the victory with a 46-16 lead over the Highlanders.

                          The 25 points scored in the second quarter was by a mixture of Tigers.

                          Marcus Uchida, Tyler David, Douglas, Tommy Infante, and Jason Hart each scored two points.

                          Jake Lacey and Kyle Hart each added four points.

                          Babij hit two 3-pointers and eventually went on to hit another before finishing the game with 11 points.

                          Blaylock landed a free throw to round out the scores for Ontario in the second quarter.

                          Only hitting 10 points to the 22 poured in by the Tigers put the Highlanders further behind at the end of the third quarter.

                          In the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter, Douglas laid in four points and Babij hit a 3-pointer then the other Tigers began to shine.

                          David landed three 2-point baskets and a 3-pointer in the third quarter. He would go on to finish the game with 15 points for the Tigers.

                          Infante racked up four points, and Uchida scored two more for Ontario.

                          Jaime Contreras and KJ Toombs both hit two 3-point buckets to be a part of Ontario's 20 points in the fourth quarter.

                          David added a pair of free throws and a 2-pointer while Jake Gaschler scored his two points of the game and Infante found his seventh and eighth point for the Tigers.

                          The Highlanders only scored 12 points in the fourth quarter.

                          Burns was led by Brett Thomas with 10 points followed by Luke Benafel with eight points and Aaron Glerup with six.

                          Kyle Hart led the Ontario rebounders pulling down eight.

                          Matt Mejia had four steals and Uchida finished the game with five assists.

                          The Tigers (12-4 overall, 5-0 GOL) traveled to La Grande Saturday evening for another Greater Oregon League game.

                          Ontario girls fall to Burns -Feb. 1, 2004   Argus Observer Sports Staff

                          Down 8-0 in the first quarter the Ontario girls' basketball team never regained the momentum and dropped a Greater Oregon League match to the visiting Burns Highlanders.

                          The Tigers lost 55-43 Friday night at Ontario High School.

                          "We need to not play scared and not be afraid to attack and pass the ball inside," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said.

                          In the first quarter, Ontario scored a total of five points in comparison to the 18 piled in by the Highlanders.

                          Maggie Smith-Davidson scored three for Ontario - one bucket and a free throw - while AJ Hawk laid in the other two points.

                          In the second quarter, the Tigers cut Burns' lead down to nine points outscoring the visitors 10-6.

                          Kylie Roberts hit two of her three 3-pointers in the first minute of the second quarter while Smith-Davidson hit two 2-point baskets in the second half of the second quarter.

                          Chelsea Ross piled in four points in the second quarter for the Highlanders and teammate Maria Clemens added the other two points.

                          At the end of the first half Burns led 24-15.

                          Burns extended its first half lead in the third quarter after scoring 19 points to the 11 posted by the Tigers.

                          Kristy Church and Jami Arant each scored their first two points of the game in the third quarter for Ontario (12-5 overall, 3-2 GOL).

                          Roberts hit her third three with 4:01 left in the quarter and Smith-Davidson completed two free throws and hit a jumper for the other four points.

                          The Clemens sisters - Jessica and Maria - poured in 10 of the Highlanders third quarter points.

                          The Tigers scored 17 points in the final quarter while the visitors only racked up 12 points but it was not enough for a victory.

                          Vanessa Gomez scored her four points of the game in the fourth quarter for Ontario.

                          Smith-Davidson made her final six points to lead the Tiger scorers with 17 points in the loss.

                          Church added her remaining five points to end the game with seven total points and Arant landed her final two points.

                          "In the second half we regrouped and went after them," Buck said. "We have a ways to go. Lack of experience can be seen at times. In tomorrow's game against La Grande we will be playing to hold on to a top three spot."

                          Cairo chili feed slated for Thursday, Feb. 4, 2004

                           Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                          Local residents eager to take in the familiar smell of cornbread and chili should plan to visit Cairo Elementary School Thursday.

                          The school's long-standing -- and by decree very popular -- chili feed has been a mainstay of local fundraisers for more than 40 years. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. Thursday.

                          Tickets for the event cost $5 for ninth-graders and older and runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. Kindergartners to eighth-graders can get into the dinner for $3 while preschools eat for free. The ticket price includes chili, salad, cornbread, beverage and dessert -- including cupcakes, pies and brownies.

                          Renae Corn and her husband Bruce Corn said they have been involved in the chili feed since their first child started attending Cairo. Corn estimated their involvement spans the course of 13 or 14 years. Now, their youngest child is a fifth-grader at Cairo.

                          "We're both real believers in education," Corn said.

                          Corn said she has attended the chili feed every year -- even when her children were enrolled in a private Christian school in Ontario. This is the first year her children have returned to the Ontario School District, they said.

                          Bruce Corn served as the chairman of the committee for the chili feed, soliciting donations from local businesses and organizing the committees in charge of various tasks associated with the event. Renae also helped with ticket sales, cooking the chili, and gathering community support for the event. The Corns have also assisted financially to the event, purchasing pots to cook the chili in.

                          "The wonderful thing about the chili feed, is that we don't see much anymore, is it's a community effort," Corn said.

                          Since the cost of the dinner is minimal, business donations are a key to the event's ability to raise money for the school. Proceeds of the chili feed are allocated to the Cairo PTO (parent teacher organization) that funds the needs of the school.

                          Cindy Feibert, parent, volunteer and PTO member, and her husband, Erik Feibert, have volunteered at the chili feed for 11 to 12 years, she said. Cindy said most of the ingredients for the chili are donated, and hundreds of pies are bought, donated or home baked. Feibert noted the recipe for the chili has remained largely the same since the tradition began 46 years ago.

                          Steve Bishop, principal of Cairo Elementary, said the school's focus for the money raised from the feed is on purchasing new playground equipment. Bishop said the school has not received new equipment -- other than small updates and repairs -- since the building opened in the late 1950s.

                          The fundraising event -- one that collects an estimated $4,000 each year according to Bishop -- has supported a new basketball court and computer software in past years. As of Tuesday, Cairo had sold 400 adult-priced tickets. Bishop said the previous year there were as many people that did not buy advanced tickets as those that did. The chili feed at Cairo also showcases student artwork. Cairo Elementary has a contest for artwork to be printed on the sales tickets and posters advertising the event.

                          This year, Tana Halligan's artwork is on the full admission priced ticket; Leila Feibert's artwork is on the discounted tickets; and Rebecca Dodson's design is printed on the complimentary tickets. Miranda Bourasa and Angela Monroe's poster designs were the winners. The students were third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders.

                          Pay difference Teachers' salaries vary widely between rural and metro school districts in Oregon, Feb. 5, 2004

                           Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                          A recently release report by the Oregon School Boards Association shows that teacher salaries and benefits in Oregon vary between school districts.

                          The report, dubbed "Salaries, Economic Benefits and Selected Policies for Teachers in Oregon School Districts" is an annual survey by the OSBA.

                          On the Oregon side of the Treasure Valley, school districts' caps on salaries, retirement pensions, and perks and benefits - such as the number of paid holidays - fluctuates as well.

                          Treasure Valley teacher data

                          Nyssa school district pays its teachers, according to the survey, a minimum of $26,305 and a maximum of $49,166 a year. To reach the $49,166 benchmark, teachers must earn a master's degree plus 45 additional post-graduate credits.

                          The average annual salary for 2002-2003 in Nyssa School District was $39,664 according to the survey. Teachers receive three paid bereavement days, two personal days, and seven holidays. Nyssa teachers contract for 186 days with 172 student school days. Teachers in Nyssa negotiated a two percent increase in their salary from 2002-2003 to 2003-2004.

                          The minimum pay for teachers at Vale School District is $24,470 and a maximum pay of $49,259 with the same qualifications (master's degree and 45 additional units of study). The annual average salary for 2002-2003 was $43,316. Teachers receive two personal days, five bereavement days, and six holidays. Vale teachers contract for 174 days with 148 student school days. The teacher's union in Vale negotiated a four percent raise in their salaries effective this school year.

                          Ontario teachers receive a minimum salary of $26,686 and a maximum salary of $50,982. The annual average salary in 2002-2003 was $43,468. Teachers receive five paid holidays, two personal days and five bereavement days. Teachers contract for 191 days with 176 student school days. Teacher salaries are up 2.75 percent from 2002-2003.

                          Adrian school district teachers receive a minimum salary of $25,233 and a maximum salary for a master's degree of $41,475. The annual average salary in 2002-2003 was $35,836. Teachers receive up to $10,000 in tuition reimbursement at the University of Oregon. They also get two personal days and three bereavement days. Teachers contract for 185 days with 177 student school days. Teachers at Adrian did not receive a pay increase for 2003-2004.

                          The Oregon School Boards Association reports the average pay increase for teachers this year was 1.67 percent. Ron Wilson, director of human resource development at the Oregon School Boards Association, said 35 districts did not negotiate a pay increase for teachers.

                          Looking at Portland

                          By contrast to school districts in the Malheur County, the largest school district in Oregon is Portland, which rests in Multnomah County. The district contains 45,989.8 resident average daily memberships (ADM or average amount of students each day). Nyssa has a resident ADM of 1,176.6; Vale is 981.9; Ontario is 2,650.6; and Adrian's ADM is 230.7. Teachers in Portland school district receive a minimum pay of $29,013 and a maximum pay with a master's degree and 45 additional units of post-graduate study of $60,673. Teachers are paid for two professional days, three personal days, three family illness days, and bereavement varies.

                          They contract for 190 days of work and 177 student school days. They are reimbursed six hours of credit at Portland State University. Teachers at Portland school district negotiated a 0.5 percent pay increase for this school year. Teacher pay and benefits is slightly more attractive in the Portland School District than area school districts. However, the cost of living in the Portland metro area compared with Malheur County differs significantly. The cost of living also varies between Ontario, Vale, Adrian and Nyssa.

                          Cost of living

                          Property value and housing in slightly more expensive in Ontario than Nyssa, Vale, and Adrian. According to the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, in Ontario the median housing cost was $85,900 in 2000. Data reported Vale's median housing cost in 2000 at $67,300; Adrian was $61,900; and Nyssa was $61,800. The median housing cost in 2000 for Multnomah County was $157,900 and in Portland the cost was $154,700. While Multnomah County's housing prices have risen to a median cost of $189,000 and average cost of $225,308 in 2003, the Malheur County's assessor office reports unchanged figures in 2003 from 2000. Economically, Multnomah and Malheur Counties deviate. The state department reported per capita income in Malheur County at $19,530 in 1999 and 32,095 in Multnomah County in 2000.

                          As the Portland School District offers more money to teachers, the adjusted cost of living between Malheur County and Multnomah County causes Portland teachers to pay more to live in the metro area. Similarly, Ontario teachers receive slightly more pay - on average - than teachers in Vale, Nyssa or Adrian, but the housing costs in Ontario are also higher.

                          Beginning salaries similar

                          Lyssa McKrole teaches first-grade at Alameda Elementary School. McKrole recently finished her master's degree at Eastern Oregon University while living in John Day. McKrole chose to move to Ontario for her first year of teaching.

                          She said she researched school districts in Oregon, and found that for beginning teacher salaries, Ontario was comparable to other districts in the state.

                          McKrole also said that Oregon seems to have the most widely accepted teaching standards in the state. Most teachers come into the system now with a master's degree, she said. McKrole added the accepted standards force teachers to work harder than most states to pass tests and obtain higher degrees.

                          "The pay is better in Oregon, I believe, than Idaho and Utah. Washington state is comparable to Oregon," McKrole said.

                          implicating that hurdles teachers in Oregon must go through to pass tests and obtain degrees translates into higher teaching pay than some neighboring states.

                          Young Tiger Basketball Camp scheduled, Feb. 5, 2004

                          The Ontario boys' basketball coach, Scott Helmick, is hosting a Young Tiger Basketball Camp at the Ontario High School gym.

                          Boys in the fourth, fifth and sixth grade are invited to attend.

                          The camp will run Feb. 4, 5, 11, 12 and 17 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

                          The cost for the camp will be $25. The cost includes a T-shirt, instruction provided by the high school coaches and players.

                          To register, call coach Scott Helmick at Ontario High School, (541) 889-5309.

                          Softball umpiring clinics to be held

                          BOISE-Anybody interested in umpiring girls' fast pitch softball in either Oregon or Idaho, clinics will be held to review rules.

                          Monday, at Caldwell High School, registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the clinic running from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

                          Feb. 23, there is a mandatory Idaho State rules meeting, at Mountain View High School at 6 p.m. Registration for umpires is at 5:15 p.m.

                          A reminder to all high school coaches, this is a mandatory meeting, a representative from your school will need to be present.

                          If there are any questions, contact the Softball Commissioner, Gary McCarney, (208) 642-4675.

                          Weiser girls' hoops team selling Kryspy Kreme's

                          WEISER-Kryspy Kreme doughnuts are being brought to Weiser by the Girls' Basketball Team Wednesday.

                          The event is being sponsored to help raise funds for summer camp and tournaments.

                          Contact any girls' basketball player or coach to place your order.

                          Each dozen will cost $7.50 each.

                          Coach Erhard is also taking orders at (208) 414-2620 or at (208) 549-0882. Doughnuts will be delivered to the high school at about 8:30 a.m., Wednesday.

                          Ski Bus Available to Brundage

                          Ontario-The Ontario Parks and Recreation Department will offer a ski and snowboard bus to Brundage Mountain for the 2003-2004 ski season.

                          Session dates include-Session 3 (cost of $32): Saturday, February 7, 14, 21, and 28.

                          Registrations are taken at the Recreation Department at the Ontario Aquatic Center between 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

                          Registrations by session will take priority over individual date tickets. Individual dates can be purchased for $10 per trip.

                          All trips depart from Ontario City Hall at 7 a.m. and will return at approximately 7 p.m.

                          Trips must be paid for by the Wednesday prior to the trip in order to hold a reservation.

                          Lift tickets are $23 for 12-18 years old. $32 for 19 and over and $16 for kids 7-11.
                          For more information contact the Ontario Parks and Recreation Department, at (541) 889-7686.

                          Ten Star All Star Basketball Camp

                          Charlotte, NC - Applications are now being evaluated for the Ten Star All Star Summer Basketball Camp.

                          The camp is by invitation only.

                          Boys and girls ages 10 through 19 are eligible to apply.

                          Past participants include: Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse, Grant Hill and Antawn Jamison.

                          School district stays focused on bus safety, Feb. 6, 2004

                          Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                          The Ontario School District has reported three accidents involving a school bus or an activity vehicles this school year but the number is not unusually high, according to the district operations manager, Bob Nelson.

                          Nelson said he estimated the district averages three accidents a year, whether they are the fault of school authorized drivers or a second party vehicle.

                          Nelson also said during some school years there will be more than three accidents, depending on the weather.

                          A particularly severe winter will cause more cars to slide into school buses, he said.

                          The first accident this school year occurred on Sept. 9, 2003 when Matt Suitter, 32, Ontario, driving a 1991 Ford van failed to yield at the controlled intersection of Southeast Fourth Street and Southeast First Avenue. Sheri Acree was the driver of the school bus transporting 56 Ontario middle and high school students and four students from Four Rivers Charter School. No significant injuries were sustained from the accident. Acree was determined to be not at fault for the accident and is still driving for the district, according to Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement for Ontario School District.

                          The next school bus accident occurred nearly one month later on Oct. 6, 2003. The certified bus driver, Janet Kittelmann, 57, drove onto the curb near the corner of Southwest Fourth Street and the mirror of the bus struck Ontario Middle School student, Isabel Rodriguez, 11, who was walking with her eighth-grade sister, Alicia Rodriguez.

                          Rodriguez sustained scratches and a concussion after being struck by the mirror. Collins said Kittelmann no longer works at the district as a bus driver. Collins said after the completion of an investigation, the school district does not have information beyond Kittlemann's claim she blacked out while driving over the curb.

                          The latest incident occurred Monday and involved a shortened school bus technically labeled an activity vehicle and adverse weather.

                          Leadership adviser Laurie Grim, 50, was driving 11 leadership students from OHS to a leadership conference in Hermiston when the vehicle ran into icy conditions and slid off Interstate 84.

                          One student required knee surgery related to the accident. Nelson said the school district is still investigating the accident. Investigations of this kind, he said, typically take two to three months. Grim is still working for the district, but her certification to drive activity vehicles is temporarily restrained, Nelson said.

                          Ontario school district operates approximately 32 school buses with approximately 25 bus drivers.

                          New buses are bought every year, Nelson said. The lifetime of a bus is around 160,000 to 170,000 miles, he said.

                          The certification for a school bus driver, like Kittelmann and Acree, requires more stringent guidelines than certification to operate an activity vehicle for the school.

                          Registered school bus drivers must meet guidelines set by the federal government and additional guidelines set by the state. Nelson said Oregon has more restrictive guidelines that many other states.

                          An individual must apply for an open position as a bus driver; obtain a CDL (commercial drivers license) and attend a behind-the-wheel training session. The potential bus driver is then hired on a substitute basis where he or she drives the school bus with an district examiner. Bus drivers must attend eight hours of training each year and keep their first aid and CPR training up-to-date.

                          Certification to drive an activity vehicle requires an individual be a licensed driver, take a first aid course, have a fairly clean driving record, take a one-time training session and maintain current first aid training and drivers license.

                          Grim said she had never been in a car accident prior to the school-related accident on Feb. 2.

                          Nelson said that bus drivers with the Ontario school district have been terminated in the past, but he did not have an exact number.

                          Ontario wrestlers win two matches, Feb. 6, 2004

                          Tigers get better of Vale and New Plymouth  
                          Tricia Alvarez - Argus Observer

                          The Ontario Tigers wrestling team defeated the Vale Vikings 38-28 in a Greater Oregon League dual meet Thursday at Ontario High School.

                          Defending state champion Paul Rangel received the first points for Ontario at 145-pounds when he received a technical fall over Vale's Mark Moreno with a 22-7 score.

                          Vale's Luke McSweeney won after Ontario's Charles Cowperthwait was disqualified at 152-pounds.

                          The next three matches were decided by pins.

                          Vladimir Dhidzhiyeshvili of Ontario pinned Sam Zinie of Vale in 4:59 at 160-pounds.

                          At 171-pounds Todd Smith of Ontario pinned Brady Wolfe of Vale in 1:52.

                          The Vikings Joe Meredith pinned the Tigers Luke Owens in 3:31 at 189-pounds.

                          Vale's Kyle Netcher, 215-pounds, and Willie Maupin, 275-pounds, received decisions over Ontario's Colin Gundle, 10-7, and JJ Anthony, 6-2.

                          Vale loss the next three matches by forfeit to Alex Turner, 103-pounds, Jace Nakumara, 112-pounds, and Mark Mizuta, 119-pounds.

                          The Tigers' Juan Trejo pulled out a 19-14 decision over Vale's Ian Morcom at 125-pounds before Vale went on to win the final three matches.

                          Tyler Andersen of Vale, at 130-pounds, pinned Casey Erlebach of Ontario in 22 seconds.

                          The Vikings Kyle Bates received a 2-1 decision over the Tigers Justin Allison in double overtime at 135-pounds.

                          Vale's Chamberlain finished off the dual matchups by defeating Jose Rivera of Ontario 4-3.

                          "I thought we did well against Ontario. I thought the Bates-Allison match was great. They are great wrestlers. When you give up points off of forfeits, their is more importance on individual matches," Vale assistant coach Dave Eyler said.

                          The Viking's 0-5 in GOL play host to Ontario (4-1 GOL) and MacHi Friday.

                          New Plymouth 44    Vale 12

                          After falling to Ontario, the Vale Viking's wrestlers dropped a tough match to the New Plymouth Pilgrims 44-12 Thursday at Ontario High School.

                          "We did not wrestle as intense against New Plymouth as we did Ontario. I think we were emotionally spent," Vale assistant coach Dave Eyler said.

                          New Plymouth won the first four matches before forfeiting the 215 and 275-pound matches to Kyle Netcher and Willie Maupin of Vale.

                          John Chapman and Chet Johnson of New Plymouth pinned Luke McSweeney and Sam Zinie of Vale in 51 seconds and 1:53 at the 152 and 160-pound weight classes.

                          At 171-pounds, Marc Richter of New Plymouth major decisioned Brady Wolfe of Vale 11-1 and Charlie Pollock received a decision over Vale's Joe Meredith 3-1 at 189-pounds.

                          There were double forfeits at both the 103 and 112-pounds before the Pilgrims Willis Griffith won by forfeit at 119-pounds.

                          Another double forfeit was called at 140-pounds but not before Eric Hinson of New Plymouth received a 17-7 major decision over Ian Morcom of Vale at 125-pounds.

                          At 130-pounds Casey Dill of New Plymouth pinned TJ Bennett in 1:20

                          Jess Painter of New Plymouth decisioned Kyle Bates of Vale 6-1 at 135-pounds.

                          The nonleague dual ended with a Khris Katpati of New Plymouth pin over Derek Chamberlain in 51 seconds at 145-pounds.

                          New Plymouth (5-5 overall, 3-0 WIC) will take part in the Weiser Invitational Friday and Saturday in Weiser.

                          Ontario 39    New Plymouth 36

                          After a victory against the Vale Vikings, the New Plymouth Pilgrims were beat 39-36 by the Ontario Tigers wrestling team Thursday night in a nonleague match at Ontario High School.

                          New Plymouth was up 9-0 before an Ontario wrestler put points on the board.

                          New Plymouth received six points at 152-pounds when Chet Johnson won by forfeit.

                          Ontario's Luke Fields loss by a 8-4 decision to John Chapman at 160-pounds.

                          The Tigers jumped back on the board scoring the next 33 points before New Plymouth would have another victory.

                          At 171-pounds Vladamir Dzhidzhiyeshvili of Ontario decisioned Marc Richter 9-5.

                          Ontario Todd Smith pinned Charlie Pollock in 1:09 at 189-pounds.

                          Collin Gundle of Ontario won by forfeit at 215-pounds.

                          The 275-pound heavyweight, Dennis Tolman of Ontario, pinned Brian Smallwood of New Plymouth in 31 seconds and then it was on to the light weights.

                          Alex Turner and Jace Nakamura each won by forfeit at 103 and 112-pounds.

                          Three New Plymouth wrestlers received pins to bring the score to 33-27 before Justin Allison of Ontario scored six points at 135-pounds for a forfeit.

                          At 119-pounds Willis Griffith of New Plymouth pinned Mark Mizuta in 1:51, the Pilgrims Eric Hinson pinned Keith Brandon in 3:17 at 125-pounds and New Plymouth's Casey Dill pinned Casey Erlebach in 56 seconds at 130-pounds.

                          Jess Painter of New Plymouth scored six more points for his team when he pinned Jose Rivera of Ontario in 3:11 at 140-pounds.

                          In the last match of the night, within seconds of the start of the match, Paul Rangel of Ontario landed on his neck and after a brief timeout got back on the mat.

                          New Plymouth's Khris Katpati went on to beat Rangel 6-1 at 145-pounds.

                          "I am not unhappy with the win but we need to be sharper. New Plymouth is impressive. They are very physical and very tough. They are tougher than nails," Ontario head coach Charlie Anthony said.

                          Ontario 8-11 overall and 4-1 in the Greater Oregon League travel to Vale Friday to take on MacHi while New Plymouth heads to Weiser Friday and Saturday for the Weiser Invitational.

                          Lockdown plans vary, Feb. 8, 2004

                          Kristin Gribben -- Argus Observer

                          The Ontario School District does not have a specific plan regarding emergency lockdowns, but instead relies on a flexible procedure - focused on "unauthorized persons or intruder alert," situations - framed to meet a variety of emergency situations.

                          The emergency response system was the focal point of a Jan. 27 incident when May Roberts Elementary School was placed in a lockdown because of suspicious activity involving a youth and a knife.

                          Ontario School District has a handbook that includes procedures for nearly every emergency possible, Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement for the district said.

                          The school district does not have a specific policy regarding lockdowns, but does have a procedure regarding "unauthorized persons or intruder alerts," according to Collins.

                          The result of a procedure focusing on "unauthorized persons or intruder alerts," Collins said, would most likely be a lockdown.

                          Collins emphasized the flexibility of the OSD procedure and pointed out school officials need to be prepared to make ad hoc decisions, because they do not always have the time to consult a step-by-step procedure manual in the onset of an emergency.

                          "We have to have people in leadership roles that are effective decision-makers," Collins said.

                          Collins added that emergencies at schools are aided by the strong and close relationship the school district has with area police, fire and sheriff's departments. Collins said the school district's close relationship with local agencies is not as common in more urban school districts.

                          Collins said a handout sent to teachers and administrators outlines four major steps to take in any emergency that focuses on assessing the situation and making a rational decision, she said.

                          Collins said Ontario schools have infrequently gone into a lockdowns mode in past years. Alameda Elementary School went under a lockdown in 2001, Collins said, because the principal felt an individual at the school was a threat to staff.

                          Don Grotting, superintendent of Nyssa School District, recalled an incident several years ago when the entire school district was under a lockdown.

                          Nyssa School District has had a lockdown procedure outlined in its manual that includes procedures for nearly every emergency possible, Grotting said.

                          The lockdown policy has been in place since Grotting came to the district more than three years ago.

                          Grotting said that to his knowledge, the lockdown procedure was used once in the 1999-2000 school year. The school district received a threat of a possible shooting involving a weapon, Grotting said.

                          A district-wide lockdown was executed and police were notified.

                          There was a plan to intercept the suspect before he or she was on school grounds. Windows were barred and doors were locked inside school buildings, Grotting said.

                          After the lockdown, which ended safely, the lockdown procedures were revised, Grotting said.

                          The last revision for lockdown procedures was made during the 2002-2003 school year.

                          Grotting said the highest priority during a lockdown - or any emergency - is student accountability, and that involves taking into account students that walk home, students whose parents pick them up from school, and students who ride the bus, he said.

                          The newest lockdown procedures for Nyssa schools vary slightly between the high school, middle school and elementary school. Variations are small - such as different phrases sent over the intercom warning teachers that the school is enacting a lockdown.

                          The lockdown procedure at Nyssa schools begins with the announcement (code word, phrase or signal). Doors are immediately locked, students crouch down to avoid being seen through windows, and office staff take radios and cell phones with them to the room holding student records - dubbed the "safe room."

                          In addition, Nyssa Elementary school has an evacuation map showing different exit routes for students in scenarios depending on where the intruder is situated.

                          Grotting added that an important element of lockdown procedures is making sure that local law enforcement and agencies have access to the buildings at schools.

                          Grotting said the local fire department and the sheriff's office have maps and keys - or ready access to administrators, maintenance staff and transportation staff with keys - to each school.

                          "There has been concern, a little bit, with terrorism. There is a little bit more incentive to make sure those processes are in place," Grotting said. "And certainly the school shootings in the past have heightened concern of parents, administrators and teachers."

                          Vale school district has similar procedures to Nyssa school district. Al Butler, Vale schools superintendent, said for the past four years he has been working with the Malheur County Sheriff's Office on crisis plans concerning all types of emergencies, from bomb threats to planes crashing into a school building, he said.

                          Every teacher and staff member in the Vale district has a manual that outlines procedures for a lockdown and other emergency-related procedures.

                          Butler said he could not recall a time when any school in Vale was under lockdown. He said there have been reports of suspicious behavior from people that have prompted a call to the local police department.

                          on, OH; Lock Haven, PA; Lebanon, TN; Commerce, TX; Blacksburg, VA; Poultney, VT; and Beloit, WI.

                          Ontario beats Mac-Hi, Feb. 8, 2004

                          Argus Observer Sports Staff -- Milton-Freewater

                          Even without Jaimi Arant 'running the show' the Ontario Tigers' girls' basketball team defeated the Mac-Hi Pioneers 49-36 Friday in Greater Oregon League action at Mac-HI.

                          The Tigers, who ran off with a 15-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, extended their lead to 28-10 by the end of the first half.

                          Vaness Gomez and Maggie Smith-Davidson each made four baskets for eight points in the first half.

                          Kylie Roberts and Kristy Church each scored six points in the first half and AJ Hawk made a hoop for two points.

                          In the second half Ontario scored 11 third quarter points and 10 fourth quarter points.

                          Mac-Hi had a combined 26 second half points.

                          Church scored her last of three, 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead the Tigers with 13 points.

                          Smith-Davidson finished the second half with four points.

                          Added to her eight in the first half, Smith-Davidson finished behind Church with 12 points.

                          Gomez landed nine points and Roberts scored eight points in the victory.

                          "We played pretty well the first half. We had 14 turnovers in the second half and that combined with a great effort by Mac-Hi kept us from ever completely putting them away," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "Kayla Mitchell, Stephanie Babij, Stephanie Montgomery, and Mimi Benitas helped us out at the guard position with Jaimi Arant being gone. We miss Jaimi running the show out there. We were a little out of sync at times but the players dealt with the frustrations and overcame them enough for the win."

                          The Tigers (14-5 overall, 5-2 GOL) will host Baker Friday evening in what is said to be a 'big game' by coach Buck.

                          Tigers win on road, Feb. 8, 2004

                           Argus Observer Sports Staff -- Milton-Freewater

                          The Ontario boys' basketball team scored their sixth Greater Oregon League victory Friday night against the Mac-Hi Pioneers at Mac-Hi.

                          The 71-53 victory was nice for the Tigers after such a long bus ride, Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said.

                          "We came out slow in the first quarter. It was a long bus ride," Helmick said.

                          The Tigers were down 15-11 at the end of the first quarter."

                          "They came out and hit some threes and made some points. We didn't start real smooth, but then we had a 21 point second quarter," Helmick said.

                          Ontario's 21 points to Mac-Hi's eight second quarter points gave Ontario a 32-23 lead going into the break.

                          Helmick said Nick Babij came out and made some shots for the Tigers in the first half scoring 21 of his 24 game points.

                          Babij hit all six of Ontario 3-pointers in the win.

                          In the third quarter Ontario again outscored the Pioneers 27-11 and had a sizeable lead going into the final quarter.

                          "Wade came out and was solid with 24 points also," Helmick said. "He does not have to score 20 points a game this year, He has a whole lot of kids that can score with him. Most other teams have one main scorer. It is nice to have three guys in double figures."

                          The Tigers allowed Mac-Hi 19 fourth quarter points while only piling up 12 of their own.

                          Along with Babji and Douglas, Jason Hart contributed nine points for his team in the victory.

                          Mac-Hi had two players in double digits for the night - Ryan Fleming piled up 13 and Curtis Carlson racked in 12 points.

                          The Tigers (13-5 overall, 6-1 GOL) play host to Baker Friday night before heading to Riverside Saturday.

                          FFA students compete in Nyssa, Feb. 9, 2004

                          Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                          NYSSA - Future Farmers of America students from area schools descended on Nyssa High School Wednesday to take part in the FFA Snake River District Leadership contest.

                          Students from Ontario, Adrian, Jordan Valley, Vale and Crane attended the all-day event.

                          The competition tests the speaking, presentation and leadership skills of high school students, and is one of the few FFA contests that puts less emphasis on agricultural skills and more attention to broader-based skills, Nyssa High School FFA adviser, Cody Porath said.

                          Participants at the conference are judged by the Snake River district's high school advisers: Victor Noble, Vale; Ann Marie Pimm, Crane; Adam Ineck, Jordan Valley; Troy White, Adrian; Porath; Roger Watkins, Ontario; and Snake River District Adviser Les Linegar, Ontario.

                          Porath said the mission of FFA is to promote leadership, growth and success through agriculture.

                          The top two speakers in each event, as determined by the panel of judges, advance to a sectional competition in La Grande on Feb. 17.

                          The top two winners in each category - except for the top winner in the parliamentary procedure contest - will attend the state FFA convention at Oregon State University in Corvallis during the weekend of March 19.

                          One winner from the state convention is selected to advance to the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky during the last week in October.

                          Last year, Ontario high school student, Dan Corn, was selected to attend the national convention for extemporaneous speaking - an event where a topic is assigned to a student 30 minutes before the speech must be given. Corn is also the Oregon FFA student president.

                          Nyssa High School has had the FFA program off and on during the high school's history. The program was reintroduced five years ago, Porath said.

                          Porath said he advises 65 students at Nyssa.

                          The one FFA membership requirement at NHS is a student must be enrolled throughout the year in at least one agricultural class. Porath said he teaches six different classes throughout the year.

                          The following students from Wednesday's competition will advance to sectional in La Grande: Cody Ables, Ontario, creed speaking; Christie Linford, Ontario, creed speaking; Ruth Corn, Ontario, sophomore prepared public speaking; Stephanie Montgomery, Ontario, sophomore prepared public speaking; Josh Roberts, Ontario, extemporaneous speaking; Nick Maag, Vale, extemporaneous speaking; Nick Maag, Vale, advanced public speaking; Amanda Bennett, Nyssa, advanced public speaking.

                          Josh Roberts, Ontario and Mark Noble, Vale, won the top two slots for the co-op quiz contests. They will advance straight to state competition.

                          Be cool - attend a local fundraiser, Feb. 10, 2004

                          This time of year always sees a large array of events that continue throughout the summer.

                          Last week, I attended the Cairo Chili Feed with my friend (and Independent-Enterprise reporter) LisaAnn Riddick. The turnout, as I have heard in the past, was remarkable and so was the food. I especially enjoyed the salad, which was set out in large bowls on every table. I am sure I ate half a bowl. Before we left, we picked up a to-go order for her husband. This service can be found at a large majority of the fundraisers in the valley.

                          Wednesday I made a mad dash to Ontario Tuxedo and Bridal to find a dress for Saturday's Center Ball, the Four Rivers Cultural Center's annual fundraiser. I found a darling red dress for the Ball, and returned Friday to pick up a pair of shoes.

                          This is the second Center Ball I have attended, the first being three years ago. My boyfriend and I arrived at the valet parking 15 minutes after social hour began.

                          Once inside FRCC, I saw numerous people from our community. We shared a table with Argus Observer Society Editor Christen McCurdy, Argus Observer Advertising Director John Dillon, Argus Observer Newsroom Clerk Sheri Bandelean and her husband, and Ontario Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Connie Nysingh and her husband.

                          Former society editor Kim Nowacki e-mailed me before the Ball and said I should be sure and dance with Ontario's comic book guru Randall Kirby.

                          He really is as good as she says. Unfortunately, he had to do a whole lot of leading.

                          Much later in the evening, fellow Lion Peter Lawson made an entrance and gave a dramatic story about being stranded on the outskirts of Vale for most of the night. He then promised me a dance, which I never received.

                          Coming up, I have my eye on the River of Life Christian Center's annual potato feed (I am obligated to support that one, since my children go to day care there).

                          Of course, LisaAnn has already agreed to attend with me. I made it our goal (I haven't told her this yet) to go to as many fundraising functions this year as possible.

                          (If you want to be cool like us, I suggest you start attending local fundraisers as well. Just check out your Daily Argus Observer for those upcoming events. And if you want to have your fundraiser printed, please contact me or Christen McCurdy at the office.)

                          Also on the "Cool Club" agenda is Bethany Presbyterian's annual Heavenly Stew Feed.

                          I will be there March 13 looking for some good stew.

                          Another upcoming fundraiser I am looking forward to is the annual Basque Dinner and Dance at FRCC Feb. 28. I have word that Peter is going too, so maybe I can get that dance after all.

                          -----------------

                          Simpson takes the reigns, Mar. 16, 2004

                           Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                          Anyone who has watched an Ontario High School softball game in the past few year has seen Ontario head coach Gordy Ogawa in the dugout and at third base barking orders.

                          Well, not any longer though. Ogawa has moved on and there is a new big dog in charge.

                          Ontario resident and Fire Chief Randy Simpson is now the Ontario High School head softball coach.

                          Simpson said when Ogawa resigned he just threw his name in the hat for the position.

                          "I love softball and enjoy coaching. I have a self interest in the team with my daughter playing," Simpson said. "If I was not the head coach, I would have been here helping out anyway."

                          Simpson's daughter Stephanie is currently a junior at Ontario High School and has played softball for two years.

                          Simpson has been a part of the Field of Dreams coaching staff for the past four years - two at the U14 level and two at the U16 level.

                          "I wanted to see all the summer work continue," Simpson said.

                          When Simpson took over the team earlier this year, he found that there was just one big problem - there was no equipment.

                          "Except for a few bats, all the equipment that the high school had been using belonged to the Field of Dreams teams," Simpson said.

                          Simpson immediately went on a fundraising campaign.

                          "We sent out letters asking for donations and advertising banner sales,"   Simpson said.

                          Thus far with donations, fundraising and with a small amount from the high school, Simpson and the team have raised enough funds to be able to purchase catching gear, batting helmets and some balls.

                          A portable shed was donated to the team to store their new equipment, but they still need more.

                          "The uniforms the teams are wearing are in bad shape. They are between six and ten years old," Simpson said.

                          The team would like new uniforms and a pitching machine is in the works.

                          With just 21 players for two teams, including only three seniors, Simpson hopes to have a winning season.

                          Simpson and the Tigers will hit the field Wednesday against Caldwell High School in their season opener.

                          Tigers fall in season opener, Mar. 18, 2004

                          Argus observer sports staff

                          The Ontario softball team committed 12 errors and allowed 14 walks in a 30-0 blowout loss to Caldwell Wednesday in nonconference softball action at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center.

                          The game was called after the top half of the third inning.

                          The Cougars, who entered the game 0-4, jumped on the Tigers early, scoring seven runs in the top of the first inning. The first six Caldwell hitters reached base and all six scored.

                          "Our inexperience showed," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "Caldwell took it to us and they were very aggressive from the start."

                          The Cougars pounded Ontario pitching for 22 hits, while Ontario (0-1 overall) managed just one basehit - a double from Kailey Poole.

                          "The girls were hitting the ball, just right at people," Simpson said.

                          Poole finished 1-for-2 for the Tigers. Kayla Yano took the loss for the Tigers. Yano pitched the first two innings, before being lifted in the third.

                          Shane Parson led the Caldwell (1-4 overall) offense with a 4-for-4 outing. Parson scored five runs. Kim Harry, pitching her first game of the season, threw a one-hitter. Harry also went 4-for-5 from the plate. Caldwell's Sydni Garza hit 4-of-5 with 5 RBIs. Nicole Becvar was a perfect 3-of-3 on the afternoon.

                          Ontario returns to action Tuesday at Vallivue.

                          Grant helps local schools, Mar. 22, 2004

                          Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                          Two retired Ontario School District administrators have been rehired on a temporary basis to assist principals at Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools in conjunction with a federal grant.

                          Ontario School District applied for the Administrative Support Supplemental Grant in November, and received approval in December. The district began implementing the program in January.

                          The grant is supplemental to another grant, called Reading First, that the state of Oregon was approved for in October, 2002.

                          The grant pays for John McDonough, former principal at Lindbergh Elementary School and associate principal at Ontario Middle School and Ontario High School to assist at Alameda Elementary School for 30 non-consecutive days.

                          The grant also also extends funds for Doyal Snyder, former principal at Pioneer and Alameda elementary schools, to assist at May Roberts Elementary School for the same amount of time. The federal government offered $5 billion to states across the country for the Reading First program that focuses on low-income school districts with a high number of students reading below average levels.

                          Oregon received $7 million of the lump sum the United States Department of Education was offering. OSD received $492,773 of that amount.

                          The program focuses on boosting the reading skills of students.

                          According to the U.S. Department of Education, 40 percent of fourth-graders in the country demonstrate a reading level below their grade level.

                          Already receiving federal funds for the Reading First program, OSD qualified for the administrative support grant to assist with the demands of the reading grant.

                          The district stated in its application for the Administrative Support Supplemental Grant the funding was needed because both Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools have more than 400 students enrolled in each school with one principal and one part-time assistant principal. Neither elementary school has a school counselor.

                          May Roberts principal Frances Ramirez said Snyder has been coming to May Roberts once a week when she is in meetings. She plans to have the former principal come to the elementary school until the end of the school year, or when the grant money runs out, she said.

                          McDonough and Snyder's main duties include filling in for Ramirez at May Roberts and for Alameda Elementary School Principal Paul Erlebach.

                          Alert: Reading volunteers wanted, Mar. 23, 2004

                          Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                          Senior citizens looking to earn a little extra money while spending time helping young children read are encouraged to volunteer for the Ontario School District's foster grandparent program.

                          OSD is looking for residents 60 years or older to sign up for the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Program, a federally funded project from the Corporation for National Service - the same agency that initiated Americorps.

                          The program - which has serviced eastern and central Oregon for more than 20 years, and OSD for 10 years - requires elderly applicants be in good health, pass a background check and meet income requirements to receive a stipend of $250 a month, or $2.65 per hour of nontaxable income.

                          One-occupant households can make no more than $1,075 a month and have at least $140 of medical, dental or insurance bills a month. Two-person households can make no more than $1,451 and have $140 bills a month.

                          Senior citizens who make more than the maximum amount allowable to qualify for the stipend are still encouraged to volunteer. Frank Hunter, OSD's newest foster grandparent, and the only male in the Ontario group of volunteers, does not qualify for the monthly stipend.

                          Hunter said he decided to become a foster grandparent because he likes to keep himself youthful by being around children. He joined his students on a walk-a-thon at Aiken Elementary School last week, and although he used a cane, he said he was able to keep up.

                          Aiken, May Roberts, Alameda, Pioneer and Cairo elementary schools and St. Peter's Catholic School - all in Ontario - have 13 volunteers, but Katherine M. Collins, OSD director of public information and community involvement, said the district is always seeking more.

                          Collins said the purpose of the program is twofold: to reward deserving, low-income seniors, and help students struggling with reading. Collins said getting students to read at grade level is the No. 1 priority of the school district.

                          Volunteers meet with a small group of elementary students reading below their grade level for 30 minute sessions. Students are usually in first-, second- and third-grade. Volunteers commit to working a minimum of 20 hours a week, Collins said.

                          Collins hosts a monthly training session for the volunteers. The latest one was held Friday, at the Holy Rosary Medical Center. Collins said the training session is an opportunity to offer support to the volunteers, give them new ideas, and share information.

                          John Brenne, the program's regional director who covers the largest section of Oregon, drove from his office in Pendleton for the meeting Friday to assist with the training.

                          Brenne said there is a possibility that more funding will become available to hire a couple more seniors who qualify for the stipend. He said he anticipates it will be six months before he will know.

                          Most of the Ontario volunteers said they joined the program to give them motivation to get out of their house - something that became a challenge after they retired, many said.

                          "You have something to look forward to every day," foster grandmother Jean Barnett, who volunteers at Pioneer Elementary School, said.

                          Tigers off to good start    Mar. 25, 2004   Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                          The Ontario baseball team has put up numbers that resemble video game baseball.

                          The Tigers have lit up the scoreboard, scoring 12, 18, 13 and 17 runs in wins over Vallivue, Kuna and Caldwell. The fast start has Ontario head coach Chad Hartley excited about what this team is capable of.

                          "To put runs on the board like that early in the season is exciting," Hartley said. "The kids have executed everything we have asked them too. They have beaten three teams pretty well."

                          The Tigers get another chance Friday and Saturday in the Bucks Bags Tournament in Meridian. Ontario plays Hillcrest and Minico during the first day.

                          Hartley said his group is having fun during their quick start to the season.

                          "This is a good bunch of kids, they work hard and they do what they are supposed to do," Hartley said. "They are having a lot of fun right now and I think that is a lot of it."

                          The Tigers went 25-3 last year, making it all the way to the 3A state title game, before losing to Mazama 4-3. Ontario rode the backs off five players - T.J. Presley, Greg Keim, Tugger Roberts, Mike Lissman and Drew Echanis - all of whom are playing college baseball. This year the Tigers have a whole new identity.

                          "In this program we will be good for the next five years," Hartley said. "We knew we had guys that had the talent, but you never know how they will react in critical situations.. There are a lot of kids on this team looking to show they

                          are good players. Maybe they are not the top-hand talent that we had last year, but I don't know if I would trade for that team. I really like this team. They are good kids and they don't question what I'm telling them. They do what they are supposed to do."

                          Ontario senior Shane Schiemer said he is a little surprise with the start his team is off too.

                          "I am surprised about the way we have started, after losing all the seniors," Schiemer, who is hitting .625 with six doubles and 11 RBIs, said. "We have been putting up the numbers. No.'s 1 through No. 9 are pretty solid."

                          As a team, the Tigers are hitting .489 and have 54 RBIs in four games.

                          "If you look at the stats, when you're team is hitting .490 and your onbase percentage is .600 you are going to score a lot of runs," Hartley said.

                          The Tigers have scored a lot of runs, outscoring their four opponents 60-17.

                          "Caldwell and Kuna were decent ballclubs," Schiemer said. "They put up a fight until the end."

                          Hartley said he believes the tougher nonconference schedule will pay dividends in the Greater Oregon League chase and in the postseason.

                          "Caldwell is as good as we will see this season. I was very impressed with them," he said. "Kuna and Vallivue are probably in the top end of the GOL. I was very impressed with them. The tougher schedule should help us later in the season. In the past we hadn't seen many pitchers with two or three pitches."

                          Schiemer summed up his teammates' feelings about the 2004 edition of the Tigers.

                          "A lot of us have a lot of heart. We have always wanted to play baseball," he said. "Just being on the ballclub, being on the baseball field is what we love. For us seniors, this is our last chance to get to a state championship and we have the ability to do just that."

                          Schiemer, Tigers drill Minico, Mar. 28, 2004

                          Argus Observer Sports Staff

                          Shane Schiemer pitched a one-hit complete game Friday afternoon, striking out 13 batters, as Ontario defeated Minico High School 9-1 in a nonconference game during the Buck's Bags Tournament at Storey Park in Meridian.

                          In a game previous to the Tigers victory, Ontario lost 6-2 to Hillcrest, as the Tigers were only able to muster together four hits in the game.

                          Against Minico, the Tigers scored all nine runs in the fifth and sixth innings, after falling behind 1-0 after four innings of play.

                          In the game, the Tigers did not get any extra base hits, but had eight singles and took advantage of four walks, a hit batter and three Minico errors on way to the victory.

                          Against Hillcrest, the Tigers never seemed to be able to get anything going, scoring one run in both the second and the fourth innings.

                          In the two games, Matt Mejia picked up three hits to lead the Tigers' offensive

                          Nyssa sweeps Tigers, Mar. 28, 2004

                          Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                          The Nyssa Bulldogs thumped Jerome, 8-0, in the first game of a nonconference doubleheader Friday, only to have the Tigers throw a scare into Nyssa in the nightcap. The Bulldogs held on for a 5-4 win, completing the sweep of Jerome at Payette High School.

                          The Bulldogs scored the first run, of the second game, in the first inning after Cody Waldo hit a grounder past the short stop to land himself on first base, he then stole second base and scored on Jesse Garcia's RBI single.

                          After Jerome's Brady Black and Nyssa's Cory Hansen settled on the mound, both teams defenses kicked into high gear and the game remained at 1-0 through five innings, before Nyssa once again started pouring in the runs in the sixth inning.

                          Nyssa's Trent Holcomb singled, then scored on an RBI double from John Whitmire to make the score 2-0. Cory Hansen chased Whitmire home with an RBI single. Mitch Holliday singled to score Hansen, and Holliday eventually scored on a wild pitch by Jerome pitcher Ben Edwards. The four-run outburst put Nyssa up 5-0.

                          Jerome came back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, including a solo home run by Jed Semans. The Tigers' Preston Hill scored on Jarod Sour's RBI single. Sour scored later in the inning on Jordan Jensen's RBI single.

                          The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the seventh inning before Waldo closed out the Tigers.

                          "Both games were good. We had good pitching and defensively we played well all day," Nyssa head coach Swede Mason.

                          Hansen, who earned the win in the nightcap, had four strikeouts for the Bulldogs, before Waldo nailed down the save by pitching the seventh inning.

                          "Our sophomore (Hansen) pitched really well. I have high hopes for our pitching this season," Mason said.

                          Semans finished the game for Jerome 2-for-2 from the plate with the home run and a double.

                          Garcia went 3-for-4 for the Bulldogs with three singles, while Holliday, Waldo and Holcomb each went 2-for-4, leading Nyssa's 12-hit attack. Holcomb had a triple and a single. Holliday and Waldo each had two singles.

                          In the opener, Holliday hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, sparking the Bulldogs to the win. Whitmire finished with eight strikeouts in the first game, earning the win. Rigo Paz went 2-for-4 from the plate with two singles.

                          The Bulldogs (3-2 overall) open up Wapiti League play with a doubleheader against Grant Union April 9 at Nyssa High School.

                          Tricia Alvarez is a sports reporter for the Argus Observer. She can be contacted at (541) 889-5387, or by e-mail, TriciaA@argusobserver.com. Story ideas are always welcomed.

                          Tigers split at Buck's Bags, Mar. 28, 2004

                          William Anderson Argus Observer

                          After gathering nine hits against Madison, in a 7-4 victory, the Ontario baseball team's bats went ice cold, connecting for only one hit in a 11-1, five inning loss to Twin Falls Saturday afternoon at Storey Park in Meridian.

                          The Bruins' Nick Carr struck out 10 Ontario batters in the nightcap, allowing only one run on one hit and one walk. Carr hit two Tigers in the process to pick up the win on the mound.

                          "He (Carr) is their No. 1 guy. They saved him for us. There was not a whole lot we could have done against him this early in the season," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "I am sure we will not see a team as good as Twin Falls all year. They are a good team, very well-coached."

                          In the second inning, Twin Falls got all the run support it would need the rest of the game.

                          After a ground out, Nathan Robertson took a 1-0 pitch from Jake Beck over the left field fence, for a solo home run, to get the scoring started. Following a Bruin out, Carl Ott hit a double to left center and Drew Bernhard drew a walk, to put runners on first and second. Leadoff hitter Todd Rehbein hit a sharp single to left center to score the two runners and give Twin Falls a 3-0 lead.

                          The Bruins tacked on two more runs in the third and Ontario scored its lone run in the top of the fifth inning.

                          Matt Mejia began the inning, picking up Ontario's lone hit, with a flair to right field. A strike out and two hit batters later, Ontario had the bases loaded with one out.

                          Mejia scored and the two other base runners advanced, when Carr made one of his only mistakes of the game, throwing a wild pitch, helping Ontario get on the board.

                          In the bottom of the fifth, Twin Falls scored six runs to end the game.

                          To start the frame, Twin Falls drew three straight walks, before Alex Hill picked up a single and Ott reached first on a dropped third strike. The next two Bruins struck out before Tim Mealer hit a single and Luke Hawkins hit a double to knock in the final two runs and end the game.

                          In the opening game of the day, Ontario defeated Madison 7-4, as Zach Park picked up the win on the mound.

                          Ontario hosts Vallivue Saturday in a nonleague contest.

                          William Anderson is the assistant sports editor for the Argus Observer. He can be contacted at (541) 889-5387, or by e-mail, WilliamA@argusobserver.com. Story ideas are always welcomed.

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                          Falcons soar past Ontario, Apr. 4, 2004

                          Argus Observer Sports Staff

                          After staying even for one inning, Vallivue's bats woke up, scoring 10 runs over the next two innings, as Vallivue scored in every inning, beating the Ontario softball team 15-5 in a five inning nonleague softball game Saturday in Ontario.

                          In the third inning, the gates were blown wide open, as Vallivue sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on only two hits.

                          "They jumped on us early," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "(Kayla) Yano threw well early. Then ran into trouble. AJ (Hawk) threw the ball well. It was a good day offensively."

                          Offensively, Hawk went 3-for-3 from the plate, to lead the Tigers (1-3 overall), driving in four runs. Jamie Arant picked up two hits and scored three runs, picking up the lone extra base hit with a double.

                          Vallivue scored another run in the fourth and three more in the fifth in the victory.

                          Ontario picked up three runs in the bottom of the fifth in the loss.

                          Weiser sends Ontario to loss, Apr. 7, 2004

                          Argus Observer sports staff

                          The Weiser softball team broke things wide open with a seven-run sixth inning, handing Ontario its fourth loss of the season, 11-6, Tuesday at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center in Ontario.

                          The Wolverines strung five straight hits together - from Tot Saito, Jennifer Giambo, Kayla Branstetter, Sally Grandi and Erin Wall - to start the sixth inning. Ontario helped the Wolverines with three errors in the inning to take an 11-2 lead.

                          "They took advantage of three errors and a walk in the big inning," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said after his team fell to 1-4 on the season. "We only walked one batter in the inning, plus they had six hit that just seemed to fall in between people. Combine the two and it leads to a disastrous inning."

                          The Wolverines improved to 4-4 on the season.

                          "A lot of those hits in the sixth inning were those little dingers," Weiser head coach Dale Emert said. "They had eyes and found a spot."

                          The Tigers rallied with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Kailey Poole delivered a three-run triple that scored Kayla Montgomery, Jaimi Arant and Kristia Maeda.

                          Poole finished the game 2-for-3 with a double and a triple and four RBIs. The junior drove in Ontario's first run in the first inning with an RBI double that chased home Arant, who led off the inning with a double. Arant finished 3-for-4 with three doubles and two runs scored.

                          "We just need to get over our mental errors," Simpson said. "That is just inexperience."

                          Megan Kautz picked up the win for Weiser, throwing a complete game. Kautz struck out nine and issued four walks. Saito led Weiser's 10-hit attack, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Grandi was 2-for-4 with two runs.

                          Kayla Yano took the loss for Ontario, throwing the first two innings, before being lifted for A.J. Hawk in the third inning.

                          Weiser faces another Greater Oregon League squad Thursday, travelling to Vale. Ontario begins GOL play Thursday at Baker.

                          Homedale takes top honors, Apr. 8, 2004

                          Argus Observer Sports Staff

                          Nine teams came to compete in the Ontario Girls' Invitational golf meet Wednesday afternoon at the Ontario Golf Club. Homedale took home first place honors, shooting a 174 as a team, beating out Weiser by 10 strokes to capture top team honors.

                          Not only did Homedale spoil the Tigers first home meet with the victory, but Homedale's Kerie Kushlan shot a 37, to take home the medalist honor.

                          Behind Homedale, Weiser shot a 184, La Grande a 197, Ontario a 213, McCall-Donnelly a 241 and Payette a 244 to round out all the teams, while Fruitland, Idaho City and Middleton all sent golfers.

                          For Weiser, Amy Sutton led the way with a 43, while Sara Huston shot a 45 and Nicole Picard had a 46.

                          Mandy Greif shot a 43 to lead Payette and Jennifer Jaramillo shot a 49 for Ontario.

                          "I think we played really well. We are only returning three starters and lost state co-champion Anna Jaramillo," Ontario girls' golf coach Russ Leininger said. "We have three freshmen and a sophomore. The way the freshman develop is how the team is going to do. We are getting better every week."

                          Fruitland's lone representative, Raquel Rode, shot a 49 for the Grizzlies.

                          Ontario travels to La Grande Tuesday.

                          Tigers fall twice to No. 3 Bulldogs, Apr. 9, 2004

                           Argus Observer Sports Staff

                          The Ontario softball team had a little trouble getting hits in a 11-0, 11-0 Greater Oregon League conference sweep to No. 3 Baker Thursday afternoon in Baker City.

                          The Tigers managed to squeak out three hits, while allowing 13 hits to Baker, as the Tigers also had 11 errors in the two games.

                          "We could not get our offense going," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "We did not do so bad considering we are playing the second team in the state last year."

                          In the opening game, Baker got off and running, scoring two runs in each of the first three innings, before scoring five runs in the fourth inning. Baker held Ontario scoreless in the top half of the fifth inning, as Baker won the game with the mercy rule.

                          In the nightcap, Ontario managed only one hit, to Baker's eight, as Baker took a 10-0 lead after three innings of play.

                          On the day, Jamie Arant had two hits to lead the Tigers (1-6 overall, 0-2 GOL).

                          Ontario is back in action Saturday, when they host Mac-Hi Saturday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.

                          Tigers remain winless in GOL, Apr. 11, 2004

                          Argus Observer Sports Staff

                          The Ontario softball team suffered a Greater Oregon League doubleheader sweep Saturday afternoon, dropping the opener 9-7 and being shut out in the nightcap, 6-0, to Mac-Hi in Ontario.

                          In the opener, the Tigers battled back to take a 5-4 lead after five innings. Unfortunately, the score would not hold up, as Mac-Hi scored five runs in the final two frames and held Ontario to only two runs in the seventh inning, as Ontario dropped the opener 9-7, after belting out 12 hits.

                          The second game was not much better for the Tigers (1-8 overall, 0-4 GOL), as they managed only two hits in the game, both in the bottom of the seventh inning, and struck out 13 times, as Mac-Hi completed the sweep.

                          "In the first game, we had 12 hits, the girls were firing the ball, but we just had some errors in the last two innings, when they scored five runs," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the second game, we had one disastrous inning. I am still seeing improvement."

                          Ontario travels to Vale Thursday in a Greater Oregon League contest.

                          Strong pitching effort carries Tigers, Apr. 11, 2004

                           William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Two good pitching performances lifted the Ontario baseball team over the Riverside Pirates, 16-2 and 7-3, to earn the sweep in the Greater Oregon League twin bill Saturday afternoon at Ontario High School.

                          In the opener, Shane Schiemer pitched the entire game, going five innings, striking out nine Pirates and allowing only two hits, as the Tigers scored in each of their four innings.

                          "We played fantastic, Shane threw fantastic. He kept us motivated and kept a good tempo. He got a lot of strikeouts," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Shane kept us swinging the bat, he got guys out. That was nice to see, he has been doing that all year."

                          In the first inning, the Tigers got on the scoreboard when Schiemer hit a two-run home run, driving home Chance Cruickshank, giving Ontario a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, Ontario exploded offensively scoring seven runs, on five hits, as Matt Mejia hit a two-run single and Kyle Mitchell drove in two runs, one with a single and one with a base on balls.

                          After another two runs in the third inning, Ontario scored five runs in the fifth, to take a 16-0 lead.

                          Riverside scored its two runs in the fifth inning, but it was not enough to extend the game.

                          In the nightcap, the Tigers' (9-2 overall, 2-0 GOL) pitching again kept them going, as Jake Beck picked up the win, throwing a complete game, allowing three runs to cross the plate, as the offense did not score as many runs.

                          Ontario got off early, scoring four runs in the first inning, as Schiemer had a two run single and Zach Park and Chance Cruickshank also picked up RBIs in the inning.

                          The Tigers added two more in the second inning and one more in the fourth inning.

                          "I think we started to get tired at the end," Hartley said. "I think we lost focus after we jumped out 7-0. We waited for someone else to get it done."

                          Losing focus could have been the reason the Tigers surrendered three runs in the fifth and sixth innings, including a two-run home run.

                          "We executed well all day long. We started breaking down," Hartley said. "Offensively, we tried to do things we could not do."

                          Regardless, Ontario came away with the sweep, as Schiemer was a double shy of hitting for the cycle on the day, finishing 6-for-8 on the day, with seven runs batted in. Mejia ended the twinbill with a 5-for-7 performance, scoring four runs and knocking in three. Cruickshank also added three RBIs.

                          Ontario travels to Baker Friday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.

                          Tigers get past Vale in district tennis play, Apr. 11, 2004

                          Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                          The atmosphere is always tense when the Ontario Tigers take on the Vale Vikings in a sporting event. It was the same Friday afternoon when their tennis teams faced off in a Special District 4 tennis match, a match the Tigers won, 6-4.

                          "We played pretty well today," Ontario girls' head coach Dennis Gill said. "Vale is always good competition for us. The No. 2 and No. 3 singles were a lot tighter than I would have liked."

                          The Ontario girls nearly swept Vale, dropping just one match to the Vikings in the girls' singles. Cassandra Andrews picked up the lone win for the Vale girls, winning 7-6, 7-6 over Christie Linford.

                          Ontario's Stephanie Babij picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win over Rachel Carmichael in the girls' No. 1 singles.

                          Carmichael said the match was something she could learn from.

                          "It was a learning experience," she said. "I am used to being a doubles player, so I am getting use to being a singles player. This is the way you get better."

                          Kristy Church and Kelsey Pobanz remained undefeated on the season, beating Vale's Krystal Carmen and Megan Haueter, 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 1 girls' doubles match. The Tigers completed the doubles sweep with wins from Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz in the No. 2 match and Julie Hall and Jenna McClean in the No. 3 match.

                          The Vale boys' fared better, winning three of the five matches.

                          The Tigers Payton Aarestad handled Vale's Francisco Enduro 6-1, 6-4, in the No. 1 singles match. Vale rebounded to take the next two, getting victories from Fabian Faehndrich and Joe Adams.

                          Ontario's top boys' doubles team - Nick Babij and Philipp Dimakopulos - won, beating Robbie Seals and Travis McFeteridge 7-5, 6-2.

                          "I was really disappointed in the No. 1 boys matches. I thought we could play better. Ontario is always well coached and they just played better than we did," Vale head coach Susan Seals said. "The girls played pretty good. Rachel (Carmichael) is disappointed that she did not get more games. I am pleased with the No. 1 (girls) doubles. This is Megan Haueter's first year playing tennis and they did really well. Our second and third singles were really close matches. The girls stayed in and played tough the whole time."

                          The Ontario girls team (5-0 overall) will stay home to face Fruitland Monday, while the boys (2-3 overall) will travel to Fruitland to take on the Grizzlies.

                          NoDoz incident at middle school sparks letter to parents, Apr. 14, 2004

                           Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                          Ontario School District officials are labeling a March 31 incident at Ontario Middle School as a situation that could spark awareness and dialogue between students and parents about the dangers of drug abuse.

                          The incident revolves around the buying, selling, possessing and consuming of NoDoz/Vivarin tablets and involved about 30 middle school students.

                          School officials were notified about the NoDoz/Vivarin selling spree through another middle school student, according to Ontario School District Director of Public Information and Community Involvement Katherine M. Collins.

                          Information regarding the incident, though, remains sketchy. Collins refused to identify specific punitive measures, if any, carried out in the wake of the case or provide a time frame for when students involved in the incident received, or will receive, penalties.

                          Collins said, however, the consequences for students involved in buying, selling and consuming NoDoz/Vivarin on campus were administered in accordance with the school policy.

                          According to Ontario School Board Policy, students caught with possession of drug paraphernalia, using, possessing or under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or "dangerous drugs" on or near campus will be recommended for suspension up to seven calendar days. The school will also notify parents and law enforcement of the drug activity.

                          Under the policy mandates, students caught sharing or selling narcotics, alcohol or "dangerous drugs" on or near campus will be recommended for expulsion with at least seven days of suspension and a chemical abuse evaluation.

                          Immediately following the incident, OMS Principal LaVelle Cornwell sent a letter home to parents that outlined the results from a school probe into the situation. The letter encouraged parents to talk to their children about "making choices."

                          Collins said the situation that occurred at OMS can result in a positive dialogue between parents and children.

                          "We can't do anything about what has happened in the past. We can only do something about the future. And, if parents will talk to their children about this subject, maybe we can keep this type of incident from happening again," Collins said.

                          NoDoz/Vivarin is an over-the-counter stimulant that contains 200mg of caffeine per tablet. Collins said the stimulant can have varied effects depending on the amount taken and size of the individual consuming it.

                          Cornwell said she cannot recall the last time there was a drug-related incident of this magnitude at OMS. Cornwell has handled a situation regarding a student found with an unopened package of cigarettes at school and an incident involving the unauthorized consumption of Tylenol by two students. Both events occurred in the past five years since Cornwell has been an administrator at OMS.

                          Board hears update on Reading First program, April 16, 2004

                          Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                          The Ontario School District board meeting Thursday covered an array of key issues in the school district, including updates on grants, preparation for summer school and new transportation policies.

                          The first major item on the agenda was an update on the three-year Reading First grant the Ontario School District received last year. The federal Reading First initiative allocated money to individual states in an effort to raise the reading level in public schools - which is a significant component of President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind policy.

                          The Reading First grant was awarded to Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools from federal monies funneled through the Oregon Department of Education.

                          The first stage of the grant allocated $325,824 for the hiring of reading coaches and updating classroom library materials. The second stage of the grant included $179,525 for special programs that work in conjunction with the Reading First initiative goals.

                          Ontario will receive funding next year, although the federal government has not released the final figures on the amount of funding. OSD can then reapply for another three-year Reading First grant. If the district is approved, the program will officially end after six years.

                          Sherri Sims, OSD director of school improvement, said the grant implementation is working well at both elementary schools. She added she is optimistic the school district will be accepted for the three-year extension of the grant.

                          Summer School

                          In other news, Alameda Elementary Principal Paul Erlebach - the chief principal in charge of summer school - discussed new goals he has for the summer session. Erlebach vision included increasing summer school enrollment, retaining the higher enrollment numbers and better identifying children with special needs.

                          Andy Kovach, principal of Pioneer Elementary School and director of the migrant student summer school, reported the migrant program will operate this year with 10 percent less federal funds. He said he was not sure why there will be less funding, but is confidant this year's migrant student summer school will be more successful than previous years because there is a clear set of goals and expectations for this session.

                          Transportation

                          In other unrelated business, Superintendent Dr. Dennis Carter gave a presentation on the changes that will take effect next year in regards to elementary students who currently take shuttle buses to attend a school that is not their "attendance area school."

                          Three years ago, the school board voted to end the district's policy of school choice, which gave parents and the district authority for children to attend an elementary school that is not closest to their home. The policy was intended to provide parents with choices on what school their child would attend and allow the school district to ensure each elementary school maintained fairly equal classroom sizes.

                          The school board determined the school choice policy created some confusion and increased district expenses for transporting the students who lived in the country, for instance, to an elementary school like May Roberts located in the city.

                          Along with the school board's resolution to end the school choice policy, they also said students currently attending an elementary school outside of their "attendance area school" could continue attending the school until they graduated to the middle school.

                          In addition to the provision in the resolution, the school board also passed a plan stating the district would provide three more years of shuttle transportation for these students.

                          Carter reported the three years of shuttle transportation expire at the end of this school year. But, there are still elementary students - though he could not provide an exact number - that would utilize the bus shuttles next year.

                          Carter plans on sending letters home in the next couple weeks to these families to notify them they will have to personally transport their children to the school they are attending if it is not their "attendance area school" or enroll their children in the school they would normally attend.

                          Air Conditioning

                          The school board finished the meeting by approving funding for a project to install air conditioning in Alameda, Pioneer and Aiken Elementary Schools. The approval for the funding passed unanimously.

                          Simpson takes the reigns    Mar. 16, 2004   Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                          Anyone who has watched an Ontario High School softball game in the past few year has seen Ontario head coach Gordy Ogawa in the dugout and at third base barking orders.

                          Well, not any longer though. Ogawa has moved on and there is a new big dog in charge.

                          Ontario resident and Fire Chief Randy Simpson is now the Ontario High School head softball coach.

                          Simpson said when Ogawa resigned he just threw his name in the hat for the position.

                          "I love softball and enjoy coaching. I have a self interest in the team with my daughter playing," Simpson said. "If I was not the head coach, I would have been here helping out anyway."

                          Simpson's daughter Stephanie is currently a junior at Ontario High School and has played softball for two years.

                          Simpson has been a part of the Field of Dreams coaching staff for the past four years - two at the U14 level and two at the U16 level.

                          "I wanted to see all the summer work continue," Simpson said.

                          When Simpson took over the team earlier this year, he found that there was just one big problem - there was no equipment.

                          "Except for a few bats, all the equipment that the high school had been using belonged to the Field of Dreams teams," Simpson said.

                          Simpson immediately went on a fundraising campaign.

                          "We sent out letters asking for donations and advertising banner sales,"   Simpson said.

                          Thus far with donations, fundraising and with a small amount from the high school, Simpson and the team have raised enough funds to be able to purchase catching gear, batting helmets and some balls.

                          A portable shed was donated to the team to store their new equipment, but they still need more.

                          "The uniforms the teams are wearing are in bad shape. They are between six and ten years old," Simpson said.

                          The team would like new uniforms and a pitching machine is in the works.

                          With just 21 players for two teams, including only three seniors, Simpson hopes to have a winning season.

                          Simpson and the Tigers will hit the field Wednesday against Caldwell High School in their season opener.

                          Hobby Day' a big hit at May Roberts, Apr. 16, 2004

                          Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                          May Roberts Accelerated Elementary School cafeteria was transformed into pizza-making and necklace decorating stations, while in the main corridor, the sounds of both an electric saw and guitar echoed through the hall last week.

                          The third annual May Roberts Hobby Day began Friday, for the kindergarten, first- and second-grade students. An array of activities for the younger students were squeezed into a one hour block of time.

                          Elementary school student council members helped organize the event.

                          Another Hobby Day is slated for Friday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. for the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders.

                          Most of the activities tomorrow be the same as last week's Hobby Day but they will be presented at a more advanced level, according to May Roberts music teacher and student council adviser Teresa Gartung. School officials sent out a notification to parents and community members before Hobby Day was scheduled. Several volunteers offered to present their skills and talents with the students. Gartung said there were at least 10 presenters Friday that were parents or other volunteers from the community. May Roberts Principal Frances Ramirez said the idea for Hobby Day originated about three years ago from the Parent Intervention Cadre - a task force of teachers and parents formed to create more involvement. The result has been a positive one school official said.

                          "According to research and our own observations, parent involvement is one of the most important and essential factors in providing a successful school experience," Gartung said.

                          Some of the hobbies involved physical activity, such as lessons on Mexican dancing with the traditional clothing, or learning to cheerlead from parent volunteer Keri Rock, who has a gymnastics background. Local firefighters Jarrod and Danyale Simontacchi demonstrated wildland fire equipment and taught students about fire prevention.

                          Students in the cafeteria were one step closer to becoming culinary experts after learning to make mini pizzas, snacks, necklaces out of candy and decorations filled with candy and chips. Other activities were focused on arts and crafts. Some elementary students assembled computer generated images into a coloring book and bound it with leather. Others made mini photo albums, learned origami (Japanese art of folding paper to make shapes and figures) and woodworking techniques.

                          Ontario nine manages split with Bulldogs, April 19, 2004

                          Argus Observer Sports Staff

                          The Ontario baseball team took the opener 7-5, before dropping the nightcap, 7-3 to Baker in Greater Oregon League baseball action Friday in Baker City.

                          In the opener, the Tigers struck first, scoring one run in each of the third and fourth innings and five more in the fifth inning, to take a 7-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Baker scored four runs to get back in the game, but only scored one run in the seventh, as their comeback attempt fell short.

                          "We played a good team from Baker," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "We did some good things to come away with a split. If this team could stay focused and execute for an entire doubleheader, I think we could have won both games."

                          Shane Schiemer pitched six plus innings for Ontario, striking out 11 Bulldogs to pick up the victory. Jake Beck pitched the seventh to pick up the save.

                          Schiemer also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Matt Mejia and Brandon Coley each went 2-for-3 from the plate in the win.

                          In the nightcap, the Tigers were unable to put together a big inning, scoring only one run in the fourth and two runs in the sixth.

                          "The Baker pitching staff did an amazing job making us swing the bats today. Neither starter from Baker gave up any walks, and that is something I want our pitchers to strive for. I know we are capable of making that happen," Hartley said.

                          Ontario's Zach Park and Juan Trejo each hit doubles for the Tigers. Park and Derek Kygar were the only Tigers to drive in runs.

                          The Tigers are back in action Tuesday, when they travel to Nyssa in a nonleague contest.

                          Tigers bats silent in GOL sweep, April 19, 2004

                          Argus Observer Sports Staff ONTARIO

                          The Ontario softball team dropped a pair of Greater Oregon League games, 12-1 and 10-0, to the Riverside Saturday in Ontario.

                          The Ontario batters could not get anything going, combining for five hits in two games.

                          "Offensively, (Erica) Hancock just kept us at bay," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the first game other than the two errors the girls really played well, but we only got two hits."

                          In the second game, the Tigers (1-12 overall, 0-8 GOL) were able to hold off the offensive threat of the Pirates for the first two innings, allowing just one run. Riverside's bats came to life, scoring four runs to grab a 5-0 advantage in the third inning.

                          The Pirates added three runs in the fourth inning and two in the fifth, ending the game with the 10-run mercy rule.

                          "We are improving every week. AJ (Hawk) pitched very well in the first game and Kayla (Yano) only allowed six hits in the second game. The girls are playing their guts out," Simpson said. "The girls played better than the score indicates."

                          In the first game, Ontario's Jamie Arant and Stephanie Simpson each went 1-for-3.

                          In the nightcap, Simpson, Kailey Poole and Kayla Montgomery had the Tigers' only hits and were 1-for-2.

                          The Tigers continue GOL play Saturday when they play host to the La Grande Tigers.

                          Holding his own, April 19, 2004

                          Andrew Cutler Argus Observer CORVALLIS - It hasn't taken a little known talent from Ontario long to run with the big dogs of the Pac-10 Conference.

                          Michael Lissman, who is a 2003 graduate of Ontario High School, has provided the Oregon State University baseball team with plenty of power during his freshman season. Lissman has clubbed four home runs - tied for third on the team - and has driven in 21 runs entering a weekend series at Cal State Sacramento. Lissman's contributions have helped the Beavers 22-11 start.

                          "This is everything I've wanted," Lissman said. "Baseball and school. I love baseball, that's everything I ever want to do in college."

                          Lissman was questionable entering the series with the Hornets because of a strained achilles tendon suffered before pregame warmups during a series with the Washington Huskies a week ago.

                          "I'm getting treatment, it just matters how I feel," Lissman said. "If it feels good, it shouldn't affect playing time."

                          Lissman did not play in Friday's 7-2 win over Sacramento State.

                          The Ontario standout batted .529 and hit 10 home runs with the Tigers during his senior season at OHS. Lissman averaged a home

                          run less than every seven at bats and had 45 RBIs, helping the Ontario Tigers to a second-place finish at the 3A state tournament. Ontario finished the 2003 with a 25-3 overall record. The Tigers had a 22-game winning streak snapped by Mazama in the 3A final, 4-3.

                          Lissman said there is one big change from playing in the 3A Greater Oregon League and the NCAA Division I Pac-10 Conference - pitching.

                          "Every pitcher I go out and face is better than any pitcher I ever saw in the GOL," Lissman, who is second on the team with a .361 batting average, said. "Every pitcher I see is good. They are Division I baseball players Division I pitchers. They are here for a reason. It's amazing going from one day guys that throw in the high 70s or low 80s to guys that hit the high 80s, low 90s every day. That is a big jump."

                          It hasn't taken the freshman long to show he belongs among the nation's best.

                          On April 9, Lissman homered twice and drove in four runs, helping the Beavers to a 5-4 win over No. 2 Stanford. In the bottom of the second, Lissman poked a 1-ball, 1-strike pitch over the fence in right-center field. In the bottom of the fourth, Lissman drove another 1-1 pitch out of the park, this time into the fir trees beyond the center field fence.

                          It's been the highlight of a stellar freshman season.

                          "The win against Stanford is the highlight, just because of who they are," Lissman said. "They are No. 2 in the nation. They are there for a reason, they are good.

                          "But the thing is we are capable of so much more, that's the thing that keeps me excited. I know we are better than what we are. It makes everyone keep pushing to get better."

                          Lissman, who splits time between being the Beavers' designated hitter and roaming left field, said when Oregon State kicked off the season February 13 in Surprise, Ariz. it was like a "dream."

                          "The first game of the year (against Utah) I started," Lissman said. "We played in one of the nicest parks I've ever played in. It is where Texas (Rangers) and Kansas City (Royals) have Spring Training. It's different. It's something you have to change to. It's like a dream I'm living in and I love it.

                          "Every day I go out and give 100 percent. You never know when it could be the last game. It's an opportunity that I got to go to Oregon State. I figure I might as well run with it. Ride it until the wheels fall off."

                          Tigers bats silent in GOL sweep  April 19, 2004  Argus Observer Sports Staff ONTARIO

                          The Ontario softball team dropped a pair of Greater Oregon League games, 12-1 and 10-0, to the Riverside Saturday in Ontario.

                          The Ontario batters could not get anything going, combining for five hits in two games.

                          "Offensively, (Erica) Hancock just kept us at bay," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the first game other than the two errors the girls really played well, but we only got two hits."

                          In the second game, the Tigers (1-12 overall, 0-8 GOL) were able to hold off the offensive threat of the Pirates for the first two innings, allowing just one run. Riverside's bats came to life, scoring four runs to grab a 5-0 advantage in the third inning.

                          The Pirates added three runs in the fourth inning and two in the fifth, ending the game with the 10-run mercy rule.

                          "We are improving every week. AJ (Hawk) pitched very well in the first game and Kayla (Yano) only allowed six hits in the second game. The girls are playing their guts out," Simpson said. "The girls played better than the score indicates."

                          In the first game, Ontario's Jamie Arant and Stephanie Simpson each went 1-for-3.

                          In the nightcap, Simpson, Kailey Poole and Kayla Montgomery had the Tigers' only hits and were 1-for-2.

                          The Tigers continue GOL play Saturday when they play host to the La Grande Tigers.

                          Hot start ignites Tigers past Nyssa, April 21, 2004

                          William Anderson Argus Observer

                          From the first pitch of the game the Ontario baseball team set the tempo.

                          After warmups and all the pregame business, Nyssa's John Whitmire delivered a pitch to Ontario's Matt Mejia, who hit a triple to right field and scored on a throwing error on the play, as Ontario took a 1-0 lead after one pitch.

                          The Tigers went on to defeat the Bulldogs 8-3 in a nonleague baseball game Tuesday afternoon in Nyssa.

                          Following Mejia's triple, Kyle Mitchell walked and Zach Park hit a 3-1 pitch to left center, to give the Tigers (11-3 overall) a quick 3-0 lead.

                          Whitmire settled down, getting Shane Schiemer to fly out to left field and Derek Kygar to ground out to the shortstop, before Walking Chris Schauer on four straight pitches, fol-

                          lowed by a fly-out to Scott Curtis to end the inning.

                          "We started out hitting the ball well," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "All you can do is hit the ball hard."

                          The Bulldogs (7-6) in the bottom of the frame had some luck as well. Mitch Holliday opened up the inning, drawing a base on balls, before Jessie Garcia hit a sacrifice fly to center field, to score Holliday. Cody Waldo later came around to score on a wild pitch.

                          Unfortunately, that would be as close as Nyssa would get, as Ontario again scored three runs in their half of the second inning and one more in the third inning, before Nyssa responded with one run in the fourth inning, after a leadoff double by Rigo Paz.

                          "We were kind of surprised they hit the ball as hard as they did," Nyssa head coach Swede Mason said. "Three runs is not too much to make up."

                          Ontario added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Jared McLean reached on a single and scored on a Jake Beck single to left field.

                          "I think Mejia started it out, ripping a triple to the gap," Hartley said about his team's quick start. "It is nice when your leadoff guy gets on. (Chance) Cruickshank did a good job making Nyssa put the ball in play."

                          On the day, Ontario's Park finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs batted in, and Schiemer and Beck finished the game with an RBI.

                          Nyssa was led by Trent Holcomb, going 2-for-3 from the plate and Garcia picked up the Bulldogs' lone RBI.

                          Ontario is at Burns Saturday in a Greater Oregon League matchup, while Nyssa is in Pine Eagle for Special District 8 action.

                          Navarro retires from Ontario Middle School, April 25, 2004

                          Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                          Thirty years after she first started teaching, Georgia Navarro, assistant principal at Ontario Middle School, will retire at the end of the school year.

                          Navarro started her teaching career in 1973, after graduating from Idaho State, Pocatello. Her first job was as a language arts teacher at Mount Vernon High School.

                          "There were only 45 kids in the school. It was fun. I took the senior class (five kids) on a trip to British Columbia in my car for their senior trip," she said.

                          Navarro continued on as a language arts teacher in Prairie City from 1975 to 1977.

                          After the new special education law was put into place in 1976, Navarro started her 12-year career as a special education teacher.

                          In 1977, she went to work at Ontario High School.

                          "I was the first special education teacher Ontario High School ever had. I got to set up my own programs," Navarro said.

                          After marrying, Navarro went to work in La Grande as a special education teacher for two years before returning to Ontario and where she took on the task of special education specialist at Lindberg and Pioneer Elementary Schools.

                          A few years later, Navarro moved on to what was know at the time as Ontario Junior High.

                          When Don Sutherland retired as the language arts and social studies teacher in 1988, Navarro went back to teaching his subjects to seventh graders.

                          "Seventh-grade was my favorite age group," Navarro said.

                          Seventeen years after she started teaching, Navarro wanted to do something else. Already equipped with a teaching credential and her masters degree, she decided to earn her administrative credentials. In 1991, she Navarro received those credentials after attending Albertson College.

                          That same year, Navarro became the assistant principal of Ontario Middle School under the direction of Gene Bates.

                          Ontario School District superintendent contacted Navarro in 1995 and offered her the position of principal at Pioneer Elementary School and she accepted, she said.

                          "I was not only the principal, I was also the special education specialist there," Navarro said.

                          When Irene Bates retired from May Roberts Elementary School, Navarro became the principal at that school.

                          In 2000, Navarro landed her final and current position as one of the assistant principals at OMS.

                          "I think changing jobs or locations every four or five years keeps thing fresh and you are not in a rut," Navarro said.

                          In her current position, Navarro has a multitude of responsibilities. She supervises breakfast and lunch, attends meetings nearly every morning, reads the morning announcement, disciplines students and performs the athletic director duties for the middle school.

                          "The best part of the athletic director job is that I get to see some of the best kids doing good stuff and I have gotten to meet other AD's and coaches from other schools," Navarro said.

                          Though the years at the elementary and secondary schools have been good ones, Navarro is looking forward to retirement.

                          "I will be a part-time instructor at TVCC. I will teach nine hours per quarter in low-level English classes, and I will be supervising student teachers for Eastern Oregon University," Navarro said.

                          Tigers take two more GOL losses    April 25, 2004    Argus Observer Sports Staff

                          The Ontario softball team's troubles continue, as they were swept in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader Saturday afternoon, falling 9-0 and 14-1 in two games to La Grande.

                          In the opening game, the Tigers (1-14 overall, 0-10 GOL) managed only one hit in the game. Ontario allowed nine hits and finished with two errors.

                          "The girls have got to be able to play complete games," Ontario softball coach Randy Simpson said. "We are not at the point were we are playing complete games."

                          In the nightcap, things did not get much better for the Tigers, as they committed seven errors, but got five hits and scored a run in the six inning contest.

                          "Jamie Arant played some of the best defense she has played all year," Simpson said. "She made some phenomenal plays."

                          The Tigers host Baker Thursday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.  Prep Tennis

                          The Ontario tennis team barely broke a sweat Saturday, picking up a pair of Special District 4 wins.

                          The Tigers blanked both Madras and Burns, handing each a 10-0 defeat at Burns High School.

                          "We played well," Ontario boys' head coach Ernie Alger said. "The kids really stayed in it from start to finish."

                          No Tiger was extended past two sets in either match.

                          The closest match came in the No. 3 girls' singles match against the Hilanders. Ontario's Marcela Ramirez took a close 7-5, 7-5 win over Melissa Thomas.

                          "The girls did well," Ontario girls head coach Dennis Gill said. "Madras always gives us good competition. We just did a great job."

                          The Tigers (8-0 Special District 4) will entertain Homedale Tuesday in nonleague play.

                          Ontario nine manages split with Bulldogs    April 18, 2004    Argus Observer Sports Staff

                          The Ontario baseball team took the opener 7-5, before dropping the nightcap, 7-3 to Baker in Greater Oregon League baseball action Friday in Baker City.

                          In the opener, the Tigers struck first, scoring one run in each of the third and fourth innings and five more in the fifth inning, to take a 7-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Baker scored four runs to get back in the game, but only scored one run in the seventh, as their comeback attempt fell short.

                          "We played a good team from Baker," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "We did some good things to come away with a split. If this team could stay focused and execute for an entire doubleheader, I think we could have won both games."

                          Shane Schiemer pitched six plus innings for Ontario, striking out 11 Bulldogs to pick up the victory. Jake Beck pitched the seventh to pick up the save.

                          Schiemer also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Matt Mejia and Brandon Coley each went 2-for-3 from the plate in the win.

                          In the nightcap, the Tigers were unable to put together a big inning, scoring only one run in the fourth and two runs in the sixth.

                          "The Baker pitching staff did an amazing job making us swing the bats today. Neither starter from Baker gave up any walks, and that is something I want our pitchers to strive for. I know we are capable of making that happen," Hartley said.

                          Ontario's Zach Park and Juan Trejo each hit doubles for the Tigers. Park and Derek Kygar were the only Tigers to drive in runs.

                          The Tigers are back in action Tuesday, when they travel to Nyssa in a nonleague contest.

                          Tigers drop 13th straight, April 30, 2004

                          William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Thirteens were running wild Thursday afternoon in Ontario.

                          First off the Ontario softball team lost both games of a Greater Oregon League doubleheader, 13-0, to Baker at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center.

                          The two defeats were the 13th straight losses on the season for Ontario.

                          During the nightcap, the Tigers never seemed to have anything swing their way.

                          After allowing three runs in the first inning, Ontario's leadoff hitter Jamie Arant hit the ball to right field, as Baker's rightfielder, Amber Uriarte, came up firing, gunning out the sliding Arant at first base.

                          "(Heidi) Boyer pitched a great game. She kept us at bay the whole time. That is why they are the No. 3 team in the state," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "We were playing well, then we had some breakdowns on errors. The girls are still learning and they are improving."

                          Over the next four innings for the Tigers (1-16 overall, 0-12 GOL), they held Baker to only two runs, before they scored eight runs, on six hits and two Tiger errors in the sixth inning.

                          One bright spot for the Tigers, was Arant, picking up the lone hit for the Tigers, while playing solid defense at shortstop.

                          Jessica Horn drew a two-out walk in the first inning for Ontario, as she and Arant were the only two base runners of the game.

                          Overall, the Bulldogs picked up 10 hits in the game.

                          In the opening game, Boyer pitched a no-hitter against the Tigers, as Tara Wilson had a triple and a double, knocking in two runs, while Amber Uriarte had a triple and two RBIs in the game.

                          Ontario continues its Greater Oregon League schedule today on the road against Mac-Hi.

                          Frisby, Page pace Tigers, April 30, 2004

                          Argus Observer Sports Staff

                          Two Ontario Tigers won at least two events Thursday afternoon at the Vale Invitational track meet in Vale.

                          Riley Frisby and Sheryl Page each won two individual events, while Page helped the 4x400 relay team to a first place finish.

                          Frisby won the 800 and 1,500 meter, with times of 2 minutes, 2.95 seconds, and 4:17.3 respectively, as teammate Jacob Blaylock was not far behind in each event, taking third and fourth in the 800 and 1,500 respectively.

                          "I thought it was a very good meet. A lot of GOL (Greater Oregon League) teams. We got to see a preview of what would happen in district," Ontario track coach Randy Waite said. "We set a lot of personal records and did very well."

                          Page also won the 800 and 1,500 meter races with times of 2:18.05 and 5:01.05 respectively, as she also helped the 4x400 meter relay team to first place finish, at 4:11.

                          Also on the relay team are Angie Hamman, Kristen Hamman and Jordan Bainbridge.

                          -----------------

                          Tigers sweep aside Vale, May 2, 2004

                          William Anderson Argus Observer

                          After taking the first game a Greater Oregon League doubleheader 11-1, the Ontario baseball team had a hard time closing out the deal in the second game, over the stubborn Vale Vikings, Friday afternoon as the Tigers picked up the sweep with a 12-6 nightcap victory at Elks Memorial Field in Ontario.

                          In the nightcap, the Tigers had the Vikings down 8-1 after four innings of play. With the Vikings not wanting to end their trip to Ontario prematurely, Vale scored two more runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Ontario matched the Vikings on the scoreboard, but the Tigers (14-4 overall, 6-2 GOL) never were able to end the game early.

                          "We could have shut down after that first game when we were down 8-1," Vale head coach Tom Cuellar said. "When we play teams that are solid in the field and at the plate, we have to rise to their level."

                          Still, the Vikings (4-16, 2-8) never gave up on the day, scoring five of their runs in the final three innings and pounding out seven of their nine hits in the same stretch.

                          "I thought we played very well as a team today," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Those who watch us play, know I put a lot of pressure on my players, especially when we are ahead. Whether we are bunting with two strikes or trying to pick guys off, when we really do not need to, we are preparing for the playoffs."

                          In the opening game, Ontario jumped out early, scoring nine runs in the first two innings.

                          "We have a young team, that is not an excuse, we are just young," Cuellar said. "It seems like we always get ourselves behind the 8-ball."

                          Ontario's Brandon Coley pitched the first game, allowing only two hits and one run in the game to pick up the win.

                          Overall on the day, Vale's Mark Moreno went 3-for-7 and Kyle Bates went 3-for-4, while teammate Pat Verdun knocked in two runs.

                          Ontario was led by Matt Mejia, who went 4-for-5, while Shane Schiemer, Jared McLean and Kyle Mitchell all picked up three hits on the day. Chance Cruickshank knocked in six runs in the two games, while Schiemer and Mitchell each knocked in four and Jake Beck knocked in three.

                          Vale heads to Middleton Thursday in a nonconference game.

                          Tigers get past Kuna, May 2, 2004

                          Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                          With great defense and a triple in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Ontario Tigers baseball team was able to defeat the Kuna Kavemen, 3-2 in a nonleague game Saturday at Ontario High School.

                          Ontario's Matt Mejia got up to the plate with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning and the score still tied at 2-2. Mejia let the first four balls go past him. Ball, ball, ball, strike. Now he was ready.

                          The next pitch came across the plate and Mejia drove the ball deep to left centerfield. He jumped on his wheels and before Kuna could get the ball back to the pitcher, Mejia was safely on third base.

                          With the winning run on third, Chance Cruickshank stepped up to the plate. He faked a bunt and at the last second belted the ball down the third base line. Mejia scored and the game was over.

                          "I was very pleased with our defensive efforts. Chris (Schauer) forced a lot of ground balls, and I thought we played really well behind him," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Offensively, we have some work to do executing, but I thought Matt really stepped it up today."

                          Mejia was 3-for-4 from the plate with a triple, double, single and an RBI for the Tigers. Zack Park was 2-for-3 with two singles.

                          Ontario catcher Jared McLean made some key outs for the Tigers in the close victory.

                          "Jared McLean has really been great to have behind the plate this year. He's had to work with a lot of different pitchers and he still keeps balls in front of him while throwing out more base runners than any other high school catcher I have ever seen," Hartley said.

                          The Tigers (16-4 overall, 6-2 GOL) continue Greater Oregon League action Saturday when they take on Mac-Hi in a doubleheader in Ontario.

                          Ontario rallies for GOL split, May 9, 2004

                          Andrew Cutler Argus observer

                          Seven Ontario Tigers drove in runs, helping the Tigers to a 12-0 rout of Mac-Hi in the nightcap of a Greater Oregon League baseball doubleheader at Elks Memorial Field.

                          The Pioneers scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning, stunning the Tigers for a 3-2 win in the opener.

                          "It was very nice to see us bounce back after the first game," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Unfortunately the time is coming when you don't have a chance to make up losses like that."

                          The Tigers (7-5 overall, 7-3 GOL) had eight hits in the nightcap. Kyle Mitchell led the way with a 2-for-3 outing.

                          Ontario got three runs in the bottom of the third. Scott Curtis and Matt Mejia each drew bases loaded walks and Chance Cruickshank had a sacrifice fly.

                          It was more than enough for Cruickshank.

                          The Ontario starting pitcher scattered two hits and one walk over five innings, while striking out four. Cruickshank did not allow a hit until the fourth inning when Jesus Gonzalez lined a single to right field.

                          Ontario went on to add nine runs in the bottom of the fourth. Brandon Coley and Scott Curtis each had two-run doubles. Mejia, Shane Schiemer, Zach Park and Kyle Mitchell all had RBIs in the frame.

                          Curtis finished with three RBIs, while Coley and Mejia each drove in a pair of runs.

                          In the opener, Wayne Williams had an RBI single to highlight the Pioneers' seventh-inning comeback.

                          Mac-Hi's Carlos Ruualcaba fanned 10 and walked three in the complete game.

                          "Ruualcaba is a quality lefty and he threw very well for Mac-Hi today," Hartley said. "We will have to learn to beat someone like that or our season is about over."

                          Mejia and Coley each had RBI singles in the third inning for Ontario.

                          The Tigers host Nyssa at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Elks Memorial Field, before closing the regular season Saturday at La Grande in GOL action.

                          Students showcase heritage at event, May 9, 2004

                          Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                          The eighth-grade Rocket team at Ontario Middle School explored the roots of its heritage during a cultural diversity fair Monday.

                          The diversity fair - in its eighth year at OMS - provided the students with an opportunity to showcase a major project they have been working on since the beginning of the school year.

                          Inspired by a seminar Ontario School District brought to the middle school nine years ago called "Project Reach," OMS English teacher Donna Edwards and social studies teacher Dennis Hironaka developed the idea for an integrated project that combined math, social studies, English and science.

                          Edwards and Hironaka said they thought relating the project to students' cultural roots would hold the interest of the students and instill in them pride and appreciation for their heritage. Edwards said the program has been successful in doing both.

                          The students begin the project in the fall by researching their heritage. Some students have a difficult time tracing their genealogy, Edwards said. A simple Internet search on a students' last name, however, will provide at least a little information about a students' cultural background, Edwards said.

                          After researching their heritage, students write a report about the culture of the country their relatives emigrated from to fulfill requirements for the English portion of the project. For science, students study the climate of their country and create a travel brochure. In social studies class, the eighth-graders give speeches about their project that is videotaped, and in math class, they make charts and graphs comparing commodities in their countries.

                          The eighth-graders were able to showcase their projects from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday at the middle school gym for select elementary classes from Aiken and Cairo Elementary Schools and other middle school students.

                          Parents and grandparents were invited to come to the middle school Monday night to view the projects.

                          Edwards said the fair during the evening draws some of the largest crowds of parents and relatives than many other events at the middle school.

                          During the fair, several eighth-graders dressed in traditional clothing from their country.

                          And even more students brought music to play and food for sampling from their countries.

                          Edwards said almost every country was represented during the cultural fair.

                          One of the few that was not represented was China. Mexico and Germany were among the popular countries represented at the fair.

                          Edwards said the projects have evolved into more elaborate productions during the cultural fair each year as technology improves.

                          Tigers have title hopes on their mind, May 16, 2004

                          William Anderson Argus Observer

                          With a first-place finish and a second-place finish, the Ontario girls' and boys' golf teams head to Redmond with individual and state title hopes in mind.

                          The Ontario girls tee off at the Eagle Crest Resort, while the boys will compete at Eagle Crest Ridge. Both courses are in Redmond. The tournament is Monday and Tuesday.

                          The girls' team will be taking five girls - Cecilia Garcia, Jennifer Jaramillo, Camilie Davis, April Patton and Holly Houston - to the two-day tournament.

                          With the exception of Davis, the girls' team is comprised of underclassman, with Garcia a sophomore and Jaramillo, Patton and Houston each freshman.

                          "(Overcoming their youth) will be our biggest challenge," Ontario girls' golf coach Russ Leininger said. "The girls are playing good."

                          Leininger said that Garcia, who played fourth position at state last season, has really stepped up her play and became a leader.

                          "I think Garcia will place in the top five, if she plays well," Leininger said.

                          The Ontario boys' finished second to La Grande, last week at district, shooting a 690 as a team.

                          Headlining this year's team is Wade Douglas, Marcus Uchida, JC Schram, Brady Kameshige and Dane Dinsmore. Colby Eyre is the alternate.

                          "I think we have a shot to do well at state. We did not play very well at district. The guys did not play as well as they wanted to," Ontario boys' golf coach Scott Helmick said. "We are ready to go, really focused this week."

                          Helmick said that Douglas and Uchida have pretty identical averages, with each having a good shot at placing in the top 10.

                          The teams are traveling today, with a practice round this afternoon in Redmond.

                          Vale boys, Ontario girls claim tennis titles, May 16, 2004

                          William Anderson Argus Observer VALE

                          The Ontario tennis team extended its dominance in the girls' singles, as freshman Stephanie Babij won the Special District 4 championship match, against Vale's Rachel Carmichael, 6-1, 6-2 Saturday afternoon in Vale.

                          Overall, the Ontario tennis team is bringing 10 players to the state tournament, Friday and Saturday, in Eugene.

                          Babij, Ontario's lone girls' singles state qualifier, took over the reigns of graduated Amanda Iseri, who had won four straight district titles.

                          "I played pretty well," Babij said of her performance in the championship match. "I am just excited to get to go to state. The score does not show how tough the match was."

                          Carmichael also earns a spot to state, as Cassandra Andrews of Vale and Bakers Gloria Ho.

                          "I thought she played very well, he handled the pressure outstanding, as a freshman,"

                          Ontario girls' tennis coach Dennis Gill said.

                          As far as girls' doubles go, Ontario claimed the top four slots, with Kristy Church and Kelsy Pobanz taking the No. 1 slot into state, with a 6-3, 6-3 win over teammates Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz in the championship match, while Jenna McClean and Julie Hall defeated Vale's Trish Lacey and Tracey Romans 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in the third-place game.

                          The Tigers are bringing seven girls' to state, while Vale has four girls heading to Eugene.

                          "Seven is the most I have taken," Gill said. "We want to make a run at the team title. That is a goal of the team - be first in state."

                          On the boys' side, Ontario will be sending three guys, while Vale will have four boys make the trip west.

                          Ontario's Peyton Aarestad lost to Baker's Luke Rembold, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, in the boys' singles championship match, while Vale's Francisco Endara defeated teammate Fabian Faehnrich, 8-3, as all four earned state slots.

                          In the boys' doubles, Ontario's Nick Babij and Philipp Dimakopoulos defeated Vale's Robby Seals and Travis McFetridge, 6-0, 7-6 (7-2), to claim the No. 1 spot, while Adam Behrends and Omer Goodson, Madras, defeated Baker's Shawn Ho and Lowell Curtis, 8-,5 for third place.

                          The Vale boys' won, with 18 1/2 points, while the Ontario girls won with 28 points. Overall, Ontario collected 44 team points, while Vale had 36 1/2 points.

                          Ontario rolls over La Grande, May 17, 2004

                          Argus Observer Sports Staff

                          The Ontario baseball team had a strong finish their regular season Saturday, picking up a pair of Greater Oregon League wins, as they defeated La Grande 11-1 and 18-1 in a doubleheader, in La Grande.

                          In the opening game, Ontario scored one run in the first inning and added two more in the third, before exploding for six runs in the fourth inning, to take a 9-0 lead.

                          After one run in the fifth by La Grande, Ontario scored twice more in the top of the sixth, to implement the 10-run mercy rule.

                          "We had some fantastic pitching and offensive performances today," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said.

                          Altogther on the day, the Tigers scored 29 runs on 30 hits, as nearly every batter that went to the plate for Ontario picked up a base hit, led by Zach Park and Shane Schiemer, each picking up five hits on the game.

                          On the mound for Ontario, the pitchers gave up five hits and two runs in the games, Hartley said he was very pleased.

                          In the nightcap, Ontario scored five runs in the first and six more in the second, to take a quick 11-0 lead.

                          Shane Schiemer picked up the win on the mound, pitching four innings of nohit ball, while striking out seven.

                          "I think we are right where we need to be right now," Hartley said. "We have a week to get everyone healthy and I think we have all the tools to make a run at the title."

                          Ontario girls look to finish the job at state, May 18, 2004

                          Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                          The Ontario girls' tennis team is back to take care of some unfinished business - winning a 3A/2A/1A Oregon State Tennis title.

                          The Ontario girls, along with three Ontario boys qualifiers and eight Vale representatives, begin play in the state tournament Friday morning in Eugene.

                          Ontario has been on the threshold of its first girls tennis title the last two seasons. Last year, with only three girls, Ontario finished third. In 2002, Ontario took fourth place.

                          "This group of seniors wants to go out and preform well," Ontario girls' head coach Dennis Gill, who has seven girls making the trip to Eugene, said. "They want to end their high school careers with a state title."

                          Kristy Church and Kelsey Pobanz are the No. 2 seed in girls' doubles. The duo is un-defeated this season after a third place finish at state last season. The duo is looking to continue Special District 4's dominance in girls' doubles.

                          "They have a real shot (at winning)," Gill said. "The league has dominated doubles at state. last year, our league took first, third and fourth in girls' doubles."

                          Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz are the No. 3 seed at state, after finishing second to Church and Kelsey Pobanz at district.

                          Gill said he hopes the number of girls he has at state will help against some of the traditionaly strong tennis schools.

                          "Catlin Gabel is not taking very many and Marist is always tough," Gill said. "Those two teams have done real well in the past and they have good teams back."

                          OHS principal steps down, May 20 , 2004

                           Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                          Ontario School District Superintendent Dr. Dennis Carter announced May 12 to district staff members his plan to advance Ontario Middle School Principal LaVelle Cornwell into a position as principal of both the middle school and the high school.

                          The announcement came one day after Ontario High School Principal Patrick Royal officially resigned from the district - effective June 30.

                          Royal said he is leaving OSD to take over the principal slot of Coquille High School in Coquille to be closer to his family, he said.

                          Cornwell, who has been with the district 26 years and principal of OMS since 2001, will manage her days between the high school and middle school with five associate principals to assist her.

                          One of the five associate principal positions will need to be filled since Georgia Navarro, associate principal at OMS, is retiring June 30.

                          The new administrative arrangement is intended to help students with the transition between middle school and high school, according to Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement at OSD. She said the district wanted to create a more cohesive sixth- through 12th-grade school system.

                          Carter said the district would also like to increase the high school retention rate. He said since the No Child Left Behind Act and the boost in federal school regulations, high school drop out rates are becoming a larger liability for the district.

                          However, Carter said Cornwell's new position as OMS and OHS principal will not immediately and directly cause high school drop out rates to decrease.

                          "This in itself isn't going to make changes in that (drop out rates), but in time they (joint middle school and high school administration) will come up with solutions," Carter said.

                          The new administrative plan places Ontario High School as the only Class 3A high school in the state without a full-time principal, Royal said. Other high schools in Oregon have part-time principals but they are much smaller schools, he said. For example, Jordan Valley High School and Adrian High School operate with a superintendent who also serves as principal.

                          Royal remained optimistic the new administrative plan could be effective, but added it will be "very time consuming" for Cornwell. He said only "time will tell if it works" since there is no precedent for the administrative organization in Oregon.

                          While no high school in Oregon comparable to Ontario's operates with a part-time principal, across the state border Nampa High School and Skyview High School in the Nampa School District are managed in a similar fashion to the new OMS/OHS administrative configuration.

                          Nampa School District's superintendent instituted a new administrative structure four years ago. Skyview High School and South Middle School were divided into one group and Nampa High School and West Middle School into another. Two chief education officers (CEOs) sit at the head of each group. There is one permanent administrator, called the "lead building administrator" at each middle school and high school. In addition, there are three administrators, six total, within each high school/middle school group that handle single-issue items, such as special education. Jeff Read, CEO of Nampa High School and West Middle School, said the administrative arrangement between the high schools and middle schools has been altered since its inception and continues to evolve. Read said the district implemented the new arrangement because there was a break-down in the communication between the high schools and middle schools. He said the plan was met with confusion and doubt when it was first proposed, but after four years the district is now beginning to see positive results.There is lingering doubt among some Ontario School District employees about the new administrative plan as well. Joe Garner, president of the teachers' union, was reluctant to provide concrete information on how many teachers were upset over the new administrative plan.

                          Garner said though, that some of the initial and still relevant concerns from teachers he has spoken with include time constraints Cornwell may have with managing two schools in addition to instances when teachers need immediate principal, not associate principal, approval on a matter. Garner said the teachers had meetings with district staff, including the superintendent, Wednesday night and tonight to discuss concerns teachers may have regarding the new plan. He said after these meetings he will be more prepared to offer a statement on behalf of the teachers.

                          OMS brings tennis season to an end, May. 25, 2004

                           Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                          To wrap up the 2004 tennis season, Ontario Middle School hosted the sixth annual Middle School Invitational Tennis Tournament May 15 in Ontario. With all the teams at the district tournament, the middle school teams had full reign of all the courts in town.

                          Teams that came to Ontario for the competition were Baker, Vale and Parma.

                          "With the combined effort and help of Baker coach Marsha Smith, Vale coach Dr. Al Butler and Parma coach Lary Nielsen, the action packed day ran smoothly. OHS had districts out of town, so we had the use of all the courts in town. This kept the tournament moving at a timely pace," Ontario Middle School head coach Suzie Robertson said.

                          The Ontario girls swept the singles competition, earning all three top spots and also placed second in the doubles competition.

                          Chris Babij placed first, Krista Holloway second and Mimi Kameshige third in the singles and the duo of Ashley Plaza and Lindsay Wilson took second in the doubles.

                          Ontario's Kegham McGraw placed third in the boys' singles and Levi Heiple and Grant Saito took third in the boys' doubles.

                          Trophies and ribbons were awarded to first through third place in all categories.

                          "The Baker coach donated funds from the Baker tennis program and along with the small amount of money Ontario had already given, we were able to get some nice trophies from Trolee Awards," Robertson said.

                          Tigers rally past Wilsonville, May. 25, 2004

                          William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Without even collecting a single base hit in the seventh inning, Ontario was able to load the bases and score a run, to complete a four-run rally over two innings to come back and defeat Wilsonville, 7-6, in the first round of the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Oregon 3A Baseball State Championships at Elks Memorial Field in Ontario.

                          With the score tied 6-6, with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom half of the inning, Kyle Mitchell hit a line drive to center field, where Dylan Bruck was waiting for it, waiting to throw home.

                          Brucks' throw was offline, as Jake Beck came in to score the winning run.

                          "They are a great team, and we are excited to be able to beat them," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "I am worried anytime we are down, because it opens the door for someone on their team to clutch up."

                          Still, the Tigers had to rally to to cut into the 6-3 deficit.

                          Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, down by three, the Tigers' season was on the line. Ontario rallied to score three runs in the bottom half of the inning, with two outs. Zach Park knocked home two runs, when he hit a two-run triple to center field, just a couple feet shy of exiting the park, to cut the lead to 6-5.

                          Wilsonville promptly pulled starting pitcher, Bryon Roby, and brought in reliever Matt Bressler.

                          Ontario's cleanup hitter Shane Schiemer welcomed Bressler to the game with a double to left field, to tie the game.

                          "It was a wake up call to go into the sixth inning down by three," Hartley said. "Our at bats got more focused as the game went on. That is probably the one thing we are going to have to stress throughout the playoffs. Every at bat is important, especially now."

                          Schiemer was stranded on second to end the scoring for the Tigers (21-5 overall).

                          Opening the game, Ontario scored first, with two runs in the bottom of the second, when Jake Beck hit a two-run home run.

                          The Wildcats (15-8) responded, scoring three runs in the top of the third, to take a brief lead.

                          Ontario scored once in the bottom of the third, to tie the game.

                          Wilsonville scored three times in the fifth inning, to take a 6-3 lead, heading into the sixth.

                          Ontario had one great opportunity to put some runs across the plate, in the fifth inning, when Schiemer led off the inning with a triple. The next three Ontario batters were retired to end the threat, leaving Schiemer on third.

                          Ontario moves on to face top-ranked Douglas, Wednesday in the second round in Douglas.

                          Ontario girls finish fifth, May. 30, 2004

                          William Anderson Argus Observer

                          State records and personal records were falling like rocks Saturday, at the 3A Oregon Track and Field meet at Hayward Field in Eugene.

                          Also Saturday, the Ontario boys' and girls' track team combined for 35 team points, thanks in large part to a second place finish by the Tiger girls' 4x400-meter run.

                          "I was hoping for at least 30 team points heading into today," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said. "They all ran really well and had some good times."

                          The Dalles girls' scored 51 team points for a state title. The Ontario girls finished fifth with 31 total points, while Vale was seventh with 28 points.

                          Ontario had four of its athletes set new personal records. And all four of the new PRs were good enough to place in the meet.

                          One of the new records set for the Tigers, was in the 1,500-meter, when Jacob Blaylock ran the event in 4:07.80 seconds, beating his old time, by nearly six seconds. With the new personal best, Blaylock finished eighth to pick up the final spot in the event.

                          "I am happy. I placed, which is what I wanted to do," Blaylock said. "I did not want to get out too fast. They took off and I wanted to stay with them. I just tried not to let them get too far ahead."

                          Blaylock said that the success this season was due to the hard work and his teammates always pushing him.

                          Page picks up three second-place state finishes Saturday

                          For another Tiger trying to get into the top eight, Sheryl Page had three opportunities - the 800-meter, the 1,500-meter and the 4x400-meter relay - to get the job done.

                          Page finished second in all three events.

                          In the 1,500-meter, Page ran a time of 4:45.28, just under two seconds behind Coquille's Holli Dieu. The second-place finish for Page set a new personal best for the Ontario distance runner.

                          "I felt like I did really good," Page said about her 1,500 meter run. "I was happy to run it with competition. I felt I was strong throughout."

                          In the 800-meter, Page also picked up a second-place finish, behind Marist's Emily Collins. Page finished with a time of 2:21.37. In her final event of the day, the Ontario sophomore anchored the 4x400 relay team to a second-place finish. The foursome - Page, Kristen Hamman, Jordan Bainbridge and Angie Hamman - turned in a time of 4:02.35. The Dalles won the event in 3:59.48.

                          "This was a much better day to run. The rain stayed away and the wind was not blowing too hard," Waite said. "I was pleased with (Page's) running. I think I am pleased with everybody."

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                          For Feeley, 32 is the magic number June 9, 2004

                          Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                          After 32 years in the class room, Bill Feeley will be retiring from Ontario High School but not from his position as driver's education instructor.

                          Feeley began teaching in Middleton and, after four years, transferred to OHS and began his 28 year stint.

                          For the first 26 years he taught lower level math and for his final two years at OHS he has been a basic physical education instructor.

                          "The switch a couple of years ago was nice. Teaching was a really neat experience. If I could go back, the only thing I would try to do is maybe reach some more kids," Feeley said.

                          Feeley has more than 100 students go through his drivers education class each year. Of the 100, half continue on with the behind-the-wheel instruction.

                          "I get kids with a wide range of driving abilities. I think there is a series of steps to driving. First you start on a trike, then a bike and then a car. Some of the kids I teach do not even know how to ride a bike," Feeley said.

                          Driver's training was a lot harder to teach when Feeley first started at Capital High School in Boise. Capital had three automatic transmissions and three manual transmission vehicles, he said.

                          "Some of the kids it would take a week just to get the car moving," Feeley said.

                          For the past 18 years Feeley has been teaching behind the wheel training in automatic transmission vehicles.

                          In all of those years, he has not had a student wreck a vehicle.

                          "I once had a student take a corner too fast. I think we were up on two wheels. I could not hit my brake. We just rode it out. A mile down the road, when I had finally collected myself, I had the student stop the car, make a three point turn and we tried the corner again," Feeley said.

                          Each student that goes through Feeley's class must complete six hours of driving and six hours of observation.

                          His planned route is best suited for two drivers.

                          The first half hour of the class is car orientation.

                          The second half hour is in residential areas.

                          During the class, the students take a trip on the back roads to Nyssa and another to the rest area in Weatherby.

                          "They learn to pass trucks, go up and down hills and go around curves. The speed limit is 55 to 65 and they must slow down for the corners," Feeley said.

                          The students also drive down Oregon Street and practice lane changing and go to the state park and work on backing up around the circle in the parking lot.

                          "In the last two months, I have had the cops show up at the state park four or five times. People report a car going in circles backwards and they think it is a drunk driver. The administration also asks me occasionally if I have been practicing lane changes over by Mallards. People call the school saying the drivers ed car is making radical lane changes," Feeley said.

                          With new Oregon laws popping up all the time, Feeley must keep himself up to date.

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                          Volunteer work part of everyday life for Pattons, August 4, 2004

                          What began as sitting on the curb waiting for her sister to get out of school type-of-job, turned into an after-school volunteering task at Aiken Elementary for April Patton.

                          Patton, an incoming sophomore at Ontario High School, said she knew a teacher at Aiken, and so she decided to start helping out in the teacher's class.

                          "I met Miss Ortiz because she was a student-teacher at my school. The bus would not drop me off at my house anymore so I would have to go wait for Ali. Instead of just sitting outside, I would go in and help. I knew most of the kids in her class anyway, so it was a lot of fun," April Patton said.

                          April Patton said she used her math skills to help the youth in Miss Ortiz's class.

                          When school finally released, the Patton sisters would head home together.

                          April Patton does not only volunteer at Aiken Elementary, she, and her sister, also volunteer at the Lions Club and at their church.

                          Ali Patton helps the Ontario Church of the Nazarene with its puppet show for the youth. Putting on a puppet show takes preparation but Ali Patton said she is up to the task.

                          "We usually practice after church for the coming week, or we go early and practice before, so we know when to move the puppets," Ali Patton said.

                          April Patton is part of the worship team at the church and also sings in the choir.

                          For the Ontario Lions Club, the Patton girls have volunteered their time in the concession stand at the Ontario High School football games and will also be working the Lions booth at the Malheur County Fair this week, before taking a few days of vacation.

                          With a career in math or science in her future, April Patton will continuing taking all the science, math and technology classes she can while attending Ontario High School and said she hopes to continue to be a part of the golf team.

                          Despite having played softball for eight years, April Patton said she feels golf is more her speed.

                          "I think golf is better for me because I am such a perfectionist," April Patton said.

                          Ali Patton will work her way through middle school with her sights set on a career in the medical field when she become an adult.

                          "I would like to be a pediatrician or a nurse. I like little kids. I would even consider being a kindergarten teacher," Ali Patton said.

                              Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                          A new lens OHS graduate films El Salvador's poor, August 25, 2004

                          Ontario High School graduate Brooks Dame wanted to do something for the people of El Salvador - so he picked up his camera.

                          Dame, who graduated from high school in 1997, first traveled to the country as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He went back several times as a college student working with a nonprofit humanitarian aid organization - meeting his current wife on one such trip.

                          The last time he went to El Salvador, Dame decided to do something different, something he hoped would bring more attention to the problem of poverty in the country.

                          He purchased two cameras and began visiting the garbage dumps in El Salvador, which is where literally dozens of people in the country make their living.

                          There is no recycling program in El Salvador. Instead, "pepenadores," or sifters, go through the garbage looking for metal or other scraps they can turn in to private companies to be recycled. The sifters also eat leftover food found in the dumps - and if they find food they consider unsuitable for themselves, Dame said, they bag it up and take it home for their animals.

                          He said people reported they were making about $1.25 a day working in the dumps. Dame said he met a couple which had given up higher-paying jobs to work there, though.

                          The man worked as a security guard and the woman worked in a textile mill, garnering an income of $5 to $6 a day, but $3 to $4 of that money was spent traveling, and the commute did not enable them to spend much time with their children, he said, so they came to the garbage dump.

                          Dame said it took a while to get to the point where people were comfortable enough to speak to him on camera, but he just kept returning to the dumps and interacting with people until they were more at ease.

                          He said he was inspired to make the film last winter after he attended the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and realized he could make a movie about the problems he had seen previously.

                          "To hear it isn't the same as actually seeing it," he said. "I just think capturing it on film gets it across."

                          The film is now in the editing process.

                          Dame hopes to sell the movie and send some of the money back to help the people of El Salvador - but also is not waiting for that to happen.

                          Before he left the country Dame traced the feet of several of the children working in the dumps and is now attempting to collect shoes for them.

                          Often, he said, the poverty of the small country overwhelmed him. One day he and his wife spent $150 on small hygiene kits - including items such as toothbrushes and deodorant - and distributed them to people at the dumps. At the end of the day, there still weren't enough to go around and his wife broke down crying, he said.

                          He said he felt he had to start somewhere, though, which is why he is starting with the shoe project. Those wanting to donate shoes may contact him at bwdame(at)hotmail.com.

                              Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                          Police urge caution as school year starts, August 26, 2004

                          As area students make the transition from summer vacation back to the classroom, local law enforcement authorities urge motorists to use caution and be more attentive while navigating area streets and roadways.

                          Ontario Police Department officers will be out in force in the school zones in the mornings and OPD will make it a point to rotate through the different schools zones throughout the day, OPD Sgt. Police Sgt. Jeff Milton said.

                          "We'll be strictly enforcing the school zone speed limit, which is 20 miles per hour," Milton said. In most zones, the speed limit is clearly posted by either the use of flashing yellow signals that notify motorists when the restricted speed limit is in effect, or the traditional sign postings.

                          "Whether the signals or signs are there or not, it's still 20 mph, in the school zones," Milton said. He said drivers might not be aware that portions of Southwest Fourth Avenue are marked as school zones. The intersection of Alameda Drive and Southwest Fourth Avenue and southeast along Alameda are posted as school zones, Milton said. Another safety issue is pedestrians in crosswalks, OPD Chief Mike Kee said. The law provides that drivers wait until pedestrians are entirely out of the street before they can proceed, he said.

                          "What makes it so scary with kids, especially on multi-lane streets and roads, is kids trust drivers to keep them safe," Kee said. "So, when they see one vehicle stopped, they assume every vehicle will stop. We've probably had half a dozen crashes in the last half a dozen years where kids will be waiting to cross on a multi-lane road and the outside lane driver will stop, the kids will walk out, and not know the driver in the inside lane is not paying attention at all."

                          That's why Oregon has a law that states if one driver stops for a person in a crosswalk, every driver has to stop, Kee said.

                          Milton said primary schools such as Aiken Elementary and St. Peters have crossing guards posted to help children make the trip across the street.

                          Drivers also need to be aware of the laws that prohibit vehicles from passing school busses when the flashing red lights are activated.

                          "It's a Class A infraction if a driver fails to stop for lights or if the driver meets or overtakes from any direction any vehicle that has stopped on a roadway and is operating bus safety lights," Milton said. "Drivers have to stop before reaching the bus and remain stopped until the bus lights are no longer operating."

                          Milton said it typically takes a couple of weeks before drivers get used to having more children on the streets.

                          "We generally have a lot of complaints early in the school year and it's getting into late September when it seems the complaints slack off," Milton said.

                              Tami Hart Argus Observer

                          Ontario line holds keys to offense, August 31, 2004

                          When the Ontario Tigers take the field this fall they will have one distinct advantage over their opponents - the offensive line.

                          The Tigers return four starters - JJ Anthony, Colin Gundle, Todd Smith and Jon Paulsen - from a team that piled up nearly 2,500 yards on the ground.

                          With that kind of advantage upfront, it is no wonder Ontario head coach Randy Waite sleeps easy at night.

                          "It is definitely comforting having those guys back," the second-year head coach said. "I like to have experienced linemen to make the whole learning process easier for the backs and recievers."

                          Smith was a first team All-Greater Oregon League performer in 2003. Anthony and Gundle were second team picks and Paulsen was an honorable mention selection.

                          "It is a talented bunch," Waite said. "Throw in Mike Rankin, who started half the games last year, and he might be our fifth guy at strong tackle."

                          The Tigers graduated Reno Folden from a last year's 7-4 team, but Waite still thinks this bunch of linemen may be the most talented in the GOL.

                          "I think it is one of the better groups, Baker has a good group coming back," he said, "but I like ours too."

                          Last season the Tigers overcame inexperience along the front wall.

                          Only Anthony, who is a three-year starter for Ontario, had any starting experience. This year the group knows it won't be easy, but it is planning on big things.

                          "I think it is going to be tough," Paulsen said. "I think we can pull together, but it is going to take work and effort. We had our struggles and demons last year. We weren't perfect. I think if we work and gradually get better we can hold our own."

                              Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

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                          A high honor, September 5, 2004

                          Masato Ogawa never set out to win awards for his teaching, it just happened that way.

                          Ogawa, who teaches social studies and Japanese at Ontario High School, will be recognized by Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pa., for his innovative method of teaching his students about the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

                          The Japan native said he is excited about being honored.

                          "This award is for educators interested in teaching about Sept. 11," Ogawa, who holds a doctorate degree from the University of Georgia, said. "I submitted my lesson plan to Dickinson College and they selected me as one of the four winners for teaching Sept. 11."

                          Ogawa, who has taught at Ontario since 2001, began teaching the course - "Should the government go beyond the normal limits of its authority during wartime" - after a question from a student sparked the idea.

                          "That (2001) was my first teaching year and I was very shocked to watch the World Trade Center in New York. Students asked me what to think about what happened. At first I didn't tell him anything about it. As a teacher I was very afraid of sharing my ideas with my students, but as a teacher I have to teach something," Ogawa said. "I felt like I should tell something to my students. After that I became interested in teaching about Sept. 11. I have a social studies background. I have a masters and doctorate degree from the University of Georgia. As a social science educator or researcher, I knew everything about social studies, how to teach social studies. However, my students asked me a very good question how to feel about it. I was not prepared to answer that. This was the reason why I thought to make my lesson plan and submit it to Dickinson State College."

                          Ogawa teaches the course in two, 80-minute periods. During the course, the students discuss the Bill of Rights, the Japanese-American Internment during World War II and the Patriot Act.

                          Ogawa, who will be in Washington, D.C. Thursday, said the reaction from his classes has been positive.

                          "I gave the lesson plan to students taking Asian studies two years ago. My Asian studies course is not traditional style, they discussed and researched. My students response is very different," he said "Most of the students did not know anything about the history in this community. I was very shocked. They have many Japanese-American friends, but they did not know why there were so many Japanese-Americans here. So I taught a brief history of the community, and also Japanese internment camp also."

                          For the competition, educators submitted their teaching materials, an essay explaining their goals in developing their materials and a biographical statement for review by a panel of judges.

                          Ogawa, along with the other three winners, will receive a $1,000 honorarium check, travel and two night's accommodations in Washington, D.C. Once in Washington, D.C., the four finalists will participate in a "Best Practices" panel discussion at a conference, "Teaching 9-11: The Role of the Media, Museums and Schools in Constructing National Memory."

                             Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                          Tigers maul Grant Union, September 15, 2004

                          After shaking off some first set jitters, the Ontario girls' volleyball team went to work to earn a three set victory over Grant Union, Tuesday evening in a nonleague volleyball match, at Ontario High School.

                          The Tigers came away with a 25-23, 25-19, 25-17 victory over the Prospectors.

                          "We tend to start slow, when we are home or away," Ontario coach Rod Williams said. "Our blocking took them out of the their game. Our blocks did pretty well, it really took us out of getting digs and them our of their offense."

                          On the night, Ontario was led by Kylie Roberts and Jennifer McDannel with four blocks each.

                          In the final game, Ontario (2-1 overall) led throughout, but always letting Grant Union hang in there.

                          "We have been working on our attitude, but we still have work to do," Williams said. "Anyone can play well when things are going their way, but it takes a real player to play well with adversity."

                          Although the Tigers did not have much adversity against them Tuesday night, they still went on to win the matches.

                          Leading the way for the Tigers in kills, was Melissa Malstrom with seven kills, while teammate Carrie Heninger had six kills in the game.

                          Jerrimi Hoffman had 18 'perfect' sets, according to Williams, while Janie Hernandez had five service points, with two aces.

                          The Tigers will begin Greater Oregon League play Saturday, when they host Mac-Hi and Riverside.

                          "We have played a couple of league tams at tournaments, and we are matching up really well. We should make it competitive in league play," Williams said.

                              William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Payette runs over Tigers, September 8, 2004

                          With three quick goals to open up the second half, the Payette girls' soccer team started to pull away to a 8-2 nonleague victory over the Ontario Tigers, in a girls' soccer matchup Tuesday afternoon, in Ontario.

                          At the half, the two teams were knotted at 1-1, before Payette's offense picked up, scoring three goals in a matter of 12 minutes, including two strange goals.

                          Opening up the half, a Payette player took a shot at goal from about 20-yards out on the right side, that slipped through Ontario's keepers hands, off the crossbar and back into play, where another Payette player was there to kick it into the open net, giving the Pirates (3-0-0 overall) a 2-1 advantage.

                          Three short minutes later, Payette was at it again, when a shot came in from the left side. This shot bounced a couple of times in front of the net, when a Payette forward kicked the ball in the net, while standing backwards, to go up 3-1.

                          "We did really well, we just got tired in the second half," Ontario head coach Greg Walk said. We started moving people around and to different positions. Our keeper did an excellent job."

                          Ontario's keeper, Asja Hart, recorded eight saves on the day, plus many balls that she played not recorded as saves.

                          On the night for the Pirates, Mandy Greif finished with four goals and an assist for the Pirates. Jessica McCarty, Hannah Peterson, Jennifer Stemple and Kimberly Ashton all picked up goals for the Pirates. Katie Franklin, McCarty, Peterson, Stemple and Eve Thomason all had assists for Payette.

                          "We started a little sluggish at first and got it together in the second half. We are really a second half team," Payette head coach Vonnie Paul said. "We possessed the ball and got it together. We tried to control it a little."

                          In the opening minutes of the game, Ontario (0-1-0) struck first, when Jennifer Reyes scored in the second minute, off a corner kick from Nastassia Zacarias.

                          Ontario added another goal in the 57th minutes, when Kayla Mitchell scored from about 30-yards out, on a free kick, putting the kick in the top right corner of the goal.

                          "We now know what we have to do, we know that Payette is a good team," Walk said. "After those quick goals, there was a let down."

                          Both teams are back in action this week, as Payette travels to Homedale Thursday, in a conference matchup, while Ontario hosts Kuna Saturday, in a nonleague battle.

                            William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Tigers split first matches September 10, 2004

                             William Anderson Argus Observer

                          It is never good for a volleyball team to start the season off hosting a three-way tournament and losing all their matches.

                          This was the possibility facing the Ontario Tigers Thursday evening as they hosted Nampa Christian and Weiser in a three way volleyball match. Nampa Christian on the night went undefeated, beating both Weiser and Ontario in straight sets. Ontario, after falling to Nampa Christian, responded to bounce back and defeat the Wolverines 25-19, 25-15 to finish the night 1-1.

                          Only Weiser came away from the match without a victory, although they played the Trojans tough in their first matches 25-20, 25-22.

                          During the first game of that match, the Wolverines and Trojans were tied at 20-20, before Nampa Christian scored the game's next five points.

                          In the second game, a similar thing happened to the Wolverines, as they led 22-20, looking to close the deal and send the match into a third game. Again, Nampa Christian stepped up and scored the next five points to earn the victory.

                          "I was glad to be there. What I thought would be three really good teams, it was," Weiser head coach Jon Lundberg said. "I felt like at least we had played well against Nampa Christian in the match, it is a disappointment that we did not go to three games."

                          Weiser and Nampa Christian squared off in the first varsity match of the night, followed by the Ontario and Nampa Christian matchup.

                          In that matchup, it was evident that this match was Ontario's first of the season, as they struggled against the Trojans, to fall in two games.

                          "We came out with good attitudes and a good spirit," Ontario head coach Rod Williams said. "The main thing we wanted to work on from last year is keeping our good attitude. Last night in the Nampa Christian game, we kept that good attitude."

                          Williams also said they they were running a new defense and making some adjustments.

                          After the Nampa Christian contest, Ontario and Weiser squared off, to a 25-19, 25-15 victory for the Tigers.

                          "I thought Ontario played well and served and hit the ball well," Lundberg said. "We did not execute at the level we did against Nampa Christian. I am real disappointed in that respect, not in the kids."

                          As for Williams and the Tigers, he said the defense kept improving all night long.

                          "We have a lot of athletic ability on the team and we are running a defense many run in college," Williams said. "It gives you more creativity. We were out of position a lot of the time, and defense is 90 to 95 percent positioning, but we improved as the game went on."

                          The Wolverines dropped to 2-5 overall on their season, while the Tigers went to 1-1 on the year.

                          Ontario travels to Burns Saturday for a tournament, while Weiser begins their conference schedule Tuesday, when they travel to McCall to take on the McCall-Donnelly Vandals.

                          Jordan Valley 3

                          McDermitt 0

                          JORDAN VALLEY - The Jordan Valley Mustangs won their first volleyball match of the season Thursday, a 25-9, 25-17, 25-21 victory over McDermitt, in Jordan Valley.

                          The Mustangs were led by Lauren Cuvelier, with eight kills and 10 blocks, while Bailey Kershner had 32 assists for the Mustangs (1-0 overall. )

                          Band seeks instruments, September 20, 2004

                          Not every Ontario Middle School student can afford to participate in a music education program, even if he or she wants to.

                          That is something OMS band teacher Matt Gilman wants to change.

                          Gilman said he has many students this year who have signed up for band but whose parents cannot afford to purchase an instrument, and the school has no instruments available to them.

                          Right now, he has those students performing breathing exercises to prepare for their eventual transition to playing an instrument.

                          "The most important thing band students can do is develop their embouchure," Gilman said, referring to effective breathing. Most of the students want to play the flute, which takes a lot of air, he said.

                          He has also made contact with other schools regarding the problem. Cairo Elementary School, he said, no longer has a band program so he has made contact with them regarding donations of instruments.

                          He is also seeking to make contact with members of the community who may donate instruments they are not using. The greatest need is for flutes and trumpets, he said, but the school will accept any instrument.

                          "We'll take bagpipes, krummhorns, hurdy-gurdies," Gilman said, laughing.

                          Gilman said in the past OMS has purchased donated instruments from members of the public or has provided a tax receipt to reflect an in-kind charitable donation, so they can be deducted from taxes.

                          Other than that, Gilman said he has high hopes for the program at OMS as well as music programs around the western Treasure Valley.

                          The beginning band, as well as the seventh- and eighth-graders, are progressing nicely.

                          "It's been nice to see band programs taking off as far as numbers are concerned," Gilman said, citing programs at Ontario High School, Treasure Valley Community College, and secondary programs in Nyssa, Adrian and Weiser as having grown in recent years.

                          "Things are looking up in the world of music," Gilman said.

                          For more information on donating instruments, contact Gilman, (541) 212-6045 or by e-mail, mgilman(at)ontario.12.or.us.

                            Christen McCurdy, Argus Observer

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                          Serving the community, October 3, 2004

                          Frank Hunter is as much a fixture at Aiken Elementary as the swings, basketball courts or the sandboxes - he just belongs there.

                          Hunter, who the students call "Grandpa Frank", is part of the Foster Grandparent Program, which is a program funded by the Corporation for National Service, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Hunter, 86, spends one-on-one reading time with students to help them reach their grade level reading skill and sometimes to improve their self-esteem.

                          "I think the Foster Grandparent Program adds an additional layer of support to students that are struggling with reading," Aiken Elementary Principal Mark Hinthorn said. "The volunteers provide constant intervention, as well as, developing relationships with students that help motivate them to do better with their schoolwork."

                          In addition to Hunter, the Ontario School District has 12 "grandparents' within the district's five elementary schools. St. Peter Catholic School also has a "grandparent."

                          Hunter, who owned City Cleaners for 33 years, said he saw an ad for the spot last year.

                          "I saw the ad in the paper, so I answered it," he said, "they figured I made to much money, I got too much Social Security. So last year I just volunteered. Now this year I work with the Foster Grandparents Program."

                          Erin O'Hara-Rines, who is a third grade teacher at Aiken said Hunter is a big help.

                          "Just the fact that he is able to spend that one on one time makes the difference," she said, "he's a great help."

                          The grandparents in the program receive a stipend of about $225 a month as well as mileage reimbursement.

                          "I'd do it whether I get paid or not," he said. "I get their love. They are fun to have around."

                          Hinthorn said the students get as much out of Hunter's presence on the Aiken campus, as Hunter does.

                          "He's an excellent resource," Hinthorn said. "He finds ways to get information from students about things they are excited about. He works to make those connections into the reading they are doing.

                          "The kids gravitate toward him," Hinthorn added. "They share stories, they talk about what's going on. He's an important person in these kids' lives."

                          Hunter helps out at Aiken four days a week - Monday through Thursday - and volunteers about four hours a day. Teachers fill out an assignment plan, for the students requiring Foster's help, indicating the different areas the student needs help in.

                          "After a period of time, the lesson plan is reviewed and we look at the progress the students have made," Hinthorn said. "We are seeing great results. Sometimes students work with Grandpa Frank for two or three months before being exited out. Sometimes students have the chance to work up to six months with Grandpa Frank. He's designed to work with the kids who are just below the level they need to be at. So he's providing that extra layer of intervention. It's not working with that student who is three or four grade levels behind, but more just off-level and needs an extra push."

                          Hunter said the chance to be around the children helps him feel younger.

                          "That's the main thing, to be with the kids," he said. "It makes you feel a lot younger when you are with the kids. They give you life."

                            Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                          Olsen lends a helping hand at Aiken, October 6, 2004

                          Michelle Olsen said she just likes being around children.

                          The Ontario High School freshman gets to do just that each day when she fills her volunteer role at Aiken Elementary School.

                          Olsen, 14, leaves the high school around noon and heads to Aiken to assist in the lunch room. During her hour or so at Aiken, Olsen said she helps staff keep the gymnasium in order.

                          "I help clean up tables, help stack trays, take out the trash and sweep floors," Olsen said. "They had a sign-up sheet for third-, fourth- and fifth-grade to sign-up and help out with the cafeteria. Three kids signed up and they help me with the trash."

                          Olsen began her work at Aiken shortly after school began in August. Problems with her legs hampered the freshman in physical education class. So counselors suggested working at Aiken as an alternative to P.E.

                          "The counselors set up the job," Olsen said. "I got a little nervous about starting a job. I had to see what it was like. Once it got started it's fun." Aiken Elementary Principal Mark Hinthorn said Olsen helps keep the lunch room looking good.

                          "Michelle provides constant help in our cafeteria, by cleaning tables, helping students stack trays and keep things organized," Hinthorn said. "She helps take out trash and once lunch is over she helps us clean up the floor."

                          Olsen said she enjoys interacting with the students and staff at Aiken.

                          "It's fun. I like helping the staff, and the kids are fun," she said. "I like working over there. I always ask if they have anything else they want me to do. Sometimes they say yes, sometimes they say no."

                          Hinthorn said Olsen is a positive influence during her time in the lunch room.

                          "She does interact positively with some of our fourth- and fifth-graders," he said. "She provides some mentorship to a couple of girls as well."

                          Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                          Tigers blow past Mac-Hi, October 10, 2004

                          For a brief period Friday night against Mac-Hi, the Ontario Tigers looked like they might be in for a long game.

                          On the opening kickoff, Mac-Hi surprised Ontario with an on-side kick. Mac-Hi recovered the kick and then put together a solid, five play scoring drive to grab a 7-0 lead.

                          Then it was Ontario's turn.

                          The Tigers (2-3 overall) recovered from the early deficit and scored on their first three possession of the game on the way to a 42-7 Greater Oregon League victory.

                          "We played a lot better. We are changing things up," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said. "We are pretty happy about the win, but we made mistakes. We seemed to be flat. We need to change something."

                          Matt Mejia and Aaron Mauney each had 4-yard touchdown runs in the first quarter, and Mejia also scored on a 15-yard pass from KJ Toombs in the stanza.

                          The Tigers scored another 10 points in the second quarter, as Tyler David connected on a 26-yard field goal and Nick Alvarado scored on a 2-yard run. Ontario built a 31-7 halftime lead.

                          "Overall we did well," Waite said.

                          Ontario's offense continued to add up the points in the fourth quarter.

                          Nick Alvarado scored his second touchdown of the game when he found the end zone from nine yards out, only 21 seconds into the quarter. On the ensuing extra point, Mejia, the holder, picked up the ball and pitched it to David on the right side, for a two point conversion, to put the Tigers out in front 39-7.

                          David scored again for the Tigers over 10 minutes later, when he kicked a 44-yard field goal, with just over a minute remaining, to finish off the scoring.

                          Ontario's defense held Mac-Hi to only 136 total yards.

                          "After the first couple of minutes, we picked it up," Ontario defensive coach Trever Wilson said. "The defense stepped up and did what they were supposed to do."

                          Ontario finished offensively with 387 total yards, with 346 coming on the ground, led by Mejia with 125 yards on the ground. Ontario also racked up 19 first downs compared Mac-Hi's 11.

                          Ontario travels to Burns Friday in a Greater Oregon League football game.

                           - William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Tigers rebound from slow start, October 22, 2004

                          Ever since the Ontario football team's victory over Vale, the Tigers went from an 0-3 record a to three-game winning streak, defeating Vale, Mac-Hi and Burns

                          According to head coach Randy Waite, the Tigers have turned the season around in the past three weeks with the secondary playing a key role.

                          "KJ Toombs, Matt Mejia, Eddie Mendoza, Tommy Infante and Jose Rivera, our defensive backs have all become a whole lot better," Waite said. "A lot of our players grew to be unselfish and accepted the role they were assigned to."

                          Ontario (3-3 overall, 2-0 GOL) running back Nick Alvarado believes the team has been coming together lately.

                          "(The team) is starting to not care about individuals but rather starting to care about the whole team. As long as we win as a team, that is pretty much what our ultimate goal is," Alvarado said. "Our line started out with pregame jitters then they really stepped it up after they got over that."

                          The Tigers are in action tonight for another Greater Oregon League test against La Grande. Game time is 7 pm at Tiger Stadium.

                          -Jennifer Jaramillo Argus Observer

                          Tigers' streak continues, October 24, 20044

                          On the first offensive play from scrimmage, Ontario's Nick Alvarado hurdled over and ran past defenders on an 86-yard touchdown run to give Ontario the lead.

                          The Tigers would never trail, going on to defeat the La Grande Tigers 29-8 in a Greater Oregon League football contest Friday night at Tiger Stadium in Ontario.

                          "The first play was obviously good. We needed to get up early, that was the plan to set the tone of the game," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said.

                          On the ensuing extra point, following Alvarado's long run, the La Grande special teams blocked the Tyler David attempt and Ricky Gloria returned the blocked kick to the end zone for two points for La Grande.

                          That is as close as the game would get, as Ontario added 11 and 12 points in the second and third quarters, respectively.

                          In the second quarter, Matt Mejia connected on a 41-yard touchdown strike to Tommy Infante. The same combination connected for the two point conversion as Ontario (4-3 overall, 3-0 GOL) went up 14-2.

                          Ontario added a 35-yard field goal by David with 40 seconds remaining in the half for a 17-2 advantage heading into the half.

                          "Our defense again is playing pretty well. Each week it seems to get a little better. We are prepared for all those sort of things," Waite said about his defense's performance Friday night.

                          Starting out the second half, Ontario received the ball and proceeded to march down the field for another touchdown drive. This drive again was capped off by a long run by Alvarado - who finished with a game high 124 yards rushing - this time for 32-yards for the score, only 1:16 into the second half, to go up 23-2 on a missed PAT kick.

                          "I think he again is running really well for us. I have always said we have a lot of guys who can carry the ball and run hard. That is definitely our strength this year," Waite said. "We made quite a few mistakes that wasn't the weather. A couple of pass plays slipped out of our hand. We did not play as well as we would have liked."

                          La Grande (2-5, 1-2) scored its lone touchdown in the fourth quarter, as Landon Weaver found Tad Fox for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

                          Ontario held La Grande to 195 yards of offense, while compiling 320 total yards, including 274 on the ground.

                          Ontario travels to Baker City Friday to face the fourth-ranked Bulldogs for the GOL championship.

                           - William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Students take tour, October 27, 2004

                          Students from Ontario and Nyssa elementary schools obtained a firsthand look at life on a college campus.

                          Students from the SMILE Program made the trip to Treasure Valley Community College Monday, to do some hands-on work with science and math projects and experience college life.

                          "For the science lab, they were mixing chemicals and looking for the different reactions that occur," Paula Barnhart, who is a fourth-grade teacher at Nyssa Elementary School, said, "and they were learning some science terminology and how to measure. It was a lot of fun."

                          The students also had the chance to visit a math lab at TVCC and in the process the opportunity to do several hands-on math activities. Students also participated in a scavenger hunt around the TVCC campus.

                          The students also had the opportunity to ask questions of TVCC students about campus life.

                          "We were here for a tour, so the students can get an experience of what campus is like," Velma Rojas, who is a first-grade teacher at May Roberts, said. "They are getting a chance to ask questions of the college students and see what it is like."

                          The SMILE Program stands for Science, Math Investigative Learning Experience and is designed to help students prepare for college.

                          "I think that field trips like this give the students the opportunity to experience the college atmosphere," Monica Thompson, who is a SMILE Club advisor at May Roberts, said. "It is so important for students to start thinking about college and career opportunities even at the fourth- and fifth-grade level."

                          The SMILE Program is a partnership between Oregon State University and 14 Oregon school districts, to provide science and math enrichment for underrepresented and other educationally underserved students in grades 4-12. The purpose of the program is to increase the number of students enrolling in college and pursuing careers related to science, math, health, engineering, and teaching. In the Ontario School District, there are SMILE Clubs at the high school, middle school and at May Roberts.

                          However, there are students from the other elementary schools in Ontario who participate in the club.

                          "We do have a student from Alameda and a student from Aiken," Rojas said. "We are trying to get more clubs at the other elementary schools. If teachers are interested in setting one up, they should call the SMILE office."

                           - Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                          Tigers post shutout, October 27, 2004

                          When knowing goals would be at a premium in Tuesday afternoon's matchup, it appeared the team who scored last would win.

                          That is how the game turned out, but in fact, the last goal of the match was also the first goal of the match, as Ontario came away with a 1-0 win over La Grande in a Special District 7 girls' soccer match at Alameda Elementary School in Ontario.

                          Ontario's lone goal of the afternoon came in the 61st minute, when Kayla Mitchell broke away from the defenders and nudged the ball past a charging keeper to find the net, giving Ontario a lead with only 19 minutes to play.

                          Shutouts are becoming a familiar theme for the Ontario girls. Tuesday's shutout of La Grande is the fourth straight game Ontario has posted a scoreless game. Ontario keeper Danni Thomas has been in goal the majority of the time.

                          "I was hoping it would have been higher scoring. I didn't think with the conditions as they were, it would be," Ontario head coach Greg Walk said of the wet field. "We played well but seemed to be slow, we were trying to keep our footing, which made us late to the ball."

                          Late to the ball or not, the two teams battled to a scoreless first half, with Ontario's offensive attack producing seven shots on goal in the first half.

                          Thomas finished the game with seven saves, three came in the second half, but she played many more balls than that.

                          "Danni had a great game in goal," Walk said. "We are having a hard time finding the goal right now. We will be working on that the next couple of weeks. When you play a big game like this and your adrenaline is up, your foot gets under the ball."

                          The win moves the Tigers record to 7-4-1 overall and 6-1-0 in Special District 7 play, and moves them into a tie with La Grande for first place in District play. Ontario will finish their regular season on the road Saturday against Mac-Hi.

                          William Anderson Argus Observer

                          -----------------

                          Student mock election sparks surprising results, November 2, 2004

                          Election day came early for Ontario High School students who participated in a mock vote Thursday.

                          Hosted by the OHS leadership class and advisers John Taggart and Laurie Grim, the entire high school voted for federal, county and city positions. The following are the results of the vote in which approximately 500 students participated.

                          President of the United States

                          Republican and incumbent George W. Bush won the OHS mock vote with 62 percent of students placing ballots in his favor. On the Democratic ticket, John F. Kerry garnered only 37 percent of student vote and write-in Ralph Nader snagged 9 of the votes cast.

                          Malheur County Judge

                          With almost the same percentage of votes cast as the presidential election, current county commissioner Dan Joyce, Juntura, was selected by the students as the next Malheur County Judge with 34 percent of the ballots. Ontario businesswoman Cheryl Cruson took home 34 percent of the ballots. Ontario City Council for the three open Ontario City Council slots, the students re-elected councilman John Gaskill who captured 61 percent of the votes. Dan Cummings and Louie Allen were also elected into office with 57 percent and 49 percent of the ballots respectively. Some students opted to write in Jim Mosier and Joe Dominick.

                          1 percent sales tax

                          It was the 1 percent Ontario sales tax that saw the largest majority of OHS voters. The proposed city levy floundered as 396 students, three quarters of the student body, voted no.

                          Only 131 students voted in favor of the tax.

                            - Casey L. Keller Argus Observer

                          Ontario netters eager for chance at state, November 4, 2004

                          It has been six years since the Ontario girls volleyball team has made it to the state tournament.

                          That streak comes to an end this season.

                          The Tigers finished third in the Greater Oregon League and are heading to play Yamhill-Carlton in the first round of the OSAA Class 3A State Volleyball Tournament Saturday.

                          The Tigers captured the third place finish with a 6-4 record, finishing behind Burns and La Grande. Ontario enters the state tournament with a 12-5 record overall.

                          Ontario's only losses have been to the No. 1-ranked 2A team in Idaho (Nampa Christian) and the No. 1-ranked 3A team (Burns) and No. 4 team (La Grande) in Oregon. Both Burns and La Grande have defeated Ontario twice.

                          "Our biggest challenge is Yamhill-Carlton because that is who we play first. But I feel that we are in good shape to play them because we have only had a few losses." Ontario head coach Rod Williams said. "Their (Yamhill-Carlton) league is not as strong as ours. I expect us to be at least as good or even better."

                          Junior Vanessa Gomez believes if the Tigers play as they have in the past, or even better, they have a good chance of taking home the state title.

                          "The teams we compete against are not going to just give it to us," Gomez said. "We need to play our own game."

                          According to Williams, it is going to take more than one player to compete well at state.

                          "I am depending on everyone on the team to play their best. It is going to take the whole team," he said. "There is always a challenge because the teams that we have to compete against are the two teams that we have gotten beaten by."

                          Last year, the volleyball team did not graduate any seniors letting the team be together for two years now. Williams said that last year their goal was to make it to state.

                          "There should be competitive games coming up and teams that we have never seen before," junior Jerrimi Hofmann said. "We need to work as a team."

                          The Tigers play Yamhill-Carlton this Saturday in the first round of the tournament at 2 p.m. MST

                            JENNIFER JARAMILLO ARGUS OBSERVER

                          Credit to the community, November 7, 2004

                          It came as no surprise to former Ontario High School science teacher Glenn Crosby when former OHS student Pat Jacobs retired from the United States Navy Oct. 14 as a captain with full honors.

                          "I would have been disappointed had he not succeeded at this level," Crosby, who taught Jacobs biology and was also his supervisor at the Ontario Aquatic Center, said. "He was one of the best students I ever had."

                          Jacobs, who graduated from OHS in 1972, earned his bachelor's of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned as an Ensign in 1976.

                          His mother, Ontario City Councilwoman Audrey Jacobs said her son knew he wanted a future in the Navy as early as high school.

                          "Pat had a vision of that when he in high school," she said. "That seemed to be the place he was going. When he went in, there were a lot of rumbles and discontent about the military and some people said he was a fool to go in, but Pat said that was what he wanted to do."

                          Jacobs completed flight training in Kingsville, Texas, and was designated as a naval aviator in December 1977. He joined the "Diamondcutters" at Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Fla., and with the USS Forrestal. He served on the USS America from 1985 to 1987. The USS America was the first carrier to operate in the Vest Fjord of Norway and also supported operations in the Gulf of Sydria, which included inland strikes into Libya.

                          Jacobs then joined the "Topcats" at NAS Cecil Field and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower where he served as the administrative and maintenance officer. During that time he was recognized with the Lockheed "Golden Wrench" award which lauded the most outstanding maintenance department in the naval community. He was instrumental in leading his department through major aircraft modifications adding air-to-air refueling capabilities and the avionics update for the S-3B Seacontrol aircraft.

                          During his next assignment as the Assistant Program Manager for Systems and Engineering at the Naval Air Systems Command, he spearheaded a variety of engineering projects and investigations, including management of multi-million dollar acquisition programs for a new radar altimeter and carbon brakes systems.

                          Jacobs returned to Kingsville in 1993 as executive officer and assumed command of the "Professionals" on July 7, 1994. After his change of command ceremony, Jacobs transferred all of his officers to various Kingsville commands and then relocated 52 aircraft and 13 enlisted personnel to Naval Air Station Meridian. His squadron was awarded the Chief of Naval Training Goldthwaite Award for Training Efficiency.

                          Fellow OHS graduate from the class of 1973, Jack Fields, was a student of Jacobs' in Kingsville.

                          "He taught me how to fly," Fields said. "He was a good pilot and a good instructor."

                          Jacobs was then assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt as Air Officer and participated in numerous actions in support of national and international interests in Bosnia. He then earned his masters of science degree in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University Industrial College of the Armed Forces and became a member of the college faculty as a professor of acquisition.

                          "Academically speaking, he was a model student," Crosby said, reflecting on Jacob's high school academic career. Jacobs completed the Advanced Program Managers Course at Defense Management College in 1999 was Level III certified in program management. At the time of his retirement he was assigned as Chief Aviation Officer, Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers in Washington, D.C. In his career, Jacobs earned more than 4,000 total flight hours.

                          Audrey Jacobs, who attended her son's retirement ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, said the affair was very impressive.

                          "The military actions that went on, piping them in, the four bells, the admirals that came, everything was so military and so very impressive," she said. Crosby said Pat Jacobs was a motivated student.

                          "Pat was one of our finest students in our high school," Crosby said. "He has that American spirit and has done a great credit to our community."

                             Tami Hart Argus Observer

                          Roberts stays involved with FFA program, November 10, 2004

                          Good leaders will rise to the occasion.

                          Ontario's Matt Roberts may not have a wealth of experience in a time of crisis, but the expertise he is getting as the Ontario FFA Chapter President and also District FFA President is rewarding.

                          "It is really fun. There is a lot of work that goes with it, but it is a pretty rewarding experience," the Ontario High School senior said. "You can see everybody. How they can be so shy and intimidated and over the course of the year become great speakers and get leadership skills in the activities in the FFA."

                          Last school year, after filling out an application and an interview process, Roberts was selected president by the Ontario FFA Chapter members by a secret ballot.

                          According to Les Linegar, the Ontario Ag Instructor/FFA Advisor, Roberts is doing an outstanding job.

                          "He runs the chapter meetings, he is in charge of all the major activities that we produce, from contests to our fun activities," Linegar said.

                          Being the FFA District President, Roberts coordinates chapter activities in Jordan Valley, Adrian, Nyssa, Vale, Ontario and other places.

                          Four times a year, Roberts also travels to Salem to attend the state executive committee meetings.

                          "Last year, I was the district treasurer and I kind of got a feel for what it was like to be a district officer," Roberts said. "Being the president is much more demanding time-wise and a lot more organization. You cannot be afraid to call people up and then to do things or let them know. It requires going to Salem or Crater for different meetings. You get to meet a whole bunch of different people. I like doing it." Another accomplishment, he said, is earning his state FFA Degree as a junior.

                          Linegar said that only the top three percent of the state receive the high honor.

                          "To get this, the student has to be well rounded. In FFA, school, community and church," Linegar said. "They have to have a certain GPA, participate in a certain amount of FFA activities and have earned and invested 1,000 hours in their project."

                          Roberts has met this criteria. Roberts is an Eagle Scout, he runs cross country and track, is involved in his church youth group and also participates in the Future Business Leaders of America.

                          "It is a big relief, it is a really hard thing to get. I decided a while ago that I wanted to get it. I had to make sure I was doing those things," Roberts said about getting his State FFA Degree early.

                          Roberts did the majority of his essay project as a farm hand on his father's farm, working on machinery, driving tractors and semis and irrigating. He also worked at Murakami Produce during the winter months.

                             William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Tigers get second chance, November 12, 2004

                          Turnabout is fair play and the Ontario Tigers intend to teach Marist a harsh lesson Saturday afternoon.

                          The Tigers hosts Marist in the first round of the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Class 3A Football State Championships at Tiger Stadium. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

                          "The boys are excited," Ontario defensive coordinator Trever Wilson said. "They are looking forward to a second chance against Marist."

                          The Spartans (6-3 overall) hammered the Tigers 38-23 in Eugene last year in the second round of the playoffs. Marist rode that momentum all the way to a 47-14 win in the 3A state title game.

                          "They ended up going on to win it all," Wilson said. "We are excited about the opportunity we have to play them again."

                          Ontario stumbled out of the block, falling to 0-3 to begin the season, but the Tigers turned things around with a 4-game winning streak during the season, which helped the Tigers to finish the regular season 5-4 overall.

                          Wilson said Ontario used the preseason to figure out who went where. Now that the pieces are in place, Wilson said the Tigers should be formidable.

                          "The way (head coach) Randy (Waite) and I look at the preseason is, it's just that," Wilson said. "It's a chance to look at each kid, look at the positions and see who goes where."

                          Wilson said one example was Jake Gaschler. The junior began the season at free safety, but wound up playing the year at defensive end, where Gaschler was an All-Greater Oregon League selection.

                          "It was a matter of finding the right pieces and putting them in the right place," Wilson said.

                          The Spartans pose plenty of problems for the Ontario defense. Marist runs a multiple-formation offense. Wilson said the Spartans will spread the field, run from an I-formation, or run two wide receiver and two wing back sets.

                          "They are about 50/50 pass/run ratio," Wilson said. "We have to stop the counter, which we've been susceptible to the counter at times. If we do that we will be in good shape."

                          Leading the defensive charge is linebacker Ricky Ramirez. The senior, who has been injured the majority of the past two seasons, leads Ontario with 96 solo tackles. Ramirez also has three sacks and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown last week at Riverside.

                          "He's the leader of the defense. He makes the majority of the tackles," Wilson said.

                          Ramirez will have plenty of help with linebackers Colton Fenton (39 tackles) and Todd Smith (45 tackles).

                          Wilson credits the defensive linemen for making the linebackers' job easier.

                          "The down linemen make piles and we pressure the QB and get our sacks," he said. "That's the way our defensive is geared."

                          The game will be a homecoming of sorts for Marist head coach Lance Lovitt.

                          Lovitt is a graduate of Adrian High School and his father - Carl Lovitt - has had two stints as head coach of the Antelopes.

                            Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                          Ontario defense stands tall in win, November 14, 2004

                          The Ontario Tigers need someone to make a play.

                          So Matt Mejia did just that.

                          The senior intercepted a pass from Marist QB Chris Vitus and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown, giving Ontario a 22-14 lead in the third quarter. The Tigers went on to post a 36-14 win over the Spartans in the first round of the OSAA Class 3A State Football Championships at Tiger Stadium.

                          "I pretty much just read the QB," Mejia said. "I picked it and it was all (the defense), they blocked for me. I just ran it in, I didn't do anything."

                          Mejia's play typified the trouble Marist had against an inspired Tigers' defensive unit.

                          "That was huge," Ontario defensive coordinator Trever Wilson said. "I thought that was the turning point. Matt bringing that back and we had two excellent blocks to spring him."

                          The Spartans managed just 213 yards, including just 65 in the second half.

                          "They played good, it was just up to us," senior linebacker Ricky Ramirez said. "We had poor tackling in the first half, not wrapping up, not bringing them down. In the second half we came out and made the adjustments and wrapped up."

                          Things did not begin well for Ontario. Marist opened the game with an eight-play, 80-yard drive, capped by Tyson Cochran's 1-yard run.

                          The Spartans managed just one other score - a Chris Vitus 20-yard pass to Jerran Johnston - before the Tigers' defense clamped down.

                          "We talked about a couple of things we needed to do. In the first half, we were not playing assignments like we should and we were not tackling very well," Wilson said of the halftime talk. "We talked about the way we needed to tackle a little bit better. And trust each other, trust the person next to you and we'd be alright if we would play as a team."

                             Andrew Cutler Argus Observer Ontario

                          A tale of two cities, November 14, 2004

                          Nov. 4 and 5 about 30 people traveled from Osakasayama, Japan, to see their sister city of Ontario.

                          Some were students in middle school or high school and some were community leaders, including the city's mayor..

                          Local events included a banquet and visiting with host families, as well as touring businesses in the area.

                          The delegates even introduced themselves at a pep rally at Ontario High School Nov. 5, and were greeted with a Taiko performance by a Boise group and even a Japanese-language cheer by OHS cheerleaders.

                          The delegates' visit marked the 30th anniversary of Ontario's relationship with Osakasayama.

                          Ontario resident George Iseri helped spearhead the sister city program and said the goal of the program is to help foster world peace and friendship.

                          Iseri said his family, like many Japanese-American families in the Treasure Valley, came to Ontario during World War II to avoid being placed in internment camps. He said he had family members fighting for both Japan and the United States during the war, and that he did not want the events of that war to be repeated.

                          "I want world peace," he said.

                          According to a brochure published by Sister Cities International, cities around the world began forming affiliations after World War II. The U.S. became involved after President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed a "people-to-people" concept for involving ordinary people in diplomacy in 1956.

                          Iseri said the late Mayor Morgan Beck approached him about locating a possible sister city in Japan and after traveling and investigating several cities he took an Ontario group to Sayama, Japan. Later a city council member from Sayama visited Ontario and the relationship between the cities was formalized Oct. 23, 1974.

                          Sayama was renamed Osakasayama in 1987 when it reached a population of 50,000. Iseri said the city has a strong industrial base, the oldest reservoir in Japan and 1,300 years of history Americans can learn from.

                          He also said he hopes in the future there is more of an economic relationship between the two cities, but more importantly, that friendship can be fostered between people in both places.

                          "Right now, we're at war with Iraq," Iseri said. "Do you think that would be happening if we were all friends with all of them?"

                          He said during the 1950s and 1960s Japan was struggling economically and had no manufacturing base. Now, he said, Japan is the second largest economy in world, with Americans forming a large part of its market for electronics and cars.

                          Iseri said Japan's economic growth would not have been possible if not for the United States' commitment to fostering peace and prosperity in the country - and the relationship has been mutually beneficial.

                          Iseri said he had also traveled to the Basque country in Spain with the hopes of establishing a sister city program there.

                          He said the best way to learn about the sister city program is to learn more about it and become involved directly as a volunteer or as a host family.

                          Tim Cables of the Ontario Sister City Organization said there will be a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday night at Rusty's Pancake and Steak House to discuss sending an Ontario delegation to Osakasayama in November 2005.

                           Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                          Tigers get revenge, November 14, 2004

                          The Ontario football team scored 20 second-half points, while the defense held the defending 3A state champs scoreless, as the Tigers posted a 36-14 victory over Marist in front of a sparse crowd during the first round of the OSAA Class 3A State Football Championships Saturday, at Tiger Stadium in Ontario.

                          The win is a little revenge for the Tigers (6-4 overall). Marist defeated Ontario 38-23 last season in the second round of the playoffs.

                          Coming out of the half, Marist (6-4) trailed 16-14, but had the momentum. The Spartan defense forced an Ontario punt, giving Marist the ball at its own 30-yard line.

                          After two plays and an illegal motion penalty, the Spartans were looking at a third-and-21 from their own 33-yard line, when Spartan quarterback Chris Vitus dropped back to throw the ball. Ontario's Matt Mejia came down with the pass and returned the ball 52 yards for a touchdown, giving Ontario a 22-14 lead, with 8:57 left in third quarter.

                          From that point on, the Tigers never gave back the momentum, tacking on two fourth quarter touchdown passes to seal victory.

                          "I think the kids really wanted to win. It is always good to beat Marist," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said. "Marist had the momentum at the end of the first half, we needed to take the momentum back. We came out really well and our defense played big.

                          "Our defense stepped up. Marist came out and threw the ball on us and Matt's (Mejia) interception really juiced us."

                          The rest of the third quarter was scoreless. Early into the fourth quarter, Ontario tacked on another touchdown. The Tigers used a fake punt, on a fourth-and-four, as Jordan Hart ran for a 12-yard gain. After a loss on first down, Mejia threw a strike to KJ Toombs, which was tipped by a Marist player, and scampered to the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown pass, putting Ontario up 29-14, with just under 11 minutes left to play in the game.

                          After the Ontario kickoff, Marist started with the ball at its own 19 yard line. The first play of the drive resulted in Jake Gaschler diving to intercept a Ryan Bell pass, giving Ontario the ball at the Marist 21.

                          After a Nick Alvarado run for two yards, Bryson Sap connected with Toombs for a 19-yard touchdown pass, on a triple reverse pass, to go up 36-14 with 9:50 remaining in the game.

                          "We do better when people count us out. Not many people thought we would win," Waite said.

                          Alvarado led all rushers with 64 yards, while Mejia added 59 yards on the ground.

                          Ontario's defense stepped up to record three sacks, and force four turnovers. Paul Rangel recorded two of the three sacks for a loss of 15 yards.

                          "I was just doing my best. I am happy, but I wish I had more," Rangel said about his defensive effort. "Our defense will have to step up. Our offense did a good job, but we will have to step up."

                          Marist had a tough time getting going after their first drive, an 80-yard drive for a touchdown, as they only had 133 yards following that drive.

                          "Coming into the game, we definitely had four starters out and pretty much from the first play, our quarterback was rattled and it was questionable whether or not he would come back in," Marist head coach Lance Lovitt, an Adrian High School graduate said. "We just could not get the job done with backups. It was tough to get the right mixture together."

                          The win advances Ontario to the second round game against Central in Independence.

                          Ontario has a tough task  William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Heading into Saturday's second round matchup, the Ontario football will have its work cut out for them against Central, in the 3A OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires State Football Championships in Independence.

                          According to Ontario head football coach, Randy Waite, the defense for Central will plug up the middle.

                          "They really plug up the middle pretty well, which is not bad for us," Waite said. "We are going to have to block a whole lot better than we did against Marist. We did not block very well, we missed some assignments. Those things cannot happen."

                          Waite said the missed assignments were not from the linemen, but from the receivers, since the Tigers like to run the ball outside.

                          "We need to make sure everybody is doing their assignments," Waite said. "When playoff time rolls around, whoever executes best will win."

                          One thing the Tigers (6-4 overall) have on their side, is they have seen a version of Central's defense quite a bit - every day in practice.

                          The Tigers run a 5-3 defense, while Central runs a 5-2 defense, with three down lineman, and two standup 'outside' linebackers, which, according to Shane Hedrick, Central's head football coach, looks just like Ontario's defensive front.

                          "We have had some success with it. We have not seen a team with the motions and formations and the threats they have," Hedrick said. "The different formations is the No. 1 problem. We have gone through notebooks for their formations alone. Their motions are another concern, but the different formations are a real concern for us."

                          Hedrick said he knows his team will have to contain Ontario senior Matt Mejia, and try to slow him down.

                          Mejia has helped the Tigers amass over 300 yards of total offense a game, with 240 yards coming on the ground.

                          Ontario junior Nick Alvarado leads the Tigers with 744 yards on the ground, rushing for 6.5 yards per carry and seven touchdowns. Mejia is right there, rushing for 583 yards and 10 touchdowns.

                          Aaron Mauney has rushed for 407 yards and Jordan Hart has 373 yards for 7.5 yards per carry, for the Tigers.

                          "It looks like it should be a pretty good matchup," Alvarado said.

                            William Anderson Argus Observer

                          A new queen Winter Wonderland royalty crowned, November 17, 2004

                          Hanna Dinsmore, 17, Ontario, was crowned Winter Wonderland Queen Monday. Amy Hernandez, 17, Weiser, and Jessica Tschirgi, 17, Payette, were crowned as princesses.

                          Those in attendance at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce noon forum Monday voted for the candidates.

                          The queen and princesses will pose for public pictures, grant interviews to local media, promote and participate in the Dec. 4 Winter Wonderland Parade and attend Santa's Breakfast, Crystal Bartoschek at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce said.

                          Dinsmore is a senior at Ontario High School and is the daughter of Todd and Jan Dinsmore, Ontario.

                          She said she was surprised she won the title.

                          "All of the girls were awesome," she said. "Everybody deserved it. It was quite an honor."

                          Dinsmore said she has been involved with OHS' leadership organization for four years and serves as president of the Snow Club.

                          She is also involved with KOHS, the school's in-house video production and broadcasting program and Future Business Leaders of America.

                          Dinsmore said she hopes to become a social worker or do something else that would help people.

                          Nominees for the court included eight high school students from around the western Treasure Valley who had been named homecoming queens at their respective high schools this fall: Rebecca Welsh, Harper, Tessa Roberts, 18, Nyssa, Amalia de Jesus, 16, Huntington and Kimberly Schaffer, 17, Fruitland. Traci Romans, 17, Vale, was not able to attend the forum.

                           Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                          Tigers ready for task, November 17, 2004

                          The Ontario defense rose to the occasion last week, limiting Marist to 65 yards in the second half of Ontario's 36-14 win.

                          It will take that same kind of effort Saturday, for the Tigers to continue their state playoff march.

                          Ontario (6-4 overall) travels to Independence to face Central High School in the second round of the OSAA Class 3A State Football Championships.

                          While the final numbers, from the win over Marist, look good, the Tigers' defense got off to a rough start, allowing the Spartans to go 80 yards for a touchdown on the game's opening drive. Senior defensive back Matt Mejia knows the Tigers have to get off to a better start.

                          "We need to come out stronger," Mejia said. "We need to make them go three-and-out and punt the ball. We can't let them drive and build momentum."

                          Central head coach Shane Hedrick said the Ontario defense is an active unit with the ability to make big plays.

                          "It's just like every other Ontario team," Hedrick said. "They fly to the football and they are rough, tough kids that just get the job done."

                          Central, which won the Val-Co League and is 7-2 on the season, will have to contend with all-league running back Trevor Fine, who leads the Panthers with 650 yards. Fine rushes for 4.5 yards each time he carries the ball. Central also relies on fullback Adam Smith around the goal line.

                          "They are a very big team," Ontario defensive coordinator Trever Wilson said. "If we don't tackle very well they will be able to run at will on us. If we do what we should do, we should be alright."

                          Ontario must contend with the passing of QB Joe Pratt, who according to Mejia is a very mobile QB.

                          "He likes to scramble a lot," the senior said. "He's pretty mobile and he throws the ball pretty well."

                          Pratt is the younger brother of former Central QB Jordan Pratt, who is in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

                          Wilson said his defense can expect a lot of I-formation sets and a straight-ahead running attack.

                          "They run a lot of iso plays and they come right at you," WIlson said. "They have the idea they are bigger than most teams and that they can go right over people. But they do have a passing game too. That's their counter, they run and run then they will go to the play-action pass. We need to play our assignments and make sure it's a run before we come up and help."

                            Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                          Funds boost program, November 30, 2004

                          English as a Second Language programs within the Ontario School District received a big financial boost recently thanks in large part to Oregon U.S. Congressman Greg Walden.

                          Walden announced last week the district will garner $130,000 in the wake of Congressional approval of the recent appropriations bill.

                          Walden, who met with school district officials and observed an eighth-grade ESL class in October, requested the funds in the House version of the appropriations bill. Oregon U.S. Sens. Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden sponsored the ESL funding request in the Senate, which was part of a long list of funded projects and programs in Oregon. The state received several hundred million dollars in funding from the 2005 omnibus spending bill.

                          Of the approximate 2,600 students in the Ontario district, 30 percent of them speak English as their second language and that population is growing at a rate of five to eight percent annually, according to an announcement from Walden's office.

                          The money will be used to purchase the English Language Instruction System for the ESL programs which will be used in all buildings in the district, according to Sherri Sims, director of school improvement for the school district.

                          As far as English proficiency, on a scale of 1 to 5 - 1 speaking no English and 5 almost totally English proficient, Sims said, "The bulk of our students are mid-range."

                          ELIS is a computer-based program, she said, which can be adapted to all levels. It was used during summer school this year, Sims said, and teachers were very happy with it.

                          "It's very versatile," she said. "It's a tool. It's very user friendly," she said. All the graphics are done live, she said.

                          "This will certainly help kick-start this program," Sims said of the funding. She said the district was planning to buy the program in small pieces at a time.

                          "It (the software) will be used across the board, in grades K through 12," she said.

                          Students work on the computers individually, but the teachers can set the levels of study and the proficiency standard which the students are expected to meet, Sims said. Students also work with the teachers and volunteers and work individually on drills. Each building's staff will decide how the software will be used.

                          Another value, Sims said, is that the ELIS program teaches the students material which they will be tested on by the state, every year, she said.

                          The program is used to help improve reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.

                          "It goes along well with our reading program," Sims said.

                          James Torruellas, Ontario Middle School ESL instructor, said he was happy to hear about the money approved for the district. He could use a couple of more computers, he said.

                            Larry Meyer Argus Observer

                          Jamie Jo Hasebe, November 30, 2004

                          Aug. 2, 1949 - Nov. 26, 2004

                          Jamie Jo Hasebe, 55, Ontario, died Friday, Nov. 26, 2004, in a local care facility. Memorial services will be at 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4, 2004, at the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple, Ontario, with the Rev. Marvin Harada, Orange County Buddhist Church, Anaheim, Calif., officiating. Arrangements under the direction of Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario.

                          Jamie was born Aug. 2, 1949, in Ontario, the daughter of James Tadeo and Ruriko Lulu Kitamura. She was raised in the local area from Brogan to Vale. She attended school at Willow Creek Elementary, Vale Elementary and graduated from Vale Union High School in 1967. Jamie then graduated from Treasure Valley Community College and was employed for a short time in Los Angeles, and at TVCC. She married Roy Hasebe Dec. 23, 1972, in Ontario and raised two beautiful daughters, Jennifer and Traci. She began working for the Ontario School District in 1986 at Ontario Junior High School and in 1996 transferred to Cairo Elementary School where she was the secretary and a friend to all the students, faculty and staff. She was active in the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple and a member of the Buddhist Women's Association and a Dharma School Teacher. She was the driving force behind keeping HAPPY BOWL going for 22 years at the Malheur County Fair.

                          Jamie loved to rubber stamp, travel, shop and visit her daughters. Her family fondly remembers Jamie's large family gatherings with good food and lots of laughter.

                          Jamie is survived by her husband of 31 years, Roy, Ontario; two daughters and sons-in-law, Jennifer and James Upshaw, Vancouver, Wash., and Traci and Jonathan Yudman, Portland; a brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Cheryl Kitamura, Nyssa; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Susan and Gene Nishimura, Irvine, Calif., and Jill and Erick Lace, Winnetka, Calif.; numerous aunts; uncles; nieces; nephews and cousins.

                          Jamie was preceded in death by her parents; and a sister.

                          -----------------

                          Annual Winter Wonderland parade set for Saturday in Ontario, December 1, 2004

                          Area residents attending the 45th annual Winter Wonderland parade Saturday can expect about as much entertainment as in the past.

                          Crystal Bartoschek, assistant secretary for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce - the key organization behind the event each year - said this year's theme, selected from suggestions made by Ontario Middle School sixth-graders, is "The Family Christmas." The parade traditionally kicks off the holiday season in Ontario.

                          "This is the major holiday event," she said.

                          The idea for this year's theme came from middle school student Ali Patton. Bartoschek said in her entry, Patton wrote most families spend Christmas together watching children unwrap presents, warming feet in front of fires and drinking cocoa and eggnog, which is her idea of an ideal Christmas.

                          The parade - which travels down Southwest Fourth Avenue, continues on Oregon Street before turning onto First Avenue and ends at the middle school - begins at 1:30 p.m., and lasts about two hours.

                          This year's parade features about 50 entries, including floats, horses, representatives from the Ontario Fire and Rescue Department and Ontario high and middle school band students. Parade Grand Marshal is Al Hicks, and Winter Wonderland Queen is Ontario High School senior Hanna Dinsmore. Wonderland princesses are Kimberly Schaffer, Fruitland; Rebecca Welsh, Harper; Amalia de Jesus, Huntington; Jessica Tschirgi, Payette; Traci Romans, Vale; and Amy Hernandez, Weiser. One special float this year, from the Ontario and Payette Albertson's, will be collecting new, unwrapped toys to donate to Helping Them to Hope during the parade.

                          Virginia Franek, assistant store director at the Ontario Alberstons, came up with the toy drive as a way to help ensure less fortunate children have presents to open this Christmas.

                          "This was just a way to help the community," she said. "And I know there are a lot of children out there who aren't as blessed or as fortunate as other children. We just want to make sure as many children in the community get toys this Christmas."

                          The Albertsons float, which will feature an Albertsons employee reading Christmas stories in a rocking chair surrounded by children, will be pulled by a pickup truck. During the parade, three seniors from Ontario High School will be walking along the float gathering toys to put in the pickup truck.

                          "If it works, we'll do it every year, as far as I'm concerned," Franek said.

                          Bartoschek said it is not too late for people to enter the parade. Entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. Thursday. Interested individuals can pick up entries at the chamber office, located at the Four Rivers Cultural Center. For more information call 889-8012.

                              Jessica Keller Argus Observer

                          Tigers claw to win, December 1, 2004

                          In a matter of 13 seconds, with less than six and half minutes left to play in the game, Ontario's Kylie Roberts converted back-to-back three-point plays, to give Ontario its first double digit lead and eventually sending the Tigers a 50-45 win over Weiser in a nonconference girls basketball game Tuesday evening in Weiser.

                          Leading 36-28 with 6:26 left in the game, Roberts hit a lay-up and was fouled by Weiser's Cassie Carlson. Roberts converted the free throw, and following a Weiser turnover, Roberts was again fouled by Carlson on a lay-up, again sinking the free throw, to go up 40-28, with 6:13 left in the game.

                          Roberts led all scorers with 18 points in the season-opening win for the Tigers, as they moved to 1-0 to start the season.

                          "It was a good win for the first game," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "We are trying a pressure defense. We have to learn not to foul, and we had our share."

                          Each team committed many fouls, as Ontario had 28 total fouls and Weiser had 22 total fouls, which translated into 55 free throw attempts in the game.

                          Following Roberts' six straight points, Weiser went on a 9-1 run over the next 3:30, to cut the lead to 41-37.

                          Ontario responded however, when Roberts scored back-to-back field goals, finishing the quarter with 11 points and Ontario extended its lead to 45-37.

                          From that point on, free throws dominated the game, as only two field goals were made the rest of the game, including a 3-pointer by Weiser's Stephanie Loomis with two seconds left, for the final margin of victory, as Ontario held on for the win.

                          "I think we had a lot of people play and play pretty good," Buck said. "We need to work on ending the game. We are geared up for running and not stopping. We need to keep getting better in all aspects of the game."

                          Helping Roberts, was Vanessa Gomez with 15 points.

                          Paige Walker and Sara Bates each had nine points in the loss.

                          Weiser head coach Tim Erhard was not available for comment after the game.

                          The Tigers are back in action Friday, traveling to Nampa for a nonconference matchup.

                            William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Reloaded Tigers take aim at GOL, December 2, 2004

                          t seems year after year the Ontario girls basketball team never rebuilds - it reloads.

                          And that could mean trouble for the Greater Oregon League.

                          The Tigers, who finished 20-9 overall last season, return three starters from a team the finished second in the GOL and fifth at state.

                          "You never want to rebuild," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "Hopefully we are training younger kids as we go. I think the whole program is focused on getting players better for that time they do get to the varsity level."

                          Ontario, who opened the season with a win over Weiser, will miss the departed Maggie Smith-Davidson and Kristy Church, both of whom took their games to the collegiate-level.

                          "We have had some really good star players come through here," Buck said.

                          But the cupboard is not totally bare for Buck.

                          Back are seniors posts Vanessa Gomez (5.5 points, 7.5 rebounds last season) and A.J. Hawk, along with juniors Jaimi Arant (5 points, 3 assists) and Kylie Roberts (9.5 points, 6 rebounds).

                          Buck believs this edition of Tigers has the opportunity to be balanced offensively, but the strength of this team could lie in the team's ability to play defense.

                          "We should be a lot more balanced than we have in years past," Buck said. "I think the strength, eventually, will be the defense. The girls have been giving the effort in practice. I think the defense will trigger everything."

                          The Tigers' ability to play defense could play a role in their ability to naviagate the always tough GOL.

                          "The league is always tough," Buck said.

                          How tough?

                          Burns, the 3A runner-up in 2003 and 3A champion in 2004, is back with almost its whole arsenal, including first-team all GOL picks Maria and Jessica Clemens.

                          "I think Burns will be the team to beat," Buck said.

                             Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                          Tigers open in style, December 3, 2004

                          A quick, pressuring defense and deadly accuracy from the perimeter helped the Ontario boys basketball team shut down Payette, on way to a 65-43 nonconference victory Thursday evening at Payette High School.

                          The Tigers used their defense to force 29 Payette turnovers, while connecting on 10 3-pointers, on way to building a 32-17 lead at the half.

                          "I think the kids played hard. They were excited and ready to play," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said. "It was our typical first game. There were way more positives than negatives."

                          Helmick said his players really love to play defense and frustrate other offenses, by getting all over them.

                          "The pressure got to us," Payette head coach Shawn Scow said. "They have got outstanding quickness at every position. We could not match them."

                          The Pirates (1-1 overall) could not answer the Tigers' offense, trying all sorts of defenses to shut down the Tigers (1-0).

                          "We tried a couple zones and man. Ontario just executed well. They were not afraid to shoot the three," Scow said about Ontario's offense. "Once they started hitting them, they were on a roll."

                          For the Tigers, KJ Toombs led the way, scoring a game high 20 points, including four 3-pointers, while teammate Nick Babij scored 13 points. Tyler David added 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

                          Payette countered with two 3-pointers, both by Cameron Oxnam, who finished with nine points for Payette. Mark McCarney led the Pirates with 10 points in the contest.

                          "We have to get in better position to rebound," Helmick said. "Payette did a good job of fighting for position and rebounding."

                          Scow said the Pirates needed to work on their defensive rebounding and boxing out, but was pleased with his players effort.

                          "Even though we got beat by 20, I liked our kids' effort," Scow said. "We played very aggressive. It is important to get our mindset to be aggressive."

                          Ontario is back in action tonight, when the Tigers travel to Weiser, while Payette is at Parma on Monday, both games are in nonconference action.

                             William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Stingy defense helps Tigers past Nyssa, December 5, 2004

                          With 1:45 left in the game, Ontario's Nick Babij hit two free throws to put Ontario up 50-38, clearing Ontario's bench, and helping Ontario to a 53-40 win over Nyssa in a nonleague boys basketball game Saturday evening at Ontario High School.

                          In the final two minutes, Ontario's Brady Kameshiga put the finishing touches on the Tigers' (3-0 overall) victory, drilling a 3-pointer.

                          Despite the 13-point margin of victory, Ontario was outscored in the second half, 27-25, after building up a 28-13 halftime lead.

                          The difference in the game came on defense for the Tigers, as they forced 27 Nyssa turnovers and picked up 17 steals.

                          "We played scared," Nyssa head coach Matt Perry said. "No one wanted to dribble, pass, shoot. We have not seen that kind of pressure.

                          "I do not think we will see anybody that quick again all year."

                          Both teams played tough defense, getting a hand in the face of most shooters, as Nyssa (1-2) shot only 36 percent from the floor and 38 percent from the free-throw line, and Ontario shot only 33 percent from the floor and 13 percent behind the arc.

                          "We played with good energy on defense," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said of the game. "I am glad that we were able to limit them to only 40 points. We play pretty well defense, quick hands, quick feet, we will go a long way with that."

                          Offensively, neither team seemed to get on a roll, as Babij led all scorers with 12 points, while Tyler David added 11 and Daniel Schram had 10. Babij and Jacob Blaylock had seven rebounds and Babij added five assists and four steals.

                          Nyssa was led by Marshall Ackley with 10 points and Jose Escobedo added six points, and 11 rebounds in the loss.

                          Ontario hosts Middleton Thursday in a nonleague contest, while Nyssa travels to Marsing on Monday in a nonconference matchup.

                             William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Ontario mauls Kavemen, December 8, 2004

                          The Ontario girls basketball team made sure its home opener was a successful one.

                          The Tigers picked up their third straight win, drubbing the Kuna Kavemen, 59-31, Tuesday night in a nonleague girls basketball game at Ontario High School.

                          The game was the Tigers' fourth game in five nights, and improved Ontario's season record to 4-1 on the season.

                          Ontario and Kuna battled to a 7-5 Ontario advantage after the first quarter of play, before the Tigers blew the game open with a tenacious defense and a workmanlike effort on the offensive glass.

                          The home team held Kuna to only 5-for-25 shooting from the field in the first half, and Kuna only managed 12 points in the first half, as Ontario extended its lead to 30-12 lead at the half.

                          "It took a little time to get going offensively," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "The offensive boards got us going. We were not sharp offensively."

                          The Tigers picked up 19 offensive rebounds and 20 second chance points, compared to only seven by the Kavemen.

                          In the second half, Ontario continued to pour it on, outscoring the Kavemen 15-10 in the third quarter. The Tigers' Kristin Saito connected on a field goal and a free throw to end the third quarter, as Ontario took a 45-22 lead.

                          "We played an excellent first half," Buck said. "The girls do everything I ask them to do. We have played three solid games in a row."

                          In the fourth quarter, Ontario kept extending their lead, going on an 11-2 run over the first four and a half minutes to claim a 56-25 lead - the largest difference in the game - before Ontario got everybody some playing time.

                          "I think this is a continuation of this weekend, Saturday and Monday we played really well," Buck said.

                          Ontario was led by Kylie Roberts with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, while A.J. Hawk had 17 points. Vanessa Gomez had six rebounds in the win for the Tigers.

                          Ontario travels to Nampa Christian Thursday in a nonconference matchup

                             William Anderson Argus Observer

                          For Phelps, deeds do prove better than words, December 8, 2004

                          At first glance, Alameda Elementary School student Katie Phelps appears to be a normal fourth-grade student.

                          She likes to have fun with her friends and is even a little shy.

                          Still, Phelps has a big heart.

                          So big, in fact, she was willing to give up her hair to prove it.

                          Phelps, 9, recently had 12 inches of her hair chopped off for the Locks of Love charity.

                          The Locks of Love program earmarks human hair for wigs for children - many suffering from cancer or other diseases - who lose their own hair during treatment. The day after Thanksgiving, Phelps had her hair cut off by Amy Bezona, of Ontario, for the second time for this charity. Two years ago, Phelps had her hair cut at her mother's request. This year, Phelps decided to donate her hair, all on her own.

                          "It was OK," Phelps said about getting her hair cut off. "I like helping people."

                          The desire to help others and give of herself is something that separates Phelps from many other children.

                          According to Phelps' mother, Sharla Phelps, Katie does a lot of giving, whether it be to her brother or her friends.

                          "I think it is pretty neat. She has a heart for giving," Sharla Phelps said of Katie.

                          Katie said she also has helped her neighbors rake their leaves, and completed other tasks to help people.

                          Sharla Phelps said she heard about Locks of Love from a co-worker, and Phelps checked out the Web site to get more information. After cutting her hair off twice, so far, Katie Phelps plans on doing it again in the future.

                          "I wanted to do it this last time," Phelps said about getting her hair cut. "I am going to do it again."

                             William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Ontario sinks Vikings, December 10, 2004

                          Starting from the tip-off, the Ontario boys basketball team used a stingy defense and good passing to knock off the Middleton Vikings 60-37 in a nonleague boys basketball matchup Thursday evening in Ontario.

                          Ontario built up an 11-3 first quarter advantage, which was pushed to 16-5 to end the quarter, with the Tigers controlling the game.

                          "I think it was a combination of the press works really well at the beginning and how you continue the press through the middle and end of the season," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said.

                          Ontario kept things rolling in the second quarter, to build a 30-15 first half lead.

                          In that second quarter, Middleton showed some signs of life, scoring 10 points, with Clark Short scoring all four of his points in the quarter.

                          Ontario on the other hand, had five players with five or more points by the end of the first half, led by Jacob Blaylock.

                          The Tigers (4-0 overall) came out strong in the third quarter, starting the quarter on a 8-1 run, to open up a 38-16 lead, over the first 3:15 of the quarter.

                          Ontario kept expanding its lead in the quarter, going on another 8-0 run during a two minute stretch, as Ontario pushed the lead to a game high, 28 points, 46-18, with 1:39 left in the quarter.

                          "It is always our goal to win the third quarter," Helmick said. "Some teams have let downs in the third quarter, even our band takes the quarter off. The third quarter is important."

                          In the final minutes of the game, Ontario held off Middleton, as the Vikings managed to outscore the Tigers 15-14 in the final quarter of play, but Ontario's lead was too much, as they went on to win.

                          Blaylock finished with a game high 13 points, while teammate Nick Babij had 10 points. Marcus Uchida had eight points and eight assists, including five in the third quarter.

                          Middleton was led by Kyle Sorensen who had 11 points, and Brandon Peterson had 10 points for the Vikings.

                          Ontario hosts Payette Saturday in a nonleague boys basketball contest.

                            William Anderson Argus Observer

                          All aboard - Creative project honors popular book, film, December 13, 2004

                          Families all over the United States are lining up to watch "The Polar Express," the new Christmas film combining computer animation and live action. The movie is based on a popular children's book by Chris Van Allsburg.

                          Kelsey Zimmerman, a fourth-grade teacher at Alameda Elementary School, decided to celebrate the season and the book in a new way.

                          Zimmerman has her students create a "literature quilt" out of paper based on "The Polar Express."

                          The quilt now decorates one of the bulletin boards in her classroom. Each child created a paper block using 1-inch squares and triangles to create the trees.

                          Zimmerman said the idea came from a book she has which gives suggestions for paper quilts based on various books.

                          She said the students had just finished a two-week unit on Van Allsburg and his books, and were excited about the movie, so they were enthusiastic about the project.

                          She added many of the quilt patterns relate to books with a holiday theme, and help the students practice geometry and other spatial skills, as well as writing.

                          For this quilt, for instance, the children put together blocks featuring pictures of themselves, with their response to the prompt, "If I could have the first gift of Christmas, I would want

                          Strike up the band Schools prepare for holiday pageants, December 15, 2004

                          Some students at Ontario Public Schools have already performed their annual Christmas programs, but there are plenty yet to be staged before school lets out for winter break.

                          "They're all musical," Katherine M. Collins, public information director for Ontario Public Schools, said, adding all the programs are directed by music teachers at the respective schools.

                          Collins said some of the teachers are producing programs from material they have written, and others are staging popular programs written by others. Some of the programs focus mostly on music and some contain a plot and dialogue.

                          "All the students do something," Collins said.

                          She said the district appreciates the efforts of the music teachers and encourages parents, grandparents and other community members to come out.

                          "There's always some little person who's singing extra loud or curtsying after each applause," she said. "Those are the precious moments that really make it enjoyable."

                          TODAY

                          Second and third graders at Alameda Elementary School will perform "Christmas at the OK Corral" at 6 p.m. at Four Rivers Cultural Center.

                          THURSDAY and FRIDAY

                          Aiken Elementary School will perform "Aiken School Revue" at the school. The yellow cast featuring Mrs. Ortiz's fifth-grade class, Mr. Lopez's third-grade class and Mrs. Pelayo's morning kindergarten class, will perform at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. The green cast, featuring Miss Cornett's fifth-grade class, Mrs. Rines' third-grade class and Mrs. Pelayo's afternoon kindergarten class will perform at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

                          The pink cast, featuring Mr. Johnson's fourth-grade class, Mrs. Hill's second-grade class and Mrs. Knight's first-grade class, will perform at 9:30 a.m. Friday. The blue cast, featuring Mrs. Johnson's fourth-grade class, Ms. Blaylock's second-grade class and Mrs. Clark's first-grade class will perform at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

                          FRIDAY ONLY

                          Students at May Roberts Elementary School will perform three programs centered around the theme "Joy, Peace, Happiness and Winter Fun." Kindergartners and first-graders will perform from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Second- and third-graders will perform from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Fourth- and fifth-graders will perform from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

                          MONDAY

                          Ontario High School's orchestra, elite choir and symphonic concert band will perform a holiday concert at 7:15 p.m. at Four Rivers Cultural Center. There will also be a gala sing-along at the event. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for students and senior citizens and $10 for a family pass.

                          TUESDAY

                          Students at Pioneer Elementary School will perform at 10 a.m. in the Pioneer Elementary School gym. Kindergartners and first-graders will perform "A Tribute to Santa" and second- through fifth-graders will perform a "'Tis the Season" musical revue.

                              Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                          igers stay perfect, December 15, 2004

                          Free throws were the difference Tuesday in Ontario's 53-37 nonleague win over Weiser at Ontario High School.

                          The Ontario Tigers made the most of their chances at the foul line. Weiser barely had the chance to get to the stripe.

                          Ontario converted 24-of-30 free throws on the night, while the Wolverines missed both of their free throw attempts in the game.

                          Most of the Tigers' free throws came in the first half. Ontario scored 16 of its 33 points at the charity stripe, with Nick Babij leading the way, going 13-for-14 from the line in the first half.

                          "We decided we wanted to go to the basket and not rely on the outside shots," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said of the Tigers' advantage in free throw shooting. "We were going to take our shots and if not, we would take it to the basket."

                          Starting the second half, the Wolverines (2-4 overall) trailed the Tigers (6-0) 33-20.

                          Ontario's defense continued to swarm the Wolverines, holding Weiser to only four third-quarter points. Ontario held on to a 43-24 lead.

                          "We had to expect a tight game. They are a good team, and good teams make adjustments," Helmick said. "We did little different types of presses, with a man and zone press."

                          Ontario's presses forced 21 Weiser turnovers on the night.

                          In the final quarter of play, Weiser continued to hang around, outscoring the Tigers 13-10.

                          Still, it was not enough as Ontario hung on for the victory.

                          "My guys played hard," Weiser head coach Dave Shirts said. "I am satisfied with the effort, but we are capable of playing better still."

                          Babij led all scorers with 20 points. Babij connected on 17-for-20 free throws, and hit just one shot from the floor. Jacob Blaylock added 11 points for the Tigers and Tyler David had 10 points in the win.

                          Weiser was led by Mikel Overgaard's 10 point performance in the blowout loss.

                          Both teams are back in action Thursday, as Weiser travels to Vale in a nonleague matchup, while Ontario travels to the Junction City Tournament, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

                             William Anderson Argus Observer

                          Tigers win tourney, December 19, 2004

                          The Tigers landed three individual champions, and placed 15 wrestlers in the top five of their weight classes, on the way to a team tournament title Saturday at the Caldwell Invitational.

                          Ontario won the tournament with 238 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Caldwell (202) and third-place Nyssa (198.5). Parma (120) finished sixth and Cambridge-Midvale (24) was 10th.

                          Andres Hernandez (130), Paul Rangel (160) and Colin Gundle (275) all won their respective weight classes for the Tigers.

                          "We had a pretty good meet Friday and the kids continued that and wrestled really well today," Ontario head coach Charlie Anthony said. "We have a lot of weight classes with two pretty good kids in them. When you can enter two per weight class that's to our benefit.

                          "This is pretty exciting when you think district is run the same way."

                          Ontario's depth showed, particularly at 275-pounds. Dennis Tolman and Jon Paulsen finished fourth and fifth, respectively, behind Gundle.

                          The Tigers got second-place finishes from Jose Rivera (145) and Todd Smith (189) and third-place finishes from Tom Martinez (103), Kaz Honjo (119) and Pedro Nunez (215). Michael Gonzalez (112), Bryan Brandon (125), Keith Brandon (135), Casey Erlebach (140) and JJ Anthony all brought home fifth-place finishes.

                          Ontario heads to Pasco, Wash. Tuesday and Wednesday for the Pasco Invitational.

                          Bulldogs place nine at Caldwell Invitational, team finishes third

                          CALDWELL - The Nyssa Bulldogs took 10 wrestlers to the Caldwell Invitational, and nine of them placed in the top four of their respective weight classes.

                          That production helped the Bulldogs to a third place finish at the two-day tournament.

                          Ontario won the tournament with 238 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Caldwell (202) and third-place Nyssa (198.5). Parma (120) finished sixth and Cambridge-Midvale (24) was 10th.

                          "We had a really good weekend," Nyssa head coach Luke Cleaver said. "We ended up with four champions and five in the finals. Every varsity kid I brought finished in the top four."

                          Nick Hartley (135), Cody Peterson (145), Braden Bair (189) and Bobby Deleon (215) brought home individual championships for the Bulldogs.

                          "I think everybody had a tough match in the tournament," Cleaver said. "Everyone stepped up to the challenge."

                          Nyssa also got a second-place finish Juan Sandoval (140), and third-place finishes from Smitty Hartley (112) and Bryce Vanzels (275). Bowe Midland capped the tournament for Nyssa with a fourth-place finish.

                          The Bulldogs are off until Jan. 4 when they will travel to Nampa for a three-way dual with Emmett and Nampa.

                              Argus Observer sports staff

                          School board reviews policies, December. 20, 2004

                          The Ontario School Board made minor revisions to its board policies in an otherwise uneventful regular meeting Thursday night.

                          The revisions addressed two sections of the school board policies, regarding the superintendent position and the budget.

                          Ontario schools Superintendent Dennis Carter said the revisions are done annually based on the recommendations of Oregon's state school board.

                          Instead of going through their policy book all at once, Carter said, board members are breaking it down to about two sections a month.

                          One revision was to the qualifications of the superintendent's position. Instead of only requiring "educational leader and administrator" experience, a superintendent candidate can be considered if the person meets transitional administrator or "exceptional administrator" licensure requirements.

                          Another revision permits the superintendent to recommend contract renewals or nonrenewals, contract extensions or nonextensions of any employee as provided by law, policies and the employee's collective bargaining agreement.

                          While the superintendent can still recommend an employee's demotion and discharge, language allowing the superintendent to recommend the suspension of an employee was removed.

                          When developing and adopting criteria and policy directives for hiring a superintendent or interim superintendent, the board will now address those topics in an open meeting in which the public can comment.

                          The Ontario School Board, however, may also notify the superintendent of unsatisfactory performance in writing, identifying those areas that need to be remedied.

                          The superintendent must be allowed time to correct those problems, but if poor performance continues, the board may dismiss the superintendent.

                            Jessica Keller - Argus Observer

                          Tigers win consolation, December 20, 2004

                          The Tigers shot only 2-for-12 in the first quarter, but rebounded enough to shoot 19-for-40 the rest of the game to come away with the victory.

                          Part of the reason Ontario's offense picked up, was point guard Jaimi Arant dished out 12 assists, to go with her six points.

                          "I think she is really playing well for us," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "I think if she had been able to play more than the 15 minutes she played against Junction City, because of foul trouble, we would have been playing on the winner's side of the bracket."

                          The Tigers finished the tournament as consolation champions.

                          The Tigers (8-2 overall) got a big performance from Kylie Roberts, dropping in 18 points and grabbing six rebounds. AJ Hawk added 12 points and seven rebounds.

                          Vanessa Gomez had eight points and nine rebounds for the Tigers.

                              Argus Observer Sport Staff

                          Tigers run past Parma, December 30, 2004

                          The Ontario boys opened the 2004 Fruitland Christmas Tournament in convincing fashion with a 75-39 win over Parma Wednesday night in Fruitland.

                          The Tigers (8-3 overall) led from the opening 10 seconds of the game and never looked back with a combination of excellent shooting and a defense which left Parma attempting to play catch-up the entire game.

                          "The kids played well tonight," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said. "They executed well and played the way they are capaable of playing. Parma tried to take out (Nick) Babij early in the game, and Tyler David stepped up and made the plays."

                          Parma (2-6) stayed close through the first quarter, starting the second behind by only seven. But Ontario caught fire and scored 27 points in the quarter including a 12-0 run early in the second to take the lead for good.

                          "They are a good team," Panthers head coach Kevin Sitts said referring to Ontario. "But our boys never quit. It was nice to see Sam Sells come out and contribute to the team after the injury to his ankle. We need to work on our turnovers and keep them down."

                          The Panthers committed 21 turnovers, while forcing Ontario into only 10.

                          Ontario was led by David's 15 points, and Jaime Contreras' 13 points. Ontario also shot a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line as a team.

                          Ontario will meet Fruitland for the championship at 8 p.m. tonight. Parma will play for the consolation at 6:15 p.m. against Vale.

                            John Braese Argus Observer

                      Call to OPD sparks lockdown at May Roberts, Feb. 1, 2004

                      Tami Hart Argus Observer

                      A lockdown at May Roberts Elementary School Tuesday, prompted by a call from the Ontario Police Department, ended without incident.

                      Ontario Police received a call at 3:07 p.m. from a woman driving by the school who had witnessed a youth, carrying two steak knives in his hands, who was being chased by a group of nine Hispanic boys near the school. The group of boys was pelting the lone youth with snowballs and ice. The witness saw the boy point the knives at the other boys, which prompted her 911 call, OPD Sgt. Jeff Milton said.

                      "We didn't know what the boy's intent was, so we notified the school and advised them to enact whatever security measures they have in place," Milton said.

                      May Roberts principal Frances Ramirez said she instituted a lockdown, which secures all the classrooms in the school.

                      "We have a procedure that we follow," Ramirez said. "Anytime anything like this happens, you have step-by-step things to do." Ramirez said she would normally be the person making the decision to lockdown the school, although that could be affected by who has the information about the incident.

                      "In this case, I didn't have any information about it and the police department gave me the directive," Ramirez said.

                      OPD officers arrived on the scene and Milton called the school with a description of the youth carrying the knives. May Roberts officials advised OPD that a boy matching the description had come into the school's office.

                      "He was seeking refuge from the gang of boys," Milton said.

                      The youth, who is 11-years-old, had walked to May Roberts to pick up his sister, Milton said.

                      He told police the other boys, who ranged in age from 11 to 13, had been making fun of him and that it had started when he left the middle school.

                      "He knew he had to go to the school to get his sister and he knew the others were after him, so he stopped and got the knives from his home for protection," Milton said.

                      Officer George Tolman, school resource officer, investigated the incident and spoke with the parties involved.

                      There were no charges pressed, Milton said.

                      Ramirez said she incident should act as an alert for all schools.

                      "Since we have had everything in the news that's happened at other schools, I think the school is really aware of keeping the kids and staff safe," Ramirez said. "We just have to be prepared,"

                      She said she was impressed with her staff's handling of the security procedure.

                      Ramirez said she believes the school has not had a lockdown in the past two years.

                      Tigers maul Burns, 88-38, in GOL play, Feb. 1, 2004

                       Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                      "I cannot tell the guys not to play hard," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said after the Tiger's boys' basketball team thumped Burns 88-38 in Greater Oregon League action Friday night.

                      Everyone on the Tiger roster saw playing time in Friday night's victory.

                      "My starters were only in for the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter, then everyone else got to play," Helmick said.

                      Ontario jumped out to a huge 21-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.

                      Wade Douglas scored 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter including a slam dunk with 10 seconds remaining in the quarter.

                      Nick Babij, Jacob Blaylock and Kyle Hart each scored a two-point bucket in the first quarter for the Tigers and Hart also completed a free throw.

                      By the end of the first half, the Tigers had nearly sealed the victory with a 46-16 lead over the Highlanders.

                      The 25 points scored in the second quarter was by a mixture of Tigers.

                      Marcus Uchida, Tyler David, Douglas, Tommy Infante, and Jason Hart each scored two points.

                      Jake Lacey and Kyle Hart each added four points.

                      Babij hit two 3-pointers and eventually went on to hit another before finishing the game with 11 points.

                      Blaylock landed a free throw to round out the scores for Ontario in the second quarter.

                      Only hitting 10 points to the 22 poured in by the Tigers put the Highlanders further behind at the end of the third quarter.

                      In the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter, Douglas laid in four points and Babij hit a 3-pointer then the other Tigers began to shine.

                      David landed three 2-point baskets and a 3-pointer in the third quarter. He would go on to finish the game with 15 points for the Tigers.

                      Infante racked up four points, and Uchida scored two more for Ontario.

                      Jaime Contreras and KJ Toombs both hit two 3-point buckets to be a part of Ontario's 20 points in the fourth quarter.

                      David added a pair of free throws and a 2-pointer while Jake Gaschler scored his two points of the game and Infante found his seventh and eighth point for the Tigers.

                      The Highlanders only scored 12 points in the fourth quarter.

                      Burns was led by Brett Thomas with 10 points followed by Luke Benafel with eight points and Aaron Glerup with six.

                      Kyle Hart led the Ontario rebounders pulling down eight.

                      Matt Mejia had four steals and Uchida finished the game with five assists.

                      The Tigers (12-4 overall, 5-0 GOL) traveled to La Grande Saturday evening for another Greater Oregon League game.

                      Ontario girls fall to Burns -Feb. 1, 2004   Argus Observer Sports Staff

                      Down 8-0 in the first quarter the Ontario girls' basketball team never regained the momentum and dropped a Greater Oregon League match to the visiting Burns Highlanders.

                      The Tigers lost 55-43 Friday night at Ontario High School.

                      "We need to not play scared and not be afraid to attack and pass the ball inside," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said.

                      In the first quarter, Ontario scored a total of five points in comparison to the 18 piled in by the Highlanders.

                      Maggie Smith-Davidson scored three for Ontario - one bucket and a free throw - while AJ Hawk laid in the other two points.

                      In the second quarter, the Tigers cut Burns' lead down to nine points outscoring the visitors 10-6.

                      Kylie Roberts hit two of her three 3-pointers in the first minute of the second quarter while Smith-Davidson hit two 2-point baskets in the second half of the second quarter.

                      Chelsea Ross piled in four points in the second quarter for the Highlanders and teammate Maria Clemens added the other two points.

                      At the end of the first half Burns led 24-15.

                      Burns extended its first half lead in the third quarter after scoring 19 points to the 11 posted by the Tigers.

                      Kristy Church and Jami Arant each scored their first two points of the game in the third quarter for Ontario (12-5 overall, 3-2 GOL).

                      Roberts hit her third three with 4:01 left in the quarter and Smith-Davidson completed two free throws and hit a jumper for the other four points.

                      The Clemens sisters - Jessica and Maria - poured in 10 of the Highlanders third quarter points.

                      The Tigers scored 17 points in the final quarter while the visitors only racked up 12 points but it was not enough for a victory.

                      Vanessa Gomez scored her four points of the game in the fourth quarter for Ontario.

                      Smith-Davidson made her final six points to lead the Tiger scorers with 17 points in the loss.

                      Church added her remaining five points to end the game with seven total points and Arant landed her final two points.

                      "In the second half we regrouped and went after them," Buck said. "We have a ways to go. Lack of experience can be seen at times. In tomorrow's game against La Grande we will be playing to hold on to a top three spot."

                      Cairo chili feed slated for Thursday, Feb. 4, 2004

                       Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                      Local residents eager to take in the familiar smell of cornbread and chili should plan to visit Cairo Elementary School Thursday.

                      The school's long-standing -- and by decree very popular -- chili feed has been a mainstay of local fundraisers for more than 40 years. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. Thursday.

                      Tickets for the event cost $5 for ninth-graders and older and runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. Kindergartners to eighth-graders can get into the dinner for $3 while preschools eat for free. The ticket price includes chili, salad, cornbread, beverage and dessert -- including cupcakes, pies and brownies.

                      Renae Corn and her husband Bruce Corn said they have been involved in the chili feed since their first child started attending Cairo. Corn estimated their involvement spans the course of 13 or 14 years. Now, their youngest child is a fifth-grader at Cairo.

                      "We're both real believers in education," Corn said.

                      Corn said she has attended the chili feed every year -- even when her children were enrolled in a private Christian school in Ontario. This is the first year her children have returned to the Ontario School District, they said.

                      Bruce Corn served as the chairman of the committee for the chili feed, soliciting donations from local businesses and organizing the committees in charge of various tasks associated with the event. Renae also helped with ticket sales, cooking the chili, and gathering community support for the event. The Corns have also assisted financially to the event, purchasing pots to cook the chili in.

                      "The wonderful thing about the chili feed, is that we don't see much anymore, is it's a community effort," Corn said.

                      Since the cost of the dinner is minimal, business donations are a key to the event's ability to raise money for the school. Proceeds of the chili feed are allocated to the Cairo PTO (parent teacher organization) that funds the needs of the school.

                      Cindy Feibert, parent, volunteer and PTO member, and her husband, Erik Feibert, have volunteered at the chili feed for 11 to 12 years, she said. Cindy said most of the ingredients for the chili are donated, and hundreds of pies are bought, donated or home baked. Feibert noted the recipe for the chili has remained largely the same since the tradition began 46 years ago.

                      Steve Bishop, principal of Cairo Elementary, said the school's focus for the money raised from the feed is on purchasing new playground equipment. Bishop said the school has not received new equipment -- other than small updates and repairs -- since the building opened in the late 1950s.

                      The fundraising event -- one that collects an estimated $4,000 each year according to Bishop -- has supported a new basketball court and computer software in past years. As of Tuesday, Cairo had sold 400 adult-priced tickets. Bishop said the previous year there were as many people that did not buy advanced tickets as those that did. The chili feed at Cairo also showcases student artwork. Cairo Elementary has a contest for artwork to be printed on the sales tickets and posters advertising the event.

                      This year, Tana Halligan's artwork is on the full admission priced ticket; Leila Feibert's artwork is on the discounted tickets; and Rebecca Dodson's design is printed on the complimentary tickets. Miranda Bourasa and Angela Monroe's poster designs were the winners. The students were third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders.

                      Pay difference Teachers' salaries vary widely between rural and metro school districts in Oregon, Feb. 5, 2004

                       Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                      A recently release report by the Oregon School Boards Association shows that teacher salaries and benefits in Oregon vary between school districts.

                      The report, dubbed "Salaries, Economic Benefits and Selected Policies for Teachers in Oregon School Districts" is an annual survey by the OSBA.

                      On the Oregon side of the Treasure Valley, school districts' caps on salaries, retirement pensions, and perks and benefits - such as the number of paid holidays - fluctuates as well.

                      Treasure Valley teacher data

                      Nyssa school district pays its teachers, according to the survey, a minimum of $26,305 and a maximum of $49,166 a year. To reach the $49,166 benchmark, teachers must earn a master's degree plus 45 additional post-graduate credits.

                      The average annual salary for 2002-2003 in Nyssa School District was $39,664 according to the survey. Teachers receive three paid bereavement days, two personal days, and seven holidays. Nyssa teachers contract for 186 days with 172 student school days. Teachers in Nyssa negotiated a two percent increase in their salary from 2002-2003 to 2003-2004.

                      The minimum pay for teachers at Vale School District is $24,470 and a maximum pay of $49,259 with the same qualifications (master's degree and 45 additional units of study). The annual average salary for 2002-2003 was $43,316. Teachers receive two personal days, five bereavement days, and six holidays. Vale teachers contract for 174 days with 148 student school days. The teacher's union in Vale negotiated a four percent raise in their salaries effective this school year.

                      Ontario teachers receive a minimum salary of $26,686 and a maximum salary of $50,982. The annual average salary in 2002-2003 was $43,468. Teachers receive five paid holidays, two personal days and five bereavement days. Teachers contract for 191 days with 176 student school days. Teacher salaries are up 2.75 percent from 2002-2003.

                      Adrian school district teachers receive a minimum salary of $25,233 and a maximum salary for a master's degree of $41,475. The annual average salary in 2002-2003 was $35,836. Teachers receive up to $10,000 in tuition reimbursement at the University of Oregon. They also get two personal days and three bereavement days. Teachers contract for 185 days with 177 student school days. Teachers at Adrian did not receive a pay increase for 2003-2004.

                      The Oregon School Boards Association reports the average pay increase for teachers this year was 1.67 percent. Ron Wilson, director of human resource development at the Oregon School Boards Association, said 35 districts did not negotiate a pay increase for teachers.

                      Looking at Portland

                      By contrast to school districts in the Malheur County, the largest school district in Oregon is Portland, which rests in Multnomah County. The district contains 45,989.8 resident average daily memberships (ADM or average amount of students each day). Nyssa has a resident ADM of 1,176.6; Vale is 981.9; Ontario is 2,650.6; and Adrian's ADM is 230.7. Teachers in Portland school district receive a minimum pay of $29,013 and a maximum pay with a master's degree and 45 additional units of post-graduate study of $60,673. Teachers are paid for two professional days, three personal days, three family illness days, and bereavement varies.

                      They contract for 190 days of work and 177 student school days. They are reimbursed six hours of credit at Portland State University. Teachers at Portland school district negotiated a 0.5 percent pay increase for this school year. Teacher pay and benefits is slightly more attractive in the Portland School District than area school districts. However, the cost of living in the Portland metro area compared with Malheur County differs significantly. The cost of living also varies between Ontario, Vale, Adrian and Nyssa.

                      Cost of living

                      Property value and housing in slightly more expensive in Ontario than Nyssa, Vale, and Adrian. According to the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, in Ontario the median housing cost was $85,900 in 2000. Data reported Vale's median housing cost in 2000 at $67,300; Adrian was $61,900; and Nyssa was $61,800. The median housing cost in 2000 for Multnomah County was $157,900 and in Portland the cost was $154,700. While Multnomah County's housing prices have risen to a median cost of $189,000 and average cost of $225,308 in 2003, the Malheur County's assessor office reports unchanged figures in 2003 from 2000. Economically, Multnomah and Malheur Counties deviate. The state department reported per capita income in Malheur County at $19,530 in 1999 and 32,095 in Multnomah County in 2000.

                      As the Portland School District offers more money to teachers, the adjusted cost of living between Malheur County and Multnomah County causes Portland teachers to pay more to live in the metro area. Similarly, Ontario teachers receive slightly more pay - on average - than teachers in Vale, Nyssa or Adrian, but the housing costs in Ontario are also higher.

                      Beginning salaries similar

                      Lyssa McKrole teaches first-grade at Alameda Elementary School. McKrole recently finished her master's degree at Eastern Oregon University while living in John Day. McKrole chose to move to Ontario for her first year of teaching.

                      She said she researched school districts in Oregon, and found that for beginning teacher salaries, Ontario was comparable to other districts in the state.

                      McKrole also said that Oregon seems to have the most widely accepted teaching standards in the state. Most teachers come into the system now with a master's degree, she said. McKrole added the accepted standards force teachers to work harder than most states to pass tests and obtain higher degrees.

                      "The pay is better in Oregon, I believe, than Idaho and Utah. Washington state is comparable to Oregon," McKrole said.

                      implicating that hurdles teachers in Oregon must go through to pass tests and obtain degrees translates into higher teaching pay than some neighboring states.

                      Young Tiger Basketball Camp scheduled, Feb. 5, 2004

                      The Ontario boys' basketball coach, Scott Helmick, is hosting a Young Tiger Basketball Camp at the Ontario High School gym.

                      Boys in the fourth, fifth and sixth grade are invited to attend.

                      The camp will run Feb. 4, 5, 11, 12 and 17 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

                      The cost for the camp will be $25. The cost includes a T-shirt, instruction provided by the high school coaches and players.

                      To register, call coach Scott Helmick at Ontario High School, (541) 889-5309.

                      Softball umpiring clinics to be held

                      BOISE-Anybody interested in umpiring girls' fast pitch softball in either Oregon or Idaho, clinics will be held to review rules.

                      Monday, at Caldwell High School, registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the clinic running from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

                      Feb. 23, there is a mandatory Idaho State rules meeting, at Mountain View High School at 6 p.m. Registration for umpires is at 5:15 p.m.

                      A reminder to all high school coaches, this is a mandatory meeting, a representative from your school will need to be present.

                      If there are any questions, contact the Softball Commissioner, Gary McCarney, (208) 642-4675.

                      Weiser girls' hoops team selling Kryspy Kreme's

                      WEISER-Kryspy Kreme doughnuts are being brought to Weiser by the Girls' Basketball Team Wednesday.

                      The event is being sponsored to help raise funds for summer camp and tournaments.

                      Contact any girls' basketball player or coach to place your order.

                      Each dozen will cost $7.50 each.

                      Coach Erhard is also taking orders at (208) 414-2620 or at (208) 549-0882. Doughnuts will be delivered to the high school at about 8:30 a.m., Wednesday.

                      Ski Bus Available to Brundage

                      Ontario-The Ontario Parks and Recreation Department will offer a ski and snowboard bus to Brundage Mountain for the 2003-2004 ski season.

                      Session dates include-Session 3 (cost of $32): Saturday, February 7, 14, 21, and 28.

                      Registrations are taken at the Recreation Department at the Ontario Aquatic Center between 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

                      Registrations by session will take priority over individual date tickets. Individual dates can be purchased for $10 per trip.

                      All trips depart from Ontario City Hall at 7 a.m. and will return at approximately 7 p.m.

                      Trips must be paid for by the Wednesday prior to the trip in order to hold a reservation.

                      Lift tickets are $23 for 12-18 years old. $32 for 19 and over and $16 for kids 7-11.
                      For more information contact the Ontario Parks and Recreation Department, at (541) 889-7686.

                      Ten Star All Star Basketball Camp

                      Charlotte, NC - Applications are now being evaluated for the Ten Star All Star Summer Basketball Camp.

                      The camp is by invitation only.

                      Boys and girls ages 10 through 19 are eligible to apply.

                      Past participants include: Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse, Grant Hill and Antawn Jamison.

                      School district stays focused on bus safety, Feb. 6, 2004

                      Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                      The Ontario School District has reported three accidents involving a school bus or an activity vehicles this school year but the number is not unusually high, according to the district operations manager, Bob Nelson.

                      Nelson said he estimated the district averages three accidents a year, whether they are the fault of school authorized drivers or a second party vehicle.

                      Nelson also said during some school years there will be more than three accidents, depending on the weather.

                      A particularly severe winter will cause more cars to slide into school buses, he said.

                      The first accident this school year occurred on Sept. 9, 2003 when Matt Suitter, 32, Ontario, driving a 1991 Ford van failed to yield at the controlled intersection of Southeast Fourth Street and Southeast First Avenue. Sheri Acree was the driver of the school bus transporting 56 Ontario middle and high school students and four students from Four Rivers Charter School. No significant injuries were sustained from the accident. Acree was determined to be not at fault for the accident and is still driving for the district, according to Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement for Ontario School District.

                      The next school bus accident occurred nearly one month later on Oct. 6, 2003. The certified bus driver, Janet Kittelmann, 57, drove onto the curb near the corner of Southwest Fourth Street and the mirror of the bus struck Ontario Middle School student, Isabel Rodriguez, 11, who was walking with her eighth-grade sister, Alicia Rodriguez.

                      Rodriguez sustained scratches and a concussion after being struck by the mirror. Collins said Kittelmann no longer works at the district as a bus driver. Collins said after the completion of an investigation, the school district does not have information beyond Kittlemann's claim she blacked out while driving over the curb.

                      The latest incident occurred Monday and involved a shortened school bus technically labeled an activity vehicle and adverse weather.

                      Leadership adviser Laurie Grim, 50, was driving 11 leadership students from OHS to a leadership conference in Hermiston when the vehicle ran into icy conditions and slid off Interstate 84.

                      One student required knee surgery related to the accident. Nelson said the school district is still investigating the accident. Investigations of this kind, he said, typically take two to three months. Grim is still working for the district, but her certification to drive activity vehicles is temporarily restrained, Nelson said.

                      Ontario school district operates approximately 32 school buses with approximately 25 bus drivers.

                      New buses are bought every year, Nelson said. The lifetime of a bus is around 160,000 to 170,000 miles, he said.

                      The certification for a school bus driver, like Kittelmann and Acree, requires more stringent guidelines than certification to operate an activity vehicle for the school.

                      Registered school bus drivers must meet guidelines set by the federal government and additional guidelines set by the state. Nelson said Oregon has more restrictive guidelines that many other states.

                      An individual must apply for an open position as a bus driver; obtain a CDL (commercial drivers license) and attend a behind-the-wheel training session. The potential bus driver is then hired on a substitute basis where he or she drives the school bus with an district examiner. Bus drivers must attend eight hours of training each year and keep their first aid and CPR training up-to-date.

                      Certification to drive an activity vehicle requires an individual be a licensed driver, take a first aid course, have a fairly clean driving record, take a one-time training session and maintain current first aid training and drivers license.

                      Grim said she had never been in a car accident prior to the school-related accident on Feb. 2.

                      Nelson said that bus drivers with the Ontario school district have been terminated in the past, but he did not have an exact number.

                      Ontario wrestlers win two matches, Feb. 6, 2004

                      Tigers get better of Vale and New Plymouth  
                      Tricia Alvarez - Argus Observer

                      The Ontario Tigers wrestling team defeated the Vale Vikings 38-28 in a Greater Oregon League dual meet Thursday at Ontario High School.

                      Defending state champion Paul Rangel received the first points for Ontario at 145-pounds when he received a technical fall over Vale's Mark Moreno with a 22-7 score.

                      Vale's Luke McSweeney won after Ontario's Charles Cowperthwait was disqualified at 152-pounds.

                      The next three matches were decided by pins.

                      Vladimir Dhidzhiyeshvili of Ontario pinned Sam Zinie of Vale in 4:59 at 160-pounds.

                      At 171-pounds Todd Smith of Ontario pinned Brady Wolfe of Vale in 1:52.

                      The Vikings Joe Meredith pinned the Tigers Luke Owens in 3:31 at 189-pounds.

                      Vale's Kyle Netcher, 215-pounds, and Willie Maupin, 275-pounds, received decisions over Ontario's Colin Gundle, 10-7, and JJ Anthony, 6-2.

                      Vale loss the next three matches by forfeit to Alex Turner, 103-pounds, Jace Nakumara, 112-pounds, and Mark Mizuta, 119-pounds.

                      The Tigers' Juan Trejo pulled out a 19-14 decision over Vale's Ian Morcom at 125-pounds before Vale went on to win the final three matches.

                      Tyler Andersen of Vale, at 130-pounds, pinned Casey Erlebach of Ontario in 22 seconds.

                      The Vikings Kyle Bates received a 2-1 decision over the Tigers Justin Allison in double overtime at 135-pounds.

                      Vale's Chamberlain finished off the dual matchups by defeating Jose Rivera of Ontario 4-3.

                      "I thought we did well against Ontario. I thought the Bates-Allison match was great. They are great wrestlers. When you give up points off of forfeits, their is more importance on individual matches," Vale assistant coach Dave Eyler said.

                      The Viking's 0-5 in GOL play host to Ontario (4-1 GOL) and MacHi Friday.

                      New Plymouth 44    Vale 12

                      After falling to Ontario, the Vale Viking's wrestlers dropped a tough match to the New Plymouth Pilgrims 44-12 Thursday at Ontario High School.

                      "We did not wrestle as intense against New Plymouth as we did Ontario. I think we were emotionally spent," Vale assistant coach Dave Eyler said.

                      New Plymouth won the first four matches before forfeiting the 215 and 275-pound matches to Kyle Netcher and Willie Maupin of Vale.

                      John Chapman and Chet Johnson of New Plymouth pinned Luke McSweeney and Sam Zinie of Vale in 51 seconds and 1:53 at the 152 and 160-pound weight classes.

                      At 171-pounds, Marc Richter of New Plymouth major decisioned Brady Wolfe of Vale 11-1 and Charlie Pollock received a decision over Vale's Joe Meredith 3-1 at 189-pounds.

                      There were double forfeits at both the 103 and 112-pounds before the Pilgrims Willis Griffith won by forfeit at 119-pounds.

                      Another double forfeit was called at 140-pounds but not before Eric Hinson of New Plymouth received a 17-7 major decision over Ian Morcom of Vale at 125-pounds.

                      At 130-pounds Casey Dill of New Plymouth pinned TJ Bennett in 1:20

                      Jess Painter of New Plymouth decisioned Kyle Bates of Vale 6-1 at 135-pounds.

                      The nonleague dual ended with a Khris Katpati of New Plymouth pin over Derek Chamberlain in 51 seconds at 145-pounds.

                      New Plymouth (5-5 overall, 3-0 WIC) will take part in the Weiser Invitational Friday and Saturday in Weiser.

                      Ontario 39    New Plymouth 36

                      After a victory against the Vale Vikings, the New Plymouth Pilgrims were beat 39-36 by the Ontario Tigers wrestling team Thursday night in a nonleague match at Ontario High School.

                      New Plymouth was up 9-0 before an Ontario wrestler put points on the board.

                      New Plymouth received six points at 152-pounds when Chet Johnson won by forfeit.

                      Ontario's Luke Fields loss by a 8-4 decision to John Chapman at 160-pounds.

                      The Tigers jumped back on the board scoring the next 33 points before New Plymouth would have another victory.

                      At 171-pounds Vladamir Dzhidzhiyeshvili of Ontario decisioned Marc Richter 9-5.

                      Ontario Todd Smith pinned Charlie Pollock in 1:09 at 189-pounds.

                      Collin Gundle of Ontario won by forfeit at 215-pounds.

                      The 275-pound heavyweight, Dennis Tolman of Ontario, pinned Brian Smallwood of New Plymouth in 31 seconds and then it was on to the light weights.

                      Alex Turner and Jace Nakamura each won by forfeit at 103 and 112-pounds.

                      Three New Plymouth wrestlers received pins to bring the score to 33-27 before Justin Allison of Ontario scored six points at 135-pounds for a forfeit.

                      At 119-pounds Willis Griffith of New Plymouth pinned Mark Mizuta in 1:51, the Pilgrims Eric Hinson pinned Keith Brandon in 3:17 at 125-pounds and New Plymouth's Casey Dill pinned Casey Erlebach in 56 seconds at 130-pounds.

                      Jess Painter of New Plymouth scored six more points for his team when he pinned Jose Rivera of Ontario in 3:11 at 140-pounds.

                      In the last match of the night, within seconds of the start of the match, Paul Rangel of Ontario landed on his neck and after a brief timeout got back on the mat.

                      New Plymouth's Khris Katpati went on to beat Rangel 6-1 at 145-pounds.

                      "I am not unhappy with the win but we need to be sharper. New Plymouth is impressive. They are very physical and very tough. They are tougher than nails," Ontario head coach Charlie Anthony said.

                      Ontario 8-11 overall and 4-1 in the Greater Oregon League travel to Vale Friday to take on MacHi while New Plymouth heads to Weiser Friday and Saturday for the Weiser Invitational.

                      Lockdown plans vary, Feb. 8, 2004

                      Kristin Gribben -- Argus Observer

                      The Ontario School District does not have a specific plan regarding emergency lockdowns, but instead relies on a flexible procedure - focused on "unauthorized persons or intruder alert," situations - framed to meet a variety of emergency situations.

                      The emergency response system was the focal point of a Jan. 27 incident when May Roberts Elementary School was placed in a lockdown because of suspicious activity involving a youth and a knife.

                      Ontario School District has a handbook that includes procedures for nearly every emergency possible, Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement for the district said.

                      The school district does not have a specific policy regarding lockdowns, but does have a procedure regarding "unauthorized persons or intruder alerts," according to Collins.

                      The result of a procedure focusing on "unauthorized persons or intruder alerts," Collins said, would most likely be a lockdown.

                      Collins emphasized the flexibility of the OSD procedure and pointed out school officials need to be prepared to make ad hoc decisions, because they do not always have the time to consult a step-by-step procedure manual in the onset of an emergency.

                      "We have to have people in leadership roles that are effective decision-makers," Collins said.

                      Collins added that emergencies at schools are aided by the strong and close relationship the school district has with area police, fire and sheriff's departments. Collins said the school district's close relationship with local agencies is not as common in more urban school districts.

                      Collins said a handout sent to teachers and administrators outlines four major steps to take in any emergency that focuses on assessing the situation and making a rational decision, she said.

                      Collins said Ontario schools have infrequently gone into a lockdowns mode in past years. Alameda Elementary School went under a lockdown in 2001, Collins said, because the principal felt an individual at the school was a threat to staff.

                      Don Grotting, superintendent of Nyssa School District, recalled an incident several years ago when the entire school district was under a lockdown.

                      Nyssa School District has had a lockdown procedure outlined in its manual that includes procedures for nearly every emergency possible, Grotting said.

                      The lockdown policy has been in place since Grotting came to the district more than three years ago.

                      Grotting said that to his knowledge, the lockdown procedure was used once in the 1999-2000 school year. The school district received a threat of a possible shooting involving a weapon, Grotting said.

                      A district-wide lockdown was executed and police were notified.

                      There was a plan to intercept the suspect before he or she was on school grounds. Windows were barred and doors were locked inside school buildings, Grotting said.

                      After the lockdown, which ended safely, the lockdown procedures were revised, Grotting said.

                      The last revision for lockdown procedures was made during the 2002-2003 school year.

                      Grotting said the highest priority during a lockdown - or any emergency - is student accountability, and that involves taking into account students that walk home, students whose parents pick them up from school, and students who ride the bus, he said.

                      The newest lockdown procedures for Nyssa schools vary slightly between the high school, middle school and elementary school. Variations are small - such as different phrases sent over the intercom warning teachers that the school is enacting a lockdown.

                      The lockdown procedure at Nyssa schools begins with the announcement (code word, phrase or signal). Doors are immediately locked, students crouch down to avoid being seen through windows, and office staff take radios and cell phones with them to the room holding student records - dubbed the "safe room."

                      In addition, Nyssa Elementary school has an evacuation map showing different exit routes for students in scenarios depending on where the intruder is situated.

                      Grotting added that an important element of lockdown procedures is making sure that local law enforcement and agencies have access to the buildings at schools.

                      Grotting said the local fire department and the sheriff's office have maps and keys - or ready access to administrators, maintenance staff and transportation staff with keys - to each school.

                      "There has been concern, a little bit, with terrorism. There is a little bit more incentive to make sure those processes are in place," Grotting said. "And certainly the school shootings in the past have heightened concern of parents, administrators and teachers."

                      Vale school district has similar procedures to Nyssa school district. Al Butler, Vale schools superintendent, said for the past four years he has been working with the Malheur County Sheriff's Office on crisis plans concerning all types of emergencies, from bomb threats to planes crashing into a school building, he said.

                      Every teacher and staff member in the Vale district has a manual that outlines procedures for a lockdown and other emergency-related procedures.

                      Butler said he could not recall a time when any school in Vale was under lockdown. He said there have been reports of suspicious behavior from people that have prompted a call to the local police department.

                      on, OH; Lock Haven, PA; Lebanon, TN; Commerce, TX; Blacksburg, VA; Poultney, VT; and Beloit, WI.

                      Ontario beats Mac-Hi, Feb. 8, 2004

                      Argus Observer Sports Staff -- Milton-Freewater

                      Even without Jaimi Arant 'running the show' the Ontario Tigers' girls' basketball team defeated the Mac-Hi Pioneers 49-36 Friday in Greater Oregon League action at Mac-HI.

                      The Tigers, who ran off with a 15-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, extended their lead to 28-10 by the end of the first half.

                      Vaness Gomez and Maggie Smith-Davidson each made four baskets for eight points in the first half.

                      Kylie Roberts and Kristy Church each scored six points in the first half and AJ Hawk made a hoop for two points.

                      In the second half Ontario scored 11 third quarter points and 10 fourth quarter points.

                      Mac-Hi had a combined 26 second half points.

                      Church scored her last of three, 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead the Tigers with 13 points.

                      Smith-Davidson finished the second half with four points.

                      Added to her eight in the first half, Smith-Davidson finished behind Church with 12 points.

                      Gomez landed nine points and Roberts scored eight points in the victory.

                      "We played pretty well the first half. We had 14 turnovers in the second half and that combined with a great effort by Mac-Hi kept us from ever completely putting them away," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "Kayla Mitchell, Stephanie Babij, Stephanie Montgomery, and Mimi Benitas helped us out at the guard position with Jaimi Arant being gone. We miss Jaimi running the show out there. We were a little out of sync at times but the players dealt with the frustrations and overcame them enough for the win."

                      The Tigers (14-5 overall, 5-2 GOL) will host Baker Friday evening in what is said to be a 'big game' by coach Buck.

                      Tigers win on road, Feb. 8, 2004

                       Argus Observer Sports Staff -- Milton-Freewater

                      The Ontario boys' basketball team scored their sixth Greater Oregon League victory Friday night against the Mac-Hi Pioneers at Mac-Hi.

                      The 71-53 victory was nice for the Tigers after such a long bus ride, Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said.

                      "We came out slow in the first quarter. It was a long bus ride," Helmick said.

                      The Tigers were down 15-11 at the end of the first quarter."

                      "They came out and hit some threes and made some points. We didn't start real smooth, but then we had a 21 point second quarter," Helmick said.

                      Ontario's 21 points to Mac-Hi's eight second quarter points gave Ontario a 32-23 lead going into the break.

                      Helmick said Nick Babij came out and made some shots for the Tigers in the first half scoring 21 of his 24 game points.

                      Babij hit all six of Ontario 3-pointers in the win.

                      In the third quarter Ontario again outscored the Pioneers 27-11 and had a sizeable lead going into the final quarter.

                      "Wade came out and was solid with 24 points also," Helmick said. "He does not have to score 20 points a game this year, He has a whole lot of kids that can score with him. Most other teams have one main scorer. It is nice to have three guys in double figures."

                      The Tigers allowed Mac-Hi 19 fourth quarter points while only piling up 12 of their own.

                      Along with Babji and Douglas, Jason Hart contributed nine points for his team in the victory.

                      Mac-Hi had two players in double digits for the night - Ryan Fleming piled up 13 and Curtis Carlson racked in 12 points.

                      The Tigers (13-5 overall, 6-1 GOL) play host to Baker Friday night before heading to Riverside Saturday.

                      FFA students compete in Nyssa, Feb. 9, 2004

                      Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                      NYSSA - Future Farmers of America students from area schools descended on Nyssa High School Wednesday to take part in the FFA Snake River District Leadership contest.

                      Students from Ontario, Adrian, Jordan Valley, Vale and Crane attended the all-day event.

                      The competition tests the speaking, presentation and leadership skills of high school students, and is one of the few FFA contests that puts less emphasis on agricultural skills and more attention to broader-based skills, Nyssa High School FFA adviser, Cody Porath said.

                      Participants at the conference are judged by the Snake River district's high school advisers: Victor Noble, Vale; Ann Marie Pimm, Crane; Adam Ineck, Jordan Valley; Troy White, Adrian; Porath; Roger Watkins, Ontario; and Snake River District Adviser Les Linegar, Ontario.

                      Porath said the mission of FFA is to promote leadership, growth and success through agriculture.

                      The top two speakers in each event, as determined by the panel of judges, advance to a sectional competition in La Grande on Feb. 17.

                      The top two winners in each category - except for the top winner in the parliamentary procedure contest - will attend the state FFA convention at Oregon State University in Corvallis during the weekend of March 19.

                      One winner from the state convention is selected to advance to the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky during the last week in October.

                      Last year, Ontario high school student, Dan Corn, was selected to attend the national convention for extemporaneous speaking - an event where a topic is assigned to a student 30 minutes before the speech must be given. Corn is also the Oregon FFA student president.

                      Nyssa High School has had the FFA program off and on during the high school's history. The program was reintroduced five years ago, Porath said.

                      Porath said he advises 65 students at Nyssa.

                      The one FFA membership requirement at NHS is a student must be enrolled throughout the year in at least one agricultural class. Porath said he teaches six different classes throughout the year.

                      The following students from Wednesday's competition will advance to sectional in La Grande: Cody Ables, Ontario, creed speaking; Christie Linford, Ontario, creed speaking; Ruth Corn, Ontario, sophomore prepared public speaking; Stephanie Montgomery, Ontario, sophomore prepared public speaking; Josh Roberts, Ontario, extemporaneous speaking; Nick Maag, Vale, extemporaneous speaking; Nick Maag, Vale, advanced public speaking; Amanda Bennett, Nyssa, advanced public speaking.

                      Josh Roberts, Ontario and Mark Noble, Vale, won the top two slots for the co-op quiz contests. They will advance straight to state competition.

                      Be cool - attend a local fundraiser, Feb. 10, 2004

                      This time of year always sees a large array of events that continue throughout the summer.

                      Last week, I attended the Cairo Chili Feed with my friend (and Independent-Enterprise reporter) LisaAnn Riddick. The turnout, as I have heard in the past, was remarkable and so was the food. I especially enjoyed the salad, which was set out in large bowls on every table. I am sure I ate half a bowl. Before we left, we picked up a to-go order for her husband. This service can be found at a large majority of the fundraisers in the valley.

                      Wednesday I made a mad dash to Ontario Tuxedo and Bridal to find a dress for Saturday's Center Ball, the Four Rivers Cultural Center's annual fundraiser. I found a darling red dress for the Ball, and returned Friday to pick up a pair of shoes.

                      This is the second Center Ball I have attended, the first being three years ago. My boyfriend and I arrived at the valet parking 15 minutes after social hour began.

                      Once inside FRCC, I saw numerous people from our community. We shared a table with Argus Observer Society Editor Christen McCurdy, Argus Observer Advertising Director John Dillon, Argus Observer Newsroom Clerk Sheri Bandelean and her husband, and Ontario Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Connie Nysingh and her husband.

                      Former society editor Kim Nowacki e-mailed me before the Ball and said I should be sure and dance with Ontario's comic book guru Randall Kirby.

                      He really is as good as she says. Unfortunately, he had to do a whole lot of leading.

                      Much later in the evening, fellow Lion Peter Lawson made an entrance and gave a dramatic story about being stranded on the outskirts of Vale for most of the night. He then promised me a dance, which I never received.

                      Coming up, I have my eye on the River of Life Christian Center's annual potato feed (I am obligated to support that one, since my children go to day care there).

                      Of course, LisaAnn has already agreed to attend with me. I made it our goal (I haven't told her this yet) to go to as many fundraising functions this year as possible.

                      (If you want to be cool like us, I suggest you start attending local fundraisers as well. Just check out your Daily Argus Observer for those upcoming events. And if you want to have your fundraiser printed, please contact me or Christen McCurdy at the office.)

                      Also on the "Cool Club" agenda is Bethany Presbyterian's annual Heavenly Stew Feed.

                      I will be there March 13 looking for some good stew.

                      Another upcoming fundraiser I am looking forward to is the annual Basque Dinner and Dance at FRCC Feb. 28. I have word that Peter is going too, so maybe I can get that dance after all.

                      -----------------

                      Simpson takes the reigns, Mar. 16, 2004

                       Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                      Anyone who has watched an Ontario High School softball game in the past few year has seen Ontario head coach Gordy Ogawa in the dugout and at third base barking orders.

                      Well, not any longer though. Ogawa has moved on and there is a new big dog in charge.

                      Ontario resident and Fire Chief Randy Simpson is now the Ontario High School head softball coach.

                      Simpson said when Ogawa resigned he just threw his name in the hat for the position.

                      "I love softball and enjoy coaching. I have a self interest in the team with my daughter playing," Simpson said. "If I was not the head coach, I would have been here helping out anyway."

                      Simpson's daughter Stephanie is currently a junior at Ontario High School and has played softball for two years.

                      Simpson has been a part of the Field of Dreams coaching staff for the past four years - two at the U14 level and two at the U16 level.

                      "I wanted to see all the summer work continue," Simpson said.

                      When Simpson took over the team earlier this year, he found that there was just one big problem - there was no equipment.

                      "Except for a few bats, all the equipment that the high school had been using belonged to the Field of Dreams teams," Simpson said.

                      Simpson immediately went on a fundraising campaign.

                      "We sent out letters asking for donations and advertising banner sales,"   Simpson said.

                      Thus far with donations, fundraising and with a small amount from the high school, Simpson and the team have raised enough funds to be able to purchase catching gear, batting helmets and some balls.

                      A portable shed was donated to the team to store their new equipment, but they still need more.

                      "The uniforms the teams are wearing are in bad shape. They are between six and ten years old," Simpson said.

                      The team would like new uniforms and a pitching machine is in the works.

                      With just 21 players for two teams, including only three seniors, Simpson hopes to have a winning season.

                      Simpson and the Tigers will hit the field Wednesday against Caldwell High School in their season opener.

                      Tigers fall in season opener, Mar. 18, 2004

                      Argus observer sports staff

                      The Ontario softball team committed 12 errors and allowed 14 walks in a 30-0 blowout loss to Caldwell Wednesday in nonconference softball action at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center.

                      The game was called after the top half of the third inning.

                      The Cougars, who entered the game 0-4, jumped on the Tigers early, scoring seven runs in the top of the first inning. The first six Caldwell hitters reached base and all six scored.

                      "Our inexperience showed," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "Caldwell took it to us and they were very aggressive from the start."

                      The Cougars pounded Ontario pitching for 22 hits, while Ontario (0-1 overall) managed just one basehit - a double from Kailey Poole.

                      "The girls were hitting the ball, just right at people," Simpson said.

                      Poole finished 1-for-2 for the Tigers. Kayla Yano took the loss for the Tigers. Yano pitched the first two innings, before being lifted in the third.

                      Shane Parson led the Caldwell (1-4 overall) offense with a 4-for-4 outing. Parson scored five runs. Kim Harry, pitching her first game of the season, threw a one-hitter. Harry also went 4-for-5 from the plate. Caldwell's Sydni Garza hit 4-of-5 with 5 RBIs. Nicole Becvar was a perfect 3-of-3 on the afternoon.

                      Ontario returns to action Tuesday at Vallivue.

                      Grant helps local schools, Mar. 22, 2004

                      Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                      Two retired Ontario School District administrators have been rehired on a temporary basis to assist principals at Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools in conjunction with a federal grant.

                      Ontario School District applied for the Administrative Support Supplemental Grant in November, and received approval in December. The district began implementing the program in January.

                      The grant is supplemental to another grant, called Reading First, that the state of Oregon was approved for in October, 2002.

                      The grant pays for John McDonough, former principal at Lindbergh Elementary School and associate principal at Ontario Middle School and Ontario High School to assist at Alameda Elementary School for 30 non-consecutive days.

                      The grant also also extends funds for Doyal Snyder, former principal at Pioneer and Alameda elementary schools, to assist at May Roberts Elementary School for the same amount of time. The federal government offered $5 billion to states across the country for the Reading First program that focuses on low-income school districts with a high number of students reading below average levels.

                      Oregon received $7 million of the lump sum the United States Department of Education was offering. OSD received $492,773 of that amount.

                      The program focuses on boosting the reading skills of students.

                      According to the U.S. Department of Education, 40 percent of fourth-graders in the country demonstrate a reading level below their grade level.

                      Already receiving federal funds for the Reading First program, OSD qualified for the administrative support grant to assist with the demands of the reading grant.

                      The district stated in its application for the Administrative Support Supplemental Grant the funding was needed because both Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools have more than 400 students enrolled in each school with one principal and one part-time assistant principal. Neither elementary school has a school counselor.

                      May Roberts principal Frances Ramirez said Snyder has been coming to May Roberts once a week when she is in meetings. She plans to have the former principal come to the elementary school until the end of the school year, or when the grant money runs out, she said.

                      McDonough and Snyder's main duties include filling in for Ramirez at May Roberts and for Alameda Elementary School Principal Paul Erlebach.

                      Alert: Reading volunteers wanted, Mar. 23, 2004

                      Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                      Senior citizens looking to earn a little extra money while spending time helping young children read are encouraged to volunteer for the Ontario School District's foster grandparent program.

                      OSD is looking for residents 60 years or older to sign up for the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Program, a federally funded project from the Corporation for National Service - the same agency that initiated Americorps.

                      The program - which has serviced eastern and central Oregon for more than 20 years, and OSD for 10 years - requires elderly applicants be in good health, pass a background check and meet income requirements to receive a stipend of $250 a month, or $2.65 per hour of nontaxable income.

                      One-occupant households can make no more than $1,075 a month and have at least $140 of medical, dental or insurance bills a month. Two-person households can make no more than $1,451 and have $140 bills a month.

                      Senior citizens who make more than the maximum amount allowable to qualify for the stipend are still encouraged to volunteer. Frank Hunter, OSD's newest foster grandparent, and the only male in the Ontario group of volunteers, does not qualify for the monthly stipend.

                      Hunter said he decided to become a foster grandparent because he likes to keep himself youthful by being around children. He joined his students on a walk-a-thon at Aiken Elementary School last week, and although he used a cane, he said he was able to keep up.

                      Aiken, May Roberts, Alameda, Pioneer and Cairo elementary schools and St. Peter's Catholic School - all in Ontario - have 13 volunteers, but Katherine M. Collins, OSD director of public information and community involvement, said the district is always seeking more.

                      Collins said the purpose of the program is twofold: to reward deserving, low-income seniors, and help students struggling with reading. Collins said getting students to read at grade level is the No. 1 priority of the school district.

                      Volunteers meet with a small group of elementary students reading below their grade level for 30 minute sessions. Students are usually in first-, second- and third-grade. Volunteers commit to working a minimum of 20 hours a week, Collins said.

                      Collins hosts a monthly training session for the volunteers. The latest one was held Friday, at the Holy Rosary Medical Center. Collins said the training session is an opportunity to offer support to the volunteers, give them new ideas, and share information.

                      John Brenne, the program's regional director who covers the largest section of Oregon, drove from his office in Pendleton for the meeting Friday to assist with the training.

                      Brenne said there is a possibility that more funding will become available to hire a couple more seniors who qualify for the stipend. He said he anticipates it will be six months before he will know.

                      Most of the Ontario volunteers said they joined the program to give them motivation to get out of their house - something that became a challenge after they retired, many said.

                      "You have something to look forward to every day," foster grandmother Jean Barnett, who volunteers at Pioneer Elementary School, said.

                      Tigers off to good start    Mar. 25, 2004   Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                      The Ontario baseball team has put up numbers that resemble video game baseball.

                      The Tigers have lit up the scoreboard, scoring 12, 18, 13 and 17 runs in wins over Vallivue, Kuna and Caldwell. The fast start has Ontario head coach Chad Hartley excited about what this team is capable of.

                      "To put runs on the board like that early in the season is exciting," Hartley said. "The kids have executed everything we have asked them too. They have beaten three teams pretty well."

                      The Tigers get another chance Friday and Saturday in the Bucks Bags Tournament in Meridian. Ontario plays Hillcrest and Minico during the first day.

                      Hartley said his group is having fun during their quick start to the season.

                      "This is a good bunch of kids, they work hard and they do what they are supposed to do," Hartley said. "They are having a lot of fun right now and I think that is a lot of it."

                      The Tigers went 25-3 last year, making it all the way to the 3A state title game, before losing to Mazama 4-3. Ontario rode the backs off five players - T.J. Presley, Greg Keim, Tugger Roberts, Mike Lissman and Drew Echanis - all of whom are playing college baseball. This year the Tigers have a whole new identity.

                      "In this program we will be good for the next five years," Hartley said. "We knew we had guys that had the talent, but you never know how they will react in critical situations.. There are a lot of kids on this team looking to show they

                      are good players. Maybe they are not the top-hand talent that we had last year, but I don't know if I would trade for that team. I really like this team. They are good kids and they don't question what I'm telling them. They do what they are supposed to do."

                      Ontario senior Shane Schiemer said he is a little surprise with the start his team is off too.

                      "I am surprised about the way we have started, after losing all the seniors," Schiemer, who is hitting .625 with six doubles and 11 RBIs, said. "We have been putting up the numbers. No.'s 1 through No. 9 are pretty solid."

                      As a team, the Tigers are hitting .489 and have 54 RBIs in four games.

                      "If you look at the stats, when you're team is hitting .490 and your onbase percentage is .600 you are going to score a lot of runs," Hartley said.

                      The Tigers have scored a lot of runs, outscoring their four opponents 60-17.

                      "Caldwell and Kuna were decent ballclubs," Schiemer said. "They put up a fight until the end."

                      Hartley said he believes the tougher nonconference schedule will pay dividends in the Greater Oregon League chase and in the postseason.

                      "Caldwell is as good as we will see this season. I was very impressed with them," he said. "Kuna and Vallivue are probably in the top end of the GOL. I was very impressed with them. The tougher schedule should help us later in the season. In the past we hadn't seen many pitchers with two or three pitches."

                      Schiemer summed up his teammates' feelings about the 2004 edition of the Tigers.

                      "A lot of us have a lot of heart. We have always wanted to play baseball," he said. "Just being on the ballclub, being on the baseball field is what we love. For us seniors, this is our last chance to get to a state championship and we have the ability to do just that."

                      Schiemer, Tigers drill Minico, Mar. 28, 2004

                      Argus Observer Sports Staff

                      Shane Schiemer pitched a one-hit complete game Friday afternoon, striking out 13 batters, as Ontario defeated Minico High School 9-1 in a nonconference game during the Buck's Bags Tournament at Storey Park in Meridian.

                      In a game previous to the Tigers victory, Ontario lost 6-2 to Hillcrest, as the Tigers were only able to muster together four hits in the game.

                      Against Minico, the Tigers scored all nine runs in the fifth and sixth innings, after falling behind 1-0 after four innings of play.

                      In the game, the Tigers did not get any extra base hits, but had eight singles and took advantage of four walks, a hit batter and three Minico errors on way to the victory.

                      Against Hillcrest, the Tigers never seemed to be able to get anything going, scoring one run in both the second and the fourth innings.

                      In the two games, Matt Mejia picked up three hits to lead the Tigers' offensive

                      Nyssa sweeps Tigers, Mar. 28, 2004

                      Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                      The Nyssa Bulldogs thumped Jerome, 8-0, in the first game of a nonconference doubleheader Friday, only to have the Tigers throw a scare into Nyssa in the nightcap. The Bulldogs held on for a 5-4 win, completing the sweep of Jerome at Payette High School.

                      The Bulldogs scored the first run, of the second game, in the first inning after Cody Waldo hit a grounder past the short stop to land himself on first base, he then stole second base and scored on Jesse Garcia's RBI single.

                      After Jerome's Brady Black and Nyssa's Cory Hansen settled on the mound, both teams defenses kicked into high gear and the game remained at 1-0 through five innings, before Nyssa once again started pouring in the runs in the sixth inning.

                      Nyssa's Trent Holcomb singled, then scored on an RBI double from John Whitmire to make the score 2-0. Cory Hansen chased Whitmire home with an RBI single. Mitch Holliday singled to score Hansen, and Holliday eventually scored on a wild pitch by Jerome pitcher Ben Edwards. The four-run outburst put Nyssa up 5-0.

                      Jerome came back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, including a solo home run by Jed Semans. The Tigers' Preston Hill scored on Jarod Sour's RBI single. Sour scored later in the inning on Jordan Jensen's RBI single.

                      The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the seventh inning before Waldo closed out the Tigers.

                      "Both games were good. We had good pitching and defensively we played well all day," Nyssa head coach Swede Mason.

                      Hansen, who earned the win in the nightcap, had four strikeouts for the Bulldogs, before Waldo nailed down the save by pitching the seventh inning.

                      "Our sophomore (Hansen) pitched really well. I have high hopes for our pitching this season," Mason said.

                      Semans finished the game for Jerome 2-for-2 from the plate with the home run and a double.

                      Garcia went 3-for-4 for the Bulldogs with three singles, while Holliday, Waldo and Holcomb each went 2-for-4, leading Nyssa's 12-hit attack. Holcomb had a triple and a single. Holliday and Waldo each had two singles.

                      In the opener, Holliday hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, sparking the Bulldogs to the win. Whitmire finished with eight strikeouts in the first game, earning the win. Rigo Paz went 2-for-4 from the plate with two singles.

                      The Bulldogs (3-2 overall) open up Wapiti League play with a doubleheader against Grant Union April 9 at Nyssa High School.

                      Tricia Alvarez is a sports reporter for the Argus Observer. She can be contacted at (541) 889-5387, or by e-mail, TriciaA@argusobserver.com. Story ideas are always welcomed.

                      Tigers split at Buck's Bags, Mar. 28, 2004

                      William Anderson Argus Observer

                      After gathering nine hits against Madison, in a 7-4 victory, the Ontario baseball team's bats went ice cold, connecting for only one hit in a 11-1, five inning loss to Twin Falls Saturday afternoon at Storey Park in Meridian.

                      The Bruins' Nick Carr struck out 10 Ontario batters in the nightcap, allowing only one run on one hit and one walk. Carr hit two Tigers in the process to pick up the win on the mound.

                      "He (Carr) is their No. 1 guy. They saved him for us. There was not a whole lot we could have done against him this early in the season," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "I am sure we will not see a team as good as Twin Falls all year. They are a good team, very well-coached."

                      In the second inning, Twin Falls got all the run support it would need the rest of the game.

                      After a ground out, Nathan Robertson took a 1-0 pitch from Jake Beck over the left field fence, for a solo home run, to get the scoring started. Following a Bruin out, Carl Ott hit a double to left center and Drew Bernhard drew a walk, to put runners on first and second. Leadoff hitter Todd Rehbein hit a sharp single to left center to score the two runners and give Twin Falls a 3-0 lead.

                      The Bruins tacked on two more runs in the third and Ontario scored its lone run in the top of the fifth inning.

                      Matt Mejia began the inning, picking up Ontario's lone hit, with a flair to right field. A strike out and two hit batters later, Ontario had the bases loaded with one out.

                      Mejia scored and the two other base runners advanced, when Carr made one of his only mistakes of the game, throwing a wild pitch, helping Ontario get on the board.

                      In the bottom of the fifth, Twin Falls scored six runs to end the game.

                      To start the frame, Twin Falls drew three straight walks, before Alex Hill picked up a single and Ott reached first on a dropped third strike. The next two Bruins struck out before Tim Mealer hit a single and Luke Hawkins hit a double to knock in the final two runs and end the game.

                      In the opening game of the day, Ontario defeated Madison 7-4, as Zach Park picked up the win on the mound.

                      Ontario hosts Vallivue Saturday in a nonleague contest.

                      William Anderson is the assistant sports editor for the Argus Observer. He can be contacted at (541) 889-5387, or by e-mail, WilliamA@argusobserver.com. Story ideas are always welcomed.

                      -----------------

                      Falcons soar past Ontario, Apr. 4, 2004

                      Argus Observer Sports Staff

                      After staying even for one inning, Vallivue's bats woke up, scoring 10 runs over the next two innings, as Vallivue scored in every inning, beating the Ontario softball team 15-5 in a five inning nonleague softball game Saturday in Ontario.

                      In the third inning, the gates were blown wide open, as Vallivue sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on only two hits.

                      "They jumped on us early," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "(Kayla) Yano threw well early. Then ran into trouble. AJ (Hawk) threw the ball well. It was a good day offensively."

                      Offensively, Hawk went 3-for-3 from the plate, to lead the Tigers (1-3 overall), driving in four runs. Jamie Arant picked up two hits and scored three runs, picking up the lone extra base hit with a double.

                      Vallivue scored another run in the fourth and three more in the fifth in the victory.

                      Ontario picked up three runs in the bottom of the fifth in the loss.

                      Weiser sends Ontario to loss, Apr. 7, 2004

                      Argus Observer sports staff

                      The Weiser softball team broke things wide open with a seven-run sixth inning, handing Ontario its fourth loss of the season, 11-6, Tuesday at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center in Ontario.

                      The Wolverines strung five straight hits together - from Tot Saito, Jennifer Giambo, Kayla Branstetter, Sally Grandi and Erin Wall - to start the sixth inning. Ontario helped the Wolverines with three errors in the inning to take an 11-2 lead.

                      "They took advantage of three errors and a walk in the big inning," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said after his team fell to 1-4 on the season. "We only walked one batter in the inning, plus they had six hit that just seemed to fall in between people. Combine the two and it leads to a disastrous inning."

                      The Wolverines improved to 4-4 on the season.

                      "A lot of those hits in the sixth inning were those little dingers," Weiser head coach Dale Emert said. "They had eyes and found a spot."

                      The Tigers rallied with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Kailey Poole delivered a three-run triple that scored Kayla Montgomery, Jaimi Arant and Kristia Maeda.

                      Poole finished the game 2-for-3 with a double and a triple and four RBIs. The junior drove in Ontario's first run in the first inning with an RBI double that chased home Arant, who led off the inning with a double. Arant finished 3-for-4 with three doubles and two runs scored.

                      "We just need to get over our mental errors," Simpson said. "That is just inexperience."

                      Megan Kautz picked up the win for Weiser, throwing a complete game. Kautz struck out nine and issued four walks. Saito led Weiser's 10-hit attack, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Grandi was 2-for-4 with two runs.

                      Kayla Yano took the loss for Ontario, throwing the first two innings, before being lifted for A.J. Hawk in the third inning.

                      Weiser faces another Greater Oregon League squad Thursday, travelling to Vale. Ontario begins GOL play Thursday at Baker.

                      Homedale takes top honors, Apr. 8, 2004

                      Argus Observer Sports Staff

                      Nine teams came to compete in the Ontario Girls' Invitational golf meet Wednesday afternoon at the Ontario Golf Club. Homedale took home first place honors, shooting a 174 as a team, beating out Weiser by 10 strokes to capture top team honors.

                      Not only did Homedale spoil the Tigers first home meet with the victory, but Homedale's Kerie Kushlan shot a 37, to take home the medalist honor.

                      Behind Homedale, Weiser shot a 184, La Grande a 197, Ontario a 213, McCall-Donnelly a 241 and Payette a 244 to round out all the teams, while Fruitland, Idaho City and Middleton all sent golfers.

                      For Weiser, Amy Sutton led the way with a 43, while Sara Huston shot a 45 and Nicole Picard had a 46.

                      Mandy Greif shot a 43 to lead Payette and Jennifer Jaramillo shot a 49 for Ontario.

                      "I think we played really well. We are only returning three starters and lost state co-champion Anna Jaramillo," Ontario girls' golf coach Russ Leininger said. "We have three freshmen and a sophomore. The way the freshman develop is how the team is going to do. We are getting better every week."

                      Fruitland's lone representative, Raquel Rode, shot a 49 for the Grizzlies.

                      Ontario travels to La Grande Tuesday.

                      Tigers fall twice to No. 3 Bulldogs, Apr. 9, 2004

                       Argus Observer Sports Staff

                      The Ontario softball team had a little trouble getting hits in a 11-0, 11-0 Greater Oregon League conference sweep to No. 3 Baker Thursday afternoon in Baker City.

                      The Tigers managed to squeak out three hits, while allowing 13 hits to Baker, as the Tigers also had 11 errors in the two games.

                      "We could not get our offense going," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "We did not do so bad considering we are playing the second team in the state last year."

                      In the opening game, Baker got off and running, scoring two runs in each of the first three innings, before scoring five runs in the fourth inning. Baker held Ontario scoreless in the top half of the fifth inning, as Baker won the game with the mercy rule.

                      In the nightcap, Ontario managed only one hit, to Baker's eight, as Baker took a 10-0 lead after three innings of play.

                      On the day, Jamie Arant had two hits to lead the Tigers (1-6 overall, 0-2 GOL).

                      Ontario is back in action Saturday, when they host Mac-Hi Saturday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.

                      Tigers remain winless in GOL, Apr. 11, 2004

                      Argus Observer Sports Staff

                      The Ontario softball team suffered a Greater Oregon League doubleheader sweep Saturday afternoon, dropping the opener 9-7 and being shut out in the nightcap, 6-0, to Mac-Hi in Ontario.

                      In the opener, the Tigers battled back to take a 5-4 lead after five innings. Unfortunately, the score would not hold up, as Mac-Hi scored five runs in the final two frames and held Ontario to only two runs in the seventh inning, as Ontario dropped the opener 9-7, after belting out 12 hits.

                      The second game was not much better for the Tigers (1-8 overall, 0-4 GOL), as they managed only two hits in the game, both in the bottom of the seventh inning, and struck out 13 times, as Mac-Hi completed the sweep.

                      "In the first game, we had 12 hits, the girls were firing the ball, but we just had some errors in the last two innings, when they scored five runs," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the second game, we had one disastrous inning. I am still seeing improvement."

                      Ontario travels to Vale Thursday in a Greater Oregon League contest.

                      Strong pitching effort carries Tigers, Apr. 11, 2004

                       William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Two good pitching performances lifted the Ontario baseball team over the Riverside Pirates, 16-2 and 7-3, to earn the sweep in the Greater Oregon League twin bill Saturday afternoon at Ontario High School.

                      In the opener, Shane Schiemer pitched the entire game, going five innings, striking out nine Pirates and allowing only two hits, as the Tigers scored in each of their four innings.

                      "We played fantastic, Shane threw fantastic. He kept us motivated and kept a good tempo. He got a lot of strikeouts," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Shane kept us swinging the bat, he got guys out. That was nice to see, he has been doing that all year."

                      In the first inning, the Tigers got on the scoreboard when Schiemer hit a two-run home run, driving home Chance Cruickshank, giving Ontario a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, Ontario exploded offensively scoring seven runs, on five hits, as Matt Mejia hit a two-run single and Kyle Mitchell drove in two runs, one with a single and one with a base on balls.

                      After another two runs in the third inning, Ontario scored five runs in the fifth, to take a 16-0 lead.

                      Riverside scored its two runs in the fifth inning, but it was not enough to extend the game.

                      In the nightcap, the Tigers' (9-2 overall, 2-0 GOL) pitching again kept them going, as Jake Beck picked up the win, throwing a complete game, allowing three runs to cross the plate, as the offense did not score as many runs.

                      Ontario got off early, scoring four runs in the first inning, as Schiemer had a two run single and Zach Park and Chance Cruickshank also picked up RBIs in the inning.

                      The Tigers added two more in the second inning and one more in the fourth inning.

                      "I think we started to get tired at the end," Hartley said. "I think we lost focus after we jumped out 7-0. We waited for someone else to get it done."

                      Losing focus could have been the reason the Tigers surrendered three runs in the fifth and sixth innings, including a two-run home run.

                      "We executed well all day long. We started breaking down," Hartley said. "Offensively, we tried to do things we could not do."

                      Regardless, Ontario came away with the sweep, as Schiemer was a double shy of hitting for the cycle on the day, finishing 6-for-8 on the day, with seven runs batted in. Mejia ended the twinbill with a 5-for-7 performance, scoring four runs and knocking in three. Cruickshank also added three RBIs.

                      Ontario travels to Baker Friday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.

                      Tigers get past Vale in district tennis play, Apr. 11, 2004

                      Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                      The atmosphere is always tense when the Ontario Tigers take on the Vale Vikings in a sporting event. It was the same Friday afternoon when their tennis teams faced off in a Special District 4 tennis match, a match the Tigers won, 6-4.

                      "We played pretty well today," Ontario girls' head coach Dennis Gill said. "Vale is always good competition for us. The No. 2 and No. 3 singles were a lot tighter than I would have liked."

                      The Ontario girls nearly swept Vale, dropping just one match to the Vikings in the girls' singles. Cassandra Andrews picked up the lone win for the Vale girls, winning 7-6, 7-6 over Christie Linford.

                      Ontario's Stephanie Babij picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win over Rachel Carmichael in the girls' No. 1 singles.

                      Carmichael said the match was something she could learn from.

                      "It was a learning experience," she said. "I am used to being a doubles player, so I am getting use to being a singles player. This is the way you get better."

                      Kristy Church and Kelsey Pobanz remained undefeated on the season, beating Vale's Krystal Carmen and Megan Haueter, 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 1 girls' doubles match. The Tigers completed the doubles sweep with wins from Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz in the No. 2 match and Julie Hall and Jenna McClean in the No. 3 match.

                      The Vale boys' fared better, winning three of the five matches.

                      The Tigers Payton Aarestad handled Vale's Francisco Enduro 6-1, 6-4, in the No. 1 singles match. Vale rebounded to take the next two, getting victories from Fabian Faehndrich and Joe Adams.

                      Ontario's top boys' doubles team - Nick Babij and Philipp Dimakopulos - won, beating Robbie Seals and Travis McFeteridge 7-5, 6-2.

                      "I was really disappointed in the No. 1 boys matches. I thought we could play better. Ontario is always well coached and they just played better than we did," Vale head coach Susan Seals said. "The girls played pretty good. Rachel (Carmichael) is disappointed that she did not get more games. I am pleased with the No. 1 (girls) doubles. This is Megan Haueter's first year playing tennis and they did really well. Our second and third singles were really close matches. The girls stayed in and played tough the whole time."

                      The Ontario girls team (5-0 overall) will stay home to face Fruitland Monday, while the boys (2-3 overall) will travel to Fruitland to take on the Grizzlies.

                      NoDoz incident at middle school sparks letter to parents, Apr. 14, 2004

                       Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                      Ontario School District officials are labeling a March 31 incident at Ontario Middle School as a situation that could spark awareness and dialogue between students and parents about the dangers of drug abuse.

                      The incident revolves around the buying, selling, possessing and consuming of NoDoz/Vivarin tablets and involved about 30 middle school students.

                      School officials were notified about the NoDoz/Vivarin selling spree through another middle school student, according to Ontario School District Director of Public Information and Community Involvement Katherine M. Collins.

                      Information regarding the incident, though, remains sketchy. Collins refused to identify specific punitive measures, if any, carried out in the wake of the case or provide a time frame for when students involved in the incident received, or will receive, penalties.

                      Collins said, however, the consequences for students involved in buying, selling and consuming NoDoz/Vivarin on campus were administered in accordance with the school policy.

                      According to Ontario School Board Policy, students caught with possession of drug paraphernalia, using, possessing or under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or "dangerous drugs" on or near campus will be recommended for suspension up to seven calendar days. The school will also notify parents and law enforcement of the drug activity.

                      Under the policy mandates, students caught sharing or selling narcotics, alcohol or "dangerous drugs" on or near campus will be recommended for expulsion with at least seven days of suspension and a chemical abuse evaluation.

                      Immediately following the incident, OMS Principal LaVelle Cornwell sent a letter home to parents that outlined the results from a school probe into the situation. The letter encouraged parents to talk to their children about "making choices."

                      Collins said the situation that occurred at OMS can result in a positive dialogue between parents and children.

                      "We can't do anything about what has happened in the past. We can only do something about the future. And, if parents will talk to their children about this subject, maybe we can keep this type of incident from happening again," Collins said.

                      NoDoz/Vivarin is an over-the-counter stimulant that contains 200mg of caffeine per tablet. Collins said the stimulant can have varied effects depending on the amount taken and size of the individual consuming it.

                      Cornwell said she cannot recall the last time there was a drug-related incident of this magnitude at OMS. Cornwell has handled a situation regarding a student found with an unopened package of cigarettes at school and an incident involving the unauthorized consumption of Tylenol by two students. Both events occurred in the past five years since Cornwell has been an administrator at OMS.

                      Board hears update on Reading First program, April 16, 2004

                      Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                      The Ontario School District board meeting Thursday covered an array of key issues in the school district, including updates on grants, preparation for summer school and new transportation policies.

                      The first major item on the agenda was an update on the three-year Reading First grant the Ontario School District received last year. The federal Reading First initiative allocated money to individual states in an effort to raise the reading level in public schools - which is a significant component of President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind policy.

                      The Reading First grant was awarded to Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools from federal monies funneled through the Oregon Department of Education.

                      The first stage of the grant allocated $325,824 for the hiring of reading coaches and updating classroom library materials. The second stage of the grant included $179,525 for special programs that work in conjunction with the Reading First initiative goals.

                      Ontario will receive funding next year, although the federal government has not released the final figures on the amount of funding. OSD can then reapply for another three-year Reading First grant. If the district is approved, the program will officially end after six years.

                      Sherri Sims, OSD director of school improvement, said the grant implementation is working well at both elementary schools. She added she is optimistic the school district will be accepted for the three-year extension of the grant.

                      Summer School

                      In other news, Alameda Elementary Principal Paul Erlebach - the chief principal in charge of summer school - discussed new goals he has for the summer session. Erlebach vision included increasing summer school enrollment, retaining the higher enrollment numbers and better identifying children with special needs.

                      Andy Kovach, principal of Pioneer Elementary School and director of the migrant student summer school, reported the migrant program will operate this year with 10 percent less federal funds. He said he was not sure why there will be less funding, but is confidant this year's migrant student summer school will be more successful than previous years because there is a clear set of goals and expectations for this session.

                      Transportation

                      In other unrelated business, Superintendent Dr. Dennis Carter gave a presentation on the changes that will take effect next year in regards to elementary students who currently take shuttle buses to attend a school that is not their "attendance area school."

                      Three years ago, the school board voted to end the district's policy of school choice, which gave parents and the district authority for children to attend an elementary school that is not closest to their home. The policy was intended to provide parents with choices on what school their child would attend and allow the school district to ensure each elementary school maintained fairly equal classroom sizes.

                      The school board determined the school choice policy created some confusion and increased district expenses for transporting the students who lived in the country, for instance, to an elementary school like May Roberts located in the city.

                      Along with the school board's resolution to end the school choice policy, they also said students currently attending an elementary school outside of their "attendance area school" could continue attending the school until they graduated to the middle school.

                      In addition to the provision in the resolution, the school board also passed a plan stating the district would provide three more years of shuttle transportation for these students.

                      Carter reported the three years of shuttle transportation expire at the end of this school year. But, there are still elementary students - though he could not provide an exact number - that would utilize the bus shuttles next year.

                      Carter plans on sending letters home in the next couple weeks to these families to notify them they will have to personally transport their children to the school they are attending if it is not their "attendance area school" or enroll their children in the school they would normally attend.

                      Air Conditioning

                      The school board finished the meeting by approving funding for a project to install air conditioning in Alameda, Pioneer and Aiken Elementary Schools. The approval for the funding passed unanimously.

                      Simpson takes the reigns    Mar. 16, 2004   Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                      Anyone who has watched an Ontario High School softball game in the past few year has seen Ontario head coach Gordy Ogawa in the dugout and at third base barking orders.

                      Well, not any longer though. Ogawa has moved on and there is a new big dog in charge.

                      Ontario resident and Fire Chief Randy Simpson is now the Ontario High School head softball coach.

                      Simpson said when Ogawa resigned he just threw his name in the hat for the position.

                      "I love softball and enjoy coaching. I have a self interest in the team with my daughter playing," Simpson said. "If I was not the head coach, I would have been here helping out anyway."

                      Simpson's daughter Stephanie is currently a junior at Ontario High School and has played softball for two years.

                      Simpson has been a part of the Field of Dreams coaching staff for the past four years - two at the U14 level and two at the U16 level.

                      "I wanted to see all the summer work continue," Simpson said.

                      When Simpson took over the team earlier this year, he found that there was just one big problem - there was no equipment.

                      "Except for a few bats, all the equipment that the high school had been using belonged to the Field of Dreams teams," Simpson said.

                      Simpson immediately went on a fundraising campaign.

                      "We sent out letters asking for donations and advertising banner sales,"   Simpson said.

                      Thus far with donations, fundraising and with a small amount from the high school, Simpson and the team have raised enough funds to be able to purchase catching gear, batting helmets and some balls.

                      A portable shed was donated to the team to store their new equipment, but they still need more.

                      "The uniforms the teams are wearing are in bad shape. They are between six and ten years old," Simpson said.

                      The team would like new uniforms and a pitching machine is in the works.

                      With just 21 players for two teams, including only three seniors, Simpson hopes to have a winning season.

                      Simpson and the Tigers will hit the field Wednesday against Caldwell High School in their season opener.

                      Hobby Day' a big hit at May Roberts, Apr. 16, 2004

                      Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                      May Roberts Accelerated Elementary School cafeteria was transformed into pizza-making and necklace decorating stations, while in the main corridor, the sounds of both an electric saw and guitar echoed through the hall last week.

                      The third annual May Roberts Hobby Day began Friday, for the kindergarten, first- and second-grade students. An array of activities for the younger students were squeezed into a one hour block of time.

                      Elementary school student council members helped organize the event.

                      Another Hobby Day is slated for Friday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. for the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders.

                      Most of the activities tomorrow be the same as last week's Hobby Day but they will be presented at a more advanced level, according to May Roberts music teacher and student council adviser Teresa Gartung. School officials sent out a notification to parents and community members before Hobby Day was scheduled. Several volunteers offered to present their skills and talents with the students. Gartung said there were at least 10 presenters Friday that were parents or other volunteers from the community. May Roberts Principal Frances Ramirez said the idea for Hobby Day originated about three years ago from the Parent Intervention Cadre - a task force of teachers and parents formed to create more involvement. The result has been a positive one school official said.

                      "According to research and our own observations, parent involvement is one of the most important and essential factors in providing a successful school experience," Gartung said.

                      Some of the hobbies involved physical activity, such as lessons on Mexican dancing with the traditional clothing, or learning to cheerlead from parent volunteer Keri Rock, who has a gymnastics background. Local firefighters Jarrod and Danyale Simontacchi demonstrated wildland fire equipment and taught students about fire prevention.

                      Students in the cafeteria were one step closer to becoming culinary experts after learning to make mini pizzas, snacks, necklaces out of candy and decorations filled with candy and chips. Other activities were focused on arts and crafts. Some elementary students assembled computer generated images into a coloring book and bound it with leather. Others made mini photo albums, learned origami (Japanese art of folding paper to make shapes and figures) and woodworking techniques.

                      Ontario nine manages split with Bulldogs, April 19, 2004

                      Argus Observer Sports Staff

                      The Ontario baseball team took the opener 7-5, before dropping the nightcap, 7-3 to Baker in Greater Oregon League baseball action Friday in Baker City.

                      In the opener, the Tigers struck first, scoring one run in each of the third and fourth innings and five more in the fifth inning, to take a 7-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Baker scored four runs to get back in the game, but only scored one run in the seventh, as their comeback attempt fell short.

                      "We played a good team from Baker," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "We did some good things to come away with a split. If this team could stay focused and execute for an entire doubleheader, I think we could have won both games."

                      Shane Schiemer pitched six plus innings for Ontario, striking out 11 Bulldogs to pick up the victory. Jake Beck pitched the seventh to pick up the save.

                      Schiemer also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Matt Mejia and Brandon Coley each went 2-for-3 from the plate in the win.

                      In the nightcap, the Tigers were unable to put together a big inning, scoring only one run in the fourth and two runs in the sixth.

                      "The Baker pitching staff did an amazing job making us swing the bats today. Neither starter from Baker gave up any walks, and that is something I want our pitchers to strive for. I know we are capable of making that happen," Hartley said.

                      Ontario's Zach Park and Juan Trejo each hit doubles for the Tigers. Park and Derek Kygar were the only Tigers to drive in runs.

                      The Tigers are back in action Tuesday, when they travel to Nyssa in a nonleague contest.

                      Tigers bats silent in GOL sweep, April 19, 2004

                      Argus Observer Sports Staff ONTARIO

                      The Ontario softball team dropped a pair of Greater Oregon League games, 12-1 and 10-0, to the Riverside Saturday in Ontario.

                      The Ontario batters could not get anything going, combining for five hits in two games.

                      "Offensively, (Erica) Hancock just kept us at bay," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the first game other than the two errors the girls really played well, but we only got two hits."

                      In the second game, the Tigers (1-12 overall, 0-8 GOL) were able to hold off the offensive threat of the Pirates for the first two innings, allowing just one run. Riverside's bats came to life, scoring four runs to grab a 5-0 advantage in the third inning.

                      The Pirates added three runs in the fourth inning and two in the fifth, ending the game with the 10-run mercy rule.

                      "We are improving every week. AJ (Hawk) pitched very well in the first game and Kayla (Yano) only allowed six hits in the second game. The girls are playing their guts out," Simpson said. "The girls played better than the score indicates."

                      In the first game, Ontario's Jamie Arant and Stephanie Simpson each went 1-for-3.

                      In the nightcap, Simpson, Kailey Poole and Kayla Montgomery had the Tigers' only hits and were 1-for-2.

                      The Tigers continue GOL play Saturday when they play host to the La Grande Tigers.

                      Holding his own, April 19, 2004

                      Andrew Cutler Argus Observer CORVALLIS - It hasn't taken a little known talent from Ontario long to run with the big dogs of the Pac-10 Conference.

                      Michael Lissman, who is a 2003 graduate of Ontario High School, has provided the Oregon State University baseball team with plenty of power during his freshman season. Lissman has clubbed four home runs - tied for third on the team - and has driven in 21 runs entering a weekend series at Cal State Sacramento. Lissman's contributions have helped the Beavers 22-11 start.

                      "This is everything I've wanted," Lissman said. "Baseball and school. I love baseball, that's everything I ever want to do in college."

                      Lissman was questionable entering the series with the Hornets because of a strained achilles tendon suffered before pregame warmups during a series with the Washington Huskies a week ago.

                      "I'm getting treatment, it just matters how I feel," Lissman said. "If it feels good, it shouldn't affect playing time."

                      Lissman did not play in Friday's 7-2 win over Sacramento State.

                      The Ontario standout batted .529 and hit 10 home runs with the Tigers during his senior season at OHS. Lissman averaged a home

                      run less than every seven at bats and had 45 RBIs, helping the Ontario Tigers to a second-place finish at the 3A state tournament. Ontario finished the 2003 with a 25-3 overall record. The Tigers had a 22-game winning streak snapped by Mazama in the 3A final, 4-3.

                      Lissman said there is one big change from playing in the 3A Greater Oregon League and the NCAA Division I Pac-10 Conference - pitching.

                      "Every pitcher I go out and face is better than any pitcher I ever saw in the GOL," Lissman, who is second on the team with a .361 batting average, said. "Every pitcher I see is good. They are Division I baseball players Division I pitchers. They are here for a reason. It's amazing going from one day guys that throw in the high 70s or low 80s to guys that hit the high 80s, low 90s every day. That is a big jump."

                      It hasn't taken the freshman long to show he belongs among the nation's best.

                      On April 9, Lissman homered twice and drove in four runs, helping the Beavers to a 5-4 win over No. 2 Stanford. In the bottom of the second, Lissman poked a 1-ball, 1-strike pitch over the fence in right-center field. In the bottom of the fourth, Lissman drove another 1-1 pitch out of the park, this time into the fir trees beyond the center field fence.

                      It's been the highlight of a stellar freshman season.

                      "The win against Stanford is the highlight, just because of who they are," Lissman said. "They are No. 2 in the nation. They are there for a reason, they are good.

                      "But the thing is we are capable of so much more, that's the thing that keeps me excited. I know we are better than what we are. It makes everyone keep pushing to get better."

                      Lissman, who splits time between being the Beavers' designated hitter and roaming left field, said when Oregon State kicked off the season February 13 in Surprise, Ariz. it was like a "dream."

                      "The first game of the year (against Utah) I started," Lissman said. "We played in one of the nicest parks I've ever played in. It is where Texas (Rangers) and Kansas City (Royals) have Spring Training. It's different. It's something you have to change to. It's like a dream I'm living in and I love it.

                      "Every day I go out and give 100 percent. You never know when it could be the last game. It's an opportunity that I got to go to Oregon State. I figure I might as well run with it. Ride it until the wheels fall off."

                      Tigers bats silent in GOL sweep  April 19, 2004  Argus Observer Sports Staff ONTARIO

                      The Ontario softball team dropped a pair of Greater Oregon League games, 12-1 and 10-0, to the Riverside Saturday in Ontario.

                      The Ontario batters could not get anything going, combining for five hits in two games.

                      "Offensively, (Erica) Hancock just kept us at bay," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the first game other than the two errors the girls really played well, but we only got two hits."

                      In the second game, the Tigers (1-12 overall, 0-8 GOL) were able to hold off the offensive threat of the Pirates for the first two innings, allowing just one run. Riverside's bats came to life, scoring four runs to grab a 5-0 advantage in the third inning.

                      The Pirates added three runs in the fourth inning and two in the fifth, ending the game with the 10-run mercy rule.

                      "We are improving every week. AJ (Hawk) pitched very well in the first game and Kayla (Yano) only allowed six hits in the second game. The girls are playing their guts out," Simpson said. "The girls played better than the score indicates."

                      In the first game, Ontario's Jamie Arant and Stephanie Simpson each went 1-for-3.

                      In the nightcap, Simpson, Kailey Poole and Kayla Montgomery had the Tigers' only hits and were 1-for-2.

                      The Tigers continue GOL play Saturday when they play host to the La Grande Tigers.

                      Hot start ignites Tigers past Nyssa, April 21, 2004

                      William Anderson Argus Observer

                      From the first pitch of the game the Ontario baseball team set the tempo.

                      After warmups and all the pregame business, Nyssa's John Whitmire delivered a pitch to Ontario's Matt Mejia, who hit a triple to right field and scored on a throwing error on the play, as Ontario took a 1-0 lead after one pitch.

                      The Tigers went on to defeat the Bulldogs 8-3 in a nonleague baseball game Tuesday afternoon in Nyssa.

                      Following Mejia's triple, Kyle Mitchell walked and Zach Park hit a 3-1 pitch to left center, to give the Tigers (11-3 overall) a quick 3-0 lead.

                      Whitmire settled down, getting Shane Schiemer to fly out to left field and Derek Kygar to ground out to the shortstop, before Walking Chris Schauer on four straight pitches, fol-

                      lowed by a fly-out to Scott Curtis to end the inning.

                      "We started out hitting the ball well," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "All you can do is hit the ball hard."

                      The Bulldogs (7-6) in the bottom of the frame had some luck as well. Mitch Holliday opened up the inning, drawing a base on balls, before Jessie Garcia hit a sacrifice fly to center field, to score Holliday. Cody Waldo later came around to score on a wild pitch.

                      Unfortunately, that would be as close as Nyssa would get, as Ontario again scored three runs in their half of the second inning and one more in the third inning, before Nyssa responded with one run in the fourth inning, after a leadoff double by Rigo Paz.

                      "We were kind of surprised they hit the ball as hard as they did," Nyssa head coach Swede Mason said. "Three runs is not too much to make up."

                      Ontario added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Jared McLean reached on a single and scored on a Jake Beck single to left field.

                      "I think Mejia started it out, ripping a triple to the gap," Hartley said about his team's quick start. "It is nice when your leadoff guy gets on. (Chance) Cruickshank did a good job making Nyssa put the ball in play."

                      On the day, Ontario's Park finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs batted in, and Schiemer and Beck finished the game with an RBI.

                      Nyssa was led by Trent Holcomb, going 2-for-3 from the plate and Garcia picked up the Bulldogs' lone RBI.

                      Ontario is at Burns Saturday in a Greater Oregon League matchup, while Nyssa is in Pine Eagle for Special District 8 action.

                      Navarro retires from Ontario Middle School, April 25, 2004

                      Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                      Thirty years after she first started teaching, Georgia Navarro, assistant principal at Ontario Middle School, will retire at the end of the school year.

                      Navarro started her teaching career in 1973, after graduating from Idaho State, Pocatello. Her first job was as a language arts teacher at Mount Vernon High School.

                      "There were only 45 kids in the school. It was fun. I took the senior class (five kids) on a trip to British Columbia in my car for their senior trip," she said.

                      Navarro continued on as a language arts teacher in Prairie City from 1975 to 1977.

                      After the new special education law was put into place in 1976, Navarro started her 12-year career as a special education teacher.

                      In 1977, she went to work at Ontario High School.

                      "I was the first special education teacher Ontario High School ever had. I got to set up my own programs," Navarro said.

                      After marrying, Navarro went to work in La Grande as a special education teacher for two years before returning to Ontario and where she took on the task of special education specialist at Lindberg and Pioneer Elementary Schools.

                      A few years later, Navarro moved on to what was know at the time as Ontario Junior High.

                      When Don Sutherland retired as the language arts and social studies teacher in 1988, Navarro went back to teaching his subjects to seventh graders.

                      "Seventh-grade was my favorite age group," Navarro said.

                      Seventeen years after she started teaching, Navarro wanted to do something else. Already equipped with a teaching credential and her masters degree, she decided to earn her administrative credentials. In 1991, she Navarro received those credentials after attending Albertson College.

                      That same year, Navarro became the assistant principal of Ontario Middle School under the direction of Gene Bates.

                      Ontario School District superintendent contacted Navarro in 1995 and offered her the position of principal at Pioneer Elementary School and she accepted, she said.

                      "I was not only the principal, I was also the special education specialist there," Navarro said.

                      When Irene Bates retired from May Roberts Elementary School, Navarro became the principal at that school.

                      In 2000, Navarro landed her final and current position as one of the assistant principals at OMS.

                      "I think changing jobs or locations every four or five years keeps thing fresh and you are not in a rut," Navarro said.

                      In her current position, Navarro has a multitude of responsibilities. She supervises breakfast and lunch, attends meetings nearly every morning, reads the morning announcement, disciplines students and performs the athletic director duties for the middle school.

                      "The best part of the athletic director job is that I get to see some of the best kids doing good stuff and I have gotten to meet other AD's and coaches from other schools," Navarro said.

                      Though the years at the elementary and secondary schools have been good ones, Navarro is looking forward to retirement.

                      "I will be a part-time instructor at TVCC. I will teach nine hours per quarter in low-level English classes, and I will be supervising student teachers for Eastern Oregon University," Navarro said.

                      Tigers take two more GOL losses    April 25, 2004    Argus Observer Sports Staff

                      The Ontario softball team's troubles continue, as they were swept in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader Saturday afternoon, falling 9-0 and 14-1 in two games to La Grande.

                      In the opening game, the Tigers (1-14 overall, 0-10 GOL) managed only one hit in the game. Ontario allowed nine hits and finished with two errors.

                      "The girls have got to be able to play complete games," Ontario softball coach Randy Simpson said. "We are not at the point were we are playing complete games."

                      In the nightcap, things did not get much better for the Tigers, as they committed seven errors, but got five hits and scored a run in the six inning contest.

                      "Jamie Arant played some of the best defense she has played all year," Simpson said. "She made some phenomenal plays."

                      The Tigers host Baker Thursday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.  Prep Tennis

                      The Ontario tennis team barely broke a sweat Saturday, picking up a pair of Special District 4 wins.

                      The Tigers blanked both Madras and Burns, handing each a 10-0 defeat at Burns High School.

                      "We played well," Ontario boys' head coach Ernie Alger said. "The kids really stayed in it from start to finish."

                      No Tiger was extended past two sets in either match.

                      The closest match came in the No. 3 girls' singles match against the Hilanders. Ontario's Marcela Ramirez took a close 7-5, 7-5 win over Melissa Thomas.

                      "The girls did well," Ontario girls head coach Dennis Gill said. "Madras always gives us good competition. We just did a great job."

                      The Tigers (8-0 Special District 4) will entertain Homedale Tuesday in nonleague play.

                      Ontario nine manages split with Bulldogs    April 18, 2004    Argus Observer Sports Staff

                      The Ontario baseball team took the opener 7-5, before dropping the nightcap, 7-3 to Baker in Greater Oregon League baseball action Friday in Baker City.

                      In the opener, the Tigers struck first, scoring one run in each of the third and fourth innings and five more in the fifth inning, to take a 7-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Baker scored four runs to get back in the game, but only scored one run in the seventh, as their comeback attempt fell short.

                      "We played a good team from Baker," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "We did some good things to come away with a split. If this team could stay focused and execute for an entire doubleheader, I think we could have won both games."

                      Shane Schiemer pitched six plus innings for Ontario, striking out 11 Bulldogs to pick up the victory. Jake Beck pitched the seventh to pick up the save.

                      Schiemer also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Matt Mejia and Brandon Coley each went 2-for-3 from the plate in the win.

                      In the nightcap, the Tigers were unable to put together a big inning, scoring only one run in the fourth and two runs in the sixth.

                      "The Baker pitching staff did an amazing job making us swing the bats today. Neither starter from Baker gave up any walks, and that is something I want our pitchers to strive for. I know we are capable of making that happen," Hartley said.

                      Ontario's Zach Park and Juan Trejo each hit doubles for the Tigers. Park and Derek Kygar were the only Tigers to drive in runs.

                      The Tigers are back in action Tuesday, when they travel to Nyssa in a nonleague contest.

                      Tigers drop 13th straight, April 30, 2004

                      William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Thirteens were running wild Thursday afternoon in Ontario.

                      First off the Ontario softball team lost both games of a Greater Oregon League doubleheader, 13-0, to Baker at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center.

                      The two defeats were the 13th straight losses on the season for Ontario.

                      During the nightcap, the Tigers never seemed to have anything swing their way.

                      After allowing three runs in the first inning, Ontario's leadoff hitter Jamie Arant hit the ball to right field, as Baker's rightfielder, Amber Uriarte, came up firing, gunning out the sliding Arant at first base.

                      "(Heidi) Boyer pitched a great game. She kept us at bay the whole time. That is why they are the No. 3 team in the state," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "We were playing well, then we had some breakdowns on errors. The girls are still learning and they are improving."

                      Over the next four innings for the Tigers (1-16 overall, 0-12 GOL), they held Baker to only two runs, before they scored eight runs, on six hits and two Tiger errors in the sixth inning.

                      One bright spot for the Tigers, was Arant, picking up the lone hit for the Tigers, while playing solid defense at shortstop.

                      Jessica Horn drew a two-out walk in the first inning for Ontario, as she and Arant were the only two base runners of the game.

                      Overall, the Bulldogs picked up 10 hits in the game.

                      In the opening game, Boyer pitched a no-hitter against the Tigers, as Tara Wilson had a triple and a double, knocking in two runs, while Amber Uriarte had a triple and two RBIs in the game.

                      Ontario continues its Greater Oregon League schedule today on the road against Mac-Hi.

                      Frisby, Page pace Tigers, April 30, 2004

                      Argus Observer Sports Staff

                      Two Ontario Tigers won at least two events Thursday afternoon at the Vale Invitational track meet in Vale.

                      Riley Frisby and Sheryl Page each won two individual events, while Page helped the 4x400 relay team to a first place finish.

                      Frisby won the 800 and 1,500 meter, with times of 2 minutes, 2.95 seconds, and 4:17.3 respectively, as teammate Jacob Blaylock was not far behind in each event, taking third and fourth in the 800 and 1,500 respectively.

                      "I thought it was a very good meet. A lot of GOL (Greater Oregon League) teams. We got to see a preview of what would happen in district," Ontario track coach Randy Waite said. "We set a lot of personal records and did very well."

                      Page also won the 800 and 1,500 meter races with times of 2:18.05 and 5:01.05 respectively, as she also helped the 4x400 meter relay team to first place finish, at 4:11.

                      Also on the relay team are Angie Hamman, Kristen Hamman and Jordan Bainbridge.

                      -----------------

                      Tigers sweep aside Vale, May 2, 2004

                      William Anderson Argus Observer

                      After taking the first game a Greater Oregon League doubleheader 11-1, the Ontario baseball team had a hard time closing out the deal in the second game, over the stubborn Vale Vikings, Friday afternoon as the Tigers picked up the sweep with a 12-6 nightcap victory at Elks Memorial Field in Ontario.

                      In the nightcap, the Tigers had the Vikings down 8-1 after four innings of play. With the Vikings not wanting to end their trip to Ontario prematurely, Vale scored two more runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Ontario matched the Vikings on the scoreboard, but the Tigers (14-4 overall, 6-2 GOL) never were able to end the game early.

                      "We could have shut down after that first game when we were down 8-1," Vale head coach Tom Cuellar said. "When we play teams that are solid in the field and at the plate, we have to rise to their level."

                      Still, the Vikings (4-16, 2-8) never gave up on the day, scoring five of their runs in the final three innings and pounding out seven of their nine hits in the same stretch.

                      "I thought we played very well as a team today," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Those who watch us play, know I put a lot of pressure on my players, especially when we are ahead. Whether we are bunting with two strikes or trying to pick guys off, when we really do not need to, we are preparing for the playoffs."

                      In the opening game, Ontario jumped out early, scoring nine runs in the first two innings.

                      "We have a young team, that is not an excuse, we are just young," Cuellar said. "It seems like we always get ourselves behind the 8-ball."

                      Ontario's Brandon Coley pitched the first game, allowing only two hits and one run in the game to pick up the win.

                      Overall on the day, Vale's Mark Moreno went 3-for-7 and Kyle Bates went 3-for-4, while teammate Pat Verdun knocked in two runs.

                      Ontario was led by Matt Mejia, who went 4-for-5, while Shane Schiemer, Jared McLean and Kyle Mitchell all picked up three hits on the day. Chance Cruickshank knocked in six runs in the two games, while Schiemer and Mitchell each knocked in four and Jake Beck knocked in three.

                      Vale heads to Middleton Thursday in a nonconference game.

                      Tigers get past Kuna, May 2, 2004

                      Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                      With great defense and a triple in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Ontario Tigers baseball team was able to defeat the Kuna Kavemen, 3-2 in a nonleague game Saturday at Ontario High School.

                      Ontario's Matt Mejia got up to the plate with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning and the score still tied at 2-2. Mejia let the first four balls go past him. Ball, ball, ball, strike. Now he was ready.

                      The next pitch came across the plate and Mejia drove the ball deep to left centerfield. He jumped on his wheels and before Kuna could get the ball back to the pitcher, Mejia was safely on third base.

                      With the winning run on third, Chance Cruickshank stepped up to the plate. He faked a bunt and at the last second belted the ball down the third base line. Mejia scored and the game was over.

                      "I was very pleased with our defensive efforts. Chris (Schauer) forced a lot of ground balls, and I thought we played really well behind him," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Offensively, we have some work to do executing, but I thought Matt really stepped it up today."

                      Mejia was 3-for-4 from the plate with a triple, double, single and an RBI for the Tigers. Zack Park was 2-for-3 with two singles.

                      Ontario catcher Jared McLean made some key outs for the Tigers in the close victory.

                      "Jared McLean has really been great to have behind the plate this year. He's had to work with a lot of different pitchers and he still keeps balls in front of him while throwing out more base runners than any other high school catcher I have ever seen," Hartley said.

                      The Tigers (16-4 overall, 6-2 GOL) continue Greater Oregon League action Saturday when they take on Mac-Hi in a doubleheader in Ontario.

                      Ontario rallies for GOL split, May 9, 2004

                      Andrew Cutler Argus observer

                      Seven Ontario Tigers drove in runs, helping the Tigers to a 12-0 rout of Mac-Hi in the nightcap of a Greater Oregon League baseball doubleheader at Elks Memorial Field.

                      The Pioneers scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning, stunning the Tigers for a 3-2 win in the opener.

                      "It was very nice to see us bounce back after the first game," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Unfortunately the time is coming when you don't have a chance to make up losses like that."

                      The Tigers (7-5 overall, 7-3 GOL) had eight hits in the nightcap. Kyle Mitchell led the way with a 2-for-3 outing.

                      Ontario got three runs in the bottom of the third. Scott Curtis and Matt Mejia each drew bases loaded walks and Chance Cruickshank had a sacrifice fly.

                      It was more than enough for Cruickshank.

                      The Ontario starting pitcher scattered two hits and one walk over five innings, while striking out four. Cruickshank did not allow a hit until the fourth inning when Jesus Gonzalez lined a single to right field.

                      Ontario went on to add nine runs in the bottom of the fourth. Brandon Coley and Scott Curtis each had two-run doubles. Mejia, Shane Schiemer, Zach Park and Kyle Mitchell all had RBIs in the frame.

                      Curtis finished with three RBIs, while Coley and Mejia each drove in a pair of runs.

                      In the opener, Wayne Williams had an RBI single to highlight the Pioneers' seventh-inning comeback.

                      Mac-Hi's Carlos Ruualcaba fanned 10 and walked three in the complete game.

                      "Ruualcaba is a quality lefty and he threw very well for Mac-Hi today," Hartley said. "We will have to learn to beat someone like that or our season is about over."

                      Mejia and Coley each had RBI singles in the third inning for Ontario.

                      The Tigers host Nyssa at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Elks Memorial Field, before closing the regular season Saturday at La Grande in GOL action.

                      Students showcase heritage at event, May 9, 2004

                      Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                      The eighth-grade Rocket team at Ontario Middle School explored the roots of its heritage during a cultural diversity fair Monday.

                      The diversity fair - in its eighth year at OMS - provided the students with an opportunity to showcase a major project they have been working on since the beginning of the school year.

                      Inspired by a seminar Ontario School District brought to the middle school nine years ago called "Project Reach," OMS English teacher Donna Edwards and social studies teacher Dennis Hironaka developed the idea for an integrated project that combined math, social studies, English and science.

                      Edwards and Hironaka said they thought relating the project to students' cultural roots would hold the interest of the students and instill in them pride and appreciation for their heritage. Edwards said the program has been successful in doing both.

                      The students begin the project in the fall by researching their heritage. Some students have a difficult time tracing their genealogy, Edwards said. A simple Internet search on a students' last name, however, will provide at least a little information about a students' cultural background, Edwards said.

                      After researching their heritage, students write a report about the culture of the country their relatives emigrated from to fulfill requirements for the English portion of the project. For science, students study the climate of their country and create a travel brochure. In social studies class, the eighth-graders give speeches about their project that is videotaped, and in math class, they make charts and graphs comparing commodities in their countries.

                      The eighth-graders were able to showcase their projects from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday at the middle school gym for select elementary classes from Aiken and Cairo Elementary Schools and other middle school students.

                      Parents and grandparents were invited to come to the middle school Monday night to view the projects.

                      Edwards said the fair during the evening draws some of the largest crowds of parents and relatives than many other events at the middle school.

                      During the fair, several eighth-graders dressed in traditional clothing from their country.

                      And even more students brought music to play and food for sampling from their countries.

                      Edwards said almost every country was represented during the cultural fair.

                      One of the few that was not represented was China. Mexico and Germany were among the popular countries represented at the fair.

                      Edwards said the projects have evolved into more elaborate productions during the cultural fair each year as technology improves.

                      Tigers have title hopes on their mind, May 16, 2004

                      William Anderson Argus Observer

                      With a first-place finish and a second-place finish, the Ontario girls' and boys' golf teams head to Redmond with individual and state title hopes in mind.

                      The Ontario girls tee off at the Eagle Crest Resort, while the boys will compete at Eagle Crest Ridge. Both courses are in Redmond. The tournament is Monday and Tuesday.

                      The girls' team will be taking five girls - Cecilia Garcia, Jennifer Jaramillo, Camilie Davis, April Patton and Holly Houston - to the two-day tournament.

                      With the exception of Davis, the girls' team is comprised of underclassman, with Garcia a sophomore and Jaramillo, Patton and Houston each freshman.

                      "(Overcoming their youth) will be our biggest challenge," Ontario girls' golf coach Russ Leininger said. "The girls are playing good."

                      Leininger said that Garcia, who played fourth position at state last season, has really stepped up her play and became a leader.

                      "I think Garcia will place in the top five, if she plays well," Leininger said.

                      The Ontario boys' finished second to La Grande, last week at district, shooting a 690 as a team.

                      Headlining this year's team is Wade Douglas, Marcus Uchida, JC Schram, Brady Kameshige and Dane Dinsmore. Colby Eyre is the alternate.

                      "I think we have a shot to do well at state. We did not play very well at district. The guys did not play as well as they wanted to," Ontario boys' golf coach Scott Helmick said. "We are ready to go, really focused this week."

                      Helmick said that Douglas and Uchida have pretty identical averages, with each having a good shot at placing in the top 10.

                      The teams are traveling today, with a practice round this afternoon in Redmond.

                      Vale boys, Ontario girls claim tennis titles, May 16, 2004

                      William Anderson Argus Observer VALE

                      The Ontario tennis team extended its dominance in the girls' singles, as freshman Stephanie Babij won the Special District 4 championship match, against Vale's Rachel Carmichael, 6-1, 6-2 Saturday afternoon in Vale.

                      Overall, the Ontario tennis team is bringing 10 players to the state tournament, Friday and Saturday, in Eugene.

                      Babij, Ontario's lone girls' singles state qualifier, took over the reigns of graduated Amanda Iseri, who had won four straight district titles.

                      "I played pretty well," Babij said of her performance in the championship match. "I am just excited to get to go to state. The score does not show how tough the match was."

                      Carmichael also earns a spot to state, as Cassandra Andrews of Vale and Bakers Gloria Ho.

                      "I thought she played very well, he handled the pressure outstanding, as a freshman,"

                      Ontario girls' tennis coach Dennis Gill said.

                      As far as girls' doubles go, Ontario claimed the top four slots, with Kristy Church and Kelsy Pobanz taking the No. 1 slot into state, with a 6-3, 6-3 win over teammates Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz in the championship match, while Jenna McClean and Julie Hall defeated Vale's Trish Lacey and Tracey Romans 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in the third-place game.

                      The Tigers are bringing seven girls' to state, while Vale has four girls heading to Eugene.

                      "Seven is the most I have taken," Gill said. "We want to make a run at the team title. That is a goal of the team - be first in state."

                      On the boys' side, Ontario will be sending three guys, while Vale will have four boys make the trip west.

                      Ontario's Peyton Aarestad lost to Baker's Luke Rembold, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, in the boys' singles championship match, while Vale's Francisco Endara defeated teammate Fabian Faehnrich, 8-3, as all four earned state slots.

                      In the boys' doubles, Ontario's Nick Babij and Philipp Dimakopoulos defeated Vale's Robby Seals and Travis McFetridge, 6-0, 7-6 (7-2), to claim the No. 1 spot, while Adam Behrends and Omer Goodson, Madras, defeated Baker's Shawn Ho and Lowell Curtis, 8-,5 for third place.

                      The Vale boys' won, with 18 1/2 points, while the Ontario girls won with 28 points. Overall, Ontario collected 44 team points, while Vale had 36 1/2 points.

                      Ontario rolls over La Grande, May 17, 2004

                      Argus Observer Sports Staff

                      The Ontario baseball team had a strong finish their regular season Saturday, picking up a pair of Greater Oregon League wins, as they defeated La Grande 11-1 and 18-1 in a doubleheader, in La Grande.

                      In the opening game, Ontario scored one run in the first inning and added two more in the third, before exploding for six runs in the fourth inning, to take a 9-0 lead.

                      After one run in the fifth by La Grande, Ontario scored twice more in the top of the sixth, to implement the 10-run mercy rule.

                      "We had some fantastic pitching and offensive performances today," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said.

                      Altogther on the day, the Tigers scored 29 runs on 30 hits, as nearly every batter that went to the plate for Ontario picked up a base hit, led by Zach Park and Shane Schiemer, each picking up five hits on the game.

                      On the mound for Ontario, the pitchers gave up five hits and two runs in the games, Hartley said he was very pleased.

                      In the nightcap, Ontario scored five runs in the first and six more in the second, to take a quick 11-0 lead.

                      Shane Schiemer picked up the win on the mound, pitching four innings of nohit ball, while striking out seven.

                      "I think we are right where we need to be right now," Hartley said. "We have a week to get everyone healthy and I think we have all the tools to make a run at the title."

                      Ontario girls look to finish the job at state, May 18, 2004

                      Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                      The Ontario girls' tennis team is back to take care of some unfinished business - winning a 3A/2A/1A Oregon State Tennis title.

                      The Ontario girls, along with three Ontario boys qualifiers and eight Vale representatives, begin play in the state tournament Friday morning in Eugene.

                      Ontario has been on the threshold of its first girls tennis title the last two seasons. Last year, with only three girls, Ontario finished third. In 2002, Ontario took fourth place.

                      "This group of seniors wants to go out and preform well," Ontario girls' head coach Dennis Gill, who has seven girls making the trip to Eugene, said. "They want to end their high school careers with a state title."

                      Kristy Church and Kelsey Pobanz are the No. 2 seed in girls' doubles. The duo is un-defeated this season after a third place finish at state last season. The duo is looking to continue Special District 4's dominance in girls' doubles.

                      "They have a real shot (at winning)," Gill said. "The league has dominated doubles at state. last year, our league took first, third and fourth in girls' doubles."

                      Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz are the No. 3 seed at state, after finishing second to Church and Kelsey Pobanz at district.

                      Gill said he hopes the number of girls he has at state will help against some of the traditionaly strong tennis schools.

                      "Catlin Gabel is not taking very many and Marist is always tough," Gill said. "Those two teams have done real well in the past and they have good teams back."

                      OHS principal steps down, May 20 , 2004

                       Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                      Ontario School District Superintendent Dr. Dennis Carter announced May 12 to district staff members his plan to advance Ontario Middle School Principal LaVelle Cornwell into a position as principal of both the middle school and the high school.

                      The announcement came one day after Ontario High School Principal Patrick Royal officially resigned from the district - effective June 30.

                      Royal said he is leaving OSD to take over the principal slot of Coquille High School in Coquille to be closer to his family, he said.

                      Cornwell, who has been with the district 26 years and principal of OMS since 2001, will manage her days between the high school and middle school with five associate principals to assist her.

                      One of the five associate principal positions will need to be filled since Georgia Navarro, associate principal at OMS, is retiring June 30.

                      The new administrative arrangement is intended to help students with the transition between middle school and high school, according to Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement at OSD. She said the district wanted to create a more cohesive sixth- through 12th-grade school system.

                      Carter said the district would also like to increase the high school retention rate. He said since the No Child Left Behind Act and the boost in federal school regulations, high school drop out rates are becoming a larger liability for the district.

                      However, Carter said Cornwell's new position as OMS and OHS principal will not immediately and directly cause high school drop out rates to decrease.

                      "This in itself isn't going to make changes in that (drop out rates), but in time they (joint middle school and high school administration) will come up with solutions," Carter said.

                      The new administrative plan places Ontario High School as the only Class 3A high school in the state without a full-time principal, Royal said. Other high schools in Oregon have part-time principals but they are much smaller schools, he said. For example, Jordan Valley High School and Adrian High School operate with a superintendent who also serves as principal.

                      Royal remained optimistic the new administrative plan could be effective, but added it will be "very time consuming" for Cornwell. He said only "time will tell if it works" since there is no precedent for the administrative organization in Oregon.

                      While no high school in Oregon comparable to Ontario's operates with a part-time principal, across the state border Nampa High School and Skyview High School in the Nampa School District are managed in a similar fashion to the new OMS/OHS administrative configuration.

                      Nampa School District's superintendent instituted a new administrative structure four years ago. Skyview High School and South Middle School were divided into one group and Nampa High School and West Middle School into another. Two chief education officers (CEOs) sit at the head of each group. There is one permanent administrator, called the "lead building administrator" at each middle school and high school. In addition, there are three administrators, six total, within each high school/middle school group that handle single-issue items, such as special education. Jeff Read, CEO of Nampa High School and West Middle School, said the administrative arrangement between the high schools and middle schools has been altered since its inception and continues to evolve. Read said the district implemented the new arrangement because there was a break-down in the communication between the high schools and middle schools. He said the plan was met with confusion and doubt when it was first proposed, but after four years the district is now beginning to see positive results.There is lingering doubt among some Ontario School District employees about the new administrative plan as well. Joe Garner, president of the teachers' union, was reluctant to provide concrete information on how many teachers were upset over the new administrative plan.

                      Garner said though, that some of the initial and still relevant concerns from teachers he has spoken with include time constraints Cornwell may have with managing two schools in addition to instances when teachers need immediate principal, not associate principal, approval on a matter. Garner said the teachers had meetings with district staff, including the superintendent, Wednesday night and tonight to discuss concerns teachers may have regarding the new plan. He said after these meetings he will be more prepared to offer a statement on behalf of the teachers.

                      OMS brings tennis season to an end, May. 25, 2004

                       Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                      To wrap up the 2004 tennis season, Ontario Middle School hosted the sixth annual Middle School Invitational Tennis Tournament May 15 in Ontario. With all the teams at the district tournament, the middle school teams had full reign of all the courts in town.

                      Teams that came to Ontario for the competition were Baker, Vale and Parma.

                      "With the combined effort and help of Baker coach Marsha Smith, Vale coach Dr. Al Butler and Parma coach Lary Nielsen, the action packed day ran smoothly. OHS had districts out of town, so we had the use of all the courts in town. This kept the tournament moving at a timely pace," Ontario Middle School head coach Suzie Robertson said.

                      The Ontario girls swept the singles competition, earning all three top spots and also placed second in the doubles competition.

                      Chris Babij placed first, Krista Holloway second and Mimi Kameshige third in the singles and the duo of Ashley Plaza and Lindsay Wilson took second in the doubles.

                      Ontario's Kegham McGraw placed third in the boys' singles and Levi Heiple and Grant Saito took third in the boys' doubles.

                      Trophies and ribbons were awarded to first through third place in all categories.

                      "The Baker coach donated funds from the Baker tennis program and along with the small amount of money Ontario had already given, we were able to get some nice trophies from Trolee Awards," Robertson said.

                      Tigers rally past Wilsonville, May. 25, 2004

                      William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Without even collecting a single base hit in the seventh inning, Ontario was able to load the bases and score a run, to complete a four-run rally over two innings to come back and defeat Wilsonville, 7-6, in the first round of the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Oregon 3A Baseball State Championships at Elks Memorial Field in Ontario.

                      With the score tied 6-6, with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom half of the inning, Kyle Mitchell hit a line drive to center field, where Dylan Bruck was waiting for it, waiting to throw home.

                      Brucks' throw was offline, as Jake Beck came in to score the winning run.

                      "They are a great team, and we are excited to be able to beat them," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "I am worried anytime we are down, because it opens the door for someone on their team to clutch up."

                      Still, the Tigers had to rally to to cut into the 6-3 deficit.

                      Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, down by three, the Tigers' season was on the line. Ontario rallied to score three runs in the bottom half of the inning, with two outs. Zach Park knocked home two runs, when he hit a two-run triple to center field, just a couple feet shy of exiting the park, to cut the lead to 6-5.

                      Wilsonville promptly pulled starting pitcher, Bryon Roby, and brought in reliever Matt Bressler.

                      Ontario's cleanup hitter Shane Schiemer welcomed Bressler to the game with a double to left field, to tie the game.

                      "It was a wake up call to go into the sixth inning down by three," Hartley said. "Our at bats got more focused as the game went on. That is probably the one thing we are going to have to stress throughout the playoffs. Every at bat is important, especially now."

                      Schiemer was stranded on second to end the scoring for the Tigers (21-5 overall).

                      Opening the game, Ontario scored first, with two runs in the bottom of the second, when Jake Beck hit a two-run home run.

                      The Wildcats (15-8) responded, scoring three runs in the top of the third, to take a brief lead.

                      Ontario scored once in the bottom of the third, to tie the game.

                      Wilsonville scored three times in the fifth inning, to take a 6-3 lead, heading into the sixth.

                      Ontario had one great opportunity to put some runs across the plate, in the fifth inning, when Schiemer led off the inning with a triple. The next three Ontario batters were retired to end the threat, leaving Schiemer on third.

                      Ontario moves on to face top-ranked Douglas, Wednesday in the second round in Douglas.

                      Ontario girls finish fifth, May. 30, 2004

                      William Anderson Argus Observer

                      State records and personal records were falling like rocks Saturday, at the 3A Oregon Track and Field meet at Hayward Field in Eugene.

                      Also Saturday, the Ontario boys' and girls' track team combined for 35 team points, thanks in large part to a second place finish by the Tiger girls' 4x400-meter run.

                      "I was hoping for at least 30 team points heading into today," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said. "They all ran really well and had some good times."

                      The Dalles girls' scored 51 team points for a state title. The Ontario girls finished fifth with 31 total points, while Vale was seventh with 28 points.

                      Ontario had four of its athletes set new personal records. And all four of the new PRs were good enough to place in the meet.

                      One of the new records set for the Tigers, was in the 1,500-meter, when Jacob Blaylock ran the event in 4:07.80 seconds, beating his old time, by nearly six seconds. With the new personal best, Blaylock finished eighth to pick up the final spot in the event.

                      "I am happy. I placed, which is what I wanted to do," Blaylock said. "I did not want to get out too fast. They took off and I wanted to stay with them. I just tried not to let them get too far ahead."

                      Blaylock said that the success this season was due to the hard work and his teammates always pushing him.

                      Page picks up three second-place state finishes Saturday

                      For another Tiger trying to get into the top eight, Sheryl Page had three opportunities - the 800-meter, the 1,500-meter and the 4x400-meter relay - to get the job done.

                      Page finished second in all three events.

                      In the 1,500-meter, Page ran a time of 4:45.28, just under two seconds behind Coquille's Holli Dieu. The second-place finish for Page set a new personal best for the Ontario distance runner.

                      "I felt like I did really good," Page said about her 1,500 meter run. "I was happy to run it with competition. I felt I was strong throughout."

                      In the 800-meter, Page also picked up a second-place finish, behind Marist's Emily Collins. Page finished with a time of 2:21.37. In her final event of the day, the Ontario sophomore anchored the 4x400 relay team to a second-place finish. The foursome - Page, Kristen Hamman, Jordan Bainbridge and Angie Hamman - turned in a time of 4:02.35. The Dalles won the event in 3:59.48.

                      "This was a much better day to run. The rain stayed away and the wind was not blowing too hard," Waite said. "I was pleased with (Page's) running. I think I am pleased with everybody."

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                      For Feeley, 32 is the magic number June 9, 2004

                      Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                      After 32 years in the class room, Bill Feeley will be retiring from Ontario High School but not from his position as driver's education instructor.

                      Feeley began teaching in Middleton and, after four years, transferred to OHS and began his 28 year stint.

                      For the first 26 years he taught lower level math and for his final two years at OHS he has been a basic physical education instructor.

                      "The switch a couple of years ago was nice. Teaching was a really neat experience. If I could go back, the only thing I would try to do is maybe reach some more kids," Feeley said.

                      Feeley has more than 100 students go through his drivers education class each year. Of the 100, half continue on with the behind-the-wheel instruction.

                      "I get kids with a wide range of driving abilities. I think there is a series of steps to driving. First you start on a trike, then a bike and then a car. Some of the kids I teach do not even know how to ride a bike," Feeley said.

                      Driver's training was a lot harder to teach when Feeley first started at Capital High School in Boise. Capital had three automatic transmissions and three manual transmission vehicles, he said.

                      "Some of the kids it would take a week just to get the car moving," Feeley said.

                      For the past 18 years Feeley has been teaching behind the wheel training in automatic transmission vehicles.

                      In all of those years, he has not had a student wreck a vehicle.

                      "I once had a student take a corner too fast. I think we were up on two wheels. I could not hit my brake. We just rode it out. A mile down the road, when I had finally collected myself, I had the student stop the car, make a three point turn and we tried the corner again," Feeley said.

                      Each student that goes through Feeley's class must complete six hours of driving and six hours of observation.

                      His planned route is best suited for two drivers.

                      The first half hour of the class is car orientation.

                      The second half hour is in residential areas.

                      During the class, the students take a trip on the back roads to Nyssa and another to the rest area in Weatherby.

                      "They learn to pass trucks, go up and down hills and go around curves. The speed limit is 55 to 65 and they must slow down for the corners," Feeley said.

                      The students also drive down Oregon Street and practice lane changing and go to the state park and work on backing up around the circle in the parking lot.

                      "In the last two months, I have had the cops show up at the state park four or five times. People report a car going in circles backwards and they think it is a drunk driver. The administration also asks me occasionally if I have been practicing lane changes over by Mallards. People call the school saying the drivers ed car is making radical lane changes," Feeley said.

                      With new Oregon laws popping up all the time, Feeley must keep himself up to date.

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                      Volunteer work part of everyday life for Pattons, August 4, 2004

                      What began as sitting on the curb waiting for her sister to get out of school type-of-job, turned into an after-school volunteering task at Aiken Elementary for April Patton.

                      Patton, an incoming sophomore at Ontario High School, said she knew a teacher at Aiken, and so she decided to start helping out in the teacher's class.

                      "I met Miss Ortiz because she was a student-teacher at my school. The bus would not drop me off at my house anymore so I would have to go wait for Ali. Instead of just sitting outside, I would go in and help. I knew most of the kids in her class anyway, so it was a lot of fun," April Patton said.

                      April Patton said she used her math skills to help the youth in Miss Ortiz's class.

                      When school finally released, the Patton sisters would head home together.

                      April Patton does not only volunteer at Aiken Elementary, she, and her sister, also volunteer at the Lions Club and at their church.

                      Ali Patton helps the Ontario Church of the Nazarene with its puppet show for the youth. Putting on a puppet show takes preparation but Ali Patton said she is up to the task.

                      "We usually practice after church for the coming week, or we go early and practice before, so we know when to move the puppets," Ali Patton said.

                      April Patton is part of the worship team at the church and also sings in the choir.

                      For the Ontario Lions Club, the Patton girls have volunteered their time in the concession stand at the Ontario High School football games and will also be working the Lions booth at the Malheur County Fair this week, before taking a few days of vacation.

                      With a career in math or science in her future, April Patton will continuing taking all the science, math and technology classes she can while attending Ontario High School and said she hopes to continue to be a part of the golf team.

                      Despite having played softball for eight years, April Patton said she feels golf is more her speed.

                      "I think golf is better for me because I am such a perfectionist," April Patton said.

                      Ali Patton will work her way through middle school with her sights set on a career in the medical field when she become an adult.

                      "I would like to be a pediatrician or a nurse. I like little kids. I would even consider being a kindergarten teacher," Ali Patton said.

                          Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                      A new lens OHS graduate films El Salvador's poor, August 25, 2004

                      Ontario High School graduate Brooks Dame wanted to do something for the people of El Salvador - so he picked up his camera.

                      Dame, who graduated from high school in 1997, first traveled to the country as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He went back several times as a college student working with a nonprofit humanitarian aid organization - meeting his current wife on one such trip.

                      The last time he went to El Salvador, Dame decided to do something different, something he hoped would bring more attention to the problem of poverty in the country.

                      He purchased two cameras and began visiting the garbage dumps in El Salvador, which is where literally dozens of people in the country make their living.

                      There is no recycling program in El Salvador. Instead, "pepenadores," or sifters, go through the garbage looking for metal or other scraps they can turn in to private companies to be recycled. The sifters also eat leftover food found in the dumps - and if they find food they consider unsuitable for themselves, Dame said, they bag it up and take it home for their animals.

                      He said people reported they were making about $1.25 a day working in the dumps. Dame said he met a couple which had given up higher-paying jobs to work there, though.

                      The man worked as a security guard and the woman worked in a textile mill, garnering an income of $5 to $6 a day, but $3 to $4 of that money was spent traveling, and the commute did not enable them to spend much time with their children, he said, so they came to the garbage dump.

                      Dame said it took a while to get to the point where people were comfortable enough to speak to him on camera, but he just kept returning to the dumps and interacting with people until they were more at ease.

                      He said he was inspired to make the film last winter after he attended the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and realized he could make a movie about the problems he had seen previously.

                      "To hear it isn't the same as actually seeing it," he said. "I just think capturing it on film gets it across."

                      The film is now in the editing process.

                      Dame hopes to sell the movie and send some of the money back to help the people of El Salvador - but also is not waiting for that to happen.

                      Before he left the country Dame traced the feet of several of the children working in the dumps and is now attempting to collect shoes for them.

                      Often, he said, the poverty of the small country overwhelmed him. One day he and his wife spent $150 on small hygiene kits - including items such as toothbrushes and deodorant - and distributed them to people at the dumps. At the end of the day, there still weren't enough to go around and his wife broke down crying, he said.

                      He said he felt he had to start somewhere, though, which is why he is starting with the shoe project. Those wanting to donate shoes may contact him at bwdame(at)hotmail.com.

                          Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                      Police urge caution as school year starts, August 26, 2004

                      As area students make the transition from summer vacation back to the classroom, local law enforcement authorities urge motorists to use caution and be more attentive while navigating area streets and roadways.

                      Ontario Police Department officers will be out in force in the school zones in the mornings and OPD will make it a point to rotate through the different schools zones throughout the day, OPD Sgt. Police Sgt. Jeff Milton said.

                      "We'll be strictly enforcing the school zone speed limit, which is 20 miles per hour," Milton said. In most zones, the speed limit is clearly posted by either the use of flashing yellow signals that notify motorists when the restricted speed limit is in effect, or the traditional sign postings.

                      "Whether the signals or signs are there or not, it's still 20 mph, in the school zones," Milton said. He said drivers might not be aware that portions of Southwest Fourth Avenue are marked as school zones. The intersection of Alameda Drive and Southwest Fourth Avenue and southeast along Alameda are posted as school zones, Milton said. Another safety issue is pedestrians in crosswalks, OPD Chief Mike Kee said. The law provides that drivers wait until pedestrians are entirely out of the street before they can proceed, he said.

                      "What makes it so scary with kids, especially on multi-lane streets and roads, is kids trust drivers to keep them safe," Kee said. "So, when they see one vehicle stopped, they assume every vehicle will stop. We've probably had half a dozen crashes in the last half a dozen years where kids will be waiting to cross on a multi-lane road and the outside lane driver will stop, the kids will walk out, and not know the driver in the inside lane is not paying attention at all."

                      That's why Oregon has a law that states if one driver stops for a person in a crosswalk, every driver has to stop, Kee said.

                      Milton said primary schools such as Aiken Elementary and St. Peters have crossing guards posted to help children make the trip across the street.

                      Drivers also need to be aware of the laws that prohibit vehicles from passing school busses when the flashing red lights are activated.

                      "It's a Class A infraction if a driver fails to stop for lights or if the driver meets or overtakes from any direction any vehicle that has stopped on a roadway and is operating bus safety lights," Milton said. "Drivers have to stop before reaching the bus and remain stopped until the bus lights are no longer operating."

                      Milton said it typically takes a couple of weeks before drivers get used to having more children on the streets.

                      "We generally have a lot of complaints early in the school year and it's getting into late September when it seems the complaints slack off," Milton said.

                          Tami Hart Argus Observer

                      Ontario line holds keys to offense, August 31, 2004

                      When the Ontario Tigers take the field this fall they will have one distinct advantage over their opponents - the offensive line.

                      The Tigers return four starters - JJ Anthony, Colin Gundle, Todd Smith and Jon Paulsen - from a team that piled up nearly 2,500 yards on the ground.

                      With that kind of advantage upfront, it is no wonder Ontario head coach Randy Waite sleeps easy at night.

                      "It is definitely comforting having those guys back," the second-year head coach said. "I like to have experienced linemen to make the whole learning process easier for the backs and recievers."

                      Smith was a first team All-Greater Oregon League performer in 2003. Anthony and Gundle were second team picks and Paulsen was an honorable mention selection.

                      "It is a talented bunch," Waite said. "Throw in Mike Rankin, who started half the games last year, and he might be our fifth guy at strong tackle."

                      The Tigers graduated Reno Folden from a last year's 7-4 team, but Waite still thinks this bunch of linemen may be the most talented in the GOL.

                      "I think it is one of the better groups, Baker has a good group coming back," he said, "but I like ours too."

                      Last season the Tigers overcame inexperience along the front wall.

                      Only Anthony, who is a three-year starter for Ontario, had any starting experience. This year the group knows it won't be easy, but it is planning on big things.

                      "I think it is going to be tough," Paulsen said. "I think we can pull together, but it is going to take work and effort. We had our struggles and demons last year. We weren't perfect. I think if we work and gradually get better we can hold our own."

                          Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

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                      A high honor, September 5, 2004

                      Masato Ogawa never set out to win awards for his teaching, it just happened that way.

                      Ogawa, who teaches social studies and Japanese at Ontario High School, will be recognized by Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pa., for his innovative method of teaching his students about the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

                      The Japan native said he is excited about being honored.

                      "This award is for educators interested in teaching about Sept. 11," Ogawa, who holds a doctorate degree from the University of Georgia, said. "I submitted my lesson plan to Dickinson College and they selected me as one of the four winners for teaching Sept. 11."

                      Ogawa, who has taught at Ontario since 2001, began teaching the course - "Should the government go beyond the normal limits of its authority during wartime" - after a question from a student sparked the idea.

                      "That (2001) was my first teaching year and I was very shocked to watch the World Trade Center in New York. Students asked me what to think about what happened. At first I didn't tell him anything about it. As a teacher I was very afraid of sharing my ideas with my students, but as a teacher I have to teach something," Ogawa said. "I felt like I should tell something to my students. After that I became interested in teaching about Sept. 11. I have a social studies background. I have a masters and doctorate degree from the University of Georgia. As a social science educator or researcher, I knew everything about social studies, how to teach social studies. However, my students asked me a very good question how to feel about it. I was not prepared to answer that. This was the reason why I thought to make my lesson plan and submit it to Dickinson State College."

                      Ogawa teaches the course in two, 80-minute periods. During the course, the students discuss the Bill of Rights, the Japanese-American Internment during World War II and the Patriot Act.

                      Ogawa, who will be in Washington, D.C. Thursday, said the reaction from his classes has been positive.

                      "I gave the lesson plan to students taking Asian studies two years ago. My Asian studies course is not traditional style, they discussed and researched. My students response is very different," he said "Most of the students did not know anything about the history in this community. I was very shocked. They have many Japanese-American friends, but they did not know why there were so many Japanese-Americans here. So I taught a brief history of the community, and also Japanese internment camp also."

                      For the competition, educators submitted their teaching materials, an essay explaining their goals in developing their materials and a biographical statement for review by a panel of judges.

                      Ogawa, along with the other three winners, will receive a $1,000 honorarium check, travel and two night's accommodations in Washington, D.C. Once in Washington, D.C., the four finalists will participate in a "Best Practices" panel discussion at a conference, "Teaching 9-11: The Role of the Media, Museums and Schools in Constructing National Memory."

                         Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                      Tigers maul Grant Union, September 15, 2004

                      After shaking off some first set jitters, the Ontario girls' volleyball team went to work to earn a three set victory over Grant Union, Tuesday evening in a nonleague volleyball match, at Ontario High School.

                      The Tigers came away with a 25-23, 25-19, 25-17 victory over the Prospectors.

                      "We tend to start slow, when we are home or away," Ontario coach Rod Williams said. "Our blocking took them out of the their game. Our blocks did pretty well, it really took us out of getting digs and them our of their offense."

                      On the night, Ontario was led by Kylie Roberts and Jennifer McDannel with four blocks each.

                      In the final game, Ontario (2-1 overall) led throughout, but always letting Grant Union hang in there.

                      "We have been working on our attitude, but we still have work to do," Williams said. "Anyone can play well when things are going their way, but it takes a real player to play well with adversity."

                      Although the Tigers did not have much adversity against them Tuesday night, they still went on to win the matches.

                      Leading the way for the Tigers in kills, was Melissa Malstrom with seven kills, while teammate Carrie Heninger had six kills in the game.

                      Jerrimi Hoffman had 18 'perfect' sets, according to Williams, while Janie Hernandez had five service points, with two aces.

                      The Tigers will begin Greater Oregon League play Saturday, when they host Mac-Hi and Riverside.

                      "We have played a couple of league tams at tournaments, and we are matching up really well. We should make it competitive in league play," Williams said.

                          William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Payette runs over Tigers, September 8, 2004

                      With three quick goals to open up the second half, the Payette girls' soccer team started to pull away to a 8-2 nonleague victory over the Ontario Tigers, in a girls' soccer matchup Tuesday afternoon, in Ontario.

                      At the half, the two teams were knotted at 1-1, before Payette's offense picked up, scoring three goals in a matter of 12 minutes, including two strange goals.

                      Opening up the half, a Payette player took a shot at goal from about 20-yards out on the right side, that slipped through Ontario's keepers hands, off the crossbar and back into play, where another Payette player was there to kick it into the open net, giving the Pirates (3-0-0 overall) a 2-1 advantage.

                      Three short minutes later, Payette was at it again, when a shot came in from the left side. This shot bounced a couple of times in front of the net, when a Payette forward kicked the ball in the net, while standing backwards, to go up 3-1.

                      "We did really well, we just got tired in the second half," Ontario head coach Greg Walk said. We started moving people around and to different positions. Our keeper did an excellent job."

                      Ontario's keeper, Asja Hart, recorded eight saves on the day, plus many balls that she played not recorded as saves.

                      On the night for the Pirates, Mandy Greif finished with four goals and an assist for the Pirates. Jessica McCarty, Hannah Peterson, Jennifer Stemple and Kimberly Ashton all picked up goals for the Pirates. Katie Franklin, McCarty, Peterson, Stemple and Eve Thomason all had assists for Payette.

                      "We started a little sluggish at first and got it together in the second half. We are really a second half team," Payette head coach Vonnie Paul said. "We possessed the ball and got it together. We tried to control it a little."

                      In the opening minutes of the game, Ontario (0-1-0) struck first, when Jennifer Reyes scored in the second minute, off a corner kick from Nastassia Zacarias.

                      Ontario added another goal in the 57th minutes, when Kayla Mitchell scored from about 30-yards out, on a free kick, putting the kick in the top right corner of the goal.

                      "We now know what we have to do, we know that Payette is a good team," Walk said. "After those quick goals, there was a let down."

                      Both teams are back in action this week, as Payette travels to Homedale Thursday, in a conference matchup, while Ontario hosts Kuna Saturday, in a nonleague battle.

                        William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Tigers split first matches September 10, 2004

                         William Anderson Argus Observer

                      It is never good for a volleyball team to start the season off hosting a three-way tournament and losing all their matches.

                      This was the possibility facing the Ontario Tigers Thursday evening as they hosted Nampa Christian and Weiser in a three way volleyball match. Nampa Christian on the night went undefeated, beating both Weiser and Ontario in straight sets. Ontario, after falling to Nampa Christian, responded to bounce back and defeat the Wolverines 25-19, 25-15 to finish the night 1-1.

                      Only Weiser came away from the match without a victory, although they played the Trojans tough in their first matches 25-20, 25-22.

                      During the first game of that match, the Wolverines and Trojans were tied at 20-20, before Nampa Christian scored the game's next five points.

                      In the second game, a similar thing happened to the Wolverines, as they led 22-20, looking to close the deal and send the match into a third game. Again, Nampa Christian stepped up and scored the next five points to earn the victory.

                      "I was glad to be there. What I thought would be three really good teams, it was," Weiser head coach Jon Lundberg said. "I felt like at least we had played well against Nampa Christian in the match, it is a disappointment that we did not go to three games."

                      Weiser and Nampa Christian squared off in the first varsity match of the night, followed by the Ontario and Nampa Christian matchup.

                      In that matchup, it was evident that this match was Ontario's first of the season, as they struggled against the Trojans, to fall in two games.

                      "We came out with good attitudes and a good spirit," Ontario head coach Rod Williams said. "The main thing we wanted to work on from last year is keeping our good attitude. Last night in the Nampa Christian game, we kept that good attitude."

                      Williams also said they they were running a new defense and making some adjustments.

                      After the Nampa Christian contest, Ontario and Weiser squared off, to a 25-19, 25-15 victory for the Tigers.

                      "I thought Ontario played well and served and hit the ball well," Lundberg said. "We did not execute at the level we did against Nampa Christian. I am real disappointed in that respect, not in the kids."

                      As for Williams and the Tigers, he said the defense kept improving all night long.

                      "We have a lot of athletic ability on the team and we are running a defense many run in college," Williams said. "It gives you more creativity. We were out of position a lot of the time, and defense is 90 to 95 percent positioning, but we improved as the game went on."

                      The Wolverines dropped to 2-5 overall on their season, while the Tigers went to 1-1 on the year.

                      Ontario travels to Burns Saturday for a tournament, while Weiser begins their conference schedule Tuesday, when they travel to McCall to take on the McCall-Donnelly Vandals.

                      Jordan Valley 3

                      McDermitt 0

                      JORDAN VALLEY - The Jordan Valley Mustangs won their first volleyball match of the season Thursday, a 25-9, 25-17, 25-21 victory over McDermitt, in Jordan Valley.

                      The Mustangs were led by Lauren Cuvelier, with eight kills and 10 blocks, while Bailey Kershner had 32 assists for the Mustangs (1-0 overall. )

                      Band seeks instruments, September 20, 2004

                      Not every Ontario Middle School student can afford to participate in a music education program, even if he or she wants to.

                      That is something OMS band teacher Matt Gilman wants to change.

                      Gilman said he has many students this year who have signed up for band but whose parents cannot afford to purchase an instrument, and the school has no instruments available to them.

                      Right now, he has those students performing breathing exercises to prepare for their eventual transition to playing an instrument.

                      "The most important thing band students can do is develop their embouchure," Gilman said, referring to effective breathing. Most of the students want to play the flute, which takes a lot of air, he said.

                      He has also made contact with other schools regarding the problem. Cairo Elementary School, he said, no longer has a band program so he has made contact with them regarding donations of instruments.

                      He is also seeking to make contact with members of the community who may donate instruments they are not using. The greatest need is for flutes and trumpets, he said, but the school will accept any instrument.

                      "We'll take bagpipes, krummhorns, hurdy-gurdies," Gilman said, laughing.

                      Gilman said in the past OMS has purchased donated instruments from members of the public or has provided a tax receipt to reflect an in-kind charitable donation, so they can be deducted from taxes.

                      Other than that, Gilman said he has high hopes for the program at OMS as well as music programs around the western Treasure Valley.

                      The beginning band, as well as the seventh- and eighth-graders, are progressing nicely.

                      "It's been nice to see band programs taking off as far as numbers are concerned," Gilman said, citing programs at Ontario High School, Treasure Valley Community College, and secondary programs in Nyssa, Adrian and Weiser as having grown in recent years.

                      "Things are looking up in the world of music," Gilman said.

                      For more information on donating instruments, contact Gilman, (541) 212-6045 or by e-mail, mgilman(at)ontario.12.or.us.

                        Christen McCurdy, Argus Observer

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                      Serving the community, October 3, 2004

                      Frank Hunter is as much a fixture at Aiken Elementary as the swings, basketball courts or the sandboxes - he just belongs there.

                      Hunter, who the students call "Grandpa Frank", is part of the Foster Grandparent Program, which is a program funded by the Corporation for National Service, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Hunter, 86, spends one-on-one reading time with students to help them reach their grade level reading skill and sometimes to improve their self-esteem.

                      "I think the Foster Grandparent Program adds an additional layer of support to students that are struggling with reading," Aiken Elementary Principal Mark Hinthorn said. "The volunteers provide constant intervention, as well as, developing relationships with students that help motivate them to do better with their schoolwork."

                      In addition to Hunter, the Ontario School District has 12 "grandparents' within the district's five elementary schools. St. Peter Catholic School also has a "grandparent."

                      Hunter, who owned City Cleaners for 33 years, said he saw an ad for the spot last year.

                      "I saw the ad in the paper, so I answered it," he said, "they figured I made to much money, I got too much Social Security. So last year I just volunteered. Now this year I work with the Foster Grandparents Program."

                      Erin O'Hara-Rines, who is a third grade teacher at Aiken said Hunter is a big help.

                      "Just the fact that he is able to spend that one on one time makes the difference," she said, "he's a great help."

                      The grandparents in the program receive a stipend of about $225 a month as well as mileage reimbursement.

                      "I'd do it whether I get paid or not," he said. "I get their love. They are fun to have around."

                      Hinthorn said the students get as much out of Hunter's presence on the Aiken campus, as Hunter does.

                      "He's an excellent resource," Hinthorn said. "He finds ways to get information from students about things they are excited about. He works to make those connections into the reading they are doing.

                      "The kids gravitate toward him," Hinthorn added. "They share stories, they talk about what's going on. He's an important person in these kids' lives."

                      Hunter helps out at Aiken four days a week - Monday through Thursday - and volunteers about four hours a day. Teachers fill out an assignment plan, for the students requiring Foster's help, indicating the different areas the student needs help in.

                      "After a period of time, the lesson plan is reviewed and we look at the progress the students have made," Hinthorn said. "We are seeing great results. Sometimes students work with Grandpa Frank for two or three months before being exited out. Sometimes students have the chance to work up to six months with Grandpa Frank. He's designed to work with the kids who are just below the level they need to be at. So he's providing that extra layer of intervention. It's not working with that student who is three or four grade levels behind, but more just off-level and needs an extra push."

                      Hunter said the chance to be around the children helps him feel younger.

                      "That's the main thing, to be with the kids," he said. "It makes you feel a lot younger when you are with the kids. They give you life."

                        Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                      Olsen lends a helping hand at Aiken, October 6, 2004

                      Michelle Olsen said she just likes being around children.

                      The Ontario High School freshman gets to do just that each day when she fills her volunteer role at Aiken Elementary School.

                      Olsen, 14, leaves the high school around noon and heads to Aiken to assist in the lunch room. During her hour or so at Aiken, Olsen said she helps staff keep the gymnasium in order.

                      "I help clean up tables, help stack trays, take out the trash and sweep floors," Olsen said. "They had a sign-up sheet for third-, fourth- and fifth-grade to sign-up and help out with the cafeteria. Three kids signed up and they help me with the trash."

                      Olsen began her work at Aiken shortly after school began in August. Problems with her legs hampered the freshman in physical education class. So counselors suggested working at Aiken as an alternative to P.E.

                      "The counselors set up the job," Olsen said. "I got a little nervous about starting a job. I had to see what it was like. Once it got started it's fun." Aiken Elementary Principal Mark Hinthorn said Olsen helps keep the lunch room looking good.

                      "Michelle provides constant help in our cafeteria, by cleaning tables, helping students stack trays and keep things organized," Hinthorn said. "She helps take out trash and once lunch is over she helps us clean up the floor."

                      Olsen said she enjoys interacting with the students and staff at Aiken.

                      "It's fun. I like helping the staff, and the kids are fun," she said. "I like working over there. I always ask if they have anything else they want me to do. Sometimes they say yes, sometimes they say no."

                      Hinthorn said Olsen is a positive influence during her time in the lunch room.

                      "She does interact positively with some of our fourth- and fifth-graders," he said. "She provides some mentorship to a couple of girls as well."

                      Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                      Tigers blow past Mac-Hi, October 10, 2004

                      For a brief period Friday night against Mac-Hi, the Ontario Tigers looked like they might be in for a long game.

                      On the opening kickoff, Mac-Hi surprised Ontario with an on-side kick. Mac-Hi recovered the kick and then put together a solid, five play scoring drive to grab a 7-0 lead.

                      Then it was Ontario's turn.

                      The Tigers (2-3 overall) recovered from the early deficit and scored on their first three possession of the game on the way to a 42-7 Greater Oregon League victory.

                      "We played a lot better. We are changing things up," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said. "We are pretty happy about the win, but we made mistakes. We seemed to be flat. We need to change something."

                      Matt Mejia and Aaron Mauney each had 4-yard touchdown runs in the first quarter, and Mejia also scored on a 15-yard pass from KJ Toombs in the stanza.

                      The Tigers scored another 10 points in the second quarter, as Tyler David connected on a 26-yard field goal and Nick Alvarado scored on a 2-yard run. Ontario built a 31-7 halftime lead.

                      "Overall we did well," Waite said.

                      Ontario's offense continued to add up the points in the fourth quarter.

                      Nick Alvarado scored his second touchdown of the game when he found the end zone from nine yards out, only 21 seconds into the quarter. On the ensuing extra point, Mejia, the holder, picked up the ball and pitched it to David on the right side, for a two point conversion, to put the Tigers out in front 39-7.

                      David scored again for the Tigers over 10 minutes later, when he kicked a 44-yard field goal, with just over a minute remaining, to finish off the scoring.

                      Ontario's defense held Mac-Hi to only 136 total yards.

                      "After the first couple of minutes, we picked it up," Ontario defensive coach Trever Wilson said. "The defense stepped up and did what they were supposed to do."

                      Ontario finished offensively with 387 total yards, with 346 coming on the ground, led by Mejia with 125 yards on the ground. Ontario also racked up 19 first downs compared Mac-Hi's 11.

                      Ontario travels to Burns Friday in a Greater Oregon League football game.

                       - William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Tigers rebound from slow start, October 22, 2004

                      Ever since the Ontario football team's victory over Vale, the Tigers went from an 0-3 record a to three-game winning streak, defeating Vale, Mac-Hi and Burns

                      According to head coach Randy Waite, the Tigers have turned the season around in the past three weeks with the secondary playing a key role.

                      "KJ Toombs, Matt Mejia, Eddie Mendoza, Tommy Infante and Jose Rivera, our defensive backs have all become a whole lot better," Waite said. "A lot of our players grew to be unselfish and accepted the role they were assigned to."

                      Ontario (3-3 overall, 2-0 GOL) running back Nick Alvarado believes the team has been coming together lately.

                      "(The team) is starting to not care about individuals but rather starting to care about the whole team. As long as we win as a team, that is pretty much what our ultimate goal is," Alvarado said. "Our line started out with pregame jitters then they really stepped it up after they got over that."

                      The Tigers are in action tonight for another Greater Oregon League test against La Grande. Game time is 7 pm at Tiger Stadium.

                      -Jennifer Jaramillo Argus Observer

                      Tigers' streak continues, October 24, 20044

                      On the first offensive play from scrimmage, Ontario's Nick Alvarado hurdled over and ran past defenders on an 86-yard touchdown run to give Ontario the lead.

                      The Tigers would never trail, going on to defeat the La Grande Tigers 29-8 in a Greater Oregon League football contest Friday night at Tiger Stadium in Ontario.

                      "The first play was obviously good. We needed to get up early, that was the plan to set the tone of the game," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said.

                      On the ensuing extra point, following Alvarado's long run, the La Grande special teams blocked the Tyler David attempt and Ricky Gloria returned the blocked kick to the end zone for two points for La Grande.

                      That is as close as the game would get, as Ontario added 11 and 12 points in the second and third quarters, respectively.

                      In the second quarter, Matt Mejia connected on a 41-yard touchdown strike to Tommy Infante. The same combination connected for the two point conversion as Ontario (4-3 overall, 3-0 GOL) went up 14-2.

                      Ontario added a 35-yard field goal by David with 40 seconds remaining in the half for a 17-2 advantage heading into the half.

                      "Our defense again is playing pretty well. Each week it seems to get a little better. We are prepared for all those sort of things," Waite said about his defense's performance Friday night.

                      Starting out the second half, Ontario received the ball and proceeded to march down the field for another touchdown drive. This drive again was capped off by a long run by Alvarado - who finished with a game high 124 yards rushing - this time for 32-yards for the score, only 1:16 into the second half, to go up 23-2 on a missed PAT kick.

                      "I think he again is running really well for us. I have always said we have a lot of guys who can carry the ball and run hard. That is definitely our strength this year," Waite said. "We made quite a few mistakes that wasn't the weather. A couple of pass plays slipped out of our hand. We did not play as well as we would have liked."

                      La Grande (2-5, 1-2) scored its lone touchdown in the fourth quarter, as Landon Weaver found Tad Fox for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

                      Ontario held La Grande to 195 yards of offense, while compiling 320 total yards, including 274 on the ground.

                      Ontario travels to Baker City Friday to face the fourth-ranked Bulldogs for the GOL championship.

                       - William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Students take tour, October 27, 2004

                      Students from Ontario and Nyssa elementary schools obtained a firsthand look at life on a college campus.

                      Students from the SMILE Program made the trip to Treasure Valley Community College Monday, to do some hands-on work with science and math projects and experience college life.

                      "For the science lab, they were mixing chemicals and looking for the different reactions that occur," Paula Barnhart, who is a fourth-grade teacher at Nyssa Elementary School, said, "and they were learning some science terminology and how to measure. It was a lot of fun."

                      The students also had the chance to visit a math lab at TVCC and in the process the opportunity to do several hands-on math activities. Students also participated in a scavenger hunt around the TVCC campus.

                      The students also had the opportunity to ask questions of TVCC students about campus life.

                      "We were here for a tour, so the students can get an experience of what campus is like," Velma Rojas, who is a first-grade teacher at May Roberts, said. "They are getting a chance to ask questions of the college students and see what it is like."

                      The SMILE Program stands for Science, Math Investigative Learning Experience and is designed to help students prepare for college.

                      "I think that field trips like this give the students the opportunity to experience the college atmosphere," Monica Thompson, who is a SMILE Club advisor at May Roberts, said. "It is so important for students to start thinking about college and career opportunities even at the fourth- and fifth-grade level."

                      The SMILE Program is a partnership between Oregon State University and 14 Oregon school districts, to provide science and math enrichment for underrepresented and other educationally underserved students in grades 4-12. The purpose of the program is to increase the number of students enrolling in college and pursuing careers related to science, math, health, engineering, and teaching. In the Ontario School District, there are SMILE Clubs at the high school, middle school and at May Roberts.

                      However, there are students from the other elementary schools in Ontario who participate in the club.

                      "We do have a student from Alameda and a student from Aiken," Rojas said. "We are trying to get more clubs at the other elementary schools. If teachers are interested in setting one up, they should call the SMILE office."

                       - Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                      Tigers post shutout, October 27, 2004

                      When knowing goals would be at a premium in Tuesday afternoon's matchup, it appeared the team who scored last would win.

                      That is how the game turned out, but in fact, the last goal of the match was also the first goal of the match, as Ontario came away with a 1-0 win over La Grande in a Special District 7 girls' soccer match at Alameda Elementary School in Ontario.

                      Ontario's lone goal of the afternoon came in the 61st minute, when Kayla Mitchell broke away from the defenders and nudged the ball past a charging keeper to find the net, giving Ontario a lead with only 19 minutes to play.

                      Shutouts are becoming a familiar theme for the Ontario girls. Tuesday's shutout of La Grande is the fourth straight game Ontario has posted a scoreless game. Ontario keeper Danni Thomas has been in goal the majority of the time.

                      "I was hoping it would have been higher scoring. I didn't think with the conditions as they were, it would be," Ontario head coach Greg Walk said of the wet field. "We played well but seemed to be slow, we were trying to keep our footing, which made us late to the ball."

                      Late to the ball or not, the two teams battled to a scoreless first half, with Ontario's offensive attack producing seven shots on goal in the first half.

                      Thomas finished the game with seven saves, three came in the second half, but she played many more balls than that.

                      "Danni had a great game in goal," Walk said. "We are having a hard time finding the goal right now. We will be working on that the next couple of weeks. When you play a big game like this and your adrenaline is up, your foot gets under the ball."

                      The win moves the Tigers record to 7-4-1 overall and 6-1-0 in Special District 7 play, and moves them into a tie with La Grande for first place in District play. Ontario will finish their regular season on the road Saturday against Mac-Hi.

                      William Anderson Argus Observer

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                      Student mock election sparks surprising results, November 2, 2004

                      Election day came early for Ontario High School students who participated in a mock vote Thursday.

                      Hosted by the OHS leadership class and advisers John Taggart and Laurie Grim, the entire high school voted for federal, county and city positions. The following are the results of the vote in which approximately 500 students participated.

                      President of the United States

                      Republican and incumbent George W. Bush won the OHS mock vote with 62 percent of students placing ballots in his favor. On the Democratic ticket, John F. Kerry garnered only 37 percent of student vote and write-in Ralph Nader snagged 9 of the votes cast.

                      Malheur County Judge

                      With almost the same percentage of votes cast as the presidential election, current county commissioner Dan Joyce, Juntura, was selected by the students as the next Malheur County Judge with 34 percent of the ballots. Ontario businesswoman Cheryl Cruson took home 34 percent of the ballots. Ontario City Council for the three open Ontario City Council slots, the students re-elected councilman John Gaskill who captured 61 percent of the votes. Dan Cummings and Louie Allen were also elected into office with 57 percent and 49 percent of the ballots respectively. Some students opted to write in Jim Mosier and Joe Dominick.

                      1 percent sales tax

                      It was the 1 percent Ontario sales tax that saw the largest majority of OHS voters. The proposed city levy floundered as 396 students, three quarters of the student body, voted no.

                      Only 131 students voted in favor of the tax.

                        - Casey L. Keller Argus Observer

                      Ontario netters eager for chance at state, November 4, 2004

                      It has been six years since the Ontario girls volleyball team has made it to the state tournament.

                      That streak comes to an end this season.

                      The Tigers finished third in the Greater Oregon League and are heading to play Yamhill-Carlton in the first round of the OSAA Class 3A State Volleyball Tournament Saturday.

                      The Tigers captured the third place finish with a 6-4 record, finishing behind Burns and La Grande. Ontario enters the state tournament with a 12-5 record overall.

                      Ontario's only losses have been to the No. 1-ranked 2A team in Idaho (Nampa Christian) and the No. 1-ranked 3A team (Burns) and No. 4 team (La Grande) in Oregon. Both Burns and La Grande have defeated Ontario twice.

                      "Our biggest challenge is Yamhill-Carlton because that is who we play first. But I feel that we are in good shape to play them because we have only had a few losses." Ontario head coach Rod Williams said. "Their (Yamhill-Carlton) league is not as strong as ours. I expect us to be at least as good or even better."

                      Junior Vanessa Gomez believes if the Tigers play as they have in the past, or even better, they have a good chance of taking home the state title.

                      "The teams we compete against are not going to just give it to us," Gomez said. "We need to play our own game."

                      According to Williams, it is going to take more than one player to compete well at state.

                      "I am depending on everyone on the team to play their best. It is going to take the whole team," he said. "There is always a challenge because the teams that we have to compete against are the two teams that we have gotten beaten by."

                      Last year, the volleyball team did not graduate any seniors letting the team be together for two years now. Williams said that last year their goal was to make it to state.

                      "There should be competitive games coming up and teams that we have never seen before," junior Jerrimi Hofmann said. "We need to work as a team."

                      The Tigers play Yamhill-Carlton this Saturday in the first round of the tournament at 2 p.m. MST

                        JENNIFER JARAMILLO ARGUS OBSERVER

                      Credit to the community, November 7, 2004

                      It came as no surprise to former Ontario High School science teacher Glenn Crosby when former OHS student Pat Jacobs retired from the United States Navy Oct. 14 as a captain with full honors.

                      "I would have been disappointed had he not succeeded at this level," Crosby, who taught Jacobs biology and was also his supervisor at the Ontario Aquatic Center, said. "He was one of the best students I ever had."

                      Jacobs, who graduated from OHS in 1972, earned his bachelor's of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned as an Ensign in 1976.

                      His mother, Ontario City Councilwoman Audrey Jacobs said her son knew he wanted a future in the Navy as early as high school.

                      "Pat had a vision of that when he in high school," she said. "That seemed to be the place he was going. When he went in, there were a lot of rumbles and discontent about the military and some people said he was a fool to go in, but Pat said that was what he wanted to do."

                      Jacobs completed flight training in Kingsville, Texas, and was designated as a naval aviator in December 1977. He joined the "Diamondcutters" at Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Fla., and with the USS Forrestal. He served on the USS America from 1985 to 1987. The USS America was the first carrier to operate in the Vest Fjord of Norway and also supported operations in the Gulf of Sydria, which included inland strikes into Libya.

                      Jacobs then joined the "Topcats" at NAS Cecil Field and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower where he served as the administrative and maintenance officer. During that time he was recognized with the Lockheed "Golden Wrench" award which lauded the most outstanding maintenance department in the naval community. He was instrumental in leading his department through major aircraft modifications adding air-to-air refueling capabilities and the avionics update for the S-3B Seacontrol aircraft.

                      During his next assignment as the Assistant Program Manager for Systems and Engineering at the Naval Air Systems Command, he spearheaded a variety of engineering projects and investigations, including management of multi-million dollar acquisition programs for a new radar altimeter and carbon brakes systems.

                      Jacobs returned to Kingsville in 1993 as executive officer and assumed command of the "Professionals" on July 7, 1994. After his change of command ceremony, Jacobs transferred all of his officers to various Kingsville commands and then relocated 52 aircraft and 13 enlisted personnel to Naval Air Station Meridian. His squadron was awarded the Chief of Naval Training Goldthwaite Award for Training Efficiency.

                      Fellow OHS graduate from the class of 1973, Jack Fields, was a student of Jacobs' in Kingsville.

                      "He taught me how to fly," Fields said. "He was a good pilot and a good instructor."

                      Jacobs was then assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt as Air Officer and participated in numerous actions in support of national and international interests in Bosnia. He then earned his masters of science degree in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University Industrial College of the Armed Forces and became a member of the college faculty as a professor of acquisition.

                      "Academically speaking, he was a model student," Crosby said, reflecting on Jacob's high school academic career. Jacobs completed the Advanced Program Managers Course at Defense Management College in 1999 was Level III certified in program management. At the time of his retirement he was assigned as Chief Aviation Officer, Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers in Washington, D.C. In his career, Jacobs earned more than 4,000 total flight hours.

                      Audrey Jacobs, who attended her son's retirement ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, said the affair was very impressive.

                      "The military actions that went on, piping them in, the four bells, the admirals that came, everything was so military and so very impressive," she said. Crosby said Pat Jacobs was a motivated student.

                      "Pat was one of our finest students in our high school," Crosby said. "He has that American spirit and has done a great credit to our community."

                         Tami Hart Argus Observer

                      Roberts stays involved with FFA program, November 10, 2004

                      Good leaders will rise to the occasion.

                      Ontario's Matt Roberts may not have a wealth of experience in a time of crisis, but the expertise he is getting as the Ontario FFA Chapter President and also District FFA President is rewarding.

                      "It is really fun. There is a lot of work that goes with it, but it is a pretty rewarding experience," the Ontario High School senior said. "You can see everybody. How they can be so shy and intimidated and over the course of the year become great speakers and get leadership skills in the activities in the FFA."

                      Last school year, after filling out an application and an interview process, Roberts was selected president by the Ontario FFA Chapter members by a secret ballot.

                      According to Les Linegar, the Ontario Ag Instructor/FFA Advisor, Roberts is doing an outstanding job.

                      "He runs the chapter meetings, he is in charge of all the major activities that we produce, from contests to our fun activities," Linegar said.

                      Being the FFA District President, Roberts coordinates chapter activities in Jordan Valley, Adrian, Nyssa, Vale, Ontario and other places.

                      Four times a year, Roberts also travels to Salem to attend the state executive committee meetings.

                      "Last year, I was the district treasurer and I kind of got a feel for what it was like to be a district officer," Roberts said. "Being the president is much more demanding time-wise and a lot more organization. You cannot be afraid to call people up and then to do things or let them know. It requires going to Salem or Crater for different meetings. You get to meet a whole bunch of different people. I like doing it." Another accomplishment, he said, is earning his state FFA Degree as a junior.

                      Linegar said that only the top three percent of the state receive the high honor.

                      "To get this, the student has to be well rounded. In FFA, school, community and church," Linegar said. "They have to have a certain GPA, participate in a certain amount of FFA activities and have earned and invested 1,000 hours in their project."

                      Roberts has met this criteria. Roberts is an Eagle Scout, he runs cross country and track, is involved in his church youth group and also participates in the Future Business Leaders of America.

                      "It is a big relief, it is a really hard thing to get. I decided a while ago that I wanted to get it. I had to make sure I was doing those things," Roberts said about getting his State FFA Degree early.

                      Roberts did the majority of his essay project as a farm hand on his father's farm, working on machinery, driving tractors and semis and irrigating. He also worked at Murakami Produce during the winter months.

                         William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Tigers get second chance, November 12, 2004

                      Turnabout is fair play and the Ontario Tigers intend to teach Marist a harsh lesson Saturday afternoon.

                      The Tigers hosts Marist in the first round of the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Class 3A Football State Championships at Tiger Stadium. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

                      "The boys are excited," Ontario defensive coordinator Trever Wilson said. "They are looking forward to a second chance against Marist."

                      The Spartans (6-3 overall) hammered the Tigers 38-23 in Eugene last year in the second round of the playoffs. Marist rode that momentum all the way to a 47-14 win in the 3A state title game.

                      "They ended up going on to win it all," Wilson said. "We are excited about the opportunity we have to play them again."

                      Ontario stumbled out of the block, falling to 0-3 to begin the season, but the Tigers turned things around with a 4-game winning streak during the season, which helped the Tigers to finish the regular season 5-4 overall.

                      Wilson said Ontario used the preseason to figure out who went where. Now that the pieces are in place, Wilson said the Tigers should be formidable.

                      "The way (head coach) Randy (Waite) and I look at the preseason is, it's just that," Wilson said. "It's a chance to look at each kid, look at the positions and see who goes where."

                      Wilson said one example was Jake Gaschler. The junior began the season at free safety, but wound up playing the year at defensive end, where Gaschler was an All-Greater Oregon League selection.

                      "It was a matter of finding the right pieces and putting them in the right place," Wilson said.

                      The Spartans pose plenty of problems for the Ontario defense. Marist runs a multiple-formation offense. Wilson said the Spartans will spread the field, run from an I-formation, or run two wide receiver and two wing back sets.

                      "They are about 50/50 pass/run ratio," Wilson said. "We have to stop the counter, which we've been susceptible to the counter at times. If we do that we will be in good shape."

                      Leading the defensive charge is linebacker Ricky Ramirez. The senior, who has been injured the majority of the past two seasons, leads Ontario with 96 solo tackles. Ramirez also has three sacks and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown last week at Riverside.

                      "He's the leader of the defense. He makes the majority of the tackles," Wilson said.

                      Ramirez will have plenty of help with linebackers Colton Fenton (39 tackles) and Todd Smith (45 tackles).

                      Wilson credits the defensive linemen for making the linebackers' job easier.

                      "The down linemen make piles and we pressure the QB and get our sacks," he said. "That's the way our defensive is geared."

                      The game will be a homecoming of sorts for Marist head coach Lance Lovitt.

                      Lovitt is a graduate of Adrian High School and his father - Carl Lovitt - has had two stints as head coach of the Antelopes.

                        Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                      Ontario defense stands tall in win, November 14, 2004

                      The Ontario Tigers need someone to make a play.

                      So Matt Mejia did just that.

                      The senior intercepted a pass from Marist QB Chris Vitus and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown, giving Ontario a 22-14 lead in the third quarter. The Tigers went on to post a 36-14 win over the Spartans in the first round of the OSAA Class 3A State Football Championships at Tiger Stadium.

                      "I pretty much just read the QB," Mejia said. "I picked it and it was all (the defense), they blocked for me. I just ran it in, I didn't do anything."

                      Mejia's play typified the trouble Marist had against an inspired Tigers' defensive unit.

                      "That was huge," Ontario defensive coordinator Trever Wilson said. "I thought that was the turning point. Matt bringing that back and we had two excellent blocks to spring him."

                      The Spartans managed just 213 yards, including just 65 in the second half.

                      "They played good, it was just up to us," senior linebacker Ricky Ramirez said. "We had poor tackling in the first half, not wrapping up, not bringing them down. In the second half we came out and made the adjustments and wrapped up."

                      Things did not begin well for Ontario. Marist opened the game with an eight-play, 80-yard drive, capped by Tyson Cochran's 1-yard run.

                      The Spartans managed just one other score - a Chris Vitus 20-yard pass to Jerran Johnston - before the Tigers' defense clamped down.

                      "We talked about a couple of things we needed to do. In the first half, we were not playing assignments like we should and we were not tackling very well," Wilson said of the halftime talk. "We talked about the way we needed to tackle a little bit better. And trust each other, trust the person next to you and we'd be alright if we would play as a team."

                         Andrew Cutler Argus Observer Ontario

                      A tale of two cities, November 14, 2004

                      Nov. 4 and 5 about 30 people traveled from Osakasayama, Japan, to see their sister city of Ontario.

                      Some were students in middle school or high school and some were community leaders, including the city's mayor..

                      Local events included a banquet and visiting with host families, as well as touring businesses in the area.

                      The delegates even introduced themselves at a pep rally at Ontario High School Nov. 5, and were greeted with a Taiko performance by a Boise group and even a Japanese-language cheer by OHS cheerleaders.

                      The delegates' visit marked the 30th anniversary of Ontario's relationship with Osakasayama.

                      Ontario resident George Iseri helped spearhead the sister city program and said the goal of the program is to help foster world peace and friendship.

                      Iseri said his family, like many Japanese-American families in the Treasure Valley, came to Ontario during World War II to avoid being placed in internment camps. He said he had family members fighting for both Japan and the United States during the war, and that he did not want the events of that war to be repeated.

                      "I want world peace," he said.

                      According to a brochure published by Sister Cities International, cities around the world began forming affiliations after World War II. The U.S. became involved after President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed a "people-to-people" concept for involving ordinary people in diplomacy in 1956.

                      Iseri said the late Mayor Morgan Beck approached him about locating a possible sister city in Japan and after traveling and investigating several cities he took an Ontario group to Sayama, Japan. Later a city council member from Sayama visited Ontario and the relationship between the cities was formalized Oct. 23, 1974.

                      Sayama was renamed Osakasayama in 1987 when it reached a population of 50,000. Iseri said the city has a strong industrial base, the oldest reservoir in Japan and 1,300 years of history Americans can learn from.

                      He also said he hopes in the future there is more of an economic relationship between the two cities, but more importantly, that friendship can be fostered between people in both places.

                      "Right now, we're at war with Iraq," Iseri said. "Do you think that would be happening if we were all friends with all of them?"

                      He said during the 1950s and 1960s Japan was struggling economically and had no manufacturing base. Now, he said, Japan is the second largest economy in world, with Americans forming a large part of its market for electronics and cars.

                      Iseri said Japan's economic growth would not have been possible if not for the United States' commitment to fostering peace and prosperity in the country - and the relationship has been mutually beneficial.

                      Iseri said he had also traveled to the Basque country in Spain with the hopes of establishing a sister city program there.

                      He said the best way to learn about the sister city program is to learn more about it and become involved directly as a volunteer or as a host family.

                      Tim Cables of the Ontario Sister City Organization said there will be a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday night at Rusty's Pancake and Steak House to discuss sending an Ontario delegation to Osakasayama in November 2005.

                       Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                      Tigers get revenge, November 14, 2004

                      The Ontario football team scored 20 second-half points, while the defense held the defending 3A state champs scoreless, as the Tigers posted a 36-14 victory over Marist in front of a sparse crowd during the first round of the OSAA Class 3A State Football Championships Saturday, at Tiger Stadium in Ontario.

                      The win is a little revenge for the Tigers (6-4 overall). Marist defeated Ontario 38-23 last season in the second round of the playoffs.

                      Coming out of the half, Marist (6-4) trailed 16-14, but had the momentum. The Spartan defense forced an Ontario punt, giving Marist the ball at its own 30-yard line.

                      After two plays and an illegal motion penalty, the Spartans were looking at a third-and-21 from their own 33-yard line, when Spartan quarterback Chris Vitus dropped back to throw the ball. Ontario's Matt Mejia came down with the pass and returned the ball 52 yards for a touchdown, giving Ontario a 22-14 lead, with 8:57 left in third quarter.

                      From that point on, the Tigers never gave back the momentum, tacking on two fourth quarter touchdown passes to seal victory.

                      "I think the kids really wanted to win. It is always good to beat Marist," Ontario head coach Randy Waite said. "Marist had the momentum at the end of the first half, we needed to take the momentum back. We came out really well and our defense played big.

                      "Our defense stepped up. Marist came out and threw the ball on us and Matt's (Mejia) interception really juiced us."

                      The rest of the third quarter was scoreless. Early into the fourth quarter, Ontario tacked on another touchdown. The Tigers used a fake punt, on a fourth-and-four, as Jordan Hart ran for a 12-yard gain. After a loss on first down, Mejia threw a strike to KJ Toombs, which was tipped by a Marist player, and scampered to the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown pass, putting Ontario up 29-14, with just under 11 minutes left to play in the game.

                      After the Ontario kickoff, Marist started with the ball at its own 19 yard line. The first play of the drive resulted in Jake Gaschler diving to intercept a Ryan Bell pass, giving Ontario the ball at the Marist 21.

                      After a Nick Alvarado run for two yards, Bryson Sap connected with Toombs for a 19-yard touchdown pass, on a triple reverse pass, to go up 36-14 with 9:50 remaining in the game.

                      "We do better when people count us out. Not many people thought we would win," Waite said.

                      Alvarado led all rushers with 64 yards, while Mejia added 59 yards on the ground.

                      Ontario's defense stepped up to record three sacks, and force four turnovers. Paul Rangel recorded two of the three sacks for a loss of 15 yards.

                      "I was just doing my best. I am happy, but I wish I had more," Rangel said about his defensive effort. "Our defense will have to step up. Our offense did a good job, but we will have to step up."

                      Marist had a tough time getting going after their first drive, an 80-yard drive for a touchdown, as they only had 133 yards following that drive.

                      "Coming into the game, we definitely had four starters out and pretty much from the first play, our quarterback was rattled and it was questionable whether or not he would come back in," Marist head coach Lance Lovitt, an Adrian High School graduate said. "We just could not get the job done with backups. It was tough to get the right mixture together."

                      The win advances Ontario to the second round game against Central in Independence.

                      Ontario has a tough task  William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Heading into Saturday's second round matchup, the Ontario football will have its work cut out for them against Central, in the 3A OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires State Football Championships in Independence.

                      According to Ontario head football coach, Randy Waite, the defense for Central will plug up the middle.

                      "They really plug up the middle pretty well, which is not bad for us," Waite said. "We are going to have to block a whole lot better than we did against Marist. We did not block very well, we missed some assignments. Those things cannot happen."

                      Waite said the missed assignments were not from the linemen, but from the receivers, since the Tigers like to run the ball outside.

                      "We need to make sure everybody is doing their assignments," Waite said. "When playoff time rolls around, whoever executes best will win."

                      One thing the Tigers (6-4 overall) have on their side, is they have seen a version of Central's defense quite a bit - every day in practice.

                      The Tigers run a 5-3 defense, while Central runs a 5-2 defense, with three down lineman, and two standup 'outside' linebackers, which, according to Shane Hedrick, Central's head football coach, looks just like Ontario's defensive front.

                      "We have had some success with it. We have not seen a team with the motions and formations and the threats they have," Hedrick said. "The different formations is the No. 1 problem. We have gone through notebooks for their formations alone. Their motions are another concern, but the different formations are a real concern for us."

                      Hedrick said he knows his team will have to contain Ontario senior Matt Mejia, and try to slow him down.

                      Mejia has helped the Tigers amass over 300 yards of total offense a game, with 240 yards coming on the ground.

                      Ontario junior Nick Alvarado leads the Tigers with 744 yards on the ground, rushing for 6.5 yards per carry and seven touchdowns. Mejia is right there, rushing for 583 yards and 10 touchdowns.

                      Aaron Mauney has rushed for 407 yards and Jordan Hart has 373 yards for 7.5 yards per carry, for the Tigers.

                      "It looks like it should be a pretty good matchup," Alvarado said.

                        William Anderson Argus Observer

                      A new queen Winter Wonderland royalty crowned, November 17, 2004

                      Hanna Dinsmore, 17, Ontario, was crowned Winter Wonderland Queen Monday. Amy Hernandez, 17, Weiser, and Jessica Tschirgi, 17, Payette, were crowned as princesses.

                      Those in attendance at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce noon forum Monday voted for the candidates.

                      The queen and princesses will pose for public pictures, grant interviews to local media, promote and participate in the Dec. 4 Winter Wonderland Parade and attend Santa's Breakfast, Crystal Bartoschek at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce said.

                      Dinsmore is a senior at Ontario High School and is the daughter of Todd and Jan Dinsmore, Ontario.

                      She said she was surprised she won the title.

                      "All of the girls were awesome," she said. "Everybody deserved it. It was quite an honor."

                      Dinsmore said she has been involved with OHS' leadership organization for four years and serves as president of the Snow Club.

                      She is also involved with KOHS, the school's in-house video production and broadcasting program and Future Business Leaders of America.

                      Dinsmore said she hopes to become a social worker or do something else that would help people.

                      Nominees for the court included eight high school students from around the western Treasure Valley who had been named homecoming queens at their respective high schools this fall: Rebecca Welsh, Harper, Tessa Roberts, 18, Nyssa, Amalia de Jesus, 16, Huntington and Kimberly Schaffer, 17, Fruitland. Traci Romans, 17, Vale, was not able to attend the forum.

                       Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                      Tigers ready for task, November 17, 2004

                      The Ontario defense rose to the occasion last week, limiting Marist to 65 yards in the second half of Ontario's 36-14 win.

                      It will take that same kind of effort Saturday, for the Tigers to continue their state playoff march.

                      Ontario (6-4 overall) travels to Independence to face Central High School in the second round of the OSAA Class 3A State Football Championships.

                      While the final numbers, from the win over Marist, look good, the Tigers' defense got off to a rough start, allowing the Spartans to go 80 yards for a touchdown on the game's opening drive. Senior defensive back Matt Mejia knows the Tigers have to get off to a better start.

                      "We need to come out stronger," Mejia said. "We need to make them go three-and-out and punt the ball. We can't let them drive and build momentum."

                      Central head coach Shane Hedrick said the Ontario defense is an active unit with the ability to make big plays.

                      "It's just like every other Ontario team," Hedrick said. "They fly to the football and they are rough, tough kids that just get the job done."

                      Central, which won the Val-Co League and is 7-2 on the season, will have to contend with all-league running back Trevor Fine, who leads the Panthers with 650 yards. Fine rushes for 4.5 yards each time he carries the ball. Central also relies on fullback Adam Smith around the goal line.

                      "They are a very big team," Ontario defensive coordinator Trever Wilson said. "If we don't tackle very well they will be able to run at will on us. If we do what we should do, we should be alright."

                      Ontario must contend with the passing of QB Joe Pratt, who according to Mejia is a very mobile QB.

                      "He likes to scramble a lot," the senior said. "He's pretty mobile and he throws the ball pretty well."

                      Pratt is the younger brother of former Central QB Jordan Pratt, who is in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

                      Wilson said his defense can expect a lot of I-formation sets and a straight-ahead running attack.

                      "They run a lot of iso plays and they come right at you," WIlson said. "They have the idea they are bigger than most teams and that they can go right over people. But they do have a passing game too. That's their counter, they run and run then they will go to the play-action pass. We need to play our assignments and make sure it's a run before we come up and help."

                        Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                      Funds boost program, November 30, 2004

                      English as a Second Language programs within the Ontario School District received a big financial boost recently thanks in large part to Oregon U.S. Congressman Greg Walden.

                      Walden announced last week the district will garner $130,000 in the wake of Congressional approval of the recent appropriations bill.

                      Walden, who met with school district officials and observed an eighth-grade ESL class in October, requested the funds in the House version of the appropriations bill. Oregon U.S. Sens. Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden sponsored the ESL funding request in the Senate, which was part of a long list of funded projects and programs in Oregon. The state received several hundred million dollars in funding from the 2005 omnibus spending bill.

                      Of the approximate 2,600 students in the Ontario district, 30 percent of them speak English as their second language and that population is growing at a rate of five to eight percent annually, according to an announcement from Walden's office.

                      The money will be used to purchase the English Language Instruction System for the ESL programs which will be used in all buildings in the district, according to Sherri Sims, director of school improvement for the school district.

                      As far as English proficiency, on a scale of 1 to 5 - 1 speaking no English and 5 almost totally English proficient, Sims said, "The bulk of our students are mid-range."

                      ELIS is a computer-based program, she said, which can be adapted to all levels. It was used during summer school this year, Sims said, and teachers were very happy with it.

                      "It's very versatile," she said. "It's a tool. It's very user friendly," she said. All the graphics are done live, she said.

                      "This will certainly help kick-start this program," Sims said of the funding. She said the district was planning to buy the program in small pieces at a time.

                      "It (the software) will be used across the board, in grades K through 12," she said.

                      Students work on the computers individually, but the teachers can set the levels of study and the proficiency standard which the students are expected to meet, Sims said. Students also work with the teachers and volunteers and work individually on drills. Each building's staff will decide how the software will be used.

                      Another value, Sims said, is that the ELIS program teaches the students material which they will be tested on by the state, every year, she said.

                      The program is used to help improve reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.

                      "It goes along well with our reading program," Sims said.

                      James Torruellas, Ontario Middle School ESL instructor, said he was happy to hear about the money approved for the district. He could use a couple of more computers, he said.

                        Larry Meyer Argus Observer

                      Jamie Jo Hasebe, November 30, 2004

                      Aug. 2, 1949 - Nov. 26, 2004

                      Jamie Jo Hasebe, 55, Ontario, died Friday, Nov. 26, 2004, in a local care facility. Memorial services will be at 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4, 2004, at the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple, Ontario, with the Rev. Marvin Harada, Orange County Buddhist Church, Anaheim, Calif., officiating. Arrangements under the direction of Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario.

                      Jamie was born Aug. 2, 1949, in Ontario, the daughter of James Tadeo and Ruriko Lulu Kitamura. She was raised in the local area from Brogan to Vale. She attended school at Willow Creek Elementary, Vale Elementary and graduated from Vale Union High School in 1967. Jamie then graduated from Treasure Valley Community College and was employed for a short time in Los Angeles, and at TVCC. She married Roy Hasebe Dec. 23, 1972, in Ontario and raised two beautiful daughters, Jennifer and Traci. She began working for the Ontario School District in 1986 at Ontario Junior High School and in 1996 transferred to Cairo Elementary School where she was the secretary and a friend to all the students, faculty and staff. She was active in the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple and a member of the Buddhist Women's Association and a Dharma School Teacher. She was the driving force behind keeping HAPPY BOWL going for 22 years at the Malheur County Fair.

                      Jamie loved to rubber stamp, travel, shop and visit her daughters. Her family fondly remembers Jamie's large family gatherings with good food and lots of laughter.

                      Jamie is survived by her husband of 31 years, Roy, Ontario; two daughters and sons-in-law, Jennifer and James Upshaw, Vancouver, Wash., and Traci and Jonathan Yudman, Portland; a brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Cheryl Kitamura, Nyssa; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Susan and Gene Nishimura, Irvine, Calif., and Jill and Erick Lace, Winnetka, Calif.; numerous aunts; uncles; nieces; nephews and cousins.

                      Jamie was preceded in death by her parents; and a sister.

                      -----------------

                      Annual Winter Wonderland parade set for Saturday in Ontario, December 1, 2004

                      Area residents attending the 45th annual Winter Wonderland parade Saturday can expect about as much entertainment as in the past.

                      Crystal Bartoschek, assistant secretary for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce - the key organization behind the event each year - said this year's theme, selected from suggestions made by Ontario Middle School sixth-graders, is "The Family Christmas." The parade traditionally kicks off the holiday season in Ontario.

                      "This is the major holiday event," she said.

                      The idea for this year's theme came from middle school student Ali Patton. Bartoschek said in her entry, Patton wrote most families spend Christmas together watching children unwrap presents, warming feet in front of fires and drinking cocoa and eggnog, which is her idea of an ideal Christmas.

                      The parade - which travels down Southwest Fourth Avenue, continues on Oregon Street before turning onto First Avenue and ends at the middle school - begins at 1:30 p.m., and lasts about two hours.

                      This year's parade features about 50 entries, including floats, horses, representatives from the Ontario Fire and Rescue Department and Ontario high and middle school band students. Parade Grand Marshal is Al Hicks, and Winter Wonderland Queen is Ontario High School senior Hanna Dinsmore. Wonderland princesses are Kimberly Schaffer, Fruitland; Rebecca Welsh, Harper; Amalia de Jesus, Huntington; Jessica Tschirgi, Payette; Traci Romans, Vale; and Amy Hernandez, Weiser. One special float this year, from the Ontario and Payette Albertson's, will be collecting new, unwrapped toys to donate to Helping Them to Hope during the parade.

                      Virginia Franek, assistant store director at the Ontario Alberstons, came up with the toy drive as a way to help ensure less fortunate children have presents to open this Christmas.

                      "This was just a way to help the community," she said. "And I know there are a lot of children out there who aren't as blessed or as fortunate as other children. We just want to make sure as many children in the community get toys this Christmas."

                      The Albertsons float, which will feature an Albertsons employee reading Christmas stories in a rocking chair surrounded by children, will be pulled by a pickup truck. During the parade, three seniors from Ontario High School will be walking along the float gathering toys to put in the pickup truck.

                      "If it works, we'll do it every year, as far as I'm concerned," Franek said.

                      Bartoschek said it is not too late for people to enter the parade. Entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. Thursday. Interested individuals can pick up entries at the chamber office, located at the Four Rivers Cultural Center. For more information call 889-8012.

                          Jessica Keller Argus Observer

                      Tigers claw to win, December 1, 2004

                      In a matter of 13 seconds, with less than six and half minutes left to play in the game, Ontario's Kylie Roberts converted back-to-back three-point plays, to give Ontario its first double digit lead and eventually sending the Tigers a 50-45 win over Weiser in a nonconference girls basketball game Tuesday evening in Weiser.

                      Leading 36-28 with 6:26 left in the game, Roberts hit a lay-up and was fouled by Weiser's Cassie Carlson. Roberts converted the free throw, and following a Weiser turnover, Roberts was again fouled by Carlson on a lay-up, again sinking the free throw, to go up 40-28, with 6:13 left in the game.

                      Roberts led all scorers with 18 points in the season-opening win for the Tigers, as they moved to 1-0 to start the season.

                      "It was a good win for the first game," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "We are trying a pressure defense. We have to learn not to foul, and we had our share."

                      Each team committed many fouls, as Ontario had 28 total fouls and Weiser had 22 total fouls, which translated into 55 free throw attempts in the game.

                      Following Roberts' six straight points, Weiser went on a 9-1 run over the next 3:30, to cut the lead to 41-37.

                      Ontario responded however, when Roberts scored back-to-back field goals, finishing the quarter with 11 points and Ontario extended its lead to 45-37.

                      From that point on, free throws dominated the game, as only two field goals were made the rest of the game, including a 3-pointer by Weiser's Stephanie Loomis with two seconds left, for the final margin of victory, as Ontario held on for the win.

                      "I think we had a lot of people play and play pretty good," Buck said. "We need to work on ending the game. We are geared up for running and not stopping. We need to keep getting better in all aspects of the game."

                      Helping Roberts, was Vanessa Gomez with 15 points.

                      Paige Walker and Sara Bates each had nine points in the loss.

                      Weiser head coach Tim Erhard was not available for comment after the game.

                      The Tigers are back in action Friday, traveling to Nampa for a nonconference matchup.

                        William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Reloaded Tigers take aim at GOL, December 2, 2004

                      t seems year after year the Ontario girls basketball team never rebuilds - it reloads.

                      And that could mean trouble for the Greater Oregon League.

                      The Tigers, who finished 20-9 overall last season, return three starters from a team the finished second in the GOL and fifth at state.

                      "You never want to rebuild," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "Hopefully we are training younger kids as we go. I think the whole program is focused on getting players better for that time they do get to the varsity level."

                      Ontario, who opened the season with a win over Weiser, will miss the departed Maggie Smith-Davidson and Kristy Church, both of whom took their games to the collegiate-level.

                      "We have had some really good star players come through here," Buck said.

                      But the cupboard is not totally bare for Buck.

                      Back are seniors posts Vanessa Gomez (5.5 points, 7.5 rebounds last season) and A.J. Hawk, along with juniors Jaimi Arant (5 points, 3 assists) and Kylie Roberts (9.5 points, 6 rebounds).

                      Buck believs this edition of Tigers has the opportunity to be balanced offensively, but the strength of this team could lie in the team's ability to play defense.

                      "We should be a lot more balanced than we have in years past," Buck said. "I think the strength, eventually, will be the defense. The girls have been giving the effort in practice. I think the defense will trigger everything."

                      The Tigers' ability to play defense could play a role in their ability to naviagate the always tough GOL.

                      "The league is always tough," Buck said.

                      How tough?

                      Burns, the 3A runner-up in 2003 and 3A champion in 2004, is back with almost its whole arsenal, including first-team all GOL picks Maria and Jessica Clemens.

                      "I think Burns will be the team to beat," Buck said.

                         Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                      Tigers open in style, December 3, 2004

                      A quick, pressuring defense and deadly accuracy from the perimeter helped the Ontario boys basketball team shut down Payette, on way to a 65-43 nonconference victory Thursday evening at Payette High School.

                      The Tigers used their defense to force 29 Payette turnovers, while connecting on 10 3-pointers, on way to building a 32-17 lead at the half.

                      "I think the kids played hard. They were excited and ready to play," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said. "It was our typical first game. There were way more positives than negatives."

                      Helmick said his players really love to play defense and frustrate other offenses, by getting all over them.

                      "The pressure got to us," Payette head coach Shawn Scow said. "They have got outstanding quickness at every position. We could not match them."

                      The Pirates (1-1 overall) could not answer the Tigers' offense, trying all sorts of defenses to shut down the Tigers (1-0).

                      "We tried a couple zones and man. Ontario just executed well. They were not afraid to shoot the three," Scow said about Ontario's offense. "Once they started hitting them, they were on a roll."

                      For the Tigers, KJ Toombs led the way, scoring a game high 20 points, including four 3-pointers, while teammate Nick Babij scored 13 points. Tyler David added 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

                      Payette countered with two 3-pointers, both by Cameron Oxnam, who finished with nine points for Payette. Mark McCarney led the Pirates with 10 points in the contest.

                      "We have to get in better position to rebound," Helmick said. "Payette did a good job of fighting for position and rebounding."

                      Scow said the Pirates needed to work on their defensive rebounding and boxing out, but was pleased with his players effort.

                      "Even though we got beat by 20, I liked our kids' effort," Scow said. "We played very aggressive. It is important to get our mindset to be aggressive."

                      Ontario is back in action tonight, when the Tigers travel to Weiser, while Payette is at Parma on Monday, both games are in nonconference action.

                         William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Stingy defense helps Tigers past Nyssa, December 5, 2004

                      With 1:45 left in the game, Ontario's Nick Babij hit two free throws to put Ontario up 50-38, clearing Ontario's bench, and helping Ontario to a 53-40 win over Nyssa in a nonleague boys basketball game Saturday evening at Ontario High School.

                      In the final two minutes, Ontario's Brady Kameshiga put the finishing touches on the Tigers' (3-0 overall) victory, drilling a 3-pointer.

                      Despite the 13-point margin of victory, Ontario was outscored in the second half, 27-25, after building up a 28-13 halftime lead.

                      The difference in the game came on defense for the Tigers, as they forced 27 Nyssa turnovers and picked up 17 steals.

                      "We played scared," Nyssa head coach Matt Perry said. "No one wanted to dribble, pass, shoot. We have not seen that kind of pressure.

                      "I do not think we will see anybody that quick again all year."

                      Both teams played tough defense, getting a hand in the face of most shooters, as Nyssa (1-2) shot only 36 percent from the floor and 38 percent from the free-throw line, and Ontario shot only 33 percent from the floor and 13 percent behind the arc.

                      "We played with good energy on defense," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said of the game. "I am glad that we were able to limit them to only 40 points. We play pretty well defense, quick hands, quick feet, we will go a long way with that."

                      Offensively, neither team seemed to get on a roll, as Babij led all scorers with 12 points, while Tyler David added 11 and Daniel Schram had 10. Babij and Jacob Blaylock had seven rebounds and Babij added five assists and four steals.

                      Nyssa was led by Marshall Ackley with 10 points and Jose Escobedo added six points, and 11 rebounds in the loss.

                      Ontario hosts Middleton Thursday in a nonleague contest, while Nyssa travels to Marsing on Monday in a nonconference matchup.

                         William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Ontario mauls Kavemen, December 8, 2004

                      The Ontario girls basketball team made sure its home opener was a successful one.

                      The Tigers picked up their third straight win, drubbing the Kuna Kavemen, 59-31, Tuesday night in a nonleague girls basketball game at Ontario High School.

                      The game was the Tigers' fourth game in five nights, and improved Ontario's season record to 4-1 on the season.

                      Ontario and Kuna battled to a 7-5 Ontario advantage after the first quarter of play, before the Tigers blew the game open with a tenacious defense and a workmanlike effort on the offensive glass.

                      The home team held Kuna to only 5-for-25 shooting from the field in the first half, and Kuna only managed 12 points in the first half, as Ontario extended its lead to 30-12 lead at the half.

                      "It took a little time to get going offensively," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "The offensive boards got us going. We were not sharp offensively."

                      The Tigers picked up 19 offensive rebounds and 20 second chance points, compared to only seven by the Kavemen.

                      In the second half, Ontario continued to pour it on, outscoring the Kavemen 15-10 in the third quarter. The Tigers' Kristin Saito connected on a field goal and a free throw to end the third quarter, as Ontario took a 45-22 lead.

                      "We played an excellent first half," Buck said. "The girls do everything I ask them to do. We have played three solid games in a row."

                      In the fourth quarter, Ontario kept extending their lead, going on an 11-2 run over the first four and a half minutes to claim a 56-25 lead - the largest difference in the game - before Ontario got everybody some playing time.

                      "I think this is a continuation of this weekend, Saturday and Monday we played really well," Buck said.

                      Ontario was led by Kylie Roberts with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, while A.J. Hawk had 17 points. Vanessa Gomez had six rebounds in the win for the Tigers.

                      Ontario travels to Nampa Christian Thursday in a nonconference matchup

                         William Anderson Argus Observer

                      For Phelps, deeds do prove better than words, December 8, 2004

                      At first glance, Alameda Elementary School student Katie Phelps appears to be a normal fourth-grade student.

                      She likes to have fun with her friends and is even a little shy.

                      Still, Phelps has a big heart.

                      So big, in fact, she was willing to give up her hair to prove it.

                      Phelps, 9, recently had 12 inches of her hair chopped off for the Locks of Love charity.

                      The Locks of Love program earmarks human hair for wigs for children - many suffering from cancer or other diseases - who lose their own hair during treatment. The day after Thanksgiving, Phelps had her hair cut off by Amy Bezona, of Ontario, for the second time for this charity. Two years ago, Phelps had her hair cut at her mother's request. This year, Phelps decided to donate her hair, all on her own.

                      "It was OK," Phelps said about getting her hair cut off. "I like helping people."

                      The desire to help others and give of herself is something that separates Phelps from many other children.

                      According to Phelps' mother, Sharla Phelps, Katie does a lot of giving, whether it be to her brother or her friends.

                      "I think it is pretty neat. She has a heart for giving," Sharla Phelps said of Katie.

                      Katie said she also has helped her neighbors rake their leaves, and completed other tasks to help people.

                      Sharla Phelps said she heard about Locks of Love from a co-worker, and Phelps checked out the Web site to get more information. After cutting her hair off twice, so far, Katie Phelps plans on doing it again in the future.

                      "I wanted to do it this last time," Phelps said about getting her hair cut. "I am going to do it again."

                         William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Ontario sinks Vikings, December 10, 2004

                      Starting from the tip-off, the Ontario boys basketball team used a stingy defense and good passing to knock off the Middleton Vikings 60-37 in a nonleague boys basketball matchup Thursday evening in Ontario.

                      Ontario built up an 11-3 first quarter advantage, which was pushed to 16-5 to end the quarter, with the Tigers controlling the game.

                      "I think it was a combination of the press works really well at the beginning and how you continue the press through the middle and end of the season," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said.

                      Ontario kept things rolling in the second quarter, to build a 30-15 first half lead.

                      In that second quarter, Middleton showed some signs of life, scoring 10 points, with Clark Short scoring all four of his points in the quarter.

                      Ontario on the other hand, had five players with five or more points by the end of the first half, led by Jacob Blaylock.

                      The Tigers (4-0 overall) came out strong in the third quarter, starting the quarter on a 8-1 run, to open up a 38-16 lead, over the first 3:15 of the quarter.

                      Ontario kept expanding its lead in the quarter, going on another 8-0 run during a two minute stretch, as Ontario pushed the lead to a game high, 28 points, 46-18, with 1:39 left in the quarter.

                      "It is always our goal to win the third quarter," Helmick said. "Some teams have let downs in the third quarter, even our band takes the quarter off. The third quarter is important."

                      In the final minutes of the game, Ontario held off Middleton, as the Vikings managed to outscore the Tigers 15-14 in the final quarter of play, but Ontario's lead was too much, as they went on to win.

                      Blaylock finished with a game high 13 points, while teammate Nick Babij had 10 points. Marcus Uchida had eight points and eight assists, including five in the third quarter.

                      Middleton was led by Kyle Sorensen who had 11 points, and Brandon Peterson had 10 points for the Vikings.

                      Ontario hosts Payette Saturday in a nonleague boys basketball contest.

                        William Anderson Argus Observer

                      All aboard - Creative project honors popular book, film, December 13, 2004

                      Families all over the United States are lining up to watch "The Polar Express," the new Christmas film combining computer animation and live action. The movie is based on a popular children's book by Chris Van Allsburg.

                      Kelsey Zimmerman, a fourth-grade teacher at Alameda Elementary School, decided to celebrate the season and the book in a new way.

                      Zimmerman has her students create a "literature quilt" out of paper based on "The Polar Express."

                      The quilt now decorates one of the bulletin boards in her classroom. Each child created a paper block using 1-inch squares and triangles to create the trees.

                      Zimmerman said the idea came from a book she has which gives suggestions for paper quilts based on various books.

                      She said the students had just finished a two-week unit on Van Allsburg and his books, and were excited about the movie, so they were enthusiastic about the project.

                      She added many of the quilt patterns relate to books with a holiday theme, and help the students practice geometry and other spatial skills, as well as writing.

                      For this quilt, for instance, the children put together blocks featuring pictures of themselves, with their response to the prompt, "If I could have the first gift of Christmas, I would want

                      Strike up the band Schools prepare for holiday pageants, December 15, 2004

                      Some students at Ontario Public Schools have already performed their annual Christmas programs, but there are plenty yet to be staged before school lets out for winter break.

                      "They're all musical," Katherine M. Collins, public information director for Ontario Public Schools, said, adding all the programs are directed by music teachers at the respective schools.

                      Collins said some of the teachers are producing programs from material they have written, and others are staging popular programs written by others. Some of the programs focus mostly on music and some contain a plot and dialogue.

                      "All the students do something," Collins said.

                      She said the district appreciates the efforts of the music teachers and encourages parents, grandparents and other community members to come out.

                      "There's always some little person who's singing extra loud or curtsying after each applause," she said. "Those are the precious moments that really make it enjoyable."

                      TODAY

                      Second and third graders at Alameda Elementary School will perform "Christmas at the OK Corral" at 6 p.m. at Four Rivers Cultural Center.

                      THURSDAY and FRIDAY

                      Aiken Elementary School will perform "Aiken School Revue" at the school. The yellow cast featuring Mrs. Ortiz's fifth-grade class, Mr. Lopez's third-grade class and Mrs. Pelayo's morning kindergarten class, will perform at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. The green cast, featuring Miss Cornett's fifth-grade class, Mrs. Rines' third-grade class and Mrs. Pelayo's afternoon kindergarten class will perform at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

                      The pink cast, featuring Mr. Johnson's fourth-grade class, Mrs. Hill's second-grade class and Mrs. Knight's first-grade class, will perform at 9:30 a.m. Friday. The blue cast, featuring Mrs. Johnson's fourth-grade class, Ms. Blaylock's second-grade class and Mrs. Clark's first-grade class will perform at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

                      FRIDAY ONLY

                      Students at May Roberts Elementary School will perform three programs centered around the theme "Joy, Peace, Happiness and Winter Fun." Kindergartners and first-graders will perform from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Second- and third-graders will perform from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Fourth- and fifth-graders will perform from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

                      MONDAY

                      Ontario High School's orchestra, elite choir and symphonic concert band will perform a holiday concert at 7:15 p.m. at Four Rivers Cultural Center. There will also be a gala sing-along at the event. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for students and senior citizens and $10 for a family pass.

                      TUESDAY

                      Students at Pioneer Elementary School will perform at 10 a.m. in the Pioneer Elementary School gym. Kindergartners and first-graders will perform "A Tribute to Santa" and second- through fifth-graders will perform a "'Tis the Season" musical revue.

                          Christen McCurdy Argus Observer

                      igers stay perfect, December 15, 2004

                      Free throws were the difference Tuesday in Ontario's 53-37 nonleague win over Weiser at Ontario High School.

                      The Ontario Tigers made the most of their chances at the foul line. Weiser barely had the chance to get to the stripe.

                      Ontario converted 24-of-30 free throws on the night, while the Wolverines missed both of their free throw attempts in the game.

                      Most of the Tigers' free throws came in the first half. Ontario scored 16 of its 33 points at the charity stripe, with Nick Babij leading the way, going 13-for-14 from the line in the first half.

                      "We decided we wanted to go to the basket and not rely on the outside shots," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said of the Tigers' advantage in free throw shooting. "We were going to take our shots and if not, we would take it to the basket."

                      Starting the second half, the Wolverines (2-4 overall) trailed the Tigers (6-0) 33-20.

                      Ontario's defense continued to swarm the Wolverines, holding Weiser to only four third-quarter points. Ontario held on to a 43-24 lead.

                      "We had to expect a tight game. They are a good team, and good teams make adjustments," Helmick said. "We did little different types of presses, with a man and zone press."

                      Ontario's presses forced 21 Weiser turnovers on the night.

                      In the final quarter of play, Weiser continued to hang around, outscoring the Tigers 13-10.

                      Still, it was not enough as Ontario hung on for the victory.

                      "My guys played hard," Weiser head coach Dave Shirts said. "I am satisfied with the effort, but we are capable of playing better still."

                      Babij led all scorers with 20 points. Babij connected on 17-for-20 free throws, and hit just one shot from the floor. Jacob Blaylock added 11 points for the Tigers and Tyler David had 10 points in the win.

                      Weiser was led by Mikel Overgaard's 10 point performance in the blowout loss.

                      Both teams are back in action Thursday, as Weiser travels to Vale in a nonleague matchup, while Ontario travels to the Junction City Tournament, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

                         William Anderson Argus Observer

                      Tigers win tourney, December 19, 2004

                      The Tigers landed three individual champions, and placed 15 wrestlers in the top five of their weight classes, on the way to a team tournament title Saturday at the Caldwell Invitational.

                      Ontario won the tournament with 238 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Caldwell (202) and third-place Nyssa (198.5). Parma (120) finished sixth and Cambridge-Midvale (24) was 10th.

                      Andres Hernandez (130), Paul Rangel (160) and Colin Gundle (275) all won their respective weight classes for the Tigers.

                      "We had a pretty good meet Friday and the kids continued that and wrestled really well today," Ontario head coach Charlie Anthony said. "We have a lot of weight classes with two pretty good kids in them. When you can enter two per weight class that's to our benefit.

                      "This is pretty exciting when you think district is run the same way."

                      Ontario's depth showed, particularly at 275-pounds. Dennis Tolman and Jon Paulsen finished fourth and fifth, respectively, behind Gundle.

                      The Tigers got second-place finishes from Jose Rivera (145) and Todd Smith (189) and third-place finishes from Tom Martinez (103), Kaz Honjo (119) and Pedro Nunez (215). Michael Gonzalez (112), Bryan Brandon (125), Keith Brandon (135), Casey Erlebach (140) and JJ Anthony all brought home fifth-place finishes.

                      Ontario heads to Pasco, Wash. Tuesday and Wednesday for the Pasco Invitational.

                      Bulldogs place nine at Caldwell Invitational, team finishes third

                      CALDWELL - The Nyssa Bulldogs took 10 wrestlers to the Caldwell Invitational, and nine of them placed in the top four of their respective weight classes.

                      That production helped the Bulldogs to a third place finish at the two-day tournament.

                      Ontario won the tournament with 238 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Caldwell (202) and third-place Nyssa (198.5). Parma (120) finished sixth and Cambridge-Midvale (24) was 10th.

                      "We had a really good weekend," Nyssa head coach Luke Cleaver said. "We ended up with four champions and five in the finals. Every varsity kid I brought finished in the top four."

                      Nick Hartley (135), Cody Peterson (145), Braden Bair (189) and Bobby Deleon (215) brought home individual championships for the Bulldogs.

                      "I think everybody had a tough match in the tournament," Cleaver said. "Everyone stepped up to the challenge."

                      Nyssa also got a second-place finish Juan Sandoval (140), and third-place finishes from Smitty Hartley (112) and Bryce Vanzels (275). Bowe Midland capped the tournament for Nyssa with a fourth-place finish.

                      The Bulldogs are off until Jan. 4 when they will travel to Nampa for a three-way dual with Emmett and Nampa.

                          Argus Observer sports staff

                      School board reviews policies, December. 20, 2004

                      The Ontario School Board made minor revisions to its board policies in an otherwise uneventful regular meeting Thursday night.

                      The revisions addressed two sections of the school board policies, regarding the superintendent position and the budget.

                      Ontario schools Superintendent Dennis Carter said the revisions are done annually based on the recommendations of Oregon's state school board.

                      Instead of going through their policy book all at once, Carter said, board members are breaking it down to about two sections a month.

                      One revision was to the qualifications of the superintendent's position. Instead of only requiring "educational leader and administrator" experience, a superintendent candidate can be considered if the person meets transitional administrator or "exceptional administrator" licensure requirements.

                      Another revision permits the superintendent to recommend contract renewals or nonrenewals, contract extensions or nonextensions of any employee as provided by law, policies and the employee's collective bargaining agreement.

                      While the superintendent can still recommend an employee's demotion and discharge, language allowing the superintendent to recommend the suspension of an employee was removed.

                      When developing and adopting criteria and policy directives for hiring a superintendent or interim superintendent, the board will now address those topics in an open meeting in which the public can comment.

                      The Ontario School Board, however, may also notify the superintendent of unsatisfactory performance in writing, identifying those areas that need to be remedied.

                      The superintendent must be allowed time to correct those problems, but if poor performance continues, the board may dismiss the superintendent.

                        Jessica Keller - Argus Observer

                      Tigers win consolation, December 20, 2004

                      The Tigers shot only 2-for-12 in the first quarter, but rebounded enough to shoot 19-for-40 the rest of the game to come away with the victory.

                      Part of the reason Ontario's offense picked up, was point guard Jaimi Arant dished out 12 assists, to go with her six points.

                      "I think she is really playing well for us," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "I think if she had been able to play more than the 15 minutes she played against Junction City, because of foul trouble, we would have been playing on the winner's side of the bracket."

                      The Tigers finished the tournament as consolation champions.

                      The Tigers (8-2 overall) got a big performance from Kylie Roberts, dropping in 18 points and grabbing six rebounds. AJ Hawk added 12 points and seven rebounds.

                      Vanessa Gomez had eight points and nine rebounds for the Tigers.

                          Argus Observer Sport Staff

                      Tigers run past Parma, December 30, 2004

                      The Ontario boys opened the 2004 Fruitland Christmas Tournament in convincing fashion with a 75-39 win over Parma Wednesday night in Fruitland.

                      The Tigers (8-3 overall) led from the opening 10 seconds of the game and never looked back with a combination of excellent shooting and a defense which left Parma attempting to play catch-up the entire game.

                      "The kids played well tonight," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said. "They executed well and played the way they are capaable of playing. Parma tried to take out (Nick) Babij early in the game, and Tyler David stepped up and made the plays."

                      Parma (2-6) stayed close through the first quarter, starting the second behind by only seven. But Ontario caught fire and scored 27 points in the quarter including a 12-0 run early in the second to take the lead for good.

                      "They are a good team," Panthers head coach Kevin Sitts said referring to Ontario. "But our boys never quit. It was nice to see Sam Sells come out and contribute to the team after the injury to his ankle. We need to work on our turnovers and keep them down."

                      The Panthers committed 21 turnovers, while forcing Ontario into only 10.

                      Ontario was led by David's 15 points, and Jaime Contreras' 13 points. Ontario also shot a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line as a team.

                      Ontario will meet Fruitland for the championship at 8 p.m. tonight. Parma will play for the consolation at 6:15 p.m. against Vale.

                        John Braese Argus Observer

                  Call to OPD sparks lockdown at May Roberts, Feb. 1, 2004

                  Tami Hart Argus Observer

                  A lockdown at May Roberts Elementary School Tuesday, prompted by a call from the Ontario Police Department, ended without incident.

                  Ontario Police received a call at 3:07 p.m. from a woman driving by the school who had witnessed a youth, carrying two steak knives in his hands, who was being chased by a group of nine Hispanic boys near the school. The group of boys was pelting the lone youth with snowballs and ice. The witness saw the boy point the knives at the other boys, which prompted her 911 call, OPD Sgt. Jeff Milton said.

                  "We didn't know what the boy's intent was, so we notified the school and advised them to enact whatever security measures they have in place," Milton said.

                  May Roberts principal Frances Ramirez said she instituted a lockdown, which secures all the classrooms in the school.

                  "We have a procedure that we follow," Ramirez said. "Anytime anything like this happens, you have step-by-step things to do." Ramirez said she would normally be the person making the decision to lockdown the school, although that could be affected by who has the information about the incident.

                  "In this case, I didn't have any information about it and the police department gave me the directive," Ramirez said.

                  OPD officers arrived on the scene and Milton called the school with a description of the youth carrying the knives. May Roberts officials advised OPD that a boy matching the description had come into the school's office.

                  "He was seeking refuge from the gang of boys," Milton said.

                  The youth, who is 11-years-old, had walked to May Roberts to pick up his sister, Milton said.

                  He told police the other boys, who ranged in age from 11 to 13, had been making fun of him and that it had started when he left the middle school.

                  "He knew he had to go to the school to get his sister and he knew the others were after him, so he stopped and got the knives from his home for protection," Milton said.

                  Officer George Tolman, school resource officer, investigated the incident and spoke with the parties involved.

                  There were no charges pressed, Milton said.

                  Ramirez said she incident should act as an alert for all schools.

                  "Since we have had everything in the news that's happened at other schools, I think the school is really aware of keeping the kids and staff safe," Ramirez said. "We just have to be prepared,"

                  She said she was impressed with her staff's handling of the security procedure.

                  Ramirez said she believes the school has not had a lockdown in the past two years.

                  Tigers maul Burns, 88-38, in GOL play, Feb. 1, 2004

                   Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                  "I cannot tell the guys not to play hard," Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said after the Tiger's boys' basketball team thumped Burns 88-38 in Greater Oregon League action Friday night.

                  Everyone on the Tiger roster saw playing time in Friday night's victory.

                  "My starters were only in for the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter, then everyone else got to play," Helmick said.

                  Ontario jumped out to a huge 21-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.

                  Wade Douglas scored 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter including a slam dunk with 10 seconds remaining in the quarter.

                  Nick Babij, Jacob Blaylock and Kyle Hart each scored a two-point bucket in the first quarter for the Tigers and Hart also completed a free throw.

                  By the end of the first half, the Tigers had nearly sealed the victory with a 46-16 lead over the Highlanders.

                  The 25 points scored in the second quarter was by a mixture of Tigers.

                  Marcus Uchida, Tyler David, Douglas, Tommy Infante, and Jason Hart each scored two points.

                  Jake Lacey and Kyle Hart each added four points.

                  Babij hit two 3-pointers and eventually went on to hit another before finishing the game with 11 points.

                  Blaylock landed a free throw to round out the scores for Ontario in the second quarter.

                  Only hitting 10 points to the 22 poured in by the Tigers put the Highlanders further behind at the end of the third quarter.

                  In the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter, Douglas laid in four points and Babij hit a 3-pointer then the other Tigers began to shine.

                  David landed three 2-point baskets and a 3-pointer in the third quarter. He would go on to finish the game with 15 points for the Tigers.

                  Infante racked up four points, and Uchida scored two more for Ontario.

                  Jaime Contreras and KJ Toombs both hit two 3-point buckets to be a part of Ontario's 20 points in the fourth quarter.

                  David added a pair of free throws and a 2-pointer while Jake Gaschler scored his two points of the game and Infante found his seventh and eighth point for the Tigers.

                  The Highlanders only scored 12 points in the fourth quarter.

                  Burns was led by Brett Thomas with 10 points followed by Luke Benafel with eight points and Aaron Glerup with six.

                  Kyle Hart led the Ontario rebounders pulling down eight.

                  Matt Mejia had four steals and Uchida finished the game with five assists.

                  The Tigers (12-4 overall, 5-0 GOL) traveled to La Grande Saturday evening for another Greater Oregon League game.

                  Ontario girls fall to Burns -Feb. 1, 2004   Argus Observer Sports Staff

                  Down 8-0 in the first quarter the Ontario girls' basketball team never regained the momentum and dropped a Greater Oregon League match to the visiting Burns Highlanders.

                  The Tigers lost 55-43 Friday night at Ontario High School.

                  "We need to not play scared and not be afraid to attack and pass the ball inside," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said.

                  In the first quarter, Ontario scored a total of five points in comparison to the 18 piled in by the Highlanders.

                  Maggie Smith-Davidson scored three for Ontario - one bucket and a free throw - while AJ Hawk laid in the other two points.

                  In the second quarter, the Tigers cut Burns' lead down to nine points outscoring the visitors 10-6.

                  Kylie Roberts hit two of her three 3-pointers in the first minute of the second quarter while Smith-Davidson hit two 2-point baskets in the second half of the second quarter.

                  Chelsea Ross piled in four points in the second quarter for the Highlanders and teammate Maria Clemens added the other two points.

                  At the end of the first half Burns led 24-15.

                  Burns extended its first half lead in the third quarter after scoring 19 points to the 11 posted by the Tigers.

                  Kristy Church and Jami Arant each scored their first two points of the game in the third quarter for Ontario (12-5 overall, 3-2 GOL).

                  Roberts hit her third three with 4:01 left in the quarter and Smith-Davidson completed two free throws and hit a jumper for the other four points.

                  The Clemens sisters - Jessica and Maria - poured in 10 of the Highlanders third quarter points.

                  The Tigers scored 17 points in the final quarter while the visitors only racked up 12 points but it was not enough for a victory.

                  Vanessa Gomez scored her four points of the game in the fourth quarter for Ontario.

                  Smith-Davidson made her final six points to lead the Tiger scorers with 17 points in the loss.

                  Church added her remaining five points to end the game with seven total points and Arant landed her final two points.

                  "In the second half we regrouped and went after them," Buck said. "We have a ways to go. Lack of experience can be seen at times. In tomorrow's game against La Grande we will be playing to hold on to a top three spot."

                  Cairo chili feed slated for Thursday, Feb. 4, 2004

                   Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                  Local residents eager to take in the familiar smell of cornbread and chili should plan to visit Cairo Elementary School Thursday.

                  The school's long-standing -- and by decree very popular -- chili feed has been a mainstay of local fundraisers for more than 40 years. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. Thursday.

                  Tickets for the event cost $5 for ninth-graders and older and runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. Kindergartners to eighth-graders can get into the dinner for $3 while preschools eat for free. The ticket price includes chili, salad, cornbread, beverage and dessert -- including cupcakes, pies and brownies.

                  Renae Corn and her husband Bruce Corn said they have been involved in the chili feed since their first child started attending Cairo. Corn estimated their involvement spans the course of 13 or 14 years. Now, their youngest child is a fifth-grader at Cairo.

                  "We're both real believers in education," Corn said.

                  Corn said she has attended the chili feed every year -- even when her children were enrolled in a private Christian school in Ontario. This is the first year her children have returned to the Ontario School District, they said.

                  Bruce Corn served as the chairman of the committee for the chili feed, soliciting donations from local businesses and organizing the committees in charge of various tasks associated with the event. Renae also helped with ticket sales, cooking the chili, and gathering community support for the event. The Corns have also assisted financially to the event, purchasing pots to cook the chili in.

                  "The wonderful thing about the chili feed, is that we don't see much anymore, is it's a community effort," Corn said.

                  Since the cost of the dinner is minimal, business donations are a key to the event's ability to raise money for the school. Proceeds of the chili feed are allocated to the Cairo PTO (parent teacher organization) that funds the needs of the school.

                  Cindy Feibert, parent, volunteer and PTO member, and her husband, Erik Feibert, have volunteered at the chili feed for 11 to 12 years, she said. Cindy said most of the ingredients for the chili are donated, and hundreds of pies are bought, donated or home baked. Feibert noted the recipe for the chili has remained largely the same since the tradition began 46 years ago.

                  Steve Bishop, principal of Cairo Elementary, said the school's focus for the money raised from the feed is on purchasing new playground equipment. Bishop said the school has not received new equipment -- other than small updates and repairs -- since the building opened in the late 1950s.

                  The fundraising event -- one that collects an estimated $4,000 each year according to Bishop -- has supported a new basketball court and computer software in past years. As of Tuesday, Cairo had sold 400 adult-priced tickets. Bishop said the previous year there were as many people that did not buy advanced tickets as those that did. The chili feed at Cairo also showcases student artwork. Cairo Elementary has a contest for artwork to be printed on the sales tickets and posters advertising the event.

                  This year, Tana Halligan's artwork is on the full admission priced ticket; Leila Feibert's artwork is on the discounted tickets; and Rebecca Dodson's design is printed on the complimentary tickets. Miranda Bourasa and Angela Monroe's poster designs were the winners. The students were third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders.

                  Pay difference Teachers' salaries vary widely between rural and metro school districts in Oregon, Feb. 5, 2004

                   Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                  A recently release report by the Oregon School Boards Association shows that teacher salaries and benefits in Oregon vary between school districts.

                  The report, dubbed "Salaries, Economic Benefits and Selected Policies for Teachers in Oregon School Districts" is an annual survey by the OSBA.

                  On the Oregon side of the Treasure Valley, school districts' caps on salaries, retirement pensions, and perks and benefits - such as the number of paid holidays - fluctuates as well.

                  Treasure Valley teacher data

                  Nyssa school district pays its teachers, according to the survey, a minimum of $26,305 and a maximum of $49,166 a year. To reach the $49,166 benchmark, teachers must earn a master's degree plus 45 additional post-graduate credits.

                  The average annual salary for 2002-2003 in Nyssa School District was $39,664 according to the survey. Teachers receive three paid bereavement days, two personal days, and seven holidays. Nyssa teachers contract for 186 days with 172 student school days. Teachers in Nyssa negotiated a two percent increase in their salary from 2002-2003 to 2003-2004.

                  The minimum pay for teachers at Vale School District is $24,470 and a maximum pay of $49,259 with the same qualifications (master's degree and 45 additional units of study). The annual average salary for 2002-2003 was $43,316. Teachers receive two personal days, five bereavement days, and six holidays. Vale teachers contract for 174 days with 148 student school days. The teacher's union in Vale negotiated a four percent raise in their salaries effective this school year.

                  Ontario teachers receive a minimum salary of $26,686 and a maximum salary of $50,982. The annual average salary in 2002-2003 was $43,468. Teachers receive five paid holidays, two personal days and five bereavement days. Teachers contract for 191 days with 176 student school days. Teacher salaries are up 2.75 percent from 2002-2003.

                  Adrian school district teachers receive a minimum salary of $25,233 and a maximum salary for a master's degree of $41,475. The annual average salary in 2002-2003 was $35,836. Teachers receive up to $10,000 in tuition reimbursement at the University of Oregon. They also get two personal days and three bereavement days. Teachers contract for 185 days with 177 student school days. Teachers at Adrian did not receive a pay increase for 2003-2004.

                  The Oregon School Boards Association reports the average pay increase for teachers this year was 1.67 percent. Ron Wilson, director of human resource development at the Oregon School Boards Association, said 35 districts did not negotiate a pay increase for teachers.

                  Looking at Portland

                  By contrast to school districts in the Malheur County, the largest school district in Oregon is Portland, which rests in Multnomah County. The district contains 45,989.8 resident average daily memberships (ADM or average amount of students each day). Nyssa has a resident ADM of 1,176.6; Vale is 981.9; Ontario is 2,650.6; and Adrian's ADM is 230.7. Teachers in Portland school district receive a minimum pay of $29,013 and a maximum pay with a master's degree and 45 additional units of post-graduate study of $60,673. Teachers are paid for two professional days, three personal days, three family illness days, and bereavement varies.

                  They contract for 190 days of work and 177 student school days. They are reimbursed six hours of credit at Portland State University. Teachers at Portland school district negotiated a 0.5 percent pay increase for this school year. Teacher pay and benefits is slightly more attractive in the Portland School District than area school districts. However, the cost of living in the Portland metro area compared with Malheur County differs significantly. The cost of living also varies between Ontario, Vale, Adrian and Nyssa.

                  Cost of living

                  Property value and housing in slightly more expensive in Ontario than Nyssa, Vale, and Adrian. According to the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, in Ontario the median housing cost was $85,900 in 2000. Data reported Vale's median housing cost in 2000 at $67,300; Adrian was $61,900; and Nyssa was $61,800. The median housing cost in 2000 for Multnomah County was $157,900 and in Portland the cost was $154,700. While Multnomah County's housing prices have risen to a median cost of $189,000 and average cost of $225,308 in 2003, the Malheur County's assessor office reports unchanged figures in 2003 from 2000. Economically, Multnomah and Malheur Counties deviate. The state department reported per capita income in Malheur County at $19,530 in 1999 and 32,095 in Multnomah County in 2000.

                  As the Portland School District offers more money to teachers, the adjusted cost of living between Malheur County and Multnomah County causes Portland teachers to pay more to live in the metro area. Similarly, Ontario teachers receive slightly more pay - on average - than teachers in Vale, Nyssa or Adrian, but the housing costs in Ontario are also higher.

                  Beginning salaries similar

                  Lyssa McKrole teaches first-grade at Alameda Elementary School. McKrole recently finished her master's degree at Eastern Oregon University while living in John Day. McKrole chose to move to Ontario for her first year of teaching.

                  She said she researched school districts in Oregon, and found that for beginning teacher salaries, Ontario was comparable to other districts in the state.

                  McKrole also said that Oregon seems to have the most widely accepted teaching standards in the state. Most teachers come into the system now with a master's degree, she said. McKrole added the accepted standards force teachers to work harder than most states to pass tests and obtain higher degrees.

                  "The pay is better in Oregon, I believe, than Idaho and Utah. Washington state is comparable to Oregon," McKrole said.

                  implicating that hurdles teachers in Oregon must go through to pass tests and obtain degrees translates into higher teaching pay than some neighboring states.

                  Young Tiger Basketball Camp scheduled, Feb. 5, 2004

                  The Ontario boys' basketball coach, Scott Helmick, is hosting a Young Tiger Basketball Camp at the Ontario High School gym.

                  Boys in the fourth, fifth and sixth grade are invited to attend.

                  The camp will run Feb. 4, 5, 11, 12 and 17 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

                  The cost for the camp will be $25. The cost includes a T-shirt, instruction provided by the high school coaches and players.

                  To register, call coach Scott Helmick at Ontario High School, (541) 889-5309.

                  Softball umpiring clinics to be held

                  BOISE-Anybody interested in umpiring girls' fast pitch softball in either Oregon or Idaho, clinics will be held to review rules.

                  Monday, at Caldwell High School, registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the clinic running from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

                  Feb. 23, there is a mandatory Idaho State rules meeting, at Mountain View High School at 6 p.m. Registration for umpires is at 5:15 p.m.

                  A reminder to all high school coaches, this is a mandatory meeting, a representative from your school will need to be present.

                  If there are any questions, contact the Softball Commissioner, Gary McCarney, (208) 642-4675.

                  Weiser girls' hoops team selling Kryspy Kreme's

                  WEISER-Kryspy Kreme doughnuts are being brought to Weiser by the Girls' Basketball Team Wednesday.

                  The event is being sponsored to help raise funds for summer camp and tournaments.

                  Contact any girls' basketball player or coach to place your order.

                  Each dozen will cost $7.50 each.

                  Coach Erhard is also taking orders at (208) 414-2620 or at (208) 549-0882. Doughnuts will be delivered to the high school at about 8:30 a.m., Wednesday.

                  Ski Bus Available to Brundage

                  Ontario-The Ontario Parks and Recreation Department will offer a ski and snowboard bus to Brundage Mountain for the 2003-2004 ski season.

                  Session dates include-Session 3 (cost of $32): Saturday, February 7, 14, 21, and 28.

                  Registrations are taken at the Recreation Department at the Ontario Aquatic Center between 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

                  Registrations by session will take priority over individual date tickets. Individual dates can be purchased for $10 per trip.

                  All trips depart from Ontario City Hall at 7 a.m. and will return at approximately 7 p.m.

                  Trips must be paid for by the Wednesday prior to the trip in order to hold a reservation.

                  Lift tickets are $23 for 12-18 years old. $32 for 19 and over and $16 for kids 7-11.
                  For more information contact the Ontario Parks and Recreation Department, at (541) 889-7686.

                  Ten Star All Star Basketball Camp

                  Charlotte, NC - Applications are now being evaluated for the Ten Star All Star Summer Basketball Camp.

                  The camp is by invitation only.

                  Boys and girls ages 10 through 19 are eligible to apply.

                  Past participants include: Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse, Grant Hill and Antawn Jamison.

                  School district stays focused on bus safety, Feb. 6, 2004

                  Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                  The Ontario School District has reported three accidents involving a school bus or an activity vehicles this school year but the number is not unusually high, according to the district operations manager, Bob Nelson.

                  Nelson said he estimated the district averages three accidents a year, whether they are the fault of school authorized drivers or a second party vehicle.

                  Nelson also said during some school years there will be more than three accidents, depending on the weather.

                  A particularly severe winter will cause more cars to slide into school buses, he said.

                  The first accident this school year occurred on Sept. 9, 2003 when Matt Suitter, 32, Ontario, driving a 1991 Ford van failed to yield at the controlled intersection of Southeast Fourth Street and Southeast First Avenue. Sheri Acree was the driver of the school bus transporting 56 Ontario middle and high school students and four students from Four Rivers Charter School. No significant injuries were sustained from the accident. Acree was determined to be not at fault for the accident and is still driving for the district, according to Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement for Ontario School District.

                  The next school bus accident occurred nearly one month later on Oct. 6, 2003. The certified bus driver, Janet Kittelmann, 57, drove onto the curb near the corner of Southwest Fourth Street and the mirror of the bus struck Ontario Middle School student, Isabel Rodriguez, 11, who was walking with her eighth-grade sister, Alicia Rodriguez.

                  Rodriguez sustained scratches and a concussion after being struck by the mirror. Collins said Kittelmann no longer works at the district as a bus driver. Collins said after the completion of an investigation, the school district does not have information beyond Kittlemann's claim she blacked out while driving over the curb.

                  The latest incident occurred Monday and involved a shortened school bus technically labeled an activity vehicle and adverse weather.

                  Leadership adviser Laurie Grim, 50, was driving 11 leadership students from OHS to a leadership conference in Hermiston when the vehicle ran into icy conditions and slid off Interstate 84.

                  One student required knee surgery related to the accident. Nelson said the school district is still investigating the accident. Investigations of this kind, he said, typically take two to three months. Grim is still working for the district, but her certification to drive activity vehicles is temporarily restrained, Nelson said.

                  Ontario school district operates approximately 32 school buses with approximately 25 bus drivers.

                  New buses are bought every year, Nelson said. The lifetime of a bus is around 160,000 to 170,000 miles, he said.

                  The certification for a school bus driver, like Kittelmann and Acree, requires more stringent guidelines than certification to operate an activity vehicle for the school.

                  Registered school bus drivers must meet guidelines set by the federal government and additional guidelines set by the state. Nelson said Oregon has more restrictive guidelines that many other states.

                  An individual must apply for an open position as a bus driver; obtain a CDL (commercial drivers license) and attend a behind-the-wheel training session. The potential bus driver is then hired on a substitute basis where he or she drives the school bus with an district examiner. Bus drivers must attend eight hours of training each year and keep their first aid and CPR training up-to-date.

                  Certification to drive an activity vehicle requires an individual be a licensed driver, take a first aid course, have a fairly clean driving record, take a one-time training session and maintain current first aid training and drivers license.

                  Grim said she had never been in a car accident prior to the school-related accident on Feb. 2.

                  Nelson said that bus drivers with the Ontario school district have been terminated in the past, but he did not have an exact number.

                  Ontario wrestlers win two matches, Feb. 6, 2004

                  Tigers get better of Vale and New Plymouth  
                  Tricia Alvarez - Argus Observer

                  The Ontario Tigers wrestling team defeated the Vale Vikings 38-28 in a Greater Oregon League dual meet Thursday at Ontario High School.

                  Defending state champion Paul Rangel received the first points for Ontario at 145-pounds when he received a technical fall over Vale's Mark Moreno with a 22-7 score.

                  Vale's Luke McSweeney won after Ontario's Charles Cowperthwait was disqualified at 152-pounds.

                  The next three matches were decided by pins.

                  Vladimir Dhidzhiyeshvili of Ontario pinned Sam Zinie of Vale in 4:59 at 160-pounds.

                  At 171-pounds Todd Smith of Ontario pinned Brady Wolfe of Vale in 1:52.

                  The Vikings Joe Meredith pinned the Tigers Luke Owens in 3:31 at 189-pounds.

                  Vale's Kyle Netcher, 215-pounds, and Willie Maupin, 275-pounds, received decisions over Ontario's Colin Gundle, 10-7, and JJ Anthony, 6-2.

                  Vale loss the next three matches by forfeit to Alex Turner, 103-pounds, Jace Nakumara, 112-pounds, and Mark Mizuta, 119-pounds.

                  The Tigers' Juan Trejo pulled out a 19-14 decision over Vale's Ian Morcom at 125-pounds before Vale went on to win the final three matches.

                  Tyler Andersen of Vale, at 130-pounds, pinned Casey Erlebach of Ontario in 22 seconds.

                  The Vikings Kyle Bates received a 2-1 decision over the Tigers Justin Allison in double overtime at 135-pounds.

                  Vale's Chamberlain finished off the dual matchups by defeating Jose Rivera of Ontario 4-3.

                  "I thought we did well against Ontario. I thought the Bates-Allison match was great. They are great wrestlers. When you give up points off of forfeits, their is more importance on individual matches," Vale assistant coach Dave Eyler said.

                  The Viking's 0-5 in GOL play host to Ontario (4-1 GOL) and MacHi Friday.

                  New Plymouth 44    Vale 12

                  After falling to Ontario, the Vale Viking's wrestlers dropped a tough match to the New Plymouth Pilgrims 44-12 Thursday at Ontario High School.

                  "We did not wrestle as intense against New Plymouth as we did Ontario. I think we were emotionally spent," Vale assistant coach Dave Eyler said.

                  New Plymouth won the first four matches before forfeiting the 215 and 275-pound matches to Kyle Netcher and Willie Maupin of Vale.

                  John Chapman and Chet Johnson of New Plymouth pinned Luke McSweeney and Sam Zinie of Vale in 51 seconds and 1:53 at the 152 and 160-pound weight classes.

                  At 171-pounds, Marc Richter of New Plymouth major decisioned Brady Wolfe of Vale 11-1 and Charlie Pollock received a decision over Vale's Joe Meredith 3-1 at 189-pounds.

                  There were double forfeits at both the 103 and 112-pounds before the Pilgrims Willis Griffith won by forfeit at 119-pounds.

                  Another double forfeit was called at 140-pounds but not before Eric Hinson of New Plymouth received a 17-7 major decision over Ian Morcom of Vale at 125-pounds.

                  At 130-pounds Casey Dill of New Plymouth pinned TJ Bennett in 1:20

                  Jess Painter of New Plymouth decisioned Kyle Bates of Vale 6-1 at 135-pounds.

                  The nonleague dual ended with a Khris Katpati of New Plymouth pin over Derek Chamberlain in 51 seconds at 145-pounds.

                  New Plymouth (5-5 overall, 3-0 WIC) will take part in the Weiser Invitational Friday and Saturday in Weiser.

                  Ontario 39    New Plymouth 36

                  After a victory against the Vale Vikings, the New Plymouth Pilgrims were beat 39-36 by the Ontario Tigers wrestling team Thursday night in a nonleague match at Ontario High School.

                  New Plymouth was up 9-0 before an Ontario wrestler put points on the board.

                  New Plymouth received six points at 152-pounds when Chet Johnson won by forfeit.

                  Ontario's Luke Fields loss by a 8-4 decision to John Chapman at 160-pounds.

                  The Tigers jumped back on the board scoring the next 33 points before New Plymouth would have another victory.

                  At 171-pounds Vladamir Dzhidzhiyeshvili of Ontario decisioned Marc Richter 9-5.

                  Ontario Todd Smith pinned Charlie Pollock in 1:09 at 189-pounds.

                  Collin Gundle of Ontario won by forfeit at 215-pounds.

                  The 275-pound heavyweight, Dennis Tolman of Ontario, pinned Brian Smallwood of New Plymouth in 31 seconds and then it was on to the light weights.

                  Alex Turner and Jace Nakamura each won by forfeit at 103 and 112-pounds.

                  Three New Plymouth wrestlers received pins to bring the score to 33-27 before Justin Allison of Ontario scored six points at 135-pounds for a forfeit.

                  At 119-pounds Willis Griffith of New Plymouth pinned Mark Mizuta in 1:51, the Pilgrims Eric Hinson pinned Keith Brandon in 3:17 at 125-pounds and New Plymouth's Casey Dill pinned Casey Erlebach in 56 seconds at 130-pounds.

                  Jess Painter of New Plymouth scored six more points for his team when he pinned Jose Rivera of Ontario in 3:11 at 140-pounds.

                  In the last match of the night, within seconds of the start of the match, Paul Rangel of Ontario landed on his neck and after a brief timeout got back on the mat.

                  New Plymouth's Khris Katpati went on to beat Rangel 6-1 at 145-pounds.

                  "I am not unhappy with the win but we need to be sharper. New Plymouth is impressive. They are very physical and very tough. They are tougher than nails," Ontario head coach Charlie Anthony said.

                  Ontario 8-11 overall and 4-1 in the Greater Oregon League travel to Vale Friday to take on MacHi while New Plymouth heads to Weiser Friday and Saturday for the Weiser Invitational.

                  Lockdown plans vary, Feb. 8, 2004

                  Kristin Gribben -- Argus Observer

                  The Ontario School District does not have a specific plan regarding emergency lockdowns, but instead relies on a flexible procedure - focused on "unauthorized persons or intruder alert," situations - framed to meet a variety of emergency situations.

                  The emergency response system was the focal point of a Jan. 27 incident when May Roberts Elementary School was placed in a lockdown because of suspicious activity involving a youth and a knife.

                  Ontario School District has a handbook that includes procedures for nearly every emergency possible, Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement for the district said.

                  The school district does not have a specific policy regarding lockdowns, but does have a procedure regarding "unauthorized persons or intruder alerts," according to Collins.

                  The result of a procedure focusing on "unauthorized persons or intruder alerts," Collins said, would most likely be a lockdown.

                  Collins emphasized the flexibility of the OSD procedure and pointed out school officials need to be prepared to make ad hoc decisions, because they do not always have the time to consult a step-by-step procedure manual in the onset of an emergency.

                  "We have to have people in leadership roles that are effective decision-makers," Collins said.

                  Collins added that emergencies at schools are aided by the strong and close relationship the school district has with area police, fire and sheriff's departments. Collins said the school district's close relationship with local agencies is not as common in more urban school districts.

                  Collins said a handout sent to teachers and administrators outlines four major steps to take in any emergency that focuses on assessing the situation and making a rational decision, she said.

                  Collins said Ontario schools have infrequently gone into a lockdowns mode in past years. Alameda Elementary School went under a lockdown in 2001, Collins said, because the principal felt an individual at the school was a threat to staff.

                  Don Grotting, superintendent of Nyssa School District, recalled an incident several years ago when the entire school district was under a lockdown.

                  Nyssa School District has had a lockdown procedure outlined in its manual that includes procedures for nearly every emergency possible, Grotting said.

                  The lockdown policy has been in place since Grotting came to the district more than three years ago.

                  Grotting said that to his knowledge, the lockdown procedure was used once in the 1999-2000 school year. The school district received a threat of a possible shooting involving a weapon, Grotting said.

                  A district-wide lockdown was executed and police were notified.

                  There was a plan to intercept the suspect before he or she was on school grounds. Windows were barred and doors were locked inside school buildings, Grotting said.

                  After the lockdown, which ended safely, the lockdown procedures were revised, Grotting said.

                  The last revision for lockdown procedures was made during the 2002-2003 school year.

                  Grotting said the highest priority during a lockdown - or any emergency - is student accountability, and that involves taking into account students that walk home, students whose parents pick them up from school, and students who ride the bus, he said.

                  The newest lockdown procedures for Nyssa schools vary slightly between the high school, middle school and elementary school. Variations are small - such as different phrases sent over the intercom warning teachers that the school is enacting a lockdown.

                  The lockdown procedure at Nyssa schools begins with the announcement (code word, phrase or signal). Doors are immediately locked, students crouch down to avoid being seen through windows, and office staff take radios and cell phones with them to the room holding student records - dubbed the "safe room."

                  In addition, Nyssa Elementary school has an evacuation map showing different exit routes for students in scenarios depending on where the intruder is situated.

                  Grotting added that an important element of lockdown procedures is making sure that local law enforcement and agencies have access to the buildings at schools.

                  Grotting said the local fire department and the sheriff's office have maps and keys - or ready access to administrators, maintenance staff and transportation staff with keys - to each school.

                  "There has been concern, a little bit, with terrorism. There is a little bit more incentive to make sure those processes are in place," Grotting said. "And certainly the school shootings in the past have heightened concern of parents, administrators and teachers."

                  Vale school district has similar procedures to Nyssa school district. Al Butler, Vale schools superintendent, said for the past four years he has been working with the Malheur County Sheriff's Office on crisis plans concerning all types of emergencies, from bomb threats to planes crashing into a school building, he said.

                  Every teacher and staff member in the Vale district has a manual that outlines procedures for a lockdown and other emergency-related procedures.

                  Butler said he could not recall a time when any school in Vale was under lockdown. He said there have been reports of suspicious behavior from people that have prompted a call to the local police department.

                  on, OH; Lock Haven, PA; Lebanon, TN; Commerce, TX; Blacksburg, VA; Poultney, VT; and Beloit, WI.

                  Ontario beats Mac-Hi, Feb. 8, 2004

                  Argus Observer Sports Staff -- Milton-Freewater

                  Even without Jaimi Arant 'running the show' the Ontario Tigers' girls' basketball team defeated the Mac-Hi Pioneers 49-36 Friday in Greater Oregon League action at Mac-HI.

                  The Tigers, who ran off with a 15-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, extended their lead to 28-10 by the end of the first half.

                  Vaness Gomez and Maggie Smith-Davidson each made four baskets for eight points in the first half.

                  Kylie Roberts and Kristy Church each scored six points in the first half and AJ Hawk made a hoop for two points.

                  In the second half Ontario scored 11 third quarter points and 10 fourth quarter points.

                  Mac-Hi had a combined 26 second half points.

                  Church scored her last of three, 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead the Tigers with 13 points.

                  Smith-Davidson finished the second half with four points.

                  Added to her eight in the first half, Smith-Davidson finished behind Church with 12 points.

                  Gomez landed nine points and Roberts scored eight points in the victory.

                  "We played pretty well the first half. We had 14 turnovers in the second half and that combined with a great effort by Mac-Hi kept us from ever completely putting them away," Ontario head coach Jon Buck said. "Kayla Mitchell, Stephanie Babij, Stephanie Montgomery, and Mimi Benitas helped us out at the guard position with Jaimi Arant being gone. We miss Jaimi running the show out there. We were a little out of sync at times but the players dealt with the frustrations and overcame them enough for the win."

                  The Tigers (14-5 overall, 5-2 GOL) will host Baker Friday evening in what is said to be a 'big game' by coach Buck.

                  Tigers win on road, Feb. 8, 2004

                   Argus Observer Sports Staff -- Milton-Freewater

                  The Ontario boys' basketball team scored their sixth Greater Oregon League victory Friday night against the Mac-Hi Pioneers at Mac-Hi.

                  The 71-53 victory was nice for the Tigers after such a long bus ride, Ontario head coach Scott Helmick said.

                  "We came out slow in the first quarter. It was a long bus ride," Helmick said.

                  The Tigers were down 15-11 at the end of the first quarter."

                  "They came out and hit some threes and made some points. We didn't start real smooth, but then we had a 21 point second quarter," Helmick said.

                  Ontario's 21 points to Mac-Hi's eight second quarter points gave Ontario a 32-23 lead going into the break.

                  Helmick said Nick Babij came out and made some shots for the Tigers in the first half scoring 21 of his 24 game points.

                  Babij hit all six of Ontario 3-pointers in the win.

                  In the third quarter Ontario again outscored the Pioneers 27-11 and had a sizeable lead going into the final quarter.

                  "Wade came out and was solid with 24 points also," Helmick said. "He does not have to score 20 points a game this year, He has a whole lot of kids that can score with him. Most other teams have one main scorer. It is nice to have three guys in double figures."

                  The Tigers allowed Mac-Hi 19 fourth quarter points while only piling up 12 of their own.

                  Along with Babji and Douglas, Jason Hart contributed nine points for his team in the victory.

                  Mac-Hi had two players in double digits for the night - Ryan Fleming piled up 13 and Curtis Carlson racked in 12 points.

                  The Tigers (13-5 overall, 6-1 GOL) play host to Baker Friday night before heading to Riverside Saturday.

                  FFA students compete in Nyssa, Feb. 9, 2004

                  Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                  NYSSA - Future Farmers of America students from area schools descended on Nyssa High School Wednesday to take part in the FFA Snake River District Leadership contest.

                  Students from Ontario, Adrian, Jordan Valley, Vale and Crane attended the all-day event.

                  The competition tests the speaking, presentation and leadership skills of high school students, and is one of the few FFA contests that puts less emphasis on agricultural skills and more attention to broader-based skills, Nyssa High School FFA adviser, Cody Porath said.

                  Participants at the conference are judged by the Snake River district's high school advisers: Victor Noble, Vale; Ann Marie Pimm, Crane; Adam Ineck, Jordan Valley; Troy White, Adrian; Porath; Roger Watkins, Ontario; and Snake River District Adviser Les Linegar, Ontario.

                  Porath said the mission of FFA is to promote leadership, growth and success through agriculture.

                  The top two speakers in each event, as determined by the panel of judges, advance to a sectional competition in La Grande on Feb. 17.

                  The top two winners in each category - except for the top winner in the parliamentary procedure contest - will attend the state FFA convention at Oregon State University in Corvallis during the weekend of March 19.

                  One winner from the state convention is selected to advance to the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky during the last week in October.

                  Last year, Ontario high school student, Dan Corn, was selected to attend the national convention for extemporaneous speaking - an event where a topic is assigned to a student 30 minutes before the speech must be given. Corn is also the Oregon FFA student president.

                  Nyssa High School has had the FFA program off and on during the high school's history. The program was reintroduced five years ago, Porath said.

                  Porath said he advises 65 students at Nyssa.

                  The one FFA membership requirement at NHS is a student must be enrolled throughout the year in at least one agricultural class. Porath said he teaches six different classes throughout the year.

                  The following students from Wednesday's competition will advance to sectional in La Grande: Cody Ables, Ontario, creed speaking; Christie Linford, Ontario, creed speaking; Ruth Corn, Ontario, sophomore prepared public speaking; Stephanie Montgomery, Ontario, sophomore prepared public speaking; Josh Roberts, Ontario, extemporaneous speaking; Nick Maag, Vale, extemporaneous speaking; Nick Maag, Vale, advanced public speaking; Amanda Bennett, Nyssa, advanced public speaking.

                  Josh Roberts, Ontario and Mark Noble, Vale, won the top two slots for the co-op quiz contests. They will advance straight to state competition.

                  Be cool - attend a local fundraiser, Feb. 10, 2004

                  This time of year always sees a large array of events that continue throughout the summer.

                  Last week, I attended the Cairo Chili Feed with my friend (and Independent-Enterprise reporter) LisaAnn Riddick. The turnout, as I have heard in the past, was remarkable and so was the food. I especially enjoyed the salad, which was set out in large bowls on every table. I am sure I ate half a bowl. Before we left, we picked up a to-go order for her husband. This service can be found at a large majority of the fundraisers in the valley.

                  Wednesday I made a mad dash to Ontario Tuxedo and Bridal to find a dress for Saturday's Center Ball, the Four Rivers Cultural Center's annual fundraiser. I found a darling red dress for the Ball, and returned Friday to pick up a pair of shoes.

                  This is the second Center Ball I have attended, the first being three years ago. My boyfriend and I arrived at the valet parking 15 minutes after social hour began.

                  Once inside FRCC, I saw numerous people from our community. We shared a table with Argus Observer Society Editor Christen McCurdy, Argus Observer Advertising Director John Dillon, Argus Observer Newsroom Clerk Sheri Bandelean and her husband, and Ontario Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Connie Nysingh and her husband.

                  Former society editor Kim Nowacki e-mailed me before the Ball and said I should be sure and dance with Ontario's comic book guru Randall Kirby.

                  He really is as good as she says. Unfortunately, he had to do a whole lot of leading.

                  Much later in the evening, fellow Lion Peter Lawson made an entrance and gave a dramatic story about being stranded on the outskirts of Vale for most of the night. He then promised me a dance, which I never received.

                  Coming up, I have my eye on the River of Life Christian Center's annual potato feed (I am obligated to support that one, since my children go to day care there).

                  Of course, LisaAnn has already agreed to attend with me. I made it our goal (I haven't told her this yet) to go to as many fundraising functions this year as possible.

                  (If you want to be cool like us, I suggest you start attending local fundraisers as well. Just check out your Daily Argus Observer for those upcoming events. And if you want to have your fundraiser printed, please contact me or Christen McCurdy at the office.)

                  Also on the "Cool Club" agenda is Bethany Presbyterian's annual Heavenly Stew Feed.

                  I will be there March 13 looking for some good stew.

                  Another upcoming fundraiser I am looking forward to is the annual Basque Dinner and Dance at FRCC Feb. 28. I have word that Peter is going too, so maybe I can get that dance after all.

                  -----------------

                  Simpson takes the reigns, Mar. 16, 2004

                   Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                  Anyone who has watched an Ontario High School softball game in the past few year has seen Ontario head coach Gordy Ogawa in the dugout and at third base barking orders.

                  Well, not any longer though. Ogawa has moved on and there is a new big dog in charge.

                  Ontario resident and Fire Chief Randy Simpson is now the Ontario High School head softball coach.

                  Simpson said when Ogawa resigned he just threw his name in the hat for the position.

                  "I love softball and enjoy coaching. I have a self interest in the team with my daughter playing," Simpson said. "If I was not the head coach, I would have been here helping out anyway."

                  Simpson's daughter Stephanie is currently a junior at Ontario High School and has played softball for two years.

                  Simpson has been a part of the Field of Dreams coaching staff for the past four years - two at the U14 level and two at the U16 level.

                  "I wanted to see all the summer work continue," Simpson said.

                  When Simpson took over the team earlier this year, he found that there was just one big problem - there was no equipment.

                  "Except for a few bats, all the equipment that the high school had been using belonged to the Field of Dreams teams," Simpson said.

                  Simpson immediately went on a fundraising campaign.

                  "We sent out letters asking for donations and advertising banner sales,"   Simpson said.

                  Thus far with donations, fundraising and with a small amount from the high school, Simpson and the team have raised enough funds to be able to purchase catching gear, batting helmets and some balls.

                  A portable shed was donated to the team to store their new equipment, but they still need more.

                  "The uniforms the teams are wearing are in bad shape. They are between six and ten years old," Simpson said.

                  The team would like new uniforms and a pitching machine is in the works.

                  With just 21 players for two teams, including only three seniors, Simpson hopes to have a winning season.

                  Simpson and the Tigers will hit the field Wednesday against Caldwell High School in their season opener.

                  Tigers fall in season opener, Mar. 18, 2004

                  Argus observer sports staff

                  The Ontario softball team committed 12 errors and allowed 14 walks in a 30-0 blowout loss to Caldwell Wednesday in nonconference softball action at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center.

                  The game was called after the top half of the third inning.

                  The Cougars, who entered the game 0-4, jumped on the Tigers early, scoring seven runs in the top of the first inning. The first six Caldwell hitters reached base and all six scored.

                  "Our inexperience showed," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "Caldwell took it to us and they were very aggressive from the start."

                  The Cougars pounded Ontario pitching for 22 hits, while Ontario (0-1 overall) managed just one basehit - a double from Kailey Poole.

                  "The girls were hitting the ball, just right at people," Simpson said.

                  Poole finished 1-for-2 for the Tigers. Kayla Yano took the loss for the Tigers. Yano pitched the first two innings, before being lifted in the third.

                  Shane Parson led the Caldwell (1-4 overall) offense with a 4-for-4 outing. Parson scored five runs. Kim Harry, pitching her first game of the season, threw a one-hitter. Harry also went 4-for-5 from the plate. Caldwell's Sydni Garza hit 4-of-5 with 5 RBIs. Nicole Becvar was a perfect 3-of-3 on the afternoon.

                  Ontario returns to action Tuesday at Vallivue.

                  Grant helps local schools, Mar. 22, 2004

                  Kristin Gribben - Argus Observer

                  Two retired Ontario School District administrators have been rehired on a temporary basis to assist principals at Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools in conjunction with a federal grant.

                  Ontario School District applied for the Administrative Support Supplemental Grant in November, and received approval in December. The district began implementing the program in January.

                  The grant is supplemental to another grant, called Reading First, that the state of Oregon was approved for in October, 2002.

                  The grant pays for John McDonough, former principal at Lindbergh Elementary School and associate principal at Ontario Middle School and Ontario High School to assist at Alameda Elementary School for 30 non-consecutive days.

                  The grant also also extends funds for Doyal Snyder, former principal at Pioneer and Alameda elementary schools, to assist at May Roberts Elementary School for the same amount of time. The federal government offered $5 billion to states across the country for the Reading First program that focuses on low-income school districts with a high number of students reading below average levels.

                  Oregon received $7 million of the lump sum the United States Department of Education was offering. OSD received $492,773 of that amount.

                  The program focuses on boosting the reading skills of students.

                  According to the U.S. Department of Education, 40 percent of fourth-graders in the country demonstrate a reading level below their grade level.

                  Already receiving federal funds for the Reading First program, OSD qualified for the administrative support grant to assist with the demands of the reading grant.

                  The district stated in its application for the Administrative Support Supplemental Grant the funding was needed because both Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools have more than 400 students enrolled in each school with one principal and one part-time assistant principal. Neither elementary school has a school counselor.

                  May Roberts principal Frances Ramirez said Snyder has been coming to May Roberts once a week when she is in meetings. She plans to have the former principal come to the elementary school until the end of the school year, or when the grant money runs out, she said.

                  McDonough and Snyder's main duties include filling in for Ramirez at May Roberts and for Alameda Elementary School Principal Paul Erlebach.

                  Alert: Reading volunteers wanted, Mar. 23, 2004

                  Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                  Senior citizens looking to earn a little extra money while spending time helping young children read are encouraged to volunteer for the Ontario School District's foster grandparent program.

                  OSD is looking for residents 60 years or older to sign up for the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Program, a federally funded project from the Corporation for National Service - the same agency that initiated Americorps.

                  The program - which has serviced eastern and central Oregon for more than 20 years, and OSD for 10 years - requires elderly applicants be in good health, pass a background check and meet income requirements to receive a stipend of $250 a month, or $2.65 per hour of nontaxable income.

                  One-occupant households can make no more than $1,075 a month and have at least $140 of medical, dental or insurance bills a month. Two-person households can make no more than $1,451 and have $140 bills a month.

                  Senior citizens who make more than the maximum amount allowable to qualify for the stipend are still encouraged to volunteer. Frank Hunter, OSD's newest foster grandparent, and the only male in the Ontario group of volunteers, does not qualify for the monthly stipend.

                  Hunter said he decided to become a foster grandparent because he likes to keep himself youthful by being around children. He joined his students on a walk-a-thon at Aiken Elementary School last week, and although he used a cane, he said he was able to keep up.

                  Aiken, May Roberts, Alameda, Pioneer and Cairo elementary schools and St. Peter's Catholic School - all in Ontario - have 13 volunteers, but Katherine M. Collins, OSD director of public information and community involvement, said the district is always seeking more.

                  Collins said the purpose of the program is twofold: to reward deserving, low-income seniors, and help students struggling with reading. Collins said getting students to read at grade level is the No. 1 priority of the school district.

                  Volunteers meet with a small group of elementary students reading below their grade level for 30 minute sessions. Students are usually in first-, second- and third-grade. Volunteers commit to working a minimum of 20 hours a week, Collins said.

                  Collins hosts a monthly training session for the volunteers. The latest one was held Friday, at the Holy Rosary Medical Center. Collins said the training session is an opportunity to offer support to the volunteers, give them new ideas, and share information.

                  John Brenne, the program's regional director who covers the largest section of Oregon, drove from his office in Pendleton for the meeting Friday to assist with the training.

                  Brenne said there is a possibility that more funding will become available to hire a couple more seniors who qualify for the stipend. He said he anticipates it will be six months before he will know.

                  Most of the Ontario volunteers said they joined the program to give them motivation to get out of their house - something that became a challenge after they retired, many said.

                  "You have something to look forward to every day," foster grandmother Jean Barnett, who volunteers at Pioneer Elementary School, said.

                  Tigers off to good start    Mar. 25, 2004   Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                  The Ontario baseball team has put up numbers that resemble video game baseball.

                  The Tigers have lit up the scoreboard, scoring 12, 18, 13 and 17 runs in wins over Vallivue, Kuna and Caldwell. The fast start has Ontario head coach Chad Hartley excited about what this team is capable of.

                  "To put runs on the board like that early in the season is exciting," Hartley said. "The kids have executed everything we have asked them too. They have beaten three teams pretty well."

                  The Tigers get another chance Friday and Saturday in the Bucks Bags Tournament in Meridian. Ontario plays Hillcrest and Minico during the first day.

                  Hartley said his group is having fun during their quick start to the season.

                  "This is a good bunch of kids, they work hard and they do what they are supposed to do," Hartley said. "They are having a lot of fun right now and I think that is a lot of it."

                  The Tigers went 25-3 last year, making it all the way to the 3A state title game, before losing to Mazama 4-3. Ontario rode the backs off five players - T.J. Presley, Greg Keim, Tugger Roberts, Mike Lissman and Drew Echanis - all of whom are playing college baseball. This year the Tigers have a whole new identity.

                  "In this program we will be good for the next five years," Hartley said. "We knew we had guys that had the talent, but you never know how they will react in critical situations.. There are a lot of kids on this team looking to show they

                  are good players. Maybe they are not the top-hand talent that we had last year, but I don't know if I would trade for that team. I really like this team. They are good kids and they don't question what I'm telling them. They do what they are supposed to do."

                  Ontario senior Shane Schiemer said he is a little surprise with the start his team is off too.

                  "I am surprised about the way we have started, after losing all the seniors," Schiemer, who is hitting .625 with six doubles and 11 RBIs, said. "We have been putting up the numbers. No.'s 1 through No. 9 are pretty solid."

                  As a team, the Tigers are hitting .489 and have 54 RBIs in four games.

                  "If you look at the stats, when you're team is hitting .490 and your onbase percentage is .600 you are going to score a lot of runs," Hartley said.

                  The Tigers have scored a lot of runs, outscoring their four opponents 60-17.

                  "Caldwell and Kuna were decent ballclubs," Schiemer said. "They put up a fight until the end."

                  Hartley said he believes the tougher nonconference schedule will pay dividends in the Greater Oregon League chase and in the postseason.

                  "Caldwell is as good as we will see this season. I was very impressed with them," he said. "Kuna and Vallivue are probably in the top end of the GOL. I was very impressed with them. The tougher schedule should help us later in the season. In the past we hadn't seen many pitchers with two or three pitches."

                  Schiemer summed up his teammates' feelings about the 2004 edition of the Tigers.

                  "A lot of us have a lot of heart. We have always wanted to play baseball," he said. "Just being on the ballclub, being on the baseball field is what we love. For us seniors, this is our last chance to get to a state championship and we have the ability to do just that."

                  Schiemer, Tigers drill Minico, Mar. 28, 2004

                  Argus Observer Sports Staff

                  Shane Schiemer pitched a one-hit complete game Friday afternoon, striking out 13 batters, as Ontario defeated Minico High School 9-1 in a nonconference game during the Buck's Bags Tournament at Storey Park in Meridian.

                  In a game previous to the Tigers victory, Ontario lost 6-2 to Hillcrest, as the Tigers were only able to muster together four hits in the game.

                  Against Minico, the Tigers scored all nine runs in the fifth and sixth innings, after falling behind 1-0 after four innings of play.

                  In the game, the Tigers did not get any extra base hits, but had eight singles and took advantage of four walks, a hit batter and three Minico errors on way to the victory.

                  Against Hillcrest, the Tigers never seemed to be able to get anything going, scoring one run in both the second and the fourth innings.

                  In the two games, Matt Mejia picked up three hits to lead the Tigers' offensive

                  Nyssa sweeps Tigers, Mar. 28, 2004

                  Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                  The Nyssa Bulldogs thumped Jerome, 8-0, in the first game of a nonconference doubleheader Friday, only to have the Tigers throw a scare into Nyssa in the nightcap. The Bulldogs held on for a 5-4 win, completing the sweep of Jerome at Payette High School.

                  The Bulldogs scored the first run, of the second game, in the first inning after Cody Waldo hit a grounder past the short stop to land himself on first base, he then stole second base and scored on Jesse Garcia's RBI single.

                  After Jerome's Brady Black and Nyssa's Cory Hansen settled on the mound, both teams defenses kicked into high gear and the game remained at 1-0 through five innings, before Nyssa once again started pouring in the runs in the sixth inning.

                  Nyssa's Trent Holcomb singled, then scored on an RBI double from John Whitmire to make the score 2-0. Cory Hansen chased Whitmire home with an RBI single. Mitch Holliday singled to score Hansen, and Holliday eventually scored on a wild pitch by Jerome pitcher Ben Edwards. The four-run outburst put Nyssa up 5-0.

                  Jerome came back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, including a solo home run by Jed Semans. The Tigers' Preston Hill scored on Jarod Sour's RBI single. Sour scored later in the inning on Jordan Jensen's RBI single.

                  The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the seventh inning before Waldo closed out the Tigers.

                  "Both games were good. We had good pitching and defensively we played well all day," Nyssa head coach Swede Mason.

                  Hansen, who earned the win in the nightcap, had four strikeouts for the Bulldogs, before Waldo nailed down the save by pitching the seventh inning.

                  "Our sophomore (Hansen) pitched really well. I have high hopes for our pitching this season," Mason said.

                  Semans finished the game for Jerome 2-for-2 from the plate with the home run and a double.

                  Garcia went 3-for-4 for the Bulldogs with three singles, while Holliday, Waldo and Holcomb each went 2-for-4, leading Nyssa's 12-hit attack. Holcomb had a triple and a single. Holliday and Waldo each had two singles.

                  In the opener, Holliday hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, sparking the Bulldogs to the win. Whitmire finished with eight strikeouts in the first game, earning the win. Rigo Paz went 2-for-4 from the plate with two singles.

                  The Bulldogs (3-2 overall) open up Wapiti League play with a doubleheader against Grant Union April 9 at Nyssa High School.

                  Tricia Alvarez is a sports reporter for the Argus Observer. She can be contacted at (541) 889-5387, or by e-mail, TriciaA@argusobserver.com. Story ideas are always welcomed.

                  Tigers split at Buck's Bags, Mar. 28, 2004

                  William Anderson Argus Observer

                  After gathering nine hits against Madison, in a 7-4 victory, the Ontario baseball team's bats went ice cold, connecting for only one hit in a 11-1, five inning loss to Twin Falls Saturday afternoon at Storey Park in Meridian.

                  The Bruins' Nick Carr struck out 10 Ontario batters in the nightcap, allowing only one run on one hit and one walk. Carr hit two Tigers in the process to pick up the win on the mound.

                  "He (Carr) is their No. 1 guy. They saved him for us. There was not a whole lot we could have done against him this early in the season," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "I am sure we will not see a team as good as Twin Falls all year. They are a good team, very well-coached."

                  In the second inning, Twin Falls got all the run support it would need the rest of the game.

                  After a ground out, Nathan Robertson took a 1-0 pitch from Jake Beck over the left field fence, for a solo home run, to get the scoring started. Following a Bruin out, Carl Ott hit a double to left center and Drew Bernhard drew a walk, to put runners on first and second. Leadoff hitter Todd Rehbein hit a sharp single to left center to score the two runners and give Twin Falls a 3-0 lead.

                  The Bruins tacked on two more runs in the third and Ontario scored its lone run in the top of the fifth inning.

                  Matt Mejia began the inning, picking up Ontario's lone hit, with a flair to right field. A strike out and two hit batters later, Ontario had the bases loaded with one out.

                  Mejia scored and the two other base runners advanced, when Carr made one of his only mistakes of the game, throwing a wild pitch, helping Ontario get on the board.

                  In the bottom of the fifth, Twin Falls scored six runs to end the game.

                  To start the frame, Twin Falls drew three straight walks, before Alex Hill picked up a single and Ott reached first on a dropped third strike. The next two Bruins struck out before Tim Mealer hit a single and Luke Hawkins hit a double to knock in the final two runs and end the game.

                  In the opening game of the day, Ontario defeated Madison 7-4, as Zach Park picked up the win on the mound.

                  Ontario hosts Vallivue Saturday in a nonleague contest.

                  William Anderson is the assistant sports editor for the Argus Observer. He can be contacted at (541) 889-5387, or by e-mail, WilliamA@argusobserver.com. Story ideas are always welcomed.

                  -----------------

                  Falcons soar past Ontario, Apr. 4, 2004

                  Argus Observer Sports Staff

                  After staying even for one inning, Vallivue's bats woke up, scoring 10 runs over the next two innings, as Vallivue scored in every inning, beating the Ontario softball team 15-5 in a five inning nonleague softball game Saturday in Ontario.

                  In the third inning, the gates were blown wide open, as Vallivue sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on only two hits.

                  "They jumped on us early," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "(Kayla) Yano threw well early. Then ran into trouble. AJ (Hawk) threw the ball well. It was a good day offensively."

                  Offensively, Hawk went 3-for-3 from the plate, to lead the Tigers (1-3 overall), driving in four runs. Jamie Arant picked up two hits and scored three runs, picking up the lone extra base hit with a double.

                  Vallivue scored another run in the fourth and three more in the fifth in the victory.

                  Ontario picked up three runs in the bottom of the fifth in the loss.

                  Weiser sends Ontario to loss, Apr. 7, 2004

                  Argus Observer sports staff

                  The Weiser softball team broke things wide open with a seven-run sixth inning, handing Ontario its fourth loss of the season, 11-6, Tuesday at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center in Ontario.

                  The Wolverines strung five straight hits together - from Tot Saito, Jennifer Giambo, Kayla Branstetter, Sally Grandi and Erin Wall - to start the sixth inning. Ontario helped the Wolverines with three errors in the inning to take an 11-2 lead.

                  "They took advantage of three errors and a walk in the big inning," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said after his team fell to 1-4 on the season. "We only walked one batter in the inning, plus they had six hit that just seemed to fall in between people. Combine the two and it leads to a disastrous inning."

                  The Wolverines improved to 4-4 on the season.

                  "A lot of those hits in the sixth inning were those little dingers," Weiser head coach Dale Emert said. "They had eyes and found a spot."

                  The Tigers rallied with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Kailey Poole delivered a three-run triple that scored Kayla Montgomery, Jaimi Arant and Kristia Maeda.

                  Poole finished the game 2-for-3 with a double and a triple and four RBIs. The junior drove in Ontario's first run in the first inning with an RBI double that chased home Arant, who led off the inning with a double. Arant finished 3-for-4 with three doubles and two runs scored.

                  "We just need to get over our mental errors," Simpson said. "That is just inexperience."

                  Megan Kautz picked up the win for Weiser, throwing a complete game. Kautz struck out nine and issued four walks. Saito led Weiser's 10-hit attack, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Grandi was 2-for-4 with two runs.

                  Kayla Yano took the loss for Ontario, throwing the first two innings, before being lifted for A.J. Hawk in the third inning.

                  Weiser faces another Greater Oregon League squad Thursday, travelling to Vale. Ontario begins GOL play Thursday at Baker.

                  Homedale takes top honors, Apr. 8, 2004

                  Argus Observer Sports Staff

                  Nine teams came to compete in the Ontario Girls' Invitational golf meet Wednesday afternoon at the Ontario Golf Club. Homedale took home first place honors, shooting a 174 as a team, beating out Weiser by 10 strokes to capture top team honors.

                  Not only did Homedale spoil the Tigers first home meet with the victory, but Homedale's Kerie Kushlan shot a 37, to take home the medalist honor.

                  Behind Homedale, Weiser shot a 184, La Grande a 197, Ontario a 213, McCall-Donnelly a 241 and Payette a 244 to round out all the teams, while Fruitland, Idaho City and Middleton all sent golfers.

                  For Weiser, Amy Sutton led the way with a 43, while Sara Huston shot a 45 and Nicole Picard had a 46.

                  Mandy Greif shot a 43 to lead Payette and Jennifer Jaramillo shot a 49 for Ontario.

                  "I think we played really well. We are only returning three starters and lost state co-champion Anna Jaramillo," Ontario girls' golf coach Russ Leininger said. "We have three freshmen and a sophomore. The way the freshman develop is how the team is going to do. We are getting better every week."

                  Fruitland's lone representative, Raquel Rode, shot a 49 for the Grizzlies.

                  Ontario travels to La Grande Tuesday.

                  Tigers fall twice to No. 3 Bulldogs, Apr. 9, 2004

                   Argus Observer Sports Staff

                  The Ontario softball team had a little trouble getting hits in a 11-0, 11-0 Greater Oregon League conference sweep to No. 3 Baker Thursday afternoon in Baker City.

                  The Tigers managed to squeak out three hits, while allowing 13 hits to Baker, as the Tigers also had 11 errors in the two games.

                  "We could not get our offense going," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "We did not do so bad considering we are playing the second team in the state last year."

                  In the opening game, Baker got off and running, scoring two runs in each of the first three innings, before scoring five runs in the fourth inning. Baker held Ontario scoreless in the top half of the fifth inning, as Baker won the game with the mercy rule.

                  In the nightcap, Ontario managed only one hit, to Baker's eight, as Baker took a 10-0 lead after three innings of play.

                  On the day, Jamie Arant had two hits to lead the Tigers (1-6 overall, 0-2 GOL).

                  Ontario is back in action Saturday, when they host Mac-Hi Saturday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.

                  Tigers remain winless in GOL, Apr. 11, 2004

                  Argus Observer Sports Staff

                  The Ontario softball team suffered a Greater Oregon League doubleheader sweep Saturday afternoon, dropping the opener 9-7 and being shut out in the nightcap, 6-0, to Mac-Hi in Ontario.

                  In the opener, the Tigers battled back to take a 5-4 lead after five innings. Unfortunately, the score would not hold up, as Mac-Hi scored five runs in the final two frames and held Ontario to only two runs in the seventh inning, as Ontario dropped the opener 9-7, after belting out 12 hits.

                  The second game was not much better for the Tigers (1-8 overall, 0-4 GOL), as they managed only two hits in the game, both in the bottom of the seventh inning, and struck out 13 times, as Mac-Hi completed the sweep.

                  "In the first game, we had 12 hits, the girls were firing the ball, but we just had some errors in the last two innings, when they scored five runs," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the second game, we had one disastrous inning. I am still seeing improvement."

                  Ontario travels to Vale Thursday in a Greater Oregon League contest.

                  Strong pitching effort carries Tigers, Apr. 11, 2004

                   William Anderson Argus Observer

                  Two good pitching performances lifted the Ontario baseball team over the Riverside Pirates, 16-2 and 7-3, to earn the sweep in the Greater Oregon League twin bill Saturday afternoon at Ontario High School.

                  In the opener, Shane Schiemer pitched the entire game, going five innings, striking out nine Pirates and allowing only two hits, as the Tigers scored in each of their four innings.

                  "We played fantastic, Shane threw fantastic. He kept us motivated and kept a good tempo. He got a lot of strikeouts," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Shane kept us swinging the bat, he got guys out. That was nice to see, he has been doing that all year."

                  In the first inning, the Tigers got on the scoreboard when Schiemer hit a two-run home run, driving home Chance Cruickshank, giving Ontario a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, Ontario exploded offensively scoring seven runs, on five hits, as Matt Mejia hit a two-run single and Kyle Mitchell drove in two runs, one with a single and one with a base on balls.

                  After another two runs in the third inning, Ontario scored five runs in the fifth, to take a 16-0 lead.

                  Riverside scored its two runs in the fifth inning, but it was not enough to extend the game.

                  In the nightcap, the Tigers' (9-2 overall, 2-0 GOL) pitching again kept them going, as Jake Beck picked up the win, throwing a complete game, allowing three runs to cross the plate, as the offense did not score as many runs.

                  Ontario got off early, scoring four runs in the first inning, as Schiemer had a two run single and Zach Park and Chance Cruickshank also picked up RBIs in the inning.

                  The Tigers added two more in the second inning and one more in the fourth inning.

                  "I think we started to get tired at the end," Hartley said. "I think we lost focus after we jumped out 7-0. We waited for someone else to get it done."

                  Losing focus could have been the reason the Tigers surrendered three runs in the fifth and sixth innings, including a two-run home run.

                  "We executed well all day long. We started breaking down," Hartley said. "Offensively, we tried to do things we could not do."

                  Regardless, Ontario came away with the sweep, as Schiemer was a double shy of hitting for the cycle on the day, finishing 6-for-8 on the day, with seven runs batted in. Mejia ended the twinbill with a 5-for-7 performance, scoring four runs and knocking in three. Cruickshank also added three RBIs.

                  Ontario travels to Baker Friday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.

                  Tigers get past Vale in district tennis play, Apr. 11, 2004

                  Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                  The atmosphere is always tense when the Ontario Tigers take on the Vale Vikings in a sporting event. It was the same Friday afternoon when their tennis teams faced off in a Special District 4 tennis match, a match the Tigers won, 6-4.

                  "We played pretty well today," Ontario girls' head coach Dennis Gill said. "Vale is always good competition for us. The No. 2 and No. 3 singles were a lot tighter than I would have liked."

                  The Ontario girls nearly swept Vale, dropping just one match to the Vikings in the girls' singles. Cassandra Andrews picked up the lone win for the Vale girls, winning 7-6, 7-6 over Christie Linford.

                  Ontario's Stephanie Babij picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win over Rachel Carmichael in the girls' No. 1 singles.

                  Carmichael said the match was something she could learn from.

                  "It was a learning experience," she said. "I am used to being a doubles player, so I am getting use to being a singles player. This is the way you get better."

                  Kristy Church and Kelsey Pobanz remained undefeated on the season, beating Vale's Krystal Carmen and Megan Haueter, 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 1 girls' doubles match. The Tigers completed the doubles sweep with wins from Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz in the No. 2 match and Julie Hall and Jenna McClean in the No. 3 match.

                  The Vale boys' fared better, winning three of the five matches.

                  The Tigers Payton Aarestad handled Vale's Francisco Enduro 6-1, 6-4, in the No. 1 singles match. Vale rebounded to take the next two, getting victories from Fabian Faehndrich and Joe Adams.

                  Ontario's top boys' doubles team - Nick Babij and Philipp Dimakopulos - won, beating Robbie Seals and Travis McFeteridge 7-5, 6-2.

                  "I was really disappointed in the No. 1 boys matches. I thought we could play better. Ontario is always well coached and they just played better than we did," Vale head coach Susan Seals said. "The girls played pretty good. Rachel (Carmichael) is disappointed that she did not get more games. I am pleased with the No. 1 (girls) doubles. This is Megan Haueter's first year playing tennis and they did really well. Our second and third singles were really close matches. The girls stayed in and played tough the whole time."

                  The Ontario girls team (5-0 overall) will stay home to face Fruitland Monday, while the boys (2-3 overall) will travel to Fruitland to take on the Grizzlies.

                  NoDoz incident at middle school sparks letter to parents, Apr. 14, 2004

                   Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                  Ontario School District officials are labeling a March 31 incident at Ontario Middle School as a situation that could spark awareness and dialogue between students and parents about the dangers of drug abuse.

                  The incident revolves around the buying, selling, possessing and consuming of NoDoz/Vivarin tablets and involved about 30 middle school students.

                  School officials were notified about the NoDoz/Vivarin selling spree through another middle school student, according to Ontario School District Director of Public Information and Community Involvement Katherine M. Collins.

                  Information regarding the incident, though, remains sketchy. Collins refused to identify specific punitive measures, if any, carried out in the wake of the case or provide a time frame for when students involved in the incident received, or will receive, penalties.

                  Collins said, however, the consequences for students involved in buying, selling and consuming NoDoz/Vivarin on campus were administered in accordance with the school policy.

                  According to Ontario School Board Policy, students caught with possession of drug paraphernalia, using, possessing or under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or "dangerous drugs" on or near campus will be recommended for suspension up to seven calendar days. The school will also notify parents and law enforcement of the drug activity.

                  Under the policy mandates, students caught sharing or selling narcotics, alcohol or "dangerous drugs" on or near campus will be recommended for expulsion with at least seven days of suspension and a chemical abuse evaluation.

                  Immediately following the incident, OMS Principal LaVelle Cornwell sent a letter home to parents that outlined the results from a school probe into the situation. The letter encouraged parents to talk to their children about "making choices."

                  Collins said the situation that occurred at OMS can result in a positive dialogue between parents and children.

                  "We can't do anything about what has happened in the past. We can only do something about the future. And, if parents will talk to their children about this subject, maybe we can keep this type of incident from happening again," Collins said.

                  NoDoz/Vivarin is an over-the-counter stimulant that contains 200mg of caffeine per tablet. Collins said the stimulant can have varied effects depending on the amount taken and size of the individual consuming it.

                  Cornwell said she cannot recall the last time there was a drug-related incident of this magnitude at OMS. Cornwell has handled a situation regarding a student found with an unopened package of cigarettes at school and an incident involving the unauthorized consumption of Tylenol by two students. Both events occurred in the past five years since Cornwell has been an administrator at OMS.

                  Board hears update on Reading First program, April 16, 2004

                  Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                  The Ontario School District board meeting Thursday covered an array of key issues in the school district, including updates on grants, preparation for summer school and new transportation policies.

                  The first major item on the agenda was an update on the three-year Reading First grant the Ontario School District received last year. The federal Reading First initiative allocated money to individual states in an effort to raise the reading level in public schools - which is a significant component of President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind policy.

                  The Reading First grant was awarded to Alameda and May Roberts Elementary Schools from federal monies funneled through the Oregon Department of Education.

                  The first stage of the grant allocated $325,824 for the hiring of reading coaches and updating classroom library materials. The second stage of the grant included $179,525 for special programs that work in conjunction with the Reading First initiative goals.

                  Ontario will receive funding next year, although the federal government has not released the final figures on the amount of funding. OSD can then reapply for another three-year Reading First grant. If the district is approved, the program will officially end after six years.

                  Sherri Sims, OSD director of school improvement, said the grant implementation is working well at both elementary schools. She added she is optimistic the school district will be accepted for the three-year extension of the grant.

                  Summer School

                  In other news, Alameda Elementary Principal Paul Erlebach - the chief principal in charge of summer school - discussed new goals he has for the summer session. Erlebach vision included increasing summer school enrollment, retaining the higher enrollment numbers and better identifying children with special needs.

                  Andy Kovach, principal of Pioneer Elementary School and director of the migrant student summer school, reported the migrant program will operate this year with 10 percent less federal funds. He said he was not sure why there will be less funding, but is confidant this year's migrant student summer school will be more successful than previous years because there is a clear set of goals and expectations for this session.

                  Transportation

                  In other unrelated business, Superintendent Dr. Dennis Carter gave a presentation on the changes that will take effect next year in regards to elementary students who currently take shuttle buses to attend a school that is not their "attendance area school."

                  Three years ago, the school board voted to end the district's policy of school choice, which gave parents and the district authority for children to attend an elementary school that is not closest to their home. The policy was intended to provide parents with choices on what school their child would attend and allow the school district to ensure each elementary school maintained fairly equal classroom sizes.

                  The school board determined the school choice policy created some confusion and increased district expenses for transporting the students who lived in the country, for instance, to an elementary school like May Roberts located in the city.

                  Along with the school board's resolution to end the school choice policy, they also said students currently attending an elementary school outside of their "attendance area school" could continue attending the school until they graduated to the middle school.

                  In addition to the provision in the resolution, the school board also passed a plan stating the district would provide three more years of shuttle transportation for these students.

                  Carter reported the three years of shuttle transportation expire at the end of this school year. But, there are still elementary students - though he could not provide an exact number - that would utilize the bus shuttles next year.

                  Carter plans on sending letters home in the next couple weeks to these families to notify them they will have to personally transport their children to the school they are attending if it is not their "attendance area school" or enroll their children in the school they would normally attend.

                  Air Conditioning

                  The school board finished the meeting by approving funding for a project to install air conditioning in Alameda, Pioneer and Aiken Elementary Schools. The approval for the funding passed unanimously.

                  Simpson takes the reigns    Mar. 16, 2004   Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                  Anyone who has watched an Ontario High School softball game in the past few year has seen Ontario head coach Gordy Ogawa in the dugout and at third base barking orders.

                  Well, not any longer though. Ogawa has moved on and there is a new big dog in charge.

                  Ontario resident and Fire Chief Randy Simpson is now the Ontario High School head softball coach.

                  Simpson said when Ogawa resigned he just threw his name in the hat for the position.

                  "I love softball and enjoy coaching. I have a self interest in the team with my daughter playing," Simpson said. "If I was not the head coach, I would have been here helping out anyway."

                  Simpson's daughter Stephanie is currently a junior at Ontario High School and has played softball for two years.

                  Simpson has been a part of the Field of Dreams coaching staff for the past four years - two at the U14 level and two at the U16 level.

                  "I wanted to see all the summer work continue," Simpson said.

                  When Simpson took over the team earlier this year, he found that there was just one big problem - there was no equipment.

                  "Except for a few bats, all the equipment that the high school had been using belonged to the Field of Dreams teams," Simpson said.

                  Simpson immediately went on a fundraising campaign.

                  "We sent out letters asking for donations and advertising banner sales,"   Simpson said.

                  Thus far with donations, fundraising and with a small amount from the high school, Simpson and the team have raised enough funds to be able to purchase catching gear, batting helmets and some balls.

                  A portable shed was donated to the team to store their new equipment, but they still need more.

                  "The uniforms the teams are wearing are in bad shape. They are between six and ten years old," Simpson said.

                  The team would like new uniforms and a pitching machine is in the works.

                  With just 21 players for two teams, including only three seniors, Simpson hopes to have a winning season.

                  Simpson and the Tigers will hit the field Wednesday against Caldwell High School in their season opener.

                  Hobby Day' a big hit at May Roberts, Apr. 16, 2004

                  Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                  May Roberts Accelerated Elementary School cafeteria was transformed into pizza-making and necklace decorating stations, while in the main corridor, the sounds of both an electric saw and guitar echoed through the hall last week.

                  The third annual May Roberts Hobby Day began Friday, for the kindergarten, first- and second-grade students. An array of activities for the younger students were squeezed into a one hour block of time.

                  Elementary school student council members helped organize the event.

                  Another Hobby Day is slated for Friday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. for the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders.

                  Most of the activities tomorrow be the same as last week's Hobby Day but they will be presented at a more advanced level, according to May Roberts music teacher and student council adviser Teresa Gartung. School officials sent out a notification to parents and community members before Hobby Day was scheduled. Several volunteers offered to present their skills and talents with the students. Gartung said there were at least 10 presenters Friday that were parents or other volunteers from the community. May Roberts Principal Frances Ramirez said the idea for Hobby Day originated about three years ago from the Parent Intervention Cadre - a task force of teachers and parents formed to create more involvement. The result has been a positive one school official said.

                  "According to research and our own observations, parent involvement is one of the most important and essential factors in providing a successful school experience," Gartung said.

                  Some of the hobbies involved physical activity, such as lessons on Mexican dancing with the traditional clothing, or learning to cheerlead from parent volunteer Keri Rock, who has a gymnastics background. Local firefighters Jarrod and Danyale Simontacchi demonstrated wildland fire equipment and taught students about fire prevention.

                  Students in the cafeteria were one step closer to becoming culinary experts after learning to make mini pizzas, snacks, necklaces out of candy and decorations filled with candy and chips. Other activities were focused on arts and crafts. Some elementary students assembled computer generated images into a coloring book and bound it with leather. Others made mini photo albums, learned origami (Japanese art of folding paper to make shapes and figures) and woodworking techniques.

                  Ontario nine manages split with Bulldogs, April 19, 2004

                  Argus Observer Sports Staff

                  The Ontario baseball team took the opener 7-5, before dropping the nightcap, 7-3 to Baker in Greater Oregon League baseball action Friday in Baker City.

                  In the opener, the Tigers struck first, scoring one run in each of the third and fourth innings and five more in the fifth inning, to take a 7-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Baker scored four runs to get back in the game, but only scored one run in the seventh, as their comeback attempt fell short.

                  "We played a good team from Baker," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "We did some good things to come away with a split. If this team could stay focused and execute for an entire doubleheader, I think we could have won both games."

                  Shane Schiemer pitched six plus innings for Ontario, striking out 11 Bulldogs to pick up the victory. Jake Beck pitched the seventh to pick up the save.

                  Schiemer also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Matt Mejia and Brandon Coley each went 2-for-3 from the plate in the win.

                  In the nightcap, the Tigers were unable to put together a big inning, scoring only one run in the fourth and two runs in the sixth.

                  "The Baker pitching staff did an amazing job making us swing the bats today. Neither starter from Baker gave up any walks, and that is something I want our pitchers to strive for. I know we are capable of making that happen," Hartley said.

                  Ontario's Zach Park and Juan Trejo each hit doubles for the Tigers. Park and Derek Kygar were the only Tigers to drive in runs.

                  The Tigers are back in action Tuesday, when they travel to Nyssa in a nonleague contest.

                  Tigers bats silent in GOL sweep, April 19, 2004

                  Argus Observer Sports Staff ONTARIO

                  The Ontario softball team dropped a pair of Greater Oregon League games, 12-1 and 10-0, to the Riverside Saturday in Ontario.

                  The Ontario batters could not get anything going, combining for five hits in two games.

                  "Offensively, (Erica) Hancock just kept us at bay," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the first game other than the two errors the girls really played well, but we only got two hits."

                  In the second game, the Tigers (1-12 overall, 0-8 GOL) were able to hold off the offensive threat of the Pirates for the first two innings, allowing just one run. Riverside's bats came to life, scoring four runs to grab a 5-0 advantage in the third inning.

                  The Pirates added three runs in the fourth inning and two in the fifth, ending the game with the 10-run mercy rule.

                  "We are improving every week. AJ (Hawk) pitched very well in the first game and Kayla (Yano) only allowed six hits in the second game. The girls are playing their guts out," Simpson said. "The girls played better than the score indicates."

                  In the first game, Ontario's Jamie Arant and Stephanie Simpson each went 1-for-3.

                  In the nightcap, Simpson, Kailey Poole and Kayla Montgomery had the Tigers' only hits and were 1-for-2.

                  The Tigers continue GOL play Saturday when they play host to the La Grande Tigers.

                  Holding his own, April 19, 2004

                  Andrew Cutler Argus Observer CORVALLIS - It hasn't taken a little known talent from Ontario long to run with the big dogs of the Pac-10 Conference.

                  Michael Lissman, who is a 2003 graduate of Ontario High School, has provided the Oregon State University baseball team with plenty of power during his freshman season. Lissman has clubbed four home runs - tied for third on the team - and has driven in 21 runs entering a weekend series at Cal State Sacramento. Lissman's contributions have helped the Beavers 22-11 start.

                  "This is everything I've wanted," Lissman said. "Baseball and school. I love baseball, that's everything I ever want to do in college."

                  Lissman was questionable entering the series with the Hornets because of a strained achilles tendon suffered before pregame warmups during a series with the Washington Huskies a week ago.

                  "I'm getting treatment, it just matters how I feel," Lissman said. "If it feels good, it shouldn't affect playing time."

                  Lissman did not play in Friday's 7-2 win over Sacramento State.

                  The Ontario standout batted .529 and hit 10 home runs with the Tigers during his senior season at OHS. Lissman averaged a home

                  run less than every seven at bats and had 45 RBIs, helping the Ontario Tigers to a second-place finish at the 3A state tournament. Ontario finished the 2003 with a 25-3 overall record. The Tigers had a 22-game winning streak snapped by Mazama in the 3A final, 4-3.

                  Lissman said there is one big change from playing in the 3A Greater Oregon League and the NCAA Division I Pac-10 Conference - pitching.

                  "Every pitcher I go out and face is better than any pitcher I ever saw in the GOL," Lissman, who is second on the team with a .361 batting average, said. "Every pitcher I see is good. They are Division I baseball players Division I pitchers. They are here for a reason. It's amazing going from one day guys that throw in the high 70s or low 80s to guys that hit the high 80s, low 90s every day. That is a big jump."

                  It hasn't taken the freshman long to show he belongs among the nation's best.

                  On April 9, Lissman homered twice and drove in four runs, helping the Beavers to a 5-4 win over No. 2 Stanford. In the bottom of the second, Lissman poked a 1-ball, 1-strike pitch over the fence in right-center field. In the bottom of the fourth, Lissman drove another 1-1 pitch out of the park, this time into the fir trees beyond the center field fence.

                  It's been the highlight of a stellar freshman season.

                  "The win against Stanford is the highlight, just because of who they are," Lissman said. "They are No. 2 in the nation. They are there for a reason, they are good.

                  "But the thing is we are capable of so much more, that's the thing that keeps me excited. I know we are better than what we are. It makes everyone keep pushing to get better."

                  Lissman, who splits time between being the Beavers' designated hitter and roaming left field, said when Oregon State kicked off the season February 13 in Surprise, Ariz. it was like a "dream."

                  "The first game of the year (against Utah) I started," Lissman said. "We played in one of the nicest parks I've ever played in. It is where Texas (Rangers) and Kansas City (Royals) have Spring Training. It's different. It's something you have to change to. It's like a dream I'm living in and I love it.

                  "Every day I go out and give 100 percent. You never know when it could be the last game. It's an opportunity that I got to go to Oregon State. I figure I might as well run with it. Ride it until the wheels fall off."

                  Tigers bats silent in GOL sweep  April 19, 2004  Argus Observer Sports Staff ONTARIO

                  The Ontario softball team dropped a pair of Greater Oregon League games, 12-1 and 10-0, to the Riverside Saturday in Ontario.

                  The Ontario batters could not get anything going, combining for five hits in two games.

                  "Offensively, (Erica) Hancock just kept us at bay," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "In the first game other than the two errors the girls really played well, but we only got two hits."

                  In the second game, the Tigers (1-12 overall, 0-8 GOL) were able to hold off the offensive threat of the Pirates for the first two innings, allowing just one run. Riverside's bats came to life, scoring four runs to grab a 5-0 advantage in the third inning.

                  The Pirates added three runs in the fourth inning and two in the fifth, ending the game with the 10-run mercy rule.

                  "We are improving every week. AJ (Hawk) pitched very well in the first game and Kayla (Yano) only allowed six hits in the second game. The girls are playing their guts out," Simpson said. "The girls played better than the score indicates."

                  In the first game, Ontario's Jamie Arant and Stephanie Simpson each went 1-for-3.

                  In the nightcap, Simpson, Kailey Poole and Kayla Montgomery had the Tigers' only hits and were 1-for-2.

                  The Tigers continue GOL play Saturday when they play host to the La Grande Tigers.

                  Hot start ignites Tigers past Nyssa, April 21, 2004

                  William Anderson Argus Observer

                  From the first pitch of the game the Ontario baseball team set the tempo.

                  After warmups and all the pregame business, Nyssa's John Whitmire delivered a pitch to Ontario's Matt Mejia, who hit a triple to right field and scored on a throwing error on the play, as Ontario took a 1-0 lead after one pitch.

                  The Tigers went on to defeat the Bulldogs 8-3 in a nonleague baseball game Tuesday afternoon in Nyssa.

                  Following Mejia's triple, Kyle Mitchell walked and Zach Park hit a 3-1 pitch to left center, to give the Tigers (11-3 overall) a quick 3-0 lead.

                  Whitmire settled down, getting Shane Schiemer to fly out to left field and Derek Kygar to ground out to the shortstop, before Walking Chris Schauer on four straight pitches, fol-

                  lowed by a fly-out to Scott Curtis to end the inning.

                  "We started out hitting the ball well," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "All you can do is hit the ball hard."

                  The Bulldogs (7-6) in the bottom of the frame had some luck as well. Mitch Holliday opened up the inning, drawing a base on balls, before Jessie Garcia hit a sacrifice fly to center field, to score Holliday. Cody Waldo later came around to score on a wild pitch.

                  Unfortunately, that would be as close as Nyssa would get, as Ontario again scored three runs in their half of the second inning and one more in the third inning, before Nyssa responded with one run in the fourth inning, after a leadoff double by Rigo Paz.

                  "We were kind of surprised they hit the ball as hard as they did," Nyssa head coach Swede Mason said. "Three runs is not too much to make up."

                  Ontario added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Jared McLean reached on a single and scored on a Jake Beck single to left field.

                  "I think Mejia started it out, ripping a triple to the gap," Hartley said about his team's quick start. "It is nice when your leadoff guy gets on. (Chance) Cruickshank did a good job making Nyssa put the ball in play."

                  On the day, Ontario's Park finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs batted in, and Schiemer and Beck finished the game with an RBI.

                  Nyssa was led by Trent Holcomb, going 2-for-3 from the plate and Garcia picked up the Bulldogs' lone RBI.

                  Ontario is at Burns Saturday in a Greater Oregon League matchup, while Nyssa is in Pine Eagle for Special District 8 action.

                  Navarro retires from Ontario Middle School, April 25, 2004

                  Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                  Thirty years after she first started teaching, Georgia Navarro, assistant principal at Ontario Middle School, will retire at the end of the school year.

                  Navarro started her teaching career in 1973, after graduating from Idaho State, Pocatello. Her first job was as a language arts teacher at Mount Vernon High School.

                  "There were only 45 kids in the school. It was fun. I took the senior class (five kids) on a trip to British Columbia in my car for their senior trip," she said.

                  Navarro continued on as a language arts teacher in Prairie City from 1975 to 1977.

                  After the new special education law was put into place in 1976, Navarro started her 12-year career as a special education teacher.

                  In 1977, she went to work at Ontario High School.

                  "I was the first special education teacher Ontario High School ever had. I got to set up my own programs," Navarro said.

                  After marrying, Navarro went to work in La Grande as a special education teacher for two years before returning to Ontario and where she took on the task of special education specialist at Lindberg and Pioneer Elementary Schools.

                  A few years later, Navarro moved on to what was know at the time as Ontario Junior High.

                  When Don Sutherland retired as the language arts and social studies teacher in 1988, Navarro went back to teaching his subjects to seventh graders.

                  "Seventh-grade was my favorite age group," Navarro said.

                  Seventeen years after she started teaching, Navarro wanted to do something else. Already equipped with a teaching credential and her masters degree, she decided to earn her administrative credentials. In 1991, she Navarro received those credentials after attending Albertson College.

                  That same year, Navarro became the assistant principal of Ontario Middle School under the direction of Gene Bates.

                  Ontario School District superintendent contacted Navarro in 1995 and offered her the position of principal at Pioneer Elementary School and she accepted, she said.

                  "I was not only the principal, I was also the special education specialist there," Navarro said.

                  When Irene Bates retired from May Roberts Elementary School, Navarro became the principal at that school.

                  In 2000, Navarro landed her final and current position as one of the assistant principals at OMS.

                  "I think changing jobs or locations every four or five years keeps thing fresh and you are not in a rut," Navarro said.

                  In her current position, Navarro has a multitude of responsibilities. She supervises breakfast and lunch, attends meetings nearly every morning, reads the morning announcement, disciplines students and performs the athletic director duties for the middle school.

                  "The best part of the athletic director job is that I get to see some of the best kids doing good stuff and I have gotten to meet other AD's and coaches from other schools," Navarro said.

                  Though the years at the elementary and secondary schools have been good ones, Navarro is looking forward to retirement.

                  "I will be a part-time instructor at TVCC. I will teach nine hours per quarter in low-level English classes, and I will be supervising student teachers for Eastern Oregon University," Navarro said.

                  Tigers take two more GOL losses    April 25, 2004    Argus Observer Sports Staff

                  The Ontario softball team's troubles continue, as they were swept in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader Saturday afternoon, falling 9-0 and 14-1 in two games to La Grande.

                  In the opening game, the Tigers (1-14 overall, 0-10 GOL) managed only one hit in the game. Ontario allowed nine hits and finished with two errors.

                  "The girls have got to be able to play complete games," Ontario softball coach Randy Simpson said. "We are not at the point were we are playing complete games."

                  In the nightcap, things did not get much better for the Tigers, as they committed seven errors, but got five hits and scored a run in the six inning contest.

                  "Jamie Arant played some of the best defense she has played all year," Simpson said. "She made some phenomenal plays."

                  The Tigers host Baker Thursday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.  Prep Tennis

                  The Ontario tennis team barely broke a sweat Saturday, picking up a pair of Special District 4 wins.

                  The Tigers blanked both Madras and Burns, handing each a 10-0 defeat at Burns High School.

                  "We played well," Ontario boys' head coach Ernie Alger said. "The kids really stayed in it from start to finish."

                  No Tiger was extended past two sets in either match.

                  The closest match came in the No. 3 girls' singles match against the Hilanders. Ontario's Marcela Ramirez took a close 7-5, 7-5 win over Melissa Thomas.

                  "The girls did well," Ontario girls head coach Dennis Gill said. "Madras always gives us good competition. We just did a great job."

                  The Tigers (8-0 Special District 4) will entertain Homedale Tuesday in nonleague play.

                  Ontario nine manages split with Bulldogs    April 18, 2004    Argus Observer Sports Staff

                  The Ontario baseball team took the opener 7-5, before dropping the nightcap, 7-3 to Baker in Greater Oregon League baseball action Friday in Baker City.

                  In the opener, the Tigers struck first, scoring one run in each of the third and fourth innings and five more in the fifth inning, to take a 7-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Baker scored four runs to get back in the game, but only scored one run in the seventh, as their comeback attempt fell short.

                  "We played a good team from Baker," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "We did some good things to come away with a split. If this team could stay focused and execute for an entire doubleheader, I think we could have won both games."

                  Shane Schiemer pitched six plus innings for Ontario, striking out 11 Bulldogs to pick up the victory. Jake Beck pitched the seventh to pick up the save.

                  Schiemer also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Matt Mejia and Brandon Coley each went 2-for-3 from the plate in the win.

                  In the nightcap, the Tigers were unable to put together a big inning, scoring only one run in the fourth and two runs in the sixth.

                  "The Baker pitching staff did an amazing job making us swing the bats today. Neither starter from Baker gave up any walks, and that is something I want our pitchers to strive for. I know we are capable of making that happen," Hartley said.

                  Ontario's Zach Park and Juan Trejo each hit doubles for the Tigers. Park and Derek Kygar were the only Tigers to drive in runs.

                  The Tigers are back in action Tuesday, when they travel to Nyssa in a nonleague contest.

                  Tigers drop 13th straight, April 30, 2004

                  William Anderson Argus Observer

                  Thirteens were running wild Thursday afternoon in Ontario.

                  First off the Ontario softball team lost both games of a Greater Oregon League doubleheader, 13-0, to Baker at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center.

                  The two defeats were the 13th straight losses on the season for Ontario.

                  During the nightcap, the Tigers never seemed to have anything swing their way.

                  After allowing three runs in the first inning, Ontario's leadoff hitter Jamie Arant hit the ball to right field, as Baker's rightfielder, Amber Uriarte, came up firing, gunning out the sliding Arant at first base.

                  "(Heidi) Boyer pitched a great game. She kept us at bay the whole time. That is why they are the No. 3 team in the state," Ontario head coach Randy Simpson said. "We were playing well, then we had some breakdowns on errors. The girls are still learning and they are improving."

                  Over the next four innings for the Tigers (1-16 overall, 0-12 GOL), they held Baker to only two runs, before they scored eight runs, on six hits and two Tiger errors in the sixth inning.

                  One bright spot for the Tigers, was Arant, picking up the lone hit for the Tigers, while playing solid defense at shortstop.

                  Jessica Horn drew a two-out walk in the first inning for Ontario, as she and Arant were the only two base runners of the game.

                  Overall, the Bulldogs picked up 10 hits in the game.

                  In the opening game, Boyer pitched a no-hitter against the Tigers, as Tara Wilson had a triple and a double, knocking in two runs, while Amber Uriarte had a triple and two RBIs in the game.

                  Ontario continues its Greater Oregon League schedule today on the road against Mac-Hi.

                  Frisby, Page pace Tigers, April 30, 2004

                  Argus Observer Sports Staff

                  Two Ontario Tigers won at least two events Thursday afternoon at the Vale Invitational track meet in Vale.

                  Riley Frisby and Sheryl Page each won two individual events, while Page helped the 4x400 relay team to a first place finish.

                  Frisby won the 800 and 1,500 meter, with times of 2 minutes, 2.95 seconds, and 4:17.3 respectively, as teammate Jacob Blaylock was not far behind in each event, taking third and fourth in the 800 and 1,500 respectively.

                  "I thought it was a very good meet. A lot of GOL (Greater Oregon League) teams. We got to see a preview of what would happen in district," Ontario track coach Randy Waite said. "We set a lot of personal records and did very well."

                  Page also won the 800 and 1,500 meter races with times of 2:18.05 and 5:01.05 respectively, as she also helped the 4x400 meter relay team to first place finish, at 4:11.

                  Also on the relay team are Angie Hamman, Kristen Hamman and Jordan Bainbridge.

                  -----------------

                  Tigers sweep aside Vale, May 2, 2004

                  William Anderson Argus Observer

                  After taking the first game a Greater Oregon League doubleheader 11-1, the Ontario baseball team had a hard time closing out the deal in the second game, over the stubborn Vale Vikings, Friday afternoon as the Tigers picked up the sweep with a 12-6 nightcap victory at Elks Memorial Field in Ontario.

                  In the nightcap, the Tigers had the Vikings down 8-1 after four innings of play. With the Vikings not wanting to end their trip to Ontario prematurely, Vale scored two more runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Ontario matched the Vikings on the scoreboard, but the Tigers (14-4 overall, 6-2 GOL) never were able to end the game early.

                  "We could have shut down after that first game when we were down 8-1," Vale head coach Tom Cuellar said. "When we play teams that are solid in the field and at the plate, we have to rise to their level."

                  Still, the Vikings (4-16, 2-8) never gave up on the day, scoring five of their runs in the final three innings and pounding out seven of their nine hits in the same stretch.

                  "I thought we played very well as a team today," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Those who watch us play, know I put a lot of pressure on my players, especially when we are ahead. Whether we are bunting with two strikes or trying to pick guys off, when we really do not need to, we are preparing for the playoffs."

                  In the opening game, Ontario jumped out early, scoring nine runs in the first two innings.

                  "We have a young team, that is not an excuse, we are just young," Cuellar said. "It seems like we always get ourselves behind the 8-ball."

                  Ontario's Brandon Coley pitched the first game, allowing only two hits and one run in the game to pick up the win.

                  Overall on the day, Vale's Mark Moreno went 3-for-7 and Kyle Bates went 3-for-4, while teammate Pat Verdun knocked in two runs.

                  Ontario was led by Matt Mejia, who went 4-for-5, while Shane Schiemer, Jared McLean and Kyle Mitchell all picked up three hits on the day. Chance Cruickshank knocked in six runs in the two games, while Schiemer and Mitchell each knocked in four and Jake Beck knocked in three.

                  Vale heads to Middleton Thursday in a nonconference game.

                  Tigers get past Kuna, May 2, 2004

                  Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                  With great defense and a triple in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Ontario Tigers baseball team was able to defeat the Kuna Kavemen, 3-2 in a nonleague game Saturday at Ontario High School.

                  Ontario's Matt Mejia got up to the plate with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning and the score still tied at 2-2. Mejia let the first four balls go past him. Ball, ball, ball, strike. Now he was ready.

                  The next pitch came across the plate and Mejia drove the ball deep to left centerfield. He jumped on his wheels and before Kuna could get the ball back to the pitcher, Mejia was safely on third base.

                  With the winning run on third, Chance Cruickshank stepped up to the plate. He faked a bunt and at the last second belted the ball down the third base line. Mejia scored and the game was over.

                  "I was very pleased with our defensive efforts. Chris (Schauer) forced a lot of ground balls, and I thought we played really well behind him," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Offensively, we have some work to do executing, but I thought Matt really stepped it up today."

                  Mejia was 3-for-4 from the plate with a triple, double, single and an RBI for the Tigers. Zack Park was 2-for-3 with two singles.

                  Ontario catcher Jared McLean made some key outs for the Tigers in the close victory.

                  "Jared McLean has really been great to have behind the plate this year. He's had to work with a lot of different pitchers and he still keeps balls in front of him while throwing out more base runners than any other high school catcher I have ever seen," Hartley said.

                  The Tigers (16-4 overall, 6-2 GOL) continue Greater Oregon League action Saturday when they take on Mac-Hi in a doubleheader in Ontario.

                  Ontario rallies for GOL split, May 9, 2004

                  Andrew Cutler Argus observer

                  Seven Ontario Tigers drove in runs, helping the Tigers to a 12-0 rout of Mac-Hi in the nightcap of a Greater Oregon League baseball doubleheader at Elks Memorial Field.

                  The Pioneers scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning, stunning the Tigers for a 3-2 win in the opener.

                  "It was very nice to see us bounce back after the first game," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "Unfortunately the time is coming when you don't have a chance to make up losses like that."

                  The Tigers (7-5 overall, 7-3 GOL) had eight hits in the nightcap. Kyle Mitchell led the way with a 2-for-3 outing.

                  Ontario got three runs in the bottom of the third. Scott Curtis and Matt Mejia each drew bases loaded walks and Chance Cruickshank had a sacrifice fly.

                  It was more than enough for Cruickshank.

                  The Ontario starting pitcher scattered two hits and one walk over five innings, while striking out four. Cruickshank did not allow a hit until the fourth inning when Jesus Gonzalez lined a single to right field.

                  Ontario went on to add nine runs in the bottom of the fourth. Brandon Coley and Scott Curtis each had two-run doubles. Mejia, Shane Schiemer, Zach Park and Kyle Mitchell all had RBIs in the frame.

                  Curtis finished with three RBIs, while Coley and Mejia each drove in a pair of runs.

                  In the opener, Wayne Williams had an RBI single to highlight the Pioneers' seventh-inning comeback.

                  Mac-Hi's Carlos Ruualcaba fanned 10 and walked three in the complete game.

                  "Ruualcaba is a quality lefty and he threw very well for Mac-Hi today," Hartley said. "We will have to learn to beat someone like that or our season is about over."

                  Mejia and Coley each had RBI singles in the third inning for Ontario.

                  The Tigers host Nyssa at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Elks Memorial Field, before closing the regular season Saturday at La Grande in GOL action.

                  Students showcase heritage at event, May 9, 2004

                  Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                  The eighth-grade Rocket team at Ontario Middle School explored the roots of its heritage during a cultural diversity fair Monday.

                  The diversity fair - in its eighth year at OMS - provided the students with an opportunity to showcase a major project they have been working on since the beginning of the school year.

                  Inspired by a seminar Ontario School District brought to the middle school nine years ago called "Project Reach," OMS English teacher Donna Edwards and social studies teacher Dennis Hironaka developed the idea for an integrated project that combined math, social studies, English and science.

                  Edwards and Hironaka said they thought relating the project to students' cultural roots would hold the interest of the students and instill in them pride and appreciation for their heritage. Edwards said the program has been successful in doing both.

                  The students begin the project in the fall by researching their heritage. Some students have a difficult time tracing their genealogy, Edwards said. A simple Internet search on a students' last name, however, will provide at least a little information about a students' cultural background, Edwards said.

                  After researching their heritage, students write a report about the culture of the country their relatives emigrated from to fulfill requirements for the English portion of the project. For science, students study the climate of their country and create a travel brochure. In social studies class, the eighth-graders give speeches about their project that is videotaped, and in math class, they make charts and graphs comparing commodities in their countries.

                  The eighth-graders were able to showcase their projects from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday at the middle school gym for select elementary classes from Aiken and Cairo Elementary Schools and other middle school students.

                  Parents and grandparents were invited to come to the middle school Monday night to view the projects.

                  Edwards said the fair during the evening draws some of the largest crowds of parents and relatives than many other events at the middle school.

                  During the fair, several eighth-graders dressed in traditional clothing from their country.

                  And even more students brought music to play and food for sampling from their countries.

                  Edwards said almost every country was represented during the cultural fair.

                  One of the few that was not represented was China. Mexico and Germany were among the popular countries represented at the fair.

                  Edwards said the projects have evolved into more elaborate productions during the cultural fair each year as technology improves.

                  Tigers have title hopes on their mind, May 16, 2004

                  William Anderson Argus Observer

                  With a first-place finish and a second-place finish, the Ontario girls' and boys' golf teams head to Redmond with individual and state title hopes in mind.

                  The Ontario girls tee off at the Eagle Crest Resort, while the boys will compete at Eagle Crest Ridge. Both courses are in Redmond. The tournament is Monday and Tuesday.

                  The girls' team will be taking five girls - Cecilia Garcia, Jennifer Jaramillo, Camilie Davis, April Patton and Holly Houston - to the two-day tournament.

                  With the exception of Davis, the girls' team is comprised of underclassman, with Garcia a sophomore and Jaramillo, Patton and Houston each freshman.

                  "(Overcoming their youth) will be our biggest challenge," Ontario girls' golf coach Russ Leininger said. "The girls are playing good."

                  Leininger said that Garcia, who played fourth position at state last season, has really stepped up her play and became a leader.

                  "I think Garcia will place in the top five, if she plays well," Leininger said.

                  The Ontario boys' finished second to La Grande, last week at district, shooting a 690 as a team.

                  Headlining this year's team is Wade Douglas, Marcus Uchida, JC Schram, Brady Kameshige and Dane Dinsmore. Colby Eyre is the alternate.

                  "I think we have a shot to do well at state. We did not play very well at district. The guys did not play as well as they wanted to," Ontario boys' golf coach Scott Helmick said. "We are ready to go, really focused this week."

                  Helmick said that Douglas and Uchida have pretty identical averages, with each having a good shot at placing in the top 10.

                  The teams are traveling today, with a practice round this afternoon in Redmond.

                  Vale boys, Ontario girls claim tennis titles, May 16, 2004

                  William Anderson Argus Observer VALE

                  The Ontario tennis team extended its dominance in the girls' singles, as freshman Stephanie Babij won the Special District 4 championship match, against Vale's Rachel Carmichael, 6-1, 6-2 Saturday afternoon in Vale.

                  Overall, the Ontario tennis team is bringing 10 players to the state tournament, Friday and Saturday, in Eugene.

                  Babij, Ontario's lone girls' singles state qualifier, took over the reigns of graduated Amanda Iseri, who had won four straight district titles.

                  "I played pretty well," Babij said of her performance in the championship match. "I am just excited to get to go to state. The score does not show how tough the match was."

                  Carmichael also earns a spot to state, as Cassandra Andrews of Vale and Bakers Gloria Ho.

                  "I thought she played very well, he handled the pressure outstanding, as a freshman,"

                  Ontario girls' tennis coach Dennis Gill said.

                  As far as girls' doubles go, Ontario claimed the top four slots, with Kristy Church and Kelsy Pobanz taking the No. 1 slot into state, with a 6-3, 6-3 win over teammates Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz in the championship match, while Jenna McClean and Julie Hall defeated Vale's Trish Lacey and Tracey Romans 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in the third-place game.

                  The Tigers are bringing seven girls' to state, while Vale has four girls heading to Eugene.

                  "Seven is the most I have taken," Gill said. "We want to make a run at the team title. That is a goal of the team - be first in state."

                  On the boys' side, Ontario will be sending three guys, while Vale will have four boys make the trip west.

                  Ontario's Peyton Aarestad lost to Baker's Luke Rembold, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, in the boys' singles championship match, while Vale's Francisco Endara defeated teammate Fabian Faehnrich, 8-3, as all four earned state slots.

                  In the boys' doubles, Ontario's Nick Babij and Philipp Dimakopoulos defeated Vale's Robby Seals and Travis McFetridge, 6-0, 7-6 (7-2), to claim the No. 1 spot, while Adam Behrends and Omer Goodson, Madras, defeated Baker's Shawn Ho and Lowell Curtis, 8-,5 for third place.

                  The Vale boys' won, with 18 1/2 points, while the Ontario girls won with 28 points. Overall, Ontario collected 44 team points, while Vale had 36 1/2 points.

                  Ontario rolls over La Grande, May 17, 2004

                  Argus Observer Sports Staff

                  The Ontario baseball team had a strong finish their regular season Saturday, picking up a pair of Greater Oregon League wins, as they defeated La Grande 11-1 and 18-1 in a doubleheader, in La Grande.

                  In the opening game, Ontario scored one run in the first inning and added two more in the third, before exploding for six runs in the fourth inning, to take a 9-0 lead.

                  After one run in the fifth by La Grande, Ontario scored twice more in the top of the sixth, to implement the 10-run mercy rule.

                  "We had some fantastic pitching and offensive performances today," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said.

                  Altogther on the day, the Tigers scored 29 runs on 30 hits, as nearly every batter that went to the plate for Ontario picked up a base hit, led by Zach Park and Shane Schiemer, each picking up five hits on the game.

                  On the mound for Ontario, the pitchers gave up five hits and two runs in the games, Hartley said he was very pleased.

                  In the nightcap, Ontario scored five runs in the first and six more in the second, to take a quick 11-0 lead.

                  Shane Schiemer picked up the win on the mound, pitching four innings of nohit ball, while striking out seven.

                  "I think we are right where we need to be right now," Hartley said. "We have a week to get everyone healthy and I think we have all the tools to make a run at the title."

                  Ontario girls look to finish the job at state, May 18, 2004

                  Andrew Cutler Argus Observer

                  The Ontario girls' tennis team is back to take care of some unfinished business - winning a 3A/2A/1A Oregon State Tennis title.

                  The Ontario girls, along with three Ontario boys qualifiers and eight Vale representatives, begin play in the state tournament Friday morning in Eugene.

                  Ontario has been on the threshold of its first girls tennis title the last two seasons. Last year, with only three girls, Ontario finished third. In 2002, Ontario took fourth place.

                  "This group of seniors wants to go out and preform well," Ontario girls' head coach Dennis Gill, who has seven girls making the trip to Eugene, said. "They want to end their high school careers with a state title."

                  Kristy Church and Kelsey Pobanz are the No. 2 seed in girls' doubles. The duo is un-defeated this season after a third place finish at state last season. The duo is looking to continue Special District 4's dominance in girls' doubles.

                  "They have a real shot (at winning)," Gill said. "The league has dominated doubles at state. last year, our league took first, third and fourth in girls' doubles."

                  Heather Gibbs and Hannah Pobanz are the No. 3 seed at state, after finishing second to Church and Kelsey Pobanz at district.

                  Gill said he hopes the number of girls he has at state will help against some of the traditionaly strong tennis schools.

                  "Catlin Gabel is not taking very many and Marist is always tough," Gill said. "Those two teams have done real well in the past and they have good teams back."

                  OHS principal steps down, May 20 , 2004

                   Kristin Gribben Argus Observer

                  Ontario School District Superintendent Dr. Dennis Carter announced May 12 to district staff members his plan to advance Ontario Middle School Principal LaVelle Cornwell into a position as principal of both the middle school and the high school.

                  The announcement came one day after Ontario High School Principal Patrick Royal officially resigned from the district - effective June 30.

                  Royal said he is leaving OSD to take over the principal slot of Coquille High School in Coquille to be closer to his family, he said.

                  Cornwell, who has been with the district 26 years and principal of OMS since 2001, will manage her days between the high school and middle school with five associate principals to assist her.

                  One of the five associate principal positions will need to be filled since Georgia Navarro, associate principal at OMS, is retiring June 30.

                  The new administrative arrangement is intended to help students with the transition between middle school and high school, according to Katherine M. Collins, director of public information and community involvement at OSD. She said the district wanted to create a more cohesive sixth- through 12th-grade school system.

                  Carter said the district would also like to increase the high school retention rate. He said since the No Child Left Behind Act and the boost in federal school regulations, high school drop out rates are becoming a larger liability for the district.

                  However, Carter said Cornwell's new position as OMS and OHS principal will not immediately and directly cause high school drop out rates to decrease.

                  "This in itself isn't going to make changes in that (drop out rates), but in time they (joint middle school and high school administration) will come up with solutions," Carter said.

                  The new administrative plan places Ontario High School as the only Class 3A high school in the state without a full-time principal, Royal said. Other high schools in Oregon have part-time principals but they are much smaller schools, he said. For example, Jordan Valley High School and Adrian High School operate with a superintendent who also serves as principal.

                  Royal remained optimistic the new administrative plan could be effective, but added it will be "very time consuming" for Cornwell. He said only "time will tell if it works" since there is no precedent for the administrative organization in Oregon.

                  While no high school in Oregon comparable to Ontario's operates with a part-time principal, across the state border Nampa High School and Skyview High School in the Nampa School District are managed in a similar fashion to the new OMS/OHS administrative configuration.

                  Nampa School District's superintendent instituted a new administrative structure four years ago. Skyview High School and South Middle School were divided into one group and Nampa High School and West Middle School into another. Two chief education officers (CEOs) sit at the head of each group. There is one permanent administrator, called the "lead building administrator" at each middle school and high school. In addition, there are three administrators, six total, within each high school/middle school group that handle single-issue items, such as special education. Jeff Read, CEO of Nampa High School and West Middle School, said the administrative arrangement between the high schools and middle schools has been altered since its inception and continues to evolve. Read said the district implemented the new arrangement because there was a break-down in the communication between the high schools and middle schools. He said the plan was met with confusion and doubt when it was first proposed, but after four years the district is now beginning to see positive results.There is lingering doubt among some Ontario School District employees about the new administrative plan as well. Joe Garner, president of the teachers' union, was reluctant to provide concrete information on how many teachers were upset over the new administrative plan.

                  Garner said though, that some of the initial and still relevant concerns from teachers he has spoken with include time constraints Cornwell may have with managing two schools in addition to instances when teachers need immediate principal, not associate principal, approval on a matter. Garner said the teachers had meetings with district staff, including the superintendent, Wednesday night and tonight to discuss concerns teachers may have regarding the new plan. He said after these meetings he will be more prepared to offer a statement on behalf of the teachers.

                  OMS brings tennis season to an end, May. 25, 2004

                   Tricia Alvarez Argus Observer

                  To wrap up the 2004 tennis season, Ontario Middle School hosted the sixth annual Middle School Invitational Tennis Tournament May 15 in Ontario. With all the teams at the district tournament, the middle school teams had full reign of all the courts in town.

                  Teams that came to Ontario for the competition were Baker, Vale and Parma.

                  "With the combined effort and help of Baker coach Marsha Smith, Vale coach Dr. Al Butler and Parma coach Lary Nielsen, the action packed day ran smoothly. OHS had districts out of town, so we had the use of all the courts in town. This kept the tournament moving at a timely pace," Ontario Middle School head coach Suzie Robertson said.

                  The Ontario girls swept the singles competition, earning all three top spots and also placed second in the doubles competition.

                  Chris Babij placed first, Krista Holloway second and Mimi Kameshige third in the singles and the duo of Ashley Plaza and Lindsay Wilson took second in the doubles.

                  Ontario's Kegham McGraw placed third in the boys' singles and Levi Heiple and Grant Saito took third in the boys' doubles.

                  Trophies and ribbons were awarded to first through third place in all categories.

                  "The Baker coach donated funds from the Baker tennis program and along with the small amount of money Ontario had already given, we were able to get some nice trophies from Trolee Awards," Robertson said.

                  Tigers rally past Wilsonville, May. 25, 2004

                  William Anderson Argus Observer

                  Without even collecting a single base hit in the seventh inning, Ontario was able to load the bases and score a run, to complete a four-run rally over two innings to come back and defeat Wilsonville, 7-6, in the first round of the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Oregon 3A Baseball State Championships at Elks Memorial Field in Ontario.

                  With the score tied 6-6, with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom half of the inning, Kyle Mitchell hit a line drive to center field, where Dylan Bruck was waiting for it, waiting to throw home.

                  Brucks' throw was offline, as Jake Beck came in to score the winning run.

                  "They are a great team, and we are excited to be able to beat them," Ontario head coach Chad Hartley said. "I am wo