Cheers — to "Batkid" Miles Scott, who has turned his moment of fame into long-term help for Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, where pediatricians have been treating his leukemia since he was 18 months old. After the Make-A-Wish Foundation arranged for 5-year-old Miles to tour San Francisco in costume alongside a full-size Batman, solving crimes and rescuing a damsel in distress, donations poured in to a fund set up by the San Francisco 49ers Foundation. Miles' parents, Natalie and Nick Scott of Tulelake, Calif., decided to make Asante one of the beneficiaries of the donations, in thanks for the care he received there. Miles' leukemia has been in remission since June.
Jeers — to the Oregon Duck football players who had the bad form to dismiss the Rose Bowl as less than desirable while they were still in the hunt, however tenuously, for the national championship game. Wide receiver Josh Huff said he wasn't interested in playing in a Rose Bowl "unless I'm playing for a national championship." Running back De'Anthony Thomas said the Tournament of Roses was "not a big deal at all."
That, of course, was before the swaggering Ducks were dismantled by the unranked Arizona Wildcats on Saturday, knocking them out of the national title race, the Rose Bowl and potentially any of the more prestigious bowl games now that they are ranked No. 13. Not well-played, gentlemen.
Cheers — to the Southern Oregon wine industry, which showed growth in the number of wineries, acres planted and acres harvested in 2012. While the yield per acre and tons of grapes produced dipped from 2011 to 2012, the total tons crushed increased, as did the gallons of wine bottled here. The region's vineyards produce quality grapes, which become quality wines whether made here in local wineries or send upstate to Willamette Valley vintners. And vintners who blend local grapes with those purchased elsewhere in the state continue to turn out excellent vintages.
Cheers — to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rich Owens and Our Hearts to Your Soles, a local group he founded to provide quality footwear to the area's neediest people, the homeless who spend a lot of time on their feet. The local group operates under the auspices of Soles4Souls, an international organization. During a special event at the Medford Gospel Mission, Owens examined sore feet and treated those he could, referring others for further treatment. Volunteers helped those who attended find well-fitting shoes from the 250 donated pairs on hand.