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Marine deputies awarded for life-saving, rookie of the year

The Oregon State Marine Board recently recognized a Jackson County marine deputy for saving someone's life on the Rogue River and tapped another local deputy as the Marine Program's Rookie of the Year.

Deputy Scott Waldon earned the life-saving award for rescuing an elderly rafter after she fell off a raft in the Rogue on Aug. 13. Waldon found the woman clinging to a snag that was floating downriver and managed to get her to shore safely.

Deputy Jeff McGrath had what Marty Law, the Marine Board's boating safety program manager, called an "exemplary" first year in the program.

McGrath earned the Rookie of the Year award for conducting 165 boat examinations, issuing nine citations and 55 warnings, conducting four hull inspections and arresting seven people for boating under the influence of intoxicants.

The awards were presented during the annual Marine Law Enforcement Conference held Oct. 19 in Bend.

The Medford Ski Education Foundation will hold its annual Ski and Snowboard Swap tonight through Sunday in the multipurpose room at St. Mary's School, 816 Black Oak Dr., Medford.

An early-bird sale takes place from 8 to 10 p.m. today. The Saturday sale will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A closeout sale will be featured Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with all merchandise on the floor discounted up to 50 percent.

Admission Friday is $5 per person, $10 per family. Saturday costs $3 and $6. Sunday is free.

MSEF is a nonprofit foundation that works to make competitive skiing available for high school students in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Additional details are available on the MSEF website at www.msefskier.com or call Ron Johnson at 541-621-4699.

Ice skaters can strap on the blades for a trip around the outdoor ice beginning this evening during the start of the city ice-rink season in Ashland.

The Ashland Parks and Recreation Department will open the Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink, weather permitting, for a free public skate from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

The rink is near downtown Ashland on the corner of Winburn Way and Nutley Street directly across from Lithia Park.

Skate rentals are available in sizes ranging from toddler size 9 to adult size 13.

For more information, including prices, daily schedule and extended holiday hours, see the city's website at www.ashland.or.us/icerink or call the ice rink directly at 541-488-9189.

The rink is scheduled to remain open through Feb. 27.

The local Ducks Unlimited chapter will hold its annual fundraising dinner and auction Thursday, Nov. 18, in Medford.

Tops among the cache of items and trips for auction is a fully guided dove hunt for four people in Argentina.

The DU dinner will be held at the Ramada Inn, 2250 Biddle Road, next to Sherm's Food 4 Less. The doors open at 5 p.m.

For more information about ticket packages and reservations, call Ed Santa Maria at 541-690-1520.

A Redding, Calif., fly-fishing author will discuss how to plan your own fishing trip to Canada during next week's monthly meeting of the Rogue Flyfishers Association in Medford.

Author John R. Rantner headlines the Rogue Flyfishers' meeting Wednesday, Nov. 17, at the Red Lion Hotel, 200 N. Riverside Ave., Medford.

The "wet fly" social hour begins at 6 p.m., with the buffet dinner and raffle set for 7 p.m.

For more information about the Medford-based Rogue Flyfishers, see the group's website at www.rogueflyfishers.org.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail mfreeman@mailtribune.com.