Cheers to Mustangs and jeers to drunks
Cheers: To the Medford Mustangs, who captured the American Legion AAA state baseball title for the fourth consecutive year, becoming the first Oregon team to win that many in a row in the top level of Legion competition. In doing so, the Mustangs twice came back from deficits and scored an astounding 70 runs in five games. The wins advanced them to the Regional Championships in Missoula, Montana, where they lost their first game Wednesday but will play on in the double-elimination tournament. Regardless of the outcome at regionals, the Mustangs have set a standard for baseball in this state.
Cheers: To the nurses and administrators at Rogue Regional Medical Center, where the nurses union and hospital successfully negotiated a new contract for the nurses. The deal seems reasonable: Nurses will no longer be required to cover for other nurses — potentially doubling their patient load — when their colleagues go on break. The hospital also agreed to a 7 percent wage increase over the three years of the contract, helping to lift the nurses' pay to a more competitive level and helping the hospital in its recruiting efforts. That will ensure the hospital continues to provide the level of care the community has come to depend on.
Jeers: To the guilty parties among those responsible for the 180 responses Jackson County sheriff's deputies made to the Country Crossing Music Festival over its four-day run, July 27-30, at The Expo grounds in Central Point. There were only 12 arrests out of a crowd that was predicted to approach 20,000, which may be less than the average number of arrests among the general population. But to no one's surprise, alcohol was at the root of many of the problems that led to about one call for every 100 people attending. That ran contrary to the actions of the vast majority of those in the crowd, who were upbeat and enthusiastic despite the searing heat.
Cheers: Both to departing Logos Public Charter School Executive Director Joseph VonDoloski and to his replacement, Sheryl Zimmerer. VanDoloski was instrumental in building one of the most successful charter schools in the state, which has grown from 250 students to the current capped level of 1,000 and has posted sparkling graduation rates along the way. Zimmerer seems well prepared to take on the challenge: She was previously the school's elementary principal, came up through the ranks as a teacher, administrator and home schooling parent and served as chairwoman of the charter school's board.
Cheers: To Lt. Col. Jeremy Wimer, a Medford native and Black Tornado graduate, who has been named squadron commander of the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, one of the busiest airfields in the nation, where he will oversee the test and evaluation center for weapons, navigation and guidance systems. A football player, wrestler and 4.0 student at North Medford, Wimer went on to graduate from the Air Force Academy and is now using his training and brains to help keep the Air Force on top of the ever-changing technology of the U.S. military.