MI Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

Our Western Oregon University students are right in the middle of finals week, and with Christmas break coming up, many of our MI Town residents will be heading home to celebrate the upcoming holidays with families and friends.

Our streets and sidewalks will seem a little empty without the enthusiasm and energy, and we'll be looking forward to their return in early January.

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The tree lighting on campus last Wednesday was as fun and festive as always - despite the raindrops and cold weather. MI Town residents of all ages bundled up to share in the traditional music of the season, as well as the reading of winning essays by our youngest residents.

Concerts at Werner Center and Rice Auditorium were not to be missed, and we all were happy to welcome the Christmas season with an evening of fine entertainment provided by students from Monmouth Elementary, Central High School and the WOU Wind Ensemble.

I can't say enough about the joy of living in a community where everyone has the opportunity to share in so many good things.

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Both Monmouth and Independence libraries have some outstanding programs for kids, teens and families during the upcoming Christmas break. Last week's I-O featured an informative article about scheduled events, but if you want more information, call the Monmouth Library at 503-838-1932, or the Independence Library at 503-838-1811.

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What a wonderful football season it's been for our Central High School Panthers and Western Oregon University Wolves. We've been treated to some really special afternoons and evenings, and enjoyed watching games all season long.

Hard work and dedication has shown our team members just how much they can accomplish, and we want to wish the players, their families and the coaches and their staff members hearty congratulations for a wonderful season. We're already looking forward to next year.

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With the winter weather upon us and all of those germs circulating inside stores, homes and businesses, we should take extra care to stay healthy. Flu ($30) and pneumonia ($45) vaccines are available at the Polk County Health Department from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Academy Building, Suite 302.

Nobody will be turned away for inability to pay. Please call 503-623-8175 for more information.

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Don't forget the Friends of the Monmouth Public Library nearly-new book sale this Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. It's a wonderful opportunity to buy good books for gifts, and don't forget to look for something special for yourself.

Amazing how a good book and a comfy chair and a warm cat in your lap can provide a perfect ending to a busy day. We'll have good books to choose from, and the rest is up to you.

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