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Declining enrollment in the Hoyleton School district has led school officials to seek other alternatives for the future of the small Washington County District. A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 7th where the board's consultant will present a feasibility study on how the district would fare if consolidated with Nashville Grade School District #49.

Hoyleton Grade School Superintendent Elaine Hemker says that declining enrollment has led to a drop in federal state aid and is quickly making the district unsustainable. 

"After our enrollment dropped from 70 students to the mid 40's we discussed the fact that we don't have any industry in this area and people are not moving in" Hemker explained.

Hoyleton is also home to Trinity Lutheran School, a private school that many Hoyleton students attend, dropping enrollment in the public school even further.

The district first approached Irvington Grade School for consolidation, but the board determined that a combined Irvington/Hoyleton school district would still be among the smallest schools in the area. Issues would occur when 8th graders graduate from the district, as Irvington Schools primarily send their students to Centralia High School while the majority of Hoyleton students attend Nashville High School after 8th grade. With that in mind, the board hired Dr. Nick Osborne to perform a feasibility student to determine what would happen if Hoyleton joined with Nashville Grade Schools.

The meeting will take place in the Hoyleton Community Building, with a board meeting at 6:00 before the full public meeting at 7:30pm. The public is invited to attend, see the presentation, and weigh in on the issue.

Front row, from left to right: Freshmen Hanson Hartwig, Mara Bookhout Sophomores Kegan Snodsmith, Alissia Whitlock, Juniors Andrew Banning, Alley Benson. Back row, from left to right. Senior Candidates: Austin Birks, Mackenzie Nibert, Quinton Metcalf, Morgann Burkett, Beau Lowry, Josye Carter.

Salem High School is gearing up for their annual homecoming celebration this weekend. The Homecoming game takes place Friday night at 7pm, with the dance on Saturday between 8 and 11pm. Coronation will be at halftime of the game. 

Seniors Austin Birks, Mackenzie Nibert, Quinton Metcalf, Morgann Burkett, Beau Lowry, and Josye Carter will compete for the crown. Underclass attendants include  Freshmen Hanson Hartwig and Mara Bookhout, Sophomores Kegan Snodsmith and Alissia Whitlock, and Juniors Andrew Banning and Alley Benson.

Salem City Manager Bill Gruen says the developers of the Holiday Inn Express have now been granted a franchise for the new hotel on city owned property at Kinney Boulevard and West Main Street.  He reports due diligence efforts are continuing by MPH Hotels of St. Petersburg, Florida with a goal of completing the property sale in November.  Gruen also continues to work on creation of a business district for the new Holiday Inn that will allow them to collect an extra one-percent sales tax that can be used to pay off development expenses.  A public hearing will have to be held before the district can be created.  Gruen says other interested hotel owners are welcome to attend to learn more and to decide if they would like the business district to be extended to their property.  MPH President Michael Holtz is hopeful ground can be broken in November of December, with construction taking ten to 11 months to complete.  He says the four story building will contain 86 rooms, an  indoor pool, business center, and two meeting rooms.    Gruen says there have been no new developments on two parcels of property in front of the restaurant that are being marketed to restaurant chains.  

Gruen says October is still the target date to open the city dog pound in the former butcher shop building on the Cartter Road.  He reports contracts are still completing renovation work.  The project is being overseen by Paul Wimberly, who was recently hired as full time animal control officer.

Yet another consumer scam is targeting Marion County Residents, with this one claiming that consumers have been selected to be a "secret shopper".

Potential victims will receive an email or physical letter with a check enclosed. The letter will instruct the victim to cash the check, taking a portion of the check as "salary" and using the rest to purchase "Money Pak" cards, which are untraceable cash cards with 14 digit pin numbers, which the scammer asks the victim to send to an email address.

The email claims to be from someone holding a medical degree, and has a number of grammatical errors. It asks for nonsensical information about the shopping trip such as asking the victim to evaluate the "Smartness" of the cashier that sold them the cards.

It then instructs the victim to "Evaluate ASAP because part of the funds is going to charity".

The check contained within the letter will bounce, and the victim will be on the hook for thousands of dollars.

Salem Police Warn residents never to respond to or cash checks from groups that contact you through email or the phone asking for you to perform a certian task or asking for personal information. If you have any concerns about the legitimacy of any mail you receive, do not hesitate to call the Salem Police Department.

Centralia Homecoming a Success

There was a large turnout for Centralia's annual homecoming coronation and dance on Saturday. King and Queen winners were Jerry Covington and Lexi Patton, who took the crowns from retiring king Eugene Weatherspoon and queen Micah Scott.

The dance's theme was "The Dark Night".

Freshmen attendants were Kiersten Uhls and Jordan Maines, Sophomore Attendants were Heather Alexander and Ronnie Madrey, Junior Attendants include Lexie Warnick and Sean Carry, and Senior Attendants were Madelyn May and Tyler Maas.

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