IT'S WINNING MATCH FOR CITY, NEW CHIEF

February 13, 2002 11:00 pm

Wes Kilgore is going home to Enterprise. And what could be better for a boy who dreamed of growing up to become a policeman than to be named police chief in his hometown?

The Enterprise City Council this week hired Kilgore as the citys new chief. Its nice to see a local product be able to fulfill his dream at home. Kilgore and Enterprise should be a good match.

Kilgores law enforcement career has taken him to jobs in La Grande and Pendleton since he received his associates degree in criminal justice from Blue Mountain Community College. When he first went to work as a patrolman in La Grande in 1993, he probably never imagined that his career would ever lead him back home, or that he would even have the opportunity.

Kilgore has been working in Pendleton since 1998, first as a detective and later as the administrator of the countys new jail. But it wasnt until Chief Donavon Shaw retired last July that fulfilling a dream became a possibility. Kilgore applied, made the final cut and Monday was named the new chief.

It was always a dream of mine to be police chief of my hometown, he told The Observer.

Not only is the job right, but the community is the perfect fit, too, for Kilgore, wife Sherry and children Addie, 3, and Kade, 1. Enterprise, Kilgore said, is a good environment for kids.

Having limited job opportunities often makes it hard for people who grew up in rural areas to get back home and make a decent living. In this case, it worked out perfectly for the Kilgores and for the community.

PROUD SWEEP

For a long time they were considered the riff-raff on the ski slopes, what with their baggy clothes, unkempt hair and passion for something out of the norm. But gradually they became more accepted on most slopes along with a growing realization that snowboarding was here to stay.

This week some American snowboarders took their sport to a new level when three of them combined for the United States first gold-silver-bronze sweep in the Winter Olympics since 1956. Snowboarding has come of age.

Some skiers still scoff at the sight of boarders making their way down the slopes, doing crazy jumps and flips in halfpipes and freeriding off peaks. But most have come to accept the fact boarders have proven their sport is more than just a fad. It is a legitimate and fun mountain activity. Boarders even have the prices for jackets, pants, socks and equipment to show that their sport has arrived.

Snowboarding has provided a shot in the arm for Americas ski areas. And after this week, for American pride.