WesCom News Service staff

For the past six years, local firefighter Ben Kihleng has dedicated his life to fighting fires and saving lives, at Eye of the Eagle, a wildland fire fighting service, that’s owned and operated by Rick D. Simonis.

Throughout his time as an employee of the company, Kihleng has fought fires throughout the Northwest United States. In addition to saving lives, including the life of Simonis by giving him CPR, Kihleng has also helped save homes, cabins and timber.

“Ben has been a very dependable fire fighter,” Simonis said, “when the fire truck gets dispatched for a fire, you can count on Ben to be in the truck.”

Simonis said Kihleng has been a good, dependable and loyal firefighter.

In addition to fighting fires, Kihleng works at two other part-time jobs. His employers have been flexible in allowing him to fight fires when he is needed.

“I would like to thank his part-time jobs for understanding how important Ben is to have on the fire truck,” Simonis said.

Union event center holds open house Saturday

The Catherine Creek Crossing Event Center in Union is holding an open house beginning at 4 p.m. July 22. Dave and Mindy Mead invite the community to stop by the center, on Beakman right off Main Street, for food, music and no-host bar and a chance to see what they’ve done with the lot behind the building. The open house will also be a fundraiser for Rick and Evie Mugrage, who will be providing the musical entertainment.

Grande Ronde Hospital earns national recognition for patient health technologies

Grande Ronde Hospital has been named as a 2017 Most Wired – Small and Rural Hospital for innovations in information technologies designed to improve the patient care experience. For the second consecutive year, the American Hospital Association Health Forum has honored GRH.

The national HealthCare’s Most Wired survey was conducted in early 2017. It examines how health organizations are using IT solutions to improve value-based health care performance in three areas: infrastructure, business and administrative management; quality and safety; and clinical integration.

GRH is continuing its efforts this summer and fall by moving to a fully integrated patient-charting system that will span our entire health system. The end result when the project goes live in October means that GRH patient care staff will have access to a complete and consistent record of patient information no matter where a patient receives care within our system.

Solar Oregon calls for volunteers for wine country eclipse festival

Solar Oregon, the non-profit partner for the Oregon Wine Country Eclipse event, is seeking volunteers for the Aug. 18-21, to be held at the Polk County Fairgrounds, which is in the path of totality. Volunteers must be 21 years old. Proceeds from the event will benefit Solar Oregon directly. Volunteers are eligible for discount accommodations.

The Wine Country Eclipse Festival will celebrate both the rarity of a total solar eclipse and the bounty of Oregon. The event will showcase Oregon’s regional wines, local foods, agricultural products and crafts. It will offer live entertainment and present informative and fun activities where people can learn about food, wine, astronomy and eclipses.