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                                               PLEASANT HILL HIGH SCHOOL ~ BILLIEBULLETIN.COM ~ THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 2009 ~ ISSUE 4, VOLUME 57




                                                                                                                                                              Witness tells
                                                                                                                                                              of local bank
                                                                                                                                                                 robbery
                                                                                                                                                                            LINDSEY ANDRESS
                                                                                                                                                                                 Editor

                                                                                                                                                                   On March 2nd and March 26th the
                                                                                                                                                              Pleasant Hill Siuslaw Valley Bank was
                                                                                                                                                              robbed. The first incident involved two
                             e eight Mr.Mr. Billie contestants delight the audience with their
                                e eight Billie contestants delight the audience with their ruby red                                                           men. The second robbery involved three
                                                                                                                                                              men with ski masks and a handgun.
                                          dresses and and side-splitting moves.
                                     ruby red dresses side-splitting dance dance moves.                                                                          After an investigation by the police
                                                                                                                 Mr. Billie winner Jesse Quinn                and FBI, the three suspects were caught




                                MR. BILLIE 2009
                                                                                                                                                              and arrested on April 2nd. The suspects
                                                                                                                                                              are in the Lane County Jail and are be-
                                                                                                                                                              ing charged with first-and-second-degree
                                                                                                                                                              robbery.
                                                                                                                                                                The robberies have traumatized the bank
                                                                                                                                                              employees who are in the midst of legal
                                                                           Story on page 2                                                                    proceeding and are unable to be inter-
                                                                                                                                                              viewed.
                                                                                                                                                                 Bill Cummins was the only customer
                                                                                                                                                              present during the first robbery and he
                                                                                                                                                              shared his story with the Billie Bulletin.
                                                                                                                                                              Cummins, a long-time Pleasant Hill
                                                                                                                                                              resident and owner of Bella Casa Park,
                                                                                                                                                              stepped into the Siuslaw Valley Bank at
                                                                                                                                                              a little before 11:00am on March 2nd. He
photos by Jordan Wildish




                                                                                                                                                              laid his checkbook out onto the counter
                                                                                                                                                              and said that he wanted to make a deposit.
                                                                                                                                                              These were the only words he was able to
                                                        Jesse D’Agosta                  Michael Baker                     Jai Broome                          get out before things got terrifying.
                           Adam Sprague                                                                                                                         Two men in black, faces covered by ski
                                                                                                                                                              masks, burst through the door and de-
                                                                                                                                                              manded money.
                                                                                                                                                                “One guy came to the window where
                                                                                                                                                              I was and said ‘Get back, get back, get
                                                                                                                                                              back.’ So I stepped out of the way. He
                                                                                                                                                              had us all come over to the window and
                                                                                                                                                              he motioned his finger at me. We had to
                                                                                                                                                              kneel down and put our hands on the back
                                                                                                                                                              of our head and that’s when I really got
                                                                                                                                                              scared,” said Cummins.
                           Drew Erickson                Jesse Quinn                      Craig Richins                    Seth He ron                             Cummins and the four bank employ-
                                                                                                                                                              ees working were told to face the window
                                                                                                                                                              with their backs to the robbers.
                                                                                                                                                              “I thought maybe that I had lived my life

                  Trent to close next year; 7th and
                                                                                                                                                              complete right then. I figured that they
                                                                                                                                                              would kill us, but they just put is in a help-
                                                                                                                                                              less position and left,” said Cummins.


                  8th grade move up to high school
                                                                                                                                                                “They were only in the bank about two
                                                                                                                                                              minutes and we couldn’t see where they
                                                                                                                                                              went.”
                                                                                                                                                                 Cummins was the only customer in the
                                                                             TEIJA STEARNS                                                                    bank but his wife was outside sitting in
                                                                                 Editor                                                                       the car. “She had no idea what was going
                                                                                                                                                              on. She was taking care of the dog with
 With increased budget cuts and decreased                      of combining schools. Top among these          7th/8th graders concern her. She thinks it      her head turned. She never did see the
enrollment, the Board unanimously voted                        concerns, is the fear that the 7th and 8th     will be hard for them to grow as leaders in     guys,” said Cummins.
to close Trent Elementary School at the                        grade students will be exposed to drugs        an environment where they are overshad-          After lots of questioning by police, Cum-
Board meeting on March 13th. At the                            and alcohol at a younger age.                  owed by the high school leaders.                mins left the bank to head home and just
February Board Meeting, Superintendent                            But as Renee Saxon pointed out, there         There is already a plan to keep the 7th       sat around for the rest of the day.
Tony Scurto made the recommendation to                         is a flip side to that coin. “They’ll be ex-    and 8th graders separate from the 9th-            “On the 7th we had a therapy session at
the Board to close Trent.                                      posed to unsavory behaviors, but they’ll       12th graders. There will be two separate        the bank. We all just talked and it really
  “One of the realities we face in Pleas-                      also be exposed to high schoolers making       schedules with separate passing periods,        helped. I went back to the bank for the
ant Hill School District is that our enroll-                   good choices and who are excellent role        lunches, and breaks. Certain areas of the       second session after they were robbed a
ment is declining and our prediction for                       models.”                                       school will be designated mainly for the        second time. I’ve been going back in [the
the next few years is that it will continue                      “I think the fear is that everybody’s [us-   different age groups. More restrictions         bank] to see the girls [employees] almost
to decline,” said Scurto to a crowded gym                      ing] or that the majority are [using]. And     and rules are a possibility. It largely de-     everyday,” said Cummins.
of community members.                                          what I see more are that some kids are out     pends on the conduct of the students.             When Cummins heard about the second
   1,277 students were enrolled in the dis-                    of class goofing around, but what some of          Community members have expressed             robbery he went to the bank as soon as
trict in 2000. That number shrunk to 847                       our 8th graders need to see is that most of    concern about open campus for the upper-        he could to show his support for the em-
students in 2009. That number is expected                      our kids are in class doing what they are      classmen. The subject has been brought          ployees.
to shrink further to 768 students by 2011.                     supposed to be doing,” said Scurto.            up again with the reconfiguration. “The              Cummins still has some nightmares
The district receives money from the state                       8th grade student Aaron Peasley already      community looks very closely at what            where he is back in the bank again. How-
per student, so as enrollment decreases so                     comes up to the high school every morn-        happens to the 9th-12th graders [dur-           ever he continues going to the bank. “Peo-
does the budget for Pleasant Hill Schools.                     ing for a jazz band class. Many middle         ing off campus]... it would take no more        ple tell me that I should just go through
If no changes are made to the budget from                      school students do the same for math           than probably one student accident for the      the drive-through but that doesn’t affect
this year our district will accumulate a                       classes.                                       community to come up in an outrage and          me. I think that was a one time deal and
$750,000 deficit next year.                                        “I think most of them make pretty good      want to close the campus,” said Scurto.         that I won’t see it again. I’m still a little
  The District will procure an immediate                       choices and I personally know a few and           What will this transition mean for our       nervous. Not so much at the bank but
savings of $130,000 by closing Trent.                          am friends with them... They help us and       quality of education?                           more when I’m at home and get to think-
In additional years it is expected to save                     we sometimes get on their nerves, but they       “I fear this proposal brought before the      ing about it,” said Cummins.
$310,000.                                                      don’t like try and hurt us at all so they’re   school board in total disregard for the           When Cummins heard that the suspects
   However, this decision is more than a                       good friends and I think most of the high      11-14 year old students enrolled in this        had been caught he was “as happy as
matter of numbers. Parents, students,                          schoolers would try and help the younger       district. I fear that at a time when the stu-
staff, and community members have                              students,” said Peasley.                       dents need fewer transitions...we’re                      Continued on page 2
voiced many concerns about the quality                          Saxon’s own children went to a 7-12 high
of education and the social implications                       school. Leadership opportunities for the                 Continued on page 2

				
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