By David Bates • Staff Writer • 

Along the Street: McMinnville to host economic forum

Economist John Mitchell will address Oregon’s economy at a McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce forum slated for noon to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Mitchell, who had a long career with U.S. Bank before joining M&H Consultants, is known for providing lively, highly understandable presentations on regional economics.

The forum will be held in the McMinnville Grand Ballroom, upstairs at 325 N.E. Third St. Tickets run $15 for chamber members and $20 for other interested members of the public. For reservations, call 503-472-6196. 


New school

The Northwest Driving School has opened for business in McMinnville. It is owned by Nate Clover, an insured, bonded and DMV-certified driving instructor.

“We believe in learning by doing, so traditional classroom concepts are safely introduced during our in-car instruction, allowing for more real time behind the wheel,” Clover said. “Our goal is not only to teach the fundamentals, but to help students learn to enjoy their time driving.”

Programs are available for teens and adults, ranging in price from $60 to $450, covering up to 10 hours of instruction. For more information, call 503-857-5950 or visit


Second Threads

Second Threads Clothing Exchange, which offers “like-new designer clothing” at bargain prices, has opened at 1228 N.W. Adams St.

The shop is owned by Bret and Sharena Prouty. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

They are offering cash or store credit for clothing that is “in great shape, on-trend and timeless.” For more information, call 503-857-0698 or visit



Zwickelmania, a free event designed to showcase craft beers, will be held at three locations in McMinnville from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 13.

More than 120 breweries, large and small, are planning to participate in the beer-tasting event, which is being sponsored by the Oregon Brewers Guild. Local locations include the Golden Valley Brewery & Restaurant, Grain Station Brew Works and Heater Allen Brewery.

For more information visist 


Paws for Love

The McMinnville chapter of Paws for Love Therapy Dogs Inc. will hold a therapy dog training session from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, on the Withnell Commons at Linfield College.

The session is for dogs that have obtained or are in the process of obtaining Canine Good Citizenship certification. The fee is $60.

The class is for owners interested in having a dog certified for therapy visits to schools, assisted living facilities and rehabilitation centers.

During a Feb. 20 followup session, owners will get a chance to submit their formal therapy dog evaluation and potential certification. The fee for the followup session is $40.

For more information, contact Cyndi Mitchell at 503-474-7268 or


Grower of Year

Amity farmer Jeff Newton has been named Grower of the Year by the Nut Growers Society of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. The award was presented at the group’s annual winter meeting, held in Aurora.

“Jeff is a natural born innovator, able to look at a challenge, whether it is mechanical or biological, and pose ideas for solutions,” according to the citation. “He has the full range of abilities to fabricate, test, and modify his theory until an answer is found.”

Newton has been involved in the hazelnut industry for more than 30 years.


Five Star Pro

Ken Whiting, sales manager at Westcorp Mortgage Group in McMinnville, has earned Five Star Professional customer service certification for the second year in a row.

Only 7 percent of mortgage loan officers qualify for the honor in Northwestern Oregon, according to the sponsoring association.

Whiting opened the Westcorp office in McMinnville nine years ago, after leaving Wells Fargo. 


Zero waste award

Zero Waste McMinnville, a local nonprofit that encourages recycling and composting, has been honored by the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments for its work.

McMinnville City Councilor Kevin Jeffries, who served as board chair in 2015, presented the award in ceremonies held at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum.


Pesticide hotline

Oregonians involved in pesticide incidents affecting people, animals, or the environment may now file reports and seek information by dialing 211.

The free hotline is being operated around the clock by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Callers are offered a menu of choices, including connection to a trained staffer for in-person consultation.

In the event of a medical emergency, however, people should either dial 911 or call the Oregon Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

David Bates is the News-Register’s business editor. He can be reached at or 503-687-1228.