By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Along the Street: Blazer star buys vineyard land near Carlton


Carlton property owners have confirmed one of the county’s highest-profile property transactions of recent years.

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and his wife, Elise, are adding wine grower and nursery owner to their resumes.

Steven and Marian Gormley-Pekkola, co-owners of Mineral Springs Ornamentals Nursery in Carlton, on Wednesday confirmed a report from Oregon Live that the McCollums had purchased 318 acres of largely undeveloped land for a planned vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton American Viticultural Area.

McCollum’s purchase adds to another local commercial investment bearing the name of a Blazer player: Damian Lillard became part-owner of McMinnville Toyota in 2020 and the business now bears the All-Star’s name.

Steven Pekkola did not elaborate on the McCollum transaction, but acknowledged the deal to purchase the land includes their nursery operation, a gravel quarry and the 5-acre Oberg Reservoir. The site runs along Northwest McBride Cemetery Road.

According to the OregonLive report, “We have big plans that definitely go beyond pinot noir,” CJ McCollum said in a telephone interview, and Elise McCollum plans to continue the nursery operation.

It’s not the guard’s first foray into Yamhill County wine; in June 2020, McCollum launched the McCollum Heritage 91 wine brand in partnership with Adelsheim Vineyard in Newberg. Their debut wine was a Chehalem Mountains pinot noir from the 2018 vintage.


Scarecrow season

Soon there will be fewer crows on the streets of McMinnville and Dayton.

Both cities are planning scarecrow competitions for the Halloween season.

McMinnville’s “Scarecrows on a Lamppost” lets individuals, business and groups design scarecrows to be placed along Third Street.

Registration forms, available on the McMinnville Downtown Association website, are due by Friday, Oct. 8. Entries must be installed by Monday, Oct. 11, and remain there through Halloween. They must be removed by Nov. 3.

The public will choose the winners through an online survey. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded Sunday, Oct. 31.

A spooky coloring contest also is planned. Starting Oct. 8, children can pick up coloring sheets from First Federal or the McMinnville Public Library, or download them from the MDA website.

For more details, go to

In Dayton, the second-annual citywide Scarecrow Contest will encourage Halloween decorations at both businesses and residences.

Citizens need to register and have their scarecrows in place by Oct. 1. Photographs will be taken Oct. 2 and 3, and community members can vote for their favorites via Facebook through Oct. 17.

Only handmade scarecrows are eligible. They can be “traditional, whimsical, humorous, mischievous or lovable,” the rules say.

Bloody or violent displays are not allowed in the family-friendly competition, nor are those that include advertising, political or religious statements.

Entry forms are available at the Pirate’s Den or Alacrity Salon, on the Dayton Facebook page or at

Morning Thunder

Desiree Chavez of Morning Thunder Cafe said Wednesday that the Third Street restaurant will reopen at a date to be announced. It has been closed since Sept. 1 following the unexpected death of Chavez’s husband, chef Richie Chavez.

A street party in front of the cafe on Sunday, with donated food and beer, a drum circle and Native American flute music, honored Richie’s memory.

Meanwhile, Desirae and staff and friends spent Saturday afternoon cooking up 500 hush puppies for the Relay For Life event in Dayton, fulfilling Richie’s commitment to helping provide food each year for the American Cancer Society fundraiser.

Bark For Life happens Sept. 18 at Nazarene Church on the Hill in west McMinnville, starting at 8 a.m. The traditional Relay For Life will start at Dayton Courthouse Park at 6 p.m., with a luminaria ceremony at 7:15 p.m. 


Chamber Greeters

Hagan Hamilton, 448 S.E. Baker St., McMinnville, will host an outdoor Greeters program Firday, Sept. 24. The program will be held in the parking lot from 8 to 9 a.m. The event is open to all. For more information, go to the ChamberMcMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce website,

The Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce also will have a Greeters program from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 24.

For more information, go to

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