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New WWII tree donated, planted

A number of local people offered to find a replacement for the tree that vandals had ripped up, but the crew from Prineville Auto and Truck Center were first
Jessie Sharp took a turn, along with Parks and Rec's Gary Ward (back to camera) in planting the replacement Eisenhower Green Ash in Ochoco Creek Park. Helping were Frank Price and overseeing the work from behind was Gilbert Sharp.
   August 23, 2001 -- Some may say its the power of the press, but in reality it is the power of the community. Within a short period of time after a story appeared in the Central Oregonian about vandals having torn up the tree dedicated to the veterans of World War II a replacement had been ordered. Yesterday the substitute was planted.
   Gilbert and Jessie Sharp discovered the vandalism and reported it. Gilbert Sharp is the local VFW Post Commander and along with County Judge Scott Cooper had ceremoniously dedicated the tree last Memorial Day.
   The tree was an authentic direct offspring of a green ash that grows at the Texas birthplace of former-President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
   The official Eisenhower Green Ash Tree has been planted as WWII memorials nationwide as part of "Operation Silent Witness" and was in honor of the 16 million soldiers in uniform and the millions more who supported them from home during WWII.
   After reading the news report, Sean Casey, business manager of Prineville Auto and Truck Center, turned to his partner Frank Price and said, "Let's take care of this."
   With help from their associate, Bob Mueller, the Internet was searched and an authentic Eisenhower Green Ash was found, ordered and shipped.
   Wednesday, Parks and Recreation District's Gary Ward helped weld a shovel and the original tattered tree was removed and the new tree planted. Standing ten feet tall or more, everyone hopes vandals will not target the new tree.
   Casey and Price were not the only local residents stepping up to the plate when news of the vandalism was published. Jessie Sharp said the staff at Prineville Funeral Home and several others called and offered to obtain a replacement. "I had to tell them that it had already been taken care of," she said. "It's amazing how this community holds together."
   Thanking everyone, the Sharp's picked up a shovel and helped Ward replace the tree and then hugged and shook hands with everyone involved.