It's sausage time

The 78th annual Verboort Sausage & Kraut Dinner is just around the corner. The dinner, which includes all-you-can-eat sausage and sauerkraut and a full plate of accoutrements, is a local tradition that draws hundreds of cars to the rural community of Verboort each year. Because of its place on the calendar and its location in the heart of Washington County, not to mention its significance as an important bellwether for statewide elections, it's not uncommon to find politicians noshing on sausage and kraut while trying to scare up votes. Sausage is served from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Visitation Catholic School, 4247 N.W. Visitation Road, Forest Grove.

Intel launches job app

Interested in working at Intel, but confused about the hiring process? The semiconductor giant released a new online application that guides job seekers through the hiring process. To check it out, visit

Forest Grove sex offender arrested

Hillsboro police arrested Douglas Wayne Sokell, 70, of Forest Grove, at his home on Willamina Avenue Oct. 10 on charges that he unlawfully made contact with and harassed a child.

The arrest is the result of an investigation into a November 2011 incident at the Hillsboro Library located at 2850 N.E. Brookwood Ave. and another incident in August of this year at the same library.

Police allege that Sokell entered the library in 2011 and unlawfully touched a 9-year-old girl, then fled the scene before he could be identified or contacted by police.

In August, police believe Sokell entered the library again and walked around the children's section. Under the terms of Sokell's previous convictions, he isn't allowed to be where children congregate.

Following his arrest, Sokell was lodged at the Washington County Jail on charges of harassment, unlawfully being where children congregate and unlawful contact with a child.

Developer dies after fall from ladder

Dave Huttula, a well-known Portland-area developer, died Oct. 25 after falling from a ladder while working on a home remodeling project in Hillsboro.

Huttula, 55, a West Linn resident, was an electronic technician by trade, but spent the last 25 years as a general contractor and piloting subdivision developments across the metro area, including the Oak Hill Settlement in Forest Grove, planned to accommodate 194 housing units.

In 1996, Huttula founded Summerfield Homes. During the housing boom Huttula's company saw a rise in fortunes as the demand for suburban housing swelled. But the Great Recession brought challenges.

According to an obituary, Huttula married Doris Bernhardt in 1980. The couple had two children, Lauren, 15 and Jake, 11.

A tribute and photo memorial are available at Cornwell Colonial Chapel in Wilsonville at A fundraiser is being conducted online to help pay for Lauren and Jake's college educations. For more information, visit

Cop lawsuit settled

Forest Grove settled a lawsuit filed in February against the city by a woman and her daughter in June for $42,752.

The settlement payment was covered by the city's insurance, according to Paul Downey, Forest Grove finance director.

The News-Times broke the story of the lawsuit in February and in April broke the news that Forest Grove Police considered firing Officer Jason Moser following an internal affairs investigation.

The lawsuit alleged that Moser used inappropriate force when searching Debbie Bianchi after police pulled her and her daughter over in June 2010, mistaking their vehicle for one driven by suspected gang members.

Police leadership eventually withdrew the proposal to fire Moser and instead gave him a 24-hour suspension without pay.

Moser took a job with the Cornelius Police Department shortly after the investigation.

City buys new park

The city of Forest Grove has announced the purchase of a nearly three-acre parcel of land located along Sunset Drive with hopes to develop it into a future expansion for Lincoln Park.

The parcel, located at 2642 Sunset Drive, is adjacent to Lincoln Park and could offer the city an opportunity to develop parking spaces or a formal entrance to the city's biggest recreational attraction.

Tom Gamble, director of Forest Grove Parks and Recreation, said the city bought the land for $305,000. Gamble said the city has eyed the land for parks development for 12 years. Since then, the sale price has dropped from a high of around $500,000. According to Washington County property records, county assessors pegged the parcel's real market value at $259,580.

The city bought the land using proceeds from system development charges pegged to park development, so no property tax proceeds were spent in the purchase. Gamble said there are no current plans to redevelop the property. The city would first have to identify a source of funding for the renovation.

But with the price dropping, city leaders felt the time was ripe to snatch the parcel.

"We got a good deal on it," Gamble said. "That's why we bought it."

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