Beloved Mad Greek Deli owner dies unexpectedly

‘Pondo’ is warmly remembered for his generosity, caring

Created on Thursday, 18 February 2016 14:41
SUBMITTED PHOTO - Pantelis 'Pondo' Kosmas, owner of the Mad Greek Deli in the Rock Creek area of Washington County, was a dedicated Portland Timbers fan. He died over the weekend of a brain hemorrhage at age 49.

SUBMITTED PHOTO – Pantelis ‘Pondo’ Kosmas, owner of the Mad Greek Deli in the Rock Creek area of Washington County, was a dedicated Portland Timbers Fan. He died over the weekend of a brain hemorrhage at age 49.

The week before his death, Pantelis “Pondo” Kosmas said his goodbyes.

Whether it was a premonition or just macabre humor, only Pondo will ever know.

But text messages, phone calls and personal visits from a man who is widely described as larger than life preceded a sudden and unexpected fatal brain hemorrhage Sunday, Feb. 14.  Continue reading

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Sex trafficking in Washington County: ‘They are here’

Small-town children can be more susceptible to slick manipulation

Created on Wednesday, 24 February 2016 10:14

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE - Brianna Myers (far left), subject of the trafficking awareness documentary 'Chosen,' joined Jo Lembo and Tiffany Fieken on a panel that discussed the various dangers and problems associated with human trafficking at Pacific University's Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center Feb. 18.

News-Times Photo: Travis Loose –– Brianna Myers (far left), subject of the trafficking awareness documentary ‘Chosen,’ joined Jo Limbo and Tiffany Fieken on a panel that discussed the various dangers and problems associated with human trafficking at Pacific University’s Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center Feb. 18.

Brianna Myers was excited to explore the world.

Having just turned 18, the Clark County, Wash., native wanted to get out and have real-world experiences, do grown-up things and eventually attend medical school to become a nurse.

Then Myers met Nick, a man who promised to help her achieve her dreams. In Myers’ mind, he became the only person who understood her, who treated her like an adult and who took her dreams seriously.

It was fairly easy for Nick to convince her that together they could take on the world, Myers said.

“He validated my feelings and ideas — told me we’ll get there together,” she said.

But medical school is expensive. And though Myers had been doing well to save her wages as a waitress, Nick told her he knew a way she could make exponentially more — as long as she was OK with dancing naked. Continue reading

Tokola apartment project ready to move forward

Forest Grove Urban Renewal Agency paves way for summer construction

Forest Grove City Council members agreed to commit more than $2 million in public money to a $15 million project that most of them believe will revitalize Forest Grove’s business district.

In three separate 5-1 votes Monday night, city council members — acting as the Urban Renewal Agency Board of Directors — entered into a financial agreement to sell the 1.5-acre Times-Litho site to Tokola Properties and also created a development agreement between Tokola and the urban renewal board.

The city will end up spending $2,062,561 from its capital projects fund on the former Times-Litho property (including the orginal purchase), which currently sits empty along Pacific Avenue between A and B streets. Continue reading

Forest Grove welcomes new signs

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE – Northbound travelers on Fern Hill Road now pass one of the nine new welcome signs–with a new logo–being added along Forest Groves city limits. The new signs also bear an updated population and city motto.

Created on Pamplin’s server on Wednesday, 24 February 2016 10:27

Forest Grove Public Works employees installed new welcome signs along the city’s perimeter in the pouring rain last Thursday, Feb. 18, replacing a few old ones and adding new ones where signs didn’t formerly exist.

The signs include another new city feature: its new official logo.

“We wanted something distinctive,” Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax said of the symbol, which comprises three oak leaves arranged in a circle. Because the Oregon white oak is the official city tree, the pattern “is just a natural step for us to take,” Truax added.  Continue reading