SOU in the News – Sept. 24-26


SOU anthropology team discovers location of Battle of Hungry Hill

Mail Tribune September 26, 2012

Archaeologist to determine threats to historical items in Ashland Plaza

Daily Tidings September 26, 2012

SOU students want to increase voter registration

Daily Tidings September 26, 2012

New SOU alumni director announced

Mail Tribune September 25, 2012

SOU to host talk on overpopulation

Mail Tribune September 25, 2012

Editorial: Cheers to Eliza Schaff

Mail Tribune September 26, 2012


New college mindset list released

KDRV Newswatch 12 September 24, 2012


SOU raising money to help former basketball player Moore

Daily Tidings September 26, 2012

Full version of print clips

‘All the dots have been connected’

SOU anthropology team discovers location of Battle of Hungry Hill

By Paul Fattig

Mail Tribune

September 26, 2012 2:00 AM

The location of the Battle of Hungry Hill, the largest clash in the Rogue River Indian Wars of 1855-56, has been discovered after being lost in the dust of time for more than a century.

The site was located this month by a team led by Mark Tveskov, director of Southern Oregon University’s Laboratory of Anthropology in Ashland.

“It’s very gratifying to finally find it — we’ve done a lot of detective work,” Tveskov said, stressing it was a team effort.

The team bushwhacked up and down steep hills and pored over old records, from the National Archives in Washington, D.C., to the Bancroft Library in Berkeley, Calif., following every clue during its three-year search.

The historic battlefield was found on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property in an area known as the Grave Creek Hills west of Interstate 5 between Sunny Valley and Glendale. Hungry Hill west of Glendale is not connected with the battle, he said.

“Our search area covered more than 24 square miles,” Tveskov said, noting the exact spot is not being divulged out of concern it could spur illegal artifact hunting.

Two musket balls and other items found at the site, as well as evidence provided by historic maps and documents, nailed down the location, he said.

“All the dots have been connected,” he said.

The site is important because it will undoubtedly shed light on the short-lived war, he said. No detailed, contemporary firsthand account about the battle by an Army officer had ever been found.

Until Robert Kentta, historian and member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, discovered a front-­page article in the New York Herald that was dated Nov. 12, 1855, from Crescent City, Calif., that provided precise information that only an Army officer who was in the battle would have known, Tveskov said. The anonymous correspondent who wrote the article was undoubtedly Lt. August V. Kautz, a survivor of the battle, he said.

Another important new clue was a copy of a battle map drawn by Kautz discovered in the National Archives by retired Army Col. Daniel Edgerton, who had worked in the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Tveskov added.

Others helping in the effort were SOU archaeologist Chelsea Rose, BLM employees, SOU students and tribal volunteers, he said.

“Sometimes when you are out there, walking through the woods and finding nothing, you feel like you are crazy for doing it,” he said. “And we had been doing that for three years.”

They also followed the clues of local folks who searched before them.

In 1934, Richard I. Helms, a reporter for the Daily Courier newspaper in Grants Pass, believed he had found the battle site atop a prominent site in the Grave Creek Hills, Tveskov said.

“We actually looked there and didn’t find any artifacts,” he said.

But historian and pioneer descendant Larry McLane, author of a 1995 book called “First There was Twogood: a Pictorial History of Northern Josephine County,” argued the battle occurred near a site local residents call Bloody Spring, Tveskov said. No evidence of a battle was found at that site by the team, he said.

Armed with the new information provided by Kentta and Edgerton, the team made one last field trip for the summer early in September, he said.

The historic documents indicated the battle began on Oct. 25 at one site, ending on the night of Oct. 31 at another location, he noted.

“Those two locations are described with reference to each other,” he explained. “When we found the first musket ball, which was on the main Oct. 31 battlefield site, then, for me, that meant that the Oct. 25th site had to be over there.”

They went to the other spot where they found the other musket ball, convincing them they had finally rediscovered the battle site, he said.

“We also found a lead stopper to a gunpowder tin which has ‘DuPont’ on it,” he said, noting it referred to DuPont de Nemours & Co. of Wilmington, Del. “DuPont was the main supplier of gunpower to the U.S. military in the 1800s.”

An identical lead stopper to a gunpowder tin was found during the team’s archaeological dig at Fort Lane across the Rogue River from the Table Rocks, he added.

“The .69-caliber musket balls we found were the same that had been found at Fort Lane,” he said. “That was the standard long arm for the Dragoon from the fort — the model 1842 Springfield musketoon.

“The Army officers say the Native Americans had better guns than the dragoons,” he added. “In some of the written accounts about the battle, they talk about better arms among the Indians was one of the reasons the soldiers got pinned down.”

Neither of the musket balls had been fired, he said.

There were some 300 Army and militia on one side with about 200 Native Americans, including women and children, representing the remainder of the participants, Tveskov said.

“There were 39 casualties on the (Army’s) side, including 10 who died on the battlefield,” he said. “A number of people died later. On the Native American side, 16 dead on the battlefield seems to be the number people can agree on.”

Despite being outnumbered, the Native Americans won the day, he said.

“From a tactical point of view, the Army and militia were routed,” he said.

The battle was “the worst defeat, particularly in terms of the total number of casualties, suffered by the combined force of U.S. Army and Oregon Volunteers in Oregon during the Indian wars,” Edgerton said.

The battle was triggered by the Lupton massacre in which more than two dozen Indians were slain in a village near the Table Rocks on Oct. 8, 1855, by vigilantes from Jacksonville, Tveskov said. The fleeing Indians split into at least two groups, with one seeking protection at Fort Lane while the other, led by Chiefs George and Limpy, headed down the Rogue River, killing several settlers en route, he said.

The battle delayed the end of the Rogue River Indian War until summer 1856, he said.

“It was an attempt by Capt. (Andrew Jackson) Smith from Fort Lane and the volunteer militia to end the Rogue River Indian War just as it was getting started,” he said. “It was a tactical victory for the Indians but it sealed their fate.

“It ultimately led to the removal of Indians from Southern Oregon to the Grand Ronde and Siletz reservations,” he said.

With the discovery of the battle site, the team will be working with the BLM, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians to conserve the battlefield and learn more from it, he said.

“We want to go over this with a fine-tooth comb,” he said. “We want to be able to tell a story about how the battle progressed.”

Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 541-776-4496 or email him at

Archaeologist to determine threats to historical items in Plaza project

Work cost estimated at $170,000; archaeologist cost not yet known

By Sam Wheeler

Ashland Daily Tidings

September 26, 2012 2:00 AM

Ashland will have to hire an archaeologist to study whether a redesign of the Plaza would threaten artifacts buried nearby before construction can proceed.

Once it has the archaeologist’s report in hand, the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office will determine which areas of the redesign might threaten artifacts and what the city should do to recover them or make sure they’re not disturbed, said Dennis Griffin, state archaeologist for the historic preservation office.

The city will be required to dig small test pits in some areas and deeper test pits in others to help the SHPO determine whether artifacts are present within the project area, he said.

“Other portions of the project will probably only require a professional archaeologist to monitor ground-disturbing activities,” Griffin said. “An archaeologist now will assist the city in determining where which strategy will work the best.”

The city is searching for an archaeologist to conduct the survey, said city planner Amy Gunter.

“We will be waiting to find out what an archaeologist discerns from the documents we have collected “… the state will let us know what needs to be done,” she said.

The cost of the archaeological work has not been determined, said Scott Fleury, the city’s project supervisor.

“It seems like overkill for what we plan to do,” said City Administrator Dave Kanner. “Of course we will comply with whatever SHPO asks of us “… but does this mean we have to contract with an archaeologist every time we replace a sidewalk, dig a utility trench, or replace a tree in the downtown area?”

Before the state issued its recent decision, Kanner said he doubted a survey of the site for traces of American Indian and settler artifacts would be required, because most of the original topsoil there has been covered by several feet of fill dirt since Ashland was settled in the mid-1800s.

“I don’t think we will be disturbing anything,” he said.

There are known archaeological sites that could be affected by the redesign work and specifically the planned tree removal, which would extend to a depth of about three feet, Griffin said.

Two archaeological surveys have been conducted along Ashland Creek upstream from the Plaza, and uncovered large quantities of Native American and settler artifacts, said Mark Tveskov, Southern Oregon University associate professor of anthropology and director of SOU’s anthropology laboratory.

In 2002, Tveskov led a limited survey along the creek that uncovered remnants of an ancient fireplace, a glass bead, arrow heads, pieces of stone tool and several chips of worked stone, he said. That work was intermingled with the city’s effort to extend a utility trench of Winburn Way.

Another unofficial survey was conducted in the 1980s on the grassy area at the entrance to Lithia Park, but was never finalized in an official report, Tveskov said.

That dig, where the former Ashland Flour Mill stood, was led by then SOU professors Nan Hannon and Rich Olmo and revealed hundreds of Native American and settler artifacts, Tveskov said.

Tveskov said he is not familiar with the intricacies of the Ashland Plaza redesign or its proposed impact, and he is uncertain whether the project warrants a similar survey.

The redesign calls for removing several large trees on the Plaza that are suffering from ground compaction above their root systems. They will be replaced with tree species more suited to tight urban environments.

The estimated cost to carry out the Plaza redesign is $170,000. The city plans to use lodging tax revenues set aside for downtown improvements and economic development.

“Our office looks forward to working with them as they move forward toward development of their project,” Griffin said.

Officials typically don’t reveal the exact location of defined archaeological sites, because people have been prone to looting them.

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email

Why Vote?

Students, officials work to increase voter registration

By John Darling

For the Tidings

September 26, 2012 2:00 AM

It’s not as exciting as 2008, but this year’s presidential election is swelling the voter registration rolls in Jackson County — and bringing out cynicism about voting in others.

Registration here went past the 117,000 mark Tuesday on Oregon Voter Registration Day and, said County Clerk Chris Walker, may slide past the 119,664 mark set in the November 2008 presidential election.

Students stopping by a voter registration table in Southern Oregon University’s Stevenson Union on Tuesday all said they planned to vote, most of them mentioning “defunding of education” as a big reason, but many mentioned they had friends who weren’t interested.

“I’ll register, but I’m real busy with school and athletics,” said SOU wrestler Taylor Johnson. “I have a pile of friends who aren’t going to vote and don’t really care. It’s kind of the scene with this generation.”

Senior Mallory Crocker said she’d vote “because the system isn’t going the right way, but my vote probably won’t make a difference. I have quite a bit of friends who say their vote makes no difference.”

“I’m registered and I’ll vote, if I get around to it,” said freshman Marshall Miller as she studied in the autumn sun on the quad. “I’m angry about the Electoral College, though. (The Electoral College gives all of a state’s votes to the candidate supported by the majority.) Honestly, I have to ask if my vote makes a difference. But it’s worth a try and you hope for the best.”

Connor Wilkes, an Ashland High School graduate who went on to Portland Community College, said it’s hard to trust politicians, as they haven’t followed through on their promises — and he feels his vote for president is diminished by the Electoral College — but “I still might vote.”

Wilkes added, “I don’t really put my faith in any politician anymore. You can’t know their real intent and if it’s really benefiting the country or just their selected group.”

Leading the voter-registration drive on campus, SOU Associated Students President Joshua Danielson said they hope to register 1,300 students this year, compared with about 1,000 four years ago.

“We tell students it’s very important for us to get together and be able to tell legislators we have lots of students registered and that we want a stop to the continual disinvestment in higher education,” said Danielson.

An obstacle, he notes, is that many students are from other states and attend SOU on a Western Undergraduate Scholarship and would lose residency in their home state if they vote in Oregon.

State Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland, who recently spoke to the Oregon Student Association at SOU, said he’s heard comments from young voters that they didn’t get what they wanted from the last presidential election.

Nevertheless, he said, “I feel the turnout is going to be close to 2008 because there’s so much energy from the economic collapse plus all the damage done to the country in the eight years before that. There’s a strong desire to get people out to vote.”

State Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, said he thinks there’s a high level of interest in this election.

“People are very much engaged in the election,” Richardson said, “and concerned about what the future holds for their children.”

Allen Hallmark, former chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Central Committee, said he’s disappointed in President Barack Obama’s performance on his promises but, unlike many of his friends, he does not plan to vote for a third-party candidate.

“The main thing is that people ought to vote,” said Hallmark, “and learn the issues and candidates. They have the freedom to vote or not, but it doesn’t take that much time to get up to speed — and we’d get a lot more of what we want and the country would work a lot better if they did.”

Secretary of State Kate Brown visited upstate high schools Tuesday to encourage voter registration, which can now be done online at and takes only 10 minutes, according her website. She offered to send a five-minute video to schools, detailing how to register and vote.

Local high schools didn’t have any events for Oregon Voter Registration Day. Todd Bloomquist, director of secondary education for the Medford School District, said the subject is covered in social science classes and that registration “is up to the individual and is not a function of public schools.”

The deadline for voter registration in Oregon is Oct. 16.

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at

New SOU alumni director announced

September 25, 2012 12:00 PM

Southern Oregon University’s new alumni director is an alumnus himself, as well as a graduate of Eagle Point High School.

Mike Beagle, 49, was a member of the Southern Oregon State College Raiders football team in the mid-1980s and a three-time all conference defensive back. He graduated in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in history, according to an SOU news release.

Beagle also served in the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis as a field artillery officer and received a master’s degree in history and government from the University of Portland in 1993.

Beagle has worked recently with the Raider Booster Club, Raider Red Zone and Trout Unlimited.

Southern Oregon University has 29,275 living alumni, and more than one-third of them live in Southern Oregon.

SOU to host talk on overpopulation

September 25, 2012 12:00 PM

Southern Oregon University will present a talk on global population growth and its challenges at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, in the SOU Science Building Auditorium, Room 118.

The talk, “Beyond 7 Billion: The Challenges of Global Population Growth,” is free and open to the public.

Stacie Murphy, public policy associate with Washington D.C.’s Population Connection Center, will lead the talk. She will discuss the history of population growth and the social, environmental and political challenges a rapidly growing population presents.

Cheers and Jeers

Thumbs down to the NFL’s mess; thumbs up to a woman’s write of passage

September 26, 2012 2:00 AM

Jeers: To the National Football League for the replacement ref debacle that is unfolding before the nation’s eyes.

OK, we feel a little guilty piling on this one, but it’s hard to look past the Monday night game in which the Seattle Seahawks quarterback threw, as one pundit put it, the only winning interception in the history of Monday Night Football.

For those of you who may not have seen the game or the endless coverage that followed its bizarre ending, the “interception” on the last play of the game — and in the end zone — was declared a touchdown, allowing the Seahawks to defeat the Green Bay Packers 14-12.

It was far from the only bad call of the night, with Seattle also getting stuck with a few critical referee mistakes, but this one decided the game and was so egregiously wrong that even the Seahawks fans on the Mail Tribune editorial board concede it was an error.

The NFL compounded that error Tuesday by saying the refs made the correct call. Sorry, guys, but you must have forgotten that several million people were watching and saw the interception. It was laughable, if you weren’t a Green Bay fan.

The NFL is a multi-billion dollar operation. The $18 million the league pays the refs is a relative pittance — not enough green bills there to cover the embarrassment of Monday night.

Jeers: As long as we’re on football, the viewing audience would be better served in almost all NFL games, and in many college games, if the football were just placed at the 20- or 25-yard line instead of going though the charade of kickoffs into and out of the end zones. Rule changes that moved the kickoffs farther upfield have also benched one of the most exciting plays of the game. Borrrrring.

Cheers: To Eliza Schaff, who is headed back to the college classroom after being shown the door in 2010. Schaff, who has Down syndrome, was asked to leave a Southern Oregon University class because the instructor felt that she required too much individual time. While there’s no doubt that crowded public universities don’t have the luxury of providing much individual attention, the ham-handed expulsion angered many in the community.

Now Eliza is enrolled at Highline Community College near Seattle, Wash., which has a program specifically for developmentally disabled students. It seems like a good fit and good news for Eliza, her parents and her many supporters.

Cheers: Posthumously, to Patricia Ann Mills-Spencer-Bemis-Adams, who penned her own obituary, filling it with humor, hope, a few frank details and a lot of personality. Ms. Mills-Spencer-Bemis-Adams died Aug. 27, but, save for the date, had written her own obituary before passing. It was published in Sunday’s Mail Tribune. If you missed it, it’s worth digging out your Sunday paper to read, or check it out online at

Hmmm: No cheers, no jeers for incoming District Attorney Beth Heckert, who along with her husband owns some low-income rental units in Phoenix. It’s unfair to label them slumlords, as the tenants and city officials our reporter talked with had no complaints. But Tuesday’s story included these descriptions of the units: patched windows, old pipes, tattered siding, peeling paint, water damage and mold. And a photograph showed a front door on one of the units that was beyond repair.

Credit to the Heckerts for fixing things up, including replacing the door; but it’s worth noting the repairs are being done in the wake of a TV news story prompted by complaints.


SOU raising money to help former basketball player Moore

Moore confined to wheelchair with life-threatening disease

September 26, 2012 2:00 AM

Former Southern Oregon men’s basketball player Erion Moore is in need of financial assistance as he battles Systemic Scleroderma, and the SOU athletic department is teaming up with criminology professor Lore Rutz-Burri and others who want to help Erion raise the funds needed for his treatment.

Moore played basketball for the Raiders from 2005-07 and was one of the more popular student-athletes to attend SOU before graduating with a degree in criminal justice. In February 2009, at age 26, he was diagnosed with Systemic Scleroderma, a chronic connective tissue disease that affects the skin, esophagus, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, heart and other organs.

Moore contracted the most severe type of the disease and has been confined to a wheel chair for the past year. His disease is rapidly progressing and life-threatening, and he can no longer care for himself either physically or financially.

He is scheduled to have a stem cell transplant at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital to reverse the symptoms. While Medicaid is covering the cost of the operation, Moore will have to stay in Chicago for six weeks while he undergoes chemotherapy and radiation treatment to prepare for the transplant. Friends and fans of Moore are hoping to raise enough money to cover the $15,000 expected costs for his time in Chicago.

A “donative account” has been set up at Umpqua Bank under the fund name “Erion Moore II Scleroderma Fund,” and checks can be made out to “Erion Moore, II, Scleroderma Fund” and sent to the SOU athletic department for deposit into the account. The department will also be taking donations at the annual men’s basketball Alumni Game, scheduled for Oct. 20.

Playing primarily as a power forward, Moore provided added muscle to a 2005-06 Southern Oregon Raider squad that advanced to the NAIA Division II national tournament. Earlier that season, Southern Oregon ran off 15 straight wins.

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