Here is the AP Oregon Enterprise Digest for this week. Please also refer to national digests for other enterprise. With questions, contact News Editor Terrence Petty at (503) 228-2169. For photo repeats, go to the AP Photos rerun Web site at www.apimages.com or contact the photos rerun support desk in New York at (212) 621-1904.
AP Member Exchanges
MEDFCORD, Ore. — As a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer 40 years ago, Jim Maddux was a bit apprehensive when he first met the prisoner of war he was charged with debriefing. "But when I walked into his hospital room, he said, 'Hi, I'm Ron Bliss. I understand we've got some work to do,'" recalls Maddux, now 65, of Medford. "I told him, 'Ron, we've got a lot of work to do.' "He had memorized about 500 names and information about POWs in Vietnam — names, service, where last seen alive and the date," he adds. "This was critical intelligence we needed." Maddux, now a senior financial adviser, was part of Operation Homecoming. Its mission: Return 591 prisoners of war from North Vietnam after the Paris Peace Accords were signed on Jan. 27, 1973. By Paul Fattig, (Medford) Mail Tribune. AP Member Photo.
EUGENE, Ore. — It would be great to explain the research paper that led to 18-year-old Hannah Larson's selection as a finalist for a prestigious national science award, but there's a problem. It takes a working knowledge of theoretical mathematics to understand the meaning of "Classification of Some Fusion Categories of Rank FOUR," the title of the project that put Larson in the running for a $100,000 scholarship. One of 40 finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search offered by the Society for Science and the Public, the South Eugene High School senior was selected from among 1,700 entrants who were then winnowed to 300 semifinalists. The 40 finalists will compete in Washington, D.C., in March for $630,000 in awards. By Susan Palmer, (The) Eugene Register-Guard. AP Member Photo.
WINTHROP, Wash. — Anything this obscenely fat is bound to draw stares, especially in the Methow Valley, where it sometimes seems as though everything from the people (ultra active) to the skis (Nordic) are skinny. I could feel the stares as soon as we unloaded our bikes at the Big Valley trailhead about seven miles west of town. We were heading out on the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association trails on fat bikes, the latest fad in cycling and snow sports. Fat bikes are essentially mountain bikes with low-pressure, motorcycle-size tires that allow riders to pedal over compacted snow. By Craig Hill, The (Tacoma) News Tribune. AP Member Photos. Moved Wednesday for the weekend.
FAIRFIELD, Idaho — Soldier Mountain's lodge, lifts and slopes may look the same, and you may see a familiar face selling you a lift ticket or serving you lunch, but things have changed. Former owner Bruce Willis donated the ski area last year to a Fairfield-based nonprofit operated by several families with longtime ties to the mountain. Under new management, the ski area shifted from an out-of-state company to a band of locals, many of whom are working unpaid to keep things moving ahead. By Roger Phillips, Idaho Statesman. AP Member Photo. Moved on Wednesday for the weekend.
OUTDOORS-BIG FOUR MOUNTAIN
MOUNTAIN LOOP HIGHWAY, Wash. — Early morning, on the first of a new series of ranger-guided snowshoe walks here, Mother Nature blessed us with sun rays illuminating Big Four Mountain and a fresh track of snow, perfect to slush-slush our way along the south fork of the Stillaguamish River. I had to eat crow. The day before our hike, our guide, ranger Matthew Riggen, said, "Bring your shades." I was skeptical. It was wincing cold when we pulled up, down-jacket weather for sure. But his words proved prescient. On the trail, rows of hemlocks and alders shielded us from the wind. And with the sun beating down on our foreheads, we started peeling off layer after layer. We snowshoed on the Mountain Loop Highway — the same two-lane road 50,000 visitors drive over during the summer tourist season to get to the historic mining town of Monte Cristo, Lake 22 or the Big Four Ice Caves. Come winter, when this loop gets buried under 10 feet of snow and is closed off to car traffic, it becomes a play land. Cross-country and backcountry skiers come. Kids tow their sleds. Snowshoers treat it like Green Lake. What a gem, one hiker in our group said: only about an hour drive from Seattle and no parking or recreation fees. By Van Tinh, The Seattle Times. AP Member Photos. Moving for publication Monday, Feb. 25.