Eric Latimer

Eric Latimer was featured in the Feb. 3, 1993 edition of the Lebanon Express.

From 50 years ago, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 1968

Navy Corpsman Shares War Time Hospital Experiences at DaNang

“It was about 2 a.m. when we heard the unexpected whistling sound of rockets passing overhead,” said Lonnie Collum, who recently completed a four year tour of duty as a Navy corpsman – the last year spent at the big Da Nang Navy Hospital in Vietnam.

Collum was describing what he experienced of the North Vietnamese attack on the Marine airfield and Navy installation which did so much damage last spring. He recollected that the American facilities there were hit on three different occasions.

(Editor’s note: Collum, back in Oregon at the time of this article, hoped to enter the Oregon College of Education in Monmouth to begin a pre-med course.)

From 25 years ago, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 1993

Young pilot enjoys taking flight

Eric Latimer, Lebanon Union High School senior, football player and basketball player, is also the youngest licensed pilot in Lebanon.

Latimer’s first hour of flying lessons were given him by his parents for his 15th birthday. He wanted to be an Air Force pilot; they wanted him to try flying first. Less than perfect eyesight has changed Latimer’s career plans, but not his desire to fly.

“A plane is inherently stable,” he says. “It flies by itself if there’s no air turbulence. Actually, the easy part is flying the airplane. The hard part is getting it on the ground.”

From 10 years ago, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008

Medical school could open in 2011

A medical campus on Lebanon should start taking place within a year, with a conference center as the first structure.

The target date for a Western University of Health Sciences medical college is 2011. That allows time to raise funds, build and recruit faculty, staff and students, said Larry Mullins, Samaritan president and CEO.

Snow, ice caused crashes in valley

Snow began falling in Lebanon about 6 a.m. Sunday and continued until mid-day at a rate of almost one inch per hour. In Sodaville, Waterloo and Lacomb, the white stuff piled up to eight inches and more.

While youngsters built snowmen and enjoyed a day off of school on Monday, law enforcement officers and maintenance crews were busy.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office responded to 47 crashes between Friday and Monday morning. An additional five to eight car crashes were reported between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

Kyle Odegard can be reached at, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.


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