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Lebanon mayor Paul Aziz was sworn in as Lebanon's mayor for his third term earlier this month, and true to his word, his cancer diagnosis last year isn't stopping from getting back to work. 

It did slow him down a little as he missed a couple months of city council meetings late in his second term, which not seeing Aziz at a council meeting is a strange sight showing how good his attendance record has been for his first two terms. Aziz perseverance should serve as an inspiration to use all.

Sodaville project  

For the past two summers the city of Sodaville has had to buy water from the city of Lebanon to fill their wells, and place residents on water restrictions. As we've heard from Lebanon residents for years buying water from Lebanon isn't cheap. 

However, donated water from other cities (could have actually cost that city more to truck in than purchasing it from the closest city with a water system). After spending money to rehabilitate the system it didn't solve the problem. Now the city is working on adding another well to its system. 

Hopefully, this will fix the problem, and instead of reporting this summer on how Sodaville residents are on water restriction, we'll be reporting on how people are using the multi-use sports court there. 

Linn county unemployment rate

In good news for the region, Linn County is bouncing back from the recession and the unemployment rate is down to five percent. We're hoping that the regional Pipeline program, which connects students studying industrial jobs at community colleges, will help to keep the unemployment number low. 

Graduation rate

Lebanon's graduation rate continues to improve, while the percentage at about 70 percent graduating isn't outstanding. It is an improvement and the number is climbing in the right direction. 

There is one notable fact the was noted by the Oregon Department of Education, which is LHS hispanic student population grew from 13 percent of the total to 29 percent between 2008-09 and 2015-16. Along with the growth of that population, the graduation rate increased significantly for that group from 16 percent to 75 percent.

It looks to us that LHS is starting to turn the corner on its grads rate, and while the numbers still need to improve some, keep up the good work!

Sports 

We're in the middle of the winter sports season, and while you may think that Lebanon has not teams dominating in the Mid-Willamette conference, you'd be wrong. As the Lebanon boys swim team is undefeated in dual swim meets for the second year in a row, and  the team likely to repeat a district championship.

The success of that team is led by junior Casey McEuen , who won in the 100 freestyle at the state championship, McEuen shouldn't have any trouble winning several events and districts again, and he should have a few more shots at state title races. Go Warriors!

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