Prosthetic leg lost by Ariel Rigney found by Eric Gantner—under the river

Prosthetic leg lost by Ariel Rigney found by Eric Gantner—under the river

A Portland woman has been reunited with her prosthetic leg after it was lost in the Clackamas River.

On July 27, Ariel Rigney and several friends came to McIver State Park to float the river in celebration of her 32nd birthday.

“Every year, I like to do a birthday float,” Rigney said, as reported by KGW 8.

Rigney’s leg was lost below the knee after a car crash when she was a teenager. Her prosthetic leg has made it possible for her to stay active. “I can still swim, hike, bike and run,” she said.

Despite having a prosthetic leg, Rigney floated the river. However, the bungee cord that attached her prosthetic leg to the raft came undone.

“We just hit a big bump and the leg went pfrewwww!” said Jacob Morton, Rigney’s friend who attempted to save Rigney’s leg. “It became pretty obvious pretty quickly that we didn’t have the resources to get the leg.”

Rigney thought that there was no way to retrieve it.

“I just saw it bobbing and I’m like, ‘No!’ I felt more ridiculous than anything. Like, who loses a leg, twice?” she said.

A friend of hers suggested posting about her lost prosthetic on Facebook.

A day later, Eric Gantner from Tigard went snorkeling in the Clackamas River near McIver State Park. He was not aware of Rigney’s lost leg.

Gantner has found lots of thingamabobs in the Clackamas.

“You find all kinds of stuff down there,” Gantner said. “It’s crazy.”

He first saw a rainbow-colored Keens sandal, then realized it was attached to a prosthetic leg.

“When you see that, you’re like uh, what? What is that?” Gantner said. “I go, ‘So, somebody had a really bad day.’”

When Gantner returned home, he searched Facebook for leads.

“I searched, ‘Lost leg Clackamas River,’ and sure enough this came up,” Gantner said. He sent Rigney a message.

“He was like, ‘Hey, I was snorkeling the Clackamas, saw your post about the leg. I think I found it?’” Rigney said. “I was like, that’s it!”

In the evening on July 28th, the two met each other. Gantner gave Rigney her leg and Rigney purchased a beer for Gantner.

“It was nice,” Rigney said. “I’m really glad he was willing to sit and chat and hang out, as opposed to just, ‘Here’s the leg, OK, bye.”

Gantner was glad to chat.

“I was like, ‘There’s a story behind this. I gotta hear about your day!’”

The prosthetic was found, and so was a friendship.

“I just can’t get over it,” Rigney said. “I feel very charmed.”

Read the story and watch an interview with Rigney and Gantner here.

Read Rigney’s Facebook post about her experience here.












Moosic in McMinnville: Father entertains herd of cows with saxophone

Moosic in McMinnville: Father entertains herd of cows with saxophone

An Oregon dad from McMinnville was captured by video, entertaining cows with his saxophone music. The video has been spread all over social media and is making people smile worldwide.

Rick Herrmann serenaded the cows with Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” and the Champs’ “Tequila” on his saxophone. On Twitter, the performance had accumulated more than 10 million views.  

Herrmann told Fox News 12 that he was shocked and overwhelmed by the response his video has received.

“It just seemed to resonate with so many people, so many people said they had a hard day and they watched it and it put a smile on their face,” Rick Herrmann said.

To humor FOX 12 recently, Herrmann tried to duplicate that moment. But it appears that not all cows are saxophone fans. That prompted Herrmann and a FOX 12 reporter to go further down the road to find the previous audience.

The same cows from the popular viral video drew close for the encore.

According to Herrmann, he began playing the saxophone about seven months ago, just to make people happy. But he didn’t know that it would be this many people so soon.

Read this story here.

24-year-old who died in a race crash leaves behind a legacy of service

24-year-old who died in a race crash leaves behind a legacy of service

Peter Lutz was hesitant about riding his son’s motorcycle.

Not even a week had passed since 24-year-old Pearce Lutz passed away in a Seattle hospital June 16 from injuries received in a racing crash.

After the crash, his friends added neon green fairings bearing No. 105 from the newer bike Pearce was riding when he crashed. That same motorcycle was the one Pearce rode when he achieved a much sought-after championship in 2018. His friends desired it to be a memorial to the paramedic from Keizer who devoted his life to serving others.

The scrape marks on the Kawasaki were reminders of lessons Pearce learned when he began road racing over that past few years.

The Life Flight decal represented the helicopter service that carried Pearce from remote Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington to Harborview Hospital in Seattle.

Relatives and friends of Pearce Lutz arrived at Portland International Raceway for the Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing Association’s Lap of Honor.

Peter Lutz hadn’t been on a motorcycle since his son’s infancy, but just before the riders were called to the grid, he decided: Pearce would have desired him to ride.

He requested his son’s mentor, Cody Cochran, who jump-started an online fundraiser that raised over $27,000 to assist in paying for Pearce’s care, for a helmet to borrow.

Peter Lutz moved up to the front of the grid to join the dozens of other riders.

Pearce Lutz

“I think it helped other people, too, to see his bike back out there,” Peter Lutz said, as reported by The Statesman Journal.

A memorial service for Pearce was held on June 29 at Salem Armory.

From the beginning, Pearce Lutz was motivated to serve others.

He was raised in Salem, earned his EMT certification at 18 and began working for Rural Metro in Eugene. He ended up in the residency program with Polk County Fire District, and then went back to Chemeketa Community College’s paramedicine program and was hired as a paramedic for Falck Salem.

Pearce followed in the footsteps of his mother, a nurse at Salem Hospital, into the medical field, but racing was his own idea.

He bought his first motorcycle when he was 19 and racing turned into a passion of his.

He was interested in road racing when he learned about the OMRRA and offered to be a corner worker at races in Portland.

He wasn’t content.

His first race took place in the 2017 season, and he was excited, but his start was not promising.

He crashed on the first of the two-day program. Despite this, he recovered, and came back the next day placing second in the race. However, he crashed on the cool-down lap.

“He had a concussion,” his mother Pennie said. “He was fine, nothing major.”

The reason for his crash was that a wheel bearing had frozen, making the rear wheel lock up, something that required new parts to fix.

“It was enough he didn’t have the money and the time to fix it to race for the rest of the year,” Peter Lutz said.

Pearce’s family had grown accustomed to gathering at races. His then-girlfriend Brooke Wolkenhauer, a respiratory therapist at Salem Hospital, would also join them.

Lutz got back on the track in 2018, and regardless of a steep learning curve, he won his first race his fourth time out and earned his spot on the podium late in the season.

Heading into the last event, he had a tight points battle with Jeffery Toevs, competing for the 600 Novice championship. It was the last event and Pearce needed to win each race at P.I.R. to win the title.

He just barely edged out Toevs at the finish line to win the first race and was behind Toevs a few laps into the next race. But Toevs was slowed down by a crash, which provided a chance for Pearce to pass him. He placed second and won the championship.

“All last year, no wrecks,” Peter Lutz said. “He did great.”

Pearce Lutz was itching for tougher competition.

After doing well as a novice road racer, he moved up to the 600 Supersport class in the OMRRA competition.

He showed potential when he won the 600 Sportsman class in April at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington. He was ecstatic, looking forward to his race on June 8 at The Ridge Motorsports Park, which is a technical road course situated on the western fringes of the Puget Sound, 30 miles northwest of Olympia.

But then he crashed again while attempting to avoid another rider who was having difficulties. Lutz was tossed through the air and landed hard.

He was conscious when medical workers got to him, and when Peter Lutz reached his son, Pearce said to him, “The first thing that went through my mind as I was flying through the air is that Brooke is going to be pissed.”

Lutz had fractures in his femur, pelvis, clavicle and ribs, injuries characteristic of a severe accident like his.

He spoke with Wolkenhuer—whom he had recently became engaged to during a hike on Black Butte—and had a phone interaction with his mother who was still in Salem, before he was whisked away on a Life Flight helicopter headed to Seattle.

However, before the helicopter arrived at Harborview Hospital, Lutz showed signs of a seizure. The helicopter was forced to touch ground in Bremerton so medics could intubate him.

Lutz’s situation was worse than the medics suspected.

The fracture in his femur produced fat emboli syndrome. An emboli from his bone marrow had made its way through Pearce’s blood vessels and had penetrated his lungs.

The doctors discovered an originally undetected congenital heart defect, and the fat emboli withheld the flow of blood to his brain, which caused brain damage. They performed several surgeries on Lutz to set the femur fracture and decrease the pressure on his brain.

But the brain damage was too drastic. Lutz did not regain consciousness after he boarded the helicopter.

Paramedics are not supposed to share about the details of those they serve, not even with their families.

Lutz followed the rules to the dot.

“Hey, I helped somebody” or “This is the best shift ever” about a night serving at Willamette Speedway was all that Pearce would tell his family.

Those that worked with Pearce told stories of how he went the extra mile during shifts for Falck, to assist EMTs working on skills necessary to become paramedics. They spoke of calls when Pearce picked up a patient and drove them to the hospital. He would not just drop them off and leave to wait for another call. He would stay and wait with them till they were given the care they required.

“We didn’t get to hear what he did and the lives he touched,” Pennie Lutz said.

His parents had to take their son off life support, which was difficult.

Lutz’s organs were donated and given to other patients, and medical staff found exact matches for his kidneys, liver, and some heart valves.

“It’s very fitting,” Pennie Lutz said. “We knew he would want that. There was really no question he would have wanted that. That’s how he was.”

The tributes that influenced his family the most were the stories told about him. Seeing his father on his motorcycle impacted everyone present that day.

As the riders began their Lap of Honor, officials passed out racing flags to the friends and well-wishers so that they could wave them at the front stretch wall while the group of riders—many who Lutz raced alongside—passed by.

Tears were shed when the spectators noticed that Pearce’s father was leading the procession.

“At the end of the straight when we went by on the official lap, Cody (Cochran) just pulls a wheelie up and takes off on a wheelie towards the corner,” said Larry Lulay, a friend of Pearce. “And Peter, on Pearce’s bike, chases him.”

See The Statesman Journal’s story here.









Life throws a curve ball at fifth grader, but his team fights back

Life throws a curve ball at fifth grader, but his team fights back

The Central Youth Sports baseball team recently combined their efforts to provide a new bike for their teammate, fifth grader Asher Baker, after his bike was stolen.

In just two days, the baseball team members raised $230 by gathering cans around selected parts of Monmouth and Independence neighborhoods.

Asher’s bike was stolen on June 12, thirteen days after his birthday. It was taken from the Baker family’s porch.

“He was really sad,” said Asher’s mom, Conny Baker, as reported by the Polk County Itemizer-Observer. “He had been riding his bike to school in the morning and home, and so he went out to go ride his bike to school with his sister, and he’s like, where’s my bike? And we were looking around and it wasn’t anywhere.”

Conny said that her instinctive reaction was not to worry about Asher’s friends wanting to raise money for a new bike.

“But once I heard it was the brainchild of the boys, I was like, oh for sure, this is going to be amazing,” Conny said. “And I really think, not that I’m all for bikes getting stolen, but it turned into something even more beautiful than if it hadn’t happened. Because if this (fundraiser) wouldn’t have happened, the boys wouldn’t have got together; they made memories themselves. I know Asher and I, we were praying that the bike would come back or that someway there would be a silver lining that … something good would come out of this. We never found his bike. But this has happened, and it’s been really amazing. And really cool for Asher. Makes me proud for all the boys.”

Brothers Easton and Sawyer Herbert, third- and fifth-graders on the baseball team, were the fundraiser leaders, with the assistance of their mom Connie Herbert.

“When we heard about it, one of my sons, Sawyer, came home from practice, and he felt so bad,” Connie said. “And then his brother Easton said, ‘oh we should do a fundraiser for him.’ And it transpired from there.

“Some people thought we could collect money from parents to help,” Connie said, “and I was like, no, it’d be more fun for the kids to do something, so we were just like, well, cans is easy. So that’s how it transpired. We got a group of boys together, went around the neighborhood, filled the bike trailer up with cans. We did basically, five hours in one day, we collected. We returned cans the next day and that took a couple hours. The kids went around and said what happened and asked random neighbors.”

Sawyer said he felt sad when he found out his friend’s bike had been stolen.

“Because it was just a brand-new bike,” he said. “He got it for his birthday and he only had it a few days. I felt bad for him.”

Fifth-grader Jackson Barba felt the same way as Sawyer. “It’s hard when you just got a bike and then it gets taken away, because you’re so excited to do it and then you lose your opportunity.”

Cooper Larson, who’s in fourth grade, was eager to do this for Asher because he said everyone on the team is good friends with one another.

“We’ve all known each other a long time,” Cooper said.

The boys all range between third and fifth grade. They wanted their fundraising project to be a surprise for Asher.

“He’ll definitely be surprised and happy, maybe even a little emotional,” said Barba.

“He’s probably just gonna be happy. He was also getting cans too and raising money,” said fifth-grader Logan Billman.

The team purchased the bike on June 18 and gave it to Asher on June 19 after baseball practice. The boys gathered around the bike, and when Asher left the batting cages, they explained what they had done.

Asher was speechless, but he had a big smile on his face.

“I was very, very surprised,” he said. “I felt really excited, and it was so thoughtful that my teammates thought of that for me, and really, I wish I could do something back for them. That was just amazing.”

Conny was in on the secret.

“I’ve known from the beginning, but I’ve been staying out of the loop, so that I just didn’t know anything, so nothing would slip out,” she said.

The other teammates involved with the fundraiser included Josiah Vela, fifth-grade, Josh Fitts, fifth grade, Tyler Olafsen, fourth grade and Emil Leos, fifth grade.

There was $135 left after the purchase of the bike, so the team decided to use it to buy helmets. They also planned to donate to the Independence Police Department for the kids who don’t have helmets.

Read the full story here.


Pampers and Koala Kare to install 5,000 changing tables in men’s restrooms

Pampers and Koala Kare to install 5,000 changing tables in men’s restrooms

Pampers has decided to aide dads all over the U.S. who have found themselves unable to find a baby changing station in men’s restrooms.

Multiple dads have posted photos depicting their babies on the floor of men’s restrooms because there was no changing table. Several of the pictures have gone viral.

Pampers wants to create change. They have jump started the “Love the Change” campaign in collaboration with Koala Kare to provide 5,000 changing tables in public restrooms across the U.S. and Canada by 2021.

The changing tables will be placed in the restrooms where they are most needed, such as parks, recreation centers, community centers and libraries. Pampers said in a release that the tables will appear in cities such as Cincinnati, Dallas, Philadelphia and more.

Musician and singer John Legend has played a part in supporting this change. He has joined the combined efforts of many dads in sharing the unique ways they’ve had to find somewhere to change their child.

“I call this the piano solo,” Legend said as his baby was on a piano, as reported by ABC 7. Other dad’s created makeshift changing stations using the driver’s seat or the trunk.

The campaign was brought to light in part because of a Florida dad, Donte Palmer, who was at the center of the countless stories in 2018. One of his children took a photo of him squatting in a restaurant restroom in Jacksonville to change his child. The photo gathered support from folks from coast-to-coast, including celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher.

Kutcher initiated a petition a couple years ago to rally for changing tables in men’s bathrooms in retail stores.

“Fathers, we aren’t highlighted like we should be,” Palmer told WJXT at the time. “And I just want to bring that view and that light to us fathers, because we do matter and we do exist, and we are willing to do more than just provide and protect.”

Palmer and fathers in his same situation have begun a movement called Squat For Change.

Nine out of 10 dads have gone into a public restroom that had no changing table, according to Pampers.

Read the full story and watch videos on the subject here.

For more background and to see more photos related to this story, click here.

Donte Palmer

Donte Palmer changing his child.


Parkrose High School coach tackles armed student

Parkrose High School coach tackles armed student

A former wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks has been pronounced a hero after tackling a potential shooter at Parkrose High School on May 17.

Keanon Lowe, who works as a football and track coach as well as a security guard at the school, confronted and overcame a student who took a concealed rifle to class. Lowe tackled the student before he was able to point or fire the weapon.

“When I signed up to be a Security Guard, Football and Track & Field Coach for Parkrose High School, I did so to guide and coach young people whose shoes I had once been in. I had no idea, that I would one day have to put my life on the line like I did yesterday for my students,” Lowe tweeted on Saturday, as reported by The Washington Post.

“I didn’t see any other choice but to act,” Lowe said in a tweet. “I’ve spent the last 24 hours being more appreciative of my family and realizing we have a serious problem.”

“I’m blessed to be alive and extremely happy that the students are safe. I’m not sure what’s next, I haven’t had the time to really think about it,” Lowe said. “But I am sure I want to be a part of the solution to school gun violence.”

Parkrose students told school officials about the classmate who demonstrated troubling behavior in the days prior to the event. The student hinted that he wanted to hurt himself and obtain firearms, according to The Oregonian.

Lowe searched for the troubled student in his government class, but did not find him, according to other classmates. With ten minutes remaining in the class, police said 18-year-old Angel Granados Dias showed up in a long coat and revealed that he had a rifle. Students and teachers escaped the classroom through a back door.

“A Portland Police School Resource Officer and other officers arrived and immediately entered the school and found the staff member detaining the subject in the hallway,” police said in a statement.

Lowe thanked the Portland Police for their help.

Lowe is in his second year working at Parkrose High School. He formerly worked as an offensive analyst for the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. He also coached at Jesuit high in Portland, his alma mater.

Attending University of Oregon from 2010 to 2014, Lowe was a three-year starter at wide receiver. He caught 68 passes for 891 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Proclaimed the “team’s most inspirational player” as a redshirt senior, Lowe earned a reputation as a fan favorite. The fans admired him because of his unselfish blocking habits and triumphant celebrations of teammates’ accomplishments.

Parkrose football players said that Lowe had already made a big impact on the school despite his brief time there, according to The Oregonian.

After students were reunited with their parents, Lowe told police that he was tired and that he wanted to see his own loved ones. As reported by The Oregonian, two men stopped to shake Lowe’s hand while they were in the parking lot. One woman hugged him and said, “Thank you.”

“I’m just happy everyone was okay,” he told reporters. “I’m happy I was able to be there for the kids and for the community.”

Read more about this story here.

To read several Tweets directed to Lowe, click here.