About Amy Veneziano

Stories by Amy Veneziano

Dr. Karla Christian

Tonasket native sends Iraqi girl home with healthy heart

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Most of the time, headline stories on the nightly world news have little relevance to the calm of the Okanogan River Valley.

But one major story last week had local residents sitting up when a familiar name turned an open-heart surgery into international news.

Born and raised in Tonasket, Dr. Karla Christian (nee Godwin), was in the spotlight for an open-heart surgery performed pro bono on a two-year-old girl from Iraq.

American soldiers discovered the sick little girl, Amenah Al-Bayati, in the city of Haditha. According to Vanderbilt Medical Center’s journal, the Reporter, Amenah’s family told soldiers they feared she would not live much longer. The soldiers and friends raised money online and arranged to fly her to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville for surgery. The operation went from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Nashville on Feb. 11

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<div align="right"><i> Photo by Amy Veneziano</i></div><p></p><p>Curtiss Howard read some of his pieces and performed emcee duties at the reading. He read biographies, written by each writer, before they took to the mike. Many of the bios were, he said, t

Tonasket writers share work with crowd

TONASKET – Nine brave writers stepped up to breathe life into words on paper before a crowd of about 30 people at the Community Cultural Center in Tonasket Feb. 15.

In addition to reading some of his own work, group member Curtiss Howard had emcee duties that evening.

The CCC also had a dinner attendees could purchase to support the building fund.

The readers, including Howard, his wife Suzanne Daily Howard, Karen McGuire, Margaret Lange, Dawna Nagye and Tom Keller, read poems, monologues and short stories, themes crossing oceans and jungles, summer and winter. Many of the pieces came back to life in the Okanogan Valley, from mountains to the elusive snow snake.

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Mountain Homes named top Redman and Moduline retailer in Washington

COLVILLE – Champion Home Builders of Weiser, Idaho, builders of Redman and Moduline homes, announced that Mountain Homes, with sales centers in Colville and Okanogan was “by far, our number one Washington retailer” for the second consecutive year.

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Bear Cub Josh Crazy receives badges from Kelvin Davis during the awards ceremony Jan. 6.

Tonasket Cub Scouts celebrate 80 years of scouting with Blue and Gold Banqu

TONASKET – Webelos, Bears and Wolf Cubs – oh my! Add in a few Tiger Cubs and the ingredients are right for the 2008 Tonasket Cub Scout’s Blue and Gold Banquet Feb. 6.

Family, friends and leaders turned out to watch 17 Cub Scouts put on performances, receive awards and celebrate the experience’s they’ve had in scouting.

The Blue and Gold Banquet celebrates the anniversary of Cub Scouting, begun in the United States in 1930.

Several of the boys received their first-ever badge, the Bobcat Badge.

Cub Scouts honored that night were: Tiger Cubs Mitchell Fitzthum, Christopher Goddard and Evan Grant; Wolf Cubs Austin Engbaum, Austin Glenn, Michael Gonzalez, Isaac Mills, Riley Morris, Mason Rawley, Joseph Schell, Samuel Strandberg and Dominique Wilcox; Bear Cubs Josh Cravy, Hunter Swanson and Benjamin Mills; and Webelos Blake Ash, Christian Carpenter and David Moreno.

Kelvin Davis and Jean Cravy shared emcee duties for most of the evening. The Wolf Cubs presented the flag. Emmit and Wayne Verbeck attended on behalf of the Tonasket Kiwanis Club.

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Tonasket dentist and Kiwanian Rob Nau sells sausage at the dinner. The Kiwanis club sold bulk meat in addition to plates of cooked food. Photo by Amy Veneziano

Ground Hog Day Dinner almost a sell out in Tonasket

TONASKET – Even though Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow in Pennsylvania and snow came down outside, the mood within the high school commons was cheery as the diners ate sausage, potatoes, veggies and a selection of desserts.

It took 15 hogs and almost 400 people, but the Tonasket Kiwanis Club hopes to have raised several thousand dollars for students in the Tonasket school district during their Ground Hog Day Dinner Feb. 2.

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Native Spanish speakers receive educational opportunities

TONASKET – The CONEVyT program, for native Spanish-speakers struggling to learn English, began again Jan. 7 at a portable on Tonasket School District grounds.

CONEVyT (pronounced Cone-aye-Veet) is a Spanish acronym for Mexico’s Consejo Nacional de Educaci&amp;#243;n para la Vida y el Trabajo (the National Council for Education for Life and Work). It is a national program designed by the Mexican government to help educate people in Spanish first, before moving them into an English program, said program director Martha Bosch.

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Photos by Terry MillsTonasket’s Josh Brazil won in a 10-3 decision against Carlos Herrera Dec. 20 at Tonasket High School.

Tonasket takes the victory in wrestling against Oroville

A regional match-up between Oroville and Tonasket proved victorious for the Tigers, including pins from Peter Williams, Keegan McCormich and Rafael Padilla.

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Photos by Terry MillsTonasket’s Grant Leavell takes a shot during the game.

Hornets best Tigers in annual hardwood battle

Oroville won the annual battle with Tonasket Dec. 13, besting their southern rivals 69-62.

Both teams played well in what Tonasket head coach Glenn Braman, a WSU graduate, called “The Apple Cup of the north.”

“Zac Guenther was the difference,” said Oroville head coach Carl Iverson. “He took the game over in the last 11 minutes. He scored 12 points in that time, but as importantly, he had five big assists in that time. That, along with Luke Rowton hitting three threes in the second half, ended up being the difference.”

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Tonasket council holds last meeting

TONASKET – The final city council meeting of 2007 ended with a sendoff for Councilman Patrick Plumb and a celebration of Tonasket’s official incorporation into Okanogan County in December 1927.

Harry Hayter, a member of the Coulee Corridor council and publisher of the Coulee Corridor Publication, addressed the Council.

At their last meeting, the council decided to pull the $500 they gave to the publication.

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The Tonasket Community Cultural Center’s front, as seen from Western Avenue. The center recently received a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant.

Community Cultural Center receives Gates Foundation grant

The building on Western Avenue in Tonasket has been many things since the 1930s.

It was once a mechanic shop. Then a Studebaker dealership. A temporary music and band room for Tonasket High School. It was the Valley Tire Store in the 1980s.

But soon, the building on Western will be renovated to suit exactly what it’s been since 1992: The Community Cultural Center.

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