About Brent Baker

Brent is a reporter for the Gazette-Tribune. Prior to working at the G-T, he was the sports editor for Sunrise Publishing from 2000-2005 in Michigan. He subsequently owned and operated Buckland Media, a high school sports website, in Michigan until 2010. He and his wife Kim, who have an adult son, moved to Tonasket in 2010. Brent started work at the G-T in 2011.

Stories by Brent Baker

Brent Baker / staff photoViews of the Similkameen River abound on the trail, particularly on the more rugged upper half.

Strolling the Similkameen trail

OROVILLE – Sometimes it’s those things in your own back yard that are least appreciated.

It’s pretty early in the game to render a final verdict on whether or not the Similkameen Trail is properly appreciated, but its easy access, dual starting points and status as part of the Pacific Northwest Trail make it one of the area’s most family-friendly trails.

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Tonasket city council member Scott Olson (right) envisions a future with a small park, possibly some basketball hoops, murals on the warehouse walls and an improved trail for safe access from town to Chief Tonasket Park, which is beyond the trees at left.

Olson envisions improvements to Bonaparte Creek area in town

TONASKET – It’s not a plan, or a proposal, or anything solid at this point.

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Parking ordinance rears its ugly head again

TONASKET – It’s the issue that just won’t go away for the Tonasket City Council.

After a period of peace after several months of wrangling over the city’s parking ordinance, the issue was again front and center during the public comment portion of the Tuesday, July 24, city council meeting.

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Council asked for public transport input

TONASKET – Officials from throughout the county were scheduled to gather Tuesday, July 31, in Omak to determine whether or not to put a sales tax increase on the Nov. 6 ballot to fund a more robust public transportation system throughout Okanogan County.

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Ed and Claire Jeffko

No sign of Tonasket pilot since July 23

TONASKET – Search agencies suspended their search for Tonasket’s Ed Jeffko on Sunday, July 29, after six days of looking for the pilot and his small plane that hasn’t been seen or heard from since July 23.

“They did suspend the (official) search on Sunday,” said Tonasket Mayor Patrick Plumb, who is a close friend of the family. “But just because he hasn’t been found yet doesn’t mean a miracle couldn’t happen.

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Tonasket schools finalize budget

TONASKET – The Tonasket School Board finalized its budget for the 2012-13 school year and approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the teachers’ union that had been negotiated by superintendent Paul Turner at their Tuesday, July 23 board meeting.

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Ed and Claire Jeffko (courtesy photo)

Ed Jeffko, plane missing in Cascades

TONASKET – Crews have been searching since Monday evening, July 23, for Tonasket’s Ed Jeffko, who took off from the Tonasket Airport on Monday morning and never arrived at his destination in Sequim.

Planes spent six hours doing an aerial search on Monday evening and were in the air most of Tuesday examining areas of the North Cascades where weather conditions could have made flying difficult, according to a WSDOT press release.

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Greg Howard, owner/engineer of Okanogan County Motorized Bicycles, shows the mayor and council  one of his  motorized bikes which he said would be good for a police bike patrol. The bikes cost about $800 with the motor added and can go up to 30 mph.

Tonasket approves bid for upgraded pedestrian crossing

TONASKET – The City of Tonasket’s move to re-bid the pending pedestrian crossing project appears to have paid dividends, based on the response it got through a process it was able to utilize known as a public interest finding.

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Tonasket EMS practices its response procedures on a pair of "victims" during Saturday's school shooting drill. Photo by Brent Baker

Area first responders prepare for worst

TONASKET – Smoke and the sounds of gunfire filled the air, as did the moans and screams of fallen students and the shouts of law enforcement wading into an unknown, tense situation.

Thankfully, the students (and some adults) were acting, the gory wounds had been carefully applied by a makeup artist, the ammunition was the equivalent of mini-paintballs and the situation was a scenario designed by Tonasket police officer Jim Rice to train first responders who could be called to a shooting in a crowded school building.

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T.J. Tjoelker's "Runnin' in the Red" throws off plenty of heat at Saturday's Truck and Tractor Pulls.

Truck and Tractor Pull roars through Tonasket

TONASKET – Noise, smoke and dirt filled the air at the Tonasket Rodeo Grounds on Saturday, July 14, as the Tonasket Comancheros hosted their Third Annual Truck and Tractor Pulls.

Actually, it was a two-day event, with local amateurs making a go at it on Friday. Saturday had its fill of local talent as well, but most of the anticipation was for the professionals of the Moonlighter Pulling Team of Spokane and their modified diesel trucks, smoker tractors and multi-engine tractors.

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