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

NVH makes cuts to control warrants

TONASKET – North Valley Hospital District’s warrant level has stubbornly remained at over $2.5 million for several months, putting the hospital in danger of not getting its debt to Okanogan County paid off by its target date of Dec. 2013.

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Brent Baker / staff photoTonasket's Collin Aitcheson, shown here at last year's WIAA state wrestling tournament, competed in July at the USAW Junior Greco Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota.

Tonasket’s Aitcheson competes at Greco nationals

TONASKET – Collin Aitcheson probably didn’t know what he was getting into when he and some of his Tonasket High School wrestling teammates started dabbling in Greco-Roman wrestling last spring.

For Aitcheson, it meant a summer filled with the kind of training in a new variety of the sport and a trip to Fargo, North Dakota, in July to compete in the USAW Junior Greco-Roman Nationals tournament.

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Brent Baker / staff photoForty years after a disastrous Olympics experience, Doris Heritage is still providing wisdom and encouragement to athletes -- and, occasionally, their parents.

Half-Baked: An encounter with my favorite Olympian

I’m one of those people who can’t quite get enough of the Olympics. I won’t confess to being a rhythmic gymnastics addict, but I love watching some of the lesser-known sports and seeing the same levels of skill and passion we often see elsewhere. Watching a bunch of NBA stars jumping around like high school kids after winning gold was pretty cool.

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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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