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

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.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }
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.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }
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.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Hospital CEO breaks down NVH performance

TONASKET – Is the glass half full, or half empty?

North Valley Hospital District CEO Linda Michel seems to see that right now, it’s both. While the hospital has improved its overall financial standing in the two years since she arrived, the need to get the warrant level (low-interest loans from the county for operating expenses) reduced led her to delve more deeply into each department’s financial performance than had been done previously. Though NVH was on track last winter to have its warrants paid off by its target date of 2014, a recent rise in the warrant level made the need for that analysis more pressing.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Tonasket Police plan school shooting drill

TONASKET – It’s a scenario no one wants to think about: a gunman loose in the local school, shooting staff and students.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

‘Report Night’ at Tonasket School Board meeting

TONASKET – The Tonasket School Board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 27, featured a number of reports, as well as announcements of several personnel hirings and a pair resignations by longtime district employees.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Council discusses noise ordinance revamp

TONASKET – The Tonasket City Council will be reviewing its noise ordinance after a number of reports that the current law is ineffective.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }
There's nothing resembling "fun" going on at the Tonasket City Pool this summer after it was shut down last fall and condemned this spring. The Tonasket City Council is trying to build a community-based coalition to spearhead the construction and long-ter

City seeks area-based council for new Tonasket swimming pool

TONASKET – The Tonasket City Council was in agreement at its Tuesday, June 26, meeting that the city swimming pool needs to be replaced — not just repaired.

How to go about doing that was the subject of a lengthy discussion at which the council made clear it felt that would best be accomplished by a broad-based coalition of the community, including neighboring towns outside the Tonasket city limits.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }
New Tonasket EMS director Michael Greene Photo by Brent Baker

New EMS director brings years of experience to job

TONASKET – Michael Greene and his wife retired to Tonasket last November hoping to focus their efforts on doing volunteer work in the community.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }
Tonasket's Trevor Terris was selected as one of six high school juniors to join the WIAA's LEAP committee for the next two years.

Tonasket’s Trevor Terris gets LEAP bid

TONASKET – Trevor Terris’s long-range goals involve being involved with sports.

So when he found out he was selected as one of six incoming juniors across the state to be on the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s LEAP (Leadership through Education, Activities, and Personal Development) committee), Terris saw it as a part of his big picture.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }