About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

Stories by Gary DeVon

Hornet track and field heads to district Friday

BRIDGEPORT – The Oroville track team participated at the league meet in Bridgeport on Friday, May 9 in their last meet before districts.

Placing for the girls were Austianna Quick, second in the high jump; Rachel Peters, second in 300 hurdles, third in 100 hurdles and fifth in the triple jump; Alexis Olmsted, fifth in 100 hurdles; Brisa Maldanado, third in the pole vault; Angel Carerra, third in the discus; Kayla McKinney, fourth in the 100 and third in the javeline. The 800

relay team was third with Carerra, Olmsted, Quick and Maldanado. The 400 relay was fourth with Carerra, Olmsted, Quick and McKinney and the 1600 relay finished first with

McKinney, Olmsted, Quick and Peters.

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Hornet Soccer has successful first year in CTL

OROVILLE – The Oroville Hornets Soccer team, in its first official year in the Caribou Trail League, finished sixth out of twelve teams.

Last year, their first for Oroville High School, the boys played matches wherever they could be had and were not an official part of any league. This year they were accepted as part of the CTL and proved they could play with the A-leaguers.

“We had a great first year in the CTL. We ended up nine and seven for the year and finished sixth out of twelve teams,” said soccer coach Carl Iverson, who was assisted by Laura Kinman with the coaching duties.

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District win earns Oroville baseball state playoff spot

EAST WENATCHEE – The Oroville High School Boys Baseball team won their first District Playoff game beating Waterville 4 to 3 Saturday, May 10 at Eastmont High School in East Wenatchee.

The win gave Oroville a state tournament playoff birth. They will play this Saturday, May 17 in Walla Walla against the District 9 number one seed.

Oroville had four runs on 12 hits, while Waterville collected three runs on four

hits. Bud Swenson pitched all seven innings for the Hornets throwing nine strikeouts. Matt Sharpe and Justin Miller each went two for four with two RBI’s.

“Sharpe’s second hit came in the fifth with the score tied at two, runners on

second and third. He hit a hard line-drive into the right centerfield gap driving in two runs to put the Hornets up by two,” said Coach Tam Hutchinson.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Waterville’s Rob Fila, who had hit a homerun in the third inning to tie the game, led off with a triple down the right field line. He scored

on the next batter’s fly ball out to centerfield.

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Tiger tennis on to regionals

CASHMERE – Several Tonasket tennis players are heading on to regionals and state following the district tournament in Cashmere last weekend.

In boys singles, second seed Zachary Ferriell had a bye into the quarter-finals, where he defeated his opponent 6-1 and 6-3.

Sixth seed Lee Leavell had a first-round bye, defeated second-round opponent 6-0 and 6-1 and defeated quarter-final opponent, a three seed, 6-4 and 6-0 in an upset, said head coach Laura Temby.

Tiger will take on Tiger in the semi-finals, when Leavell and Ferriell face off this weekend.

One boy will have a chance to play for the third spot to state.

Eighth seed Bret Hendricks had a first round by and defeated his second round opponent. He lost to Tyson McGuffin in the third round but will advance to the consolation semi-finals and could win a chance as the third seed to state.

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Fast-paced action at May Fest 3 on 3 Basketball Tourney

OROVILLE – Fifty-three teams took to the courts for this year’s May Festival 3 on 3 Tournament, but only nine would walk away as champions Saturday.

“Everything went real well and the weather was actually great for playing basketball,” said John Neal, co-chairman for the event which is sponsored by the Oroville Booster Club.

“We had 53 teams which was an increase from last year when we had 47… everything went smoothly and everyone was well behaved,” Neal said.

In the Men’s Open 18 teams vied for the championship in their division. Romine Fuel, made up of Jason Romine, Casey Watts, Tony Block and Geoff Miller, were victorious and took home the championship.

The Women’s Open was won by Chelocals, Jessica Graham, Megan Gale, Olivia Larson and Amber Lynch.

The Silent Street Spankers, Felipe Gayton, Jacob Longmire, Toshiya Ijichi and Jordon Bebee, won in the Boy’s High School division.

For the Girl’s High School division it was Tonasket, made up of Jayden Hawkins, Cierra Silverthorn, Rachel Hutchins and Dana Pryor.

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We’ll keep our own hospital, thanks

I too read with dismay Michael Billings thoughts on consolidating the three county hospital districts. Maybe he’s right, but I’m not sure it would be fair to expect the people in mid-county to have to drive to Tonasket to be treated at North Valley Hospital.

It might make sense though — patients from Omak and north could travel to Tonasket which would be centralized between Oroville and Omak and those from Okanogan and south could utilize the hospital in Brewster. The hospitals in Tonasket and Brewster could then split the money that once went to Mid-Valley Hospital.

I’m being facetious of course, but it’s not much worse than Mid-Valley Hospital Administrator Billings self-serving comments came across to many of us in North Okanogan County. We might have disagreements about just how we are going to accomplish what we want with our hospital in Tonasket, but it is still our hospital and the vast majority of us support it.

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Photo by Gary DeVon<br>Walt and Vicki Hart get an up close look at one of the many species of butterflies that inhabit the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area during last year’s Watchable Wildlife Weekend. Dale and Kathy Swedberg will lead the tour in one of the e

Watchable Wildlife Weekend presents great opportunity to view nature

NORTH COUNTY – The Oroville and Tonasket Chambers of Commerce are sponsoring a Watchable Wildlife Weekend from May 23 to May 25 with a full schedule of opportunities to enjoy the flora and fauna of Okanogan County.

Friday, May 23

The weekend begins the evening of Friday, May 23 with “The Best Dam Tour in Oroville.” The Porters will be giving rides from Lake Osoyoos Veterans Memorial State Park down the Okanogan River to Zosel’s dam aboard their family party boat. They promise views of beaver dams, waterfowl and other interesting sights along the way. The boat will then return to the park. Departure times will be announced next week.

Saturday, May 24

The next day, Saturday, May 24, starting at 8 a.m. there is the Forde Lake Narrated Nature Hike. Participants are asked to join Dale and Kathy Swedberg as they team up to discuss the flora and fauna calling the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area home. This is a one-mi1e hike at a snail’s pace between Conner and Forde Lakes. The Swedbergs will lead the hike and discuss wildflowers, butterflies, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians of the area.

Dale Swedberg, manager of the wildlife area, will talk about fire ecology, ponderosa pine forest and management and the history of the area. The hike presents a great opportunity to see the bird blind and put it in use.

The hike is on uneven ground with some short, steep, uphill climbs and the scenery is second to none, according to Swedberg, who will also answer questions about the new trails in this area.

To find the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area go south out of Loomis (6.5 miles) or north out of Conconully (15 miles) on the Sinlahekin Road to Forde Lake.

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Oroville’s four wineries plan Spring Barrel Tasting

OROVILLE – Oroville’s four wineries will be having a Spring Barrel Tasting at their wineries on Saturday, May 17.

This is the fifth annual event for Okanogan Estate and Vineyards, Oroville’s oldest winery, and the first for Oroville’s newest Esther Bricques Winery and Vineyard.

For Okanogan Estate and Vineyards, their tasting begins at noon and runs to 5 p.m. and is at their winery located at 1010 Appleway. This is the only day of the year the winery is open to the public and their inviting people to “taste wines by the barrel.”

Esther Bricques Winery and Vineyard is located about 8 miles south of Oroville, nestled at the base of Mt. Hull at 38 Swanson Mill Rd. The winery is the dream of Steve and Linda Colvin, who began experimental plantings of seven different varieties of grapes in 2001. They will have their tasting from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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<p align="right"><i> Photo by Gary DeVon</i></p><p>    Oroville's mayors, past and present, were this year’s Grand Marshals. Riding the Mayor’s Float are former mayors David Reynolds, John Shaw, Jimmy Dale Walker and Steve Bayley and current mayor Chu

Weather couldn’t dampen May Fest spirits

OROVILLE – Although the weather could have been a bit warmer, all made the most of this year’s 74th Annual May Festival whether it was enjoying the parade, fishing for the big bass, shooting hoops or learning about Native American Culture at the pow wow.

The theme for this year’s May Festival was ‘Honoring our Past and Celebrating our Future. On Friday the Queen’s Coronation was held and Ashley Porter was crowned May Festival Queen and Megan McKinney and Lacy Johnson were crowned as her princesses.

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<div align="right"><i> Photo by Gary DeVon</i></div><p></p><p>    Port Director Ron Arrigoni (left) presents Mel Lindauer with several gifts in honor of his 33 years of service at the U.S. Port of Entry. Lindauer retired from th

Mel Lindauer stands down from standing guard at border

OROVILLE – He’s seen many changes in his 33 years working at the U.S. Port of Entry at Oroville, but Mel Lindauer says he’s looking forward to retirement — his second.

Lindauer also taught mathematics at Oroville High School for 30 years, retiring in 1989. It was while he was teaching that former Port Director Bud Brownlee asked if he’d like to work part time at the border.

“That was in 1975 and teachers were often hired because summer traffic was heavier. It was a good job. Since then they’ve virtually phased out part time employees,” Lindauer said.

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