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 has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

Stories by Gary DeVon

<html>  <head>  </head>  <body>    <div align="right"><i>Photo by Gary DeVon</i>    </div>    <p>    </p>    <p>Rae Jean Hirst, a well-known cook in Oroville, is hanging up her apron.    </p>  </body></html>

Rae Jean Hirst puts in her last shift

OROVILLE – Rae Jean Hirst, who has been cooking Oroville’s meals in various restaurants in Oroville for the better part of four decades, is hanging up her apron and retiring.

Friends, co-workers and the owners of Yo Yo’s Restaurant, Roger and Hazel McClendon, wished her all the best with a small party in the restaurant’s lounge following her final shift last Friday.

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<p align="right"><i> Photo by Gary DeVon </i></p><p><font size="3">Brad Calico, with Oroville Public Works, takes a pneumatic jackhammer to the remains of the low cement wall that was removed from the front of what will soon be Oroville’s Centennial Par

Oroville Council discusses demolition of building for city hall expansion

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council decided demolition of a building to make way for expansion of the city hall will not include trying to salvage the building’s cement blocks.

After agreeing that it was time to advertise for bids to demolish the building, the council discussed whether to offer the structure, located north of city hall, for bids for salvage of its building materials.

City Attorney Mick Howe warned that it might be better to not offer the building for salvage. “You’ve got to be careful, what happens if you find asbestos for instance?” asked Howe.

The cement block building, which has housed various businesses over the years, including a dry cleaners and a bookstore, was most recently used as storage for the city’s Public Works department.

Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works, recommended not offering the building for salvage as it would save time and money if the demolition crew did not have to take care in not damaging things like the old cement blocks.

“My suggestion is we just tear it down,” said Noel.

The council agreed and the city will advertise for bids to do the demolition.

The city has been asked to apply for a Conditional Use Permit so work can move forward on Oroville’s Centennial Park. The Streetscape Committee has agreed to pay the $250 fee for the permit. In addition it was noted that the city still needs to sign its lease with Stan and Tamara Porter for use of the lot on Main Street between Porter’s Sun Lakes Realty and the Old Peerless Restaurant for the park. The Porters have offered the lot at very low terms and attorney Howe agreed to review the lease so Mayor Chuck Spieth can sign it.

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<p align="right"> Submitted photo</p><p><font size="3">Oroville Reman and Reload will be among the Oroville businesses that will benefit from the Heavy Haul Corridor designation between the U.S. Port of Entry and the Cascade and Columbia River Railroad ra

Gregoire signs Hwy. 97 Heavy Freight Corridor Bill

OROVILLE – Some 100 new jobs may soon be created along a newly designated Heavy Haul Corridor along a five mile stretch of Highway 97 from the Canadian border to the Reman and Reload facility just south of Oroville, thanks to a bill that was recently signed into law by Gov. Christine Gregoire.

Substitute Senate Bill 6857, “State Route Number 97,” provides a “heavy haul designation” for the highway, which will allow trucks bringing wood products across the border to be fully loaded, according to North Central Washington Resource Conservation and Development Vice President, Chris Branch.

“Without the designation, only partially loaded trucks were allowed to cross the border,” Branch said. “Now, fully loaded trucks can be reloaded onto rail freight cars at the Reman and Reload station and continue by rail to a variety of businesses in Eastern and Western Washington,” he said.

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<p align="right"> Photo by Gary DeVon</p><p><font size="3">Jerry King, a self-described member of the Turtle Clan, shows off the turtle his wife bought for him during the auction at the Habitat for Humanities benefit. The event, held at the River’s Edge

Habitat for Humanity ‘tasting’ raises more than $4000

OKANOGAN – North Okanogan Habitat for Humanity and their plans to build their next house in Okanogan benefited to the tune of more than $4000 from the wine, beer and coffee tasting event held there last Saturday evening.

“It was nice, it worked out very well,” said Ivetta Howell, one of the board members for the local Habitat for Humanity group.

In addition to the tastings, the event included both a silent and live auction. Ken Neal, veteran auctioneer of many a local benefit quickly got those in attendance to open their wallets wide.

“The generous contributions of all the merchants and individuals were fabulous,” she said.

Howell, who credits NOHH Secretary Lynn Champman with organizing the benefit, said there weren’t as many pre-sold tickets as she thought there would be. However, pre-event publicity packed the River’s Edge Center with people willing to put their $20 down for tickets at the door. The donation returned three drink tickets that could be used for tastings of wine, beer or coffee.

Oroville was well represented at the benefit with three wineries – Copper Mountain, Lake Crest and Okanogan Estate and Vineyards. Oroville’s well-known Alpine Brewing Company was also offering tastes of one of their fine pilsners. The Methow offered up the Lost River Winery from Mazama, Methow Valley Brewing Company in Twisp and coffee from Methow Valley Roasters in Carlton.

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<p align="right"> Photo by Gary DeVon</p><p><font size="3">Haley Montowski’s spelling abilities earned her a trip to Wenatchee to compete for a chance to participate in this year’s National Spelling Bee. Although the 11 year-old fifth-grader at Orovil

Oroville’s top speller competes for chance at National Bee

OROVILLE – For many her last name might be hard to spell, but for Haley Montowski her spelling abilities were good enough to get her a chance to compete at Wenatchee for a shot at going to Washington D.C. for the National Spelling Bee.

The 11 year-old fifth-grader from Dave Taylor’s class earned her place as Oroville Elementary School’s top speller by first winning a class competition. From there three spellers from her class went on to a school-wide spelling bee held in the gym where she got to complete with other kids from her grade.

“I was in the spelling bee last year so I wasn’t that nervous, but I wasn’t completely calm either,” said Montowski with a smile.

She says there ended up being four fifth-graders competing for the top honors and this in turn was narrowed down to two. She can’t recall just what word it was she spelled to win the school competition.

“I don’t remember…it wasn’t really easy, but it wasn’t that hard. I felt some of the kids got harder words than me,” she said.

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<p align="right"><i> Photo by Gary DeVon</i></p><p>Chiropractor Dr. Jeff Landon has sold his business, Oroville Chiropractic, to Dr. Cynthia Ground D.C., who will open her doors to patients beginning today.</p>

Oroville Chiropractic changing hands

OROVILLE – While Dr. Cynthia Ground, D.C. begins her practice at Oroville Chiropractic, the former owner, Dr. Jeffrey Landon, embarks on a much different path, going into the business of wheat farming in Waterville.

Landon, who has been a chiropractor in Oroville since July 1995, has sold his clinic to Ground and will move to Waterville to begin growing wheat on his own farm. His wife Kim and daughters Alex and Zoey will follow when school lets out.”

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Public hearing on Hoffman/Gould Annexation continued to March 18

OROVILLE – Although it’s not required, Oroville is taking the suggestion of their city planner and following procedures that go beyond the minimal requirement of just placing a notice of the hearing in the local newspaper when an annexation is presented to the council.

The Tuesday, March 4 council meeting was advertised as a Public Hearing on the proposed Hoffman/Gould Annexation. Mayor Chuck Spieth opened the hearing to take public testimony but no one came forward for or against the annexation.

Planner Chris Branch told the council that the proponents of the annexation which is comprised of two waterfront lots about two acres in size north of the recent Rezka Annexation, wanted to be part of the earlier annexation but were too late to sign on to the petition. If annexed the property would be zoned R-3, the same as the adjoining property and would square up the city’s boundaries in that area, according to Branch.

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Heavy Haul Corridor bill passes second hurdle, heads to governor to sign

OLYMPIA – The state legislature has passed a bill sponsored by Seventh District Senator Bob Morton (R-Kettle Falls) which he feels will benefit his district’s local economy and reduce the number of trucks on Highway 97.

The measure, Substitute Senate Bill 6857, directs the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to designate a seven-mile stretch of State Highway 97 from the Canadian border to Oroville as a heavy haul industrial corridor., SSB 6857 was unanimously approved by both the House and Senate.

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<p align="right"> Photo by Terry Mills</p><p><b>The 2007-2008 Oroville Hornet Boys Basketball team is:</b> (front row, L-R) Jesse Barker, Preston Iverson, Brandon Funston, Sawyer Werner, Zach Neal, Blaine Wagner, Tyler Clark, Charlie Demartino, (middle ro

Oroville Hornets have ‘good run,’ finish season 17 and 6

WENATCHEE – Oroville led the league in boys basketball this year, unfortunately they had to share the spotlight with Liberty Bell and Kittitas who proved to be too much for the Hornets in the post season – knocking them out of their bid for the NC2B’s sole place in the state tournament this year.

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<p align="right"><i> Photo by Rick Braman</i></p><p>Poetry reading by Sundance.</p>

Cheatgrass, Daisy Belle Nau and Sundance at Java Live

OROVILLE – The second of this year’s Java Live Coffee House Series of music, poetry and art was held last Saturday at the Oroville Public Library and featured the talents of Cheatgrass as well as Daisy Belle Nau, a classically trained vocalist.

Nau sang jazz and Broadway tunes accompanied on piano by her mother Roz. Cheatgrass is composed of Judy Elven, Ron Hyde and Steve Pollard. They presented traditional and original songs with a distinctive blend of folk, bluegrass and country. Poet Sundance also appeared at the event which was hosted by Sandy Vaughn and sponsored by Oroville Pharmacy, Oroville Family Medicine and ReMax Realty.

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