William Henry Balmes, age 69, born June 4, 1938 in Oroville died March 24, 2008 in Spangle, WA.
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Randy K. Wheat, age 49, of Oroville passed away on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at Central Washington Hospital, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Paul “Tubes” Christensen died at his home in Oroville on Monday, May 19, 2008. He was born on December 18, 1953, in Tonasket to Oscar and Evelyn Christensen.
Dale Sparber, Mayor of the City of Omak, died at Mid-Valley Hospital on May 22, 2008.
SEATTLE – Ernesto Cerrillo and his wife, Dinasar and daughter, Zyanya of Tonasket were among the nearly 57,000 soccer enthusiasts watching the Mexican National Football Team beat the Chinese Nationalist Team at Qwest Field in Seattle on April 16.
OROVILLE – Veranda Beach Resort began planting the first vines for their vineyard last Monday afternoon and plans on one day having grapes and cottages side by side.
“We expect that by the time we are all done we will have 150 to 200 acres in the long run. This is just the first of our vineyard,” said resort developer Jim Hammond.
TONASKET – Fire.
It’s the dirtiest of the four-letter words for many home owners, farmers, ranchers, recreation seekers and others across the dry, arid west.
It’s the summertime worst case scenario, an out-of-control blaze that eats up miles of forest, towns and homes.
But firefighters and others entrusted with protecting both the backcountry and private lands know that the best way to fight it is with another form of fire, a cleaner version, controlled by those around it.
“We’re emulating what Mother Nature would do,” said Tonasket District Ranger Mark Morris. “If Mother Nature’s happy, we’re happy.”
Last week, the Tonasket Ranger District of the Okanogan National Forest completed work on a 1,000 acre swath of the Upper Aeneas, lighting a fire by hand and chemical-infused ping-pong balls dropped from a helicopter.
But the flames are the result of a long effort in preparing the area for burning.
The Forest Service first arranged a commercial logging effort in the area to be burned, Morris said.
Commercial loggers remove small-diameter trees and logs, a boost for the economy. Once they’re done, the forest service continues to remove “ladder fuels” or the piles of discarded branches, weeds and brush deemed unusable by loggers. At this point, the forest is much less dense.
The Okanogan County chapter of the Washington State Music Teachers Association (WSMTA) has awarded its yearly Elma Curry Memorial Scholarship to Omak graduate, Melissa Fry. It will be presented at the chapter’s Variety Recital, 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 18 at the Ellisforde Church of the Brethren, at which Melissa will perform.
This fund is named in memory of Elma Curry, longtime member and encouraging supporter of Okanogan County musical endeavors. To qualify, Fry must have studied with a chapter teacher(s) for a minimum of three years, entered adjudications, performed at chapter events and displayed a consistent attendance and practice record.
TONASKET – Some are leaping, diving, guarding eggs. Others are artistic representations, Pacific Northwest Indian art interlaid on their sleek bodies.
One piece showed a bear and a waterfall, mountains in the distance and the salmon leaping up stream to spawn.
That piece is a watercolor by Katelyn Antuna, a seventh-grader in the Tonasket Outreach Program.
Antuna and more than 300 other students across the country submitted artistic pieces depicting wild salmon to Save Our Wild Salmon, a national coalition of organizations ranging from commercial and sport fishing associations to clean energy advocates dedicated to restoring wild salmon on the Columbia and Snake River runs.
SOWS held an art contest for students across the country. The top 20 art pieces will be displayed at the Capital and the four age group winners will go to D.C. to a SOWS reception.
Antuna is one of those winners.
“I was very surprised when I won,” she said. “I can’t wait for D.C.!”
SOWS pays for the winner and a parents to head to the “other” Washington in June. Katelyn’s mother, Wanda, will likely accompany her.
Why was no one hugging that very old, very big tree that has been a landmark on Highway 20 since anyone around here can remember?