TONASKET – After a nationwide search and a lengthy interview process, the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune has chosen Brent Baker, someone already living right in the community, to cover the Tonasket beat.
Baker, who was born in California, grew up in Washington State and his wife Kim grew up in Michigan. He, his wife and son A.J. lived in Michigan for a number of years where he was an award-winning sports editor, writer and photographer. He said after his wife, a schoolteacher, was laid off for the third time from a budget-crunched Michigan school system, it was time to look elsewhere. The Bakers moved back to Washington where she got a job as a kindergarten teacher at Tonasket Elementary School. Their son is a junior at Seattle Pacific University, his father’s Alma Mater.
The Bakers have been living in the Tonasket area for the past year and a half.
“When we first came here it took us a while to find a place to rent,” Brent Baker said. “We lived in an RV park on Spectacle Lake from June to September last year.”
Now he says they rent an apartment in the middle of Tonasket putting him right in the center of the Tonasket community.
Baker will be covering all aspects of the Tonasket area, including city council, school board, hospital board and chamber of commerce meetings, as well as local area community events and of course local sports.
He has become a familiar sight at high school sporting events in North- and Mid-Okanogan County. While living in Tonasket he worked for a short time covering sports for the Omak Chronicle, filling in for one of their reporters. He also runs his own high school sports website which he started in the spring of this year.
While in Michigan he was the sports editor for the Arenec County Independent and the Ogemaw County Herald and also worked freelance for the publications.
In addition to sports and photography, which he says often ends up melding with his work, Baker enjoys Astronomy.
“Living here is great, it’s awesome to get up in the mountains under the stars. My wife and I also like to go camping… of course nowadays we do more car camping that tent camping,” he said.