The news rarely sleeps, nor do I

Editorial Gary MugWow, what a busy past week or so. After putting the newspaper to bed on Tuesday last week, I caught a break because it was Katie’s “meeting week.” That’s the week where I don’t have city council or school board meetings to attend, but she does, and usually the hospital board meeting as well. That’s why it often seems like all Tonasket news one week and all Oroville the next. Although, to be fair, the hospital is really shared by the two communities.

By Wednesday however, it was starting to get busy again with the Job Fair at Oroville High School and news that Hughes’ Department Store was closing down for good this time. What a great job Yessica Nemecio and Ryan Marcolin did on the job fair for their senior projects. What sad news it was that Hughes’ was closing and wouldn’t be reopening, at least not under Jack’s management.

By Saturday I was looking at the Easter Egg Hunt, Kite Day and Donkey Basketball in Oroville. Sunday was a good Easter with the family – first attending Mass and then getting ready for a delicious Easter Dinner at home. Monday the deadline push came around again and then there was an Oroville School Board meeting that night.

Just when I thought we were ahead of the game, with the first three pages basically done, Tuesday we had to move things around for the Hughes Inventory Reduction Sale ad. Don’t get me wrong, advertisements are the lifeblood of any newspaper – no ads, no news. But finding space for everything, without adding more pages (which increases production cost), becomes a challenging jigsaw puzzle.

So, even though most weeks Katie and I trade off Tuesdays going to our respective council meetings, this is one of those rare fifth Tuesdays that neither of us will be going to a city meeting. However, there’s no rest for the wicked because I was going to head to Okanogan to attend the county commissioners’ special meeting on Juvenile Detention Options. Our online poll has sending Juveniles to Medical Lake as the number one choice of readers with 57 votes, which I find hard to believe. It seems to me separating juvenile offenders from their families, especially those who have done minor offenses, would be counter productive. However, if you add the number of those who chose remodel the current facility, 50 votes, with those who want to build a new Juvenile Complex, 24 votes; keeping juvenile offenders close to home and not shipping them as much as three hours away, far outstrips those who are for sending our problems elsewhere. To add your vote go to www.gazette-tribune.com

About Hughes’ shutting down – this is a great loss to Oroville and we hope the Prince family can find a suitable tenant for the building. I know the Princes are looking for someone that will compliment Harvest Foods, while also serving the loyal customers that have made Princes/Hughes Department their hometown store, whether they lived in Oroville or on the other side of the border. We need the store and the employment it provides. Many of us who grew up in Oroville worked in the department store or the grocery store at one time or another. Jobs are what keep our community and the economy healthy. We also wish Jack and Mary Hughes success in their future endeavors, we know they tried to make a go of it but it seems it wasn’t in the cards.

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.