We try to avoid ‘tabloid journalism’

Editorial Gary MugWhile if it bleeds it leads is still a maxim for many in the journalism world, that isn’t always the best policy for a community newspaper.

I’d hope that most of the news we print is based on established facts, not rumor and innuendo. That’s why we haven’t been splashing conjecture all over the front page regarding Tonasket’s mayor or his wife and allegations, although unconfirmed, about supplying alcohol to minors. The mayor says some young people who were doing work at his home took wine coolers from his refrigerator without permission. He even “self reported” the incident to the police department and asked that the sheriff’s office handle follow up.

Now some are saying that he offered the coolers to the kids and his wife was pouring shots. If that was true would one parent directly involved with the situation have allowed her children to travel to Canada with the mayor’s family for Princeton Racing Days, as he reported at the last council meeting? If it was my child I wouldn’t.

However, we keep getting asked why we aren’t making a big deal about the mayor. We get calls in hushed tones from people who have an obvious agenda. It seems Patrick Plumb has a few people who would like to see him fall flat on his face. He’s put his foot in his mouth on a few occasions, especially when he tries to fly his conservative colors, but for the most part he fights hard for his town.

Is it because we like Patrick so much that we’re covering up for him? Not me; our politics, when it comes to most things outside of our communities and the county, are probably 180 degrees from each other.

So far, no charges have been filed against the mayor, his wife or any of the kids involved. The prosecutor’s office says they’d like more information, but they haven’t brought a case. So where is the “there” there?

Should the mayor and/or his wife show up in the police or court stats after being charged with something, rather then part of a he said, she said, then we will bring you the story. But for now, we’ll let the rumor mongers continue to put their spin on things.

We will also continue to bring you the happy and the sad stories that make up living in the Tonasket and Oroville communities, as well as the workaday things like city council, hospital and school board meetings – things that may not always seem as exciting, but actually have a bearing on the lives we live here. It’s what we do best.


On another subject – since it’s been obvious I’ve been wearing a walking cast off and on for a long time – I’d just like everyone to know that by the time you read this I should be about done having surgery on my left foot. It’s not something I like to talk about, but get asked about a lot. I have a metatarsal bone in my foot that protrudes further than the others. Dr. Tony Kim in Wenatchee describes it as a “proud bone.” What it has to be proud of I don’t know. It causes me to get a callus and then a sore or ulcer — that combined with Type 2 Diabetes has made it hard for me to heal. Just when it seems to be about gone, it comes back. By removing or “shaving” part of the bone the problem should go away. I had a similar operation done on my right foot last year and it’s worked so far. With luck I’ll be balanced out and my dog and I will be able to resume our walks around the Clark Ballfields. And, I’ll have my shifting foot back to get in some more motorcycle time before the snow flies.

However, I’ll still have a big boot for bit and probably have to use two crutches until it’s better. I appreciate the patience our readers have shown me while I limp into meetings and events.

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.

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