July 27th, 2011
Vernon John Hills passed away July 18, 2011 in Wenatchee. Vern was born to Joe and Olga Hills on Nov. 11, 1929 on Kelly Hill. Following the death of his mother, he resided with his grandmother in Orient.
After a childhood in Orient, Vern enlisted in the United States Army, serving overseas in the Korean Conflict, where he received a Purple Heart and was honorably discharged of his duties.
John Kratcha (90) passed away on July 15, 2011 after a brave three-year fight with colon cancer. He was born to John and Edith Kratcha on his fatherâs birthday, June 26, 1921 in Chester, Montana.
Editorâs note: This is the first in a nearly year-long series of stories and sweat-laden vignettes chronicling the training regimen, pitfalls and pratfalls of two Statesman-Examiner reporters and their teammate. The intrepid trio plans to compete in all three increments of next Julyâs Valley Girl mini-triathlon at Liberty Lake (Spokane Valley).
There are some coaching changes and openings announced in recent days at Colville High School. What has been common knowledge for quite sometime became official last week with the announcement by Colville High School Athletic Director (Student Programsâ Director) Kelly Carr that Ray Clark and Al Bushnell will assume co-head coaching duties for the CHS girlâs basketball program for the 2011-2012 season.
Since its nadir a few short years ago when the tournament drew all of half a dozen teams, the Bob Haney Memorial Little League Tournament, held in conjunction with the Colville Rendezvous In The Park celebration, has grown considerably. As of late last week, Tournament Executive Director Bob Meshishnek and his capable volunteer staff had recruited a field of 20 teams that will play in two divisions (separate brackets for 10-year-olds and 12-year-olds). Those 20 teams will likely swell Colvilleâs Rendezvous weekend population by from 350 to 400 people.
CHEWELAHâMegan Rusher is âfighting like a girlâ to beat a rare cancer of the sinuses in Chewelah. The 15-year-old Jenkins High School student was diagnosed in March and has been receiving chemotherapy treatments every two to three weeks in Spokane. With her positive outlook and fighting spirit, the teenagerâs tumor has decreased in size, according to family members. The next step in her treatment is radiation, which may require Megan to go out of state.
Community members from Deer Park to Colville lined Highway 395 last Saturday afternoon as law enforcement, firemen and military personnel escorted the body of Staff Sergeant Wyatt Goldsmith, 28, to Danekas Funeral Chapel. Goldsmith was killed while serving in the United States Army on his third deployment to Afghanistan. He was flown by the military from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to Deer Park Airport, then driven to Colville, where area residents waited to pay their respects. Many stood along the streets with American flags, hands covering hearts, or silently watching the procession.
An area of Stevens County with some serious mining history is in the forefront again with the impending opening of the old Flagstaff Mine.
The open face barite mine, located some five miles from Northport, has been purchased by Kent Exploration Inc. and, according to company officials, should begin production within the next week. The mine re-opening will create at least 14 jobs, officials say, and maybe more.
Evelyn June âJudyâ McDonald was born on June 13, 1924 in Bremerton and passed away peacefully after and long battle with Alzheimerâs and Dementia on April 24 in Poulsbo. She was the daughter of Robert and Mabel Carter and the loving wife of S.P. âMacâ McDonald.
She was a resident of the Orient/Colville areas from 1953-2003.
Mac and Junie (as her family knew her) moved to Orient to raise cattle and alfalfa.
They were very proud of being named Stevens County Cattlemen of the year in 1960. Prior to 1953, she and Mac owned and operated the White Pig and Blue Goose Taverns in Bremerton.
It may be late July, but Colville valley residents were awakened early last Friday morning to the sounds and sights of a hailstorm. According to the National Weather Service, thunderstorms moved across northeast Washington and the northeast mountains on Friday morning. Around Colville environs, that thunderstorm precipitation came in the form of heavy hail.