ETCETERA - Vandal fever strikes when son gets UI football scholarship

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Vandal fever has invaded the home of former Walla Walla residents Kurt and Kim Guglielmelli Klingenberg, now of Carnation.

It's all about the black and gold for the Klingenbergs as their son Jared Klingenberg, 18, has signed a letter of intent to play football with the University of Idaho Vandals.

Jared expects to graduate in June from Cedarcrest High School in Duvall, Wash., north of nearby Carnation and east of Seattle, Kim said.

Jared chose the Vandals because of their interest in him, the article noted. At 6 feet 4 inches and 230 pounds, Jared was recruited as a tight end. He received a full ride scholarship, but is undecided on a major.

Jared's parents are Walla Walla High School alumni: Kurt graduated in 1979 and Kim in 1981. She also graduated in 1985 from Eastern Washington University. Jared's brother Chad is a freshman at Cedarcrest.

Jared was written up on Feb. 10 in their local paper, The River Current News. The article by Lori Oviatt said he signed his letter on Feb. 2, National Letter of Intent Day, and faxed it off to UI.

A football player since seventh grade, he has wanted to play college ball since his sophomore year and is looking forward to playing for the Vandals.

Jared twice visited the UI campus and told the reporter that "It felt like a perfect fit." The sole representative from Washington state, Jared visited with 12 other recruits from Hawaii, California and Texas, among other places.

He also considered several Division 1-3 schools, including Pacific Lutheran University, University of Puget Sound, Washington State University and Central Washington University.

Jared played running back at Cedarcrest and helped the team to the Washington 2A playoffs. As a first-team all-Cascade Conference running back, he earned honorable mention as a defensive end as a senior. He carried the ball 137 times for 1,367 yards for an average of 10 yards per carry and scored 19 rushing touchdowns.

The Seattle Times recognized him in his senior year as Player of the Week and twice as a Difference Maker. He is also an all-state nominee as a senior and a second team all-area choice by the Everett Herald.

Lori also reported that Jared was an honorable mention all-conference defensive lineman as a junior. In his junior year, he played baseball with a .483 batting average and a .586 slugging percentage.

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Mel Buttice celebrated his 96th birthday with friends and family downtown at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 992 on Friday night. His surviving siblings, brothers Ernie and Emilio Buttice and other family members helped him fete the big day, which featured a specially baked big cake.

Mel was born Feb. 19, 1915, in Walla Walla. One of nine children, two sisters and six brothers, he grew up and lived here all his life except for the four years he served overseas during the war.

A sergeant during World War II, Mel packed the chutes for all those pilots aboard the Enola Gay, he recalled when he dropped by our office.

Mel served with the 20th Air Force in the South Pacific. He also worked with pilots training on the super-fast P-38 Lightning twin-engine fighter bombers. "I supplied them with parachutes or whatever they happened to need." He joined in October 1942 and separated on Feb. 5, 1946.

"Not very many boys lived to be 96, I'm one of the lucky ones," Mel said. He recalls rations in the service that included six Cokes and a carton of cigarettes. "I'd trade the cigarettes for a Coke from a buddy and I'd drink the Coke and I'm still here. I don't know how much longer I'll be here, but I'm proud I got to serve my country."

He worked at a variety of things when he returned to the Walla Walla Valley, such as with Frito-Lay for a time, and also had a food supply wholesale house in Walla Walla.

The VFW has a big exhibit of mementos, photos and artifacts on display of Mel's service, including pictures of the planes that carried the atomic bombs. "I served under Pres. Truman and the terrific Gen. Hap Arnold. I came home in 1946, a little before my birthday. I was one of the lucky guys to do all that stuff," he said.

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Nicolai Carrera of Walla Walla made the 2010 fall semester dean's list at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

To be eligible for this honor, full-time students must achieve a grade point average of 3.4 or above; part-time students must achieve a grade point average of 3.6 or above.

The Berklee curriculum focuses on practical career preparation for today's music industry. Four-year degrees are offered in Performance, Jazz Composition, Music Production & Engineering, Film Scoring, Music Business/Management, Composition, Music Synthesis, Contemporary Writing & Production, Music Education, Songwriting, Music Therapy, and Professional Music.

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Chase Hessler graduated in December from Central Washington University with a degree in business administration specializing in finance. The son of Dana and George Hessler of Walla Walla, Chase is a 2006 graduate of Walla Walla High School.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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