ETCETERA - Donated baby names book returned nearly six decades later

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In the etymology and history of names, "Reed" is a masculine surname that is derived from multiple sources, including Old English, and it means "red."

"Behind the Name" at www.behindthename.com online, said Reed was originally a nickname for one who has a ruddy complexion or red hair. "Ried," also Old English, means "clearing" and would have been bestowed upon someone living in a clearing in the woods.

Whether the sound of "Reed" was appealing or its origin or meaning had significance, 58 years ago that's what new parents Sharon and Theron "Smitty" Smith of Walla Walla named their son.

Reed Smith was born nearly six decades ago (apologies to Reed and the parents as this sounds as if he's ancient) at St. Mary's Hospital in Walla Walla.

When Sharon and Smitty brought their son home, she left behind her book of baby names, "What to Name the Baby, 15,000 Names to Choose From."

She donated the resource to the maternity ward for the use of other parents still considering what to name their babies.

Sharon had signed and dated the book and dedicated it to Reed, his younger sister Shannon reported.

Fast forwarding to 2011, while on a business trip Jan. 24, Reed was contacted by someone with Providence St. Mary Medical Center who said a woman brought the book into the hospital and wanted it returned to Reed.

Sharon said the other woman's son was born at the same time as Reed. In the homeward bound shuffle, the second new mom accidentally took the book home 58 years ago. Reed called Sharon, who retrieved it from the hospital.

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Katie Christianson and Kathryn Southwick Hess, co-chairwomen of the To and From - The Safe Travels Alliance, received Good Samaritan awards at the 11th annual Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Task Force awards and recognition luncheon.

The pair organized the alliance to find immediate, mid-range and long-range solutions for the education, enforcement and safety infrastructure as it relates to traveling to and from school, according to a release.

Because of their work, Washington Traffic Safety Commission school zone safety curriculum is in use at all schools. Kathryn is working with area hospitals to include school zone safety information with newborn information packets. Katie is collaborating with the city of Walla Walla to apply for state grant funding for flashing school zone speed limit signs for Berney and Blue Ridge Elementary schools. The alliance is also working to increase awareness and training of safe walking and biking practices with parents, staff and students.

In addition, the Educational Outreach Award went to Mark Higgins, Walla Walla School District communications director, supporting the alliance.

Mark said Katie and Kathryn brought a level of interest to the issue that has motivated everyone in the district to take on additional responsibilities to enhance safety.

He said they transformed their thoughts and ideas to positive action.

Task Force Coordinator Nancy McClenny-Walters and Task Force Chairman Sgt. Todd Smith organized the luncheon. For more details on the Task Force, see www.co.walla-walla.wa.us/departments/hrs/TrafficSafety.shtml

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Walla Walla School District 140 received two certificates of Energy Resource Stewardship awards from Bill Clemens, regional manager of Pacific Power, during the Jan. 18 school board meeting. They were presented to recognize the school district's installation of energy efficiency improvements at Edison Elementary School. Bill said the district will save more than $40,000 annually as a result.

The school district will save more than 110,000 kilowatt hours annually.

Pacific Power provided $20,151 in incentives to help with the installation of the energy efficiency improvements, the online school district newsletter reported.

"The Certificate of Energy Resource Stewardship recognizes organizations that show a commitment to energy efficiency and the sustainability of resources," Bill said. "These kind of investments will pay dividends to the school district for many years."

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Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Blue Devil Cadet Battalion members brought home awards from recent competition at the Crook County High School Marksmanship and Drill Meet in Prineville, Ore.

Wa-Hi JROTC cadets took several top honors in individual and team categories, competing against 350-plus cadets on drill and marksmanship teams from a dozen regional schools, according to a release.

"Our cadets worked hard and competed well and earned trophies, medals and ribbons for their efforts," said retired Army Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, coach of the Wa-Hi drill teams and senior Army instructor for the Wa-Hi JROTC program.

Cadet 1st Sgt. Kevin Brown earned a fourth place for his performance in the individual armed exhibition drill.

Cadet Lt. Col. Robyn Paul, a senior and Blue Devil Cadet Battalion commander, listed the honors her fellow cadets earned at the event:

The Armed Drill Team took third place and Cadet Capt. Kaylee Bialozor took fourth for Armed Drill Team Commander.

The Unarmed Drill Team Sponsors placed fifth and Cadet Capt. Delacey Heater placed sixth for Unarmed Drill Team Commander."

Blue Devil Marksmanship Team members fired outstanding individual and team scores.

The Precision Team took first and swept the top three individual spots, with Cadet Kyle Jameson in first place, Cadet Capt. and Rifle Team captain Katie Chavre, second, and Cadet 1st Lt. Wyatt Wilks, third, their shooting team coach retired Army Master Sgt. Gerry Taylor said.

Sporter Team 2 brought home second place. It won honors at several levels: Cadet 1st Lt. Skyler Carpenter took first, Cadet 2nd Lt. Rishi Patel won second, Cadet 1st Lt. Shane Perkins, third, and Cadet Hailee Fenton, fifth.

JROTC Cadets learn leadership skills, military history, precision drill and ceremonies and marksmanship. During the school year, Wa-Hi Blue Devil Cadet Battalion competes in drill and ceremony and marksmanship events around the region.

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The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Big Nine female and male athlete awards for the winter sports season went to Walla Walla High School senior Sydney Christensen and junior J.P. Wolpert, the Jan. 21 online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review reported.

Don Wilkins, district athletic director, said the outstanding Wa-Hi student athletes were honored for accomplishments in and out of the athletic arena.

Each season the IBEW honors a male and female athlete from each of the Big Nine schools as athlete of the season.

Athletes who have demonstrated outstanding work ethic, citizenship, and academic performance are feted.

"They have been great teammates and team leaders," Don said. "It has been a privilege working with these outstanding young adults.

Sydney maintains a 3.9 GPA and was a member of Wa-Hi's 4A Academic State Champion volleyball team. She is also a member of the Wa-Hi basketball and track teams.

J.P also maintains a 3.9 GPA, was a member of the Wa-Hi cross country team, qualified for the state meet and finished in the top 15 in the state. He is also a member of the Wa-Hi track and field team.

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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