Nat Webb named best in his field

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Walla Walla wheat farmer Nat Webb was named Wheat Grower of the Year by the Washington Association of Wheat Growers.

Webb, a longtime grower, was recognized earlier this month at the organization's annual convention in Spokane. In presenting the award, association President Ben Barstow described Webb as "the finest sort of leader -- one who understands that service doesn't have an expiration date."

Webb has served twice as county wheat grower president as well as stints as the state national legislative committee chairman, according to an announcement from the state association. For the past three years, he has been a member of the Washington Grain Commission, including as chairman.

Webb, 67, joined his father on the farm in 1972. His dad had been a cattleman in Eastern Oregon. He sold that operation and bought wheat outside Walla Walla when his son left for college. Webb earned his master's in business administration and worked as an accountant for Shell Oil, and as finance director of a California town before joining the family business later in his life than the traditional wheat grower.

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Walla Walla's new breakfast and lunch spot, The Maple Counter Caf will close on Mondays through the holidays.

Owners Kory and Rachel Nagler said they eventually plan to operate daily. For the time being, they will operate a six-day-a-week schedule at 209 E. Alder St.

A grand-opening celebration is still to come after the new year. Hours Tuesday through Sunday are 7 a.m.-4 p.m. with breakfast served all day.

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Columbia Rural Electric Association is accepting applications for its scholarship program for fall 2012.

The Dayton-based electric cooperative offers scholarships to its members or dependents of active members.

Four scholarships will be awarded, three of which are academic. One -- the Clark A. Brewington Memorial Scholarship -- is for $1,500, and the other two are $1,000 each. The scholarships are renewable for up to three additional consecutive years provided the recipient maintains a 2.75 grade point average and is in good standing at an accredited institution.

The fourth scholarship is available to applicants who want to purse a career as a journeyman lineman. Established in memory of former employee Jeff Meredith, the $1,000 scholarship is offered for one year only. Applicants need not be a member of the cooperative.

Application packets are available at Columbia REA offices and all high schools within the service area. The submission deadline is Feb. 17. Recipients will be notified by March 30 and introduced at the annual membership meeting next April. For more details, visit columbiarea.coop.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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