Etcetera - Muffler man mimics local potter Bob Neher

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Jeff Neher dropped us a line as his folks, Bob and Corina Neher, are celebrating a double union. They've been married for 30 years now, also the span of time they've owned Clay in Motion Inc. pottery studio.

In honor of their three decades together in life and work, Jeff commissioned Mike Hammond of Melody Muffler to produce a muffler man of Bob throwing pottery on a potter's wheel.

"It's very special that two highly respected businesses in the Walla Walla area share a special connection with art," Jeff said via email. "They've worked together, supporting each other all while making awesome art."

The Dental Foundation of Oregon's Tooth Taxi tootled into Milton-Freewater for a three-day visit Sept. 6-8.

Its personnel provided teeth cleanings, sealants and education to Milton-Freewater elementary school students.

The high-tech dental office on wheels brings free dental care and oral health education to uninsured and under-served children in schools throughout Oregon.

Since 2008, it has screened 10,248 students. About 8,070 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom and 4,025 students were treated. More than $2.56 million in free dental services have been provided to Oregon students.

While in Milton-Freewater, volunteers - including Dental Foundation board member Amy Benson of Baker City and Dr. Todd Schroeder and assistant Monica Woodrow from Broadway Dental in Milton-Freewater - served 118 students, who received oral hygiene education in the classroom. In addition, 41 students were treated in the Tooth Taxi and $15,590 in dental services were provided free of charge.

In April 2011, the Tooth Taxi screened more students, with 76 percent of those students needing treatment.

The Umatilla Rural Fire Department's Kinda Isaac and Jared Orr completed Firefighting Academy on Sept. 16.

Their two-week course was undertaken in Hermiston.

Classroom topics included building construction, search and rescue, ventilation, car fires and extrication.

Jared, Kinda and the other graduates, participated in many physically challenging drills during this course, said Michael Roxbury, Umatilla fire chief, in a release. Kinda said the course as "very physically demanding, but worth it."

Jared added that "I'm grateful for the chance to take this class; I know it will help me with my volunteer work as a firefighter. I would like to thank the instructors for taking time out of their day to teach us."

"They worked hard, and we are very proud of them," said Nate Stephens, a course instructors, about the students.

Kinda and Jared are currently volunteer firefighters for Umatilla Rural Fire Department.

Embracing the mantras "your life is an artwork in progress," "we are in the business of enhancing lives," "more arts" and "carp?© diem - seize the day!" has given Walla Walla native AnnRen?© Joseph a life filled with satisfying professional and personal growth.

The daughter of Gabe and Margaret Joseph of Walla Walla, AnnRen?© had the honor of performing her "first gig in retirement" on home turf. She sang a selection of gospel, folk, popular, classical, patriotic and contemporary Christian music at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Any donations made for her Oct. 6 concert will benefit the Pantry Shelf and Christian Aid Center.

Being at St. Paul's was like coming home as she grew up in the church, sang in its youth choir, married husband Lee Bell and maintains membership there. Her first professional public performance in June 1975 was in St. Paul's Great Hall when she gave her college junior voice recital.

In addition to her vocation, AnnRen?© is a professional and church musician. She sings, plays piano and teaches private voice lessons. For some 40 years, she's performed with the Spokane Symphony Chorale and soloed with the Mid-Columbia Symphony.

While teaching at Sacajawea Junior High School in Spokane from 1979-1983, her students performed multiple times with the Spokane Symphony orchestra, she said in a release.

A product of Walla Walla schools, she graduated in 1973 from Walla Walla High School and was named a Walla Walla Public Schools Graduate of Distinction. She has earned bachelor's and master's degrees and a principal's credential from Eastern Washington University.

Through Seattle Pacific University, she earned a superintendent's credential and is working there on her doctorate, majoring in educational leadership this academic year. After 34 years in education, AnneRen?® retired in June. From 2001-2011, she was program supervisor in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for The Arts for Teaching, Learning and Assessment on behalf of 295 school districts and more than 1,038,000 students in the state.

She worked 13 years in the classroom as a generalist and music/theater specialist. She was a building administrator, principal and school district administrator for 11 years, prior to beginning her position at OSPI in 2001. She has guest lectured at colleges and universities around Washington, in addition to giving presentations at schools, in districts and at regional events.

She is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, honor group director for music and theater, inspirational speaker and conference presenter.

She and husband Lee, who've lived in Woodinville, Wash., since 1996, have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

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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