Every dog has its... day; Milo gets two

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Milo, a beagle mix who has become one of the community's most famous dogs after being rescued from traffic on U.S. Highway 12 last month, will be part of meet-and-greet fundraising events at a downtown business this week, along with the man who rescued him.

The dog and his "hero," David Cook, will be part of a bake sale fundraiser at The Garden Vegan Caf?© Thursday and Friday. The sales run noon-8 p.m. both days at the downtown Walla Walla caf?©, 36 S. Colville St.

If you haven't already heard the story, here are some quick details: Cook was headed to Walla Walla from Pasco on Jan. 31 when he spotted the dog running across the two-lane highway. He asked his friend to pull over so they could help the animal. Cook said he tried to wave to oncoming traffic to slow down as he attempted to corral the dog. However, one vehicle continued at full highway speed, just missing Cook who was in the roadway, but ultimately hitting the beagle.

Cook took the dog to Animal Clinic of Walla Walla about 40 minutes away. The animal's injuries included a broken back leg, internal herniation/bleeding, lacerations, shock and a bloody jaw. The dog did not have a microchip. Cook, who named the animal, has assumed responsibilities for Milo's care. He is attempting to raise $2,000 by the end of this month to help pay the medical bills for the animal's treatment.

Those interested in donating vegan baked goods can contact Cook at 876-1780. A website has also been set up to assist in fundraising. Contributions can be made at: www.indiegogo.com/To-Whom-it-May-Concern-1.

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Walla Walla may be home to more than 100 wineries. But did you know in wine circles, it's also the location of two of the industry's most influential people in the country?

According to IntoWine.com, a website designed for people who are -- what else? -- into wine, the Valley has the 42nd and 95th most influential wine people in the United States. Paul Gregutt and Greg Harrington earned their respective places on the list of "Top 100 Most Influential People in the U.S. Wine Industry."

The list was first released Jan. 29 in a satirical salute to the date in 1919 when the "lunatic policy" of Prohibition was ratified nationally, the website said.

"These 100 people, from winemakers to law makers, bankers to bloggers, and sommeliers to celebrities are definitely people who influence wine; how it is made, marketed, perceived, sold, shipped, purchased and shared," the introduction explained.

At No. 42, Gregutt was described as a wine writer whose focus is the wines of Oregon and Washington. He publishes a column titled Wine Adviser in The Seattle Times, and contributes to publications such as Vineyard amp; Winery Management, Yakima Herald-Republic, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin's Walla Walla Lifestyles magazine, and The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, as well as 'Decanter' and 'Wine Spectator.' He is also the Northwest Editor for 'Wine Enthusiast Magazine,' and via his book 'Washington Wines amp; Wineries: the Essential Guide,' and his blog he continues to educate people about these two terrific wine states."

Harrington, who placed at No. 95, wears "several hats: winemaker at Gramercy Cellars in Washington state (which Food amp; Wine Magazine called the Best New Winery in America), and 21 Grams winery, master sommelier and formerly the wine director for Emeril Lagasse's restaurants in New Orleans and Las Vegas and wine director for the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. He is a regular speaker at wine festivals across the country ... He has also appeared as a wine expert on numerous radio and television shows, including 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.'"

IntoWine.com aggregates information from wine experts and the wine community. Its contributors include sommeliers, chefs, bartenders, waiters, wine industry pros, wine producers and its own "gaggle of super enthusiasts."

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Nearly 300 patrons of Walla Walla Farmers Co-op will share in a $370,000 cash patronage and equity in 2012, according to an announcement from CHS Inc., the producer-owned cooperative that operates it.

Of that amount, $140,000 will be paid out in cash. The dividends are based on business between Sept. 1, 2010, and Aug. 31, 2011.

"We're extremely proud that we can provide this tremendous return to our customers and owners," said co-op General Manager Mike Potter, in a prepared statement. "Through their ownership in a cooperative like Walla Walla Farmers Co-op, not only do they have access to products and services, they also share in our success and that of the integrated CHS system. This enables all of us to invest in the future of our local producers, this business and our community."

Overall, CHS expects to return up to a record $421 million in cash patronage, equity redemptions and dividends paid on preferred stock to more than 1,060 eligible cooperates and nearly 45,000 individual members and others this fiscal year. CHS's net income for its fiscal year ending Aug. 31 was $961.4 million. Patronage is based on business done with CHS during fiscal 2011, while equity redemptions represent retirement of ownership in CHS earned in past years. Since it was established in 1998, CHS has returned more than $2.5 billion in cash to its owners.

Those who have reached age 70 and representatives of the estates of deceased members are encouraged to contact Potter and request redemption of their equity.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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