Annual Pinewood Derby flags Cub Scout pack winners

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Racing was fast and furious when members of Cub Scout Pack 311 ran their cars at their annual Pinewood Derby Jan. 29 at College Place Presbyterian Church.

Participants included Tiger Cub Scout Curtis Pratt, Wolf Cub scouts Hunter Morgan and Diego Garcia, Webelo Scout Slater Olson, and Doss Hayden and Gabriel Talbert, Bear Cub scouts.

Rules for car construction vary by pack and district, according to research online. Basically, they’re built from an official pine wood block using official BSA wheels, but the car body can be shaped in any way designers wish while not being any longer than 7 inches, meeting height and width requirements and weighing 5.0 ounces or less. And they must pass inspection before competition starts.

The cubs design, carve, sand and paint the cars in any way they wish, such as in super hero, Spongebob Squarepants or other motifs in varied racing shapes that the scouts build with a bit of guidance from a parent or adult mentor.

The Pinewood Derby has been an annual part of Cub Scouting since 1953, said Cubmaster Bill Erickson.

After several heats, Pack 311 racers moved into the finals where Diego placed first; Gabriel placed second and Hunter place third. The top three Cub Scouts are eligible to race in the Pioneer District Pinewood Derby March 9 at Assumption Catholic Church in Walla Walla.

Pack 311 is chartered by the College Place Presbyterian Men’s Breakfast group and meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the church, 325 N.E. Damson Road.

Cub Scouting is for boys in first through fifth grades, said Bill, who can be reached at 520-4655 or wteric@charter.net for more details about the group.


The Walla Walla High School Future Business Leaders of America chapter competed at the Southeast Region Winter Leadership Conference in Kennewick in early February.

There were more than 40 events with approximately 150 competitors from 12 area schools.

The Blue Devils were represented by 15 chapter members who prepared for several months for the event, according to the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online newsletter.

“To say that this was the best regional performance I have ever seen would be an understatement,” said Wa-Hi FBLA adviser Scott Reardon. “These kids were better prepared than any group I have ever had. We have been conducting Sunday afternoon work sessions for weeks, but you never know of the payoff until the results come back.

“Russell Wilson, the Seahawks rookie quarterback, likes to say ‘the separation is in the preparation,’ and I can’t think of a better way to describe today’s results. I am so proud of all of our chapter members for the effort they have put forth to be successful.”

Wa-Hi students who placed in the top three of their event, with places and notation of team events in parenthesis:

Emily Atkinson, Business Ethics (first–Team), Emerging Business Issues (third-Team); Kayla Crain, Client Service (first); Lea Davidson, Public Speaking II (first), Emerging Business Issues (first-Team), Client Service (second), Business Ethics (second-Team); Tanya Esquivel, Public Speaking I (second); Catherine Feistner, Business Ethics (first-Team), Emerging Business Issues (third-Team), Personal Finance (third), Business Calculations (third); Hannah Hampson, Business Law (first), Emerging Business Issues (first-Team), Business Ethics (second-Team); Jennifer Lara, Public Speaking I (third); Brenda Lopez, Business Ethics (second-Team); Veronica Ocampo and Eleanor Rassbach, Emerging Business Issues (first-Team), Economics (first), Personal Finance (first); Russell Skorina, Business Ethics (first-Team); Travis Stinebaugh, Computer Problem Solving (first), Technology Concepts (first), Business Calculations (second); Perla Villegas, Emerging Business Issues (third-Team).

FBLA members will next compete in the State Leadership Conference April 25-27 in Spokane. Linda Schaub from Wa-Hi, Rory McClellan from Banner Bank and Brent Dunn from Valley Vision assisted with student preparation. Also donating time were event judges Deanna Summerhill, Dave Reardon, Tim Reardon, Claircy Clizer and Allen Yu.


Walla Walla Valley Academy seniors Sarah Thompson and Yeltsin Sanchez and Touchet High School seniors Octavio Preciado and Rachael Neuschwander received Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Month awards for February.

The students wrote essays based on Exchange Club’s 2012-2013 Youth of the Year theme, “Youth Volunteerism: Working Magic in Our Communities,” said Mark Higgins, Exchange’s Youth of the Month program coordinator.

They are now eligible to compete for the local club’s Youth of the Year Award and a $1,000 college scholarship.

Lifelong Touchet resident and Walla Walla-born Octavio plays sports and participates in many other school groups such as FFA. He is currently ASB president. He plans to attend Washington State University to become a physical therapist. His parents are Susana and Manuel Preciado.

Rachael is currently taking 15 credits through the Walla Walla Community College Running Start program and working toward an associate of arts degree in business.

She was a member of the Touchet High cheerleading squad her first two years and loves English classes. The daughter of Valerie and Jim Neuschwander, she plans to continue her studies at WWCC this fall.

Sarah, who holds a 3.994 GPA is graduating with high honors. She has played in the school orchestra four years and has taken three years of Spanish. She is ASB spiritual vice president, captain of the girls varsity basketball team and has worked on the WWVA campus all four years. She plans to attend Walla Walla University and is yet to decide on a major. Her parents are Karl and Rebecca Thompson.

A member of the WWVA soccer team, Yeltsin has worked off campus while being a full-time student. He has been named Student of the Month and received an Alumni Scholarship Award. The son of Flavio and Hilda Sanchez, he plans to pursue an engineering degree at WWU.

For more information about Exchange Club, write to P.O. Box 403, Walla Walla WA 99362 or online see www.wwexchangeclub.org .


Mariann Harmon with Key Technology’s Relay for Life Off Our Keysters for a Cure Team, walking to find a cure for cancer, said they raised more than $1,200 during a Feb. 9 flapjack fundraiser at Applebee’s restaurant.

They served all-you-can-eat pancakes, bacon, hash browns, juice and coffee to family and friends and had great fun, Marianne said.

Team members include Amy Miller, Mariann Harmon, Terry Smelcer, Cyndi Svehaug, Amy LeFore, Mary McKinley, Jamie Van Ausdle, Sean Calvert, Greg Roland, Ginger Petty and Wendy Laughery.


More than 300 cadets from 11 schools in Washington and Oregon competed at host Walla Walla High School during a Jan. 18-20 drill meet according to the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online newsletter.

There were displays of rifle manipulation, drill and marksmanship. On Jan. 19, Wa-Hi students received multiple awards.

Blue Devils Color Guard Team 2 placed first and Color Guard Team 1 took third.

Within marksmanship categories, the Blue Devils precision team claimed first place with senior Cadet Capt. Caitlyn Lasseigne, 18, taking the individuals first place and junior Cadet Sgt. Sarah Jameson, 16, took third.

In sporter rifle categories Cadet Cpl. McKenna French, 16, place second in master class rankings. Blue Devils senior, Cadet 1st Lt. Chris French, 17, placed first in individual armed exhibition drill competition.

JROTC cadets learn military history, precision drill and ceremonies, marksmanship and leadership skills. Wa-Hi Blue Devils Cadet Battalion competes in drill, ceremony and marksmanship events around the region.


Eastern Oregon University in La Grande named 549 students to the dean’s list for 2012 fall term.

Students from the U-B circulation area who received the distinction are John Wooten, Adams; Laina Fairchild, Athena; Lizette Aviles, Micaela Epifanio, Michael Hagerman, Karlyn Graves, all of Milton-Freewater; Clara Dickinson-McQuary, Dayton; Deanna Melvoen, Pomeroy; and Jonathon Klem, Mallory Livingston, Amy Anderson, Dave Pemberton, Deborah Ellis, Juliana Humphreys, Candice Reece and Amber Diederich, all of Walla Walla.

To qualify, students must achieve and maintain a grade point average of 3.5 GPA or higher while completing a minimum of 12 hours of graded coursework for the duration of the term.


Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., sent word to the Walla Walla School District that a paper crane mobile fashioned by Pioneer Middle School students is prominently hung in their display room to serve as a reminder of how much the people of Walla Walla are thinking of them as they recover from their school tragedy.

Principal Mira Gobel told the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online newsletter that she was devastated about the shooting deaths of Sandy Hook students and staff and knew the incident would affect her staff, students and families.

The crane idea just popped into her mind and she knew it was the right project, she said.

“In ancient Japanese legend, the crane is considered one of the mystical creatures and is believed to live for a thousand years. According to the legend, if you make one thousand origami cranes — one for each year of the crane’s life — and make a wish, the crane will grant the wish.” Pioneer students and staff made a wish that such a tragedy would never happen again, she said.

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