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Karlene Ponti

Stories by Karlene

Retired vet reflects on career

A veterinarian holds the hearts of our loved ones in his or her hands; our animal friends need that love and caring to help them. Having an interest and background in science helps, too.

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Annual Festa celebrates local Italian heritage

Be Italian for a day! The annual Italian Heritage Association Festa dinner will take place Oct. 10 at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds. This year’s dinner marks the group’s 30th anniversary of celebrating local Italian heritage.

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From bookkeeping to books: Accountant gets novel published

A dream comes true and opens a fresh path in life. Local author Susan D. Matley is embarking on a new career, writing professionally. Her new book, “Small-g City,” from Wolfsinger, has just been released. The sci-fi novella is her first novel-length work to be published.

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Quilts warm hearts at cancer center in Walla Walla

A nice warm quilt wraps comfort around you. If you’re ill and fighting to recover your well-being, all the better. The Providence St. Mary Medical Regional Cancer Center receives donations of quilts to help patients in many ways.

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Boxing match sets stage for lifelong friendship

A friendship can last forever. This is evidenced by Lloyd Richards and Dr. Frank Turner, whose camaraderie is still going strong after 75 years.

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Impact! hits Milton-Freewater

MILTON-FREEWATER — The Impact! Life Transitions Program helps people cope with changes and crises in their lives. Based at SonBridge Community Center, 1200 S.E. 12th St., College Place, the program is now making its healing presence felt in Milton-Freewater.

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Secondhand store gets pick-me-up

Grandma’s dishes, vinyl record albums and furniture with a lot of life left in it will be soon be on the move: Pickers Paradise, the shop full of vintage and collectible items has found a new home. The treasure trove of merchandise picked from containers, storage units and estate sales, currently at 37 W. Poplar St., will move to 84027 Highway 11, on the Oregon side.

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For Walla Walla artist, it’s oil or nothing

Landscapes, seascapes and the pets you love. These are the subjects of the heartfelt paintings of local artist Joani Burnett.

Roy Dodd: The King of the Valley

Don’t panic! Elvis is still in the building — somewhere.

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Quilt festival's featured quilter sews, reaps rewards

Quilting keeps many in stitches. Cut up the cloth, then sew it back together. For some people, quilting doesn’t make sense, but for others, it’s an obsession.

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Brush up on local art at annual show

Celebrate the arts! Art can be expressed in a variety of ways, and the upcoming Harvest Time Fine Arts Show in Milton-Freewater will allow attendees to experience many of them. The event showcases a host of local artists with a wide range of vision and skills.

Dealership has drive to help people in need

A car can bring you freedom, the ability to get to a job and a sense of accomplishment. Walla Walla Valley Honda has prepped a car to be given away to a person in need, as a way to give back to the community.

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Music therapy strikes a chord with Park Manor memory patients

Remember when? The songs you love take you right back by stirring memories and emotions. Tunes and memories are now incorporated in a program at Park Manor Rehabilitation Center. According to Merilee Richardson, director of social services, the 99-bed center has a variety of residents, some in temporary rehab and some with more long-term memory issues. The program helps residents and their families, using the power of music.

Scots invade Athena for Caledonian Games Friday

The annual Caledonian Games gets started with a dinner at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Athena’s City Park. That evening’s events also include a candle lighting service and blessing at 7:30, then an outdoor movie, “The Hills of Home,” at 8:15.

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Walla Walla Improv Camp participants get their act together

Communicate; improvise; get creative.

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Group helps law enforcement collar perps

Our furry best friends enhance our lives, but some, such as the dogs in law enforcement K-9 programs, do a good job of saving them, too.

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Salvation Army fights hunger, meets needs

Need help? Or are you in a place where you need to help someone else? The local Salvation Army has a recently expanded facility and new lieutenants, Maria Pineda Ibarra and her husband Miguel Ibarra.

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Saving unwanted cats, 30 at a time

Unloved and unwanted animals can find sanctuary at Silver Cloud Special Cat Services, 505 N. Sixth Ave. in Walla Walla.

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Summer program combines work, play

A summer play day. Just right for a child, and it might help parents get some peace of mind, too.

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Group brings Russian music to town

The internationally renowned Russian Vocal Ensemble of St. Petersburg, known as Lyra, will perform a concert featuring sacred music of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian folk songs, June 3 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

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Artists to show their true colors

Different perspectives often collide, sometimes bringing strife, but the result this time is an exhibit of artists’ work. A trio of local artists will showcase their paintings at CAVU Cellars, with an opening reception held 5-9 p.m. Friday.

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Ag scholars outstanding in their field

If you like food, celebrate the hard work of the growers!

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'Fire painter' brings the heat for local exhibit

Out in the woods, playing with fire. It’s fire painter Pete Kephart, creating art from the elements in the West Virginia woods.

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Artist blazes trail with painting technique (w/video)

Pete Kephart brings one of the hottest new art forms to the Valley for an exhibit.

Out in the woods, playing with fire. It’s fire painter Pete Kephart, creating art from the elements in the West Virginia woods.

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Gleaners sow the seeds of food security

If you sow the seeds, you’ll reap the rewards, and spring brings out gardeners everywhere.

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Mom's Network, Family Medical to throw baby shower

The next Springtime Baby Shower and Bring Your Baby Event will be 10 a.m.-noon, April 25 at the Family Medical Center, 1120 W. Rose St.

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150-year-old church feeds souls, stomachs

As spring follows winter, faith and hope arise eternally.

Library’s Big Ideas series the talk of the town

What’s the big idea? Try creativity, inspiration and opening up the world of books, dance and beyond.

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A great Place to learn work, social skills

Creating. Destroying. Cycles and recycling, and helping others who may have more challenges to face. These are all parts of a process.

'Rightsizing': How to make your home fit just right

Upsizing. Downsizing. Try “rightsizing,” a concept that means finding the right size living space for a person’s situation.

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Walla Walla Valley Bands anniversary bash an ode to joy

A quarter of a century goes by like a song, full of emotion, full of purpose. The Walla Walla Valley Bands 25th Anniversary Concert on Sunday will celebrate the milestone with music and joy. Lots of joy.

Y’s annual campaign helps kids in need

The 2015 YMCA annual campaign helps to give children a piece of the action — the Y’s Action Zone, that is.

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Annual rodeo seeks to rein in child abuse

Great cause, fun event. Everybody wins.

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Fat Cat’s still purring along at 25

The popular Main Street tavern will raise a mug to its 25th anniversary on Feb. 28.

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Library’s dolls are things of the past

History and reading, dolls and fun — it’s all at the Walla Walla Public Library. A new project, the lending doll, combines all of those elements.

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Local musician in tune with technology

Music, like everything else, has changed over time because of technology. Local electronic musician Connor Vosberg, aka Zenix, creates his brand of music with computer equipment.

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WWU alumni play around with Shakespeare

COLLEGE PLACE — Mix timeless humor, audience interaction and improvisation with Shakespeare and you get the upcoming performance at Walla Walla University. “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]” was written by comedians Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield. The production premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1987, and has since been performed all over the world.

Humane Society helps pets fetch new owners

It’s a new year, with new hopes and beginnings. For animals dreaming of a forever home, the Blue Mountain Humane Society is building on a year of success and plans on continuing the forward momentum.

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Music festival hopes to beat back winter blahs

The usually quiet January gets lively this week with the Winter Chamber Music Festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday. A variety of musicians will play in venues all over town. This year’s featured artists include cellist Meta Weiss and Chicago’s Third Coast Percussion.

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Walla Walla-area electronics recyclers lighten toxic load

Maybe it’s time to clean out the basement, garage or a couple of closets. After all, it’s a new year, a new beginning.

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Students develop attitude of thankfulness

It’s fun to count your blessings — and it might change your whole attitude for the better.

Greenhouse project has students raising funds

The thought of spring excites most people, especially gardeners. This year, classrooms full of budding growers are looking forward to spring — and their new project. Grade K-2 students at Rogers Adventist School, taught by Robin Browning, are planning the construction of a greenhouse.

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Annual tree project benefits seniors

Plenty of those in need in our community find it very difficult to get through the winter and holidays. It’s often cold and dark, and family may be far away. Fortunately this is also the season of giving.

Annual fundraiser benefits Senior Center

Part of the appeal of the holiday season is finding gifts for loved ones, and having fun doing it.

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Boy with autism blossoms at Y

Watching a child develop is a joyous experience. Family, friends and YMCA mentors of 81/2-year-old Ethan Castillo are delighted with his growth and transformation.

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Crafty gifts abound at annual holiday show

The holidays are all about traditions, and the Christmas Trio Gift & Craft Show — now in its 11th year — has become a tradition of its own.

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Iwo Jima vet opens up about experiences

Claro Bergevin, 91, returned in late September from a visit to Decatur, Ill., to join his friend and Marine buddy Harold Miller for a reunion of members of the B Company, 5th Tank Battalion.

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Rider hoofs it to Atlantic from Milton-Freewater

After a huge journey on horseback across the country, carrying the American flag, Samuel Hopkins-Hubbard returned home to Milton-Freewater. His journey, One Nation Ride, brought people together, as part of the ride’s purpose was to unify and strengthen those he met along the way.

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Cancer Center cultivates peace in garden

Time passes, gardens grow and water flows past stones and plants. A garden can be a place to unwind, relax and find some peace.