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Karlene Ponti

Stories by Karlene

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Dancers put best foot forward in Europe

WALLA WALLA — Victory dance!

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Annual Gran Fondo rolls into 10th year

WALLA WALLA — Run, ride horseback or ride your bike. It’s fun, and all for a great cause.

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Garden fervor growing at Odd Fellows

WALLA WALLA — Big, ripe red tomatoes. Crunchy cucumbers. All kinds of fresh foods from the garden are the rewards of summer. It’s an accomplishment, fun and good nutrition all rolled into one.

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Man credits finding faith with recovery from stage 4 cancer

WALLA WALLA — Every day is a miracle. Ed and Bev Hermsen are experiencing that first hand.

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WSU extends helping hand to community

WALLA WALLA — One hundred candles on a cake — that’s a great birthday!

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Trip of a lifetime sets course for Walla Walla teen

WALLA WALLA — They got in the car and drove away.

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Local woman’s life moves in write direction

WALLA WALLA — Short stories, or maybe a novel? Ever dreamed of being a writer and having a book published?

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Milton-Freewater history on display at Farmstead

MILTON-FREEWATER — A family home, now a museum, is a time capsule of days gone by.

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Seated tai chi: for those who can't stand to exercise

WALLA WALLA — Need more exercise? Sit down and relax.

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Walla Walla Valley civic club gives way to social group

WALLA WALLA — One group ends and another begins.

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Freedom rider takes it one day at a time

Samuel Hopkins-Hubbard has reached Indiana on his journey to the Atlantic Ocean.

Milton-Freewater resident Samuel Hopkins-Hubbard rode out of town April 5 on a horseback journey across America, to celebrate his love of the country. He wants to unite and inspire the people he meets along the way. And he is meeting many people everywhere he goes.

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Program makes an Impact! on lives in flux

COLLEGE PLACE — Ch-ch-changes. Some are challenging, some miraculous.

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Group works to improve women’s lives

WALLA WALLA — One way to celebrate our freedoms and good fortune is to share them with others. This philosophy is at the heart of the Walla Walla Valley Soroptimist group, part of an international organization of women who work to improve the circumstances of women everywhere.

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Dancers honor tradition at every turn

WALLA WALLA — History and culture can be stated in words, but they can also be expressed through music and dance. The beauty of traditional Mexican dance tells many stories as inspired dancers swirl in colorful costumes.

Blue Mountain Humane Society helper collars volunteer award

WALLA WALLA — Helping a shy or timid dog gain confidence can go a long way toward making him adoptable.

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Staff members a great resource at Camp Amanda

WALLA WALLA — Participants at Camp Amanda have a wealth of talent and dedication on hand to help restore their lives to normalcy.

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Camp helps grieving kids cope with loss

WALLA WALLA — This year marks the 30th anniversary of Camp Amanda, sponsored by Walla Walla Community Hospice. The camp program is for children ages 7-14 who have experienced a death in their family — a parent, sibling or grandparent. The camp, held at Camp Kiwanis at Kooskooskie, provides a peaceful, safe physical place and mental space for children to grieve and learn about their emotions.

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Dixie man rolls out charity barrels

DIXIE — What can you do to help others? Bright pink cardboard signs on a barrel suggest a way people can give the gift of hope to someone who is struggling.

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College Place couple creates own Fab Four

COLLEGE PLACE — After four years of trying to have a baby, Celina and Ben Dawson finally succeeded. But they got much more than they bargained for: quadruplets.

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Local woman completes Jordan sojourn

MILTON-FREEWATER — Ruby Mitchell recently returned from more than two years on a Peace Corps assignment in Jordan.

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Only the best rein on the Royal fair court

WALLA WALLA — Each year the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days is represented by the Royalty Court, a queen and two princesses. They make public appearances to represent the fair positively with horsemanship, public speaking, poise and composure.

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Milton-Freewater man saddles up for freedom

Carrying an American flag, Samuel Hopkins-Hubbard embarked April 5 on a horseback ride to the Atlantic Ocean, to celebrate the nation and meet people along the way.

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Family has staying power in motel biz

The Tuttle family has operated the Colonial Motel, a window to the past, since 1973.

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WWU project focuses on orphans in Peru

Students are raising funds to build and maintain two orphanages.

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Prolific volunteer always happy to lend a helping hand

WALLA WALLA — Terry McCoy has always directed his energy at aiding people who need help. His varied life experience bears this out, including stints as FEMA volunteer, children’s advocate and ombudsman for seniors.

Junior Club exists to serve community

The popular club's members volunteer their time to raise funds for local individuals and organizations.

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Veteran to return relics from Iwo Jima (with video)

Owen Agenbroad will give the items he found in 1945 to the son of their former owner.

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CHIP series to begin in College Place

The goal of the six-week course is to help participants take control of their health.

The program will be held at Village Church, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, from April 1 through May 8.

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Local dancers to take talents to Europe

The 10 members of The Performing Company will participate in The Dance Grand Prix in Barcelona.

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March construction: College Place High School

The school is due to be completed in December 2015.

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March Biz Bio: Barbara Suzui

Suzui is an interior decorator at Gary's Paint & Decorating.

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New leader a perfect match for Camp Fire

Years of leadership experience provided Allen Stanley the skills he needs to guide the agency.

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Local Red Cross volunteer Dixie Ferguson reflects on her experiences

“Doing this provides tremendous rewards. It doesn’t get better than that,” she said. “I serve happily.”

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When disaster strikes, Red Cross responds

WALLA WALLA — Extreme weather, earthquakes, fires and other disasters can happen anywhere.

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Longtime volunteer Sarita McCaw helps 4-H navigate changes

McCaw earned an induction into the state 4-H Hall of Fame for her work with the club.

“It’s no longer cows and cookies," said McCaw, who's been dedicated to the organization for half a century.

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Ninety-year-old takes flying leap

WALLA WALLA — Ruth Jamison has experienced some true highs in her 90 years. She’s had a good life overall, but some moments were really special.

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Volleyball players set sights on improvement

A club where young athletes build skills has led to a Valley-wide spike in the sport’s popularity.

WALLA WALLA — “Volleyball is alive and well in Walla Walla,” said Cassie Rothstrom, president and assistant director of the Sweets Volleyball Club.

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Saying ‘yes’ is just the first step

Getting married can involve a number of choices, including colors, apparel, décor and the cake.

WALLA WALLA — A bride today has more choices than ever — the colors, the flowers, the dress and the cake. While there are plenty of decisions to make, there are also popular trends and styles that could help to narrow down those options.

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Walla Walla University students work to warm hearts, hands

COLLEGE PLACE — It’s cold out there — especially for people who lack housing or are unable to afford to heat their homes.

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Audiences thrill to pieces at music festival in Walla Walla

The winter and summer Chamber Music Festivals are popular no matter the weather.

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival’s winter edition is a way to keep the music going year-round.

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Children's Home Society focused on kids, families

WALLA WALLA — Children’s Home Society offers help for families in crisis.

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Center provides safety, structure for youth

The union between the YMCA and Community Center for Youth is growing in popularity.

WALLA WALLA — A new start can be a good thing, both for an individual and for an organization. Community Center for Youth, CCY, has partnered with the Walla Walla YMCA. Known now as the YCCY, it’s a brand-new start for the agency that helps give at-risk youth a new start.

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Lights tour strings together emergency fund

The urge to help people in need drives the organizers of the popular bus tour.

WALLA WALLA — As the holidays brighten winter’s darkness, area residents decorate their homes and businesses with Christmas lights to illuminate the nights. A fun and easy way to check out the many Christmas displays is to take a ride on the second annual Christmas Lights Bus Tour.

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Life’s twists and turns lead to yoga studio

WALLA WALLA — Courtney Morgan’s new business, Revolver Yoga Studio, opened with a bang. Twenty-two students showed up Sept. 8 for the first session.

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Pioneer House projects assist those in need during holidays

WALLA WALLA — Pioneer House Assisted Living is in the holiday spirit, hosting a holiday food drive and helping with the Senior Giving Tree.

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Center at the Park stages annual holiday bazaar

WALLA WALLA — The holidays are here, with merriment, gift-giving and time with family.

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Coach assists with game plans for life

John Pesciallo’s coaching sessions help other people help themselves.

MILTON-FREEWATER — Whether you’re sprinting or running in a marathon, sometimes you just need a coach. Life occasionally takes some coaching, too.

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Former farmer cut out for hairstyling

It took current stylist Carl Bossini decades before he found his niche in life.

WALLA WALLA — After many different careers, Carl Bossini finally found his true calling. He’s a trained stylist and owns his own business, Carl’s Hair Hut, at 315 N. Fourth Ave.

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Park Plaza residents enjoy red-carpet treatment in their golden years

Art, music, meals, sports and more keep Park Plaza’s residents active, social and happy.

WALLA WALLA — Grady and Gerry Rose manage Park Plaza Independent Senior Living Community. They love to socialize and create activities that benefit everyone involved.

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Expert help when you’re expecting abounds in Walla Walla Valley

Local hospitals and community centers provide resources for people who are having a baby.

WALLA WALLA — The arrival of a baby is usually a joyous occasion. But the birthing process can deliver uncertainty and uneasiness for the new parents-to-be.