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Karlene Ponti

Stories by Karlene

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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.

Class series to provide resources, support for caregivers

WALLA WALLA — Taking care of a loved one? You have more resources available than you might realize.

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Ice Chalet laces up for 2013 season

The rink offers hockey and figure skating classes and themed special events.

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SonBridge fills gap in Valley's social services

COLLEGE PLACE — At first glance, what SonBridge Community Center actually does and the services it provides might seem mystifying, but in actuality it’s simple. Most nonprofit agencies providing help in the community have a specific niche, or a specialty they have selected. SonBridge, at 1200 S.E. 12th St., was created to help people who fall between these specific targets.

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FroGs: A safe place for fellowship for adults with disabilities

The group provides opportunities for disabled adults to socialize and to help their community.

MILTON-FREEWATER — Area adults with disabilities have a great resource, in a landscape where resources are few.

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Walla Walla vets urge vaccinations after canine distemper outbreak in raccoons

WALLA WALLA — An alert has gone out to area veterinarians and others about the canine distemper virus infecting raccoons in the area.

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Kitchen Tour serves up fun, funds

Proceeds from the popular annual event help provide scholarships for local women.

WALLA WALLA — The local chapter of the American Association of University Women is cooking up a fun way to help others. It’s time for the 11th annual Kitchen Tour, a fundraiser for AAUW.

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For families, Walla Walla's YMCA is all fun and games

The Y offers a variety of family-focused exercise, fitness and social activities.

WALLA WALLA — Looking for a place to have some fun with your family? As fall comes on, school starts and the days get shorter, it’s nice to have a family-oriented place for activities, whether they are exercise- and fitness-related or a fun, social time.

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College Place couple's roots in Valley run deep

COLLEGE PLACE — If you’ve driven down Southeast 12th Street in the summertime, you’ve likely noticed it on the south side of the road: A garden patch boasting rows of cornstalks and tall onion stems, vibrant vines studded with plump tomatoes, and leafy green bushes bristling with beans.

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Ancient technique of painting with wax heats up again (with video)

A Valley artist uses molten wax to express her creativity.

DAYTON — What’s old is new again. Encaustic painting, the ancient art of painting with hot wax, is enjoying a reawakening in popularity.

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Blue Mountain Therapeutic Riding offers disabled people a bit of therapy

TOUCHET — Sometimes fun provides the best learning experience. And fun with gentle horses might be just the thing for children and adults with disabilities.

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Walla Walla swimmer displays backstroke of genius at Senior Games

“Go, you little guppy!” the grandchildren of her friends shouted, as Suzie Aldrich prepared to swim a heat at this year’s National Senior Games. The nationals were held July 19-Aug. 1 in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Salmon dinner fundraiser key to senior center operations

The popular annual event helps to fund meal and social services at the Center at the Park.

WALLA WALLA — The Center at the Park is gearing up for its 10th annual Wild Alaskan Salmon Barbecue Dinner, 4:30-7 p.m. Friday. The event, a fundraiser for the Center, includes great food and opportunities to socialize with friends and family.

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Walla Walla acupuncturist aims to head off medical woes

After a charity stint in Nepal, Lindsey Thompson opened a clinic in Walla Walla.

WALLA WALLA — People who downplay the healing power of acupuncture are missing the point, says Lindsey Thompson.

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Muddy Frogwater leaps into 33rd year in Milton-Freewater

This year’s festival features several new activities, including fun runs and a beer and wine garden.

MILTON-FREEWATER — This is the 33rd year for the Muddy Frogwater Country Classic Festival and Corn Roast in Milton-Freewater. The event takes place Friday-Sunday in Yantis Park. A variety of activities are planned, so every member of the family can find something to interest them.

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Guild, classes keep quilter in stitches

Becci Lund is the Valley’s featured quilter at next month’s quilt festival.

WALLA WALLA — Becci Lund is an artist. Instead of watercolors or acrylic, however, she paints with cloth.

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Savannah Greens owner bets the farm on Mozambique

Opportunity knocks in a nation that imports much of its food and is friendly to business.

WALLA WALLA — Drew Rogers is putting the “far” in “farming.”

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Lunchtime sessions can enrich your relationship with pets

Take a class during your lunch break. You can learn ways to help your animal friends and deepen the bond you share.

Hard work at core of Sweet Onion Festival

Summer in the Walla Walla Valley means harvesting sweet onions. It also brings the annual Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival to downtown, July 20-21.

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Doctor-nurse couple take medical work to Honduras

The mission was good for their souls, and good for their patients’ soles.

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Women's shelter offers a STEP in the right direction

For women who are faced with homelessness and the dangers of living on the streets, there is a safe place to turn.

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Organizer can help you keep your home and head in harmony

Does your home look like an episode of “Extreme Clutter?” Do you have too much stuff, or stuff all over the place?

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Family harvests accolades for gardening

WALLA WALLA — A local family’s altruistic gardening efforts have borne fruit in an award by a national publication.

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Dogs lend a paw to promote healing

For the past 25 years, the task of cheering people at Providence St. Mary Medical Center has gone to the dogs.

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Little Theatre vets team to co-direct comedy

WALLA WALLA — Live theater can take you beyond yourself and into another person’s life and reality. You can be moved to tears or laughter, or both. The laughs abound in the Larry Shue comedy “The Foreigner,” the upcoming performance at the Little Theatre of Walla Walla.

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'Deli Debi' dishes out great food, service

The manager of Harvest Foods’ deli preaches respect and a strong work ethic.

Salads, picnic food or hot soup in the cold winter — certain foods just make you happy. The deli at Walla Walla’s Harvest Foods can supply you with mood-lightening fare for all occasions.

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For pets, Penrod Kennels is a day at the park

MILTON-FREEWATER — Penrod Kennels is a place where pets can go to be themselves.

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Bus driver pulls career to the curb

Betty Harris hasn’t lost her drive, but she might be a little tired. After 27 years of driving a bus for Valley Transit, she waved goodbye on April 17.

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The fix is in at Milton-Freewater shoe store

A comfortable pair of shoes, like an old friend, is something you hold near and dear. So what do you do when a part of your shoe wears out or breaks?

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It takes a town to raise a tree

Give some thought to the future: plant a tree! The Noon Rotary Club of Walla Walla has taken that advice to heart, planting thousands of trees over the years.

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Family navigates changes at drive-in

With their time-honored appearance and familiar amenities, drive-in movie theaters hearken back to years gone by. But they need periodic maintenance to preserve that traditional character, and often require modern upgrades to keep up with the times.

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Zeal for learning guides Roy Anderson

He's gone from the Air Force to engineering, art, teaching, music and sports.

Roy Anderson is a modern-day Renaissance man.

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Music and life in balance

Walla Walla Symphony musicians juggle their lives so the show can go on.

A great symphony performance is a seemingly miraculous balance of sound and rhythm — all of which must come together with spot-on timing among dozens of musicians.

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New Red Cross boss in town

Melissa Buckley has learned a few things since graduating from Walla Walla High School in 1995.

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Lightening the load

The Cancer Resource Center provides a lifeline for people coping with the disease.

First comes the dread one feels when told he or she has cancer.

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Boarded but not bored

Area pet boarding facilities offer a range of short- and long-term services.

Whether you need to get away for a vacation or due to an emergency, sometimes pets can’t come along.

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Finding hope on the slopes

Teens with a troubled past lean self-discipline that helps them avoid a downhill life.

When the going gets tough for some youths, the tough go snowboarding.