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Karlene Ponti

Stories by Karlene

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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.

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Walla Walla past is old hat at Kirkman

Back in the day, you could walk into a Walla Walla restaurant, pick up a menu and order cinnamon toast for 15 cents and an omelette for 45 cents.

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Civil War artifacts on display at Fort Walla Walla Museum

A large kettle that held a hot meal to comfort a battle weary soldier a long way from home.

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Borne by the land

A Valley family with a long agricultural past makes its mark in today’s wine world.

MILTON-FREEWATER — Cecil Zerba and wife Marilyn have an urge for growing.

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Tuned into the lunch crowd

A place to enjoy some of the Walla Walla area’s best musicians and singers while munching a brown bag lunch?

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Publishing with tenacity

Many dream of writing just one book in their life. Shanna Hatfield can do that in a few weeks.

Shanna Hatfield knew she could do better. So she did. And she’s still doing.

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Creativity keeps local photographic artist in game

As a photographic artist, J. Franklin “Jim” Willis has found the Walla Walla Valley to be an ideal canvas for his colorful, dynamic landscapes of texture and light.

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Couple learns what's key to running family business

WALLA WALLA -- A few years ago Andy Hetterly and Nikki Hunter were living and working in Portland -- he at a tire shop and she in an insurance office.

Paper books hold allure locally as gifts in digital age

Damn the recession, full speed ahead.

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Walla Walla's gypsy boutiques

Two local women break new shopping ground with their refurbished trailers.

First came food trucks. Then came gourmet food trucks.

Pantries full of kindness

Holiday family get-togethers often come with the stresses of cooking a big family meal.

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The community pride club

Wa-Hi’s Latino Club goes beyond being an in-school cultural interest group.

You see them working to get the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds ready for the annual fair.

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Jules and Jamie

Turning a wild horse into a best friend is a big job that starts with mutual trust.

Sometimes true love arrives unexpectedly.

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Little Theatre's dynamic doers

The theater life for Brian and Becky Hatley has been a family affair.

The movie "White Christmas" opens with a scene set in 1944. That's also the year Little Theatre of Walla Walla held its first production.

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Walla Walla Valley Bands keeps toes tapping year-round.

It doesn't have 76 trombones -- at least not yet -- but Walla Walla Valley Bands is hitting high notes in membership as more and more musicians join the volunteer local mainstay.

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Walla Walla Valley's piano man

Piano tuner Clinton Dickerson strikes a chord with local music lovers.

When you listen to a piano in a church, school auditorium or performance hall in the Valley, odds are you can thank Clinton Dickerson for the quality sounds you hear.

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Vet techs put heart in pet projects

Veterinary technicians are "in demand" to give follow-through care for pets.

It takes heart to provide professional care for an animal, a loving child’s heart.

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Teaching to the choir

Norb Rossi says desire and work trump talent in building an award-winning choir.

Photos of smiling students and stacks of choir sheet music cram Norb Rossi’s tiny office at Walla Walla High School while music and singing from an adjacent classroom drift in.

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Job searches today mean breaking from traditional methods

If you're of working age and unemployed today, this is not your father's -- or mother's -- job market. Maybe not even that of your grandparents' day.

Cindy Love's sparkling idea

Cindy Love's clown persona, Sparkle, has been brightening faces for 25 years.

Cindy Love was a second-grader in California when she and her sisters entered a clown contest.

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Local quilter featured in show

Despite the “Lucky 13” theme this year, it’s not the whims of fortune that have kept the regionally popular Walla Walla Valley Quilt Festival going for that number of years.

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The earth beneath his feet

Warren Rood didn’t have to dig deep to find something he and his children could do together.

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The hustle behind fair bustle

It's not over for fair volunteers until everything is taken down and stored.

Before you know it, all that you see, taste, touch, smell and hear at The Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days will become just a happy memory.