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Sheila Hagar

Stories by Sheila

Flu shot not as effective as hoped

If you’ve followed public health advice, you’re already vaccinated against influenza for the current season.

Hagar: No kidding: ‘Snow Child’ a ‘delicious’ read

You know I rarely do book reviews. For good reason — my recreational reading time is limited to that very brief span between when I crawl into bed and when I can no longer keep my eyes open.

Church to be community’s warming center

WALLA WALLA — After some uncertainty of the “who” and “where” of a community warming center, things are now in place for this season’s coldest days for those who need shelter.

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New food bank manager rolls up sleeves

The size of basketballs, colored like “Outrageous Orange” in the 64-box of Crayola crayons and beautifully bumpy, they fill four fridge-size totes Wednesday at Blue Mountain Action Council Food Bank.

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Video: Tiny turkey tutors share tips for terrific Thanksgiving

In most American homes turkey will be the star on Thursday’s menu. Glistening moistly on a platter in the center of a Norman Rockwell-like table, the big bird carries a lot of weight in the nation’s Thanksgiving holiday traditions.

Pain medication overdose deaths in state slow

WALLA WALLA — While statewide changes to prescribing practices for prescription pain relief in the past few years has helped lower overdose deaths, the quest for electronic sharing of information to ensure drug safety continues to need tweaking.

State tightens Medicaid orthodontia spending

Washington state’s policy for providing free braces for kids enrolled in Medicaid is beginning to straighten out, state health officials said last week.

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Humorist David Sedaris cozies up with Walla Walla audience

WALLA WALLA — David Sedaris wants to be clear — “You don’t know anything about my family they don’t want you to know.”

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Video: Fake month reveals authentic courage

November is “National Diabetes Month.”

Program links Walla Walla doctors, premed students for job shadows

WALLA WALLA — Medical schools in Washington and elsewhere are demanding more and more of incoming applicants.

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Brushes 'n Brix 'n fun, fun, fun!

New business offers paint, food and libations.

WALLA WALLA — Anyone can learn to paint, and have fun while doing so, Barb Newby believes. Might as well make a party of it, in fact, surrounded by friends, wine and snacks.

Program for developmentally disabled returning to Umatilla County control

Umatilla County Commissioner George Murdock says he’s more than ready to take control of developmental disabilities services back from the state — even though shortcomings in the program remain.

Warming center looks for home as freeze hits

WALLA WALLA — A local warming center task force hopes to get invited in out of the cold. And quickly too, as the Valley’s first cold spell becomes dangerous to area residents who don’t have housing.

Updated: Milton-Freewater power issues caused by confluence of nature, maintenance

Today’s flickers and surges in electricity here signaled a meeting between Mother Nature and planned utility work, officials said.

Hospital district vote stuck at ‘razor-thin’ margin

DAYTON — The Columbia County Hospital District must wait at least until Nov. 25 to find out whether its $5.5 million capital improvement bond will pass.

Coroner: Infection led to death of Walla Walla County Jail inmate

WALLA WALLA — When Amber Dawn Nelson died at Walla Walla County Jail on Sept. 21, there’s every chance no one knew how sick she was, including Nelson herself, officials say.

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Sun sets on Walla Walla office of American Red Cross

WALLA WALLA — A nationwide reorganization of the American Red Cross has local consequence, officials say.

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​Two Valley levies pass, a third still a cliffhanger

POMEROY — Two levies in the region passed handily Tuesday, while one more must still cross finish line.

Column: Angel appears to assist with dearly departed

I accidentally killed Bambi’s little sister a few weeks ago, joining a herd of Oregon drivers who have mowed down wildlife this season.

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Local institutions prepare for the possibility of Ebola

In Walla Walla County, getting ready to deal with potential Ebola victims look much like elsewhere in the nation, health officials here say.

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The mysteries of Old Pioneer Cemetery

MILTON-FREEWATER — Mary Jane Cobb is a mystery to Randy Reese.

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New gathering area heralds rebirth of Valle Lindo

By the time the sun drops from the sky today, the efforts of several nonprofit partners will have thoroughly swept away the ghosts of the past at Valle Lindo, the housing development in Walla Walla County formerly known as “Farm Labor Camp.”

State, county below curve on immunizations

WALLA WALLA — On the meter of good to bad in 2013-2014 childhood immunization rates, Washington state falls somewhere in between nationally.

Communication key for developmentally disabled

It’s so good that I did not write this column earlier.

Pride group launches community survey

WALLA WALLA — Although the “loudmouths” always get their opinions heard, researchers here want to hear from everyone in Eastern Washington, said community activist Everett Maroon.

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Athena-Weston students build goal post in fallen friend's honor

Like others in the Athena-Weston School District, Hunter Sater remembers his friend’s happy spirit above all else.

Walla Walla YMCA director to retire at end of month

Citing career fatigue, the executive director of the Walla Walla YMCA is retiring.

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Surge of car thefts in Valley target older Hondas

Within an ongoing spate of stolen vehicles in the Walla Walla Valley, law enforcement officials are seeing a trend that follows right along national lines — Hondas, mostly older models, going missing.

Walla Walla nonprofit pinpoints needs of those with developmental disabilities

A new nonprofit, Walla Walla Valley Disability Network, has begun serving people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Foundation awards grants to local nonprofits

More than $260,000 was awarded to nonprofit agencies in the annual Blue Mountain Community Foundation grant disbursement, executive director Kari Isaacson said Monday.

Hagar: Pooch’s queenlike attitude is royal pain

We have a food problem at our house. Not that one where the teens leave one spoonful of peanut butter in the jar or two slugs of milk in the jug.

Mandate for jails to provide care goes unenforced

Corrections facilities across the country are tasked by law to provide inmates minimal civil rights.

Poor funding hampers jail health care

As a rule, mental health care at Walla Walla County Jail has improved, said Julie Brown, a lawyer contracted with the county to represent clients who can’t afford to hire a lawyer.

Mental health care drains county jail coffers

When people are processed into the Walla Walla County Jail, many arrive with mental health problems on top of their legal ones.

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Woman fights for mental health care for imprisoned son

Debra Hill recalls the first signs her son could have a mental illness.

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Familial strings to pull Walla Walla Symphony into new season

WALLA WALLA — The teacher became the student and the student has been coach in the father-daughter performance to be featured Tuesday when Walla Walla Symphony presents “Curtain Up!” for the new concert season.

Housing vouchers allotted to homeless vets

WALLA WALLA — Washington state will gain 335 federal housing vouchers for homeless veterans, with 10 of those set to be administered by Walla Walla Housing Authority, according to Sen. Patty Murray’s office.

Too-sweet toddler takes on new normal

Can I just say something? Thank you. Thank you so very much.

Columbia County to contract developmentally disabled services

DAYTON — Columbia County commissioners will contract for help in serving residents living with a developmental disability.

Local health providers gear up for flu season

Before flu season comes, there is flu vaccine season — at least for people serious about avoiding the illness.

The sour truth of a medical crisis

Our family caught a glimpse of the black hell of losing a child this past weekend and we are still breathing hard from running in the opposite direction.

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Vets sound off at VA meeting

WALLA WALLA — Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center heard concerns from area veterans about a range of problems during a “town hall” meeting Wednesday.

New award method sends United Way dollars toward targets

WALLA WALLA — Implementing a new model of dispersing donated funds, United Way of Walla Walla County volunteers spent a combined 350 hours to review applications for this year’s awards, said Christy Lieuallen, executive director.

Keep kids’ private moments all in the family

Can we all just stop pimping our children? Stop selling them out for “Like” and “Share”? Quit scurrying to gather “views”?

Careers in the balance: Fears of retaliation for those who speak up

WALLA WALLA — Dr. Jonathan Hibbs has no doubts speaking out against the Department of Veterans Affairs is risky, despite that he resigned last month after eight years of treating veterans in Walla Walla and Yakima.

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Woman’s VA career pulled up short after raising concerns

WALLA WALLA — This summer Dr. Carolyn Clancy, interim undersecretary for health for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, sent a message to all hands systemwide.

Revolving-door staffing tough to slow at VA

WALLA WALLA — Apart from hardships veterans have in obtaining medical services, the Yakima Community Bases Outpatient Clinic also doesn’t get the staff it needs, according to Dr. Jonathan Hibbs.

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At the Walla Walla VA, doctor disillusionment

Two doctors who quit Walla Walla VA’s operational area tell of a dysfunctional agency more interested in policy than people.

VA another battle for vets

A wounded Vietnam vet who became a VA clerical worker talks about endless challenges for medical treatment.

Ex-VA doctor’s parting words: ‘I have reached that point.’

Dr. Jonathan Hibbs, who spent eight years working in the Department of Veterans Affairs health system, wrote an impassioned letter to colleagues about why he felt compelled to resign. On July 25, Hibbs left his job as medical director of the Yakima Community Based Outpatient Clinic, which operates under the authority of Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center. His letter follows: