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Sheila Hagar

Stories by Sheila

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After child's death, a family back from the brink

A Walla Walla family heals as it lives with bittersweet memories after losing a child.

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A hand-crafted community

In a season of highly commercial commerce, why does ‘down-home’ still matter?

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Milton-Freewater food bank’s shelves grow lean

The Bread Basket is beginning to feel the sting of food stamp cuts and dwindling inventory.

New recovery home for women opens in Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA — A new place for women, including those with children, to recover from addictions and get a new start over will open its doors Dec. 1.

Hunting novice horns in on husband’s role as provider of game

The afternoon is chilly, verging on frosty. I’ll leave work soon and head home to cook dinner. On the menu are sauteed mushrooms, mashed cauliflower — my latest drug of choice — and a green salad.

Walla Walla ‘Pink’ video gains admirers, if not a big payday

The Pink Glove Dance entry finished out of the money but made for a priceless experience.

WALLA WALLA — People here have the right to be proud, hands down, said Chalise Rabidue of the Walla Walla Police Department.

Blue Mountain Community Foundation increases grants

The largest amount was given to basic human care organizations

WALLA WALLA — This month Blue Mountain Community Foundation handed out nearly $241,000 in grants to area social services, arts, emergency assistance and community-needs organizations.

“Fiddler” picked as summer musical

Walla Walla Community College Foundation goes with tradition in choosing the large-cast Broadway smash.

WALLA WALLA — Playgoers here love and reward tradition, so Walla Walla Community College Foundation is going to serve it up big this summer with its presentation of “Fiddler on the Roof” for the 2014 outdoor summer musical.

Helpline sends SOS as needs flood agency

Helpline has already been forced to suspend its program to defray the cost of medications.

Kneebody to play free show Saturday at Whitman (with video)

The minute — the second — you feel you’ve nailed down the definitive musical meat of “Kneebody,” something changes. With a snap of audio fingers, a song jumps from richly-flavored big band to the unsettling, alternating fuzzy-sharp tang of electronic synthesizer.

Deal reached in criminal grease-dumping case

WALLA WALLA — A restaurant co-owner who admitted he dumped grease and chemicals on a lawn in a Walla Walla neighborhood is subject to two years of community and judicial accountability, according to Walla Walla County Prosecuting Attorney James Nagle.

Project goes past the pink to the heart of women’s health

I am writing this in October, the official month of all things pink. You know, the color of breast cancer awareness. And store shelves were completely pinked out well before October, as if buying pink merchandise is the only answer to the problem.

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Homeless no more

Cynthia Morris is happy to call an aging — and some would say insufficient — camper her 'home.'

MILTON-FREEWATER — The small windows are covered in scraps of fabric. The kitchen floor threatens to sink farther with every step. The ceiling is a collage of peeling paint, blooming water marks and holes. And the potential for fire makes Cynthia Morris nervous whenever she thinks about the unsheathed and insufficient wires laying behind a cupboard door that’s seen better days. “This worries me to death,” she said, displaying what looks like strands of common extension cords passing for house wiring.

Gonorrhea cases spike in Walla Walla County

Health officials urge condom use and other preventives.

Benefit to be held for ailing local businessman

WALLA WALLA — A benefit dinner will be held Oct. 30 for a local businessman and photographer who has been hospitalized for acute severe pancreatitis, according to his family and friends.

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Small bands to create big night in Waitsburg

WAITSBURG — Brad Green thinks big. And hears bigger. The Waitsburg public schools music educator understands the challenge of working in a rural district. Bands and choirs are always small in number, but that hasn’t stopped him from giving students a taste of big band, so to speak.

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Plight of Red Dog drives would-be rescuer ‘crazy'

Polly called. She rarely does, so when it happens, I listen. She hated to ask a favor, she said, but there’s a dog in trouble, and could I help? “I’ve tried everything I can think of. Maybe you can get the word out.”

Woman admits lying in grease dumping case

WALLA WALLA — A woman accused in connection with a grease dumping at the home of YMCA Executive Director Randy Grant has pleaded guilty to a gross-misdemeanor charge and was handed a suspended sentence in Walla Walla County District Court.

AT&T settlement a boon to Walla Walla inmate transition program

WALLA WALLA — A $45 million settlement in a class action lawsuit against AT&T Inc. has dialed up a nearly $1 million award for a Walla Walla agency.

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Shots from the heart

Before illnesses ravage and take their toll, a Valley photographer is there to capture the bittersweet at family gatherings.

WIC program gets federal shutdown reprieve for October

Washington’s Women, Infants and Children’s nutrition program has funding to operate through October, despite a federal government shutdown, state health officials said today.

Plague of glitches hit online health insurance sites

But people looking for in-person services have local services available.

WALLA WALLA — Today is the first official day for Washington state residents to sign up for health insurance options, but those trying to do it online only found error messages on their computers.

A lifetime of decoration fascination shifts from Barbies to RVs

It started in my bedroom, under the creaky, scarred wooden desk.

Health-care situations vary locally: Between a job and a hard place

A restaurant worker tries to cope with medical debt after her employer cuts staff work hours.

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Walla Walla-area clinics aim to shoot down the flu

WALLA WALLA — As surely as Christmas approaches, so does the annual flu season.

A local view of the Affordable Care Act

My Union-Bulletin colleague, Rachel Alexander, and I decided to make a video survey of how Walla Wallans see the Affordable Care Act. With health insurance exchanges set to go live on Oct. 1, we thought it a good idea to help understand questions and concerns.

Newly insured to deepen doctor gap

Attempts to address the provider gap have taken on increased urgency.

Valley has enough doctors — for now

But variables induced by the new health-care law could change the landscape.

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Lifesaving flights front and center for air ambulance service

PENDLETON — We don’t think about emergency medical transportation until the very moment we need it, other than pulling over to the side of the street at sirens blaring behind us. Or looking up as a helicopter whirs overhead.

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Washington State Penitentiary psychologist earns national acclaim for programs

WALLA WALLA — Tamara Russell has found the old saying to be true — big things do come in small packages.

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Paper carrier retires old bicycle, thanks to neighborhood’s gift

The afternoon was a scorcher when Joe Young looked out his window onto Gray Lynn Drive at the south end of Walla Walla earlier this summer.

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Health coverage: Navigating new waters

Guides are being lined up and trained to help people enroll in health plans starting Oct. 1.

Doctor to speak in Walla Walla on nation’s ‘horrible’ diet

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyne Jr. will give a community lecture at Cordiner Hall on Sunday.

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyne Jr. is coming to tell Walla Walla how to be heart attack proof and be happy about it.

Walla Walla County starts court to treat troubled families

The program aims to stablize homes where children are at risk.

WALLA WALLA — Mending broken families wasn’t directly on the menu when County Commissioners agreed to raise the county sales tax to help get more mental health services into the community. The 0.1 percent raise also added chemical-dependency treatment options in the county.

State audit dings Walla Walla County Housing Authority

The authority cites accounting and management problems at the former Farm Labor Homes.

WALLA WALLA — Reports released this week from the Washington State Auditor’s Office show problems continue to plague Walla Walla County Housing Authority, including a case of “reported loss of public funds.”

‘For better or for worse’ too soon put to the test

A funny thing happened to Camo Man and me on our way to our first anniversary. We didn’t make it.

WWPD puts out APB for pink glove dancers

The video could win money to help those with breast cancer.

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Police Department wants you — at least 300 of you and in a big, pink way. The agency has joined with Walla Walla’s J.U.G.S. — Just Us Girls Sharing — to try to create the prize-winning video for the “Pink Glove Dance” competition, sponsored by Medline, a medical-supply company. The video will be shot at the track at Borleske Stadium on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Pink Glove Dance debuted in 2009 when 200 employees of a Portland hospital danced to “Down,” by Jay Sean, for a choreographed video. Every dancer wore pink gloves to signal support of breast cancer charities. The video went viral and spawned a national movement, according to Medline’s website. Now it’s Walla Walla’s turn, said Chalese Rabidue with the Walla Walla Department’s Domestic Violence Services. “We need 300 people to show up in pink shirts,” she said. “Any shade of pink is fine. And we’ll supply the pink gloves. We want to make a human pink ribbon.”

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For Walla Walla U. student, personal change means tattoos no longer fit

A theology student undergoes removal of anti-social tattoos from her rocky youth.

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Tattoo removal service offers help in Walla Walla area

Anti-social tattoos can label someone for life, but Walla Walla has a program to remove markings on people ready to move on.

Tough going from tattoos to coat and tie

A former gang member and tattoo artist closes a regretful ‘chapter’ in his life.

Black ink, ‘black heart’

A couple recalls their life in a gang — and their way out.

Erasing the past

WALLA WALLA — Theology major Jessica Suitsev has noticed the looks she gets — how people focus on her many tattoos, then edge away.

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Teen recalls bullying stirred thoughts of suicide

A recent high school graduate recalls hard years in Milton-Freewater schools.

Milton-Freewater puts on the gloves against bullying

The school district will start a new communitywide program this year to fight the problem.

Community Center for Youth, YMCA join forces in Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA — After many months of courtship, a wedding of sorts took place on Aug. 12 when Community Center for Youth merged its efforts with the YMCA to serve teens in the Valley.

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Grant to Blue Mountain Humane Society offers help in spaying, neutering dogs

WALLA WALLA — It’s the dog days of summer at Blue Mountain Humane Society. The dogs just don’t know it yet.

Walla Walla woman charged in grease-dumping case

WALLA WALLA — A woman who has denied involvement in grease-dumping incidents at the YMCA executive director’s home pleaded innocent in Walla Walla County District Court on Monday to three criminal charges.

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Lovett and band large hits at Wildhorse

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band played Sunday afternoon and evening to a crowd of hundreds.

MISSION — Lyle Lovett and His Large Band is, indeed, large.

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Artwork pairs well with coffee, wine and song

And local purveyors beyond the more traditional galleries are lending their walls to give local artists exposure.