Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Wake Up Call For Teens... and everyone alse

The following, A wake up call for teens... and everyone else, was sent to the wrong e-mail address instead of to, causing a delay until late Saturday evening. The message is really timeless, and although intended for publication as an advertisement in LOCAL VOICES on Friday, now is not too late. Please thank Katie Youngren, author of Itty Bitty School Bus Kitty, and school bus driver at Freeman School, Freeman, WA, for sharing this important message.

ADV: A wake up call for teens... and everyone alse.

"Today, my 15 year old daughter witnessed something very tragic at Freeman High School: A re-enactment of a car accident due to drunk driving.
"With prom night approaching fast, the teachers and administration came up with the plan to allow the students to see how traumatic and devastating something like this can be. The time, work and effort in putting this together was amazing, to say the least.
"The students were all called outside, not knowing why at first. What they came upon was nothing short of a worst nightmare. There were two cars involved, both totaled, shattered glass, mangled metal and a lot of "blood" at the scene of the 'accident'.
"The teen driver of one vehicle was sprawled out across the hood of his car from being thrown through the windshield. He 'died' instantly. Two other teen girls could be heard screaming and moaning hysterically 'help me!
"Two bystanders had called 911. 2 ambulances, 2 firetrucks, 2-3 police cars and a helicopter arrived. The driver of the other vehicle was drunk and hysterical. His friend was screaming at him 'it's all your fault!' The were both badly bruised.
"The police took the teen drunk driver and began asking questions and giving him sobriety tests, then handcuffed him and put him in the backseat of the police car.
"My daughter said that many of the onlooking students (and herself) were crying. By now they all knew it was a re-enactment, but the sobering reality of what can (and does) happen shook them up quite a bit.
"One of the boys in the 'accident', shaking profusely, was taken by the helicopter. The dead boy was put in a body bag. My daughter said it was unbelievably realistic. All of the students agreed and stood there covering their mouths crying. My daughter and many of the other students were calling their parents on their cell phones with tears.
"I didn't get my daughters' call. She just wanted to tell me how much she loved me. The other kids were calling their parents for the same reason.
"After the accident, the students went back inside to attend the 'funeral' for the two boys killed, both fellow classmates (the one taken by helicopter died as well).
"My daughter said it was the saddest thing ever. The 'parents' of the deceased spoke, and cries from other 'family' members could be heard. This caused most of the unsuspecting attendees to cry.
"After the 'funeral', they attended the 'court hearing' for the drunk driver, also a fellow classmate. The 'Judge' found the boy guilty of 2 charges of vehicular homicide and 4 charges of vehicular assault. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
"Moans and cries could be heard by his parents and family members as the verdict was read.
"After the re-inactment, the students went back to their classes. My daughter said the 'shell shock' from the morning had everyone walking around in stunned silence, some still crying and needing to be consoled. She said it was as if it all had really happened. She even cried as she told me about it when she came home this afternoon. She sent me a text message at 11:20 this morning. This is what it said:
'I'm alright now and I just wanted to tell you that I love you mama. Today we had a fake accident scene in the road to teach us to drive carefully and it was quite graphic. It really made me realize how important you and dad are to me. I couldn't bear the thought of losing you guys. I love you! You wouldn't believe this... people are crying everywhere I look. The people acting in the scene had fake blood even. A helicopter came and ambulances. It was trippy. I'm glad to have my family :)"
"Her text made me cry. I wasn't there to see the event, but her rendition and text message made me feel as if I had.
"May we all keep in prayer our precious children and all of our friends and loved ones.
I applaud the Freeman School District, the emergency workers and the students who put this whole thing together. They just may have saved some lives today.
 "Please forward this to everyone you know. Doing so just may save some lives as well."

Friday, April 22, 2011

Customize Print Size

Having trouble reading the print on this page? Customize the print size. Just press the control key (ctrl) simultaneously with the plus key (+) and the print enlarges. Press again and again until it becomes the size you want.

Want to make the print smaller? Press the ctrl key at the same time you press the minus (-) key, and the size gets smaller.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Blog benefits and rules, from the Editor to the Residents of the north Palouse region south of Spokane, WA.

A blog is an always available personalized newspaper, bulletin board, magazine, brochure, flyer, or whatever you want it to be:
An electronic venue where you promote your organization or business in positive ways, not only to members or customers, but as an enhancement for the north Palouse region's image. 
Requirements and restrictions:
  1. Each business, organization or person may create and maintain a blog on which they submit news, views, advertisements, or comments, and they take full legal responsibility for its contents.
  2. The content or POST on the submitted blog is limited to one topic at a time. I.e.  Delete previous posts and all links on your blog before submitting your link. The TITLE of your POST will be published also on the HOME page to alert readers to the subject in your interactive-linked news.
  3. Residence in the north Palouse region is required to submit a blog to this newscast. Contributors under the age of 18 must include their age in their e-mailed submission.
  4. Pornography ~~ and any blog that contains a link other than an app ~~ is prohibited. is only one of many that offer free blogs. It provides tools (called apps) to let you customize your blog in many ways. For example, you provide options to directly interact with your audience at your discretion.

Statistics show that having a 'web presence' – a blog – enhances your influence on the world around you.

  • Stories about the projects undertaken by your members (or business) promote awareness.
  • Magnifies the positive impact of people and events.
  • How you use a blog becomes a part of the ambience of your town and of the north Palouse region.
Create a blog and use it wisely and to good advantage. Participate by submitting a link to your blog ~~ your interactive-link news to mailto:newstnpw@air-pipe.comBe a valued interactive-link contributor to The North Palouse Washington e-Newscast .*See CONTACT & SUBMIT page.

Be sure to include your name and phone number in case I have questions.

The Editor, newstnpw @
(spaces are inserted in the e-mail address to reduce spam, so please just remove them.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Senior Lunch & Historical Society Guest Speaker

Mona Leeson Vanek, Editor of The North Palouse Washington e-Newscast, will be the guest speaker on Tues. April 19, 2011, at Senior Lunch (noon) at the invitation of Fairfield, WA City Hall staff members. Gary Gortsema, President of South East Spokane County Historical Society and Museum in Fairfield invited Vanek to also speak at the museum across the street, at 1:30 p.m. following the lunch.

Vanek is a fifty-year veteran writer, published in nine northwest newspapers and numerous national magazines that include Mother Earth News, Montana Magazine, EMS Magazine, Writer's Digest, and Family Motorhome Coaching, and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul(TM),

In 1992 she was awarded the Idaho Writers League 1992 Writer of the Year for her books, Behind These Mountains, vols. 1, 2 & 3. Recently she published a digitized edition of those out-of-print regional Montana histories. Listings in the Library of Congress and Online Books Page make copies easy to find.

Her website, Montana Scribbler, and the 10th edition of, Access the World and Writer Your Way To $$$, a highly praised writers resource (online in 2011) keep writers abreast of the fast changing publishing world.

Aware that newspapers increasingly turn to online publishing, Vanek believes the time is right for The North Palouse Washington e-Newscast, a digital newscast that went online April 8th.
Vanek said, "I believe the future is link-based news -- news that people access mainly via hand-held devices, rather than on computers.
"The North Palouse Washington e-Newscast is an interactive link-newscast," she said, and explained that interactive link means news provided via a blog at which readers can leave comments.
"It gives residents in this region the most control feasible over publication of what is important to them, their communities, organizations, businesses, and churches.
"It will take time for this new concept to catch on and for people to become comfortable with using interactive newscasts."
Major advantages of news via linked blogs, Vanek said, could include the following,
  • Businesses save advertising costs, and some businesses may pass cost savings on to customers.
  • Youth apprenticeship. I.e., When a digitally-literate youngster (family or friend) is recruited to create an advertising blog or a blog announcing events, that youngster is perfecting valuable writing and communication job skills that can give him or her the edge in future job markets. It is similar to providing an opportunity for young people to operate farm equipment etc.
  • Headlined news articles may be linked to more detailed information via blogs written by businesses, organizations, churches, schools, youth, and Town Council press releases.
  • LOCAL VOICES also provide the opportunity to voice uncensored opinions about local interests. Pornography is prohibited.
Vanek also believes Sally Holt's neighborly news columns in The North Palouse Journal were beloved throughout the region and are sorely missed. Without Sally's columns, Vanek feels the communities are rapidly losing their cohesiveness.
"And that adds impetus to its youngsters' desire to leave," she said. "I have asked Sally if she'd like to have a SALLY HOLT page. If Sally declines, it's my hope someone else will submit a similar neighborly news blog to link."
Whether this venture becomes what the editor envisions, an interactive venue for local news, remains to be seen.
Vanek said, "Much can be learned from circulation analysis and those findings can guide future decisions. Locally, folks voice pros and cons, which is normal and not upsetting. Adverse comments point up what needs attention, and I'm always ready to listen and learn."
The most recent statistics show The North Palouse Washington e-Newscast, in ten days, had about 200 visitors. The stats reveal that 16.7% stayed longer than an hour, 14% from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, 4.2% from 5 to 20 minutes, and 2.1% remained 20 minutes to an hour. The percentages are increasing daily, as are visitors who return on successive days.

Site visitors to the website from Washington towns include Valleyford, Clarkston, Silverdale, Spokane, Latah, Mead, Cheney, Ellensburg, Rockford, Thornton, Olympia, Valley, Warden, Port Angeles, and Seattle. Visitors from other states include, Texas, Tennesee, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon, Iowa, Massachusetts, California, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, and Ontario, Canada. The number of multiple visits that spread over more than one day increases daily.

That is very encouraging, Vanek said.
Besides general news articles, FREE WiFi PLACES and KIDS HANGOUT pages are most popular. ORGANIZATIONS attract more hits than BUSINESSES or NOTARY PUBLIC
Stories in order of popularity have been The Lost Dutchman Museum, Seven Wonders of the Universe, Senior Lunches and Historical Society Meetings, and Where People Are Doing Good Things In Rockford.
"I appreciate the opportunity to explain  about The North Palouse Washington e-Newscast and look forward to meeting the readers it represents," Vanek said.

The North Palouse Washington e-Newscast,
Montana Scribbler,
Behind These Mountains,
Access the World and Writer Your Way To $$$,
Ultimate Internet Writers Directory,

Online Books Page,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Senior Lunches and Historical Society Meetings

The third Tuesday of each month senior lunches and historical society meetings provide commaraderie for folks who gather in Fairfield, WA

Senior Lunch, at noon, at the Fairfield Community Center, corner of Main and Johnson,.

Across the street, at 1:30 p.m., the South East Spokane County Historical Society and Museum meets at East 301 Main St.

Both buildings are wheelchair accessible.

The Lost Dutchman Museum

© Mona Leeson Vanek

Collections of America's treasured past all too often are known only to local residents, or to those who diligently search them out. And that's not easily accomplished. Many of the excellent museums and collections exist in small towns along the back roads of America and are not referenced in libraries or online.

Besides, online research may not locate what you expect. For instance, if you search Lost Dutchman Museum you get numerous links, but all point to the museum formally known as the Superstition Mountain Museum in Arizona, not to Andy Gortsema's Lost Dutchman Museum in Washington State's Palouse region.

According to Lewis-Clark Antique Power Club, Gortsema owns one of the best engine collections in the region. In addition, the museum houses a remarkable collection of antiques, gadgets, gizmos and mechanical inventions used in agriculture.

Some pieces in Gortsema's treasured collection are pictured on the website ( It says that Gortsema didn't accumulate the commonplace, and by and large, "many of his engines are out of the ordinary, even rare. Every one of them is restored to perfection. His son, Marvin, a professional painter, lives next door so you can be assured the finish is the best, bar none."

Fairfield is one of those small towns. Located about 30 scenic miles southeast of downtown Spokane on Highway 27, it was founded in 1888 and incorporated in 1905. Known as "The town that celebrates Flag Day," it has a population of around 600. Local economy is founded on agriculture, with wheat, barley, lentils, dry peas, and grass seed the main crops.

The small town is surrounded by fertile cropland, so it's not surprising that the antique vehicles and machinery on the field along the county road in front of where the collection is located attract the casual traveler's attention to the Gortsema's distinctive oval white sign.

The Lost Dutchman Museum is located at 202 S. 5th in Fairfield, just off of Prairie View Road that junctions with Hwy. 27 which is the main highway through town. From Prairie View Road take the short lane named 5th and go past the "y" on the right, continuing up the hill to the museum behind the house.

There are no set hours, Marvin Gortsema says, "when someone wants to visit, we're happy to show them around."

His friendly welcoming smile gives no indication to the expertise attributed to the family by The Lewis-Clark Antique Power Club. The uninitiated visitor may leave, unaware that the club is proud to claim Gortsema as one of its members, and that engine buffs far and wide know his reputation. (

Anyone with an interest in mechanical inventions used in agriculture won't be disappointed in this collection of America's treasured past.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Souper Senior Supper

Souper Senior Supper get-together for those 50 and over, Valleyford Community Church, corner of Madison Rd. and Palouse Highway, Valleyford, Washington, 6:15 p.m. April 20, 2011.

Folks meet on the 3rd Wed. each month for a supper of soup, homemade bread, dessert and chit-chat. Those who wish to can bring any favorite soup, or a dessert, or bread, or nothing (there's always plenty.)

A different soup is featured each month. Cans of soup are combined, heated, and served buffet-style alongside pots of homemade soups. Everyone 50 or older is invited and will feel right at home with this group.

Check out this great way to get acquainted, share camaraderie, and make lasting friendships.

Seven Wonders of the Universe

Seven Wonders of the Universe is a fun and informative read at Internet Review of Books, The review, written by Ruth Douillette, says the book includes a section on tectonic plates that makes you realize just how fragile Earth's crust is, and also explains why earthquakes actually benefit the planet.

For excellent book reviews, bookmark Internet Review of Books, and visit regularly.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Where People Are Doing Good Things In Rockford

Rockford, WA during April 2011

Thursday mornings the gals are meeting at the McIntosh Grange, 9:00 a.m. 1st St. Rockford. The gals are currently cutting, stitching and assembling blankets to be given to Kids who have suffered a trauma. Materials are supplied. Sewing machines and nimble fingers welcome. Join the fun. And go home feeling good. Everyone is welcome. It's where new comers meet old timers.

They're also baking cookies (in the kitchen downstairs) for the weekend Rest Area project, where Bill and Kathy Creed man the coffee and cookies booth ~~ respite for travelers. It raises money for improvements on the grange building. (Contact Susan Hegney, (509) 995-7001 or Carol Evans, (509) 535-1165. While repairs are being made to the front entrance, just go around to the back and come on in.

Saturday mornings, 10:00 a.m. to noon, 20 South 1st St. Rockford, ladies from Rockford and the surrounding area meet in the Banquet Room at the Harvest Moon for "crochet classes." They crochet articles of their choice, (which most enter into the Southeast Spokane County Fair held in September in Rockford.) But that's not all they do.

Other gals come, bring their laptop, other needlework or crafts to work on, or just to get acquainted and share in the Camaraderie and to catch up on local News. Viewpoints are exchanged, and important announcements circulate. Everyone is welcome. It's where new comers meet old timers. Phone (509) 291-4313. See directories at for location.

Currently, kids are meeting with Mayor Harnois at City Hall to plan summer activities of their choice. Contact City Hall (20 W Emma St.)for particulars. Phone: (509) 291-4716. Fax: (509) 291-5733. Watch for exciting things to happen this summer.

BREAKFAST SPECIAL: McIntosh Grange, 1st St. Rockford, April 10, 2011, 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Pancake's are always hot and yummy at this monthly family event, and other delectable items have been added recently. Fruit and drinks, too, plus lots of Camaraderie local news and sharing neighborhood tidings. Donations. See directories at for location.

FRED NECK'S FROG REGATTA FESTIVAL, Saturday, April 16, 2011, in Rockford City Park. Daylong fun events. Contact Fred Neck's Saloon and Beanery. Benefitting Rockford's Lions Club in support of Youth and Community Activities. See directories at for location.

Rockford Historical Society, April 22, 2011 2:00 p.m. is hosting an author Book Signing. The Estby Family: Jane Kirkpatarick, Carole Estby and Linda Lawrence Hunt. See directories at for location.

SATURDAY, April 23, 2011, Lion's Club sponsored Easter Egg Hunt in the Park. 10:00 a.m. - Noon. See Lion's Club link.

BINGO, McIntosh Grange, April 19, 2011, 7:00 pm - 8:30 p.m. 1st St. Rockford.

For other area news and events, please click the links at the right, and check Rockford web PAGES,