The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

Most interesting stories of the year


This week continues The Sentinel’s look at the top stories of 2013.

May 2013

Store reopens with surprise support

Attics tend to be forgotten places, and Aimee’s almost was.

Just a few short months ago, Aimee Waddell, owner of Aimee’s Attic in downtown Goldendale, was facing the bleak realization that she was going to have to close her store at Columbus and Main. Today—literally, May 1—the store reopens with a remodel, which includes a totally new business model based on a stunning generosity of spirit.

“We were in a position where we were ready to close within a week,” Waddell recalls. “It was so bad.”

That was in January, right after the store experienced a dismal Christmas sales season. “We had about 30 percent of what we usually have at Christmas.” But the trouble had been brewing for some time. Summer of 2012 was when the writing first appeared on the wall. “I thought, well, we’ll get through,” Waddell says of that time. She held out hope for the holidays that was never fulfilled. Pressure was on her, not just for the survival of her store but for the responsibility she felt for her 1,100 consignors whose merchandise was sprawled throughout the store.

Klickitat Vandals softball team headed to State

Klickitat is headed to State. It was a long way to travel to face off against rival Lyle-Wishram, but the Lady Vandals left no room for doubt, defeating the Cougars 13-2 in Ellensburg on Friday. The win puts Klickitat in the State 1B tournament that starts this Friday at 1 p.m. at the Yakima Sports Complex against Colton.

June 2013

GHS 2013 graduates walk a different path

According to Principal Clay Henry, students had been asking for an outdoor venue for graduation for quite some time, and the idea to look into holding the 2013 graduation at the amphitheater first came to him while attending a concert there last summer.

When approached with the idea, winery owners Craig and Vicki Leuthold jumped at the opportunity to show their support for the community, and use of the grand venue, which has hosted performances by such legends as Willie Nelson and B.B. King, was given to the school at no cost. This time music was provided by Doug Siegel and his group of middle and high school band members.

Local man receives double lung transplant

On June 28 last year Cliff West and his wife Patty were informed that Cliff had Pulmonary Fibrosis. He had no idea he had the disease until earlier, in December the year before, when he got bronchitis and was unable to get rid of his cough. He went in and got X-rays; only in June was he informed that he had Pulmonary Fibrosis—and was in its end stages.

After being diagnosed, West had to be on oxygen when he was active. He was on 15 liters of oxygen, a high level, but that didn’t stop him. He stayed active and by doing so stayed fit and healthy.

Field Day showcases Schuster ranch

To be a success in the cattle business, you have to be in it for the long haul. It’s an adage based on the cyclic nature of the cattle industry and this year’s Klickitat County Cattlemen of the Year honorees, Clay and Lauren Schuster, personify that kind of commitment.

Not only do they carry on the tradition of raising cattle in Klickitat County, they are perpetuating a devotion to Hereford cattle that started with Clay’s grandfather back in 1938.

The Schusters hosted friends, family and those associated with the cattle industry with a field day on Saturday, a tradition for the local affiliate of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association (WCA). The field day began at the original ranch, east of Goldendale and concluded with a barbecue dinner and program at Glenwood where the Schusters keep cattle through the summer.

July 2013

Hundreds of lunations later, Stout retires

Steve Stout’s career has been astronomical. Ask him how long he was at the Goldendale Observatory before he retired last Friday, and he doesn’t give your common answer. He responds with lunations, the full phases of a moon cycle, each being 29.530589 days (or 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and three seconds). He was at the Observatory for some 400.5 lunations. “Do the math,” he said at a special ceremony Thursday at the Glass Onion honoring him for his service. No one pulled out a calculator. “That’s 32 years, four months, and 22 days,” completing the task for the lunation-impaired. Thursday Stout talked about his career in Goldendale in more terrestrial phraseology for the earthbound members of his audience. October 13 this year marks 40 years since the Goldendale Observatory was opened regularly to the public, so Stout’s connection with it extends all but eight. of those years.

Pulitzer-Prize winner paints verbal portrait of Goldendale

There’s nothing like observations from a Pulitzer Prize-winner about one’s hometown to snap a person to attention—especially when his comments appear in a new book receiving national attention at this very moment.

Phil Caputo strolled into The Sentinel office in July of 2011, and an interview with him ran July 20 that year. Caputo is perhaps most renowned for his 1977 memoir of Vietnam, A Rumor of War, which has sold some two million copies and was made into a TV miniseries. In 1972 he won a Pulitzer Prize as part of a team of journalists covering voter fraud in Chicago. He was passing through Goldendale as part of his epic driving tour with his wife, Leslie Ware, of the U.S. from Key West to the Arctic Ocean, an odyssey chronicled in his new book, The Longest Road, just released from publisher Henry Holt and drawing rave reviews from the American literary illuminati, and for good reason.

Fire hits home a second time-Smoke wafting over the Simcoes—again.

The sight was foreboding, particularly since much of the area around Goldendale had spent almost two years recuperating from the Monastery Complex Fire. But there it was, a billowing column of pale smoke drifting slowly to the east, Wednesday, July 24.

Known as the Mile Marker 28 fire, first referred to as the Satus fire, then the Shinando Creek fire. People who name fires for a living opted for the point on US 97 close to where the fire erupted that led to the closure of that highway, which stopped traffic between Toppenish and Goldendale. Spillover traffic clogged alternate routes, choking Bickleton which watched in shock as motorists zooming at scary speeds passed semis across double-yellow lines.

August 2013

Marc Boardman retired and then went back to work.

Boardman, who has lived in Goldendale for 18 years, left the Washington State Patrol (WSP), where he’d worked since 1985, on June 21 this year, exactly 28 years to the day of service to the state of Washington. He became undersheriff of Klickitat County on July 10. He retired from the WSP so he could take the new job.

Active shooter exercise for downtown raises safety concerns

Klickitat County Emergency Management will conduct an active shooter exercise Sept. 27, on Main Street from Columbus to Golden Street. While previous active shooter scenarios have been conducted by law enforcement for law enforcement personnel, this one instead focuses on city businesses and their preparedness in dealing with such a situation.

The purpose of the exercise is to encourage local businesses to prepare for a possible disaster.

WWII reenactment group comes to Goldendale

History enthusiasts from a group called RKKA Northwest represented the Russian Army at a weekend-long combat reenactment event held Aug. 9-11, on property owned by the Horseshoe Bend Ranch west of Centerville.

County offers qualified support for bus tour concept

The latest move in an effort to bring bus tours to Klickitat County and Goldendale occurs Sept. 10, when a meeting of businesses and interested parties takes place in Lyle.

The plan is being developed by the Greater Goldendale Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Goldendale, in conjunction with called Falcon’s Crest, a company specializing in bus tour events. Package travel, as such bus tours are commonly called, are seen by many as a significant opportunity for the area to help stimulate economic growth because the average motor coach that stays in a community for 24 hours brings in between $10,000 and $15,000 in area income.

September 2013

Officer hit, suspect killed in Biggs shootout

Shots were fired Thursday between an Oregon State trooper and a motorist in a brief but deadly roadside drama near Biggs.

The officer, Trooper Matthew Zistel, 26, had pulled a vehicle over on I-84 for speeding. The driver of the vehicle, identified as John Van Allen, suddenly jumped out of the car and fired multiple shots at Zistel, who was hit in the side. Zistel returned fire and hit Allen once in the chest before calling for assistance. Allen returned to his car and drove away, getting about a half mile further up the road before pulling over to the shoulder. When found later by other troopers, he was deceased and slumped over the wheel of the car.

Relay for Life draws 261 walkers

Goldendale hosted its very first Relay for Life on Saturday. 261 walkers registered to participate on 16 different teams for the 24-hour event, which raises funds for the fight against cancer. $26,000 were raised by participants in the Goldendale event this year, with $3,700 of that being collected at the relay event itself.

SAR sets rare winter training

Klickitat County Search and Rescue (SAR) is gearing up for an extra recruiting and training cycle this winter and is looking for a few good men and women.

King has been the SAR Coordinator since 2007 and says that their current volunteer roster could stand to have its ranks beefed up. A group of trainees is usually put through the certification courses every other year; nine men and women graduated from the course just this last April.

Police find stolen goods and strange plot twists in local robbery

Burglarizing a home of guns and cash is the kind of story that gains notice. The only thing bigger is the quick action of local police who wrap up the case in less than three days.

The burglary reported last week in The Sentinel was solved by the time the paper hit the stands. The crime occurred because one person wasn’t paid for the drugs he delivered to two other people. It was a crime of convenience whereby one criminal saw a way to coerce others to commit a burglary to raise money to buy more drugs.


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