The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jess Macinko
News Editor 

Goldendale trounces Winter, 2-0


Jess Macinko

SNOW SCENES: Chances are Kelle's Transport Services doesn't consider this truck in the Columbia River near Rufus its best advertising. The driver lost control, went through the guard rail, and made a big splash.

Community efforts beat winter mishaps last week, making the best of two weather-related accidents. First, cooperation between Bishop's Towing and the Goldendale Gleaners turned a semi-wreck into a corn give-away. Then an accident at Goldendale Middle School spurred a volunteer snow-removal effort to improve safe student access.

Berm busters

On Jan. 27, Travis Herseim was in the right place at the right time. He had just dropped off his son at Goldendale Middle School when he heard a yell. Another student had exited her mom's van, slipped, and slid under the vehicle's rear wheel.

"I looked over and the girl was half up under the van." Another person was already at the scene assisting. Herseim ran over to help.

"I got down there with her and kept her as calm as I could." He stayed with the injured student until EMS arrived and took her to KVH. She suffered a bruised thigh, but no broken bones were reported.

Herseim wouldn't comment on how a teddy bear found its way to the girl's hospital room. All he would say on the subject was "Teddy bears always make hospitals better."

As for the slip, he calls it a freak accident. "No one did anything wrong. It was just one step on a slick surface."

But LeAndra Kessinger says there was a culprit: a series of berms impeding students' safe passage from cars to sidewalks. According to Kessinger, the girl climbed out of her mother's van onto one of the snow mounds, then lost her footing on the icy slope.

A self-described "loud and opinionated go-getter," Kessinger organized a community snow-removal effort the following day. An estimated 25 people showed up Saturday at noon to clear crosswalks, widen streets and create paths through the berms.

Kessinger had special thanks for Pete Cole, who supplied the volunteers with hot chocolate, and Andrew Malcolm, who aided the effort in his John Deere.

"He did an amazing job. We couldn't have gotten done what we got done without him."

She also expressed gratitude for the volunteers, most of whom she believes don't have children in the middle school.

"I love our community. To just come out and do that-absolutely amazing. Goldendale is a great community, and this was proof."

Kessinger warns that the east side of King Street, where the student was injured, is still not safe, and advises parents to drop their kids off elsewhere.

Haste prevents waste

On Jan. 25 at 9:30 a.m., Goldendale Gleaners possessed about 46,200 pounds of frozen corn. By 12:15 p.m. it was all gone. A group of volunteers unloaded the corn from the back of a semi-trailer and distributed it-first come, first served-to a line of cars that stretched out the parking lot of the Bible Baptist Church.

Jess Macinko

SNOW SCENES: Another truck carrying frozen corn spilled over and Goldendale residents reaped a lot of free corn.

For Rody Schilling, vice president of Goldendale Gleaners, the sight was familiar. "Every time there's ugly weather," the group can expect a load of salvage from a wrecked truck, courtesy of Bishop's Towing.

Randy Dyche, who owns and operates the towing company along with his family, has been working with the Gleaners for about four years. Among the goods he's salvaged are potatoes, onions, apples, pears, frozen dinners, boxed salads, orange juice and Gatorade.

With such large amounts, Schilling says parking give-aways are standard procedure. "It's actually the easiest way. Foodbank's don't have the freezer space." She said the Bible Baptist parking lot, well-known and highly visible, is an ideal location.

The corn was distributed as it was packaged-in 55 pound boxes. Schilling predicts local stores will see a run on Ziploc bags.


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