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Sheila Hagar

Stories by Sheila

Medicare dings Providence St. Mary for preventable harm

A Walla Walla hospital has landed on a list of those that will be penalized for having had too high a rate of preventable harm to patients, known as “hospital-acquired conditions,” or HACs.

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Walla Walla Clinic expands with therapy facility

The Walla Walla Clinic is gathering its sheep, so to speak.

Flu, pertussis cases climb in Walla Walla Valley

Health officials here today said Walla Walla County is experiencing a greatly increased number of cases of influenza and pertussis, best known as whooping cough.

Hagar: Hey, teacher — leave the kids alone!

It’s taken me a few weeks to recognize why I’m so very mad. Aside from the obvious, I mean.

Sherwood Trust casts net for new boss

WALLA WALLA — Jock Edwards will retire in six months as executive director of the Don and Virginia Sherwood Trust, one of Walla Walla’s leading financial benefactors.

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Valley’s first baby an early bird

Jackson Stueckle appears to already be entrenched in his family’s patterns, starting off with his initials.

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Video: Skillful skillet operator toasts Ducks' playoff appearance

MILTON-FREEWATER — It’s already looking delicious for college football fans this season, what with the Jan. 12 NCAA championship game coming on the heels of Thursday’s first national semifinal games in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl.

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Milton-Freewater man turns 'canned hams' into glam campers

Long before there was a “tiny house movement,” there were tiny houses — on wheels and covered in tin.

Friends of Children of Walla Walla gets a new top pal

WALLA WALLA — The new year will bring new leadership to Friends of Children of Walla Walla.

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The unsimple tale of Simon the cat

Simon, a tuxedo cat missing since August, is reunited with his family.

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General Hospital concert series aims for the heart

As people entered the sliding doors of Walla Walla General Hospital lobby, they inevitably turned their heads left.

Navigating holiday traditions in 2nd marriage a tricky waltz

I’m becoming something of an expert on second marriages. On my second marriage, anyway.

Local coalition’s proposals aim to address homelessness

WALLA WALLA — It’s the holiday season and the time to seek out some gifts for the homeless population here seemed right to members of The Interfaith Coalition on Poverty.

‘Boot-strappin’ folk’ won’t give up on Garfield County hospital

POMEROY — Garfield County Hospital District head Andrew Craigie counts retired pediatrician Ray Cardwell as among outsiders who want to see the district weather its current hard times.

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Strapped Garfield County hospital gets endowment funds

POMEROY — In the aftermath of a still-fresh tax levy victory, supporters of Garfield County Hospital District have not stopped at the ballot box in efforts to keep the facility alive and see it thrive again.

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.