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Sheila Hagar

Stories by Sheila

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.

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Familial strings to pull Walla Walla Symphony into new season

WALLA WALLA — The teacher became the student and the student has been coach in the father-daughter performance to be featured Tuesday when Walla Walla Symphony presents “Curtain Up!” for the new concert season.

Housing vouchers allotted to homeless vets

WALLA WALLA — Washington state will gain 335 federal housing vouchers for homeless veterans, with 10 of those set to be administered by Walla Walla Housing Authority, according to Sen. Patty Murray’s office.

Too-sweet toddler takes on new normal

Can I just say something? Thank you. Thank you so very much.

Columbia County to contract developmentally disabled services

DAYTON — Columbia County commissioners will contract for help in serving residents living with a developmental disability.

Local health providers gear up for flu season

Before flu season comes, there is flu vaccine season — at least for people serious about avoiding the illness.

The sour truth of a medical crisis

Our family caught a glimpse of the black hell of losing a child this past weekend and we are still breathing hard from running in the opposite direction.

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Vets sound off at VA meeting

WALLA WALLA — Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center heard concerns from area veterans about a range of problems during a “town hall” meeting Wednesday.

New award method sends United Way dollars toward targets

WALLA WALLA — Implementing a new model of dispersing donated funds, United Way of Walla Walla County volunteers spent a combined 350 hours to review applications for this year’s awards, said Christy Lieuallen, executive director.

Keep kids’ private moments all in the family

Can we all just stop pimping our children? Stop selling them out for “Like” and “Share”? Quit scurrying to gather “views”?

Careers in the balance: Fears of retaliation for those who speak up

WALLA WALLA — Dr. Jonathan Hibbs has no doubts speaking out against the Department of Veterans Affairs is risky, despite that he resigned last month after eight years of treating veterans in Walla Walla and Yakima.

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Woman’s VA career pulled up short after raising concerns

WALLA WALLA — This summer Dr. Carolyn Clancy, interim undersecretary for health for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, sent a message to all hands systemwide.

Revolving-door staffing tough to slow at VA

WALLA WALLA — Apart from hardships veterans have in obtaining medical services, the Yakima Community Bases Outpatient Clinic also doesn’t get the staff it needs, according to Dr. Jonathan Hibbs.

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At the Walla Walla VA, doctor disillusionment

Two doctors who quit Walla Walla VA’s operational area tell of a dysfunctional agency more interested in policy than people.

VA another battle for vets

A wounded Vietnam vet who became a VA clerical worker talks about endless challenges for medical treatment.

Ex-VA doctor’s parting words: ‘I have reached that point.’

Dr. Jonathan Hibbs, who spent eight years working in the Department of Veterans Affairs health system, wrote an impassioned letter to colleagues about why he felt compelled to resign. On July 25, Hibbs left his job as medical director of the Yakima Community Based Outpatient Clinic, which operates under the authority of Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center. His letter follows:

Commission denies WWU accreditation for program

Walla Walla University has learned its four-year nursing program will no longer be accredited.

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Red Badge Project writes new story for veteran recovery

WALLA WALLA — When Tom Skerritt decided to take his show on the road, Walla Walla was the natural choice.

Alleged drunken driver arrested after crash

WALLA WALLA — A Milton-Freewater woman was arrested after a traffic collision that injured a Walla Walla man Sunday afternoon at the intersection of Poplar and Palouse streets.

Local suicide hotline working to speed help

WALLA WALLA — People considering suicide in Walla Walla County should be able to talk to a local mental-health professional, and fast.

West Nile case suspected in WW County

A Walla Walla County resident is suspected of having contracted the mosquito-borne West Nile virus, health officials said Friday.

Patient recovering after apparent West Nile infection in Walla Walla County

A West Nile virus infection is suspected in a Walla Walla County resident, health officials said Friday.

Column: Judge rules in favor of responsibility

The possibility of being jailed recently caught my daughter’s attention.

Local VA officials at odds with national news report

WALLA WALLA — Local VA officials are puzzled by a USA Today news report Wednesday that said almost 19 percent of staff who schedule appointments at Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center were instructed to manipulate data on how long military veterans wait for medical appointments.

Walla Walla veteran wages battle for VA help

WALLA WALLA — Bill Curry is the first one to say he takes a lot of medication for his psychiatric issues.

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Bold, bright pieces are artist’s signature

WALLA WALLA — Heidi Higginbotham’s work days are one straight line after another.

Memento curator finally decides the old stuff is history

Let me be very clear — I love history.

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WWCC cafe gives student chefs hands-on experience

“There is no better lesson than failure,” says Dan Thiessen, executive director of Walla Walla Community College’s Wine Country Culinary Institute. “You’ve got to let them fail.”

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9 years later, remains of Milton-Freewater man found

Loggers in the Blue Mountains outside of Milton-Freewater discovered the skeletal remains of Byron Jeffrey Fusselman, reported missing in November 2005, a few weeks before the young man would have turned 20.

Local educator, bookkeeper sentenced for embezzlement

WALLA WALLA — A former Walla Walla University finance professor and self-employed bookkeeper will spend time in federal prison on a charge of wire fraud in connection with the theft of more than $800,000 from a local dentist.

Local nursing home tops VA’s project list

WALLA WALLA — The Washington state veterans nursing home slated for Walla Walla is once again on track and, if all does as expected, with full funding.

Car crash survivor loses leg, fights for future

WALLA WALLA — Noel Shannon of Milton-Freewater is missing part of her left leg, but her courage and spirit have doubled, her mom said this week.

Opting out of shots a factor in state’s rise in measles

WALLA WALLA — Alarmed that measles cases in Washington state have climbed to 27 so far this year — more than the past five years combined — public health officials in Walla Walla County and elsewhere are raising concerns about people who aren’t vaccinated.

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Milton-Freewater woman survives harrowing night after rolling truck

Using her keys as a primitive scalpel to cut off her own leg was one of the options Noel Shannon considered the night she lay trapped under her 1996 Toyota truck.

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Renowned Walla Walla artist Norman Adams dies

He was best known for his intricate paintings of nature that appeared in national magazines and elsewhere.

WALLA WALLA — The Valley lost some of its creative color on Friday with the death of Norman Adams, a Walla Walla-based artist known nationally for his illustrations or nature and wildlife.

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Shades of today paint picture for tomorrow

MILTON-FREEWATER — To tempt people to invest in Milton-Freewater’s future, Norm Saager is offering a glimpse of its brick-and-mortar history through the work of high school students and their art teacher.

State dentists, orthodontists groups question spending

They say they expected Medicaid expenditures on braces for youths would have leveled off instead of spiking.

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State foots skyrocketing $27 million bill for braces

Washington spent $27 million in 2013 on orthodontics for eligible patients 20 years old and younger.

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Vintage films capture area’s past (with videos)

WALLA WALLA — She’s doing it for family, but Wilma Schmerer is betting others will be eager to take a look.

After three years, family finally warms up to dishwasher

If you have eaten at our house in the past three years, partaken in a potluck dish I contributed or nibbled on snacks I ferried to work, let me say I am heartily sorry.

Milton-Freewater's Opera House is undergoing restoration

MILTON-FREEWATER — Behind curtained scaffolding, single-paned windows and bricks patinated with decades of exposure, a timeworn lady sits, waiting for another chance to be useful in her community.

Local surgeons stitch up new collaboration

WALLA WALLA — Two area medical providers were surgically joined together this week.

Family waits on a miracle after boy's near drowning

Gabriel Scheel is spunky. The youngest of five boys, the Assumption School preschooler is tough enough to lay some hurt on his brothers when the Scheel boys roughhouse.

County to head into mental health transition while missing pivotal position

WALLA WALLA — The county is once again without a psychiatrist to treat eligible Medicaid patients, but those in charge are hopeful the hole will soon be plugged. In the meantime, a solid umbrella of staffing is in place to weather the storm, said Rick Weaver, executive director of Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health.

St. Mary and Kadlec medical centers join under secular umbrella

WALLA WALLA — A local hospital is now affiliated with Kadlec Health System in Tri-Cities.