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November 23, 2010
Cleanup crews on Cat Island in the Gulf of Mexico worked in extreme temperatures, which often soared in the triple digits. Jeff Peebles, a paramedic who lives in Camas, spent two months assisting the crews after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, which resulted in millions of gallons of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

Answering the call

For most local residents, the BP oil spill was seen and experienced only through various news accounts and chatroom musings. However, 39-year-old Jeff Peebles saw it first-hand when he traveled to the Gulf Coast. Peebles, a paramedic with Skamania County Emergency Services, went to Mississippi and Louisiana this past summer to provide emergency services to cleanup workers. "I was seeing everything in the news with all of the oiled-up birds, the tragedies, and the cleanup efforts, so I thought it sounded good to go and help out," he said. Peebles traveled with the cleanup crews daily, and treated patients mainly for heat related illnesses, although there were a fair share of stomach ailments, heart attacks and allergic reactions.

November 16, 2010
The Farrell house, located at Ione Street near downtown Camas, is part of the Holiday Home Tour, set for Dec. 4 and 5. Proceeds will benefit the Downtown Camas Association and Soroptimist International of Camas-Washougal. The home is currently undergoing a major renovation by the new owner.

A new beginning in an old home

Heidi Curley was walking by the Farrell house during the Camas Days Parade in July and was instantly smitten. "I like to say that the house found me," she said. "It was the last thing I was looking for at the time." Curley and her three girls, ages 15, 12 and 7, were still reeling from a family tragedy two months before.

November 9, 2010
Nothing compares to giving a friend or family member a one-of-a-kind handmade gift like those that can be found at local bazaars during the holiday season.

Gifts & Goodies Galore

Beginning this weekend, those looking for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts do not need to venture any farther than the local area. That's because several bazaars are coming to churches, schools and civic centers. Eager shoppers will have the chance to support the local economy, buy handcrafted items and avoid big box stores.

November 9, 2010
The Pirate King (James Maguire) has defeated the Sergeant of Police (Noah Collins) and Samuel (Nicholas Detering) has captured the Major General (Alex Brown), much to the delight of the other pirates.

A comedy about duty and love

Frederic, a pirate apprentice, has fallen in love with sweet, innocent Mabel, the first woman he has ever seen. Yet his vocation is a major roadblock to their future together. And thus begins the adventures of the "Pirates of Penzance," Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta, which drama students at Washougal High School will be performing for their fall theater production.

October 26, 2010
A "train" pulled by a tractor, is another popular attraction. Children typically want to go for a ride, no matter what the weather.

In search of the Great Pumpkin

Every October for the past five years, Jeff Walton has hosted a pumpkin patch at his Camas farm. It's a quiet place, without the hubbub and chaos of some of the larger pumpkin patches. And this suits Walton just fine. "Since I took over the farm 28 years ago, I've always wanted to grow pumpkins," he said. "I really wanted this for the little kids. That way they don't feel overwhelmed like they may at some of the larger farms."

October 25, 2010
Marathon Education Partners sponsors yearly events that bring "scholars" and "partners" together.  Activities include picnics, a winter event, and a "think tank," where students go to area businesses and learn more about what it takes to work there.

Program offers promising students A World of Possibilities

Like many great ideas, this one began with a run. A group of friends, all Nike attorneys, were out pounding the pavement one day soon after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, tossing back and forth ideas on how they could help improve their communities. From these early discussions, the seed for Marathon Education Partners was planted. It's a rather unique mentoring organization: Mentors, called "partners" are recruited from various professions, and are matched with a fourth-grade "scholar." They pledge $100 per month, for 10 years, to be put away in a college fund for the scholar.

October 12, 2010
The Family Halloween Night has been a favorite of adults and kids alike for the past few years. It  will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Liberty Middle School in Camas.

Harvest festivals and Halloween events abound

As the autumn days begin to get a bit more gray, one thing is for certain: It's fall in the Northwest. Thankfully, in the Camas and Washougal areas, there are enough harvest festivals and Halloween events to keep kids in candy all through the long, wet winter. There's even a 21-and-older costume party with live music.

October 5, 2010
The Riverside Adventist Christian School is celebrating 20 years of the Apple Festival this Sunday. The popular community event includes a sweets booth, apple pies, dumplings, games, activities and of course, apples. Pictured, left to right, are Dixie Knoll, Emily Turcic, Ben Stephenson, Anthony Ferzacca and Austin Lauser.

Celebrating 20 years of apples

Every second Sunday in October, Riverside Adventist Christian School is transformed into a paradise of all things apple: There are boxes and boxes of Hood River apples, apple pies and apple dumplings. In addition, there is a "sweets" booth, activities, a big slide, games, a country store, rummage sale and vendor booths. It is a big fund raiser for the school, and provides items such as overhead projectors, computers and basic supplies.

October 5, 2010

Organizers share Apple Festival recipes

For the first time, the Apple Festival will feature a cookbook for sale, which features 299 pages of recipes and different ways to use apples in everyday living. Below are a few of the recipes. The cookbook will be on sale at the festival for $15.