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Coulee Recollections

A look at the past


Ten Years Ago

An Electric City man involved in the town’s adoption of a nuisance ordinance last year believes the town, rather than neighbors, should instigate its enforcement. “I hate that neighbor has to turn in neighbor,” Jerry Sands said. “It shouldn’t be a neighbor ratting on a neighbor.

The Grand Coulee Dam Little Guy Wrestlers “Coulee Crushers” began their season with a trip to Royal City on March 1. On March 8 they traveled to Chewelah for matches, with many receiving recognition for their efforts. Those who took first place, receiving gold medals, were Charles LaPlante, Tommy Lee Turner and Daniel LaPlante. Third place bronze medal winners were Alexia Hanway, Sterling Shepard and Kasey Green. A special recognition goes to Gunner Bradeen, who won his first match.

The public now has a month longer to express concerns about the possible lowering of Banks Lake later this year. According to a Bureau of Reclamation press release, public comments for the Banks Lake Drawdown Draft Environment Impact Statement will be accepted until April 11. The previous deadline was Monday.

Twenty Years Ago

A delegation of the Colville Confederated Tribes traveled to Washington D.C. last week to lobby members of Congress for resolution of a 40-year old dispute with the federal government over rights to revenue from Grand Coulee Dam power production.

After a lengthy wait for their Main Street facility to be rebuilt after a fire, the area’s senior citizens are now debating whether their new building should remain smoke free.

The winds of educational change appear to be blowing across the Colville reservation. That change could herald not only expansion of the Nespelem School’s curriculum to include seventh and eighth grades as early as September but the eventual reopening of a high school as well.

Two weeks ago Tuesday, the owners of Marie’s restaurant in Electric City became the first food service establishment in the Grand Coulee Dam area to ban smoking on the premises.

Bob and Tammara Byers are proud to announce the birth of their son, Quenton Leon, born March 4. He weighed 6 lbs., 12 oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Thirty Years Ago

During their session last Thursday at the Sage Inn, the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce has installed a full committee to work on the 50th anniversary upcoming on July 16.

Recently reopening is Lori’s Banks Lake Drive-Inn at Electric City. The drive-in still features Mexican food plus a variety of sandwiches.

Taking first in the Women’s Class C 1983 WARA Washington State Closed Singles Raquetball Champions was Carla Desautel. Also participating were Roy Broumley, Bill Desautel and Chris Hoke.

Forty Years Ago

Paul O. Tillman, 17, of Elmer City, was seriously injured in a two-car accident last Tuesday on the four-lane highway between Grand Coulee and Coulee Dam. Apparently Tillman lost control of his 1970 Dodge on the right shoulder of the road, over-corrected and went into a broadside skid crashing into a large dump truck in a southbound lane. Driver of the truck, Bud Ricks, was uninjured.

Air-operated concrete vibrators are being serviced at the Grand Coulee Dam Project.

The Grand Coulee 9th grade Panthers ended the season with a 5-5 record after getting off to a poor start. Brian Barnaby led all players in assists and steals and Jeff Loe led in rebounds and free throws.

Fifty Years Ago

A life membership pin was presented to Dorothy Holbert at the Gand Coulee PTA meeting March 11.

The American Red Cross recently award those who have donated a gallon of blood to the blood center. They included Mabel Youngs, Wesley Johnson, Vern Canterbury, Harold Hansman, Mrs. Edwin Borovec, and R. E. Racy. Roy Jensen and Kenneth Skorheim were honored for their two gallons donated.

March 10 will mark a milestone in Grand Coulee after many years of preparation by the Chamber of Grand Coulee Oasis. The first groundbreaking of a proposed 2.5 million dollar project gets underway. Work is to begin immediately on a marina facilities closely followed by installation of camping accommodations. Ultimately, plans include a golf course, motel, large swimming pool and restaurant. The ceremony will be held at the site adjacent to the airport at Electric City.

Sixty Years Ago

Appraising of land in the reservoir area of Chief Joseph Dam for purchase by the federal government is expected to begin within 90 days.

The Electric City PTA met at the schoolhouse last Wednesday where a nominating committee was appointed. Members include Mrs. Dick Darnell Jr., Mrs. Vern Canterbury and Mrs. Wayne Perkins.

On Friday evening at the DeMolay dance, Pat Hilson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Hilson of Grand Coulee, was crowned Demolay sweetheart. Master Councilor Gary Ratliff presented her with her crown and corsage. She was chosen by popular vote. Pat is a member of the Grand Coulee Dam Assembly of Rainbow Girls and a sophomore at Grand Coulee High School.

Laying of concrete blocks on the foundation poured some time ago for the new B Street fire station was started Sunday.


In a historic decision last week the Colville Confederated Tribes Business Council has decided to hold a primary election this year. The action was brought on by the number of candidates appearing on the former General Election ballot.

A surprise birthday presentation was given to Randy Spotts during a break between last week’s volleyball games. Randy turned the big 30. (What does that make him now?)

The Raider girls’ basketball team kept its State hopes alive as it beat Omak 60 to 47 in District playoffs.

Quadruplet lambs were born last Wednesday on the farm of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Jackson in the Rex-Delrio area. Three lambs weighed in at eight pounds each with one weighing just under five pounds.

Forty Years Ago

The Lake Roosevelt Raiders were in high spirits Saturday night as they handily defeated Tonasket which placed them in the finals this weekend.

The Grand Coulee Dam Pagent will be held March 24 with eight girls vying for the titlem. They include Judy Steffens, Linda Thiel, Ellen Hullett, Connie Palmer, Mary Baxter, Teri Gerard, Jodi Sharr and Cherri Biggers.

A large rock slide covered a 60 foot long section of highway 155 about 10 miles south of Electric City along Banks Lake 1 p.m. Monday. Police estimated the slide to be about 20 to 30 feet deep near the coulee wall side of the road.

Pre-bid information for three generators costing about $49 million for Grand Coulee Dam was asked Thursday by Amtorg, the Soviet Union trading corporation.

Fifty Years Ago

Those receiving all A’s at Grand Coulee High School for the second semester were: Marvin Palanuk, Rick McClain and Ron Kosloski.

Jeff Palin, administrator for the Grand Coulee Dam Hospital has expressed pleasure that more than 1,800 people came to the hospital’s open house on Feb. 17.

Larry French an 8th grader at the Center School emerged as the winner of the 1963 Grand Coulee Junior High Chess tournament. Taking second was Rocky Flowers.

Sixty Years Ago

The main item of business at the meeting of the Coulee Dam advisory council held Monday evening at the community building was the matter of rent increase and the report of the special rent rate committee of real estate experts.

The long-awaited telecasting from KXLY-TV, Spokane, hit the airwaves Sunday and reception at Grand Coulee, Delano and Electric City is reported to be excellent.

Browne’s Department Store is having a closeout on men’s sport shoes beginning at $4.95.

Thirty Years Ago

Parents are joining hands with their children, Wright School and the rest of the nation in an effort to save the Statue of Liberty.

The Nespelem Grade School will be having a dedication March 6. Everyone is cordially invited to the open house for new solar-heated Nespelem Grade School. There will be at the new facility, a potluck dinner, a chance to meet the school’s staff and a Indian War Dance will be held.

The longest session in history for the Raider boys’ basketball team came to a close when the final week of league competition was completed. The Raider varsity netters failed to alter their perfect winless record. The team was defeated by Omak.

The Lady Raiders traveled to Omak last week and seized a win from the Pioneers by t he score of 62 to 35. Shaunee Haugen was high scorer with 287 points.

Airman Bobb J. Burnside, son of Wade R. and M. Burnside of Grand Coulee, has completed Air Force basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Tex. The airman is a 1982 graduate of Lake Roosevelt High School.

The Grand Coulee Dam area is proudly represented by a group of fourth, fifth and sixth graders going by the name of POPEYE, which stands for Preserve Our Physical Education for Youth Everywhere.

Forty Years Ago

Sharon Olson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Olson of Coulee Dam, was a judge in the 1973 Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow. She was selected by a score in a written knowledge and aptitude examination taken by both senior boys and girls on Dec. 5. Sharon will receive a specially designed award from General Mills.

Boy Scout Troop #107 of Grand Coulee, sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spent Friday night and Saturday at Summit Lake. Scouts present were Kevin Bateman, Wayne Jesse, Mark Schmidt, Mike English, Jim Rice, Rick Treim, David and Fred Stuker, Dale and David Thornton, Charles Baxter, Eric Durfee and Jeff Ervin.

Fifty Years Ago

The Grand Coulee PTA met with a full and interesting program. Denise Perkins spoke on “Lets Go Shopping.” Bill Trefry chose the subject “Ten Little Autos” and Jim Hickery spoke on “How to be Miserable.”

Sixty Years Ago

Norman Larson Q/M, UNS, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Larson of Grand Coulee, has been assigned to Bainbridge, Maryland, to attend school of electronics engineering for four months. Norman traveled from Pearl Harbor to Bainbridge by airplane.

On Feb. 1, Mr. and Mrs. Evan Jensen of Grand Coulee entertained with a dinner in honor of the 35th wedding anniversary of her parents Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Whyatt of Nespelem.

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