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Articles written by Jesse Utz


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  • Home coming

    Jesse Utz|Jul 29, 2020

    Many years ago, a local family uprooted and went east. They left behind the oldest son who had just graduated and laid down some roots of his own, but they took the middle child and the youngest and set out for North Dakota. This is the story of the youngest daughter. She had just passed the fourth grade and was looking forward to summer when she got the news. They were packing up and going to the middle of oil country. They were going to live in a place called Wildrose. Population, not much....

  • A Coulee Country scavenger hunt

    Jesse Utz|Jul 22, 2020

    When you live in the same area for a lifetime you come to know some things. So let’s have a little fun and I will take you on a scavenger hunt with clues to certain locations to be discovered by you and your family. Disclaimer: There are no prizes or hidden treasures waiting for you, this is just for fun. So let’s start. There is a little building that packs the making for punch. Under the white domed entrance you just may find Hershey’s and Hooks. Back when baseball cards were a thing to be co...

  • Signs of positivity

    Jesse Utz|Jun 24, 2020

    As we look around during this time, we can see a lot of negativity. It can be heavy and burdensome to carry on with our lives when it appears the turmoil of the world is ripping apart society. It can be hard to go into your day without an attack or bout of uncertainty that can lead to depression or panic like clouds surrounding us. So when a spark of positivity shines bright, it is important grasp it and blow it into a flame. Last Saturday I found myself sitting under the awning at North Dam...

  • What a crazy year, seniors of 2020!

    Jesse Utz|Jun 10, 2020

    This is a year that will forever be remembered, and the graduating seniors of 2020 all over the country will always remember it as being not exactly how they’d pictured it. I usually get a few chances to talk to the seniors one last time at Baccalaureate or Senior Dinner, but it is a different year. So, I will put my words of wisdom right here for all of you, but mostly them. Be adaptable. You are already learning that on the fly. You have had multiple different teachers, principals and rule c...

  • Seeing through the tear gas

    Jesse Utz|Jun 3, 2020

    A lot of soul searching has been going on over the past few weeks. Then a horrific tragedy occurred, and the world watched a man die under the knee of a law enforcement officer. Then the cities erupted. The protests grew up into every major city in America and we found ourselves as a nation trying to put words to what we were witnessing. I have watched a lot of people, make a lot of statements regarding these events that currently still have emotions at a boiling over point. Something has been...

  • Faith of a nation

    Jesse Utz|May 27, 2020

    Faith can be a funny thing, depending on where you’re standing and what you put your faith into. I was raised to put my faith in God first, family second and country third, but all had strong intermingling depending on whom you were with at the time. So what happens when something shakes the foundations of one of those three? Or if the things you held once dear to your heart seem to be faded, tainted or just plain misdirected. We can start by looking at faith through different lenses. I was a f...

  • Churches empty, so is the tomb

    Jesse Utz|Apr 8, 2020

    This year Easter will be different. That is a fact. But the holiday is still going to happen. So what can you do? I have had a few people ask me this week what they can do for Easter this year as they are self-quarantined. So, I decided to write my column as a guideline to how you can celebrate Easter this year and remember a risen King. To start with, I would still make a big deal of it. It was never intended to be about a bunny, candy and presents. It is all about Christ and celebrating the...

  • Summer jobs search

    Jesse Utz|Mar 11, 2020

    Think back to our younger days, a time where we had to find a summer job. It seemed a requirement at the time, and for many parents it was a requirement. The reason I bring this up is because the teens of Coulee Country are once again asking the question, “Where can I get a job this summer?” It is becoming harder and harder for the youth of our area to find summer employment in the area. There are many reasons for this, but part of the hardship for the kids is they do not know where or how to...

  • Valentine Oh! Valentine

    Jesse Utz|Feb 5, 2020

    A few years back, a lot of them really, there was an article written in this very paper entitled “Flames of Love.” It was written by Temple Stark, a reporter here that has since moved on to another riveting assignment. The feel-good article was about a young couple who met at the firehouse and sparked a connection. Who knew then the journey the couple would go on would be like searching a burning building? Sometimes dark, sometimes dangerous, twists, turns and obstacles sometimes becoming dif...

  • It has been a long time coming

    Jesse Utz|Jan 22, 2020

    Anyone that follows any sport at all knows how special it is when your team finally makes it to the championship game. It does not matter if it is in Little League sports, high school, college or professional, it is a cherished moment when your team colors take the field in the biggest moment of their career. That happened to me this past weekend. I had waited 46 years for this moment, and it was surreal. I cannot pinpoint the time I first became a Kansas City Chiefs fan, but I do know I have...

  • Senior profile: Rosa Carter

    Jesse Utz|Nov 27, 2019

    This week I am profiling another outstanding senior at Lake Roosevelt High School. I have watched her grow up right before our eyes. She has had many ups and downs in her educational career here within the walls of the Coulee, but she is putting the pieces together and is ready to take on whatever is next. Here is a little bit of my talk with Rosa Carter. “It’s going alright,” is how Rosa answered my first question about her senior year, and then the normally quiet young lady opened up the f...

  • What happened to us?

    Jesse Utz|Nov 13, 2019

    When this paper comes out there will be 35 shopping days until Christmas, and eight days till Thanksgiving. (Pause to let that sink in) OK, breathe. In the past at our house, we would be making lists consisting of ammo, kitchen tools and automotive tools. We could even dig a little deeper on the depth chart of possible gifts and say stuff like, Kanye West album, a recliner or a new pair of boots. But things have changed this year. We recently bought a luxury kitchen. No, not for our home. Well,...

  • Two kids and a lady

    Jesse Utz|Oct 30, 2019

    Sometimes things are very fun around this place. Since Karrie has a new job title of Grandma, the fun level has picked up dramatically. There are tears sometimes, but so it goes with a 9-month-old and a 1-plus-year-old toddler. There are fun times and stressful times but all valuable times. Have you ever watched a baby fall asleep in her highchair? It is hilarious for all except the babe in question. Opening her eyes when you try and give her a bite, very slowly and looking at you annoyed...

  • The credibility of the trusted

    Jesse Utz|Oct 16, 2019

    As I was growing up in the 1980s and 90s, if you read a newspaper you could take it as fact. The same could be said about the local and national news on television. No matter what paper you read or what channel you preferred your news, it was literally the same news, just different reporters reporting it. Fast forward to today’s sources. It is different on every channel and in every paper. Everyone has a different view of what happened, or it does not appear at all. What happened? We used to s...

  • Where do you stand? It makes a difference

    Jesse Utz|Oct 9, 2019

    Recently, we have heard a lot about different people taking a stand. These people from different backgrounds, different educations, different financial statuses and different beliefs have drawn a line in the sand and are fighting for freedom, political views, multiple causes and basic human rights. How they do this has been different and socially inspiring to some but also irritating and offensive to others. When you take a stand for whatever you choose to fight for, it is important to be...

  • Senior Profile: LorRinda Richardson

    Jesse Utz|Oct 2, 2019

    It is that time of year again, and I recently sat down with one of the stars at Lake Roosevelt to give you a sneak peek into a wonderful young lady’s life and future. I met LorRinda Richardson a long time ago at a PTA event, where she volunteered and kept me laughing the whole time. She has become a confident woman now, but her sense of humor is still there. We started our conversation with me asking about her senior year so far. “Um, not too bad, considering I have already been accepted to two...

  • The hunting story

    Jesse Utz|Sep 11, 2019

    Since hunting season is getting started and the sportsmen of the rifle are heading out soon to their favorite grounds, I thought I would tell you all my favorite hunting story. Of course, I must change the names to protect the innocent and not so innocent. So, let’s call one of the hunters Bob, (not me) and the other LeRoy (really not me). They were getting ready for the big late hunt in Ferry County. It was an “any buck” in the section they were hunting but there were only a few public hunti...

  • Labor Day Blessings

    Jesse Utz|Sep 4, 2019

    If your Labor Day weekend was anything like mine, it was packed full of awesomeness, and we stayed busy. I saw lots of you doing lawn work, finishing honey-do lists and traveling over the unofficial last weekend of summer. There were some special moments for our family, as well. Let me give you a sneak peek of our weekend. If you haven’t heard by now, Karrie and I are in what we call a transition stage. We are morphing into grandparents, and as a part of that Karrie has decided to stay home t...

  • Birthday wishes

    Jesse Utz|Jul 17, 2019

    On Friday, a very special lady will celebrate her ??th birthday. I am smart enough to not put the actual digits in the paper for everyone to see. That would lead to me never having another birthday myself. As we come to the big day, I dream of what I would do for her if money were no object. So here is what I would do for my lovely bride if the keys to the treasure room were ours. Easy enough to start with the basics: new car, dream home and trips, but those would be boring. So let’s assume s...

  • He huffed and he puffed

    Jesse Utz|May 1, 2019

    Last weekend the wind blew. It did not seem like an extraordinary wind. It was powerful, for sure, but it did not seem anything like storms we have seen here in the past. The wind howled, the trees shook, the roof rattled, and dust filled every open crevice. Sometimes it all depends on location and wind direction. Sometimes it happens when we least expect it. No one expected the phone to ring Saturday morning saying the words that were said. Let’s rewind a bit first. Karrie and I got up early Sa...

  • Resurrection Sunday

    Jesse Utz|Apr 17, 2019

    When I was growing up, I called it Easter, but as time has gone by and I have matured and educated myself I have come to realize that it is Resurrection Sunday. We celebrate the day that Christ left the tomb and claimed his seat next to his Father three days after being crucified. This week is the pivotal week in the earliest beginnings of the church, and I would like to walk you through that week briefly. The triumphant entry. Palm Sunday, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, fulfilling the...

  • A heart condition

    Jesse Utz|Apr 10, 2019

    I love cats! There, I said it and I am not ashamed. If I am being honest, I did not always feel that way. I used to have a negative spot in my heart for cats. Why, I am not sure. It could be the cat box smells. I still dislike that part, but our cats have won me over. My heart has changed; I love our cats. I also used to dislike brussels sprouts, asparagus and broccoli. I would avoid these at all costs. But then something happened. I tried some that had been cooked differently. My heart...

  • Divine appointments

    Jesse Utz|Apr 3, 2019

    Spring break will be half over by the time you read this. The kids are running loose in neighborhoods everywhere, and staff from every school is resting up for the final leg of this school year. Usually during the break, Karrie and I are chaperoning kids somewhere in the state. But this year we stayed home and were blessed by our hometown and others. I had a plan for Monday: Be at Les Schwab when it opens to get the tires changed. That was my plan and my timing. It did not turn out the way I...

  • The choices we make

    Jesse Utz|Mar 27, 2019

    Every second of every day we make choices. Do I get up at 5 a.m. or hit snooze? Do I eat Lucky Charms for breakfast or oatmeal? Do I wear a blue shirt or a red shirt today? Every choice we make determines a direction. Some are less serious than others, but there are decisions that have much bigger consequences. Bigger still, some have life consequences that can set you down rough roads in life. The choices we make not only determine things in our lives, but others are affected as well....

  • The sun on my face means something

    Jesse Utz|Mar 20, 2019

    Today I stood with my face pointed to the sun. Warmth of the rays covered my face and a smile crept upon my lips. A vague memory flickered in my skull. A memory that seems to have happened a long, long time ago. Yes, this is the sun and this is what spring feels like. It is finally here. I almost say those words with my tongue in my cheek, just in case a snow flurry comes down and blankets us again just to spite me. The roads are clear, I see grass in my yard again, and robins are everywhere. I...

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