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Hundreds of pallets burn at Blue Star

Photo by Sebastian Moraga
The fire at Blue Star Growers started shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday, and crews stayed busy with cleanup duty well into the early hours of Monday morning. An investigation likely is forthcoming, Blue Star GM Dan Kenoyer said.

Hundreds of pallets burn at Blue Star
A fire authorities are calling suspicious but undetermined burned through dozens of tall stacks of fruit pallets at Blue Star Growers Sunday night.

Cashmere firefighters arrived at the scene of the fire, between Blue Star Way and Mission Avenue, around 7:22 p.m. Firefighters from Cashmere Fire Department, Chelan County Fire District 6, Chelan County Fire District 3, Chelan County Fire District 1 and Douglas County Fire District fought the blazes until late into the night.

Dave Dronen with the CFD said the fire was limited for the most part to the Blue Star Growers' pallets, with neighboring Wilbur-Ellis sustaining minor damage to one if its buildings' eaves. A door on one of Blue Star's cold storage units also suffered heat damage.

So far, Dronen said, no one has found an obvious cause for the fire, leaving its status as undetermined.

"We can't rule exactly what it was," Dronen said. "We can't pinpoint it. The guess would be, there's a possibility it was started but we don't have the evidence to say for sure."

Blue Star Growers and the insurance companies will determine if the fire requires further investigation, he added. No injuries were reported.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...



News

Vandals hit Cashmere Head Start again
Cashmere Head Start is dealing with vandalism yet again.

In past years, employees at the agency have dealt with several occurrences of property damage, ranging from chalk taggings to leaving knives, lighters and garbage and setting a playpen house on fire.

About three weeks ago, they ripped the canvas cover to a wooden climbing toy.

Last week, unknown assailants broke into the agency's bus, pouring soda pop inside. They also broke part of the new play house. In addition, they also defecated on the agency's outdoor picnic table.

"I don't know what would cause a person to do this. They pooped on our picnic table!" said Head Start lead teacher Melinda Steiner. "And it wasn't dog."

The Head Start Agency is not only located in the basement of a church, it's surrounded by houses, so whoever did this does not lack nerve.

"They are pretty bold," said Steiner. "To come out here and do that."

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
School roundup
Just hang on a little longer.

The warmer weather making an early appearance this year may be welcome news to some, but not all. Count the children at Cashmere High School's FFA among those not breaking out the suntan lotion just yet.

The sunnier days may lead folks to buy plants early, which is fine, except for the annual FFA Plant Sale.

As big a part of Cashmere springs as the ping-ping-ping of aluminum bats next door, the Plant Sale at the high school greenhouses returns 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 9.

The plant sale occurs just in time for the second Sunday in May, known around these parts -and those parts, and those over there-as Mother's Day.

The FFA children are already working on it, keeping their plants alive and bloomin' for the sale.

"We have to water them and make sure they stay alive and we have to pick the best of the best for the sale," FFA's Emma Hagen said.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Knowledge bowl standouts foster friendly rivalry
Napoleon Bonaparte, that rascal. Dead almost two hundred years and still stirring up trouble.

Cashmere sophomore Ellen Perleberg, an encyclopedia on two legs, got into a debate with teammate Grant Bauscher regarding Napoleon's birthplace during a Knowledge Bowl team practice. A military history buff, Bauscher was right -he was born in Corsica, not Elba-and Perleberg was wrong.

Since then, "I don't hear the end of it," she said with a laugh. Bauscher pleads not guilty.

The two remain friendly, they both say, and that's a good thing because this year they are the only non-graduating members of the school's Knowledge Bowl team that reached second place at state.

This means that next year, they will likely be -if not team captains- at least team veterans when the time to qualify for state comes.

Until then, they will bid their time as that rarest of creatures, underclassmen who have earned the unqualified respect of accomplished upperclassmen.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
High school students teach horticulture at Vale
The stigmatized third-graders, holding on to their pistols, still walked with style.

Okay, so they weren't bang-bang pistols, but pistils. It wasn't with style, it was with a style, as in the part in the center of a flower.

And they only were stigmatized because as curious third-graders do, they had taken a big whiff of the flowers during class, getting some of that sticky stigma -the part of the pistil where pollen germinates-on their faces.

It's all good say Dani Kenoyer and Kelley Simpson.

The two 12th-graders from Cashmere High School's Future Farmers of America chapter, taught two lessons on plants and soils each week for four weeks to third-graders at Vale Elementary School. The seniors will write a portfolio on their experience and hold a presentation at this year's FFA State competition in Pullman, with a $500 scholarship on the line if they win.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Legion sends two to Boys State
Jonathan Mangas and Seth Meros will represent Cashmere High School at Evergreen Boys State, the annual conference that teaches high schoolers about the work of government.

For one week, Mangas, Meros and many other teenagers from around Washington will become participants in fictitious, but realistic government agencies.

The conference will occur next June 21-27 in Stanwood's Warm Beach Conference Center in northwest Washington.

Before they go, Mangas will ask one of his relatives for pointers for himself and Mangas. His uncle is the Chelan County Auditor and a Cashmere City Council member.

At Boys State, they will get a taste of a politician's life, Moore said, with agency meetings deep into the night and an early wake-up call to follow. They get to pass laws, run for office, and give speeches. They will also belong to political parties -the Federal Party or the National Party.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Schools & Sports

Unbeaten Cashmere ranked No. 2 in state
Cashmere High School's baseball team won two more games to lift its record to 8-0 on the year, although a freak injury cast a pall over what was otherwise a triumphant week.

Cashmere beat the Freeman Scotties 7-1 April 7, then beat the Nooksack Valley Pioneers 8-2 April 11, both games at home.

During the game against Nooksack Valley, Cashmere first baseman Jake Monroe was hit by a pitch three straight times, all three times unintentional, all three times on the head. He laughed it off, Cashmere head coach Jeff Carlson wrote in an email, but by that evening he had a severe headache.

The next day, Monroe was diagnosed with a concussion.

Carlson he had never seen anyone get smacked in the head three times in a game. The first baseman is sidelined indefinitely.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Soccer splits road matches
Cashmere's boys' soccer team rebounded from a tough 4-1 road loss against Granger April 9 with a 2-0 road victory against La Salle two days later.

The split gives Cashmere a 3-3 record on the season. It's the best record after six games in the tenure of third-year head coach Juan Valle. One more win gives Cashmere as many wins as all of last year. Two more wins give the Bulldogs as many wins as in the last two years combined.

A measured Valle said he wasn't too sold on the La Salle win. The Saints "parked the bus" against the Bulldogs, defending the entire time.

"It took us a lot of hard work to break that defense down," Valle said. "We lacked patience."

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Tennis overcomes Entiat, loses to Granger
The tennis team from Cashmere High School thumped the Entiat Tigers 4-1 in both boys' and girls' matches April 8

The next day, Cashmere's fortunes reversed, with the girls losing 3-2 at Granger and the boys losing 4-1.

The matches at Granger were the Bulldogs' first road contests of the season. They were also the first ones played with Granger's 2-3 format, requiring two singles matches and three doubles.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Cashmere wins two, sits two
Fans in the stands, manicured field, Cashmere players in uniform getting ready, umpires in uniform getting antsy. Where's the other team?

Why, on the other side of the mountain pass, of course.

In a perplexing decision, the Blaine Borderites did not show up for a Saturday doubleheader against Cashmere's softball team, a day after playing Cascade in Dryden.

When reached by Cashmere's schools chief Glenn Johnson -who was one of the people in attendance-the athletic director of Blaine High said the team returned home because of weather concerns. More than 12 inches of snow had been forecast for the passes last weekend. As of Monday morning, Snoqualmie Pass was bare and dry, and Stevens Pass presented no restrictions.

Moreover, a block away from the canceled doubleheader, an 18-team track meet occurred on the same day, with several teams coming from the rainy side of the state.

Cashmere Athletic Director Scott Brown said he received no notice of the cancellation, and added that if Blaine wants to make up the games, they need to come to Cashmere.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Track team finishes among the best at home invite
Track and field athletes capped a week of high marks with a third-place finish for boys and a fourth-place finish for girls in the Cashmere Invitational meet.

King's School of Shoreline won the boys' meet and Meridian High School won the girls' meet in a blustery spring day.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
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