The Odessa Record -

The Year in Review



Dr. Linda Powell, having served Odessa and its vicinity for the past 24 years, had given her notice to the Odessa Memorial Healthcare Center and was celebrated on June 30 in the hospital atrium. She and her husband Steven Powell moved to Salmon, Idaho, where she joined a group practice of several other medical doctors.

Two separate teams of students involved in the Odessa High School chapter of Future Business Leaders of America won first place in the nation at the National Leadership Conference held this year in Atlanta, Ga.: The Community Service Project team of Colton Hunt, Tori Weishaar and Brad Johnston and the Business Plan team of Megan Shafer and Molly Schafer.

The Odessa Public Development Authority’s manager Stacey Rasmussen wrote in an article on the organization that it was close to finalizing the sale of the Odessa oilseed traction and biodiesel plant Global Clean Energy Holdings of California and hoped to do so by the end of the summer. [Editor’s note: A matter that, in fact, is still to be finalized, although the organization holds out hope that the sale will eventually take place.] Other successful projects by the Authority were also reported on.

Odessa’s wheat harvest got under way, with yields that were above average for the most part. Boding well for future wheat harvests and other types of crops, the Lind Coulee siphons were installed and were ready to begin delivering surface water from the Columbia River to irrigators in the Odessa area. The project was part of a compromise plan to replace in part the water that non-completion of the East High Canal had denied to farmers in this portion of the Columbia Basin Project that had been promised when the Grand Coulee Dam was built.

Odessa Foods celebrated the fifth anniversary of the sale of the local grocery store to owners Bob and Bonnie Dewey of Cowiche and their resident managers Jeff and Debbie Norris. Store personnel and the owners and managers provided free hot dogs, burgers and soft drinks to the crowd.


Summer wildfires spread to within just a few miles of the Odessa town limits. The very dry summer left grasslands and stubble fields to be tinder for the least little spark.

What might have been the world’s smallest circus visited the area in August. They set up and performed in the Old Town, in an area where there was no air-conditioning. It appeared to be a family-run affair. The decor was shabby and faded, and the acts were less than stellar. Only about 20 residents went to see the circus.

More wildfires caused by dry lightning were reported in various places in eastern Washington. The nearby once-thriving town of Irby saw a fast-burning blaze race up the coulee, destroying power poles that left several homes in the area without power for some hours. No homes were destroyed, however.

Odessa lost a mainstay of the community in August when Tim Hauge, pastor of the Christ Lutheran Church in Odessa, died in a vehicle accident. He was driving a semi filled with harvested wheat into town, when the brakes reportedly failed in the vehicle, causing it to crash into a building on Railroad Avenue.

After Helen Coubra resigned as police chief in Odessa and purchased the Odessa Drive-In to become a business owner in town, Tom Clark, formerly a police officer in Quincy, was sworn in as Odessa’s newest police chief. Clark and his wife Katie have three school-aged children and plan to move to Odessa permanently once their house in Quincy sells.


Two Odessa teachers were honored for their work in the classroom. Tim Larson, currently teaching third grade at P.C. Jantz Elementary, was named the 2017 Regional Teacher of the Year by NE Washington Educational Services District 101. Larson and his wife Jill Larson, also an Odessa elementary teacher, have two children and have lived in Odessa for nine years. Fellow teacher Jeff Wehr, science teacher at Odessa High School, attended a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C. in September, where he received one of 213 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. His wife Julie Wehr, a junior-high science teacher at the Odessa schools, accompanied him to the ceremony. The Wehrs also have two children, one a graduate of Odessa High and the other now a junior in high school.

The Odessa Junior Livestock 4-H Club won the Commissioner’s Award at the Lincoln County Fair in Davenport for keeping the beef barn at the fairgrounds very neat and clean.

Hilda the rubber chicken has been adopted by the Odessa Chamber of Commerce as its mascot for the Odessa Deutschesfest. Hilda traveled as far away as California and Nevada this summer, telling the world about her upcoming festival in Odessa.

The Deutschesfest itself found attendance rather low this year. Those who did attend appeared to have a good time, but efforts to return to the former glory days of Fest would seem to be less than successful. Rain and a power outage on Saturday also put a damper on Fest this year.

The NAPA store was sold by Frank and Marcus Horak to a group that owns the franchise in Davenport. The brothers also sold their building, the Finney Block, to the owners of Etched Glass, so the NAPA store relocated once again to First Avenue, its former location, where Etched Glass had been.


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