The Odessa Record -

The Year in Review


January 4, 2018


The local girl scout troop worked hard to raise funds for a planned trip to Washington, D.C., scheduled for the coming summer. The girls teamed with volunteers from Christ Lutheran Church in Odessa to carry out a textile drive through a group called Clothes for a Cause. Through this fundraiser and others that had already been conducted by the group and their parents/guardians, the girls were trying to raise $16,000 for their trip.

The Odessa Chamber of Commerce called a community-wide meeting to be held in the community center to discuss the future financial viability of Deutschesfest, the town’s annual celebration of its ethnic German heritage. The Chamber was requesting input from all of the stakeholders in the Fest, as well as from anyone with fresh ideas about how to revitalize the event or to perhaps replace it with something new.


The home of John Hilty in Odessa caught fire and was gutted in a blaze that left the home a total loss. Hilty was home at the time, having decided not to brave the icy road conditions to travel to his job in Moses Lake. He said he heard a loud pop and then almost immediately smelled smoke. He and his small dog were able to get out of the house, but he was unable to retrieve anything more than a couple of photo albums before the intensity of the fire drove him to seek safety. Odessa firefighters put out the blaze as quickly as possible, and the homes on either side of the Hilty home were spared any damage.

An Amtrak train spent a Sunday afternoon in Odessa as rail traffic became backed up due to avalanches blocking travel in the mountains of Montana. Some of the passengers, bored with sitting in a non-moving train, trekked into the downtown area and visited the grocery store to pick up snacks or just to browse and pass the time.

Suggestions by Odessa superintendent Dan Read concerning some of the financial and logistical arrangements governing the Odessa-Harrington Athletic Co-operative were brought up at the twice yearly, mid-winter meeting of the joint school boards. Gossip and rumors had been circulating among the populations of both towns for some weeks as a result of inefficiencies and low levels of participation by Harrington in several sports offered. Read advised all parties to disregard rumors and rely only on fact.

Odessa resident Stan Dammel was awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award by the Federal Aviation Administration individuals who have exhibited skill, professionalism and aviation expertise for at least 50 years piloting an aircraft.

Temperatures rose sharply in mid-February and the melting snow got the water flowing in Crab Creek. Snow had covered the ground steadily since the first snows in early December. There was no danger of flooding but citizens nevertheless kept an eye on the rising water level.


The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Posse was established as a mounted search and rescue team of volunteers appointed by the LC Sheriff. Members provide expert horsemanship, first aid and additional support to the sheriff’s office when called upon. The organization is self-financed through membership dues, fundraisers and donations.

The regularly scheduled school board meeting was attended by a large group of parents, students and school staff members. Discussion centered on the athletic co-operative and a perceived lack of participation by both the student athletes and members of the Harrington community in the sports programs currently offered.

The community forum on the future of Deutschesfest resulted in many suggestions for improving the festival, some of them contradictory. There was no shortage of ideas for making the festival more attractive to more people, but as has been the case for a number of years, the problem has been finding people to implement the ideas put forth. There were high hopes that an earlier start to the planning and organization of this year’s Fest would help to solve that problem.

The Firemen’s Auction was held March 4 and all but one of the items were sold by the time the sale ended.

Mason Lewis of rural Odessa and his grandmother Marilyn Smith found the first buttercup of 2017.

Quilt ‘til You Wilt was held in the community center March 20, as approximately 100 avid quilters from all over the northwest came to Odessa for the day of quilting camaraderie. The participants worked on projects of their own, attended and/or presented demonstrations of various techniques and shortcuts and visited with fellow quilters. The event also included prize giveaways, a potluck lunch and dinner, sharing of fabric swatches and exchanges of all kinds of information for novices and accomplished quilters alike.

Still no buyer for the shuttered Odessa biofuel plant. Global Clean Energy Holdings’ Richard Palmer said that the international biofuels market was very robust, but that the U.S. market, by contrast, was plagued by uncertainty.

A non-profit organization called GO! Odessa Recreation has been established by Kaylene James, also the owner and operator of Kinder Haus Family Home Childcare, with the goal of providing a wider variety of wholesome activities for Odessa youth. She plans to conduct fundraising events, apply for grants and solicit donations in order to offer kids these opportunities.

In the 15-and-Under age group, Odessa resident Keith Strebeck took first place in the White Knuckle race put on by the Stumpjumpers Motorcycle Club on land south of Odessa owned by Jerry Schafer. Joshua Valverde, also of Odessa, took eighth place in the same category. Joshua’s father Don Valverde placed 10th in the Vet C class.

The school musical this year was entitled “The Little Mermaid Junior.” After a dress rehearsal on Monday, the cast gave two performances Thursday, an early afternoon performance geared toward their school-aged peers and an evening performance geared toward parents and community members.


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