The Odessa Record -

The Year in Review


January 18, 2018

--Archive photo.

The graduating class of 2017.


Unable to come to an agreement regarding the sharing of expenses and various other issues between the Odessa and Harrington school districts, dissolution of the joint athletic cooperative that had been established to provide more opportunities for participation in sports was approved by the Odessa School Board. The administrators of the two schools were scheduled to meet and decide upon an equitable division of assets.

Reservations began arriving for the 81st annual alumni banquet to be held June 17.

Downtown streets in Odessa were torn up as part of a project to replace aging water mains and at the same time repair road damage caused by the harsh winter just passed.

Go! Odessa Recreation announced a summer recreation program for children.

Merleen Smith took the reins at the Odessa Food Bank after long-time director Julie Jantz retired from the position.

The small wooden structures dotting many irrigated fields in the area were identified as bee huts for non-honey-producing alfalfa leafcutter bees. The bees are hatched and released from the huts to pollinate whatever crop is growing in their vicinity.

Odessa High School graduated 19 students in June. As a group, they qualified for more than $600,000 in grants and scholarships. Valedictorian was Elizabeth Larson and Salutatorian was Molly Schafer.

The 81st Alumni Banquet brought many former Odessa residents back to town to meet up with former classmates and celebrate their alma mater. The Odessa Athletics Hall of Fame inducted 10 individuals (Harley Frank, Frank Koth, Gale Salo, Sandy Phillips Holmes, Lee Boyk, Larry Weber, Stan Dammel, Ken Witt, Clark Kagele and Leslie Bischoff Hughes) and two teams (the 1961-62 eleven-man football team that was undefeated under coaches Phil Roth and Gerald Ray and the 1985-86 volleyball team under Ken Scherr and Dorris Cronrath that was also undefeated even against larger schools like Cheney, Mead, Rogers (Spokane) and Moses Lake.

The shuttered biodiesel plant owned by the Odessa Public Development Authority was being considered for auction unless a buyer or lessee can be found quickly. The plant has been idle for two years, and the Authority is no longer willing to meet the maintenance expenses to keep the plant ready for use. If no buyer/lessee comes forward, the contents of the building will be auctioned off.


--Archive photo.

Bee huts for pollination.

A bloom of cyanobacteria in newly filled Pacific Lake put a damper on recreational use of the lake this summer. Since the dry lake bed had been overgrown with grasses and various other vegetation for about 20 years, the newly filled lake water had a high nutrient content, according the BLM's Chris Shafer. When the summer temperatures rose to between 72 and 80 degrees, conditions were ripe for this type of what is also called a blue-green algae bloom (a misnomer). The colors are quite beautiful. The smell is not, and the potential toxicity of the bacteria is something that humans and dogs should avoid.

The Odessa High School FBLA chapter sent 29 of its members to the national conference held in Anaheim, Calif. in early July. Odessa teams competed in 10 events at the conference and placed in the top 10 in the nation in five of those events.

The volunteer firefighters put on their July 4 barbecue at Reiman Park, and a large crowd attended.

Following dissolution of the athletic co-operative between Odessa and Harrington have opted to return to their original mascot and colors. The Odessa Tigers return in orange and black, and the Harrington Panthers also return in their colors of red and black.

The wheat harvest and planning for Fest were in full swing.


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