Articles written by Michele Smith

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 By Michele Smith    News    March 7, 2024

A new director for the Dayton Memorial Library

DAYTON-Ellen Brigham is happy to step into her new role as the director of the Dayton Memorial Library. "I'm just really excited to step into this new year with a fresh slate of ideas and positive...


Stakeholders vote on top three priority projects at Port's planning meeting

DAYTON—Each year in December, the Port of Columbia holds its Community Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) meeting for stakeholders in the community to review and update an ongoing five and t...


City of Dayton council and mayoral candidates

DAYTON-When Dain Nysoe retires on Dec. 31, after twelve years on the Dayton City Council, a new city council member, Joann Patras or Devin Greenup, will take his place. "I have enjoyed serving on the... Full story


Spring and Schafer face off for Port commissioner

DAYTON-Mike Spring and Randy Schafer are running for Port of Columbia Commissioner representing District 2, the seat being vacated by Genie Crowe. "The Times" spoke with Spring and received a...


Waitsburg Masonic Lodge still a home for some

WAITSBURG—Everyone in the Touchet Valley knows where to find Waitsburg Grocery. Some may not have realized that the building is the home of Masonic Lodge #16. Waitsburg’s current lodge was con...

 By Michele Smith    News    August 31, 2023

Future legislation could protect libraries, librarians, and the freedom to read

DAYTON—The Washington State Library falls under the auspices of the Office of the Secretary of State, and due to concerns over recent attempts to ban books, staff in that office has begun drafting b...


Columbia County Election results

COLUMBIA COUNTY-Jack Miller has defeated the incumbent Charles Amerein in a tight race for a seat on the Board of Columbia County Commissioners, representing District 3. Miller garnered 51.95 percent... Full story

 By Michele Smith    News    November 3, 2022

Statewide hospital challenges addressed

DAYTON-When the Hospital District commissioners met last week, they heard from Columbia County Health System CEO Shane McGuire about substantial operational losses for Washington State hospitals in... Full story

 By Michele Smith    News    October 20, 2022

Election integrity continued goal for Columbia County

DAYTON—Columbia County’s Election Supervisor, Cathy Abel, said there are many checks and balances to ensure election integrity in the county, from the time an election ballot leaves the voter to whe... Full story

 By Michele Smith    News    October 13, 2022

AAUW candidate forum held Oct. 5

DAYTON-The Dayton chapter of the American Association of University Women held a Candidates' Forum on October 5, to allow voters in Columbia County to hear from and ask questions of candidates for... Full story


Columbia County updates: resignations, hires, budget

COLUMBIA COUNTY­-Virginia Schmidt is the ever-capable Clerk of the Board for the Board of Columbia County Commissioners (BOCC), in that position for a year and a half. Here is what this reporter...


CCHS to operate Walla Walla University clinic

DAYTON--Last week, Columbia County Health System CEO Shane McGuire provided updates on different initiatives at the monthly meeting of the hospital board of commissioners. He spoke about the...

 By Michele Smith    News    August 18, 2022

County officials report to the Dayton City Council

DAYTON—Columbia County Sheriff Joe Helm spoke at length in his report to the Dayton City Council last week. Most notably, he reported about traffic stops and criticism he has received from some who s...

 By Michele Smith    News    August 11, 2022

CCHS assited living facilities close to opening

DAYTON-On Monday, Columbia County Health System CEO Shane McGuire led The Times on a tour of one of the four cottages at Rivers Walk Assisted Living. The nearly completed cottage we toured was the...

 By Michele Smith    News    July 21, 2022

Dayton City Council meeting for July 12

DAYTON--Diane McKinley, representing the Advisory Committee for the Friends of the Community Pool, was a special guest at the Dayton City Council meeting last week. The Advisory Committee is seeking...

 By Michele Smith    News    July 21, 2022

Jim Su'euga is new to the Dayton City Council

DAYTON--Jim Su'euga was appointed to Position 2 on the Dayton City Council at last week's regular meeting. He applied for the city council position to serve the community. Su'euga said he would be a...

 By Michele Smith    News    July 7, 2022

On-campus location for childcare center moves forward

DAYTON—The Hospital Board of Commissioners has given the nod to hospital administrators to have Hallway II at the Booker Rest Home evaluated for turning it into a childcare and early learning f...

 By Michele Smith    News    May 19, 2022

Childcare facility task force moving ahead with a public meeting

DAYTON-The committee on the task force looking into developing a childcare facility and early learning center in Dayton will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more at a meeting on... Full story

 By Michele Smith    News    January 13, 2022

Fundraising pays off for Touchet Valley Golf Course

DAYTON-In 2019, Touchet Valley Golf and Recreation (TVGR), formerly known as the Dayton Country Club, created an aggressive five-year strategic plan for the golf course. The plan includes partnering...


My book pick for November

In The Last Best Hope, published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux in June 2021, Atlantic writer George Packer cuts to the chase about America’s current social, political, and economic divide. Parker s...


Candidates for Dayton City Council and for the Dayton School District

DAYTON-Several candidates are running for a position on the Dayton City Council, including one write-in candidate. Laura Aukerman and Boe Stevenson will face off for Position 1, a four-year term on th... Full story


Candidates for Port of Columbia commissioners

DAYTON-This election year, there are some hotly contested races for Port commission offices. In District 1, Seth Bryan is running for a four-year term against the incumbent Shawn Brown. Bryan said his... Full story


Hospital District projects progress

DAYTON--Ron Asmus, owner of Ron Asmus Homes, Inc in the Tri-Cities, is moving ahead with construction of the new Assisted Living Facility units and he expects construction to begin within the next...


New Dayton dental clinic open to those with state-funded insurance

DAYTON-In November 2015, Norm Passmore's dental practice closed in Dayton, and treatment options for Medicaid patients became slim. Realizing the importance of preventative dental care to whole-body...


Covid-19 vaccination rate up for employees of the Columbia County Health System

DAYTON—On Aug. 12, The Times reported on the vaccination rate for the Columbia County Health System employees, which stood at about 52 percent. Columbia County Health System (CCHS) CEO Shane McGuire s...


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