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Mary Ricks

news assistant

360-735-4550

Recent Stories

Working in Clark County: Sally Reavey, bed-and-breakfast owner

By Mary Ricks April 13, 2015 6 a.m.

On Sally Reavey's first date with her future husband, he said he would someday like to own a bed-and-breakfast. She remembered that comment. As she was getting closer to retirement, she started searching for a location for a bed-and-breakfast. "I found a place that needed work but my husband was in the business of remodeling. I knew it would take a while to rehab the house but I didn't think it would take so long," Reavey said.

Working in Clark County: Kenny Adams, truck driver

By Mary Ricks April 6, 2015 6 a.m.

Kenny Adams learned to drive a tractor-trailer rig when he was a teenager. Although he would be out on the road for months at a time early in his career, he now is home nights and weekends. Even with a busy schedule, he has managed to have time for mountain biking, fishing, boating and extreme skiing. "I grew up in this area and know where everything is. I can choose which rivers or lakes I want to fish, where I want to go bird hunting and where I want to hike," Adams said.

Working in Clark County: Katie Raymond, American Sign Language interpreter

By Mary Ricks March 30, 2015 6 a.m.

Meeting a family with three deaf children changed Katie Raymond's career. After getting to know the family, she decided to become an interpreter. Raymond says: "I am most excited about video interpreting. I am able to help people understand complex subjects."

Working in Clark County: Cathy Sevier, professional organizing consultant

By Mary Ricks March 23, 2015 6 a.m.

After retiring from the Air Force, the Air Force Reserve and managing a military personnel office, Cathy Sevier attended a professional organizers meeting. She felt like she was home. "I like being a part of helping a client organize their cluttered spaces into organized spaces," Sevier said. "My actual reward is observing them. The look of being overwhelmed is replaced by a look of happiness and relief when the job is finished."

Working in Clark County: Dave Smith, woodsmith

By Mary Ricks March 16, 2015 6 a.m.

For 42 years, Dave Smith built computers and had a woodworking hobby. Five years ago, he switched the two around. He now makes game boards that he sells, while building computers as a hobby. "There has always been the smell of sawdust in the air around me," Smith said. "When my clients are wowed by the items I have created, I am thrilled."

Working in Clark County: Phil Auer, dance studio owner

By Mary Ricks March 2, 2015 6 a.m.

Phil Auer was raised in a dance family and at age 24 he became the youngest-ever franchise owner of an Arthur Murray Dance Studio. After giving 40 to 45 private lessons per week for a few years, Auer now owns several Arthur Murray studios. "I like to say at the dance studio we give unexpected customer service," Auer said. "I like to see people open up and become more outgoing when they get involved in dancing."

Working in Clark County: Joan Armstrong, dog trainer

By Mary Ricks February 23, 2015 6 a.m.

In early 2004, Joan Armstrong traded her software engineering job for something very different — being a dog trainer. Working with a well-known trainer for several years, Armstrong learned many skills by training chickens. "The first thing is teaching your dog that it is worthwhile to pay attention to you," Armstrong said. "Both the person and the dog have to be engaged."

Working in Clark County: Kathy McLaughlin, senior housing specialist

By Mary Ricks February 16, 2015 6 a.m.

Kathy McLaughlin has years of experience in social work and hospice care, which she now puts to use in helping people find housing for their loved ones in need of specialized care. Because she has been responsible for the care of parents and grandparents herself, she understands the emotional strain on families. "I love working with people, especially seniors," McLaughlin said. "I like knowing I was able to make the process easier for a family."

Working in Clark County: Ron Balkowitsch, livestock brand inspector

By Mary Ricks February 9, 2015 6 a.m.

After eight years on the job as a livestock brand inspector for the state, Ron Balkowitsch still finds the job exciting. "People call 911 to report animals are on their property, he says. "Animal control doesn't deal with larger animals and it is not the sheriff's department's job, so I get the call. One caller said there was a 'strange' animal in her yard and wanted it picked up. It was a pig."

Working in Clark County: Alicia Perry, fire code officer

By Mary Ricks February 2, 2015 6 a.m.

Alicia Perry admires her father and she is following in his footsteps. He is a fire chief and she has earned her fire prevention and fire investigation certifications.

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