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Mary Ricks

news assistant


Recent Stories

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.

Working in Clark County: Barbara Beale, acupuncturist

By Mary Ricks January 26, 2015 6 a.m.

Barbara Beale mostly treats people for pain and injury. A former certified athletic trainer, Beale said she is able to get results for people through acupuncture. "It is a very gratifying career. I have never regretted one day of getting into acupuncture," Beale said.

Working in Clark County: Mark Rodgers, traffic signal technologist

By Mary Ricks January 19, 2015 6 a.m.

Mark Rodgers likes to know how things work. He started taking computer programing classes after serving in the Army. While working for the Oregon Department of Transportation he figured out how to repair the computer-run traffic signals. Now he trains others on how to repair the signals. "I am known as 'The Guy' in knowing how to fix the signals," Rodgers said.

Working in Clark County: Eva Metcalfe, electronics recycler

By Mary Ricks January 12, 2015 6 a.m.

Eva Metcalfe and her mother started their e-recycle business with some tools, one table, one chair, and a desire to make Clark County greener. Although the work is physically hard, she likes working with her mother, Rachel Treasure.

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