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“You’ve got to be kidding me,” my wife exclaimed from the living room. I sprang from the other end of the house, running to her aid. I assumed a cat vomited on the carpet, or the dog had an accident on the kitchen floor.

Earlier this week I was driving through downtown Omak around 1:30 p.m. Usually at that time of day one can make it from south Omak up to Riverside Drive in just a couple of minutes. But Monday was an exception. As the car thermometer read 98 degrees and the sweat beaded from my forehead, I realized the cause of the delay. It is Stampede week.

Earlier this week I received a letter to the editor exploring the idea of consolidating two local school districts. After reading the letter I was quick to ask other Chronicle employees their take on the idea. Some said it would be a financial benefit. Others, however, said there’s no way it would work.

Every so often you will come across a special person in life. Someone that motivates you by his or her ethics or who leads by example. Elizabeth Widel was one of those people to me, and many others.