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 Photo by Kelly Sullivan: Vietnam War veteran AJ Cruce received a Purple Heart for wounds inflicted during an ambush mission in 1967.
Photo by Kelly Sullivan: Vietnam War veteran AJ Cruce received a Purple Heart for wounds inflicted during an ambush mission in 1967.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 5:00 AM
AJ Cruce was on an ambush mission in Vietnam in 1967 when a B-40 rocket shattered against a nearby tree. He and his commanding officer were sprayed with shrapnel from the blast. The two men were immediately medevaced from the jungle on the border of Cambodia where they were stationed.
  • Church looks to grow flock
    Pastor Les Bouck said attendance peaked at around 200 several years ago. Membership has dwindled over time due to congregation members moving away, U.S. Highway 2 traffic, leadership changes and recurring damages to infrastructure, he said.
  • Wild, wild horses

    Hannah Catalino had three months to tame a 3-year-old wild mustang she named Montana Breeze.
    The 22-year-old said the horse earned its identity.
    Catalino and Montana Breeze competed in the 2017 Extreme Mustang Makeover Aug. 17-19 at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds.

  • Within less than a year of becoming a licensed nonprofit, RiverJunky has kept nearly 42 tons of waste from entering Washington’s waterways.
    Volunteers have cleared roughly 36,000 pounds of trash from sites in Snohomish County. It took just two cleanups to amass that figure.

  • Picking blueberries

    Lori Johnson reports her blueberry yield this year was exceptional. In fact, it was more than the 20-year-old bushes have ever produced.
    By early July the thin branches were drooping with so many berries they looked more like weighted grapevines. 

  • Kicking it in Monroe
    Before Taekwondo, Seong Hyeon Park said he was scrawny and attracted bullies. He gestured toward himself to point out his small stature. The South Korean martial arts student said he also used to get sick frequently.
  • Giving gift of life in death
    Rowan Nickerson’s caregiver at the daycare found the baby unresponsive after putting her down for a nap that morning. The hospital chaplain was the one to tell Olivia Nickerson her baby had died.
  • Celebrating recovery at 12,000 feet

    Shante Miller didn’t expect she would make the jump from a plane under the current circumstances.
    The 35-year-old has been clean for three years following a 12-year drug addiction, with some of that time spent in jail, detoxing and homeless. No, she didn’t believe that path would lead her to accomplish a childhood ambition.

  • Sky River Strummers stretching out

    A group of Monroe residents are trying to build a big following for a little instrument.
    Michelle Hoch and a few fellow ukulele players started up the Sky River Strummers last fall.

  • Mr. Dizzy gives Christian campers lesson in strength

    Nine-year-old Judah Graumann peeked at the message written on the rubber bracelet he caught from local daredevil Mike “Mr. Dizzy” Buse.
    “Always wear your helmet.”

  • Reaching out to the world

    The city of Monroe recognized the Sky Valley’s ham radio operators for their efforts in service and volunteerism.
    Mayor Geoffrey Thomas proclaimed this June 19-25 Amateur Radio Week during last Tuesday’s council meeting. 

  • Vintage market in downtown Monroe

    A group of niche business owners believe their products can help turn Monroe into a destination for shoppers. 
    Ten vintage and antique businesses have opened in downtown Monroe as of 2017.

  • From counting manhole covers to public works director
    Brad Feilberg has been intimately involved with the workings of the city of Monroe since 1985. Although Brad began his education in geology, receiving a bachelor of science from the University of Washington and doing graduate work at the University of New Mexico, he changed his focus to engineering and returned to Seattle.
  • Sky Valley in miniature

    Bonnie Hollingsworth’s historical replicas are scattered throughout the Sky Valley. Myriad hours and personal sentiments were poured into each model.
    The current Camano Island resident and Skykomish Historical Society charter member first tackled the craft in 2009. She started out with a reproduction of Skykomish’s original 1902 schoolhouse that was demolished in 1936. 

  • Coast Guard cadets ready to serve
    Two Monroe-area cadets are moving up through the ranks at the United States Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.
  • Making the cut

    Butchering a rabbit or pig reared from birth is not for the faint-hearted. Some admit the aversion never wears off.
    Many say giving the animal a relatively stress-free life, knowing what your meal ate and that the creature died with dignity is worth braving the gore. They employ a range of methods for the care and keeping of their main or supplemental protein source.

  • Finding bliss in helping many
    Since 2000, John Worthy has been an active contributor to life in Sky Valley. For many folks he needs no introduction. In John’s early career, he taught special needs students in Seattle before launching his business as a contractor. Even then, he took his two daughters along to sing with him at nursing homes. Singing, cooking and giving are his passions.
  • Young & the entrepreneurial

    Andrew Fegler leapt into the demanding role of business owner in downtown Monroe, mere months after graduating high school.
    The revenue from the boutique store will help as he works toward a bachelor’s degree in business management. Right now, funds are short.

  • Seattle Brain Cancer Walk hits 10-year mark
    Seattle Brain Cancer Walk cofounder Kim Hogle wanted the money to stay in Seattle. The Monroe resident felt the thousands of patients who live in the region could use the dollars raised through an annual community event. Perhaps more importantly, they needed the aid of a broader support network.
  • Colors of a happy heart
    When you think of colored pencils, what comes to mind? Whatever you imagine, your perception will most likely change once you have seen the fabulous colored pencil art by Rhonda Dicksion. Fortunately, many of her paintings are on gallery display until the end of April at the Sky River Bakery, 117 1/2 W. Main St. in Monroe.
  • Family, friends remember man lost in Gold Bar fire

    Richard Olson’s family and friends believed his cause of death would have been from the colon cancer he was diagnosed with nearly four years ago.
    The call Paul Olson, 44, received was that his father died in a house fire. Richard Olson, 68, was likely too weak to walk out. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office found no signs of suspicious activity.

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