Revamped Wal-Mart throws a grand re-opening party

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea

WAL-MART employee Jessica Marquam sings the National Anthem while National Guardsmen form a color guard behind her in the grand reopening ceremony at the store.

At left is Specialist Richard Phillips, and at right

is Staff Sgt. Edmund Jordan.

By KIRBY NEUMANN-REA

News editor

July 23, 2005

The “daily scavenger hunt” is over at Wal-Mart.

Manager Stephanie Kime expressed thanks Friday to customers for their patience in recent months as they tried to find merchandise that was hard to find during the remodeling project at the West Cascade store. The remodel included all new flooring, expanded check-out, new bathrooms, and enhanced shelving and equipment throughout the store. Kime also praised her employees for their dedication to the store during the arduous remodeling.

Mayor Linda Rouches cut the ribbon and the National Guard brought a color guard to mark the 7 a.m. occasion. Rouches, who was guest speaker at Saturday’s Relay for Life cancer research fund-raiser, said that Wal-Mart was mentioned repeatedly as a sponsor during that event, and acknowledged the store’s support for other community programs including the Young Women’s Shelter and Promoting Responsible Ownership of Dogs (PROD).

In-store monitors broadcast announcements and shoppers walked down wider, brighter aisles during the short ceremony, which featured a prayer by the Wal-Mart chaplain, Kim Seal.

“Bless this store and help it and the people who work here be people of integrity,” Seal prayed. “Help them add to their involvement in the community, and we also pray for a healing for this store, for those who are opposed to it.”

Employee Jessica Marquam sang the National Anthem, first saying, “Wal-Mart has given me so much confidence to do things. The managers and employees have helped me feel that I am something special.”

Employees cut cake and passed out balloons, and give-aways and other surprises would be the order of the day, according to Kime.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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