Rick Steber’s ‘A Promise Given’ wins USA Best Book award

“A Promise Given,” a book by central Oregon author Rick Steber, has been chosen as a finalist for the 2012 USA Best Book Awards in the category of Best Non-Fiction.

Jeffrey Keen, president and CEO of USA Book Awards, now in its 10th year, said, “The 2012 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the United States.” Keen went on to say that he considered “A Promise Given” to be “a remarkable book” and noted it had been chosen from more than 1,500 entries.

“A Promise Given” is a true story dealing with the many diverse issues each of us must face at decisive points during our lifetimes: love, loss, the complexities of growing old, and how each of us has the opportunity to directly effect the environment in which we live. This fast-paced narrative quickly pulls the reader into a Northwest setting and the time period surrounding World War II.

Odell High School graduate Trevor Russell enlists in the service and returns home to attend college and become an elementary school teacher. He falls in love, and through a lasting marriage spanning nearly six decades, the couple is forced to meet the challenge of having to remove their son from life support, one of them battles a terrible disease and finally they escape to live on a remote ranch in Eastern Oregon 60 miles from the nearest town. It is here that Trevor makes a promise to his dying wife, promising to bring the mountain bluebirds back to Oregon. He fulfills that promise by building bird houses.

Trevor has built, and put up, more than a thousand birdhouses. Because of his determined efforts, the beautiful mountain bluebirds are making a strong comeback on the High Desert, and spreading across Oregon and beyond. This proves that each of us in our daily lives have the opportunity, and responsibility, to try and make a positive impact on our world.

Rick Steber, of Prineville, has more than 30 titles under his belt and more than a million books in print. He has won numerous national and international awards and is the only Oregon author to have won the prestigious

Western Writers

of America Spur Award — Best Western Novel.

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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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