Resource Center Places First In Parade

Photo Credit: Al Stover-Wolf Point Herald-News

Wolf Point held its annual parades during the Wild Horse Stampede weekend, July 12 and 13.

Out of all of the floats that were displayed in the “90 Years of Memories and Dreams” parade, there was only one that could take home top prize.

The Spotted Bull Recovery Resource Center took home the title of Grand Overall Winner at the parade.
In addition to capturing the title of Grand Overall Winner, the resource center’s float also took first-place in the Best Commercial category.

In other categories, Best Novelty went to Shawn Boysun, while Best Civic/Political Organization went to the American Legion Junior Auxiliary and Best Cultural Heritage went to Fort Peck Community College. Ian Flynn won Best Youth, while the Fort Peck Youth and Family Activity Committee won Best Youth Organization. The Wolf Point High School Class of 1953 defeated three other Wolf Point graduating classes to win Best Adult Organization.

Besides the floats, there were also several horseriders in the parade, who walked away with honors.

Kaitlyn Jameson was awarded both Grand Overall and Youth Costume.

The family category went to the Kirn Family. Youth Cowgirl went to Emma Gourneau while Youth Cowboy went to Cole Grandchamp.

Adult Cowboy went to Pete Stump and Adult Cowgirl went to Dani Fourbear. Adult Pair went to Davey Madison and Will Lake. Loren Bisbee won the Wagon/Hitches category.

Update, Sept. 18, 2017 – Over the years I had the opportunity to attend and cover local parades. It’s always fun to see different businesses and organizations participate in parades and take part in a community event. It’s also good to see people venture out of their homes and enjoy a local event. And the floats are always beautiful to look at.

At this year’s Ritzville Community Parade, one of the Ritzville Police Officers played the “Cops” theme song from his vehicle. I opted to give them all of the awards I could think of. On some occasions, the Cheney Free Press has participated in parades. That gave me a sense of pride because it felt good to see the company I worked for doing something other than covering an event.

I’ve added, “Ride in a parade” to my bucket list.


Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can change our world

More wise words from Jodi Kisstien

Here are some wise words from an old school friend Jodi. She also gave some context in a Facebook post below.

“There have been countless times that I have been guilty of not doing something I said I was going to. Whether it be a change of heart, paralyzed by fear or the amount of work it will take, or not thinking I can actually make it work. It still happens to me and is something I think majority of us will go through for the rest of our lives. Living in fear and doubt is no way to live and you’ll end up with more regrets than moments you were proud of yourself. Perfectionism equally paralyzes you. But here’s the good news, we are all perfectly imperfect, we have to get messy before we can be good at anything. Strap on a rubber butt so that when you fall down you bounce right back up.”

Poke Post: Starting over with Pokemon Go – from level 29 to level 1


Starting over is never easy, even if it’s something as trivial as a video game.

Last week, the mobile network for my phone when out and in an attempt to fix the issue, I performed a factory reset on my phone, losing all of my data, including the progress I made on Pokemon Go in the last year. That means all of my Pokemon, my Pokedex entries, gym badges I had accumulated was gone. I was level 29 and a proud member of Team Valor and now I was reduced to level 1.

You’re probably thinking “Al, didn’t you have a trainer login?” I made numerous attempts to log into my old account, but for some reason, my trainer account and password didn’t work.

After several futile attempts, I bit my lip and decided to start from scratch.

It’s a daunting task to start over, but if I’ve learned one thing from playing Pokemon all of these is that when a journey – or in this case a playthrough – ends, another one begins.


It’s been a little over a week since I started my new Pokemon journey and I’m only level 6. I once chose Pikachu as my starter and when I learned she was a female, I named her after Becky Lynch, one of my favorite wrestlers.

Fifteen minutes before work, I walked around downtown Ritzville and captured my first Pokemon, a Venonat, which had a Combat Power of 11. I managed to capture a few more Pokemon before I entered the office.

Last Saturday, I hatched my first Pokemon from an egg, which was a Krabby. The cool aspect about hatching a Krabby was the powerful pincher was also the first Pokemon I hatched from an egg in my original playthrough.


I struggled a little bit during the first few days of my playthrough. In the beginning, I told myself I didn’t really want to put in the work to get back to level 29 or in some instances I told myself “I don’t need to play Pokemon Go to walk.”

But the more Pokemon I caught, the more I was motivated to continue this new Pokemon playthrough.

One of the good things about playing this game a second time is I can do things differently than my first playthrough, such as changing my walking buddies when I get enough Pokemon candy to evolve them.

Playing through this game a second time allows me to implement different themes and stipulations. For this playthrough I’ve decided when I evolve my Pokemon, it will be the only Pokemon of that species I use, unless I catch something more powerful.

I still have a way to go in this new Pokemon journey – I’m not even at level 10 yet. But I’m looking forward to the challenges and trials that come my way.

Take Time to Reconnect with Old Friends

If had to sum up my weekend, it would be the words written on this coffee mug I drank my latte from on Saturday.

After we closed the Journal office on Friday, I drove from Ritzville to Spokane to meet up with some old friends.

The reason for this quick weekend trip home was simple — I was homesick and I needed to see my friends. I’ve lived in Ritzville for three months and while I’ve met some good people and have gotten to know a little bit about them through my job, I haven’t really engaged in any intellectual conversations with folks or formed any real friendships. I understand some people are shy and others don’t know how to approach you or start a conversation. In some cases, especially in a small town like Ritzville, it’s because people don’t want to engage outsiders.

The lack of connections and conversations made me a bit paranoid and I started thinking people didn’t want to talk to me because there was something wrong with me. I didn’t feel I was good enough to hold or maintain a friendship. It really wore me down and one night when I was at the Pastime Bar and Grill, I said, “I’m miserable. I want to go home.”

Don’t get me wrong, I do like living in Ritzville. It’s a nice community and I don’t plan on leaving the area for a while unless work takes me somewhere else. I also didn’t want to continue feeling this way because I know if I was worn down in my personal life, it would seep into my work, which would have created more problems.

I first texted Bri and I made plans to see him. Then I texted Jas to see her schedule. Once I was in Spokane, I talked with Cronin, Double A and Lavender Lass (LL). I chose this particular group of folks, because I met them at different points in my life and all of them have seen my growth in the last few years.

Every activity with this group of friends was different.

Hanging out with Bri consisted of a movie, drinks, and some classic Super Nintendo.

I met Double A and Cronin at the Perry Street Brewery with Jaz.

Jaz and I spent most of the night at the Lantern Tap House and partook in its Freshtival beer tasting where we indulged in various fresh hop ales from Oregon and Southern Idaho.

Lavender Lass joined us at the brewery, but she was unable to stay long. I wanted to see her again before I left and, after some wisdom and encouragement from both God/the Universe and Jaz, I met with LL the next day for coffee before I left for Ritzville.

Both of us shared the details and developments happening in our lives. For me, I took away plenty of advice and wisdom from LL on how I can improve my life and I’m already making some positive changes. She also told me she wants to see my adventures in Ritzville.

I didn’t realize how much I needed this trip. I realized that I have people back home who are cheering me on and want to see me succeed.

Even when you move away, your closest friends will always be with you, but it’s important to put in the effort to maintain the relationship, especially if there are people who you want to keep close in your life. To quote LL, perfect friends make the effort and make their friends a priority.

I know I’ll adjust to Ritzville and I’ll make some friends in the next several months, but I won’t forget where I came from and who helped me get to where I’m at.

Everyone has untold stories of pain and sadness that make them love and live a little differently …

Never give up on something you really want