With 2021 having come to a chilly close, we at Slice of Life look forward to 2022 and the opportunity to tell more of your stories. Here’s a look back at where we’ve been the past 365 days. For the rest of the stories, check us out online at dnews.com/life/.


Blessing Beds is a Pullman nonprofit that wants to build beds for children. After its inception in Jan. 2020, it turned into a grassroots organization that built 102 beds that year. But Thad BeBuhr, who started it all, never imagined it would get that big. To learn about Blessing Beds visit blessingbeds.com.

Allen Mullins dons the Captain America costume to walk from Pullman to Seattle to raise money for Pullman’s Gary Jorgens. Jorgens needs a new place to live and Mullins has made it his life’s work to help veterans by dressing up as superheroes and raising money.

Meagan Boll, a Moscow resident is working toward her CPR certification in medical school and is also a tetraplegic. She has impaired movement in all four of her limbs, but that didn’t stop her from going to medical school. When she voiced her concerns of not being able to do the chest compressions required for CPR, she reached out to the Medical Director Jeff Seegmiller, who found four engineering students to help Boll build a device to help her pass.


A group of Moscow High School students collected more than 4,400 feminine hygiene products to donate to Alternatives to Violence on the Palouse, and Family Promise of the Palouse. Junior Ellie Pimentel started a chapter of a youth-led nonprofit called PERIOD: The Menstrual Movement. This was the group’s first big project. It started in January.

Adrian Crookston found his love for the accordion a decade ago when his family lived in Italy and he has been playing ever since. He now lives in Moscow and is waiting for a time when he can finally play live music again, and resume touring.


Eunbee Kim studied the piano for 24 years and is currently a second year graduate student at the University of Idaho seeking to earn her master’s degree in piano performance. Her Oct. 4 recital was not only her first recital at UI but also her first solo recital, after the performance was delayed because of COVID-19. She is also looking to apply to a doctoral program, which is standard in the piano performance field.


Backyard BBQs, fly fishing, music and real estate are some of Joe McGurkin’s interests. McGurkin has owned Moscow Reality since 2000 but recently sold the business and is now working on his other interests — The Moscow Special Olympics. He holds an annual event called Burgers and Flies featuring live music, fly tying lessons and a barbecue to raise money. Burgers and Flies started in 1978 in his UI dorm room and has been going ever since.

University of Idaho seniors asked students at J. Russell Elementary School to help them with an experiment for NASA. The group of UI seniors were working on an experiment to examine the effectiveness of bacteria-resistant polymers in a weightless environment. The UI students asked the elementary students to help them test the polymers to see how bacteria would grow on each. The information they gathered in these experiments was then sent into space on Dec. 21 with a SpaceX launch.


Will Krasselt retired from the Moscow Police Force after 30 years on the job. He started his career as a reserve officer until 1995 when he became a full-time police officer. Krasselt said his favorite job at the department was patrolling the streets on a motorcycle. His said it was a privilege to serve the community he grew up in. He planned to begin a new career as a real estate agent in June.

Washington State University’s Kimble Digitization Center is working toward digitizing thousands of photographs from the 1960s to 1970s of farm laborers in eastern Washington that have been in its possession since the 1990s. The photos, taken by Seattle photographer Irwin Nash, show farm laborers during a pivotal time in the farmworker’s rights movement. There were some earlier efforts to digitize some of the 11,000 photos, with about 100 posted to the Kimble Center’s website in 2010, but a renewed interest to find the families and stories behind the photos has given the project a life of its own.

Goats took over Pullman’s Conservation Park for a few days to clear more than 20 invasive plants from the area so it can return to its Palouse Prairie Roots. The Phoenix Conservancy borrowed nearly 70 goats from Leshay Goat Rentals in Cheney, Wash. for the job. After the goats did their job, volunteers were asked to plant mature plants to hopefully crowd out any invasive species and keep them from returning. Seeds are also spread to allow for a variety of native species to grow.


Pullman High School teacher Johanna Brown was one of six finalists from Washington State for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. She teaches chemistry and computer science at Pullman High School and while she didn’t think she wanted to be a teacher at first, she can’t imagine doing anything else. Brown said a large part of what she tries to do is put students’ mental and emotional needs first, and work to make the classroom a less stressful environment.

In-person meals returned to the Pullman and Moscow senior centers for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. While they still offered the meals for delivery and take out, the experience of being able to see old pals and eat together had been missing, they said. With the return of in-person meals, there have been some restrictions placed on attendees — like rules surrounding how many people can sit at one table and requiring diners to remain seated during their meal. Despite the limitations of the meals, many were happy to have in-person dining return.


Dr. Doug Hiller, of Pullman, is returning for another round as a medical delegate for the triathlons at the Paralympics in Tokyo. Hiller is an orthopedic surgeon at Whitman Hospital and Medical Clinics in Colfax and has served as a medical official for three Olympic games and one Paralympic event. The last time he attended the Paralympics was in 2016 for the Rio de Janeiro games. But these are not Hiller’s only games. He has served in a medical capacity for more than 100 triathlons in the past 36 years and has competed in 10 to 12 himself. He was inducted into the World Triathlon Hall of Fame two years ago.

Troy Old Timers’ Day returned after taking a year off because of the pandemic with a full schedule of buffalo burgers, activities and a rifle raffle. Troy Old Timers’ Day is held annually on the second Saturday of July by the local Lions Club. It began in 1892 and has been a major event in town ever since. This year, the grand marshals of the event were husband and wife pair Martin and Julie Haarr, who have lived in Troy since 1977 after getting married and graduating from the University of Idaho. Activities included a pancake feed, parade, cornhole tournament and a dance at the end of the day.

The Palouse Science Discovery Center in Pullman got a new coat of paint to help highlight the many species that call the palouse home. Director Meri Joswiak said the board wanted to repaint the outside of the center and incorporate art along the way. She said the center worked with the Pullman Arts Foundation to make it happen. Lee Sekaquaptewa was the artist who designed the mural, which featured the iconic hills of the Palouse and the animals that make it their home.


Elijah Lindstrom and Seth Thoburn are trading their way up to owning an airplane. The pair started with a green ball point pen and now have a 2018 MacBook. While neither of them have a pilot’s license yet, they were inspired by other “trade-up” stories and thought to try it themselves. It took a little effort, but eventually they traded the pen for a bike pump and the pump for golf clubs. The golf clubs were traded for the MacBook. Through their experience so far, they said they’ve learned sales skills and while they both agree it will take a long time to get to a plane they continue to feel optimistic.

JD Poulos, a Moscow Middle School shop teacher, began working with reclaimed wood by chance, but it’s grown into an engrossing hobby. On his YouTube channel, titled “Trophy Husband Woodworking,” Poulos shares his process for dismantling shipping pallets, using them in woodworking and creating homemade woodstain. He said first got into working with pallet wood when his wife’s stepson picked up a few for a project that fell through and offered them to him. Poulos turned them into an end table for his living room, and now, years later, his home is filled with reclaimed wood furniture and accents. With lumber prices skyrocketing, these projects have an advantage because the lumber is free — businesses just want to get rid of them so they don’t have to haul them to a landfill.


After 30 years as librarian for St. Johns Library, Clancy Pool is retiring. She was hired as a part-time librarian in May of 1992, and has worked in the Whitman County Rural Library District ever since.

Daniel Ross and Jeanne Rodriguez, of Moscow, have made the bold decision to change their last names to “Happy” in an effort to unify their family name. They said they wanted a family name that meant something, but wasn’t complicated. Their son, Elton Happy was the first of the trio to receive the name, when he was born 10 months before. The paperwork is a bit complicated, but is expected to be finalized in November. They said they decided on “Happy” because everyone can create their own idea of what a family is to them and can be choose to be happy.

Moscow Movement Arts Center opened its doors in September and offers dance lessons for all ages through a combination of approaches. Instructor Rachel Dodson said she is teaching out of two locations on White Avenue, and wants to offer a wide range of options and schedules. Classes are meant to be approachable, and there are more professional options available for those interested.


Washington State University student Katy Ayers is one of two people who can claim a world record for the longest fungal mycelium boat. She engineered a canoe made completely out of mushrooms — and it floats. Ayres worked with Ashley Gordon, owner of a mushroom growing company and the other record-holder, to grow the boat. The two came up with their plan while Ayers was a student at Central Community College in Columbus, Neb. It used a hammock, papier-mache and sawdust mixed with mushroom mycelium, and took a few weeks to grow and dry and three months to design. The boat will be on display at the Nebraska State Fair for three years as part of the funding agreement.

Local artist and member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse Pamela Arborgreen has been creating art glass collages for years out of antique windows and colorful glass. Now she is creating a new window for her church. The window displays a chalice and double rings — common signs for Unitarian Universalists — and will be featured in a new building that will be used for children’s classes. The new facility will also have an elevator to reach a below-ground meeting area and kitchen. The window is made of mostly donated glassware from church members and took almost an entire summer to complete.

The Haunted Lodge opened as a fundraiser for local charities like the Latah Food Bank and the Humane Society of the Palouse. The first haunted lodge, organized by the local Eagles Lodge in Moscow, featured an array of spooky frights in a small space. Eagles Lodge President Andrew Charles said they hoped it would continue to grow and expand as the years go on, and was encouraged by turnout for the event’s first year.


McDonald Elementary School fourth graders in Wendy Thompson’s class learned how to weave “sally bags” as part of an educational grant from the Idaho Commission on the Arts. The grant helped bring Native Artist Jenny Williams and her granddaughter Lauren Gould who taught the children how to weave them throughout the month of November. Williams said the program was a credit to the school and the teachers.

Third-year WSU student and member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Fabian Sanchez Mondejar, set out to bring their culture to WSU’s Pullman campus by putting up a native art exhibit in the Compton Union Building. Through media like earrings, dreamcatchers and other artwork, Mondejar wanted to celebrate Native American Heritage Month with the WSU community, and eventually help others to set up displays for other heritage months. Mondejar set up a drive on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe, which raised the $800 needed to purchase display cases in less than a week. The money allowed them to set up the exhibit in time for it to be on display the whole month.


Yarn Underground in Moscow started putting hats, gloves and other winter gear on a tree outside the store six years ago as a way to give back to the community. The tradition is still going strong for Shelley Stone, owner of Yarn Underground, who collects donations and then bags them up and puts them on the tree when the weather starts to get cold. Her tree has also inspired other projects, like Chase the Chill at the Moscow Library, which is organized by the Unitarian Universalist Church in Moscow.

Kevin Armentrout from Pullman wanted to share his love of the Christmas season by putting on a light show for the neighbors. After almost a year of preparations he plugged in his lights, and put a sign in his yard to announce his show. Armentrout programmed all 3,300 lights in the display to match the music he broadcast over 95.5 FM so as to not disturb his neighbors every night.

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