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August 7, 2013
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Unit recognized for supporting Marines

Nine members of the Southwest Region Fleet Transportation Team at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center at Pickel Meadows received a letter of appreciation from the center’s commanding officer for their work in response to the March 18 mortar explosion that killed seven Marines at Hawthorne during a training exercise.

Several of the men are Douglas or Lyon county residents, whose work was praised by Pickel Meadow commanding officer J.J. Carol.

“When the unit experiences a tragic loss of personnel during the final phase of training operations, your flexibility and selfless actions continued to sustain essential activities in spite of the challenging situation,” Carol wrote of the transportation team.

Receiving the letter were Brendon VanBeuge, Doug Boyd, Jordan Christensen, Ronald Elder, Ed Haller, Bret Parker, John Pendleton, Carlos Sanchez and William Wellock.

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I attended the Tahoe-Douglas Elks’ observance of Flag Day last week at their lodge on Kimmerling. While not well attended, it was a pretty impressive tribute to Old Glory, and they conducted themselves as though they were in front of a stadium full of people.

The annual event involves 16 members of the organization including the flag bearers and takes about an hour.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks have been formally observing Flag Day since 1908. Flag Day coincides with the anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Army.

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Ten of our Douglas High School thespians are headed for Lincoln, Neb., this weekend for the International Thespian Festival next week.

We had 21 high school actors qualify for the international festival in March, and they’ve been raising money to go ever since.

In addition to the competition, the festival will also feature workshops and contacts with theater, music and entertainment professionals, as well as auditions and scholarship opportunities for performing arts schools.

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One former Douglas High School performing artist said he’s going to represent Chile in the ballroom dancing competition as part of the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia.

When I last heard from Wil Orrock, his was one of the most recognized faces in Chile after participating in a boot-camp style reality show. The show was taping on Feb. 27, 2010, when an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit south of Santiago.

The veteran of Chile’s Dancing with the Stars, said only one couple is selected to represent each nation.

He and partner Paulina Navarro competed in several competitions to make the cut.

“It was a long grueling competition,” he said. “We had to compete seven or eight times and place as finalists in each one, and win two or three of the competitions. We had to train four to five hours every day, in addition to the events. We had a trainer come from Spain to work with us.”

If you’re interested in following along, check out the games’ web site at

Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at or 782-5121, ext. 215.

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The Record Courier Updated Aug 7, 2013 06:48PM Published Aug 7, 2013 06:48PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.