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Meals on Wheels director put on leave

Thu., Nov. 30, 2006

The executive director of the city’s Meals on Wheels program has been placed on administrative leave amid questions about mismanagement at the nonprofit.

“We’re trying to be proactive and find out what’s going on,” said Steve Black, president of the nonprofit’s board. “We have a little bit of internal turmoil. I can assure you that we have a very active board, and if there is a problem we will address it.”

Reached at her home in Deer Park, the nonprofit’s executive director, Cheri Mataya-Muncton, declined to discuss her leave. Mataya-Muncton’s assistant, Rachelle Solomon, quit abruptly this fall.

“I don’t know what’s going on so I’m going to do a ‘no comment,’ ” Mataya-Muncton said.

The nonprofit delivers about 100,000 meals annually to the elderly and people with disabilities.

Black said Mid-City Concerns, which operates Meals on Wheels and receives funding from the Spokane Regional Health District and recently applied for a city grant, has been operating “very well.”

A health district official said the board did not notify the district that Mataya-Muncton had been placed on leave.

Mid-City Concerns is not connected to Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels, which has its own board and operates independently.

Both agencies, which rely on a network of volunteer drivers to deliver meals, suffered significant cuts in state and local funding last year.

Mid-City lost $20,000 in funding during a recent three-year period.

– Benjamin Shors

Inchelium, Wash.

FBI looking at death of ex-tribal leader

The FBI is investigating the death of a former chairman of the Colville Confederated Tribes who was killed Monday morning at his home near Inchelium.

The FBI would not disclose on Wednesday further details about the death of Clarence “Jude” Stensgar, who served on the Tribal Business Council for 18 years during the 1980s and 1990s.

“He served our country and our tribe and will be missed dearly,” said Mike Marchand, current council chairman, in a statement Wednesday.

Stensgar served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, retiring as a technical sergeant in 1971, according to the statement.

During that time he received numerous honors, including the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Marchand said Stensgar was for many years chairman of the Tribal Business Council, the governing body of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, which has more than 8,700 members.

A wake for Stensgar is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday and a funeral at 10 a.m. Monday, both at the Inchelium Community Center.

– Kevin Graman

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