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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Performing pigs make visit to elementary schools

Who says pigs can’t fly?

Students at Fernan and Hayden Lake Elementary schools were treated to a special performance of Valentines Performing Pigs last week, in assemblies at their respective schools.

Steve and Priscilla Valentine, of Gig Harbor, Wash., brought their famous pigs to town while on a 30-day tour. These potbellied pigs, also called Chinese miniature pigs, have appeared on “Donahue,” “The Today Show,” “Animal Planet,” The Discovery Channel, “America’s Greatest Pets,” “Good Morning America,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” the BBC and “Oprah.”

Hayden Lake Elementary principal Kathleen Kuntz told her students that, as a reward for all their hard work, including SATs only one month into school, they deserved a break. First to perform was Snort, the Valentines’ current male, or boar, star. Snort performed a round dance, caught a Frisbee disc (sort of in slow motion), jumped through a hoop, and pushed a little car – even honking the horn – much to the delight of the kids.

“How does Snort keep so slim?” Priscilla asked. Why, of course, he does step-aerobics. On that cue, Snort steps up and down on a little step.

Petunia, a 1-year-old sow, was up next. Petunia enjoys helping around the home, the Valentines said, as she pushed a little lawn mower. Then she defied gravity by jumping through a little hoop.

Nelly, billed as the world’s best-known trick pig, lives to perform, according to her trainers. With a little help from fourth-grader Arionna Randolph, Nelly launches a small ball for Arionna to catch. Nelly also performs bowling feats and, keeping with an educational theme, spells out H-A-M with letters, showing the kids that even she knows the importance of reading and writing.

The hardest trick for Nelly was putting a golf ball into the hole. After several attempts she was successful. The Valentines inform the students that she is a member of the “LPIG.”

“It was fun!” Arionna said of playing ball with Nelly. Her classmates, Jennifer Costa, Latona Frey and Gabby Hoots, thought the performances by all the pigs were “great” and “cool,” and Gabby was relieved that Arionna wasn’t at all nervous.

The miniature pigs all have straight tails, and like man’s best friend, when they are happy, their tails wag. Snort, Petunia and Nelly, who have their own bedrooms in the Valentines’ home, are definitely living high on the hog, because their little tails were wagging all the time.

At the end of the performance, they took a bow, which is hard to do with their short legs.

“You always have to stay a step ahead of them,” said Steve Valentine, “because they’re so smart.”

DAR American History Essay

The Lt. George Farragut Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has announced the opening of the National Society’s annual American History Essay for the 2004-05 school year.

For students in grades 5 through 8 the topic is “Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery, May 1804-September 1806.” Fifth-graders must submit an essay of 300-600 words, and grades six to eight must submit 600-1,000 words.

The topic for high school students is “Christopher Columbus – Imperfect Hero,” with a length of no more than 750 words.

All essays must be typed or prepared on a computer or word processor, using black type in a nonscript font no smaller than 12 points or larger than 14 points. The contest is open to public, private and home-schooled students. All essays must have a bibliography listing all references. Judging will be based on historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of material, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation and neatness.

All essays must be submitted to a local DAR chapter. For a full copy of the rules and information, contact Carmen Reynolds at 773-5355.

Craft Fair at CdA High

Coeur d’Alene High School holds its 15th annual Craft Fair today from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The entrance to the fair is through the commons area by the main parking lot. There will be vendors in both gyms and music in the south gym and commons.

Approximately 110 vendors will display candles, folk art, yard art, metal sculptures, wooden bears carved with a chain saw, scrapbook supplies, jewelry, photography, wood art and quilting. There will also be soups and sandwiches for sale, raffles, a bake sale, and new this year, a latte stand.

All proceeds will go the Parent Volunteer Organization to fund student scholarships for graduating seniors, mini grants for teachers, and hospitality for the teachers and staff of CHS throughout the year. This is CHS’s only PVO fund-raiser during the school year.

PF Rotary Student of the Month

The Post Falls Rotary announced that Post Falls High School senior Priya Hempel is the Rotary Student of the Month for September.

Priya is the student council president and ranks No. 1 in her class. She has been a member of the prom court and was a junior homecoming princess. She’s most improved in softball, was a freshman basketball captain and junior varsity soccer captain. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, IDFY, PEAK, DARE, Healthy Foods and Choices, Too, and a confirmation sponsor. She plans to attend a four-year university after graduation.

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