Spokane native enjoys success with BYU ad spoof

On the surface, an advertisement parodying an antiperspirant commercial may not seem like something that could promote education, let alone have a connection to Spokane.

Stephen Jones in the Harold B. Lee Library promotional video “New Spice” which is a parody of the popular Old Spice “Smell Like a Man, Man” T.V. Commercials. Contributed Photo.

Yet for student employees of the BYU Harold B. Lee Library, the idea was simple: Produce a spoof of an Old Spice ad that would air occasionally on closed-circuit campus TV. The result: The video received almost two million YouTube views in less than three weeks.

And the man who wrote the BYU “New Spice” ad is a BYU student from Spokane.


“Twilight” fans wax lyrical on a cultural phenomenon

It’s nothing short of a cultural phenomenon.

The books have sold more than 110 million copies. The first two “Twilight” movies – “Twilight” and “New Moon” – made more than $1 billion worldwide. (That’s billion, with a b.) The third movie in the series – the just released “Eclipse” – has already made more than $150 million.

The movie’s stars can’t walk across a street without security because of mobs of screaming fans. At a press appearance in Brazil police had to call that nation’s equivalent of the National Guard because a crowd of around 4,000 had broken down barricades and were storming the hotel where the stars were staying.

If you don’t know the story, here’s a synopsis. A high school girl named Bella Swan moves to the rainy, dreary Forks, WA. to live with her father. In Forks, she meets two suitors. The first a dreamy, but pale vegetarian vampire (meaning he avoids drinking human blood, but kills animals instead) named Edward Cullen. The second is a burly werewolf named Jacob. Naturally she falls in love with both of them. And naturally no one but her is aware of their true identities as a vampire and a werewolf. The story takes off from there.

There are elements in “Twilight” of supernatural thrillers, horror, action and drama-but mostly it’s a story about teenage love and the plotlines that follow. And it’s sweeping the world.

Complete with custom t-shirts, Sarah (back row, second from left) and a group of around 20 friends attended the midnight premier of Eclipse on the night of June 29. Contributed Photo.

And this vampire invasion is led by an unlikely group – Mormon women.

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North Stake shift means adjustments for members

About a month ago every bishop in the Spokane North Stake read a letter, over the pulpit, from the Stake Presidency. The letter announced that two weeks later, at Stake Conference, ward boundaries would change; and every one of the stake’s eight family wards would be affected.

Speculation followed.

During the two weeks between that Sacrament meeting and Stake Conference everyone who knew somebody or thought they knew somebody speculated – and they speculated a lot. Finally at Stake Conference on May 2, the boundary changes were announced.


BYU graduate captures moments with Big Picture Scrapbooking

Stacy Julian has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from BYU. Now she runs the largest scrapbooking education Web site in the world out of her home in Spokane.

And to her it makes perfect sense.

“It’s all the Holy Ghost,” she says.

Things just sort of fell into place. Scrapbooking for Stacy Julian began as a young mother’s hobby – but eventually people were paying her to speak about it and write about it. She wrote for a magazine called “Creating Keepsakes” for four years. After that, she started her own magazine in 2002 called “Simple Scrapbook.”

“It got to the point where as founding editor of the magazine I was required to travel to events,” she says. “One year I was invited to South Africa to talk about scrapbooks and I thought ‘It’s a once in a lifetime thing.”‘

But the next year the same group invited her to speak in South Africa again.


Schmidt brings musical gifts to Inland Northwest

Jon Schmidt has written over 100 songs, released eight albums and plays an average of two or three shows a week – now he’s paying a visit to Spokane.

With over 3 million downloaded songs, eight highly popular albums, seven volumes of original piano scores that fly off the shelves and a highly rated television special, Jon’s music has proven itself to be a hit. Contributed Photo.

“I’m excited to come to Spokane,” Schmidt said in an exclusive interview with the Latter Day Sentinel.

Tonight at 7:30, Schmidt is performing at the Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane.

“There’s nothing better than performing in front of a few hundred people who just came to hear me play piano,” Jon said.

And that’s what he’ll get to do tonight.


Spokane musician returns home on country road

Later this month will be like a homecoming for Bart Olson.

Olson is the drummer for a country music group called Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand, a talented band comprised entirely of returned missionaries from the LDS Church.

And Bart Olson is also from Spokane

Bart Olson, the drummer for the country music group called Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand hails from the Spokane area. Contributed photo.

March 12 they’re performing at The Met, The Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane at 7 p.m. On March 13 their show will start at 3 p.m. in Coeur d’Alene at the Salvation Army Kroc Center.

“We’re excited to perform in Spokane again,” Olson says.

He grew up on the South Hill, in the Spokane first and sixth wards, the third of eight children in the Olson family.

“I actually started playing music when I was 8,” he says. “I started playing the fiddle.”

He was part of the family band, the ‘Olson Family Fiddlers.’

“Everyone in the family played something, guitars, fiddles, something,” Olson says. “Every month we had a couple of different shows.”


Spokane doctor brings hope, healing to Haiti

Dr. Mathew Rawlins is a trauma surgeon at Sacred Heart Medical Center. He was already at work when his home phone rang.

It was just two days after the earthquake in Haiti.

His wife Kristin answered the phone call that day. The call was from Salt Lake City – it was the Humanitarian Department of the Church. They wanted to know if Dr. Rawlins would go to Haiti with a team of LDS doctors to help.

Kristin assured them that her husband would love to help.

Dr Mathew Rawlins in the courtyard outside of the hospital in Port Au Prince where many of the injured and homeless have set up temporary shelters. Contributed Photo.

Dr. Rawlins would be part of a team of 14 medical personnel, most of them from the Salt Lake area. The group included nurses, family doctors, trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and ER doctors. It would be the first time the Church had ever sent a medical team to a natural disaster area, the first time LDS doctors at the behest of the Church would be on the ground.

After several travel delays, the group finally met up in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The team from Salt Lake brought duffel bags full of medical supplies to be used in Haiti, and off they went.


Local family uniquely impacted by Haiti earthquake

There are few words that can describe the suffering in Haiti. It is a country that has nearly nothing. Most people live on less than a dollar a day. It’s the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, one of the five poorest in the world.

Before last week’s earthquake, this was a typical scene on the streets of Port Au Prince, Haiti. Contributed Photo.

Port Au Prince as it appeared when the Halpin family travelled to Haiti for one of their adoptions, before last week’s earthquake. Contributed Photo.

And that was before the 7.0 earthquake that struck last week.

The Halpin family in the Green Bluff Ward of the Spokane North Stake has seen the streets of Port au Prince, Haiti, first-hand, several times. After all, three members of the Halpin family grew up in Haiti.


Faith, values propel candidate’s run for U.S. Senate

“My faith defines my life.” U.S. Senate hopeful Craig Williams says.

His faith, frankly, is at the root of why he’s running against Senator Patty Murray.

Craig Williams was raised in Western Washington. He was raised in an blue-collar Latter-day Saint home, with his five brothers and sisters. His dad was an airline mechanic. His family was frugal, and faithful. He says from a young age, the Church was “a foundation and a mainstay” for him.

Craig Williams, pictured here with his family, is a candidate in the 2010 U.S. Senate elections for the position currently held by Senator Patty Murray. Contributed Photo.

Williams grew up doing typical LDS things. He was involved in Scouting and says he loved the outdoor elements of Scouting but wasn’t very good at the “checklist” of Scouting. He grew up participating in sports and playing musical instruments. In nearly every way, he says, his family was the typical, faithful LDS family.


Donation of ‘hair care’ makes difference for cancer patients

Many women cut their hair and don’t really think twice.

It’s just another trip to the salon, more dollars down the drain, some more color, some curls and a new “do.”

But that’s not how Jenna Coffey, in the Painted Hills Ward, Spokane East Stake treats her hair.
Jenna, for the last half-a-dozen years, has donated her lovely auburn locks to make wigs for cancer patients.

She first donated her hair in March of 2003. There wasn’t any specific reason for her first hair donation, she says she just realized that people needed it.
“I thought, ‘As long as my hair is long, growing fast, and people need it, why not donate it?'” she said.

When she cut her hair for donation that first time it was down under her arms. She donated about 10 inches of hair. She cut it near chin length. Donating her hair made her feel good. So, two years later she did it again.

Jenna Coffey, pictured here last month with one of her sons, is preparing for another hair donation to Wigs for kids.

“My hair grows pretty fast,” she says.

She donated again in 2007. Now it’s time for another clipping.


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