A final sign-off for KLEW newscasters

Aug. 31—Well-wishers numbering more than 100 showed up at the Clarkston High School Auditorium on Wednesday night to see two Lewiston-Clarkston Valley journalists in a fundraiser that was billed as their final broadcast.

Former KLEW news anchor and news director Anna Velasquez and former KLEW weather forecaster Keith Havens spent one hour on stage. They spoofed news and answered audience questions about three months after their departure from the station.

The two were a staple of the last nightly television news program based in Lewiston before it was moved from KLEW to KBOI in Boise in June. KLEW and KBOI are both Sinclair Broadcasting CBS affiliates.

The event was the idea of Keith Havens' brother, Mark Havens, executive director of Interlink, the not-for-profit group that received the proceeds of the fundraiser.

"We heard a lot of comments at Interlink about how much people in the valley missed (them)," Mark Havens said. "...What started (as) just a simple, public reception for the two of them morphed into this last broadcasting show, doing the news so you can see (for) yourself what they do best in person."

Velasquez and Keith Havens, as part of the "K-Bye" news team, smiled and laughed as they made more than a dozen jokes written to sound like news.

A semi-truck carrying thesauruses rolled over in an accident on U.S. Highway 95, Velasquez said.

"Witnesses were stunned, startled, aghast, taken aback, stupefied, confused, shocked, rattled, paralyzed, amazed, bewildered, flabbergasted, perplexed and gobsmacked," Velasquez said, reciting a list of words that might be found in a thesaurus.

On the "crime" beat, law enforcement was reminding everyone to lock their cars after an uptick in break-ins where nothing was reported stolen, Havens said.

"In some neighborhoods, people are trying to get rid of their overgrown zucchinis by breaking into the cars and leaving them in the back seat," he said.

A graphic flashed on-screen on the stage for the "story" that showed a person with an armload of huge zucchinis and a black rectangle covering their eyes.

Interlink, Havens said, just entered the Guinness Book of World Records for constructing the longest aluminum wheelchair ramp that at 1,000 feet circled a home five times, Havens said.

The joke was a reference to how Main Street Grill broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest Philly cheesesteak Saturday. Interlink does build wheelchair ramps, but hasn't constructed one that qualifies for the Guiness Book of World Records. The organization also serves seniors and those with disabilities by providing transportation and grocery delivery.

Throughout the evening, Velasquez and Havens talked about what their futures hold.

Velasquez is pursuing employment in public service. Havens plans to substitute-teach in the Clarkston and Asotin school districts while remaining open to other opportunities.

He also may revive one of KLEW's most popular segments, "Keith's Big Fish," perhaps on social media under a different name after time has passed to comply with rules in his contract, Havens said.

For "Keith's Big Fish," viewers would send in pictures of fish they hooked along with the species, weight, length and perhaps a few details of where and how the fish were caught.

The feature was so popular that individuals would share fish stories with Havens when he was buying groceries or boating.

Williams may be contacted at ewilliam@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2261.