A flash flood struck east and north of Oakesdale Saturday leaving a wake of silt and damaged crops. Brian Crow’s 225-acre field was hit by the cloudburst, which concentrated on a two mile by half-mile area two miles north of the town. “It pretty well hammered the whole thing,” he said of the field. The water damaged Crow’s spring wheat, washing some of it down and covering other parts in silt. “It’s kind of a bummer for timing,” he said. “You can’t re-seed. It’s gonna be mud two weeks from now.” At RMK Farms a mile closer to Oakesdale, the damage was lighter. “Some of our looser soils,” said employee Jim Rambo. “Like peas, some washed down. It could’ve been worse.” County roads and Highway 27 were also affected as county crews were called out Sunday to do restoration work, with a more extensive effort needed later to restore the roads, according to Phil Meyer, operations manager of the Public Work Department. Two paved roads hit by the storm were Seabury Road, linking Highway 27 with Fairbanks, and Warner Road which runs from Highway 27 south of Oakesdale east to the Tekoa-Farmington Road. Highway 27 sustained extensive flooding in the segment between Oakesdale and Tekoa. State crews posted “water on the roadway” signs to warn motorists of the flooding. One of the volunteer weather recorders for the NRCS reported a 3.75 reading on the gauge after the downfall hit along Highway 27 northeast of Oakesdale. The storm moved through between 5 and 7 p.m. A reading at Oakesdale for the same time listed a reading of .93 inches in the short time span. Late Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for northeastern Whitman County, including Rosalia, Tekoa, Oakesdale, Farmington and Belmont. The warning expired at 7:30 p.m. Meyer said on Monday that all roads were open with warning signs posted. Gravel roads sustaining heavy damage were the Fanning, Pittmann and Doneen roads. The heavy rainfall readings in the Oakesdale area Saturday night compare with a normal total reading of 1.8 inches for the month of May, according David Jones, NRCS weather recorder in Colfax. “How much long-term crop damage, I don’t know,” Crow said. “A person will have to wait for harvest. It’s just disheartening to see that much soil go. But we’ll live to fight another day.” The big day of rain at Colfax was booked May 13 with .55 of an inch on the NRCS gauge on the south hill. Reading on the gauge Monday morning was .10 for the weekend.
By Kara McMurray Gazette Reporter A three-way race for the legislative seat vacated by Susan Fagan and three mayoral races emerged at the close of the candidate filing Friday for this year’s elections. Mayoral contests include a three-way race in Colfax where two challengers have filed against incumbent Todd Vanek and two-way races in Albion and Palouse where incumbents Randall Crowner and Michael Echanove face challengers. More than 150 candidates filed with many running for re-election and unopposed. Mary Dye of Pomeroy, who was appointed to the ninth district legislative seat May 8 after Fagan resigned, filed for the special election which will fill the seat for a year. Richard Lathim of Pasco filed Thursday. Lathim, the former Franklin County sheriff who was the top nominee of Republican precinct officers at their meeting in Ritzville May 6, filed last Thursday. He received three votes to Dye’s 13 at the commissioner’s meeting in Colfax May 8. Also filing for the position was Democrat Kenneth E. Caylor of Othello. Caylor ran against the late Steven Hailey in the 2008 election for the 9th district state representative position, earning 33 percent of the vote. After Hailey’s death in 2009, Fagan was appointed to his seat. Caylor did not run against Fagan in 2010 or 2012. Colfax: Mayor G. Todd Vanek filed Thursday for re-election. Vanek was initially elected in 2012 and is now running for his second term. Vanek will have some competition on the ballot. Filing Friday for the office were Colfax residents Donald R. Henderson and Jeremiah (JW) Roberts. Council members Steven Holberg, Al Vorderbrueggen, Jim Kackman and Thomas Huntwork also filed for re-election, and all will run unopposed. Palouse: Mayor Michael S. Echanove filed for re-election May 11, and Palouse resident Brad Pearce also filed to run against the three-term incumbent on May 11, with Connie Newman, a former member of the Palouse council, also filing for election Friday. Council members Bo Ossinger and Rick Wekenman also filed for re-election and are unopposed. Council member Bev Pearce, who is the wife of Brad Pearce, did not file for re-election. Mark Wilcomb filed for Pearce’s council seat. Albion: The mayor and three council members filed for re-election. Mayor Randy Crowner filed May 13 and will be challenged by Carolyn Emerson-Farr, who filed Friday. Council members Kaitlynn Schaible, Crystle L. Morgan and James V. Downes all filed to retain their positions. Albion resident Ashlee Hunt filed for the seat vacated by Kirsten Frichette, who did not file to retain her position. All will run unopposed. Port District: Tom Kammerzall of Colfax filed May 11 for re-election to the Port of Whitman district three seat. Kammerzall was elected to his first term on the port board when he defeated Al Sorenson of Pullman with 55 percent of the vote in the 2011 election. Kammerzall will run without an opponent. Pullman: Mayor Glenn A. Johnson filed for a fourth term May 11 and will be unopposed. Council members Nathan Weller and Pat Wright filed for re-election and will also be unopposed. Incumbents Francis Benjamin and Eileen (Mac) Macoll also filed for re-election but have been challenged by Ann Parks and Tony Poston, respectively. Tekoa: The mayor and every council member in Tekoa filed to retain their seats, and no one filed to run against them. The lineup includes Mayor John Jaeger, Richard Kelly, Troy Wilson, Deborah M. Groom, John R. Giudice and David Tysz, who sit on the city council. Colton: All but one current council member filed for re-election in Colton. Mayor Jerry Weber filed May 11 to retain his seat, with four council members doing the same: Charles DeMeerler, Kyle White, Sam Keller and Dorothy A. Sharp. Council member James Dahmen did not file for re-election. Endicott: Mayor David Bilow filed for election for a second term, and council members Steve Salzman, Amber Hilton, Judy Arneson and Andrew Wolfe all filed for re-election. They are unopposed. Garfield: Four council member positions will be on the ballot in November. Sharon Schnebly, Mark Young and Tim Southern have all filed to retain their positions. Young will run unopposed, while Schnebly will run against Neal Leon and Scott Bowman, and Southern will run against David Ulrick. The fourth council member position, filled currently by David Jones, did not have a candidate at the end of the filing week. LaCrosse: All three current council members have filed to retain their positions and were not challenged. Tom Cauley and Dennis Mackleit filed Thursday, and Melissa Fleming filed last Wednesday. Oakesdale: Council members Al Evans and Thomas J. Crooks filed for re-election, and Oakesdale resident Dolores Haley filed for incumbent Jake Dingman’s position. Dingman did not file for re-election. Rosalia: Two council positions will be on the ballot. One is currently vacant, and current council member Rick Lau filed to retain his position. Rosalia resident Robert Ward filed for the vacant position. Both will run unopposed. St. John: Mayor K B Trunkey filed for re-election, and council members Michael Webb and Dennis Hinds also filed for re-election. Council member Carol Harrison did not file for re-election, and no one filed for her seat. Uniontown: Council members Brian Davies and Daniel Baker filed for re-election, and Uniontown resident John G. Jacobs filed for a vacant council member position. All will run uncontested. SCHOOL DISTRICTS Colfax: Directors David Nails, Robert Smith and Brian Becker filed for re-election, but director Laura Johnson did not file to retain her position. No one filed for her slot. Palouse: Ed Griner and Mike Dymkoski filed to retain their director positions, while director Brenda Boyd Brown did not file for re-election. No one filed for her seat. Pullman: Three directors filed for positions: Susan Weed, Allison Munch-Rotolo and James Evermann. All will run uncontested. Tekoa: Filing to retain their director positions, Robert Wilkins, Janine Zimmerman, Michael McHargue and Shane Monroy, are unopposed on the ballot. Colton: Director Denise Faerber was the only current director to file to retain her position. Directors Jana Schultheis, Eric Bean and Barney Jacob did not file, nor did anyone file for their positions. Endicott: Greta White, Marvin Schmick and Nancy Anderson all filed for re-election, with no one filing to run against them. Garfield: Four citizens filed for re-election to their positions, while a fifth did not. Andy Olson, Keith Rawls, John Orfe and Paul Hendrickson will all appear on the ballot again, although Russell Jamison will not. LaCrosse: Incumbents Tami Schwartz, Michael Stubbs and Terry Miller all filed to retain their at-large positions and will run unopposed. Lamont: Elizabeth Melville, Julie McDaniel, Chet Swift and Todd Billigmeier filed to retain their at-large positions. They will all run unopposed. Oakesdale: No one filed for any of the positions that are set to be on the ballot in November. Shelly Lobdell currently holds an at-large position and Carl Crider holds a director position. Rosalia: Angela Bruce filed for the director one position currently filled by Tricia Hereford, who did not file for re-election. Clay Gehring and Ken Jacobs both filed for the director two position, which is currently held by Graig Maley, who did not file to retain his position. Directors Frank Lazcano, Sr., and Raymond Anderson filed for re-election and will run unopposed. Steptoe: Julie Stilson, Dan Hall, Jessi Hall and Lavonne Hall all filed for re-election to their positions, while Damon Burke did not. Valoree Gregory filed to run for her position. St. John: Chris Crider and Shantyle McGuire have filed for the director one position that is currently held by Corrie Tollett, who did not file. The director two position was filed for by Valerie Brewer, and the position is currently held by Toni Blackwell, who did not file. In the director three position, Janet Leifer filed for re-election and Lori Loomis filed to run against her. Alan Blumenshein and Janet Morgan filed to run for Heidi Hough’s at-large position. OTHER DISTRICTS Fire District Commissioners Jonelle Olson (3), Russell Jamison (3), Chuck Petras (3), Robert Knott (6), Tom Henning (7), Eric Startin (8), Michael Bednar (11), Roger Hall (11) and Dennis James Guettinger (12) all filed for re-election and will run unopposed. In district 11, Terry Cochran also filed for re-election and will run against Ron Hinnenkamp. In the Oakesdale Cemetery District William Johnson and Kari Ellis filed for re-election, as did Roger Pennell in the Garfield Cemetery District and Christine Henning and Shirley Meserve in the Thornton Cemetery District. Ray McCown also filed for a vacant commissioner position in the Garfield Cemetery District. In the hospital districts, Tricia Grantham (1A), Jeff Elbracht (1A), Rich Olson (2), Kevin Pickron (2), Steve Haxton (4) and Abby Smith (4) all filed for re-election. In hospital district four, Diane Harp and Karen Blomgren filed for commissioner positions currently held by Lori Hay and David Fletcher, respectively. For the Garfield Park District, Jenny Bishop Hanson, Mike Olsen, Denise Hasenoehrl and Alice Rager filed for re-election. Debbie Anderson filed for Anna Bishop’s current position. In the Rosalia Park District, Kelly Messinger filed for re-election and Jenna McDonald filed for election in the position currently held by Tim Braun. Sara Hudkins filed for a position that is currently vacant. In the sewer district, all positions are currently vacant. Tom Solbrack and Rich Mock, both of Colfax, filed for the commissioner one position, and Rick Gibson, also of Colfax, filed for the commissioner two position. Filing Friday closed with several positions in fire, cemetery, hospital and park districts failing to attract a candidate. These cemetery districts included St. John, Colfax, Winona and Farmington, while park and recreation districts were St. John, Oakesdale, Rosalia, Tekoa and Endicott.