April 28, 2017

Another St. Ignatius inspection: Downtown Association hires own contractor, inspector

By Kara McMurray Gazette Reporter

Last month, notices were placed up around the former St. Ignatius Hospital building, deeming the building unsafe and structurally unsound. These notices were posted by the City of Colfax following an inspection of the building in November or December. Mayor Todd Vanek told the Gazette in December that the city thought the building was unsafe, and when they issued a report, it would go to building owner Anthony Girges. Irving Trejo, city building inspector, said he was in the building prior to this time, but a report was not issued until recently. The city report has been sent to Girges, but it has not been seen by Valoree Gregory, Colfax unified executive director, or anyone else from the Downtown Association. St. Ignatius has been used by the association for two years for haunted hospital tours which have brought new visitors to Colfax and generated revenue and national publicity. Gregory told the Gazette this week that the Downtown Association recently brought its own contractor and structural engineer to complete an inspection of the building. “They found that the actual structure of the building is safe,” said Gregory. She added that a report has been sent to the city.

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Eagles return to nest

Eagle Pair

—Jack Lien photo

These eagles have made their home along the Palouse River for more than seven years. For the first couple years, they hatched out two eaglets but only one would survive. However, for the past three years they have successfully raised three chicks. Lien photographed these eagles several times during their nesting season and until the chicks left the nest. The photo was captured while Lien was conducting one of his Palouse Country Photo Tours. He conducts a number of photo tours and workshops on the Palouse each year.

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Tekoa’s Empire will now pay monthly utility bill

By Garth Meyer Gazette Reporter

Tekoa City Council voted 3-2 Monday, April 17, to charge the Empire Theatre for sewer and water service. The city will now bill the theater $18 for water and $16 for sewer each month under a new policy that will apply to any Tekoa building used four days or less per month and does not irrigate. “We’re doing this, unfortunately. It’s a city-owned building, it’s a non-profit,” said Mayor John Jaeger. The rate is the same charged to Tekoa “snowbird” residents when away from Tekoa over winter months. The rate includes up to 500 gallons. Additional water use is billed at $1 per 500 gallons. An anonymous flyer sent to box holders at the Tekoa Post Office urged residents to “save your money and let the city pay your bill this month just like they have been doing for the Association for years.” The “Association” is believed to be a reference to Friends of the Empire Theatre, which formed in 2003 to manage the 1940 theater. The city owns the theater building and previously did not charge for water or sewer services.

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Sports

Allenbach, Strobel top NE field at Quail Ridge course

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Opinion

The season of town events starts now

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