May 2, 2016

Colton-Uniontown Fair Friday

By Garth Meyer Gazette Reporter The 2016 Colton-Uniontown Fair arrives with a new layout its first year after the remodeling of the school. Last year, the fair took place in a makeshift arrangement amidst construction. This year, fair exhibits will be staged together in the new front parking lot area. At the helm again is Debbie Niehenke, acting as financial manager for the second year after serving as fair manager for nine years. Mandi White is Fair Exhibits Manager. “I am planning on a wonderful day,” Niehenke said. “We have an extra special request not to have wind.” New this year will be two large rented tents to house show rings and smaller animals such as pigs, goats and sheep. The beef ring will be on asphalt this year, as the former grass ring is now a playground. The FFA plant sale continues in the greenhouse, now standing out more after the old metal ag shop was taken out. “You can see the colors even from the parking lot,” said Niehenke. Hot grills will again be set up next to the new ag building, with cooks serving hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, chips and more. Funds raised will go to support student organizations at the school. As before when the Catholic Daughters ran the concessions, a few Catholic Daughters’ husbands will be behind the grill. Animals shown and judged will be cats, rabbits, chickens, dogs, horses, pigs, sheep, goats and steers. Other attractions at the fair will be sewing/needlework, fine arts and crafts, home arts, educational displays and demonstrations – in which 4-H and FFA kids describe how to perform a task. Demonstrations will be given from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m in one of the two classrooms of the ag shop. The other will be set up with tables for eating. The fair opens at 8 a.m. with the opening ceremony and concluding with horse fitting and showing at 3 p.m. on the lawn. The plant sale opens at 8 a.m. “It’s small-town fun,” said White.

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Parading pint-sized patriots

SJ kids These youngsters show off their American pride during the St. John Community Fair parade Saturday, April 23. Many children turned out to take part in the event, whether in the parade; catching candy; exhibiting artwork, animals and more, or indulging in the many offerings the community fair had to offer. For more pictures from the event, see page B3.

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Too high for budget: School board rejects lone track bid

By Garth Meyer Gazette Reporter

The Colfax school board will seek another option to build a new track after rejecting the lone bid for the project Monday night. A bid of $318,000 from Palouse River Rock, Colfax, was declined at the board’s regular meeting after Superintendent Jerry Pugh suggested it was too high compared to cost projections. “We will look at other alternatives at our disposal,” Pugh told the board. “We’re coming back, we’re crunching numbers. We’re vetting everything right now.” The district and its architects on the project, Architects West of Coeur D’Alene, had gone out to bid in March for the track work, which includes partial demolition, laying a new base, compacting it and creating a two-inch lift to the new surface. Pugh said he will confer with Architects West on the next step, which may be to send out a new bid or other arrangement. “It’s just a little setback. I think we can overcome it,” Pugh said. Stating that the goal is to take the next step as soon as possible, Pugh noted Monday night “the end of May for sure” as a timeline. One way or another, the district intends to put in a new track this summer. Replacing the 33-year-old Colfax track is part of an overall plan for improvements to the district’s athletic complex, which features the track and football field. Total funding for the planned track/athletic complex work as of last month included $40,000 from a Whitman County .09 fund grant, $250,000 from a state Recreation and Conservation Office grant (to the city of Colfax), $80,000 from the City of Colfax, $160,000 from the Colfax School District and $57,000 raised in private donations by the C-Town Project, a group of volunteers seeking funding for the track. The $587,000 total may increase with more donations. Funding for a joint city/school district project for new restrooms to serve the track complex and Schmuck Park is included. Phase Two of the athletic complex, as funding allows, would include recrowning the football field, new fencing, new field lights, irrigation system and scoreboard replacement. Last fall, the school board voted to increase its contribution to the athletic complex effort by $30,000 after the scope of the project was expanded to consider the whole complex. The added funding covered the district’s hiring of an architect, Keith Dixon of Architects West.

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Colton beats Colfax, now 9-3

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Has it come down to this?

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