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Articles written by Kara Mcmurray

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  • Trampoline park opens in Moscow

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Sep 21, 2017

    A trampoline park, called Planet 3 Extreme Air Park, opened earlier this week in the former Staples building in Moscow. It features more than 10,000 square feet of interconnected floor level padded trampolines, an open jump area, a trampoline dodgeball stadium, basketball dunk centers, Olympic foam pits for aerial jumping, an innovative slack line and a multi-lane ninja warrior course. “Trampoline parks are currently becoming one of the hottest venues across the nation,” Operations Manager Mo Haretuku said through a press release. The bus...

  • Ice Age group fall tour details announced

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Sep 14, 2017

    The Palouse Falls Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute recently announced its plans for its fall field trip tour Oct. 7 to Saddle Mountain, located south of State Route 26 between Othello and Vantage. The bus tour will begin through the Drumheller Channels and then head south to Saddle Mountain. The tour will then head into the ghost town of Corfu and follow the diverted Ice Age Columbia River to Beverly. The group will then pass through the Sentinel gap, and a barbecue lunch and tour will be served at the Ginko Forest Winery. Wine will be... Full story

  • Port seeks engineer for Colfax air center

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Sep 7, 2017

    The Port of Whitman County has put out a request for statements of qualifications related to consulting and engineering service for the Port of Whitman Business Air Center on Airport Road in Colfax. Debbie Snell, Port properties and development manager, said the Port currently has a contract with Riedesel out of Lewiston for these services. “Every five years we need to re-advertise for engineering services at the airport,” she explained. “It’s an FAA requirement.” The statements will relate to consulting, engineering, design and construction ob...

  • Port pledges $500 for RiverFest

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Sep 7, 2017

    The Port of Whitman County two weeks ago voted to give $500 for the RiverFest event slated for Sept. 30 at Granite Lake Park in Clarkston. The event is planned jointly between the cities of Clarkston and Lewiston, as well as their chambers. The ports of Clarkston and Lewiston also sponsor the event and approached the Port of Whitman to donate $500 to help with the funding for it this year. Before deciding to go ahead with the $500 commitment, the commissioners wanted to know how much each of the other ports had contributed to the Snake River...

  • Big crowd expected today for Wylie & Wild West

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Sep 7, 2017

    Wylie Gustafson & the Wild West has been booked as the headliner today for the last First Thursday session in Colfax, and Valoree Gregory, Colfax unified executive director, expects him to draw in crowds for the downtown performance. “We’ll have both sides of Spring Street shut down this time,” she commented. Gregory said she has received calls from people in Montana and other out-of-towners who are interested in attending Gustafson’s performance. “He’s got lots of followers,” she said. Gustafson, who at one point lived in Dusty, is known for...

  • County budget reviews with heads start this week

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Sep 7, 2017

    Whitman County has the 2018 budget well underway, and meetings between department heads and the Board of County Commissioners will be ongoing for the next two weeks. Gary Petrovich, county administrator, informed the commissioners last week he has been reviewing the submitted budgets from each department. All departments have turned in their budgets, and he is reviewing them in conjunction with County Auditor Eunice Coker. Petrovich said it is too preliminary now to say what the final budget number will be for 2018. He is still in the process... Full story

  • Groups join to 'Paint the Town Pink'

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Sep 7, 2017

    It is about to get pink in Colfax. During the month of October, various organizations are banding together for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And they want the entire city to join in on the initiative. “We’re hoping to turn Colfax away from the well-known speed trap reputation and rebrand it,” said Laurie Gronning, public relations specialist with Whitman Hospital and Medical Center. The idea started with Colfax Police Chief Rick McNannay. He is actually hoping a sudden turn to pink on Oct. 1 will attract national attention and show Colfa...

  • Pullman Hospital plans open house

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 31, 2017

    An open house tour has been scheduled at Pullman Regional Hospital for Friday, Sept. 8. The open house and tour will show the public the most recent remodeling and renovation of the surgical suites at the hospital. The hospital recently underwent a $2.3 million surgery expansion project, which included the addition of a fourth operating room. Technology upgrades were also included and will soon be completed. Megan Guido, chief marketing and community relations coordinator for the hospital, said one of the technology upgrades is the addition of... Full story

  • SJEL sports co-op now official

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 31, 2017

    When students from St. John and Endicott suit up for the upcoming sports season, they will be joined by students from LaCrosse. An official sports cooperative was agreed upon between the school districts over the summer months. “It’s underway, with the exception of volleyball,” said LaCrosse Principal Jeff Pietila. Pietila said the LaCrosse district approached the St. John and Endicott districts about forming an official cooperative earlier this year. “We already had football and baseball and some junior high things with them,” he said. Mak...

  • Pullman licensing office marks one year

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 31, 2017

    The Pullman Vehicle Vessel Licensing office is marking one year of new ownership. The former site at the Pufferbelly Depot closed on Aug. 8, 2016, and the new office opened under proprietor Molly Johnson three weeks later on Sept. 1, 2016. The office is now located at 1195 SE Bishop Boulevard. The Pullman Vehicle Vessel Licensing office on SE Bishop Blvd. will mark one year of operation under new ownership tomorrow, Sept. 1. Molly Johnson was selected to begin operation of the sub-agency after...

  • Waiting game: Haunted Hospital still in city's hands

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 31, 2017

    Ghosts are still up in the air, according to Valoree Gregory, Colfax unified executive director. Gregory has been preparing for the final run of the Haunted Hospital at St. Ignatius, and she said that everything is ready to go with the new building owners. A contract deal has been reached among the owners, the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Association. That contract calls for the new owners to receive a portion of the proceeds from the Haunted Hospital. The wait to re-launch the tours is contingent upon meetings with the city. “The owner d...

  • Autographs by Cougar greats will help fund training program

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 31, 2017

    Notable athletes will make their way to Pullman this week for “Champions for Kids,” an autograph session to support the Regional High School Athletic Training Program. The training program presented by Pullman Regional Hospital and Colton School District provides athletic training services for student athletes during practices, games and camps. It also provides treatment for injured athletes, free of cost, at the hospital's outpatient physical therapy clinic. The contract was recently expanded to include the Garfield/Palouse, Pullman and Pot... Full story

  • County seeks options for VSP admin

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 31, 2017

    The county is searching for a coordinator for its Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) that was approved last week on Monday, Aug. 21. The approved contract is the second two-year contract and spans from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019. This contract is meant to cover the implementation of a plan created in the past two years during the first contract. That contract created the watershed work group that aims to protect agricultural activity and preserve wetlands, flood plains, animal habitat, aquifer recharge and geologically hazardous areas.... Full story

  • Kiss the Pig election donations lag at $72

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 31, 2017

    With just more than a week to go before the big kiss at the Palouse Empire Fair, the collection jars for the Colfax and Community Fund (CACF) 'Kiss the Pig' fundraiser have brought in $72. “I'm hoping we'll get going more once we get closer,” said Jeannette Solimine, board member with the CACF. Candidates in the second rendition of the event include Scott Ackerman of Ackerman Heating and Air, dentist Al Kirkpatrick and CPA Terry Eng with Kirkpatrick, Utgaard & Perry. As of the last jar collection count Ackerman was in the lead with $42, Kir...

  • County wants to remove old UP trestle at Oakesdale

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 31, 2017

    Whitman County commissioners Monday, in a workshop meeting, discussed issues with flooding surrounding an old trestle in Oakesdale. The county and Town of Oakesdale want to be able to remove the trestle, but ownership issues are preventing that right. “We need ownership and permission prior to removing it,” said Commissioner Art Swannack. The trestle is currently owned by Union Pacific, which is willing to sell the trestle so that it can be removed. UP offered the trestle to the Town of Oakesdale for $1. The county is now trying to see if it...

  • Rosalia airport project out for bid

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 31, 2017

    The Town of Rosalia is accepting bids for a project at the Rosalia Municipal Airport. The project includes lighting, improvement of an access road, creating a taxiway and installing fencing. “It’s pretty straightforward,” said Tim Ike, project engineer with J-U-B Engineers out of Spokane. Mayor Nanette Konishi said this project is “mostly electrical” but will also include some paving. Her hope is to have it start as soon as possible and completed before winter. “We’re hoping to have it finished before the snow flies,” she said. “There are some...

  • First Thursday in need of volunteers

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 31, 2017

    As the Colfax Chamber of Commerce is preparing the final First Thursday event of the year, volunteers are being sought to help with the set up. Colfax Unified Executive Director Valoree Gregory said no volunteers have come forward as of yet. The last First Thursday event will be next week, Sept. 7, with Wiley Gustafson and the Wild West band as the feature attraction. “I’ve sent it out in some eNews letters now, and I’ve called businesses,” said Gregory. “Not one person has returned my calls, and nobody has emailed me back either.” Gregory sai... Full story

  • SEWEDA may receive economic development funds

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 31, 2017

    After being denied state funding for Startup 365, the Southeast Washington Economic Development Association (SEWEDA) may be receiving county .09 money to help keep the entity full-time. “They were counting on that 365 money to start the new fiscal year, which started in July,” Dean Kinzer, county commissioner, told commissioners Art Swannack and Michael Largent in a workshop meeting Monday. Startup Whitman launched here as a pilot program in 2015 under the state program of Startup 365 Washington. It was launched to support economic dev... Full story

  • Ice Age Floods chapter to present traveling lecture series

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 24, 2017

    The Palouse Falls chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute has booked a traveling lecture series for the month of September. It will be presented by the chapter president, Lloyd Stoess. Stoess will present “Changing the Course of the Columbia River” at various locations throughout the Palouse. The lecture is designed to tell the story of the Columbia and Missoula floods, and it will detail the “incredible coulees, dry falls, scablands, bars and landslides” along the path of the Columbia River. Lecture dates include Sept. 7 at the Sunset Theatre...

  • Commissioners vote to discontinue video tours on the county's website

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 24, 2017

    Whitman County Commissioners Monday voted 2-1 to not extend a contract for CGI services for a video tour for the county's website. The contract had been with CGI Communications out of Rochester, N.Y. When the matter came to the table, Commissioner Dean Kinzer moved to continue the contract, and Commissioner Michael Largent seconded the motion. “Is it worth having the videos on the website that are created?” Commissioner Art Swannack asked once the motion was on the floor. Clerk of the Board Maribeth Becker weighed in on the matter: “I think our...

  • Rosalia project requires water, sewer line checks

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 24, 2017

    The Whitman Avenue reconstruction project in Rosalia got underway earlier this month, and the mayor reported this week that it is progressing well. “It's moving along pretty much right on schedule,” said Mayor Nanette Konishi. The project has not hit any big snags, she said, but there has been an issue that has surfaced with water lines. “One of the difficulties, if we could call it that, was that there were water and sewer lines that we didn't exactly know what or who they were serving,” said Konishi. The water line issue came up when construc... Full story

  • Elections office encounters sliced off ballots in primary

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 24, 2017

    The elections office is no stranger to seeing oddities on ballots. It has seen votes for Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus, as well as comments about particular candidates and statements about political parties. A new oddity was seen during this month's primary election in Whitman County: sliced off ballots. County Commissioner Art Swannack told the other commissioners last week that the canvass board had encountered ballots that had been sent in, but had either the bottom third or bottom two-thirds cut off. “It was a clean cut,” said Swannack. “It...

  • County's loan moratorium awaits policy report

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 24, 2017

    It is a conversation that started 20 months ago, and there still has not been a resolution. Whitman County commissioners reported Monday in a workshop meeting that they have heard of no progress relating to the county's loan moratorium for junior taxing districts. “There is no response from the treasurer,” said Commissioner Michael Largent, who last week asked the treasurer for an update. The moratorium was imposed in January as a means of protecting the county's financial position while the county treasurer worked on establishing policies and...

  • St. John passes water ordinance

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 24, 2017

    The Town of St. John recently passed an emergency water ordinance for the purpose of completing its water system plan for the Department of Ecology. The town was required to pass the ordinance for the plan and needed to outline penalties for violation of water use restrictions. The ordinance stipulates that the town council can declare a water emergency in the event of severe drought, extended pipeline or equipment malfunction or in any other condition that significantly reduces the town’s ability to supply water. The purposes of declaring a wa...

  • Endicott plans for sewer plant fix

    Kara McMurray, Gazette Reporter|Aug 24, 2017

    At the most recent town council meeting July 18 in Endicott, a representative with the Department of Ecology was present to discuss issues with the town’s sewer plant. The plant has been having issues with violations on monthly reports, and the town now needs to work to bring it into compliance. “We’ve had some issues with our sewer plant for about the past year,” said Town Clerk/Treasurer Laura Jones. “We’re trying to solve that issue and get it taken care of.” Jones said the violation issues have stemmed largely from extreme runoff relate... Full story

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