Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Articles written by Roger Harnack

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 By Roger Harnack    News    May 25, 2023 

State considers wolf downgrade

OLYMPIA – Wolves may be downgraded from an endangered species to “sensitive” under a proposed reclassification by state Department of Fish and Wildlife staff. The gray wolf was already removed by the federal endangered species list, but the...

 By Roger Harnack    Opinion    May 18, 2023

Failure to act will legalize drugs

The state Legislature is headed back to Olympia this week for a special session specifically to deal with the prospect of all drugs becoming legal July 1. Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, says he...

 By Roger Harnack    Sports    May 18, 2023

St. John-Endicott/LaCrosse Eagles look for regional berths

RITZVILLE – The St. John-Endicott/LaCrosse boys and girls track teams competed in the Class 1B Districts 7 and 9 meet, Wednesday, May 10, with individuals hoping to qualify for regionals. The Eagle...

 By Roger Harnack    Sports    May 4, 2023

Track teams compete at Undeberg Invitational

RITZVILLE – The Garfield-Palouse and Oakesdale girls track teams finished in the Top 10 on Saturday, April 29, at the Undeberg Invitational. The Vikings were second as a team with 94 points and...

 By Roger Harnack    News    May 4, 2023

Snake River access shuttered

ALMOTA – In its first use of a new policy designed to curtail overcrowding of its Snake River amenities, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shuttered access Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, to...

 By Roger Harnack    News    May 4, 2023

Gov. Inslee won't seek fourth term

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee won't be seeking a fourth term. Inslee, a Democrat from Bainbridge Island, announced Monday, May 1, that he's ready to move on. "Today I announced I will not seek a fourth...

 By Roger Harnack    News    April 27, 2023

New gun-control measures signed into law by Gov. Inslee

OLYMPLIA – The sale, import, distribution and manufacture of so-called “assault weapons” and related parts was immediately banned Tuesday morning, April 25, across the state. With a large crowd of Democrats standing behind him at the Capitol,...

 By Roger Harnack    News    April 27, 2023

Landfill breaks ground

WASHTUCNA – Near 50 people turned out Thursday, April 20, for a ground-breaking ceremony for a new landfill more than 30 years in the making. Waste Management managers and employees joined local...

 By Roger Harnack    People    April 27, 2023

Access road honors former mayor

WASHTUCNA – The access road to the new Waste Management landfill is being named in honor of a former longtime mayor who staunchly supported the development. The access road is being named Syd...

 By Roger Harnack    Sports    April 20, 2023

Area lakes ready for opening day

CHENEY – Several local and nearby lakes have an abundance of trout available to catch, just in time for opening day Saturday, April 22. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has planted thousands of trout in area lakes, including West Medical...

 By Roger Harnack    Sports    April 20, 2023

Tekoa native wins Boston Marathon division

BOSTON, Mass. – A Tekoa native won the Boston Marathon's Women's Wheelchair Division on Monday, April 17. Having placed in the Top 5 in the division on previous Boston Marathons, Susannah Scaroni,...

 By Roger Harnack    Sports    April 13, 2023

Garfield, LaCrosse racers compete in Desert 100

IRBY – Several area racers were among the competitors April 2 at the annual Desert 100. LaCrosse's Jake Stanley and Garfield racers Kelly Soncarty and Jayden Soncarty all completed the grueling...

 By Roger Harnack    News    April 13, 2023

Numerous new gun restrictions loom

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign multiple new firearms restrictions into law in the coming two weeks. House Bill 1143 passed the Senate 28-18 on Saturday, April 7. That bill is now before the governor. On the same day, House Bill 1240...

 By Roger Harnack    News    April 13, 2023

Avista requests power rate hike

SPOKANE VALLEY – Avista ratepayers will face higher bills beginning July 1 if a proposed rate hike is approved by the state Utilities and Transportation Commission. Avista has requested price adjustments, including electricity rate hikes that will...

 By Roger Harnack    News    April 6, 2023

Oakesdale boys, girls pace Whitman County

DEER PARK - Oakesdale's boys and girls set the pace for Whitman County track and field teams competing Friday, March 31, at the Glenn Wolf Invite at Deer Park High School. The Oakesdale and Garfield-P...

 By Roger Harnack    News    March 30, 2023

Time to remove studded tires

COLFAX — If you haven’t yet removed your studded tires, it’s time to do so. The deadline to remove studded tires is today, Friday, March 31, according to the state Department of Transportation. The Washington State Patrol will begin issuing...

 By Roger Harnack    News    March 9, 2023

Introduced bill elevates drug possession crimes

OLYMPIA — A bill making its way through the Legislature would make possession of fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine a gross misdemeanor. Senate Bill 5536 passed the Senate by a 28-21 vote Friday night. The bill is designed in response...

 By Roger Harnack    Sports    March 9, 2023
Dominick Kager

Kager wins Bi-State title

LEWISTON, Idaho - A Tekoa-Rosalia wrestler won a Bi-State championship title Saturday competing at Lewiston High School. Dominick Kager, a seventh-grader at Tekoa Middle School, pinned his way...

 By Roger Harnack    News    March 9, 2023

Regional landfill to break ground

WASHTUCNA-A regional landfill in the works for more than three decades is about to break ground. Waste Management announced last Friday, March 3, that it hopes to break ground on a 550-acre landfill...


Farm fuel tax exemptions fail to pass

OLYMPIA — Farmers and ranchers will likely continue to be taxed on agricultural diesel fuel after House and Senate committees last week failed to advance exemption bills. Senate Bill 5728, introduced by Sen. Perry Dozier, R-Kennewick, and...


H.B. 1315 helps level playing field

Washington state has high tax rates — gas, property, you name it. Government agencies collect billions of tax dollars annually from residents and businesses here. So why then are government...


Questions should be asked about WARNS survey

WARNS. Interesting acronym for a survey being pushed by the state Department of Education, Washington State University and public schools statewide. The Washington Assessment of the Risks and Needs...


Rancher, feds settle Snake River case

CENTRAL FERRY — The U.S. government has reached an agreement with a rancher accused of allowing his cattle to trespass on federally managed lands along the Snake River. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington approved the...


Petrovich no longer CFO

SPOKANE — Spokane County’s chief financial officer is out of a job. After more than a decade as the Whitman County administrative director and just two years as Spokane County’s chief financial officer, Gary Petrovich is unemployed. He was...


Christmas magic alive and well

As a youngster, I looked forward to Christmas. I loved the food, the traditions and especially the presents — what kid doesn’t? In high school and college, the luster subsided. As a wrestler,...


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