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July 12, 2018 | View PDF

Bunyard's Automotive

Crowds gathered at the new Bunyard's Automotive, formerly Lube Plus, in Colfax for a grand opening barbecue Saturday, July 7.

These reports are from the previous four issues of the Daily Bulletin in Colfax. They are reprinted here for the benefit of Gazette readers who reside outside of Colfax. Some accounts have been updated.

HARVESTERS ASKED TO AVOID CEDAR

Colfax Public Works Director Matt Hammer Tuesday asked harvest crews to avoid the North Flat construction zone which includes Cedar and Oak streets. He noted neither the work zone nor the single-lane detour can accommodate large combines and trucks.

A detour on the project routes traffic to Riverside Lane, which is essentially a one-way street.

Hammer noted, as of Tuesday, one lane of Cedar Street between Seventh and Eighth streets on the south end of the project has been opened to traffic.

Work now underway includes installation of new eight-inch sewer mains on both streets. The new lines will replace a sewer main which was built of short concrete pipe segments. Failure of concrete at the pipe joints over the years has led to infiltration problems with the system.

Crews for contractor Motley & Motley are excavating the old line while installing the new one.

WRECK FOUND ABANDONED

Washington State Patrol Trooper Bruce Blood early Saturday morning responded to the scene of an accident on Highway 195 south of Pullman. A 1997 Mitsubishi was found wrecked near mile mark 17, three miles south of Pullman. The car was abandoned.

The registered owner of the car resides at Lapwai, Idaho, and Blood learned the owner was out of town at the time of the accident. He also contacted a granddaughter of the owner, but she had no knowledge of who might have been driving the car. She was later interviewed by a member of the Lewiston Police Department.

The accident investigation determined the Mitsubishi was headed southbound on 195 at about 4:34 a.m. when it drifted onto the gravel shoulder, slid sideways and rolled. It came to a halt on its wheels.

MAN ARRESTED AT EELLS PARK

Reggie Dean Leinweber, 68, listed as homeless, was booked in the jail here Monday night at 8 p.m. after being arrested by Colfax Officer Jaelene Leeson at Eells Park in Colfax. Leinweber was booked into jail on a probable charge of third degree assault of an officer.

Leeson said she responded to a report of Leinweber yelling at children and drinking in the park. Residents who reside next to the park said he had been around there for a few days, but they began to consider him a threat Monday when he started drinking and yelling at youngsters.

Leeson said she stopped at the park once and told him he couldn't drink in the park. The report said he had a bottle of clear liquid and an empty bottle of Olde English Malt.

Officer Leeson said after getting more complaints she returned to the park and determined he had been drinking. Her report said Leinweber blew at her twice and particles of spit landed on her face.

Leinweber was believed to have come here from the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley.

BODY RECOVERED AT CENTRAL FERRY

Whitman County Marine Patrol and the Whitman County coroner were called out Saturday afternoon to assist with the recovery of a male body found near the Central Ferry Bridge on Highway 127. The body was identified as Charlie Wilkie of Pomeroy.

According to the Garfield County Sheriff's office, Mr. Wilkie had been reported missing last Monday, July 2. His truck had been located on the Garfield County side of the river near the Central Ferry Bridge.

His body was turned over to the Garfield County coroner, and all next of kin have been notified, according to a report from the Grant County Sheriff.

Wilkie, 39, was last seen July 1 at approximately 8 p.m. in Walla Walla and his truck was found the next morning at Central Ferry. He was reported missing at 6:55 a.m. July 2, and a missing person alert was subsequently sent out by the Garfield County Sheriff's Office.

OFFICER LEESON RETURNS TO DUTY

Officer Jaelene Leeson returned to duty with the Colfax Police Department Sunday after being on maternity leave for six months. Her return bumps the roster of Colfax police to four people, still one officer short of full staffing for the department.

The department roster had dropped to the chief and two officers after the departure of Matt Malakowsky, who joined the Clarkston Police Department last month.

NEXT FIRST THURSDAY AUG. 2

The next First Thursday event in Colfax will be Aug. 2. A First Thursday for this month was not booked because of the Wednesday Fourth of July celebrations.

Featured for the next first Thursday will be the Tone Sober band, and the merchants promotion will be a drawing for tickets to the Rascal Flatts concert.

First Thursday will also take a bye in September to avoid conflict with the fair. The last of the series will be Oct. 4 with a performance by Sammie Eubanks.

HURT IN PORCH FALL

Colfax Chief Rick McNannay late Saturday responded to a report of a woman who had been injured after she fell off a porch. The 20-year-old, who appeared to have been drinking, sustained injuries to her face and head after toppling off the porch.

She was transported by ambulance to Whitman Community Hospital. Chief McNannay said the woman became belligerent while being treated at the hospital, and he remained there for security duty until the early morning hours.

STATE UPDATE ON N. END

Proposals for a roundabout or a T intersection were projected on the wall during the July 2 city council session for a presentation on the future of the highways 26 and 195 intersection at the north end of Colfax.

The presentation was done by Larry Larson, assistant regional administrator of development for the state Department of Transportation.

Larson visited the council session to report on what direction the state could be taking to land funds for redoing the intersection.

Larson reported a lone bid for a rehabilitation project on the two bridges at the north end of town was rejected last year because it was considered too high by the state.

Larson added the repair work done on the bridges two years ago appears to be holding up better than expected.

Cost of building one new bridge has been estimated in the $7 to $8 million range vs. the cost of the now-stalled rehab project, which could be about $2 million, he noted.

Larson said statistics for roundabout intersections show they provide a 37 percent drop in accidents and 75 percent reduction in injury accidents. The initial cost of roundabouts is higher, but they can be operated at lower cost.

Larson did note the traffic loads for highways 26 and 195 now are below what is normally considered a threshold for a roundabout installation.

The proposal for a T intersection included a right turn lane for eastbound motorists who want to turn south off 26 onto 195 to go southbound on Main Street.

Eric Busch, proprietor of Busch Distributors said he would like to be part of the conversation of "what it does to us." Both chart projections Monday included land where the Busch Sunset Mart and gas station is now located.

One possible site suggested for relocation could be the area where Highway 26 is presently located, because that segment of road will not be needed in the new intersection plan which calls for just one bridge across the North Fork of the Palouse River.

'ROSE' PROJECT COULD COMPETE WITH COLFAX

The proposed giant "Rose" processing center project, believed to be an Amazon fulfillment center, figures to compete with Colfax in grant applications for highway projects, Larry Larson, assistant regional administrator of development for the state Department of Transportation, told the city council Monday night. Larson said Spokane County officials plan to apply for a BUILD grant to improve the road system for the project, which is projected to have between 2,200 and 2,900 employees commuting to work in the four-story building which is expected to be constructed on an 80-acre site southwest of Spokane International Airport. The center is designed with approximately 1,800 parking spaces and would have employees working shifts around the clock.

Spokane County is expected to seek a grant from the BUILD program which has replaced the federal Transportation TIGER funding program. The state DOT was unsuccessful in its application to obtain funds for a Colfax project from the TIGER grant program. BUILD stands for Better Using Investments to Leverage Development.

Larson noted the BUILD program has $1.5 million in its funding compared to $.5 million in funding which was available for TIGER grants.

Grant awards are expected to be made late this year. If a Colfax project is funded, design work would start next January and a call for construction bids would be made in the spring of 2020, Larson said.

DRIVER LEAVES ACCIDENT SCENE

A damaged 1996 BMW 328 convertible was found at mile 33 on Wawawai River Road near Wilma at 7:15 a.m. July 4, but the driver was not at the scene. A report from Sheriff Brett Myers said the driver, Jeremy McKinney, Clarkston, was located July 5. He said they believe he suffered only minor injuries in the one-car accident.

A witness to the accident, which was reported at 7:15 a.m. July 4, said he observed the driver of the car running away from the scene just before a law officer arrived. Officers from the Asotin County Sheriff's Office, Clarkston Police Department and state Fish & Game assisted in trying to locate McKinney.

It is believed the BMW was traveling at a high rate of speed when McKinney lost control of the vehicle, according to Myers.

 
 
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