Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

News Briefs


August 16, 2018 | View PDF


Nicholas A. Furnell, 31, Clarkston, was sentenced to six months in jail Aug. 3 after he pleaded guilty to two drug possession charges.

Furnell was arrested June 12 after Pullman Police responded to the Walmart parking lot in south Pullman. They originally responded to a report that Furnell had been following another driver, but that couldn't be verified.

Officers said the driver in the Infiniti G-35 at the scene appeared to be sleeping and he decided to check the man's welfare. The report said the man, who was later identified as Furnell, appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and kept nodding off.

Officer McNannay learned Furnell was not the owner of the car. He contacted the owner who refused to give permission for a search. The car was seized by the officer, and a warrant was obtained to search the vehicle. Among items allegedly found in the car were 11 packages of methamphetamine, spoons, needles and Aprazolam.

The arrest report said the officer learned warrants for Furnell's arrest had been issued in Kittitas and Pierce counties.


Keenan L. Keller, 24, Tekoa, was scheduled to be released from jail Friday after 60 days of incarceration. Keller pleaded guilty to three counts of violation of a no-contact order from a prior conviction.

Prosecutor Denis Tracy told the court he decided to drop one of the charges against Keller and reduce the remaining charges to gross misdemeanors. Tracy said one of the big reasons for the reduction was that the person listed for protection in the no-contact order actually initiated the contact by calling from the Whitman County Jail where she had been held following an arrest.

Defense attorney John Hart said Keller had remained sober for 10 months and was abiding by previous court orders to discontinue drinking and underwent treatment to refrain from domestic violence. He told the court the telephone calls between Keller and the protected party listed in the no-contact order were amicable.

Keller was sentenced to a year in jail with all but 60 days suspended with credit for time served. He was ordered to resume treatment for alcohol abuse and domestic violence prevention.

Tracy said the no-contact order was part of a 2016 conviction for attempted assault.


Pullman Police issued a call for residents to participate in their entry for the national lip sync challenge which has attracted entries from police departments around the country. The Pullman sync shoot was set at Pine Street Plaza Saturday, Aug. 11, starting at 6 a.m. The session was booked early in the morning to avoid hot weather in the middle of the day and provide thin traffic for possible street shots.

Seattle, Moses Lake and Spokane police are among departments to produce lip sync productions which show up on Facebook.

Police departments post their productions on their respective Facebook pages. Viewers can compare the different versions, although there is no formal competition involved.


Friday's second free swim brought 105 people to the Colfax pool. The swim was the second free session with costs of life guards and the pool operation paid by a sponsor. Pacific Northwest Farmers Co-Op sponsored Friday's swim, and the law firm of Carpenter, McGuire & Dewulf will sponsor this Friday's swim.

Parks director Steven Larkin said he is close to signing a sponsor for the an Aug. 24 free swim.

Last day for operating the city pool will be Saturday, Aug. 25.

The first day of school is scheduled for Aug. 27.


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