Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

News Briefs: April 25, 2019


April 25, 2019


Plans for two wall mural projects for downtown Colfax have been finalized and plans for two others are in the works, according to Debby Stinson, president of the Colfax Arts Council.

Henry Stinson of Colfax will paint a mural entitled “American Gothic on the Palouse” which will be featured on the south wall of the Fonk’s building. The mural will be a variation of the 1930 American Gothic painting done by Grant Wood.

Melissa Cole of Spokane will paint a mural entitled “Colfax Bounty” on the south wall of Dusty Attic next to the lot between the Dusty Attic shop and U.S. Bank.

The mural will join an historic Colfax mural painted by Colfax artists under the direction of Dick Gebhardt, a council member. Two other wall murals are planned by the council. One will be along Spring Street on the north side of the building that houses Palouse River Quilts and Bully For You.

The council is now looking for a location for the fourth wall mural, Stinson said.


A half pound of cocaine, 229 grams, was among evidence allegedly seized April 18 when officers with the Quad Cities Drug Task Force conducted a warrant search on a residence in the 1100 block on NE Monroe Street on College Hill in Pullman. The report by Sheriff Brett Myers, commander of the task force, said Francisco J. Torres, Jr., 23, was arrested on a probable charge of possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

Members of the task force along with officers from the Pullman and Lewiston police departments executed the search.

Myers said two grams of cocaine, scales, packaging materials, snort tubes and $190 were found in the residence.

The half pound of cocaine was found in a room occupied by Torres’ roommate who was not identified in the report. Sixty Xanax pills and $700 in cash were also found in the room during the search. Myers said the roommate was believed to be the supplier for Torres. The roommate was not present when officers conducted the search.


Colfax Arts Council will host a “Paint & Sip” art session which will be in a room at the Eagles May 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. The fundraising event will combine painting instruction on a set painting with sipping wine.

The painting subject will be a sunflower which has been done by Emily Adams who will be instructor for the class.

Fee for the session will be $30 per individual or $50 per couple. That will include all painting supplies and the first pour of wine and a light snack.

The session will be limited to the first 16 people who register for the event.

Contact council members Adams, Kathy Clark or Debi Anderson in Colfax or Katie Martin in LaCrosse for more information.


The email address to pre-register for the Krav Maga self-defense class is [email protected] com. A wrong letter was in the address listed in the April 18 issue of the Gazette. Classes will be April 27 at the First Baptist Church gym in Colfax.


A formal charge of theft in the first degree was filed in superior court April 17 by Prosecutor Denis Tracy against Jeremy West, 42, manager of the Bud Hut marijuana store on the Pullman-Moscow Highway who was reported to be the victim of an early morning robbery April 8 when he was opening the store. The charge alleges West took more than $5,000 from the business.

West was arrested at his home in Troy, Idaho, on a Whitman County warrant April 12 and brought to jail here Åpril 15 after he waived his right to an extradition hearing.

In an arrest report filed with the charge, Sheriff Brett Myers alleged West arranged for the business to be robbed as a means of covering his alleged theft of funds from the business over an extended period of time. The report at one point alleges West told a witness the till at the Bud Hut was approximately $20,000 short.

Kody Schneider, 21, Moscow, was arrested as a suspect that night and jailed at Moscow after a day-long investigation.

Sheriff Myers’ report on the West case said officers learned West was a friend of the Schneiders.

It said Schneider’s mother in an interview at the Moscow Police Department April 9 told the sheriff West had mentioned as early as last Christmas that the Bud Hut needed to be robbed to cover for as much as $20,000 which he had taken from the business. She told the sheriff her son can be easily influenced, and she believes West talked him into faking the robbery.

Schneider’s mother admitted she dropped her son off on the Chipman Trail which is located across the Pullman-Moscow Highway from the Bud Hut on the morning of the robbery.Schneider was identified as a suspect when Pullman Officer Don Heroff, who was responding to first reports of the robbery and attempting to locate a car the robber had reportedly taken at the Bud Hut, stopped a Ford Escape on the Old Moscow Road to ask the driver if she had seen the missing car. Heroff noted a male was prone in the back of the car.

The driver of the car was later identified as Schneider’s mother, and Schneider was later located at a mobile home residence on the Palouse River Road where evidence, including a mask and pistol, were found during a warrant search.

Sheriff Myers reported Schneider eventually confessed to taking the cash from the Bud Hut.

Bond for pre-trial release for West was set at $100,000, surety.


Dan Gladwill, Whitman County building inspector, gave his first quarter report to commissioners Monday. A total of 32 building permits were issued for a total $1,063,060 in evaluations.

The number is on the lower side of the past five years.

In 2014, first quarter evaluations were at $4,473,733 for the five-year high with a low the next year of $798,378.

Top total first quarter building permits issued over the last five years was 52 in 2016.

Gladwell noted two to three new projects have already been listed for the second quarter of 2019.

He suggested weather may have played a role in the first quarter numbers.

“We had a more gnarly first quarter than we’ve had,” he said.

Total fees for first quarter of 2019 were $11,406.


Whitman County commissioner Dean Kinzer has been appointed by Washington Governor Jay Inslee to the state’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board.

Kinzer applied in early March for the position, which requires two representatives from the Washington State Association of Counties, on which Kinzer serves as a representative from Eastern Washington.

“Affordable housing seems to be an issue in every community,” Kinzer commented.

The committee meets four times per year in different locations, with its next meeting June 5 in Seattle.

The board monitors research into affordable housing and provides statistics and analysis to the state legislature, the governor’s office and more.

It will be the first statewide board Kinzer has served on as commissioner.


The Palouse Driver Safety Campaign has ramped up activities for April, National Distracted Driving awareness month.

The goal is to continue educating drivers and improve driving behaviors to reduce the fatalities and serious injury crashes for the region.

Last week a wrecked car display was set up on the WSU campus as a safe driving reminder for the WSU and Pullman community. For safe driving awareness week, a contest, a couple of radio interviews and a couple of drunk goggles presentations for the WSU residence halls to spread awareness were on the agenda.

To arrange for a drunk goggles presentation with a short introduction, contact Shaun Darveshi, Palouse RTPO, 1610 NE Eastgate Blvd, Suite 401, Pullman, WA 99163; (509) 339-7100 or Cell: (971) 279-3502.


Pullman Chamber of Commerce general membership luncheon May 14 will feature WSU President Kirk Schulz. The luncheon will begin at noon at the Courtyard by Marriott in Pullman.

Lunch will be catered by the Courtyard Bistro, and the cost is $18 per person, or $15 for chamber members. Reservations are required by May 10 to Pullman Chamber of Commerce, 334-3565.

[email protected]


Pullman has received an Outstanding Achievement in Local Government Innovation for the police department drone program. The award was presented by the Alliance for Innovation at the Transforming Local Government Conference in Reno, Nev., Friday, April 12. The department’s drones have served to enhance community connections at Pullman’s Annual Aerial Adventure Day, the National Lentil Festival and the Community Safety Fair. Drones were also used to assist in conducting city water tower inspections.

Assessing impacts from weather-related events and assisting the fire department in firefighting also benefit from drone use.

Ten cities and counties throughout the country received awards. Recipients were chosen by a multi-member selection committee consisting of city and county managers, innovation officers and academic representatives .

The Alliance for Innovation is an international association partnered with Arizona State University to identify major trends in local government, research innovative practices and serve as a repository of information on the process of innovation.


Area residents who were among 2,220 students at Spokane Community College lists on its winter quarter honor roll included Brynn Buck, and Kristina Ward, Colfax; Donald Schaffer, Farmington; Garrett Correll, Hooper; Brooklyn Henley and Dillon Meserve, Oakesdale; Nathan Lindhag, Rosalia; Hailey Bafus, Tate Schauble, St. John; Desiree’ Underwood, Leanne Wicklund and Chela Woods, Tekoa, and Briana Weik, Uniontown:

Spokane Falls Community College students from this area were among 1,818 students on the winter quarter honor roll which ended in March included Mckenna Davis, Jennifer Isbelle, Hailey Lomax, and Crystal Parker, Colfax; Alahna Hubert, Diamond; Lotus Duff and Stephanie Stambaugh, Endicott; Anais Mills and Leif Mills, Garfield; Stephen Butler, Malden; Matthew Hockett, Oakesdale; Abigail Cochrane, Lean Rosanne and Marie Gaditano Palouse; Tammie Hendershott, Rosalia; Hannah Shepherd, St. John; Makala Nelson, Tekoa; Lauri Erickson and Tashanna Nollmeyer, Uniontown:


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