Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Bulletin Column: May 23, 2019


Water colors: Amy Soncarty, Jennings Elementary third grade teacher, reports that her class really enjoyed painting fish for the Colfax Arts Council project that will affix their creations to chain link fencing along Lake Street. "It was the perfect way to celebrate after we completed the big state test," she said.

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.


A new part of the Memorial Day observance here will be placement of small U.S. Flags on the graves of veterans buried in the Colfax cemetery. The small flags will be posted by the Wreaths Across America group. Research by Cherry Alice Van Tine and Jim Lemon has identified approximately 750 veterans who are buried in the Colfax cemetery, and a small flag will be posted on each grave. Posting of the flags began Wednesday.

Traditional posting of the memorial flags along the cemetery lanes will again be done by Colfax FFA members and other volunteers beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday. The large flags, which are posted with names of the veterans and their branch of service, are funeral service honor flags which are donated to the collection by family members after funeral services for the veteran. The memorial flag collection now totals approximately 280 flags and they will remain posted over the Memorial Day weekend.


Members of the Colfax FFA and others will conduct the Memorial Day ceremony at the Colfax cemetery veterans' circle beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, Memorial Day.

Craig and Kristina Willson will also participate in the program, and the Rev. Bob Ingalls will give a short talk.

Michael Heitstuman is the FFA advisor for Colfax.


First day of operation for the Colfax swim pool this year will be June 10. The pool opening this year will break a tradition of opening the pool on the day school closes. Councilman Blaine Golden reported one of the reasons for the time gap is the earlier closing of the Colfax schools which operated on a compressed schedule this year in order to provide construction crews more days to undertake the remodeling now underway at Colfax High School and Jennings Elementary.

Last day of school this year at Colfax is next Friday, May 31.


Colfax voters in November will decide four contested city council races which surfaced on the last day of election filing Friday. The filing week also closed with State Trooper James Retzer as the lone candidate for mayor to succeed Todd Vanek, who has announced he will not seek a third term.

Three candidates filed to challenge council incumbents. Andrew Stewart filed to run against Mark Mackleit for seat four; Dominic Villareal filed to challenge Jim Kackman for seat six, and Jeremiah (JW) Roberts filed to challenge Thomas Huntwork for seat seven.

Roberts challenged Vanek for the mayor's job four years ago.

Sarina Roberts filed Friday afternoon against Ben Miller for seat six which has been held by Albert Vorderbrueggen. He opted not to run for another term.

Incumbent Brian Becker filed late Thursday for re-election to the district four seat on the board.


Kody M. Schneider, 21, the Moscow resident who was initially charged with robbery of the Bud Hut marijuana dispensary on the Pullman-Moscow highway, was on the court docket Friday to enter a plea and be sentenced. The charge against Schneider was changed from robbery to first-degree theft after investigators said the clerk at the Bud Hut that morning was allegedly a cohort with Schneider.

The clerk, Jeremy West, 42, had also been charged with first-degree theft.

Steve Martonick, Schneider's defense attorney, had filed a scheduling notice with the court for plea and sentencing Friday, but he asked for a two-week continuance. Martonick said he had obtained additional information through the discovery process, and he and Schneider needed more time to confer.

Next court date for Schneider was set for May 31.

Schneider was booked into jail at Moscow after he was arrested in connection with the alleged April 8 theft at the marijuana shop. He waived extradition to Washington and remains in jail here in lieu of posting $150,000 bond.


Candidate filing finished with three candidates filing for two Endicott town races, which will require a vote in the primary. Daniel Larsen on Friday filed for mayor to challenge incumbent Steve Salzman. Don Adsitt filed against Salzman on Thursday.

Kendra Hergert filed Friday for seat three on the council to challenge incumbent Amber Hilton. Derek Starrett filed a challenge against Hilton late Thursday.

The state primary election will be Aug. 6.

Also Friday, Greg Burns filed for seat five on the council to challenge incumbent Andrew Wolfe who has filed for re-election.

John Love of Garfield filed unopposed for the commissioner district one seat on the Port of Whitman.


Vladimir Borisov, 35, Colfax was sentenced to 60 days in jail Friday morning on convictions of third-degree assault of an officer and resisting arrest. A superior court jury convicted Borisov of the two charges May 13. They also found him not guilty of a third charge of assaulting an officer.

The charges relate to a Feb. 28 call when Colfax Officer Cory Alcantar responded to what was initially reported as a civil dispute between Borisov and his ex-wife at an apartment on West Street in Colfax.

The report said Borisov appeared to be intoxicated, and Colfax Officer Joe Handley later responded to the scene. The report said Borisov was holding a bottle and threatened to hit Handley over the head after he ordered him off the front porch of the apartment.

Alcantar, who reported he had been talking to Borisov's ex-wife to get her account, went to assist Handley and managed to get Borisov down on the ground.

Deputy Chris Olin arrived on the scene and reportedly struggled with the defendant while getting him into a patrol car. He was the alleged victim in the other assault charge which was rejected by the jury.

Handley, Alcantar and Olin were the lone witnesses at the one-day trial.

Judge Libey said he saw the tape of the arrest during the trial and found Borisov's behavior disturbing, disgusting and dangerous. The judge said he also found that Borisov gave police false information about what he said was a court-ordered parenting agreement which didn't exist.

The judge said there appears to be a disconnect between the academic achievements of the defendant, who has a doctorate degree, and his ability to act as a responsible citizen.

He ordered Borisov to read three books and file book reports on each as a condition of a one-year probation term assigned to Borisov on the resisting arrest conviction. Subjects of the books are the impacts of domestic violence, becoming a mature adult and responsible citizenship.

Defense Attorney Steve Martonick said the defense plans to appeal.


Plans for placing a deck and railing on the former Milwaukee railroad trestle at Tekoa are expected to advance along with other trestle projects which have been approved for the Palouse to Cascades Trail next year. The Tekoa trestle project, which has been sought by Tekoa residents and trail backers for years, was funded at $1,014,000, for the next biennium.

The trestle at Tekoa has been blocked off since the trail was created after the state acquired the property from the Milwaukee's bankruptcy trustee 40 years ago and converted it into the John Wayne Trail.

Friends of the Tekoa Trestle celebrated the funding of the trestle deck after the legislative session, but also wondered about the status of the project because the amount approved by the legislature was short of the original $1,633,000 sought by State Parks & Recreation for the project.

Virginia Painter, State Parks spokeswoman, said the planning for the work in Tekoa is expected to start, and the balance of the project funding will probably be included in a supplemental budget request to the legislature next year.

A $5.5 million request for the Milwaukee Beverly Bridge Trestle across the Columbia River south of Vantage was included in the state budget for Archeology and Historic Preservation. Painter said preliminary planning and design work on the Beverly Bridge project is also expected to start soon.

The Beverly bridge is approximately 2,100 feet long; Tekoa Trestle, constructed 110 years ago, is 975 feet long and 115 feet high.

Pete Martin, president of Friends of the Tekoa Trestle, noted funding approved by the legislature this year won't become available until the start of the 2020-21 biennium.


A state project for chip sealing Highway 26 started last week. "Road work ahead" signs have been installed on Main Street to alert motorists of the project which is now underway.

The Eastern District for the State Department of Transportation has posted a notice of the project on its website.

The posting includes a segment of Highway 26 to Dusty as the work location.

Central Washington Asphalt, Inc., of Moses Lake has been awarded the contract for the project, and the cost of the project is listed at $2,212,000.

The project will include flagging and pilot cars for alternating one-way traffic.

All sections of the highway will receive bituminous surfacing, fog seal and rumble strips. Some segments will undergo crack sealing, pavement repair and guardrail, according to the district posting.


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