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Bulletin Column: May 30, 2019


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 fire early Saturday morning destroyed a barn on the Repp-Steiger Road two miles east of Dusty. The fire is believed to have started off a heat lamp which was used of warm baby chicks.

Crews here received the call at 3:49 a.m. When they arrived on the scene at the Dawson Messersmith residence, only the frame supports of the barn remained standing.

The residents were awakened by popping sounds. A motorcycle, snowmobile and collector car were among items destroyed in the building.

Fire crews from Colfax, Diamond, Albion and Dusty responded to the scene.


Colfax Police received a report Sunday of graffiti painted on the large gray granite block in front of the Codger Pole. The graffiti was written in gray paint. It appeared the person who tagged the block ran out of space to put down a full message.


Angie Griner and Jessica Smith both filed for the Palouse School Board seat one position May 23, which was the final day candidates could file after the auditor opened a three-day session last week for offices which did not attract a candidate during the prior week's filing period for local boards and commissions.

The Palouse school board position one seat is now held by Chris Cook, who last week filed to be Palouse Mayor. Cook is the lone candidate to file for the mayor's seat which will be vacated by Mayor Michael Echanove at the end of the year.

Michelle Beckmann of Steptoe filed Thursday for the Fire District 11 seat which is now held by Michael Bednar of Albion.

Incumbent Rick Heitstuman filed Wednesday for re-election to seat two for Fire District 14 at Colton, and Marty Weber filed for seat one, which is now held by Mike Weber.

The extra three-day filing period ended without attracting a candidate for the town of Lamont, where the mayor's seat and four council positions were open for filing. Two of the city seats at present are not filled, according to the pre-filing list issued the by the auditor's office.

Shelley Feldner-Scheurman filed May 22 for the lone Colfax School Board seat which remained open after the regular filing period for candidates. She filed for the district two seat which is now occupied by David Nails.

Palouse voters will decide one contested race for city council after Travis Tonn filed for seat five on the city council. William Perry also filed for the seat earlier last week.

Perry had filed for Palouse Mayor, but he later withdrew that filing and then filed for the city council seat which is now also being sought by Tonn.

Palouse City Council seat five is now held by Rick Wekenman.

Farmington council seat five failed to get a candidate. The seat is now held by W. Mark Hellinger.

Diana Oliver has filed for re-election to seat three in Farmington, and Lavon Watson and Max Mohan have filed for seat one which is currently held by Lavon Erickson.

Filing closed with 197 candidates registered for 164 offices. That leaves 45 of the 209 offices listed as open for filing without candidates. The extra three-day filing period netted an additional 13 candidates who filed for an additional 11 of the offices which lacked a candidate at the end of the original five-day filing period.

Filing closed with just two offices, both in Endicott, having three candidates, which will put them on the ballot for the state's Aug. 3 primary election.

They include incumbent mayor Steve Salzman and challengers Don Ansitt and Daniel Larsen, and incumbent Amber Hilton and challengers Derek Starrett and Kendra Hergert for seat three on the town council.


Vladimir Borisov, 35, the Colfax resident who was sentenced to 60 days in jail May 17 on a conviction of assaulting a Colfax officer, was booked into jail last Thursday on probable charges of malicious mischief, criminal trespass and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Colfax Officer Cory Alcantar reported that when he arrived on the scene in the 1000 block of S. East Street at 11:35 a.m. May 23 Borisov was holding a Yamaha scooter which belonged to his employer who resides there. The report said the scooter had been parked behind the residence. He said Borisov had the scooter in front of the house and threw it down on the driveway, causing it to be damaged.

The report said Borisov told the officer he was upset because he had not been paid for work he had done the previous day. The employer said he had not even been aware that Borisov had been working the previous day.

Borisov was convicted by a superior court jury May 13 on two of three charges related to a Feb. 28 incident when two Colfax officers and a deputy responded to a civil dispute between Borisov and his ex-wife at an apartment on West Street.

He was convicted of assaulting former Colfax Police Officer Joe Handley at that arrest scene. Officer Alcantar also responded to the February arrest and assisted in getting Borisov into a sheriff's squad car.

Borisov was sentenced to 60 days in jail on the officer assault conviction, but was allowed to complete the sentence over time, provided he have it served by Aug. 31. He was also sentenced to a year in jail on the conviction of resisting arrest, but it was suspended for a year under certain conditions.

Borisov was allowed pre-trial release on his own recognizance in a first appearance after his May 23 arrest. He was ordered to have no contact with his employer, the alleged victim in the new arrest.


Paul Kimmell, Avista Palouse regional manager, assured Colfax city council members Monday that Avista was not for sale and actually hadn't been for sale at the time of the purchase proposal from Hydro One. Kimmell, who visited Monday's council session to report on Avista's smart meter conversion installations, was asked about Avista's status after the proposed merger with Hydro One was shut down.

Councilwoman Crystal Christopherson posed the question.

Kimmell explained Avista considered the merger to offset chances of a hostile takeover from another utility company. He noted Avista's relatively small size and its profitable operations make it attractive for acquisition by larger utility companies around the area.

He said Avista pursued the merger proposal from Hydro One because of the autonomy the Ontario firm offered the Spokane-based utility which serves this area.

The Ontario offer would have allowed Avista to maintain its headquarters in Spokane, keep its work force and operate autonomously, Kimmell pointed out.

Kimmell said Avista needed to obtain approval of the merger from public utility commissions in five states and failed to do so.

Avista and Hydro One officially terminated the merger proposal in a joint statement in January.

Washington Transportation and Utilities Commission denied the $5.3 million purchase last December. They stated a concern about whether rate payers would be protected under the merger.

Commissions in Montana and Alaska approved the sale, and commissions in Idaho and Oregon had not decided at the time the Washington commission rejected it.


Uriah Rummer, 19, Albion, was sentenced to six months in jail Friday morning in superior court after he pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree assault. Rummer was arrested May 10 at Albion after an outbreak in which he was charged with assaulting his sister and father. The arrest report said Rummer threatened to stab his sister with a bayonet if she called in a report to the sheriff's office.

The sister went outside of the residence to call in the assault report.

Other charges against Rummer were dropped in a plea bargain agreement.

Rummer's sister told the court she believed her brother needed treatment and described his outburst at the residence as manic. She added Rummer had been ordered to undergo treatment in his prior convictions and she believed he was brushed off.

Rummer was ordered to undergo evaluation for domestic violence and mental health and undergo treatment if required. He was ordered to have no contact with his father, one of the victims in the dismissed charges, his sister and her two small children.

After learning Rummer had not completed study for a GED degree, Judge Gary Libey suggested he could work on the degree while he was serving the six-month sentence.

Rummer will be under community supervision for a year after he completes his jail term.

He was also ordered to turn the bayonet over to the sheriff for disposal.


Forrest P. Howard, 23, Cheney, was sentenced to 30 days in jail May 17 after he pleaded guilty to two charges of indecent liberties with juvenile girls. Howard was sentenced to 41 months on one of the convictions, but that was suspended on the condition that he undergo sex offender treatment, have no contact with the two victims and register as a sex offender.

The conviction relates to an account which was first reported to Pullman Police last March. One of the victims alleged she and her sister, the other victim, and Howard were among five juveniles who were sleeping in sleeping bags in a family room in Pullman in early April of 2010. She said her family had come to Pullman to assist another family with a move out of town.

The investigation report said the second victim came to the police station Nov. 18 and gave her account which corresponded with the account given by the first victim. The charges were filed Jan. 4. Howard was initially charged with raping of one of the victims, but that charge was amended to indecent liberties as part of a plea bargain agreement. Howard pleaded guilty to the two charges April 26 and was ordered to begin serving time prior to sentencing.


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