Bulletin Column: July 4, 2019

Bob Lothspeich Nathan Holbrook

Bob Lothspeich of the Colfax Rotary and Nathan Holbrook, Colfax High School athletic director, decorate the fireworks stand about to open June 28 at Colfax Rosauers. This year the stand is a fundraiser for Colfax High School sports.

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.


Top award in the Distinguished Young Woman nationals at Mobile, Ala., went to Dora Guo from Vernon Hills, Ill., to conclude the 62nd-year edition of the event at Mobile, Ala. The entrant from Mississippi was named first runner-up and the entrant from Utah was named second-runner-up.

Tayma Vanek, a member of the 2019 class, competed in the event as Washington's entrant after winning the state medal last August.

The Saturday night final wrapped up a hectic schedule for the 50 entrants in the event.

Tayma is the fourth Colfax girl to advance to the national event as the Washington state qualifier. The others were Linda Felber, who won the national title in 1964; Sharon Marler in 1976, and Stephanie Eng in 2004.

She plans to attend Southern Virginia University with the goal of becoming a high school counselor. She was among eight members of this year's CHS class named for the Washington State Honors award for being in the top ten percent of the class in the state's graduating class. The daughter of Todd and Amy Vanek, she also competed in cross country and track during her high school career.


Jose Luis Morales, 40, Pullman was sentenced to 136 months in state prison Friday for convictions of charges of child molestation and child rape.

Morales pleaded guilty to the two charges April 19, and a pre-sentence investigation by the state Department of Corrections was conducted before Friday's sentencing.

The 136-month term was the maximum Morales could have received on the child rape conviction. The sentence is actually classified as 136 months to life, because after he completes the 136 months Morales will have to apply for probation to be released. If he is released he will be on probation supervision for the rest of his life, according to Chief Deputy Prosecutor Dan LeBeau.

Friday's sentencing was conducted with an interpreter to assist Morales who was raised in Mexico. According to the pre-sentence report, he came to Pullman in 2003 and worked in the restaurant business for most of the time since.

Investigation into the case was done by Pullman Officer Heidi Lampley who began the investigation in February of 2014 on a referral. The charge filed by the state cited a year-long span for the dates of the crimes starting in May of 2011.

A warrant of commitment to the state prison system credited Morales with 134 days he has served in jail here following his arrest. Bond of pre-trial release was set at $100,000 cash or $1 million surety in a first appearance after his arrest.


An Aug. 12 trial date was slated for Paul Higginson of Colfax after he pleaded not guilty Friday in superior court to charges of residential burglary and malicious mischief. Higginson, 49, made a first appearance in court the previous Friday and requested more time to consider his course of action.

He was jailed June 19 after allegedly entering a residence on Cromwell in Colfax through a bathroom window.


The Pullman Depot Heritage Center has been accepted onto the State of Washington Historic Register. The application on behalf of the Whitman County Historical Society was prepared by volunteers Marc Enze, Allison Munch-Rorolo and Kathleen Ryan.

The center is the former Northern Pacific Railroad Depot which was constructed in 1916.

The leadership team for the depot has a goal of raising $3 million for restoration of the building, a passenger car and caboose to make the site a landmark destination for the area.

The vote to accept the nomination of the depot was 9-0, and the recommendation will be forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register at the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., for final approval.


Fourth of July campers headed to Laird Park or other Idaho destinations via Idaho Highway 6 are advised of a construction zone just east of Potlatch. Earth movers and other heavy construction equipment are at work on a project to reduce the curves on the highway at the east side of Potlatch.

The curves are part of a descent from Potlatch down to the flat which extends north along the Palouse River.

The work zone now is on the north side of the highway, but motorists should be alert for possible traffic hazards. Work zone signs are posted in Potlatch.

Scout camp sessions at Camp Grizzly, located on the Laird Park road which intersects with Highway 6 north of Harvard, will begin next week.


First of the painted fish in the Colfax Arts Council project will be mounted along the flood control channel which runs along the alley between US Bank and the Food Pantry. Council President Debbie Stinson said the idea is to put some of the fish on the town side of the flood channel where people can easily see them.

The overall plan for the project is to mount the fish on the fence on the west side of the river along the former Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

Stinson said the fence between Spring and Wall streets will locate the fish where they can be readily seen by residents. A large segment of the fence between US Bank and the food pantry adjoins the open lot so pedestrians walking along Main Street can see the fish. Stinson said some of the fish will also be mounted along the flood channel fence of the North Fork of the Palouse River in front of Jennings Elementary School.

The Arts Council has 3,750 fish replicas which have been cut out of Sintra plastic and approximately 2,300 remain to be painted. The Arts Council plans to conduct a second public fish painting session at the library during the next Colfax First Thursday event Aug. 1.


Scott R. Youngren, Pullman, who was riding a bicycle on Highway 194 nine miles west of Pullman last Wednesday, June 28, sustained minor injuries after he rode the bicycle into the ditch to avoid a collision with a semi truck.

According to the Washington State Patrol report, Youngren was riding westbound at 10:22 a.m., and Robert A. Davis, Pullman, was driving a 1998 Freightline tractor and trailer eastbound. Davis didn't see the bike rider and started to make a lefthand turn into a silo yard until the last minute and stopped the semi. Youngren swerved to the right to avoid the collision and went into the ditch on the westbound side of the highway.

A Colfax ambulance was dispatched to the scene, but did not transport Youngren for treatment.


The June 1 Ride for A Cure Ride motorcycle ride out of Colfax generated more than $4,000 to help find a cure for cancer. This was the ninth year for the rally ride which drew 132 participants.

"The weather was perfect, and it was a great turnout," Julie Hawley of Pullman reported. She and her husband, Bob Hawley, and Howard and Deanna Leinweber were organizers for this year's ride.

Hawley added 100 percent of the proceeds will go toward finding a cure for cancer.

The ride also had support from 115 advertisers from a large area.

The ride out of Colfax originated 11 years ago with a local group of motorcycle enthusiasts conducting two memorial rides for cancer patients before changing to the present format.


Janelle I. Braun, 39, Spokane, entered a plead of guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree theft and was sentenced to 30 days in jail Friday morning in superior court. Braun was charged with using her grandmother's credit card number to make a series of charges in Spokane last October.

She was originally charged with first-degree theft in the case, but both sides agreed to reduce the charge.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Merritt Decker told the court the total charges made on the card were $5,716. Braun used the card numbers after her grandmother in Colfax called in the card numbers to cover Braun's expenses at an eye glass office in Spokane.

Her grandmother, Carol Ensley, told the court Friday she received an alert from the credit card company on the night she called the number to the Spokane office and the card charges continued over a period of three or four weeks.

She said her granddaughter has had a history of drug use for years and sometimes manages to get off drugs, but then relapses. She also told the court she did not sustain a loss for unauthorized purchases with the card numbers.

Before pronouncing sentence, Judge Gary Libey noted the case involved sad circumstances of a grandchild taking funds from her grandmother. In addition to the jail time, he placed Braun on one year of probation which will be monitored by the state's Department of Corrections. The defendant was ordered to refrain from using drugs and alcohol, undergo an evaluation for drug abuse and comply with recommended treatment.


Tyler S. Lompe, 28, Uniontown, was booked into jail here June 26 on probable charges of second degree assault and harassment with a threat to kill. Lompe was arrested on a warrant requested by Uniontown Officer Joe Handley.

Handley's arrest report said he responded to a domestic violence call in Uniontown at 10:41 p.m., June 22, after receiving multiple calls about a male and female struggling. When he arrived on the scene he found a woman, later identified at Lompe's spouse, down on the front lawn of the residence complaining about her legs. Handley's report said a witness then directed him to the driveway where he found the suspect, Lompe, who was face down in a puddle of blood.

Handley's report said Lumpe was found to have sustained a cut to his face. He was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Lewiston and then brought to the jail here June 26.

The report said officers learned Lompe was also wanted on an arrest warrant issued out of Texas.

Bail for pre-trial release was set at $50,000 or $5,000 cash.


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