Bulletin Column: December 26, 2019
December 26, 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.
CORONER REPORT ON GARFIELD DEATH
County Coroner Annie Pillers Friday issued a finding after an investigation into the cause of death of Terry McArthur, 83, Garfield. He was found dead at his residence in the Garfield area Dec. 7.
Cause of death was determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and the manner of death was determined to be suicide.
SECOND LAMONT CHARGE
A charge of unlawful possession of a firearm was filed Friday in superior court against Douglas K. Graham, 51, Lamont. Graham is the father of Levi D. Graham, 22, who was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm after deputies responded to a report of gunshots being fired in Lamont Dec. 8.
According the arrest report, Levi Graham was alleged to have discharged a gun around the mobile home where they reside in Lamont. He was alleged to have a prior conviction under which he was prohibited from possessing a firearm. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and has been scheduled for a trial Jan. 21.
The arrest report said Douglas Graham was located that day in a nearby field where he was reported to be hunting for quail. The charge filed Friday alleged Douglas Graham has a prior conviction in Spokane County under which he is prohibited for being in possession of a firearm. He has been summoned to appear in court for arraignment Jan. 10.
Both Grahams are charged with being in illegal possession of shotguns.
Thursday's edition of the Dayton Chronicle reported the Bluewood Ski area was scheduled to open Friday. The ski area plans to operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through the holiday season, except for Christmas Day. They will also close at 2 p.m. Dec. 24.
Bluewood snow report number is 509-240-8991.
METRO PARK BOARD SESSION
A short Colfax Metropolitan Park Board session was injected into the Dec. 16 city council meeting to handle year-end business. The city council's agenda was suspended, and Councilman Blaine Golden, chair of the metro board, called the meeting to order.
A $33,810 final revenue sum was approved and the district's budget of $82,854 for next year was approved.
City council members also serve as members of the metro board which was approved by city voters. Revenue of the levy in the district, which has the same borders as the City of Colfax, goes into the city's parks budget.
The metro board meeting lasted two minutes, and the council then returned to its regular agenda.
PULLMAN SCHOOL EVACUATED
Students at Franklin Elementary School in Pullman were evacuated to Lincoln Middle School in Pullman for a short time Thursday morning when a natural gas smell was detected as students were entering the building. Pullman Fire Department and Avista were called to check out the building.
The fire department was unable to detect hazardous levels of natural gas in the building, and a crew from Avista determined the building was safe, so the students were taken back to Franklin to resume classes.
Lincoln Middle School is located on S.E. Crestview, and Franklin Elementary is locate on S.E. Klemgard in Pullman.
HOUSEBOAT HAZARD ON RIVER
Whitman County Sheriff's office late Thursday received a report of what appeared to be a houseboat in the Snake River channel near the Port of Wilma which was presenting a hazard to navigation. The report was called in by a tug boat operator on the river who said the houseboat did not have any lights and was moored in a precarious location which made it a hazard.
Initial reports said nobody responded when attempts were made to contact somebody aboard the vessel.
Deputy Tyler Langerveld was dispatched to Wilma at 4:16 p.m. to check out the situation, but the task was turned over to Asotin County which operates a patrol boat on the river in that area.
The vessel was towed from the scene.
ESPY KEEPS SEAT ON DRAW
Incumbent Jack Espy came out the winner Wednesday in a recount of the tie vote for Uniontown City Council seat four. Election staffers recounted 137 Uniontown ballots by hand and the 57-57 tie between Espy and Jonathan Musson was confirmed by the hand count. That meant the tie had to be resolved by drawing names.
Prosecutor Denis Tracy, a member of the election canvass board drew the name out of a box.
Wednesday's hand count of the ballots came after election staffers went through 10,737 ballots cast in the Nov. 5 election and sealed in boxes as the count advanced in the days after the polls closed.
The Espy-Musson tie at Uniontown was one of two down-to-the-wire finishes in the fall election. Endicott city council incumbent Andrew Wolfe and challenger