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Bulletin Column: January 9, 2020


January 9, 2020

Tom Huntwork; Jim Kackman; Ben Walker; Mark Mackleit

Colfax Mayor Jim Retzer, right, presided at the Monday's city council to open up the new year. Council members from left are Tom Huntwork, Jim Kackman, Ben Walker and Mark Mackleit. All were winners November.

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.


Colfax City Council members Monday night selected committee assignments to start the new year.

Returning council members stuck with their previous assignments, and Ben Miller, who was elected to replace Al Vorderbrueggen, took the committee slots previously held by Vorderbrueggen. He will be on the council's personnel and finance committees.

Jim Kackman was re-elected to the mayor pro-tem position to chair council sessions when the mayor cannot be present.

Mayor-elect Jim Retzer presided at the first meeting of the new term.

Council committee assignments are as follows:

Finance: Crystal Christopherson, Crystn Guenthner and Miller.

Personnel: Miller, Kackman and Tom Huntley.

Public Works: Blaine Golden, Christopherson and Kackman.

Public Safety: Guenthner, Mark Mackleit and Huntwork.

Ed Tec: Christopherson.

Mayor Retzer reported he spent two days in his office at city hall and visited with city department heads and others "to discuss things that we could do better." He added that he has met with a UI faculty member to discuss the possibility of student interns assisting in city hall.

Public Works Director Matt Hammer reported the light winter to date has meant the city stock of road materials has barely been tapped. He added that could put the city ahead of the stocking expenses for next year.

Winter last year also started light, but really hit its pace in mid-February and turned out be quite a battle.


At the end of a short meeting Monday night, Colfax City Council conducted a 15-minute executive session to discuss pending litigation. City Attorney John Kragt and Interim City Manager Chris Mathis participated in the session.

At the end of the first 15 minutes, Mayor Jim Retzer came out of the council chambers and said the council needed to extend the session another 15 minutes.

After the additional 15 minutes, the council resumed its public meeting and announced no decisions had been reached during the two closed door sessions.


A Colfax fire crew responded to an alarm at the high school Monday at 12:04 p.m. The alarm system had been activated by smoke which was coming from a microwave oven in the area. Fire crew were unable to determine just what had been left in the microwave.


Sean Storment, 42, Pullman, was sentenced to 20 months in custody of the Department of Corrections for convictions on one of two different charges. He pleaded guilty in Superior Court to one count in each of the two charges at his Dec. 6 arraignment in accordance with a plea bargain agreement offered by Senior Deputy Prosecutor Wendy Lierman.

Storment admitted a charge of delivery of methamphetamine in which he sold methamphetamine to an informant who had been working with Quad Cities Drug Task Force officers.

The second conviction derived from a guilty plea for possession of a stolen credit card. The card was one of five which were listed in charges against Storment with each citing a different credit card account.

The cards were taken from a purse which the owner had left in an unlocked car while she was entering items in the Palouse Empire Fair at Mockonema last September.

Judge Gary Libey ordered Storment to pay $4,981 restitution to the victim in the credit card case and $1,109 to a victim in the drug case.

The victim in that case was listed in possession of stolen property charges which were dropped under the plea bargain agreement.

Storment was sentenced to 20 months in prison on the conviction for delivery of methamphetamine.

He was sentenced to 12 months in the county jail for the credit card charge.

Lierman said the 20-month sentence in a state institution and the 12-month sentence in the county jail will run concurrently.

Judge Libey also ordered Storment to write "well thought out" letters of apology to both of the victims.

Storment was allowed a Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative under which he will undergo treatment for drug addiction while in prison. After his release, he will be monitored by the DOC for another 20 months.

An order of commitment filed with the Friday judgement credits Storment with 34 days spent in the jail here after he entered his pleas Dec. 6.


A Dec. 9 Bulletin report on the Dec. 6 superior court arraignment of Sean Storment, 42, Pullman, included a paragraph which incorrectly reported he was assigned an offender score of five based on prior convictions which dated back to a 1993 case in Ferry County.

Storment subsequently reported to the Gazette he had never been in trouble in Ferry County.

A plea bargain offer made by Senior Deputy Prosecutor Wendy Lierman called for Storment to admit a conviction record on three counts made against him in two 2018 cases. No other prior convictions were listed in the arraignment session. He was assigned an offender score of five.

Storment was allowed time to undergo a Department of Corrections evaluation for possible Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative.


A rundown of the city's bills Monday night included the last payment for repairs of the city's Ford Taurus Interceptor which has been sidelined after sustaining engine failure. City Finance Director Chris Mathis said a factory rebuilt engine was installed in the Taurus by the Master's Touch shop in Colfax. She reported the overall project, which included replacement of a catalytic converter, was $7,700.

City council members opted to have the car repaired because it would net little value if the city sold the car without an engine.

During the time the car was out of commission, the city purchased a used Chevrolet Suburban which had been surplussed by the sheriff's department.

Also Monday night, Police Chief Rick McNannay reported Joey McCollum has been hired as a full-time officer. McCollum has been working as a part-time officer for several weeks and will begin full-time duty starting in the middle of the month. He previously served as a member of the Airway Heights Police Department.

Officer Perry Tate has also returned to full-time status after recovering from a back injury sustained off the job. He returned for light duty last month and is now back to full-time duty.

Chief McNannay reported they have another applicant, who is already certified as an officer, and he will be interviewed.


Colfax ambulance and fire crews responded Saturday at 9:24 p.m. to a report of a slide-off accident on Highway 195, south of Colfax. According to the Washington State Patrol report Patrick Friel of Pullman lost control of a 2008 Dodge Durango while driving southbound, and it went off the southbound shoulder and came to a halt on the passenger side. Friel and a juvenile passenger in the SUV were not injured.

Troopers Monday morning responded to four slide-off accidents on Highway 195. After responding to the first report at 5:28 a.m. at mile marker seven, troopers could not locate the accident, so the driver is believed to have worked free.

Another slide-off was reported at 7:50 a.m. at mile 12, and a collision was reported 8:22 a.m. at mile 19.

A two-vehicle accident was reported at mile 54 at 9:27 a.m.


Levi D. Graham, 22, the Lamont resident who was arrested after allegedly shooting a shotgun off from a porch at the mobile home where he resides in Lamont, was sentenced to four months in jail Friday after he pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful possession of a shotgun because he was a convicted felon.

A transcript of Graham's record listed four convictions in Spokane County with two of them in juvenile court.

The jail log notes with credit for good time served Graham will be released from jail Feb. 26.

Graham's father, Douglas Graham of Lamont, has also been charged with illegal possession of a shotgun as a convicted felon. When deputies responded to the first report, they located the senior Graham reportedly hunting quail along a trail at Lamont. Douglas Graham has been summoned to appear in court Friday after the charge was filed.


A 15-year-old Pullman male was arrested early Sunday and transported to the Martin Hall juvenile facility at Medical Lake after he was arrested for allegedly stabbing a 17-year-old male in a fight at Pullman. The suspect, who turned himself in to Pullman Police, has been charged with second-degree assault.

Pullman Police Commander Jake Opgenorth reported officers responded to 770 N. Grand at 2:11 a.m. Sunday and located the 17-year-old victim who said he had been stabbed in the abdomen by the 15-year-old who allegedly used a pocketknife during a fight. The 17-year-old went to the Mobil gas station on N. Grand for help, and Pullman medics transported the victim to Pullman Regional Hospital where the knife wounds were determined to not be life threatening.

Both teens are Pullman residents.


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