Stories for December 2012


Monday, December 31

Al-Qaida carves out own country in Mali

MOPTI, Mali — Deep inside caves, in remote desert bases, in the escarpments and cliff faces of northern Mali, Islamic fighters are burrowing into the earth, erecting a formidable set of defenses to protect what has essentially become al-Qaida’s new country.

Economy likely stale again in 2013

WASHINGTON — For the third straight year, economists are only a bit more optimistic about prospects for growth and hiring than they were 12 months earlier.

Mike Auldridge, bluegrass innovator, dies at 73

Mike Auldridge, a bluegrass musician whose broad knowledge of many musical forms helped redefine and modernize the steel guitar known as the Dobro, died Saturday at his home in Silver Spring, Md. He died a day before his 74th birthday.

Blasts aimed at Iraqi Shiites and police kill 23

BAGHDAD — Insurgents launched a wave of attacks across Iraq today, mostly targeting Shiite communities and pilgrims and killing at least 23 people, officials said.

Shale-gas revolution spurs wave of steel plants

NEW YORK — The U.S. shale-gas revolution, which has revitalized chemicals companies and prompted talk of domestic energy self-sufficiency, is attracting a wave of investment that may revive profits in the steel industry.

Syria says rebels attack gas pipeline

BEIRUT — Syria has blamed rebels for blowing up a natural gas pipeline today in the country’s oil-rich east, disrupting distribution.

Pakistan releases four Afghan Taliban prisoners

ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani official says the country released more members of the Afghan Taliban today in a bid to boost the peace process in neighboring Afghanistan.

Emergency Services - 12/31/12

Thefts, Burglaries WW Police 400 block of North Fourth Avenue. A 1986 Chevrolet Blazer reported stolen: vehicle later recovered.

Drill ship adrift again after towlines break

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Shell drill ship stranded by a fierce storm in the Gulf of Alaska was drifting again Sunday after it broke from lines attaching it to two towing vessels.

Warrior men let Yaks escape at Clackamas

OREGON CITY, Ore. — After shooting just 20 percent from beyond the 3-point arc in the first two games of the Clackamas Holiday men’s basketball tournament here over the weekend, Walla Walla heated up from long distance on Sunday.

For Hawks, practice makes perfect

SEATTLE — Every single Thursday, every single week, the Seahawks run the drill. The ball is bouncing crazily on the turf and bodies hurdle over each other in pursuit.

Seahawks ride high into playoffs

SEATTLE — It wasn’t just the way Seattle ended its winning drive that showed how far the Seahawks have come this season.

It's an RG3 vs. R-Dub 3 showdown in nation's capitol

SEATTLE — Washington and Seattle carry the two longest winning streaks in the NFC into the playoffs, and each has a running back who exceeded 1,500 yards rushing this season.

'Skins win NFC East; Broncos get top AFC

RG3 and the Washington Redskins are heading to the playoffs as NFC East champions.

An improbable thrill

On Jan. 1, 1963, Southern Cal quarterback Pete Beathard stepped up under center Larry Sagouspe, and 93,000 people roared their approval.

Something new, something old in NFC East

Here’s something new: The Washington Redskins are champions of the NFC East.

Reid among coaches fired

Less than 24 hours after the regular season ended, NFL firings began at a furious pace.

Source: Browns fire GM, coach

BEREA, Ohio — The Browns are changing again. A person familiar with the decision says the Cleveland Browns have fired coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert.

NHL, union likely to talk today

NEW YORK — The NHL and the players’ association are ready to get back to the bargaining table.

Vikings’ Peterson nine yards short of rushing record

MINNEAPOLIS — Adrian Peterson’s remarkable comeback season now has a magic number to punctuate it.

Venus Williams, Isner lead US over South Africa

PERTH, Australia — Venus Williams and John Isner led the United States to a 2-1 victory over South Africa at the Hopman Cup mixed team competition.

Texas A&M tackler Moore to enter NFL draft

DALLAS — Texas A&M leading tackler Damontre Moore says he went back and forth before deciding that the Cotton Bowl will be his last game for the Aggies.

Workshops to help with financial aid applications

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla High School seniors and their families can attend upcoming workshops to help fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Velasquez reclaims UFC heavyweight championship

LAS VEGAS — Cain Velasquez reclaimed the UFC heavyweight championship Saturday night, battering Junior Dos Santos on the way to a lopsided unanimous decision in UFC 155.

Boise State crushes Corban 105-49

BOISE — Jeff Elorriaga made a school-record 3-pointers and scored 30 points to lead Boise State to a 105-49 win over Corban on Sunday.

Court Report - Superior court

Walla Walla County Andrew J. Demaris Sr., 38, no permanent address listed, was charged Dec. 27 with felony harassment. Demaris is accused of knowingly and unlawfully threatening to kill a person on Dec. 27.

Guard hopes to fly drones out of Pendleton airport

PENDLETON (AP) — The National Guard in Pendleton expects to launch unmanned air vehicles soon out of the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport to train its 23-troop platoon.

State ditches tolerant excavation policies

Those who don’t adhere to the state’s “call-before-you-dig” law could find themselves in deep trouble under a new law.

Sanity evaluation ordered in attempted rape case

WALLA WALLA — A sanity evaluation has been authorized for a man accused of trying to rape a woman at a local residence in November.

Man arrested after wife stabbed

Alberto Luna Martinez is accused of attacking his wife with a kitchen knife.

WALLA WALLA — Police arrested a 28-year-old man Friday morning for allegedly stabbing his wife with a kitchen knife.

Tease photo

Nine die in I-84 bus crash

PENDLETON — Nine people were killed and more than two dozen injured when a charter bus veered out of control on a notorious stretch of Interstate 84 around 10:30 a.m. Sunday on snow- and ice-covered lanes in eastern Oregon, according to the Oregon State Police.

2012 to go out on a low note?

WALLA WALLA — This year could go out on the coldest note yet.

Volunteers help storm victims recover

It has been almost two months since Superstorm Sandy made landfall, and the American Red Cross volunteers still remain on the ground providing help to residents affected by the storm. It was one of the largest disasters in Red Cross history. Those who serve are from every small and large city across America. In every disaster, it is asked: “Why would you come this far?”

Court lacks power to set funding for basic education

The Washington Supreme Court recently rapped the Legislature’s knuckles for not moving fast enough to beef up funding for basic education.

Sunday, December 30

Nine confirmed dead in I-84 bus crash

The following is an update from Oregon State Police on today's fatal bus crash on Interstate 84 east of Pendleton:

At least one dead in bus crash east of Pendleton

One person is dead and many could be injured in a bus crash Sunday east of Pendleton, Oregon State Police reported just before noon today. Multiple agencies are responding to the crash.

One dead in pickup wreck on Interstate 84

Oregon State Police troopers are continuing the investigation into this morning's single-vehicle traffic crash along Interstate 84 east of Stanfield that resulted in the death of one person and non-life threatening injuries to the pickup's driver.

Warrior women shake off rust with 69-48 win over Portland

WALLA WALLA — It took Walla Walla Community College 16 minutes here Saturday to shake the holiday blahs in NWAACC non-conference women’s basketball action.

Irish girls reign over Christmas tourney

DeSales’ girls basketball team completed a 3-0 run in the annual D.A. Davidson Christmas Classic and earned its second straight Classic crown Saturday night with a 45-40 victory over Touchet in the Irish gym.

Mac-Hi wrestlers finish sixth in Pendleton

PENDLETON — Mac-Hi finished sixth out of 16 teams at the Free-Berry wrestling tournament in Pendleton Saturday.

Dayton beats Asotin to earn title

DAYTON — Dayton beat Asotin, 50-46, in the final game of its Christmas classic Friday.

Wa-Hi boys fall to Colfax at Avista tourney

LEWISTON — Wa-Hi suffered its first loss of the season, a 42-36 setback at the hands of Class 2B Colfax, Saturday night in the championship of the Avista Holiday Classic Saturday night.

Pomeroy struggles in second half, falls to Tekoa-Oakesdale

OAKESDALE — Pomeroy’s girls basketball team dropped a Southeast 1B game to Tekoa-Oakesdale here Friday night on the road, 51-32.

Warriors down Everett, 99-91

CLACKAMAS — One win and one loss in the Clackamas Christmas tournament has Walla Walla Community College in the fourth-place game here today at 11 a.m. against Yakima.

Dayton boys edged in final game of tourney

DAYTON — Dayton lost to Wahkiakum, 54-53, here in the final game of its five-team Christmas tournament.

Whitman falls to Hamline for first loss in eight games

WALLA WALLA — Whitman suffered its first loss in eight games Saturday night, losing to Hamline 92-89.

Pomeroy grapplers finish 4th at own tournament

POMEROY — Pomeroy placed fourth out of nine at its Christmas wrestling tournament Saturday.

University Prep wins boys D.A. Davidson Classic

WALLA WALLA — University Prep, Touchet, and Waitsburg-Prescott registered boys basketball victories Saturday during the final session of the annual D.A. Davidson Christmas Classic at DeSales High School.

Warrior women shake off rust with 69-48 win over Portland

WALLA WALLA — It took Walla Walla Community College 16 minutes here Saturday to shake the holiday blahs in NWAACC non-conference women’s basketball action.

Wa-Hi girls beat Lewiston, win tourney

LEWISTON — A month to the day after handing Lewiston its first home loss in 30 games in their season opener, the Blue Devil girls faced the Bengals in the championship of the first edition of the Avista Holiday Challenge Saturday.

Buchan: Bonds' 'Fame' inclusion hard to fathom

WALLA WALLA — December is almost history, the calendar is about to flip over to a new year, and the consternation is about to begin all over again.

Mac-Hi falls to Heppner in tourney title game, 59-25

HEPPNER — Mac-Hi fell to the host Mustangs in the Heppner Christmas tournament Saturday, 59-25.

Saturday, December 29

Living must think about responsibilities as citizens

Regarding the Newtown disaster, there is nothing any of us can do except bear witness to the suffering of those who lost loved ones and to the suffering that will follow those who witnessed this tragedy in one way or another. Sadly, the living will suffer.

State should make sure schools are safe

This letter is in response to the terrible tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.

Story helped readers learn about Cochran

I appreciate Richard Greenwood, Annie Eveland and of course the Union-Bulletin for presenting such a great story about David Herbert Cochran.

Get facts before forming opinions

“It’s a sign of the times ...” we often hear and say in observance of just about anything we don’t particularly agree with. The irony of course is that the criticism comes equally from opposing views on the same issue. Both young and old, conservative and liberal, religious and atheist alike claim this judgmental position as their own; neither admitting fault in their perspective; both claiming moral superiority, albeit from differing authorities.

Unintended consequences? Really?

I am really confused about what Tom Baker had to say when the letter ended with bringing up how wonderful Switzerland is with its gun laws. Well maybe the other social programs it has in place, funded by taxes that are quite higher than ours, are better at locating and assisting those in need of mental services, which we have slowly cut since the 1980s.

Continuing to raise taxes will bring down nation

Recent census data indicate New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island led the nation in population migrating from their states to states that have a more friendly tax climate.

Blame for shooting rests with everyone

Why massacre babies?

Strict gun laws alone won't stop violence

A recently read article (“Urban advocates say new gun control talk overdue” by Jesse Washington, national writer for The Associated Press) referred to gun violence in Chicago.

Harry Carey Jr., actor in John Ford films, dies at 91

LOS ANGELES — Harry Carey Jr., a venerable character actor who was believed to be the last surviving member of director John Ford’s legendary western stock company, died Thursday.

WWCC program on mission to find Quest Ambassadors

The enthusiasm of those 50 and older who’ve participated for several years in Quest through Walla Walla Community College is being sought for service in ambassador roles, according to a release from Marianna Grabhorn.

Anniversary Gerwin and Diane Jones

Gerwin and Diane Jones of Walla Walla will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at an invitational dinner at the China Buffet, hosted by Tammy Bradford and James Veatch.

Cowboy Church to move to Garrison Middle School gym

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Valley Cowboy Church is moving Jan. 6 to Garrison Middle School gym, 906 Chase Street.

College Place Presbyterian to ordain, install new pastor

COLLEGE PLACE — College Place Presbyterian Church, 325 N.E. Damson Ave., will celebrate the installation and ordination of the Rev. Doug Hayes as senior pastor at 3 p.m. today.

Texas builds 'hurricane domes' for double-duty

Texas builds ‘hurricane domes’ for double-duty


Activities and weekly lunch menus at area senior centers

Marines’ attack on binge drinking may backfire

When orders, rules or laws are deemed too oppressive, there is a backlash that actually works against the goal.

Point totals for top stories of 2012

409 points: Mathew Fazzari, a DeSales graduate, is killed while serving in Afghanistan. The community turns out to honor him.

Parents in state buck baby-name trends

While “Jacob” remains the most popular name to plant on newborn boys in the United States, “Mason” moved from 11th place to first in Washington state in 2011.

Weather predictions paint mixed picture

WALLA WALLA — People love to predict things. Especially the weather.

WW County commissioners cancel meetings

WALLA WALLA — There will be no meetings of the Walla Walla County commissioners this week.

New Year's Day closures

The New Year’s Day holiday is Tuesday. The following closures or special hours or days of service will be in effect.

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Variety marks top stories of 2012

This last year will go in the books as a difficult time for the area, judging from the results of voting for the Top 10 stories.

Mac-Hi falls to Heppner in tourney title game, 59-25

HEPPNER — Mac-Hi fell to the host Mustangs in the Heppner Christmas tournament Saturday, 59-25.

Social Security questions answered

Q: I applied for a replacement Social Security card last week but have not received it. When should I expect to receive my new card?

Tease photo

Empty house goes up in flames

MILTON-FREEWATER — A Saturday morning fire destroyed a vacant house northwest of town.

Library district to reimburse patrons for city card

WALLA WALLA — The Rural Library District will reimburse unincorporated Walla Walla County residents who purchase a city library card for their household next year.

'Tragic number': Chicago reaches 500 homicides

‘Tragic number’: Chicago reaches 500 homicides

520 bridge tolls bring in $50M in first year

State Route 520 bridge tolls bring in $50M in first year

Jean S. Harris, who gained fame for killing her celebrity lover, dies at 89

Wit her regal bearing and patrician accent, Jean S. Harris seemed to be the very model of the classic girls' school headmistress. She was always the proper lady.

Uproar over victim's death triggers public conversation about rape

Uproar over victim’s death triggers public conversation about rape in India

Argentina to court: revert order on debt holdouts

Argentina to court: Revert order on debt holdouts

Robert C. Pew II, co-founder of Pew Education Fund, dies at 89

NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. — Robert C. Pew II had many loves in his life — sailing, tennis, skiing, playing bridge — but none of them meant more to him than his family.

Wash. School for Blind teaches with technology

VANCOUVER, Wash. — When Robin Lowell’s husband’s job required the family to move to Snoqualmie, 170 miles from Vancouver, Washington State School for the Blind retained Lowell and sought a solution to make distance learning work.

Wash. GOP lawmaker wants guns in schools

Wash. freshman GOP lawmaker wants guns in schools

Public can now sign up for tickets to presidential inaugural ball

WASHINGTON — People who wish to attend the official Inaugural Ball with President Obama and wife after his swearing-in ceremony next month were able to begin signing up Friday to obtain a limited number of tickets, a source at the Presidential Inaugural Committee said.

Friday, December 28

Touchet upsets U-Prep to set up championship showdown with DeSales

WALLA WALLA -- Molly von Borstel led four Weston-McEwen players in double figures with 15 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds as the TigerScots whipped Waitsburg-Prescott, 54-40.

U Prep, Valley Christian boys to face off in DeSales tourney finale

WALLA WALLA -- Lance Thacker scored 16 points, Tyler Peterson added 15, and Calvin Thacker chipped in with 14 points as Weston-McEwen posted a 66-45 victory over Waitsburg-Prescott.

SCORES: D.A. Davidson Christmas Classic

Boys Valley Christian 73 DeSales 68 U Prep 49 Touchet 32 Girls DeSales 66 VC 14 Touchet 37 U Prep 36.

It's husband No. 3 for actress Kate Winslet

NEW YORK — Kate Winslet has tied the knot again.

Jane Holmes Dixon, second female Episcopal bishop, dies at 75

WASHINGTON — Jane Holmes Dixon, a stay-at-home Bethesda, Md., mom who became a priest in her 40s and later became the second female bishop in the Episcopal Church, died in her sleep early Christmas morning at her home in Washington. She was 75 and died of heart disease, her family said.

Abbas: Israel reduced security cooperation

JERUSALEM — The Palestinian president has claimed Israel has reduced its security cooperation with Palestinians in the West Bank to protest the successful bid for upgraded status at the United Nations, in an interview published today.

Tease photo

Envelope containing unknown powder forces evacuation

WALLA WALLA — An envelope containing an unknown powder forced the evacuation of the Walla Walla County Public Safety Building Friday.

General led US to victory in Desert Storm

Retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who presided over the swift and devastating 1991 military assault on Iraq that transformed the Middle East and reminded America what it was like to win a war, died Thursday of complications from pneumonia. He was 78.

Japanese 115-year-old becomes oldest man in recorded history

TOKYO — Jiroemon Kimura, a 115-year-old Japanese man born when Queen Victoria still reigned over the British Empire, became the oldest man in recorded history today, according to record keepers.

A cliff-hanger for agriculture

Prolonged wrangling over a new US farm bill has sown indecision among Valley growers

As congressional leaders scramble to agree on bipartisan spending cuts, Eastern Washington farmers have been left with uncertainty about the insurance, marketing and crop research programs many of them depend on.

Holidays remind us of power giving, large and small

In this holiday time we are reminded of the gifts and tragedies of life; the gifts of the people who have blessed our lives by being present or involved and the tragedy of those who left either by choice or not.

Eye exams can save much more than vision

Today we are going to talk about your eyes and how important they are to your health.

US embassy suspends operations in Central African Republic

WASHINGTON — The U.S. embassy in the Central African Republic has suspended operations as the country’s government prepared for negotiations with rebels that have overtaken at least 10 towns this month.

Emergency Services - 12/28/12

Thefts, Burglaries MF Police 300 block of Northwest Seventh Avenue, Thursday. Tools taken. 1200 block of North Main Street, Thursday. Items from vehicle.

TV spotlight is music to fitness firm's ears

Jazzercise fitness facilities across the country are celebrating the franchise’s upcoming feature on the small screen with big contests and prizes.

Whoopemup to offer breakfast in bedwear

Forget your fancy party attire.

Putin signs anti-US adoptions bill

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin today signed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children, abruptly terminating the prospects for more than 50 youngsters preparing to join new families.

Chief of staff: Bush undergoes treatment for bronchitis complications

HOUSTON — Former President George H.W. Bush, who has been hospitalized for more than a month, is getting excellent medical treatment and would advise people to “put the harps back in the closet,” his longtime Houston chief of staff said Thursday evening.

Fourth-wettest calendar year for Portland: 50 inches

PORTLAND (AP) — The year is ending with more than 50 inches of rain falling in 2012 in Portland.

Congress oversteps role in military budget

If too many cooks spoil the broth, then too many politicians endanger the effectiveness of the military.

Crash on Highway 11 injures three; one airlifted

MILTON-FREEWATER — An 80-year-old man was seriously injured along with two other people in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 11 at Ferndale Road on Wednesday.

Bill would label soft-shell crab as Maryland's official sandwich

When Maryland lawmakers reconvene next month, they’ll debate some weighty issues, including gun control, alternative energy and transportation funding.

Sales of AR-style rifles, ammo spike up

WALLA WALLA — A national surge in sales of AR-15 type rifles, as well as ammunition, is apparently being mirrored locally.

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Slaying nets man 35 years in prison

WALLA WALLA — After again proclaiming his innocence, Daniel D. Dodd was led from a courtroom at the County Courthouse on Thursday afternoon to a future that could confine him in prison for the rest of his life.

Wa-Hi's Hoe to play in Tanoa Bowl

AUBURN, Wash. — Wa-Hi running back Jonah Hoe is among a handful of Eastern Washington football players taking part in the Tanoa Bowl at Memorial Stadium here Saturday.

Hawks' Sherman: 'Justice served'

RENTON, Wash. — In the Seahawks’ locker room Thursday morning, Richard Sherman put down his cellphone and, like the town crier, hollered the news to his teammates.

Seahawks' Sherman wins NFL appeal

RENTON, Wash. — The Seahawks’ longest winning streak under Pete Carroll continued Thursday, the most recent victory occurring without anyone stepping onto a field.

Snowstorms equal fine early ski season

SEATTLE — The Cascades were pounded by a series of snowstorms the past two weeks, creating a blissful early ski and snowboard season.

Bears blitz Bruins, 49-26

SAN DIEGO — Routing the UCLA Bruins almost seemed like a sidelight for Baylor Bears quarterback Nick Florence.

Brooklyn Nets fire coach Avery Johnson

NEW YORK — Coach of the month in November, out of a job by New Year’s.

USC's Barkley won't play in Sun Bowl

EL PASO, Texas — Matt Barkley came to Southern California as a hot-shot recruit, seemingly destined to be the Trojans’ next star quarterback. For the most part he delivered on that promise during a record-breaking four-year run as USC’s starter.

More private colleges hold line on tuition

WASHINGTON — Savvy families shopping for college know that tuition typically rises faster than inflation. So Lauren Seely and her parents were startled to learn this year that an upper-tier private college on her short list had frozen its price.

San Jose State tops Bowling Green, 29-20, in Military Bowl

WASHINGTON — Among the accomplishments this season for San Jose State: It’s no longer a school anyone would want to schedule for homecoming.

Heat guard Wade suspended one game

NEW YORK — Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade was suspended one game without pay by the NBA for flailing his leg and making contact with the groin of Charlotte Bobcats’ Ramon Sessions.

Lakers center Howard fined $35,000 for flagrant foul

NEW YORK — Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard was fined $35,000 by the NBA for a flagrant foul against Denver’s Kenneth Faried.

McElroy has concussion; Sanchez to start for Jets

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Greg McElroy has a concussion and will be replaced by Mark Sanchez as the New York Jets’ starting quarterback in the season finale at Buffalo on Sunday.

Reports have Panthers’ Newton fined $21,000

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A person familiar with the penalty says the NFL has fined Panthers quarterback Cam Newton $21,000 for abusive conduct toward a game official.

Cowboys nose tackle Brent had BAC twice legal limit

DALLAS — Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent was driving with a suspended license and had a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit at the time of the car crash that killed teammate and friend Jerry Brown, according to documents released by police.

Newtown sifts through avalanche of altruism

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Christmas is gone, and with it the satellite trucks, and now the residents of this most famous small town in America are left with tens of thousands of teddy bears that they don’t know what to do with. Mountains of plush stuffed animals — some the size of grizzlies — await itemizing and boxing in a warehouse just east of Main Street, where the highest flag in town now flies at full-staff.

Sweets sign pair of UC Irvine players

WALLA WALLA — Two University of California at Irvine players have signed with the Walla Walla Sweets for the 2013 season of West Coast League baseball.

Woman set on fire in 'horrific' attack, LAPD says

LOS ANGELES — A homeless woman was doused in a flammable liquid and set ablaze in the Los Angeles community of Van Nuys on Thursday in what police called a random “horrific” attack.

Maine gears up for same-sex marriage

PORTLAND, Maine — A handful of communities are gearing up for special hours when Maine’s same-sex marriage goes into effect.

Nealey ranking Republican on state House finance committee

OLYMPIA — State Rep. Terry Nealey, R-Dayton, has been named ranking Republican on the state House of Representatives finance committee.

Court Report - Superior court

CRIMINAL CASES Walla Walla County Benjamin Beliz Jr., 27, 345 N.W. Eighth St., College Place, was sentenced Dec. 24 on one count taking a motor vehicle without permission. The sentence included restitution to be determined, $200 in court

Ore. chase tops 100 mph; 2 children in back seat

HERMISTON — Officers in Eastern Oregon say two young children were in the back seat of a vehicle that led them on a chase at more than 100 mph on Interstate 84.

Phoenix police investigating fatal shooting, crash

PHOENIX — Authorities in Phoenix still are trying to determine the events that led to the death of a former yo-yo champion from Washington state.

Watching out for one another saves us all

Every Tuesday evening at Trilogy Recovery Community’s Family Support Group, we tell stories. “We” includes parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, and family friends.

State's basic wage increases

The minimum wage in Washington will go up to $9.19 an hour on Jan. 1, keeping the state ahead of all others and nearly $2 above the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Health officials advise getting flu shot

It’s not too late to get a flu shot this season — and that could prevent serious illness as more people in the state come down with the virus, health officials said.

McKeown, Wujek lead Touchet, DeSales girls to wins

WALLA WALLA — Touchet’s Cierra Jo McKeown and Allison Wujek of DeSales were among the girls basketball stars that shined the brightest Thursday during the opening session of the annual D.A. Davidson Christmas Classic in the Irish gym.

Tease photo

Irish, Indian boys among D.A. Davidson victors

WALLA WALLA — Thursday’s first session of the annual D.A. Davidson Christmas Classic in the DeSales High School gymnasium included an overtime victory for the Irish boys basketball team and two other boys games that were decided by 10-point margins.

Bulldog girls shake Lacrosse-Washtucna

DAYTON — It took a little bit for Dayton’s girls to shake off some rust from a five-day break, but the Bulldogs did and handed Lacrosse-Washtucna a 46-19 defeat at the Dayton Christmas Tournament here Thursday.

Award in Christmas Lights contest was surprise

What a surprise. On Dec. 21 our doorbell rang and there stood a lovely couple who said, “Congratulations, you won. And you didn’t even know you were entered.”

'Cold cash' from carbon credits must come from ratepayers

The Dec. 20 U-B article “Methane burn-off nets city ‘cold cash’,” pointed out the city was going to sell its “carbon credits” (whatever pie-in-the-sky reasoning that is) for $120,000 “cold cash.”

Thursday, December 27

Tow-truck firms sue over Seattle's cap on fees

SEATTLE (AP) — Tow-truck operators aren’t happy about efforts by Seattle to cap fees.

Three injured in wreck on Highway 11

Three people were injured, one seriously, Wednesday afternoon in a two-vehicle traffic crash at the intersection of Ferndale Road and Highway 11 near Milton-Freewater.

Guarnaschelli earns 'Iron Chef' sweet victory

One clue that Alex Guarnaschelli was destined to win Season 5 of Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef” last Sunday? When her competitors were asked to cook a passionate “last supper” meal for the judges. The first two mystery ingredients were doled out: chicken and haddock. Third in line, Guarnaschelli ended up with sea urchin.

Patrick Dempsey brews up coffee shop purchase

LOS ANGELES — Patrick Dempsey says he wants to rescue a coffee house chain and more than 500 jobs.

Egypt's prosecutor orders probe against opposition

CAIRO — Egypt’s chief prosecutor today ordered an investigation into the leaders of the country’s opposition after a lawyer accused them of incitement to overthrow the regime of newly elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, a prosecution official said.

Holiday music stops at Irving Berlin's N.Y. door

NEW YORK — A caroling group that for 35 years has performed the Irving Berlin classic “White Christmas” on Christmas Eve outside the New York City home where he lived has cancelled the tradition.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson steps down

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration’s chief environmental watchdog, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, is stepping down after a nearly four-year tenure marked by high-profile brawls over global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, new controls on coal-fired plants and several other hot-button issues that affect the nation’s economy and people’s health.

Dodd sentenced to maximum prison term

He was found guilty of murdering Kevin Myrick.

WALLA WALLA — After again proclaiming his innocence, Daniel D. Dodd was led from a courtroom at the County Courthouse on Thursday afternoon to begin serving a sentence of more than 35 years for the June 2011 murder of Kevin Myrick.

New laws address gays, children, illegal immigration

Measures on gay rights and child safety are among the top state laws taking effect at the start of 2013, along with attempts to prevent identity theft and perennial efforts to restrict abortion and illegal immigration.

Private picture of Mark Zuckerberg's family leaked

SEATTLE (AP) — Even Mark Zuckerberg’s family can get tripped up by Facebook’s privacy settings.

UN envoy, Moscow call for revival of Syria plan

BEIRUT — Russia and the U.N called today for the resuscitation of a peace initiative for Syria that never got off the ground when it was proposed months ago because both parties to the conflict rejected it.

Lion ranch opens to public in Nevada

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Dozens of lions that used to entertain tourists at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas now have a new day job.

Two firefighters who survived ambush are grateful for support

WEBSTER, N.Y. (AP) — Two firefighters wounded by a gunman who set his house ablaze and killed two colleagues in an ambush were on the mend Wednesday and said they were thankful for the support they’ve received.

Service dog comforts young abuse victims

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Harper is a dainty blonde with a heart for service — and chew toys.

Ranch in Nevada puts MGM Grand lions on display

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Dozens of lions that used to entertain tourists at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas now have a new day job.

Tease photo

Hamilton Loomis to play blues at Sapolil Jan. 16

WALLA WALLA — Hamilton Loomis and his band will be on stage from 7-9:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at Sapolil Cellars, 15 E. Main St. The band is touring the release of the artist’s “Live at the Hub.” CD.

Hamley's to host '80s New Year's Eve shindig

PENDLETON — Hamley Steakhouse & Saloon, 8 S.E. Court Ave., will be ringing in the new year with an ’80s-themed party starting at 8:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

Hospice event tickets on sale

WALLA WALLA — The annual Evening of Elegance fundraiser for Walla Walla Community Hospice will be from 6-11 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, 6 W. Rose St.

$1 billion deal major step in Toyota legal trouble

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With a proposed payout of more than $1 billion, one major chapter of a nearly four-year legal saga that left Toyota Motor Corp. fighting hundreds of lawsuits and struggling with a tarnished image has ended, though another remains.

Starbucks to decry divisive 'cliff' debate

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks is using its coffee cups to jump into the political fray in Washington.

US military deaths in Afghanistan hit 2,040

As of Wednesday, at least 2,040 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.

UW's free online classes popular

SEATTLE (AP) — They tuned in from Russia and India, Colombia, Canada and California — in all, more than 25,000 signed up for a free online course at the University of Washington last quarter called “Information Security and Risk Management in Context.”

New Israeli right-wing leader worries Netanyahu

RAANANA, Israel — The charismatic new leader of Israel’s Jewish religious right is siphoning a large chunk of votes from the prime minister’s party, according to polls ahead of Jan. 22 elections, and if the trend continues, the high-tech millionaire and former commando could emerge as a powerful voice opposing Palestinian statehood.

Ben Affleck won't run for US Senate in Mass.

BOSTON — Ben Affleck is taking his name off the list of possible candidates for U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat, which would be open if the Democratic senator from Massachusetts is confirmed as secretary of state.

Delays litter road to vehicle rearview rules

SAN FRANCISCO — In the private hell of a mother’s grief, the sounds come back to Judy Neiman. The SUV door slamming. The slight bump as she backed up in the bank parking lot. The emergency room doctor’s sobs as he said her 9-year-old daughter Sydnee, who previously had survived four open heart surgeries, would not make it this time.

Storm whips into Northeast, brings snow, rain

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A powerful winter storm brought snow to inland parts of the Northeast and driving rain and wind to areas along the coast today, a day after it swept through the nation’s middle, dumping a record snowfall in Arkansas and wrecking post-holiday plans for thousands of travelers.

Mandela goes home from hospital to rest

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The doctors treating former South African leader Nelson Mandela believe he should remain in Johannesburg for now to be close to medical facilities that can provide care to the 94-year-old, the government said today.

Baker School Board lifts censure of 21-year-old member

BAKER CITY (AP) — A day of mediation resolved an eight-month standoff between a 21-year-old Eastern Oregon school board member and the district that limited his access to information and staff.

College Place Presbyterian Church to install senior pastor

COLLEGE PLACE — College Place Presbyterian Church, 325 N.E. Damson Ave., will celebrate the ordination and the installation of the Rev. Doug Hayes as senior pastor at 3 p.m. Sunday.

In the Minutes - Walla Walla County

Walla Walla County commissioners are Perry Dozier, Jim Johnson and Greg Tompkins. With Dozier absent Monday, the board voted as follows:

Mom's Network sponsors free day at Children's Museum

Mom’s Network sponsors free day at Children’s Museum

Classic tips off at DeSales today

WALLA WALLA — Four area schools are participating in the D.A. Davidson Christmas Classic basketball tournament beginning today at DeSales.

Seahawks put five on Pro Bowl team

RENTON, Wash. — The Seahawks had five players named to the NFC Pro Bowl team Wednesday, and while that total was a compliment to Seattle’s success, it didn’t include the player who might be having the best season on the team.

Trail Blazers run away from Kings, 109-91

PORTLAND — The Portland Trail Blazers wanted to put Sunday's loss to Sacramento behind them as quickly as possible.

Seahawks' Irvin proves his worth

TACOMA — Bruce Irvin has something to say to all those analysts who doubted that he was worth the 15th overall pick in the 2012 college draft: Thanks.

Northwest grain terminal owners to implement offer

PORTLAND — The owners of four Pacific Northwest grain terminals have informed the longshore union they will not lock them out of their jobs. Instead, they will implement the terms of their final contract offer today.

Seahawks not giving up on chance for an NFC West title

RENTON — The only way for Seattle's playoff seeding to change at this point requires the San Francisco 49ers to lose Sunday at home to an Arizona team that has lost 10 of its past 11 games and will be using its fourth different starting quarterback of the season.

Seattle not just sleepless, it's loud!

That dull roar still rumbling between your ears days later is not your imagination.

Manning, Peterson highlight Bowl teams

NEW YORK — Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson want to cap their sensational comebacks with Super Bowl appearances. For now, they can be proud of Pro Bowl spots.

Newspaper's handgun permit map draws fire

NEW YORK — A newspaper's publication of the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in two New York counties has sparked online discussions — and a healthy dose of outrage.

Tebow says he never refused to play for Jets

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Tim Tebow has been criticized for years about his quarterback skills, his arm and how he throws.

Ibanez move may not be M's last

SEATTLE — The official announcement that Raul Ibanez had rejoined the Mariners did not come with any corresponding moves.

Chippewas win Caesars Bowl

DETROIT — On this night, Dan Enos was fine with letting the other coach make the game’s most important decision.

Chiefs, Jaguars in race for No. 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The joke running through Jacksonville these days carries the same punch line as the one in Kansas City:

Boise State looks to fill graduation gaps for 2013

BOISE — As young as the Boise State football team seemed in 2012, this number will come as a bit of a shock.

Cardinals to give QB Hoyer first start

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals will give Brian Hoyer his first NFL start, less than three weeks after the team claimed him off waivers from Pittsburgh.

Steelers QB Roethlisberger takes blame for season

PITTSBURGH — Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says despite a statistically successful year, his play was a key factor in Pittsburgh (7-8) failing to make the playoffs for only the fourth time since 2001.

Ravens add linebacker Lewis to 53-man roster

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Linebacker Ray Lewis has been added to the Baltimore Ravens’ 53-man roster, but coach John Harbaugh says the 17-year veteran will not play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Grand jury indicts Cowboys nose tackle Brent after crash

DALLAS — A grand jury in Texas has formally indicted Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent on one count of intoxication manslaughter.

Red Sox get closer Hanrahan from Pirates

BOSTON — The Red Sox acquired All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a six-player deal.

Pacers-Bulls game postponed by snowstorm

INDIANAPOLIS — The NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls was postponed by the snowstorm that hit the Indianapolis area.

Gorges turns to Twitter for hockey game

MONTREAL — With the NHL lockout grinding through its fourth month, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges looked to Twitter for a hockey game.

Budget woes mean reducing prison costs

It seems just about anybody who is elected (to just about any office) vows to be “tough on crime.”

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Schacht to trade gavel for reins

WALLA WALLA — Wednesday will be a first for Donald W. Schacht.

Extremists in evolution, creationism both wrong

The discussion on the history and origins of life is fascinating. The discussion includes both creative conjecture and extraordinary bias.

With Facebook, why bother with church at all?

I’m considering becoming a Facebook Christian — and leaving the church behind.

Positive outlook seen as key to long life

You might have noticed that TV weatherman Willard Scott’s morning roll call of people celebrating 100-plus years on the planet seems to grow longer and longer.

Telepresence robot lets you beam into the office

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Engineer Dallas Goecker attends meetings, jokes with colleagues and roams the office building just like other employees at his company in Silicon Valley.

Bacteria problems start long, long before food is served

Why are we having so much trouble with dangerous bacteria in our food?

Obnoxious employee? Deal with it -- before co-workers do

There are a few workplaces where everyone gets along and the morning greeting is warm for one and all. But in most workplaces there are a few oddballs, know-it-alls, food snatchers, loud-mouths, gossips, slugs, sticklers, stinkers and just plain horribly inconsiderate people.

Mall shooting was Oregon's top news story for 2012

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — In a suburban Portland shopping mall, a gunman armed with a semiautomatic rifle opened fire on Christmas shoppers. In timber country, sheriffs and district attorneys were forced to free inmates because of budget cuts. And on the coast, a dock the size of a boxcar, torn loose from a Japanese port by the 2011 tsunami, washed up on the beach.

Mass shootings voted top news story

NEW YORK — The horrific massacre of 26 children and staff at a Connecticut elementary school, along with other mass shootings, was the top news story of 2012, narrowly edging out the U.S. election, according to The Associated Press’ annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors.

AP's story list for Washington in 2012: Pot is top

SEATTLE — People in Washington decided that marijuana, long derided as a dangerous drug that could lead to more harmful addictions, wasn’t so bad after all. Initiative 502, legalizing pot for adults, was easily approved in November and that sweeping change to drug policy was voted the state’s top news story of 2012 by Associated Press member editors.

Missing Calif. couple found safe in Oregon

Missing Calif. couple found safe in Oregon

'Hobbit' extends No. 1 journey with $36.7 million

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tiny hobbit Bilbo Baggins is running circles around some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Wash. man held in Calif. Greyhound bus attack

Wash. man held in Calif. Greyhound bus attack

Umatilla shooting victim identified

Umatilla shooting victim identified

Dodd sentenced to maximum prison term

WALLA WALLA — After again proclaiming his innocence, Daniel D. Dodd was led from a courtroom at the County Courthouse on Thursday afternoon to begin serving a sentence of more than 35 years for the June 2011 murder of Kevin Myrick.

Pacific Power should have to buy conduit

Pacific Power should have to buy conduit

It'd be 'hot' if we would 'man up' and stop saying these things ...?

WASHINGTON — ’Tis the season when columnists write mea culpas, make predictions and list their resolutions.

Red traffic light means 'stop' not go faster

Red traffic light means ‘stop’ not go faster

Wednesday, December 26

Egypt's Morsi: Constitution sets up a new republic

CAIRO — Egypt’s president says the disputed constitution just approved in a referendum establishes a new republic and calls on the opposition to join a dialogue to heal rifts and shift the focus to repairing the economy.

Syria minister leaves Beirut for fear of arrest

BEIRUT — Syria’s wounded interior minister rushed home from a Beirut hospital today for fear he would be arrested after some Lebanese called to put him on trial for his role in a 1986 crackdown by Syrian troops in Lebanon.

Health care tax hikes for 2013 may be just a start

WASHINGTON — New taxes are coming Jan. 1 to help finance President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

After 75 years of marriage, couple would do it all over again

Dick and Velma Scharen were each other's gifts on Christmas Day, 1937.

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) -- If memory serves -- and it has to go back a long, long way -- Dick and Velma Scharen met either the day before or after Valentine's Day. Ten months later, on Christmas Day, they married. The year was 1937, in the depths of the Great Depression. He was 18, she was 15.

Ex-President Bush spends Christmas in hospital

HOUSTON — Former President George H.W. Bush will spend Christmas with his wife and other family members in a Houston hospital after developing a fever and weakness following a monthlong, bronchitis-like cough, his spokesman said Monday.

Etcetera - 12/26/12

As part of Milton-Freewater Rotary Club's ongoing support of the Youth Exchange Student program, club members are hosting Mie Blomberg from Odense, Denmark.

Call for bids should benefit Farmers' Market

Asking for a plan should reduce the disputes that occurred at the market.

When all the smoke clears from this year's internal friction -- and strife -- at the Farmers' Market, new rules and a new outlook should be in place that should benefit the entire community.

Unintended consequences

There are often unintended consequences to our actions, choices and votes. Obamacare is one example of this.

Umatilla man's death investigated as homicide

UMATILLA, Ore. — Police are investigating a Umatilla man’s death as a homicide.

Walla Walla man charged with eluding, DUI

WALLA WALLA — A man was charged Monday in Superior Court with leading a county sheriff’s deputy on a high-speed vehicle chase last week east of the city.

Drugs, stolen goods suspect arraigned

WALLA WALLA — A man suspected of possessing hundreds of items of stolen property, in addition to committing various drug offenses, pleaded innocent Monday to 11 criminal charges.

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Early morning fire burns garage

COLLEGE PLACE — A detached garage was heavily damaged in an early-morning fire Christmas day.

Trial date reset for vehicle assault suspect

WALLA WALLA — A new trial date has been set for a man suspected of leading police on a high-speed vehicle chase last winter resulting in an injury crash.

Shoppers disappoint retailers this season

WASHINGTON — U.S. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season, a disappointment for retailers who slashed prices to lure people into stores and now must hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending.

Actor Jack Klugman excelled as slob, crime solver

Actor Jack Klugman excelled as both the slob roommate Felix and the passionate crime solver Quincy

Jack Klugman, who died Monday at age 90, was already 48 when he became a TV star, playing slovenly sportswriter Oscar Madison on ABC’s adaptation of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.”

Some urge Boehner to let Dems pass fiscal cliff bill

WASHINGTON — In case the public weren’t frustrated enough over Congress’ failure to resolve the “fiscal cliff,” consider this: lawmakers probably could enact a compromise quickly and easily if Republican leaders let Democrats provide most of the votes.

Duke still No. 1 in AP poll; Pitt, K-State move in

NEW YORK — Duke and Michigan remain the top two teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll, while Syracuse drops from third to ninth after its first loss.

Sixkiller feels kinship with Seahawks QB Wilson

SEATTLE — Growing up in Ashland, Ore., all-state in three sports, Sonny Sixkiller’s wish was to stay close to home and play quarterback for Dee Andros at Oregon State.

Wa-Hi's Hoe leads area all-state grid members

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi senior Jonah Hoe recently added to his postseason football accolades when he was named to the Washington Class 4A all-state team as a running back.

Avant's rise

PHILADELPHIA — Jason Avant raises his hands to the sky after every reception in celebration for much more than catching a ball.

Heat win in rematch with Thunder

MIAMI — LeBron James and Kevin Durant exchanged words. Dwyane Wade and Serge Ibaka did some shoving. Five technical fouls were called, and Russell Westbrook punched a table in frustration.

Hawks' offense soars late in season

RENTON — The NFL’s most prolific three-game scoring binge in 62 years actually began four games ago with a bit of desperation and a whole lot of urgency.

Stanford still No. 1 in AP women’s basketball poll

Stanford remains No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll for the sixth straight week, matching the team’s longest run in the top spot.

Former Brave CF Jones arrested for battery

DULUTH, Ga. — Former Atlanta Braves star center fielder Andruw Jones was free on bond after being arrested in suburban Atlanta on a battery charge, according to jail records.

Nadal’s return delayed by stomach virus

MADRID — Rafael Nadal’s return to competition has been delayed by a stomach virus.

US storm's toll up to six dead as system heads east

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The death toll has risen to six from winter storms in the nation’s midsection.

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Red, white, blue and metal

Navy veteran Pierre Remillard’s sense of patriotism guides his paintings.

Pierre Remillard’s workshop feels a bit like an old-school diner, the kind of place that covers every square inch of wall with artifacts that are almost half a century old.

Now it's a book: The Onion peels off pieces of 'known' knowledge

“The Onion Book of Known Knowledge” by The Onion; Little, Brown and Co. ($29.99)

City library to host programs

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Public Library’s winter reading program, “Big Idea Talks: A Taste of Culture.” will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, in the Library.

Monday, December 24

Wa-Hi singers serenade WW Noon Rotary with holiday tunes

Norb Rossi, Walla Walla High School director of music education, brought his award-winning singers to the Dec. 13 meeting of the Walla Walla Noon Rotary Club.

When strenuous exercise becomes too much of a good thing

I’m not going to give you permission in this piece to live a sedentary life, sitting at a desk at work all day and then on the couch watching television each evening.

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From roots to branches

Shake your family tree and you never know who might fall out.

Dear Santa: Please bring us a vacation

Dear Santa,

NORAD to track Santa Claus again

Who’s that ping on the radar screen? Must be Santa Claus.

Oregon mall shooting survivor: Life is precious

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A teen who survived the Dec. 11 shooting at an Oregon shopping mall says she didn’t realize the gun that shot her was real until bullets started whizzing past.

Opposition charges fraud in Egypt's referendum

Opponents charge fraud in Egypt’s referendum

UN envoy worried after talks with Syria's Assad

UN envoy worried after talks with Syria’s Assad

Afghan policewoman kills US adviser in Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan policewoman walked into a high-security compound in Kabul today and killed an American contractor with a single bullet to the chest, the first such shooting by a woman in a spate of insider attacks by Afghans against their foreign allies.

Russia, India signs weapons deal worth billions

NEW DELHI — Russia and India signed weapons deals worth billions of dollars Monday as President Vladimir Putin sought to further boost ties with an old ally.

Seahawks playoff bound

SEATTLE — The coaches met briefly at midfield, Seattle’s Pete Carroll and San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh touching hands more than shaking them.

Hawks send message to Niners

SEATTLE — The first message:

Believe it, Hawks best team in NFL right now

SEATTLE — OK, now the nation knows, too: The Seahawks are on something ridiculous right now. Something more effective than Adderall, even.

Blazers' win streak snapped

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It appears the Sacramento Kings can play well without their controversial leading scorer and rebounder, DeMarcus Cousins.

Niners stunned by worst loss in Harbaugh era

SEATTLE — Amid his terse, unrevealing answers, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh pinpointed the only possible silver lining to Sunday’s 42-13 loss.

Huskies' future looks bright to Sark

LAS VEGAS — The Washington Huskies would love it if what happened in Vegas could stay in Vegas.

Jones, SMU return to Hawaii in familiar role

HONOLULU — SMU coach June Jones felt and looked right at home when he walked into Aloha Stadium.

AFC playoff lineup all set; still intrigue in NFC

All set in the AFC, except for the matchups. As for the NFC playoff race, there’s still plenty of intrigue.

British newspaper suing Armstrong for $1.5 million

LONDON — A British newspaper is suing Lance Armstrong for more than $1.5 million over the cyclist’s successful libel action regarding doping allegations.

CowBoys-Redskins game to decide NFC East moved to prime time

NEW YORK — The Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game that will decide the NFC East is moving to prime time.

Vikings kicker Walsh sets record with ninth 50-yarder

HOUSTON — Minnesota’s Blair Walsh kicked a 56-yard field goal against the Houston Texans to set an NFL record with nine field goals of 50 yards or longer this season.

Luck sets rookie passing record of 4,051 yards

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Andrew Luck has the rookie passing record.

Swisher agrees to four-year deal with Indians

CLEVELAND — The Indians’ pitch to bring Nick Swisher “home” worked.

Richard Adams, early figure in push for gay marriage, dies at 65.

Richard Adams, early figure in pushLOS ANGELES — Richard Adams, who used both the altar and the courtroom to begin the push for gay marriage four decades before it reached the center of the national consciousness, has died, his attorney said Sunday.

Emergency Services - 12/24/12

Information is compiled by the Union-Bulletin staff from the official logs and records of the agencies listed below. Readers with any information on these or other crimes should call the local police or county sheriff’s department. By law, victims of crimes may request through law enforcement agencies that their names not be released to the media.

Ibanez expected to see plenty of action with M's

SEATTLE — Raul Ibanez has been told the Mariners will look at him in both outfield corners, at designated hitter and even at first base next season.

Foster, Forte, Palmer sidelined

By The Associated Press

College Place board OKs pair of school names

'College Place High School' and 'John Sager Middle School' were approved Thursday.

COLLEGE PLACE -- The College Place School Board has approved official names for its new middle and high schools.

Rules trap former Pacific Power customers in Catch 22

WALLA WALLA — A debate over what some say is the costly and needless removal of underground electrical lines now has the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission asking Pacific Power to reconsider its customer termination policy.

No paper on Christmas

The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin will not publish on Christmas. The office and all departments will be closed. Publication will resume Wednesday. The Walla Walla Valley Weekly, which normally is in Tuesday’s paper, is included in today’s paper.

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Developmentally disabled cut apron strings

WALLA WALLA — “At the end of the day, they’re really just two guys living in this house.”

Newtown 'not going to miss Christmas'

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Christmas is everywhere here, yet Christmas is nowhere.

Parents need help after sons' glory days pass by

For the last eight years I have been the mother of a star in our local high school. When one of my boys would graduate, the next would take over and be even more athletic or musically talented — and in my youngest son’s case, both.

Blue Devils grapple at Best of West

PASCO — The Wa-Hi wrestling team took in a two-day Best of the West Invite tournament in differing formats each day over the weekend.

Sunday, December 23

Church bulletin

Grace United Methodist’s Christmas pageant is today WALLA WALLA — Grace United Methodist Church, 1520 Pleasant St., will present a no-rehearsal Christmas pageant and celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas today at 10:30 a.m.

On the Agenda - Walla Walla County

planning: Approve ordinance to deny request by Norm McKibben to amend the land use and zoning designation for 120 acres generally located south of Old Milton Highway and west of Peppers Bridge Road. Approve ordinance to adopt request by Michael Witherspoon to amend county Comprehensive Plan by removing designation of unique lands from certain properties in Burbank area.

Christmas closures

Christmas is Tuesday. The following closures or special hours or days of service will be in effect.

Road closures - Thornton Road

TOUCHET — Thornton Road between Watson Loop and Thurber Road will be closed starting Wednesday. It will reopen about 5 p.m. Friday. The closure is to allow a contractor to install an irrigation line across Thornton Road. A detour will be provided.

Troops let go in Afghanistan as mission winds down

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Fifteen U.S. soldiers huddle in a circle. A blue Toyota packed with explosives has been reported somewhere in the city. The troops bow their heads and clasp hands.

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North Star Comics burned brightly

WALLA WALLA — For comic book lovers it is the saddest of endings. The September death of North Star Comics owner Brice Jones was a swift and crushing blow for many who came to know him as a friend and mentor. But the effects are reaching also into the business he founded 19 years ago.

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Pictures of the year 2012

Wheeeeeeeee! Leaping ladybugs, flying Coyotes, fire, water and smiling zombies.

Council goes on record in opposition to court ruling

WALLA WALLA — On Wednesday, the Walla Walla City Council approved a resolution to oppose a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision from 2010.

If the shoe fits, man goes to jail

WALLA WALLA — A bit of luck and bare feet helped deputies nab a suspect wanted in a high-speed eluding chase on Thursday.

Scammers follow money -- all the way to seniors' banks

CHICAGO — Downers Grove, Ill., retiree Robert Govenat was on the computer every day, watching prices of his stocks go down. It was November 2007, and a bear market was threatening.

Executives shouldnot be too big to jail

The Justice Department fined a huge bank for laundering drug money, but didn't prosecute its executives. That's outrageous.

When are white collar criminals not considered criminals?

Telemarketers lying for charities prompt call for probe

The connection between major national charities and telemarketers should be investigated by the Federal Trade Commission for possibly abusing tax-exempt status or breaking the law, Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Herb Kohl said.

Mourning Newtown inundated with gifts

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Newtown’s children were showered with gifts Saturday — tens of thousands of teddy bears, Barbie dolls, soccer balls and board games — and those are only some of the tokens of support from around the world for the town in mourning.

Can scientists predict natural disasters?

Based on interpretations of the ancient Mayan calendar, some people predicted the world would end last Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. They were wrong.

Tsunami debris team reaches dock that floated from Japan

FORKS, Wash. (AP) — Hiking over primitive coastal trails, a team reached a dock that apparently floated from Japan after last year’s tsunami and just washed ashore on a Washington beach, and an official said the group found Japanese writing inside the structure.

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PHOTOS: Welcome Home!

Marine Lance Cpl. Logan Morris) returned to Walla Walla on Friday to a welcoming crowd of around 50 people at the Walla Walla Regional Airport.

court report

Court Report

Touchet boys beat St. John-Endicott 66-37

TOUCHET — Touchet’s lopsided win over St.John-Endicott 66-37 Saturday overshadowed a 47-29 loss, to Garfield-Palouse the evening before.

McKeown goes off for triple-double in Touchet win over St. John-Endicott

TOUCHET — The Indians were victorious twice over the weekend, winning 34-26 against Garfield-Palouse Friday and 46-36 over St.John-Endicott Saturday.

Saturday, December 22

Blue Devil girls show no mercy to Bulldogs

WALLA WALLA — First-half scoring runs of 17-0 and 12-1 helped the Wa-Hi girls basketball team run away and hide from Mid-Columbia Conference rival Pasco during a 63-25 romp Saturday night in the Blue Devil gym.

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Wa-Hi boys triumph over Pasco, 61-51

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi’s boys kept their league and overall records unblemished Saturday night with a 61-51 victory over Pasco in Mid-Columbia Conference basketball action at the Blue Devil gym.

Pomeroy beats Liberty Christian, 50-38

RICHLAND — Pomeroy turned a five-point deficit at halftime into a 12-point win against Liberty Christian Saturday night, defeating the Patriots 50-38 in Southeast 1B boys basketball.

4th-quarter turnovers doom Pomeroy against Liberty Christian

RICHLAND — Torri Koller scored 20 points on seven field goals — including six 3-pointers — but it wasn’t enough for Pomeroy Saturday night as they fell to Liberty Christian, 55-41, in a Southeast 1B girls basketball game.

Weston-McEwen defeats Elgin, Heppner

ATHENA — Weston-McEwen TigerScots boys’ basketball team took a pair of Blue Mountain Conference wins over the weekend, defeating Heppner 68-51 on Friday night and Elgin 55-44 on Saturday.

Mac-Hi places 2nd at Riverside Rumble

BOARDMAN, Ore. — Mac-Hi’s wrestling team claimed second place of eight teams at the Riverside Rumble tournament Saturday despite missing almost half the team thanks to injuries, sickness and vacation time.

After tragedy, it's great to see goodness

Sarah Griffith and I would like to acknowledge the people involved with making the benefit dinner for Nathan Griffith such a success. Nate, his wife and his son were overwhelmed by the generosity of so many involved in providing support for him and his family as he continues to fight lymphoma.

'Our country spends too much'

The political posturing surrounding the "fiscal cliff" is still obscuring the facts. The following quotes are from a story by Bret Baier of Fox News:

A nation of laws can't ignore laws

A benevolent dictatorship -- rule by man, not by law -- is said to be the most efficient form of government. America has chosen the opposite -- rule by law, not by man -- in hopes that prevention of harm from a ruthless whim will more than compensate for loss of efficiency.

Vote against excess funds

The Walla Walla School board had to decide what to do with excess funds from the high school bond. That tells me its members have already plugged in excess funds into the bond.

Luckstead is enlightening the public

I have read many of Mr. Garcia's defenses of creationism, and I respect his reasoned attempts to factualize creation thinking.

Reaching a solution to these mass shootings

Is there a solution to the mass shootings and killings that are happening in our nation and the world? How much would anyone give to find a solution?

It's time to sell Heritage Park

Now let me get this straight. Some people have decided Heritage Park is "their" park and they're being bullied out of it.

The facts rule

Steve Luckstead needs no defender. I happen to live in his world. He who lives by a thesaurus and selected myths bypassed germane science, including National Geographic's Genographic Project (DNA), to understand Earth's origin and human emergence.

Shakespeare in America

Gun owners who know about weapons and ballistics can understand the unimaginable tissue damage that 12 high-velocity projectiles shot from a high power weapon can do to the tender flesh of a precious 6-year-old child. Twenty children, as many as King Herod's soldiers killed in Bethlehem, and six adults were massacred in Newtown, a New England town as idyllic as Bethlehem was more than 2,000 years ago.

Inmate education program works

In view of recent articles about inmates losing an important transition program, I want to bring attention to another one that happens on the inside.

Rescue and remold country and democracy

For two centuries we have assumed our forefathers came to this country for religious freedom but apparently left the religion concept to each individual's own perception.

Can't we work to spread peace and understanding?

My heart is breaking. All of our hearts are breaking. This happens too often, too randomly, too close to home in so many ways.

Walla Walla can invest in future

On Feb. 12, voters in the Walla Walla School District have an opportunity to make a significant investment in the future of their school system.

Consider giving to help a child

We set luminaries along the sidewalk. An occasional passerby asked about them. We answer: "We do this for Home Team. It is an Exchange Club Program. Home Team matches volunteers with parents who are facing challenges raising their children."

This community puts children first

For me, the holiday season is a time to reflect, be thankful and count my blessings.

Wa-Hi plan beefs up security

Now might be the right time for everyone to come to understand how proposed remodeling of the present Wa-Hi facilities is intended to, among other things, provide greatly enhanced student security.

Von Borstel scores 19 in TigerScot victory over Elgin

ATHENA — Molly von Borstel earned a double-double and Weston-McEwen raced out to a 34-15 halftime lead before cruising to a 56-41 victory over Elgin Saturday night in Blue Mountain Conference girls basketball.

So what, indeed, was the first Noel?

The Christmas story is full of things that make us wonder.

Sandberg, Solzhenitsyn and Piglet offer prayers for Newtown

Carl Sandberg wrote, “A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.”

Time is right for Wa-Hi bond issue

Time is right to approve Wa-Hi bond issue

Friday, December 21

Blue Devils beat Southridge at the line, win 40-36

KENNEWICK -- Southridge outshot, outrebounded and committed less turnovers than the Blue Devils Friday night, but Wa-Hi picked up its seventh consecutive victory regardless, 40-36, after making 15-of-19 free throws to just 4-of-12 from the Suns.

Blue Devils stomp Southridge, 48-13

KENNEWICK -- Wa-Hi won a dominating 48-13 victory over Southridge Friday night, as the Blue Devils owned the boards and harried the Suns into 18 turnovers.

Pomeroy hands Dayton first loss of season, 40-37

POMEROY — Delaney Monahan scored 12 points as Pomeroy held on for a 40-37 girls basketball victory over Dayton Thursday night.

Pakistani polio workers get police protection

Pakistani polio workers get police protection

Egyptian Islamists, opponents clash ahead of vote

Egyptian Islamists, opponents clash ahead of vote

Kenya Red Cross: 39 people killed in clashes

Kenya Red Cross: 39 people killed in tribal clashes

UN approves military action to oust al-Qaida in Mali

UN approves military action to oust al-Qaida in Mali

Bells toll for victims of Newtown school shootings

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — The chiming of bells reverberated throughout Newtown today, commemorating one week since the crackle of gunfire in a schoolhouse killed 20 children and six adults in a massacre that has shaken the community — and the nation — to its core.

North Korea says it has detained US citizen

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea said Friday that an American citizen has been detained after confessing to unspecified crimes, confirming news reports about his arrest at a time when Pyongyang is facing criticism from Washington for launching a long-range rocket last week.

Obama picks Kerry to replace Clinton as secretary of state

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama today will nominate Sen. John Kerry, 69, as his next secretary of state, a senior administration official said, making the first move in an overhaul of his national security team heading into a second term.

Bank robber nabbed after daring escape

CHICAGO (AP) — One of the two bank robbers who made a daring escape from a high-rise federal jail in Chicago has been arrested after days on the run, an FBI spokeswoman said today.

2012 shaping up as banner year for local air travel

The summertime cutback in flights doesn't appear to have made much of a dent in ridership.

WALLA WALLA -- Air travel is on track for one of its best years, despite a decrease in flights during the summer months.

Boehner, White House vow to press ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner signaled today he’s still open to negotiations with President Barack Obama on avoiding across-the-board tax increases set to hit taxpayers Jan. 1, but sounded pessimistic about reaching a grand deal with the president.

Teen, mom struck, injured at Main, Colville

WALLA WALLA — A 13-year-old and her mother were injured Thursday afternoon when both were struck by a pickup while crossing East Main Street.

Excess bond funds would pay debt

WALLA WALLA — The School Board voted today to use any excess funds from a Walla Walla High School Bond to pay down debt.

emergency services-12-21-12

Information is compiled by the Union-Bulletin staff from the official logs and records of the agencies listed below. Readers with any information on these or other crimes should call the local police or county sheriff’s department. By law, victims of crimes may request through law enforcement agencies that their names not be released to the media.

Mexico's Mayan heartland greets dawn of new era

MERIDA, Mexico (AP) — Ceremonial fires burned and conches sounded off as dawn broke over the steps of the main pyramid at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza today, marking what many believe is the conclusion of a vast, 5,125-year cycle in the Mayan calendar.

Malala asks Pakistan not to rename college for her

Malala Yousufzai asks Pakistan not to rename college for her

In the Minutes

Dayton School Board

Suspected tsunami-damaged dock drifts to Washington coast

SEATTLE (AP) — A dock that apparently was ripped away from Japanese waters by a tsunami and drifted for more than a year and a half has washed ashore on one of the most remote beaches on the U.S. West Coast.

Gun left under theater seat costs owner his permit

PORTLAND (AP) — Gary Quackenbush, a gun owner for 40 years, was stuck in a stiff, unforgiving theater seat. The movie he paid to watch was running three hours.

Boise State rallies, defeats in-state rival Idaho, 78-68

BOISE — With its basketball program scheduled to move into its third different conference in four years next season, Boise State has found itself short on natural rivals.

Phelps voted AP male athlete of year

Now that he’s away from the pool, Michael Phelps can reflect — really reflect — on what he accomplished.

Penn State voted AP sports story of year, again

NEW YORK — The Penn State child sex abuse scandal was selected as the sports story of the year by U.S. editors and news directors in an annual vote conducted by The Associated Press.

2012 an ugly year in sports — or was it?

Good riddance, 2012.

Great weekend for Seattle sports fans

LAS VEGAS — Now this is a weekend, sports fans.

Yin and yang meet again Sunday

RENTON — The similarities don’t exactly stick out.

Final winner of Chamber promo campaign drawn today

The Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce has continued its “Keep it Home for the Holidays” weekly drawings this month.

Community Bank charity drive nets nearly $25,000

Contributions to a coin drive at local Community Bank branches were more than a drop in the bucket.

City fine-tunes downtown parking policy

The Downtown Walla Walla Foundation is trying to help navigate merchants through the upcoming change in parking enforcement.

CREA directors earn credentials

Three Columbia Rural Electric Association board directors recently earned the “Credentialed Cooperative Directors” designation.

Missionary men weather Storm

WALLA WALLA — Whitman’s Peter Clark drained a trey to give the Missionaries a 35-32 lead with 9:45 left in the first half.

Travelers hope to be on their way after snowstorm

Travelers hope to be on their way after snowstorm

Washington shakes pesky Cal Poly for 75-62 victory

SEATTLE — At every time out in every Washington huddle, what Cal Poly was able to accomplish earlier in the season when they rallied from 18 points down to beat UCLA became a repetitive reminder for the Huskies.

Maple syrup shortfall prompts price spike, theft

TORONTO — The price of maple syrup is nearing a record, as warm winters and high production costs curb output and make the iconic Canadian sweetener a target for thieves.

Cougars fine feeding senior forward Motum

SEATTLE — Washington State basketball coach Ken Bone tells the story of how he told his team at a recent practice that it had to score on two of its next three possessions, and decide itself what was most likely to accomplish that.

Gov. Gregoire offers solid plan to better fund education

Gov. Chris Gregoire’s two-year state budget proposal, which she released Tuesday, is merely an example of how an extra $1 billion could be raised and spent on education. The document will not be the state budget that’s finally adopted. Nor will all — or even most — of the tax increases proposed be adopted.

Timberwolves end Thunder’s 12-game winning streak

MINNEAPOLIS — J.J. Barea ended Oklahoma City’s 12-game winning streak almost all by himself.

Kelly says Ducks cooperated with NCAA investigation

EUGENE— Oregon football coach Chip Kelly said the Ducks have cooperated with the NCAA investigation into the school’s use of recruiting services, and he isn’t particularly surprised that the process has taken so long.

Utah State promotes OC Wells to replace Andersen

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah State promoted offensive coordinator Matt Wells to head coach, replacing Wisconsin-bound Gary Andersen.

Prized prospect Parker says he’ll head to Duke

CHICAGO — Jabari Parker had just about everyone guessing until he pulled out that blue T-shirt with a white “D.”

What are our responsibilities?

What are our responsibilities?

Colts coach Pagano cleared to return when ready

INDIANAPOLIS — Colts head coach Chuck Pagano can resume coaching when he’s ready.

Johnson sends gifts to family of shooting victim

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Chris Johnson first wrote the names of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims on his cleats. Now the Titans running back has sent gifts to the family of Grace McDonnell after speaking with them by telephone.

Reports have Jets considering all options for Sanchez, Tebow

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Mark Sanchez is no longer the face of the New York Jets. He could soon be a former member of the team.

Parents not on board with couple's breakup

My divorce from “Vince” will be final in a few weeks. We have two sons together and we communicate well. Since our breakup, my parents have continued their relationship with him. They say, “You divorced him, we didn’t.”

RG3 has second full practice, looks good to go Sunday

ASHBURN, Va. — Robert Griffin III looks good to go.

Olympian Hamilton says she turned to prostitution

Three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton says she coped with depression and a troubled marriage by turning to a life of prostitution.

NHL moves closer to cancelling entire season

NEW YORK — The next round of NHL cuts could be the deepest yet.

Current expenses just part of county budget picture

WALLA WALLA — While the current expense fund in the Walla Walla County budget is the subject of major debates during the budgeting process, it is only one of many funds which make up the total financial picture.

No wiggle room seen in budget

WALLA WALLA — After weeks of paring and parsing, Walla Walla County commissioners have approved the county’s 2013 budget.

After Newtown, a call for hard work and careful thinking

I stopped the child’s parents outside her doorway. The air was antiseptic, the hallway cool and dim. It was the first time that I had to tell anyone that their baby was dying.

Prosser man charged in WW cyclist's death

A 20-year-old Prosser man is accused of being under the influence of alcohol when he hit and killed a bicyclist who was changing a flat tire on the shoulder of a rural Prosser highway.

Schools receive USDA grant to boost local foods

Schools receive USDA grant to boost local foods

Sunnyside Christian stifles Waitsburg-Prescott girls, 62-14

WAITSBURG — Sunnyside Christian defeated Waitsburg-Prescott 62-14 Thursday night in a non-conference girls basketball game.

Sunnyside Christian downs Waitsburg-Prescott, 50-25

WAITSBURG — Waitsburg-Prescott couldn’t handle a tall Sunnyside Christian team, falling to the Knights, 50-25, Thursday night in non-conference boys basketball.

Pomeroy plunders Dayton, 41-17

POMEROY — Pomeroy limited visiting Dayton to just two first-half points Thursday night as it laid a 41-17 Southeast 1B-2B interleague licking on the Bulldogs.

WWVA defends home court with 64-47 victory over Mac-Hi

COLLEGE PLACE — Four different Knights breeched double digits as Walla Walla Valley Academy defended its home court Thursday night with a 64-47 victory over Mac-Hi in non-conference boys basketball.

WWVA roasts Pioneers at home, 60-35

COLLEGE PLACE — Amy Arnzen had 18 points and 11 steals Thursday night to lead Walla Walla Valley Academy to a 60-35 victory over visiting Mac-Hi in non-conference girls basketball.

Thursday, December 20

Fear keeps Egypt's Christians away from polls

ASSIUT, Egypt — A campaign of intimidation by Islamists left most Christians in this southern Egyptian province too afraid to participate in last week’s referendum on an Islamist-drafted constitution they deeply oppose, residents say. The disenfranchisement is hiking Christians’ worries over their future under empowered Muslim conservatives.

Richland man injured in wreck outside Burbank

BURBANK — A Richland man was hospitalized this morning after a crash with a semi-truck on State Route 124.

UPDATED: Winds rattle local flight schedules

WALLA WALLA -- Wicked winds have blasted the air travel schedule for passengers coming in and out of the Walla Walla Regional Airport since Wednesday night, officials said.

In small Texas town, teachers can carry guns

HARROLD, Texas (AP) — In this tiny Texas town, children and their parents don’t give much thought to safety at the community’s lone school — mostly because some of the teachers are carrying concealed weapons.


Superior Court

Methane burn-off nets city tidy sum from Seattle

WALLA WALLA — City Council approved a $126,000 sell-off of carbon credits, which the city receives as part of a methane flare-off program at Sudbury Landfill.

Emergency Services - 12/20/12

Thefts, Burglaries WW County Sheriff State Rout 124, Burbank. Report of 1,000 sprinkler heads stolen.

Council OKs joining planning group

WALLA WALLA — With no other viable alternative, City Council unanimously approved joining the Walla Walla Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Wind knocks out power around region

WALLA WALLA — Windstorms left more than 4,000 residents in Pomeroy, Dayton and Waitsburg without power between midnight and 3 a.m. today.

New tensions in Egypt over top prosecutor

New tensions in Egypt over top prosecutor

Russia may be resigned to Syria regime change

Russia may be resigned to Syria regime change

Obama, Boehner clash at cliff's edge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fiscal cliff talks at a partisan standoff, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner swapped barbed political charges on Wednesday yet carefully left room for further negotiations on an elusive deal to head off year-end tax increases and spending cuts that threaten the national economy.

Iraqi president in Germany for medical treatment

BAGHDAD — Iraqi President Jalal Talabani arrived in Germany today for further medical treatment after suffering a stroke, leaving Baghdad without an influential mediator able to bridge the country’s complex ethnic and sectarian rifts.

US Mint seeks new methods to make coins

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When it comes to making coins, the Mint isn’t getting its two cents worth. In some cases, it doesn’t even get half of that. A penny costs more than two cents and a nickel costs more than 11 cents to make and distribute. The quandary is how to make coins more cheaply without sparing quality, durability, size and appearance.

Pakistan reports ninth death in polio team attacks

Pakistan reports ninth death in attacks on anti-polio team

UPDATED: Meeting to address potential excess Wa-Hi bond funds

WALLA WALLA — The School Board will meet Friday at noon to decide what to do with potential excess funds from a Walla Walla High school bond.

Excess Wa-Hi bond funds should go back to taxpayers

Convincing voters to approve a $48 million bond to fund an overhaul of Walla Walla High School’s campus will not be an easy task, particularly given the lingering effects of the recession.

3 high school exit exams is sufficient

It’s time for Washington state to streamline high-school exit exams.

Solution to guns is more guns?

Liberty Man is back! And this time he’s got a gun.

BBB: Be wary of scam charities

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be on the lookout for scammers looking to capitalize on the tragedies in Newtown, Conn.

Santa to take last-minute gift requests Friday at Marcus Whitman

It’s not too late to make the “nice” list. Or to see Santa Claus.

Sweets seek new lineup of interns

Looking for a career in sports? An internship for the Walla Walla Sweets next season may be a chance to step up to the plate.

Lady Gaga takes youth foundation on the road

NEW YORK — Lady Gaga is taking her Born This Way Foundation on the road.

Plan keeps aviary in city nest, for now

WALLA WALLA — The Pioneer Park Aviary is safe for the next six months and possibly longer, but only if supporters can show the city they can raise enough to rebuild and run the facility on a permanent basis.

Feline devotee Charles Dickens preserved pet's paw

Taxidermy was all the rage in the Victorian era, when Charles Dickens penned some of the literature’s finest novels. While Dickens was in high demand around the world for his dramatic public readings, he loved to be at home in England with his cats, one of whom was rumored to snuff out his master’s candle for a little attention.

US Army seeks death penalty against soldier in Afghan slayings

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Army is seeking the death penalty against a soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers in a predawn rampage in March, a punishment some experts say could be hard for prosecutors to obtain given that he was serving his fourth deployment at the time.

Washington state's unemployment rate falls to 7.8 percent

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent last month, the first time it’s been below 8 percent in nearly four years.

Oregon's jobless rate falls to 8.4 percent

SALEM — Oregon’s unemployment rate is down to 8.4 percent, at the lower end of a range where it has been bouncing around since the beginning of 2012.

Tease photo

Gift goes both ways at adoption event

WALLA WALLA — There’s a lot going on this day at Blue Mountain Humane Society, what with a staff training in session, seasonal decorations blinking and fluttering and a photographer snapping away.

Red Cross chapter names new director

WALLA WALLA — The Blue Mountain chapter of the American Red Cross announced Wednesday the appointment of Melissa Buckley as its new executive director. She will replace Jerry Cummins as the agency head.

US film registry adds 'A League of Their Own'

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” ‘’Dirty Harry” and “A League of Their Own” will be preserved for their enduring significance in American culture by the Library of Congress, along with “A Christmas Story” and some pioneering sports movies.

Stuff a stocking, not yourself

When the weather gets dreary, a holiday party is an inviting alternative — unless you’re trying to stick to a healthful diet. In that case, the indoors can be pretty scary, too.

Two state lawmakers taking money from tobacco

I am angry. Maybe you should be angry, too.

Label scrutiny worthwhile when it comes to food

I wonder how many people are aware of the number of contaminants and hormones that are found in our foods?

Gizmo takes bite out of hearing loss

Collaboration among multispecialty scientists at George Washington University has produced a novel device to help those with single-sided deafness or SSD.

Access to the right medicines can mean a healthy new year

Here’s a gift you won’t have to take back in January: the medicines you or a relative need to have a healthy new year.

Winter pick-me-up is in your hands

The long dark days of winter have arrived.

Hold hands and sing along this Christmas season

In honor of the end of 2012, here are updated lyrics to some of your favorite holiday (OK, Christmas) songs.

Richland man injured in wreck outside Burbank

BURBANK — A Richland man was hospitalized this morning after a crash with a semi-truck on State Route 124.

Waitsburg-Prescott grapplers find success at own meet

PRESCOTT — Waitsburg-Prescott wrestlers enjoyed time in the victory circle at a seven-team meet here Tuesday.

Harris tries point as Zags cruise past Campell

Forward Elias Harris serves up a career-high six assists as No. 14 Gonzaga beats the Camels with ease, 74-52.

Ducks lose on road to UTEP in triple overtime, 91-84

EL PASO, Texas — Two days after missing a potential game-winning 3-pointer, UTEP’s Konner Tucker got a second chance in a big home game against an elite opponent Wednesday night.

Mariners trade P Vargas to Los Angeles for 1B Morales

SEATTLE — The Los Angeles Angels got the pitching depth they wanted. The Seattle Mariners got the power-bat they so desperately needed.

Hawks heating up before rematch with 49ers

SEATTLE — When it comes to the Week 7 matchup between the Seahawks and 49ers in San Francisco, “it feels like we played that game last year or something,” Seattle center Max Unger said Tuesday.

Oregon State beats Howard for 4th-straight victory, 69-53

The Beavers control the game from the outset, leading by as much as 23 in the second half.

Death threats follow replacement ref after blown call in Seattle-Green Bay game

The ref who awarded Seattle a game-winning TD against Green Bay struggles to find normalcy again.

Notre Dame’s Kelly wins AP coach of the year

After leading Notre Dame to the program’s first BCS national championship coach Brian Kelly wins the AP coach of the year award.

Oregon NCAA case likely heading to hearing

Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday that Oregon is likely headed toward a hearing with the NCAA committee on infractions after it couldn’t resolve an investigation of the football coaching staff’s use of a scouting service.

Can UW QB Price silence critics in Las Vegas Bowl?

Keith Price didn’t live up to perhaps unreal expectations this season but hopes to end the year positvely.

Litke: ‘This microphone is powerful right now.”

The game was over, and the postgame interview appeared to be, too, when Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey suddenly decided otherwise.

Tease photo

DeSales' Baumgart signs with Saint Martin’s

DeSales’ Ryan Baumgart signs a letter of intent to play golf for Saint Martins.

Wednesday, December 19

Dee Snider promises a very twisted nightclub act

NEW YORK — Some classic Broadway show tunes will soon be getting the headbanging treatment.

Heavy price: Medicare overpays for back braces

WASHINGTON (AP) — Internet sale price for a standard back brace: $99.99.

UBS to pay $1.5 billion over rate-rigging scandal

GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland’s UBS AG agreed today to pay some $1.5 billion in fines to international regulators following a probe into the rigging of a key global interest rate.

Opposition rally against draft charter fizzles in Egypt

CAIRO — An opposition appeal for mass protests against a draft Egyptian constitution backfired Tuesday, with a dismal turnout forcing leaders to acknowledge that they erred in calling their supporters to the streets.

White House warns of GOP plan veto

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House threatened today to veto House Speaker John Boehner’s backup plan for averting the “fiscal cliff,” saying it was time for Republicans to stop political posturing and continue trying to reach a compromise deficit-cutting package.

Coast Guard: Large dock washes ashore on Wash. coast

Coast Guard: Large dock washes ashore on Wash. coast

Pakistan: Eight working on polio killed in 48 hours

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Gunmen shot dead a woman working on U.N.-backed polio vaccination efforts and her driver in northwestern Pakistan today, officials said, raising to eight the number of people who were part of the immunization drive killed in the last 48 hours.

To Your Health to offer new programs in 2013

Walla Walla’s nutrition club “To Your Health” will start the new year with “Healthy Happy Hours.”

Agency pushes new Willamette Valley canola plan

PORTLAND — The Oregon Department of Agriculture is pressing ahead with its plan to allow canola production in the Willamette Valley, but the agency now proposes sharply limiting the amount that can be grown.

Another 178 job cuts at Umatilla Chemical Depot

HERMISTON (AP) — Another 178 jobs will be cut as operations shut down at the Umatilla Chemical Depot.

Late-night hosts confront Newtown shooting before comedy

TV late-night hosts — returning to the air for their first broadcasts since a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. — grappled in their own way with the segue in their opening moments.

Israel approves new homes in West Bank, Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — Israel today pressed forward with the construction of thousands of new homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, part of a series of new settlement plans that have drawn worldwide rebuke, including from its closest ally, the United States.

South Fork Grill will open for New Year's Eve

South Fork Grill will host special New Year’s Eve hours.

Gregoire calls for tax hikes

A gas tax on distributors is included, and the governor says "I expect them to do this without passing this on to consumers."

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Chris Gregoire proposed higher taxes on gas, soda, candy and gum Tuesday in order to avoid more government cuts and to help fund education in response to a court order.

Will sharing power in Olympia work?

Sharing has not been part of the culture in the state Capitol — home to the House, Senate and governor’s office. That’s particularly true when it comes to power.

Board eyes potential excess school bond funds

The board has not decided what to do about any leftover funds from the Wa-Hi bond, if it passes.

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla School Board plans to hold a special meeting before Dec. 28 to decide what to do with any excess funds from a Walla Walla High School bond should the measure pass in February.

Not in Walla Walla

The Newtown, Conn., tragedy tears at the fabric of my soul. The terror and fear on the faces of the young children and their anxious, terror-stricken parents caused me to cry. I happen to be one who believes such tragedies can be prevented, or at least risks minimized.

Tease photo

Sharpstein Choir brings holiday songs to school board meeting

Several students belonging to the Sharsptein Elementary School Choir performed for the Walla Walla School Board Tuesday night during the board’s meeting.

Emergency Services - 12/19/12

Thefts, Burglaries WW County Sheriff 300 block of Valley Grove Road. A 9 mm pistol reported stolen from vehicle. 500 block of Prospect Avenue. Fraudulent credit card charges, totaling $234.99, reported.

Bozeman's looking up

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Joe Josephson’s work to brand Bozeman as an ice-climbing town scrambled upward last weekend with ice climbing competitions held on a 38-foot tall wood and metal wall in the heart of the city.

Cycling offers a ball for all

There are lots of fun things you can do with a ball: hit it, catch it, kick it. But strapping on your helmet, mounting your bicycle, and shoving off for a pedal-powered ride through wheat fields, vineyards and orchards, shadowed by mountains and raptors — now that’s a ball.

Tease photo

11 Swans a-resting found on Bennington Lake

Eleven white swans rested briefly at Bennington Lake on a misty Sunday afternoon (Dec. 9).

NHL labor talks bog down

NEW YORK — Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey is getting antsy. Not only is he anxious to get back to the bargaining table with the NHL, he really wants to be on the ice with his teammates.

Sounders again open MLS season at home

SEATTLE — Sounders FC will kick off the 2013 MLS season in a familiar role: Host.

Walla Walla Parks and Rec programs set to begin

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Parks and Recreation has a number of programs coming up.

Trufant adds own chapter to family legacy

LAS VEGAS — One reason Desmond Trufant chose to become a Washington Husky was to chart his own course.

Why Wilson is NFL's Rookie of Year

SEATTLE — When this football season started, no rookie quarterback had more heat on him than the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson.

Jets demote Sanchez, to start McElroy at QB

NEW YORK — Mark Sanchez is no longer the New York Jets’ franchise quarterback — and he might not be the backup.

FNL coach resigns from Permian after second stint

LUBBOCK, Texas — Gary Gaines, the 63-year-old high school coach at the center of the “Friday Night Lights” book and film, has left the Odessa Permian sideline for the last time.

New trial date set in drive-by shooting

WALLA WALLA — A new trial date has been set for a man charged with being involved in a drive-by shooting in September.

Grizzlies girls can't keep up with Redsides

HELIX — South Wasco County held Helix scoreless in the first quarter and rolled to a 53-24 Big Sky Conference girls basketball victory over the Grizzlies here Tuesday night.

On the Agenda - Prescott School Board

When: Thursday, 7 p.m. Where: School district board room

South Wasco bolts past Helix boys

HELIX — South Wasco bolted to a 23-7 lead after one quarter, extended its advantage to 48-14 at halftime and cruised the rest of the way to a 78-49 Big Sky Conference basketball victory over Helix here Tuesday night.

In the Minutes - Dixie School Board

Dixie School District board members are Javin Berg, Richard Berrier, Kelly Dabulskis, Judy Skillings and Gene Wilks. With all present Monday, the board:

New trial date set in murder, assault case

WALLA WALLA — This week’s trial of a man facing murder and four other felony charges related to the fatal shooting of a rival gang member last year has been postponed in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

No. 14 Louisville runs past Washington State women

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Sara Hammond scored 18 points as No. 14 Louisville routed Washington State 75-39 on Tuesday night.

Wisconsin to hire Utah State’s Andersen as coach

Wisconsin will hire Utah State’s Gary Andersen as head football coach to replace Bret Bielema, according to multiple media reports.

Manziel adds AP Player of Year to awards list

NEW YORK — Chalk up another major award for Johnny Manziel.

Red Sox sign SS Drew to one-year, $9.5 million deal

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox moved forward with their strategy of giving free agents short-term contracts by reaching a $9.5 million, one-year agreement with shortstop Stephen Drew.

Sweets seek interns for 2013 season

WALLA WALLA – As the fourth season of West Coast League baseball approaches, the Walla Walla Sweets are again looking for individuals for their internship program.

Balloon Stampede airs request for volunteers

Organizers of the Walla Walla Balloon Stampede are building their army of volunteers for next year’s 39th annual event.

First Thursday features classical guitar Jan. 3

WALLA WALLA — The First Thursday concert will begin at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 3 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 323 Catherine St. Michael LeFevre of the Walla Walla University music faculty will be playing classical guitar.

Civil War exhibit opens at Fort WW Museum

WALLA WALLA — Fort Walla Walla Museum has assembled original Civil War artifacts from private collections — several that are unusual and extremely rare — for a special exhibit titled “Civil War: From the Battlefield to the Home.”

Music to mix with holiday menu at restaurant

WALLA WALLA — Mark Brown will play signature piano jazz from 8-10 p.m. Friday in the bar at Whitehouse-Crawford Restaurant, 55 W. Cherry St.

Sapolil to screen "Rocky Horror"

WALLA WALLA — The movie “Rocky Horror Picture Show” will be on the screen Dec. 28 at Sapolil Cellars, 15 E. Main St. starting at 9 p.m.

Washington gets greener

Washington residents are throwing away less and recycling more, according to statistics this morning from the state Department of Ecology.

Heading for the hills to become more affordable

Dusty’s Ski & Snowboard Shop has opened a Winter Liquidation Store.

Ice Chalet heats up Christmas vacation with skating specials

The YWCA Ice Chalet is offering a holly, jolly good time through the winter season.

Pub crawl to wend through downtown on Saturday

The Santa Crawl is coming to town.

Man in assault, robbery attempts pleads guilty

WALLA WALLA — A man accused of arming himself with a gun in August, then threatening and demanding items from employees at a vineyard where he formerly worked pleaded guilty Tuesday in Superior Court to reduced charges.

Feds: Chinese men tried to buy sensitive chips

PORTLAND — Two Chinese nationals tried to buy high-tech devices that could be used in missile and radar systems and illegally export them to China, federal authorities allege in an indictment unsealed Tuesday.

Germ contamination prompts Zicam recall

A New Jersey pharmaceutical company has recalled an over-the-counter cold remedy.

College Place board to take up school names at meeting

COLLEGE PLACE — The College Place School Board will hold its regular monthly meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in the district’s board room, 1755 S. College Ave., above the Sager Middle School gym.

'The Impossible' overwhelms audience with melodrama

Based on the true story of a family swept away by the deadly 2004 tsunami that pummeled Southeast Asia, “The Impossible” is about as subtle as a wall of water.

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Luckett's 30 points not enough to lead WWU past Whitman

WALLA WALLA — Tyreek Luckett’s 30-point night wasn’t enough to lead Walla Walla University to its third victory of the season Tuesday, as five different Missionaries hit double digits in a 107-76 Whitman victory.

Tuesday, December 18

DeSales boys fall to Echo, 56-53

ECHO — DeSales fell to Echo, 56-53, here Tuesday night after shooting only 4-of-16 from the free-throw line.

DeSales girls tenderize Cougars, 61-14

ECHO — DeSales handled Echo easily Tuesday night, defeating the Cougars 61-14 after limiting them to just four second-half points in a non-conference girls basketball game.

WWVA beats Burbank on the road, 59-44

BURBANK — Walla Walla Valley Academy picked up a 59-44 victory over Class 1A Burbank Tuesday night despite facing an aggressive ball-pressure defense.

Injuries, illness hamper Pomeroy grapplers

PRESCOTT — Pomeroy ran into a bit of a setback in its first Southeast 1B/2B wrestling meet held Tuesday at Prescott.

Washington State's Tuel drops appeal for extra year of eligibility

Jeff Tuel, a Washington State senior quarterback, told The Seattle Times today he is abandoning an attempt to get a fifth season of NCAA eligibility and will focus his efforts on trying to prepare for the NFL draft.

NRA promises to help prevent school shootings

WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Rifle Association is breaking its silence four days after a school shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 26 were killed, including 20 children.

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Walla Walla gathers to remember victims of school shooting

A crowd gathered Monday evening for a candlelight vigil organized by the Children's Home Society to remember the victims of Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

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A most wonderful time of the year

Visions of sugar plums didn't have to dance in the heads of College Place children in Davis Elementary's preschool class. A banquet of sweet things was right in front of them as they took a city bus to the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center recently to get a look at gingerbread creations in the lobby and to read gingerbread Christmas stories.

WMS updates mascot, uniforms via enthusiastic team work

In the midst of economic hard times, the enthusiasm of students, efforts of a committee and generosity of a corporate group came together to fund new uniforms for Weston Middle School students.

'To the Moon' a memory-maker

Congratulations, video games. Steven Spielberg thinks you are art now.

Local history lives in theater experiences

Out on the town. Who doesn't anticipate a romantic, elegant, entertaining or just plain fun evening out?

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Couple learns what's key to running family business

WALLA WALLA -- A few years ago Andy Hetterly and Nikki Hunter were living and working in Portland -- he at a tire shop and she in an insurance office.

If Mayan's are wrong expect cool and wet weather in Valley

Your weather forecaster had to muster some extra motivation to write this week's column given that the world is supposed to end at 3:11 a.m. Friday, according to an ancient Mayan calendar prediction of a cataclysmic event.

Murray won't cede Senate leadership post

OLYMPIA (AP) — Democratic Sen. Ed Murray says he’s not ceding his leadership position until members of a new Republican-majority caucus move to change rules on the Senate floor to put someone else in charge.

STAR gets unexpected boost from trust

WALLA WALLA — Glenna Awbrey was pretty sure she didn’t hear the Monday afternoon conversation correctly.

Grateful US parents let little things slide

NEW YORK (AP) — There’s snow on the ground in Londonderry, N.H., nearly 200 miles to the north of the still-raw slaughter at a Connecticut elementary school, and dad Eric Heenan found himself in a fuss with his 9-year-old son over boots.

Budgets brighten for STAR, youth center

WALLA WALLA — “Don’t come back.”

High winds, mountain snows hits Northwest

SEATTLE (AP) — The strongest Northwest storm of the season blew in early Monday on winds that gusted to more than 80 mph on the coast, knocking out power in places and creating blizzard-like conditions in the mountains.

Port commissioners announce non-business quorums

WALLA WALLA — Port of Walla Walla commissioners have given notice that two or more of them will attend the Port’s Holiday Reception on Wednesday, and that a quorum will likely be present.

Emergency Services - 12/18/12

Information is compiled by the Union-Bulletin staff from the official logs and records of the agencies listed below. Readers with any information on these or other crimes should call the local police or county sheriff’s department. By law, victims of crimes may request through law enforcement agencies that their names not be released to the media. Theft and vandalism reports were filed Monday and today unless otherwise noted.

Trial date set in kidnapping, assault

WALLA WALLA — A man accused of holding a woman against her will for several hours at a local residence earlier this month pleaded innocent Monday afternoon to four felony charges.

Congress turns down volume on commercials

Frankly, it shouldn’t have taken an act of Congress to reduce the volume on television commercials. Yet, it did.

Putting foot down on fiscal cliff will only hit gas pedal

TACOMA — You know the narrative:

On the Agenda - Walla Walla City Council

When: Wednesday 7 p.m. Where: 15 N. Third Ave.

Whitman women ride hot second half to win over Warner Pacific

PORTLAND — The Whitman women rode a 48-point second half, shooting 60-percent from the field, to defeat Warner Pacific, 77-57, to improve to 9–1 on the season Monday night.

Title still possible for Hawks

RENTON — Seattle returned from Sunday’s 33-point victory assured of its first winning season since 2007 and one victory away from guaranteeing a playoff berth.

Trial date set in child porn case

WALLA WALLA — A local man is set for trial March 4 and 5 in Walla Walla County Superior Court on charges he has dealt in and possessed child pornography.

Man sent to prison in gun-pointing

WALLA WALLA — A man who police say brandished a gun during a fight witnessed by frightened customers in the Walmart parking lot in August was sentenced Monday afternoon in Superior Court to two-and-a-half years in prison.

Mets trade Cy Young winner Dickey to Blue Jays

NEW YORK — Eager for a new challenge and certainly a better chance to win, R.A. Dickey broke the news of his trade even before the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets.

Boise State just keeps on winning football games

SEATTLE — At some point during the past few years, Boise State’s football program graduated from curiosity to dynasty.

Titans end Jets' playoff hopes, 14-10

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The New York Jets’ playoff hopes are gone, lost in a wave of turnovers by struggling Mark Sanchez.

VA group to host holiday part for veteran patients

WALLA WALLA — The Veterans Administration Voluntary Service Group is hosting a holiday party for veteran patients.

Boeheim wins 900th game

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — With his wife, Juli, looking on at the postgame press conference and his young children close by, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim’s final remarks were not about his milestone 900th career victory.

Jackson State picks up win over Seattle

SEATTLE — Kelsey Howard scored 32 points and Dundrecous Nelson had 23 to lead Jackson State to a 91-82 victory over Seattle on Monday night, for their first win of the season.

Newcomb wins 34th Lampson Bridge Run 10K

PASCO — Walla Walla’s Sean Newcomb won the 10-kilometer race of the 34th annual Lampson Cable Bridge Run here on Saturday.

Redskins wait on doctors to decide on RG3’s status

ASHBURN, Va. — Get ready for another week of RG3 guesswork.

Vonn unexpectedly heads back to United States

ALTA BADIA, Italy — Lindsey Vonn is heading back to the United States for an unexpected break in the middle of the World Cup ski season and is unlikely to return to Europe until January.

UC Davis defeats Eastern Washington 87-65

DAVIS, Calif. — Tyler Les scored 18 points and J. T. Adenrele had his first career double-double to help UC Davis beat Eastern Washington 87-65 win Monday night.

NRA mum after school shooting

WASHINGTON — Where is the NRA?

On the Agenda - Waitsburg City Council

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m. Where: Lions Club Community Building, Fairground Facility, Waitsburg

Counterpoint to evolution theory needed

So, evolutionary theory is getting better with age? Only if your fundamentalist faith in Darwinism takes precedence over scientific facts.

Fate of women still tied to arranged marriages in post-Taliban Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — Just before she leapt from her roof, Farima thought of the wedding that would never happen and the man she’d never marry. Her fiance would be pleased to see her die. It would offer relief to them both.

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DeSales girls start slow, power past Mac-Hi

WALLA WALLA — It took awhile to overcome a slow start, but DeSales’ girls caught fire and handed visiting Mac-Hi a 61-17 defeat at the Irish gym Monday night.

Irish outplay Pioneer boys, 61-53

WALLA WALLA — Mac-Hi senior 6-foot, 3-inch post Derek Richwine had 23 points and eight boards for the Pioneers, but they weren’t enough in boys basketball play at DeSales Monday night as the Irish took the win, 61-53.

Monday, December 17

Bangladesh probe: Fire sabotage, owner negligent

DHAKA, Bangladesh — A Bangladesh government committee investigating the garment factory fire that killed 112 people last month said in its findings today that the blaze was sabotage, probably by someone who worked there.

Syrian vice president says army can't win

BEIRUT — Syria’s vice president has acknowledged that the army cannot defeat the rebel forces trying to topple the regime and called for a negotiated settlement to save the country from ruin.

School stumped by mail addressed to Indiana Jones

CHICAGO — University of Chicago officials are puzzled by a mystery piece of mail seemingly linked to the Indiana Jones movie series.

Report: Fraud rampant at McNeil Island

SEATTLE — Employee fraud and absenteeism have plagued Washington state’s center for dangerous sex predators on McNeil Island, an investigation by The Seattle Times found.

Hollywood hacker honed his skills for years

LOS ANGELES — Long before Christopher Chaney made headlines by hacking into the email accounts of such stars as Scarlett Johansson and Christina Aguilera, two other women say he harassed and stalked them online.

Philippines passes divisive contraceptives bill

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine legislators passed a landmark bill today that would provide government funding for contraceptives and sexuality classes in schools despite strong opposition by the dominant Roman Catholic Church and its followers, some of whom threatened to ask the Supreme Court to block the legislation.

Teen arrested; man airlifted after assault

BURBANK — A 16-year-old boy was arrested for investigation of second-degree assault after allegedly punching another man in the face.

'Hobbit' bests 'Rings' with $84.8 million opening

NEW YORK — Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” led the box office with a haul of $84.8 million, a record-setting opening better than the three previous “Lord of the Rings” films.

Wave of bombings kills 25 across Iraq

BAGHDAD — A wave of bombings across Iraq today hit a number of targets, including residents of ethnically disputed areas, killing 25 people and wounding dozens.

Emergency Services - 12/17/12

Thefts, Burglaries WW Police 600 block of South Fourth Avenue. A nursing uniform and bottle of perfume reportedly stolen from mail.

Corgan rocks in ring as wrestling promoter

Corgan rocks in ring as wrestling promoter

'Cliff' deal could benefit farmers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rural lawmakers worry that $9 billion in annual federal crop insurance subsidies are an easy target for spending cuts in a “fiscal cliff” deal, so they’re shopping around for a late compromise on a farm bill to protect them.

Winter storm pummels the Pacific Northwest

PORTLAND (AP) — A powerful winter storm has moved into the Pacific Northwest and is expected to linger through tonday, delivering strong winds and rain in some places and heavy snowfall and whiteout conditions in others.

Massive Napa Valley do-over prompts grape plant shortage

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Napa Valley, one of the world’s premier wine growing regions, has an uncommon problem these days: not enough new grapevine root stock is available to supply the massive replanting that’s under way there.

Gun control debate perks up

WASHINGTON — Democrats say meaningful action in the wake of the school shootings in Connecticut must include a ban on military-style weapons and a look at how the nation deals with individuals suffering from serious mental illness.

Foundation launches first online giving campaign

WALLA WALLA — The Blue Mountain Community Foundation is launching its first year-end, online gift campaign for investing in local causes.

Warriors shut down Timberwolves

DES MOINES, Wash. — Walla Walla Community College’s women knew they hand their hands full with Blue Mountain’s offense in the championship game of the NWAACC Highline Crossover here Sunday.

WWCC men third at Umpqua, look forward to break

ROSEBURG, Ore. — A nine-day break for the holidays couldn’t come at a better time as far as Walla Walla Community College men’s basketball coach Jeff Reinland is concerned.

Pirate boys defeat Touchet, fall to Colton

POMEROY — Pomeroy’s boys basketball team followed a 51-43 victory over Touchet Friday night with a 64-46 loss to Colton at home Saturday.

Lillard's 3 lifts Blazers to win

PORTLAND — There was a split-second as his shot arced over a defender’s hands that Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard realized his game-winning 3-pointer was going to fall.

In the Minutes - Athena Council

Athena Council Athena City Council members are Eric Pickard, Carol Speed, LaVerne Mitchell, Deborah Hayward and John Shafer. The mayor is Chuck Vickery. With all present Thursday, the council:

Packers, Texans clinch; NFC East jumbled

The Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans clinched their divisions, while the Baltimore Ravens earned a playoff spot despite another lousy loss.

On the Agenda - Dixie School Board

When: Monday, 6 p.m. Where: Elementary school, 10520 E. Highway 12, Dixie

Seahawks rocket right past Bills

TORONTO — The streaker put on quite a show in Canada, executing a performance that required a double take.

School Board to discuss bond, potential excess funds

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla School Board will hold a public work session Tuesday to discuss its upcoming high school bond measure.

Moments of silence observed around NFL for shooting victims

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots silenced their “End Zone Militia” on Sunday night, taking the muskets away from the Revolutionary War re-enactors who fire into the air to celebrate every score.

New marijuana law creates maze of legal questions and social issues

As the clock struck midnight on Dec. 6, many supporters of Initiative 502, which passed a month before, lit up their marijuana to celebrate Washington’s new pot law — which one major newspaper said is “among the most liberal in the world.”

Tag sends Goodell very public message

SEATTLE — The NFL’s shield should not be a sword.

RLD Board treating public like children

I went to the library the other day and was told about the new $68 fee for those living outside the city limits. Also, I was told I would be reimbursed!

A day looking at city’s art

My friend — a Walla Walla native, cultured, retired teacher, world traveler, Whitman grad — visited me for one day two years ago.

Beavers down Chicago State, 87-77

CORVALLIS — Roberto Nelson tied a career high with 34 points and Oregon State pulled away from Chicago State in the second half Sunday for an 87-77 win.

Schwartzel romps to 12-shot win at Dunhill

MALELANE, South Africa — Charl Schwartzel was a runaway winner for the second straight week, coasting to a 12-shot victory Sunday at the Alfred Dunhill Championship on the European Tour.

Technology that threatens privacy must be curbed

The law is always one or two — or 100 — steps behind technology.

Davis Love III, son Dru win Challenge

ORLANDO, Fla. — Davis Love III had a nice pitch shot on No. 18 and son Dru finished off the birdie to capture the Father-Son Challenge title Sunday.

Chargers' Mathews breaks collarbone

NEW YORK — The San Diego Chargers were eliminated from the playoff race and their star running back appears done for the season.

Milton-Freewater Little League to have meeting Tuesday evening

MILTON-FREEWATER — The next general membership meeting of Milton-Freewater Little League will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Milton-Freewater Community Building in the Rotary Room.

Blue Jays trying to close trade for Mets ace Dickey

NEW YORK — The Toronto Blue Jays tried to close a trade for New York Mets ace R.A. Dickey, with the deal hinging on whether the NL Cy Young winner could work out a new contract.

NHL’s lawsuit against players assigned to new judge

NEW YORK — The NHL’s lawsuit against its players was assigned to a relatively new federal judge who is a longtime New York Yankees fan and a former federal prosecutor.

Sergio Garcia wins rain-shortened Johor Open

JOHOR, Malaysia — Sergio Garcia won the rain-shortened Johor Open, closing with an 11-under 61 for a three-stroke victory in the Asian Tour’s season-ending event.

Ligety cruises to third GS victory of season

ALTA BADIA, Italy — Ted Ligety cruised to his third giant slalom win of the season by a large margin after an opening run that left his fellow skiers in awe, giving the U.S. team two wins in two days.

We must work together to stop tragedy

Like you, I am sickened by Friday’s events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The victims, their families and all who are affected by such a horrific event are in the conversations, thoughts and prayers of those of us in the Sheriff’s Office. Events such as this bring home the realities of this world and strengthen our resolve as a law enforcement agency to protect and serve our own wonderful community here in Walla Walla County.

Sunday, December 16

Mac-Hi wins tourney, Wa-Hi takes 4th

MILTON-FREEWATER — Mac-Hi’s wrestling team claimed the team title Saturday at the Mac-Hi Christmas Tournament.

Pomeroy grapplers finish 4th at Downriver Challenge

CATHLAMET — Pomeroy’s wrestlers placed fourth in a 14-team field and had two of its wrestlers claim individual championships here Saturday during the annual Downriver Challenge tournament.

History of pot

SEATTLE -- It's been a long, strange trip for marijuana.

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A roll down superhero lane

If life-sized, comic superheroes are right up your alley, you can marvel at them as they seemingly bounce off a wall inside Bowlaway Lanes.

Jesse Wright wins saddle bronc season title

LAS VEGAS — Jesse Wright edged Cody DeMoss by $797 in the saddle bronc season standings for his first world title, finishing fourth with an 80.5-point ride on Pedro on Saturday night in the 10th and final round of the National Finals Rodeo.

Pioneers win Mac-Hi Christmas Tournament, Wa-Hi places 4th

MILTON-FREEWATER — Mac-Hi’s wrestling team claimed the team title Saturday at the Mac-Hi Christmas Tournament.

Saturday, December 15

Wa-Hi beats Kennewick after buzzer

KENNEWICK — The cardiac kids were at it again here at the Lions Den in Mid-Columbia Conference boys basketball action.

Tri-Cities Prep smashes DeSales boys

PASCO — Tri-Cities Prep handed the DeSales boys a crushing blow Saturday night, downing the Irish 65-31 in Southeast 2B basketball.

McKeown's 34 points lead Touchet girls past Pomeroy

LACROSSE — Touchet’s girls evened their Southeast 1B record at 2-2 with a pair of wins over the weekend.

Dayton's free-throw shooting lifts Bulldogs past Waitsburg-Prescott

DAYTON — Waitsburg-Prescott outscored Dayton from the field, committed less turnovers and outrebounded the Bulldogs Saturday night in Dayton, but the Bulldogs came away with a 37-34 victory after hitting 16-of-30 free throws on the night.

Pioneers win Mac-Hi Christmas Tournament, Wa-Hi places 4th

MILTON-FREEWATER — Mac-Hi’s wrestling team claimed the team title Saturday at the Mac-Hi Christmas Tournament.

Warming to all of baseball's offseason going-ons

WALLA WALLA — Thank goodness for the Hot Stove League.

Wa-Hi bounces back to rout Kennewick

KENNEWICK — Wa-Hi bounced back from its first loss of the season on Friday night to take a 62-33 Mid-Columbia Conference victory over Kennewick Saturday at the Lions Den.

DeSales defeats Tri-Cities Prep, 46-40

PASCO — DeSales’ Abby Crowley scored 15 points and led the Irish to a 46-40 win over Tri-Cities Prep in girls’ Southeast 2B basketball Saturday night.

Wa-Hi beats Kennewick after the buzzer

KENNEWICK — The cardiac kids were at it again here at the Lions Den in Mid-Columbia Conference boys basketball action.

Warrior men fall to Peninsula at NWAACC crossover tournament

ROSEBURG, Ore. — Walla Walla Community College trailed Peninsula 46-37 at the half here Saturday in second-day action at a men’s basketball NWAACC crossover tournament on the Umpqua Community College campus.

Colton routs Pomeroy girls, 81-12

POMEROY — Colton came out hitting on all cylinders here Saturday in girls Southeast 1B basketball action.

Wa-Hi boys down Prosser, Grandview

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi swam to two wins here at Harvey pool Saturday in non-conference boys swimming action.

Demonstrators fight fire with fire at downtown park

A small group raised a racket to protest music intended to keep troublemakers away.

Waitsburg schools to hold Christmas concert Monday

WAITSBURG — The Waitsburg schools’ sixth- through 12th-grade musicians will present their annual Christmas concert Monday at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

DJ remembered as character on the airwaves, in life

Dave Herbert Cochran, who died in late November, was once ‘Rockin’ Cochran.’

U.S. troops to man Patriot batteries along Turkey’s border with Syria

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, TURKEY — The United States authorized on Friday the deployment of 400 troops for two Patriot missile-defense batteries along Turkey’s border with Syria, a move that could put American forces near the front lines of the Arab country’s escalating civil war.

Chicano rock pioneers Los Lobos mark 40 years

LOS ANGELES — They are seen as the progenitors of Chicano rock ‘n’ roll, the first band that had the boldness, and some might even say the naiveté, to fuse punk rock with Mexican folk tunes.

Rivera crash probe could take a year to complete

LOS ANGELES — As Jenni Rivera’s family plans her memorial service in Los Angeles, Mexican authorities said it could take up to a year to complete the investigation into why her plane crashed last Sunday.

Gay-marriage issue won’t be settled quickly by high court

The Supreme Court’s decision to take two cases could open a lot of options and constitutional questions to address.

TigerScot girls pick up first blemish thanks to Enterprise

ATHENA — Weston-McEwen’s girls opened Blue Mountain Conference play with a split this weekend.

Weston-McEwen boys beat Enterprise, 54-51

ATHENA — Weston-McEwen’s boys recovered from a Friday loss at Grant Union to notch a home victory over Enterprise here Saturday night.

Pomeroy grapplers finish 4th at Downriver Challenge

CATHLAMET — Pomeroy’s wrestlers placed fourth in a 14-team field and had two of its wrestlers claim individual championships here Saturday during the annual Downriver Challenge tournament.

Hmong embroidery the thread that binds a culture

MINNEAPOLIS — To the untrained eye, the boxes stuffed with embroidered tapestries, pillow covers and clothes stored at a St. Paul, Minn., archivist’s home may look like a pile of pretty things.

Emergency Services - 12/15/12

Information is compiled by the Union-Bulletin staff from the official logs and records of the agencies listed below. Readers with any information on these or other crimes should call the local police or county sheriff’s department. By law, victims of crimes may request through law enforcement agencies that their names not be released to the media.

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Patrol graduates 100th class

A Walla Walla man was among the 37 new troopers sworn in Friday.

The Washington State Patrol completed its 100th basic training program Friday with the swearing in of 37 new troopers, including one from Walla Walla.

Pedestrian struck, killed on Highway 12 on Friday night

Pedestrian struck, killed on Highway 12 on Friday night

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A whirlwind of dance and music

WALLA WALLA — What could be the largest and most involved regularly performed classical music production for the area came and left this weekend.

Church Bulletin

First Christian Church’s Christmas play is today MILTON-FREEWATER — First Christian Church of Milton-Freewater, 518 S. Main St., will present the children’s Christmas play, “The Big God Story,” at 10:30 a.m. today.

Give the precious gift of time this Christmas

It seems appropriate that the Christmas holiday season should closely follow Thanksgiving. Christmas is a time when we give gifts to family and friends as an expression of our thankfulness for them, and as a symbol of the gifts given to Jesus by the Three Wise Men at the time of His birth.

No rise in mass killings, but their impact is huge

A gold plaque hangs next to a bullet hole in the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., where a lone gunman killed six worshippers and injured three others last August. It is engraved with the words, “We Are One.”

Obama: Feds won't go after Wash. pot smokers

WASHINGTON — For backers of legalized marijuana in Washington and Colorado, it isn’t what President Obama said — it’s what he didn’t say.

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Cops, kids connect for a cheerier Christmas

WALLA WALLA — Local cops walked the beat of Walmart’s aisles Saturday on a mission to give toys to those who might have had to do without this Christmas.

Fines assessed as 'junk pile' saga continues in court

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla District Court Judge John Knowlton fined A. Laverne Filan $250 this week for failing to meet a deadline for cleaning up his property near Waitsburg.

On the agenda


Rockets fired at airport in Pakistan, 3 killed

Rockets fired at airport in Pakistan, three killed

Ore. coast whale-watching week: Dec. 26-30

Ore. coast whale-watching week: Dec. 26-30

Josh Hamilton sued over 'Play Hard, Pray Harder'

Josh Hamilton sued over ‘Play Hard, Pray Harder’

Obama dedicates weekly radio address to Conn. school shootings

Obama dedicates weekly radio address to Conn. school shootings

Egyptians vote on Islamist-backed constitution

Egyptians vote on Islamist-backed constitution

In Newtown, death's chill haunts the morning after school shooting

NEWTOWN, Conn. — As residents woke up in the frost-covered village of Sandy Hook, Conn., on Saturday morning, some filed into the warmest place they could think of — the Sandy Hook Diner on the main street of the hamlet.

Russia bill aims to punish Americans accused of rights violations

Russia bill aims to punish Americans accused of rights violations

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Porter's Hail Mary lifts Blue Devils over Chiawana, 52-49

WALLA WALLA — Teams live by the 3-pointer and they die by the 3. On Friday night Wa-Hi lived by the 3.

Modernized Wa-Hi needed to compete in 21st century

Modernizing Walla Walla High School will help us better serve students. We can increase teaching space to help educate students and build a stronger community.

Looks can be deceiving

When I came for my interview to teach at Walla Walla High School in the summer of 2000, I was taken on a tour. With the campus style setting, a creek running through it and a recently updated library and front office spaces, I was awed by the beauty that surrounded me and the care that was being taken of the facilities.

Leadership from both parties needed

It's kinda sad to see Mr. Obama jetting about the country in our 747 still in campaign mode. See him bounding up the steps, hugging his introducer and then conducting yet another pep rally with enthusiastic sycophants eagerly applauding his telepromptered words carefully crafted for him by Valerie Jarret back at the White House.

Country must come before political party

For the past four years a Democratic president has systematically undercut progressive politics in our country. Imitating Bush II's surge in Iraq, Obama tripled the troop level and implemented his own surge in Afghanistan, where we are still hopelessly engaged.

Tax-hungry leeches should feel like thieves

After reading the stories in the U-B Nov. 27 about how our city and county law enforcement need more money or else services and officers will be cut, I felt compelled to respond.

Who pays for Affordable Care Act?

Details of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) are still coming out. "The rich" will be helping to pay for it. The IRS just published rules covering new taxes that will help pay for the expansion of insurance included in the plan.

Looks like good year for basketball

What a pleasure to watch the Whitman women's basketball team beat Puget Sound last weekend! The team is made up of a talented bunch and it is a lot of fun to watch.

Friday, December 14

Chilly Blue Devils fall to Chiawana, 42-39

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi’s game with Chiawana came down to free throws Friday night, but the game was lost in the third quarter.

Egyptian protesters clash over draft charter

CAIRO — Egyptian Islamists brandishing swords clashed with opponents of a draft constitution today in Alexandria as tensions rose on the eve of a referendum on the sharply disputed charter that has plunged the country into weeks of turmoil.

UN nuke agency: progress on Iran nuclear program

VIENNA — A senior U.N. official announced progress today in long-stalled efforts to resume a probe of suspicions that Iran may have worked to develop nuclear arms, saying the investigation could be restarted by early next year.

North Korea rocket launch shows young leader as gambler

PYONGYANG, North Korea — A triumphant North Korea staged a mass rally of soldiers and civilians today to glorify the country’s young ruler, who took a big gamble this week in sending a satellite into orbit in defiance of international warnings.

Tolkien class at Marquette University draws crowds

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The vast collection of J.R.R. Tolkien manuscripts initially sold senior Joe Kirchoff on Marquette University, so when the school offered its first course devoted exclusively to the English author, Kirchoff wanted in. The only problem: It was full and he wasn’t on the literature track.

Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore guitar stolen in Pa.

PHILADELPHIA — Sonic Youth guitarist and singer Thurston Moore says his iconic guitar was stolen after a show in Philadelphia.

Judge lifts order that halted pipeline's construction

HOUSTON — Texas County Court at Law Judge Jack Sinz lifted a temporary restraining order that had stopped oil firm TransCanada from building a portion of the Keystone XL pipeline through the eastern part of the state.

Russia backtracks on statement about Assad's fall

MOSCOW — Russia issued a clumsy denial today of a statement from its point man on Syria, who said a day earlier that Syrian President Bashar Assad is losing control of the country. The Foreign Ministry insisted it is not changing its stance on the embattled Syrian regime.

Pentagon to send missiles, 400 troops to Turkey

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — The U.S. will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attack, the Pentagon said today.

Treasury spells out rules on tribe taxation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taxes cannot be levied on honoraria to a shaman or spiritual leader for religious services, but could be assessed on per-capita payments from gambling revenues to tribal members, under a proposal for taxing Native Americans by the Internal Revenue Service.

Billboard: Adele dominates another year with '21'

NEW YORK — It’s another year and another Adele domination on the music charts: The British singer is Billboard’s top artist of 2012.

Rice withdraws from consideration as secretary of state

WASHINGTON (AP) — Susan Rice, the embattled U.N. ambassador, abruptly withdrew from consideration to be the next secretary of state on Thursday after a bitter, weekslong standoff with Republican senators who declared they would fight to defeat her nomination.

Yakama Nation sues Wash. state over gas tax deal

TOPPENISH, Wash. (AP) — The Yakama Nation has filed suit against the state of Washington for abandoning an agreement that allowed tribal gas station owners to buy bulk fuel largely free of state taxes for sale to tribal members.

Wash. coal terminal hearing draws crowds

SEATTLE (AP) — More than 2,000 opponents and supporters of a plan to ship coal through a northwest Washington terminal turned out Thursday for a final public meeting on the controversial proposal.

AP source: Suspect drove to mother's school

WASHINGTON (AP) - The suspect in the Connecticut school shootings is Adam Lanza, 20, the son of a teacher at the school where the shootings occurred, a law enforcement official said Friday. A second law enforcement official says the boy's mother, Nancy Lanza, is presumed dead.

Plan to reduce state testing has merit

The concept of requiring students to demonstrate competency in basic subjects through testing to earn a high school diploma remains sound.

Emergency Services - 12/14/12

Thefts, Burglaries WW Police Blue Mountain Community Church, 928 Sturm St. Trailer taken from church grounds.

Tipsy Taxi rides home from drinking start today

WALLA WALLA — Drivers who have partied hearty can, once again, depend on Tipsy Taxi to keep themselves and other drivers safe, said Tim Bennett, spokesman for Walla Walla Police Department.

Injury ended mall shooter's Marine dream

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — His mother died before he was 3 years old, and he was estranged from the aunt who raised him. His dream of becoming a Marine was dashed by a broken foot, he hadn’t yet settled on a career path, and a new plan, to move to Hawaii, ended when he apparently missed his flight.

In the Minutes - Port of Walla Walla

Port of Walla Walla commissioners are Paul Schneidmiller, Ron Dunning and Mike Fredrickson. With all present Thursday, the commission:

Keep your anecdotes – sweets not what makes kids go bonkers

Anyone else still nursing their kids’ holiday candy hangovers?

Balloon Stampede calls on Sykes for Nite Glow sponsorship

Balloons will be lighting up the night sky at the 39th annual Walla Walla Balloon Stampede, thanks to sponsorship from Sykes Enterprises.

DoD to commend businesses that support Guard and Reserve members

The Department of Defense is saluting employers who support Guardsmen and Reservists.

Collaboration is sweet for Wash. snack makers

Two Washington companies known for their snacks have come together as a tasty twosome.

New Alder Street store to pedal bikes, boards

A new sports shop is cruising forward this weekend.

President Obama: US won't go after marijuana use in Washington, Colorado

WASHNGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the federal government won’t go after recreational marijuana use in Washington state and Colorado, where voters have legalized it.

Waitsburg Schools to hold Christmas concert Monday

WAITSBURG — The Waitsburg schools’ sixth- through 12th-grade musicians will present their annual Christmas concert Monday at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Dayton Young Lifers to choose 'Mr. Christmas Tree'

DAYTON — Young Life participants in Dayton will hold a special pageant in Dayton Monday to select their 2012 “Mr. Christmas Tree.” The pageant will be at the Liberty Theater at 8 p.m.

Seattle gets specialized federal drug court

SEATTLE — The federal court in Seattle is one of just a few around the country experimenting with something state courts have been doing for two decades — specialized drug programs.

Poll: Huge majority worried about climate change

WASHINGTON — Nearly 4 out of 5 Americans now think temperatures are rising and that global warming will be a serious problem for the United States if nothing is done about it, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds.

Mariners should have pulled out all stops to sign Hamilton

SEATTLE — Certainly it's understandable why the Mariners couldn't sign Josh Hamilton. We all know how hard it is to multitask.

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UPDATED - Official: 27 dead in Conn. school shooting

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - An official with knowledge of a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school says 27 people are dead, including 18 children.

Memo to Goodell: Tips from Tags good idea

Paul Tagliabue has become one of those guys we come to appreciate much more out of office than we did when he was in it. Part of that is because history has been kind, so far, in assessing his 17-year run as commissioner.

Plan for fish has landowners upset

I attended the Dec. 3 Tri-State Steelheaders meeting to hear the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s fisheries biologist Glen Mendel speak.

Feild wins bareback round, increases lead

LAS VEGAS — Kaycee Feild won the eighth round of the National Finals Rodeo on Thursday night with an 87-point ride on Kate's Hot Sister to increase his lead in the bareback season standings.

Washington State beats Jackson State, 52-41

PULLMAN — Brock Motum scored 27 points and DaVonte Lacy added 11 and hit three 3-pointers as Washington State beat Jackson State 52-41 on Thursday.

Cal State Fullerton beats Idaho State 66-53

FULLERTON, Calif. — Kwame Vaughn scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists and Cal State Fullerton went on to beat Idaho State 66-53 on Thursday night.

Trail Blazers defeat Spurs, 98-90

PORTLAND — Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard says he saw Portland's victory over San Antonio coming, and not just during the course of the game.

Huskies romp against Seattle U

SEATTLE — The Seattle University Redhawks wanted this to be the night they finally put the heat back into their rivalry with the Washington Huskies.

Sounders fans vote to retain GM Adrian Hanauer

SEATTLE — Adrian Hanauer will keep his job as general manager of the Seattle Sounders FC after season-ticket holders and fan alliance members overwhelmingly voted to retain him.

TigerScots’ von Borstel all-state volleyball player

ATHENA — Weston-McEwen junior volleyball player Molly von Borstel has been named to the all-state Class 2A first team as voted on by playoff coaches.

Walla Walla Parks and Rec, Whitman to offer tennis lessons

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Parks and Recreation and the Whitman College women’s tennis program are offering youth tennis lessons Jan. 7-11 at Bratton Tennis Center.

WW Sweets sign pitcher Helton, infielder Southall

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Sweets have signed a pair of players for the 2013 season.

Watson tabbed as captain of 2014 US Ryder Cup team

NEW YORK — Weary of two decades of defeat in Europe, the Americans are breaking from precedent with a captain uniquely suited for the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland.

Man charged in drug, stolen property case

WALLA WALLA — A man suspected of various drug offenses, in addition to possessing a large amount of stolen property, was formally charged Thursday afternoon in Superior Court with 11 crimes.

Rover offers daily taste of Mars weather

One of the primary instruments on the rover Curiosity is the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station, a weather station to help us better understand the climate of Mars.

Signs on the outside point to choices on the inside

Manuel has two tattoos, one on each shoulder. He pulls aside his orange jumpsuit to show us the words, which are written in a looping script.

Member sought for position on water management board

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Watershed Management Partnership, a water management board, has a board member vacancy for the citizen at large position.

NEA grant awarded to Walla Walla Symphony

A community’s right to have access to music lights a fire in Leah Wilson-Velasco’s heart.

Irish girls use balanced attack to down Knights

WALLA WALLA — DeSales won its Southeast 2B League girls basketball opener against Walla Walla Valley Academy on the Irish court Thursday night, 64-28.

Blue Devil boys sink Selah

YAKIMA — Wa-Hi’s boys swim team defeated Selah, 123-57, here Thursday.

Knights boys wins SE2B opener with Irish

WALLA WALLA — Led by 16 points from Jordan Shuette and a double-double from Alexander Wagner, Walla Walla Valley Academy won a crosstown battle with DeSales Thursday night, 68-64.

The miracle of Hanukkah for Christmas folks

In the spirit of my life work with Fr. Tom Hartman (who sends his love to all even as he enters the deepest fog of Parkinson’s disease), I offer my annual Hanukkah greeting for people who don’t celebrate Hanukkah. Next week, I’ll send along my Christmas prayer for people who don’t celebrate Christmas.

Vatican: World unlikely to end Dec. 21

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican’s top astronomer has some assurances to offer: The world won’t be ending on Dec. 21, despite predictions to the contrary.

Israel's Women of the Wall pray for equality

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli security guards at the Western Wall on Friday searched women worshippers arriving at the holiest place where Jews can pray for the Jewish prayer shawl, which under the Orthodox tradition can be worn only by men.

Give the precious gift of your time this Christmas

It seems appropriate that the Christmas holiday season should closely follow Thanksgiving. Christmas is a time when we give gifts to family and friends as an expression of our thankfulness for them, and as a symbol of the gifts given to Jesus by the Three Wise Men at the time of His birth.

The art of holiday decoration and flower design flourishes

Sarah von Pollaro stands transfixed before a painting by the abstract expressionist Clyfford Still.

Flames of friendship fan into a full-fledged union

It was rainy, windy and cold the day former Walla Wallan Brian Pribilsky and sweetheart Lisbeth Guthe exchanged vows in Ski, Norway, but it didn’t dampen their spirits. said his mother Karen Pribilsky of Walla Walla.

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Kennewick wins final match, takes home victory over Wa-Hi grapplers

WALLA WALLA — Kennewick’s Anthony Jones went to the mat for the last match of the evening with the Lions and Wa-Hi even at 36-36 here Thursday in Mid-Columbia Conference wrestling action.

Thursday, December 13

Source: Basketball schools to cut from Big East

NEW YORK — The Big East is headed for another break up. This time, the seven prominent basketball schools that don’t play FBS football are planning to break away from the ever-changing conference.

Pomeroy wrestlers win 9 of 14 at Heppner meet

HEPPNER — Pomeroy grapplers went 9-5 at a meet held in Heppner Thursday night.

Team probes for life in lake beneath 2 miles of Antarctic ice

LONDON — British scientists were to start drilling Wednesday in Antarctica in their quest to discover whether life exists in a lake that’s been isolated for hundreds of thousands of years 2 miles below the ice.

Mali gets new prime minister after forced ouster

BAMAKO, Mali — Mali’s interim president has named a replacement prime minister after soldiers behind a coup earlier this year forced out his predecessor and placed him under house arrest, provoking international condemnation.

UK police: Jimmy Savile is suspect in 199 crimes

LONDON — The late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile is a suspect in 199 crimes recorded so far, including dozens of cases of rape, British police said Wednesday. They described the level of sexual abuse allegations against Savile as “unprecedented in the U.K.”

Employee morale falls at federal agencies

It’s no secret that federal workers are feeling worn down. They’ve had their salaries frozen and are at the center of a partisan debate over the value of their work.

Panetta: Karzai to meet Obama in Washington

KABUL — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today that President Hamid Karzai has accepted an invitation from President Barack Obama to meet in Washington next month for critical talks on the future of Afghanistan.

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Holiday classic 'It's a Wonderful Life' meets radio show

WALLA WALLA — A larger-than-life holiday classic hits the stage in the upcoming production “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.” But don’t expect a Jimmy Stewart impression or even a particular scene from the film acted out at the Gesa Power House Theatre, says Director Stephanie Shine.

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Eugene Ballet, Walla Walla Symphony 'Nutcracker' at Cordiner

The Walla Walla Symphony will present two performances of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" ballet

Friends say suspect friendly, talkative

PORTLAND (AP) — Friends and acquaintances on Wednesday described the man police say opened fire in a crowded Portland shopping mall as friendly and gregarious, not generally reclusive or bizarre.

Etcetera - 12/13/12

A four-hour interactive training for high and middle school students interested in serving as peer mentors for students with disabilities will be hosted by Parent-to-Parent at the YMCA, 340 S. Park St.

Pendleton center Art of the Giftexhibit will run through Dec. 31

PENDLETON — The Pendleton Center for the Arts, 214 North Main St., will display the works of several Walla Walla artists in its annual Art of the Gift exhibit, which will run through Dec. 31.

'Lincoln,' 'Les Miz,' 'Silver Linings Playbook' lead SAG nominations

LOS ANGELES — Steven Spielberg’s historical biography “Lincoln,” the musical epic “Les Miserables” and the quirky romantic comedy “Silver Linings Playbook” dominated the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations Wednesday, receiving four nominations apiece.

'Lincoln' tops Golden Globe nominations

LOS ANGELES — The Civil War epic “Lincoln” scored a record seven Golden Globe nominations for director Steven Spielberg, including best director and best picture, and best actor honors for Daniel Day-Lewis.

Inquest: Nurse in British royal hoax found hanging

LONDON — An inquest into the apparent suicide of a nurse duped by a hoax call from Australian DJs about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge heard today that she was found hanging in her room, had wrist injuries and left three notes.

Smoking and shucking on tap Saturday at Red Monkey

Red Monkey Downtown Lounge will have something for cigar, oyster, beer and music lovers this weekend.

Boehner: Obama resists federal spending cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner accused President Barack Obama of being so resistant to curbing federal spending that he risks an agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of wide-ranging tax increases and spending cuts that will be automatically triggered in less than three weeks.

Israeli troops clash with Palestinian protesters

HEBRON, West Bank — Thousands of Palestinians marched through the streets of Hebron today, chanting anti-Israel slogans and waving green Hamas flags during a funeral procession for a teenager killed by Israeli troops in this volatile West Bank city.

Recording music at home fun for friends, family

When Thomas Edison uttered the first recorded words, “Mary had a little lamb ... ” to test his phonograph invention in 1877, he had no idea how much it would change the world.

Gesa Credit Union announces new financial consultant

Walla Walla native Andre Selfa has joined Gesa Credit Union as an LPL financial consultant.

Gesa, Power House Theatre deal works

Corporate sponsorships of stadiums, arenas and theaters — once unheard of — has become the norm.

Grant helps Athena school buy iPads

ATHENA — Students at Athena Elementary will soon have new tablet computers to use for learning in classrooms.

Candle of Hope campaign to light up area

The Children’s Home Society of Washington will sponsor the Light a Candle of Hope campaign this month.

Key Tech agrees to $5 million deal for sorting equipment

WALLA WALLA — Manufacturer Key Technology will start the new year filling a major order from a Fortune 500 company.

Trust seeks endangered historic properties

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is on the lookout for endangered properties.

Grape Line ticket fees rise as costs grow

Grape Line fares are going up.

Emergency Services - 12/13/12

Thefts, Burglaries WW Police 300 block of Ash Street. Items reported stolen from apartment, including cell phone, medical syringes and $3,400 cash.

Court Report - Superior court

CRIMINAL CASES Walla Walla County Nicholas Almiron, 21, no address, was sentenced Dec. 6 on one count each first-degree theft, first-degree possession of stolen property, violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act and possession of an unlawful firearm. The sentence included restitution of $14,334.21

Colville Tribes open hunting season for wolves

YAKIMA — The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation have opened a hunting season for gray wolves on their reservation that sprawls across 1.4 million acres in northeast Washington, saying wolves have reduced the number of deer and elk that tribal members hunt for food.

Hermiston mayor dies at 80

HERMISTON (AP) — The 80-year-old mayor of the northeast Oregon town of Hermiston has died following a heart attack.

All officers involved in assault at prison out of hospital

WALLA WALLA — Correctional officers who were assaulted by multiple inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary on Tuesday are out of the hospital, according to a news release issued by Penitentiary officials last night.

Tobacco sales to youths on rise

WALLA WALLA — The number of retailers is Washington state illegally selling tobacco to minors has risen to its highest level in more than a decade, health officials said Wednesday.

Man faces drug, stolen property charges after raid

WALLA WALLA — Richard E. Cornwell Jr., 36, faces multiple drug charges following his arrest in an early morning raid Wednesday.

Take action to detect dangerous carbon monoxide

In regard to the new law passed in Washington state about carbon monoxide detectors, I want to personally stress how important carbon monoxide detectors are to protect your family.

Plan to put politics aside is troubled by politics

OLYMPIA — The unprecedented offer by the new state Senate majority to share power might turn out to be the coalition of the unwilling.

Dinner will aid Walla Walla man

MILTON-FREEWATER — A benefit dinner for Nate Griffith will be at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Milton-Freewater Elks Club, 611 N. Main St.

Wa-hi drama class to present "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever'

WALLA WALLA — Blue Mountain Community Church, 928 Sturm Ave., will present the Walla Walla High School drama class in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Patah mill concert Saturday

POMEROY — Pataha Flour Mill, 50 Hutchens Hill Road, will have its annual Christmas concert and sing-along at 7 p.m. Saturday in the lower dining room.

Park Plaza Retirement Center plans Christmas concert

WALLA WALLA — Park Plaza Retirement Center, 1400 Dalles Military Road, will host a Christmas music afternoon concert, from 4-5 p.m. Wednesday.

Bluegrass association will host winter show

RICHLAND — The Mid-Columbia Bluegrass Association will hold its annual winter show 5:30-9:30 p.m. Dec. 29 at the Richland Community Center, 500 Amon Park Drive.

Touchet voters to see bond for secondary school work

TOUCHET — The Touchet School Board recently approved a resolution to put a $6.5 million bond measure before voters in February. The funds would be used along with state matching funds for complete renovation of the secondary school.

Sheriff's Roundtable meeting set for today in Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA —The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office will hold a Sheriff’s Roundtable meeting today.

Veterans Memorial Tribute program set for Sunday at VFW post

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla County veterans who were not rendered military funeral honors at the time of their deaths will receive a final salute Sunday.

'A Christmas Carol' to be read aloud

MILTON-FREEWATER — “A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale, will be read Aloud at noon Saturday at the Milton-Freewater Public Library, 8 S.W. Eighth Ave.

Greek businesses flee over debt crisis

ATHENS — For 23 years, Marios Vrachnakis has worked to make the thick Greek yogurt that has become almost as much a symbol of his country as feta cheese and olives. But these days, being Greek is a bad business model.

Walla Walla Blues Society to raffle drum at Sapolil Cellars

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Blues Society will be raffling a Jim Bay drum during the Tommy Hogan show break at Sapolil Cellars, 15 E. Main St. The show begins at 9 p.m.

Mac-Hi holiday concert Dec. 21

MILTON-FREEWATER — The McLoughlin High School music department will present its holiday concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 at the school, 120 S. Main St., in the Jack Williams auditorium.

Pataha mill concert Sat.

POMEROY — Pataha Flour Mill, 50 Hutchens Hill Road, will have its annual Christmas concert and sing-along at 7 p.m. Saturday in the lower dining room.

Scandal hits researcher associated with wine studies

About a year and a half ago I wrote a column about the benefits of purple grape juice. At that time, I noted there are scientists who feel red wine would help heart health.

Herb can help fight pattern baldness

It has been known for some time that male pattern baldness is genetically related, but there is a way to limit its effects.

WW General announces temporary shift of entrance

WW General announces temporary shift of entrance

Popular toys found on annual noisy toy list

You may need to keep an eye and an ear on the toys your children receive this Christmas.

Gee whiz, that herb can come in handy

Another use for saw palmetto — Serenoa repens — is to fight male condition of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Then and now at Walla Walla's Y

Since 1886 “the Y” has been our community center of relevance, and wise words from yesteryear speak as clearly now as then. The following words were shared by longtime Y leader F.D. Applegate who inspired so many over a wonderful career of service:

Wednesday, December 12

Larry Stone: Jason Bay low risk, but Mariners need more

A relaxed and seemingly robust Jason Bay made such a positive impression Monday in his Seattle media unveiling, it was hard not to imagine a best-case scenario in his quest for a career revival.

Top chefs join call for gender-neutral Easy-Bake

business bulletin

WSU study finds no abuse on football team

SPOKANE — An internal investigation into a former player’s allegations of abuse by Washington State football coaches didn’t turn up any evidence of such abuse, athletic director Bill Moos said Wednesday.

Economy could withstand brief fall off 'cliff'

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s the scenario that’s been spooking employers and investors and slowing the U.S. economy:

Ski Bluewood to open season Friday

Ski Bluewood’s 34th season will begin Friday with operating hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The ski area’s management says plenty of fresh snow is expected by this weekend.

Harvest Foods regular hospitalized after being struck by vehicle

In a pedestrian versus vehicle accident at 7:02 a.m. today, a man known to many Walla Walla grocery shoppers was injured on Second Avenue, police said.

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Judge Wolfram dons the robe

Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge Donald W. Schacht, right, swears in M. Scott Wolfram as the county’s newest Superior Court judge during a ceremony Tuesday in Schacht’s courtroom. Wolfram will replace Schacht on the bench after Schacht retires. Seated in front of Wolfram is Tina Driver, Schacht’s secretary.

Top 2012 searches include Whitney, PSY, Sandy

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The world’s attention wavered between the tragic and the silly in 2012, and along the way, Web surfers searched in huge numbers to find out about a royal princess, the latest iPad, and a record-breaking skydiver.

FBI charges two Alabama men in terrorism case

WASHINGTON — FBI agents arrested two U.S. citizens — one at the Atlanta airport, the other at a bus station in Augusta, Ga. — on charges they were about to leave the United States for North Africa “intending to prepare to wage violent jihad.”

Blast targets Syrian regime building in Damascus

BEIRUT — An explosion targeted the Syrian Interior Ministry building today in the capital, Damascus, state TV said. There was no immediate word on casualties.

Egypt opposition urges 'No' vote on constitution

CAIRO — Egypt’s main opposition alliance called for a “No” vote in the referendum on a disputed constitution rather than a boycott, hours after Islamist President Mohammed Morsi’s government forged ahead by starting overseas voting in diplomatic missions for expatriates.

Obama, Boehner talk 'fiscal cliff'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite an intensifying pace, little progress is being reported in talks on averting automatic spending cuts and tax increases that economists fear could send the U.S. economy off a “fiscal cliff.”

Sale of tobacco products to minors on the rise in Washington

The number of retailers in Washington state illegally selling tobacco to minors has risen to its highest level in more than a decade, health officials said today.

Honored chef takes local flavors to N.Y.

Chef Antonio Campolio is James Beard-bound.

N. Korea defies warning, launches long-range rocket

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea successfully fired a long-range rocket today, defying international warnings as the regime of Kim Jong Un took a big step forward in its quest to develop a nuclear missile.

Obama: US recognizes Syria's main rebel group

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama declared Syria’s main opposition group the sole “legitimate representative” of its country’s people Tuesday, deeming the move “a big step” in the international diplomatic efforts to end Syrian President Bashar Assad’s embattled regime.

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Mall gunman stole AR15 used in deadly attack

Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, also carried several fully loaded magazines. Three people were killed.

Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, also carried several fully loaded magazines. Three people were killed.

Don't raise property tax for school bond

What does a new building have to do with learning? No new school.

A box of rocks would be art, right?

A spoof perhaps? After 150 years our taste hasn't changed -- or has it? What is art?

Applicants sought for CP Planning Commission vacancy

COLLEGE PLACE — Applicants are being sought to fill a vacancy on the city’s Planning Commission.

Raids net pair of arrests in heroin, meth dealing

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla police arrested two men in morning raids early today on investigation of selling drugs.

East Europe's cold snap kills 17, cuts power

PRAGUE — Snowstorms and freezing cold continued to plague eastern Europe and the Balkan peninsula for a fourth day, killing at least 17 people, blocking traffic and causing power failures.

Three officers hurt in riot at prison

WALLA WALLA — Three correctional officers were taken to a local hospital Tuesday afternoon after a riot, according to Washington State Penitentiary officials.

Emergency Services - 12/12/12

Thefts, Burglaries WW County Sheriff 300 block of Lewis Peak Road, Waitsburg. Report of multiple burglaries to single property over several days.

On the agenda - Port of Walla Walla

When: Thursday, 7 p.m., following a 6 p.m. work session. Where: Port of Walla Walla administrative office, 310 A St.

Chamber seeks Balloon Stampede poster ideas

The Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce is seeking designs for the next official Walla Walla Balloon Stampede poster.

Maze's Moment

ASPEN, Colo. — Classical music echoed through the hotel's basement halls, drawing an audience around the person sitting behind the piano.

Taking an Antarctic adventure

At an age when most people are considering retirement, 62-year-old Livingston photographer Tom Murphy is preparing to launch what may be the most ambitious wilderness expedition of his life.

Walla Walla leaf collection crews polishing off work for year

WALLA WALLA — Street Division crews have finished the third and final round of loose leaf collection in the Monday to Thursday garbage collection areas as of today and expect to finish Friday’s area Thursday.

Pickens buys out OSU-Gonzaga game

(AP) — Oklahoma State's New Year's Eve matchup against No. 14 Gonzaga is looking like a sellout.

Pirate grapplers go 11-5 at own tournament

POMEROY — Pomeroy went 11-5 at a mix-and-match meet in Pomeroy Tuesday featuring Wa-Hi’s junior varsity team, Waitsburg-Prescott, and Tri-Cities Prep.

It's time to go bowling!

SEATTLE — Headline in your Seattle Times, April 15, 2004: “Seattle Bowl revival may be delayed.”

Saints' bounty suspensions tossed out

NEW ORLEANS — Four players embroiled for nearly 10 months in the NFL’s bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints no longer have to worry about suspensions or fines, and can try to move on with their careers on the field.

Idaho basketball player hits three-quarter-court shot to win

GARDEN VALLEY, Idaho — A high school basketball player from Idaho heaved a three-quarter-court, last-second shot to help her team beat a rival at the buzzer.

Brazile closes in on record-tying 18th title

LAS VEGAS — A night after wrapping up his 17th gold buckle as the all-around champion, Trevor Brazile closed in on a record-tying 18th season title by finishing second Tuesday night in the sixth round of team roping to retain the header lead with four rounds left in the National Finals Rodeo.

Adams sets Christmas program and Nativity scene

Adams sets Christmas program and Nativity scene

Regional fish projects receive state funds

Salmon projects in the region netted a healthy bump from the state during the latest round of grant funding.

Benefit dinner for Nate Griffith and family set for Saturday

MILTON-FREEWATER — A benefit dinner for Nate Griffith and his family will be held at the Milton-Freewater Elks Club from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday.

Whitman’s Johns earns NWC Athlete of Week

WALLA WALLA — The Northwest Conference named Whitman’s Heather Johns, a redshirt sophomore, as its female Student-Athlete of the Week Tuesday after leading the Missionaries to a pair of victories over Puget Sound and Corban this past weekend.

Sweets sign ex-Warrior Paulson, IF Skrbec

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Sweets have signed former Walla Walla Community College player, and current New Mexico State outfielder, Mike Paulson, and North Dakota State infielder John Skrbec and for the 2013 season.

Late sign-ups for Parks and Rec’s Youth Indoor Soccer open

WALLA WALLA — Late registration will continue on an as-available basis for Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Youth Indoor Soccer.

Senate power play could bring bipartisan cooperation

A power play by two conservative Democrats — Sen. Rodney Tom of Bellevue and Tim Sheldon of Potlach — could move the state Senate from the political left to the political center spurring a spirit of bipartisan cooperation.

Wa-Hi's Nelson commits to Montana State for track, cross country

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi track and cross country runner Rachel Nelson has verbally committed to Montana State University, Nelson announced Tuesday.

Whitman's Johns named NWC Player of Week

WALLA WALLA — The Northwest Conference named Whitman’s Heather Johns, a redshirt sophomore, as its female Student-Athlete of the Week Tuesday after leading the Missionaries to a pair of basketball victories over Puget Sound and Corban this past weekend.

Blue Devil girls smash Pendleton

WALLA WALLA — More than 10 days had passed since Wa-Hi last played a game, but that didn’t matter Tuesday night as the Blue Devils posted their most dominating win of the season yet.

Tuesday, December 11

Wa-Hi wrangles Buckaroos, 57-51

PENDLETON — The Blue Devils entered the fourth quarter of their annual cross-border matchup with Pendleton Tuesday night with just a two-point lead.

Michigan House OKs right-to-work law limiting unions

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan House approved the first of two right-to-work bills Tuesday that would weaken union power in the historical labor stronghold as hundreds of protesters rallied at the Capitol.

Mali's prime minister forced to resign, arrested by junta

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Soldiers arrested Mali’s prime minister and forced him to resign before dawn today, showing that the military remains the real power in this troubled West Africa nation, even though officers made a show of handing back authority to a civilian-led government after a coup in March.

Experts: Russia likely to stay course on Assad

MOSCOW — Recent hopes that the Kremlin would end its support of Syrian strongman Bashar Assad melted quickly, and analysts say Moscow ultimately may change its stance only if Assad ends up cornered.

UK gov't told to rethink data surveillance plan

LONDON — British lawmakers today demanded the government water down plans to keep track of phone calls, email and Internet activity — a bill critics dub a “snooper’s charter.”

Egypt opposition fears violence from Brotherhood

CAIRO — They showed a military-style precision: Crowds of bearded Islamists proclaiming allegiance to Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi and chanting “God is great” as they descended on tents set up by anti-Morsi protesters outside the presidential palace, swinging clubs and firing rifles. They set up a detention facility, interrogating and beating captured protesters.

Alaska serial killer researched mass murderers

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska man who confessed to killing at least eight people across the country had researched Ted Bundy and other serial killers, saying he recognized himself in them, investigators said Monday.

Syrian rebels backed by extremists seize army base

BEIRUT — Syrian rebels backed by Islamic extremist fighters took full control of a sprawling military base today after a two-day battle that killed at least 35 government troops, an activist group said.

Heavy snow keeps Balkans in deep freeze

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Blizzards blocked roads, stranded villages, disrupted power supplies and shut down an airport in the Balkans today, the fourth straight day of tough winter weather in the region of southeastern Europe.

Feds approve Oregon health insurance exchange

Feds approve Oregon health insurance exchange

HSBC to settle money-laundering case

LONDON (AP) — HSBC avoided a legal battle that could further savage its reputation and undermine confidence in the global banking system by agreeing today to pay $1.9 billion to settle a U.S. money-laundering probe.

Scarlett Johansson purrs for $40,000 a week as Maggie

NEW YORK — Scarlett Johansson is guaranteed a minimum of $40,000 a week to add a dose of sex and glamour to the battered Broadway season in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” according to offering papers distributed to investors.

Wash. gets approval to operate health exchange

OLYMPIA — Washington state has received conditional approval by the federal government to move forward with a state-based health insurance exchange starting Oct. 1, 2013.

Venezuela's Chavez to undergo fourth cancer surgery

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s cancer relapse and his sudden announcement that he will undergo a fourth cancer-related surgery in Cuba have thrown the country’s future into question, and his designated political heir has begun trying to fill the void.

Oregon lawmakers to vote on Nike expansion plan

SALEM — Athletic footwear and apparel giant Nike Inc. plans to expand its operations in Oregon and hire hundreds of workers but wants the government to promise that tax rules won’t change, prompting a special session of the Legislature.

Oregon officials probe major welfare fraud case

PORTLAND (AP) — Officials are trying to figure out how a state agency allowed a couple to collect Oregon welfare benefits while living in a gated neighborhood in Las Vegas.

State sues Florida firm over text-message spam

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office filed has filed a lawsuit targeting a Florida-based company accused of sending people unsolicited text messages, calling it another form of spam that annoys people and costs them money.

Americans' disdain of Washington spreads as 'fiscal cliff' approaches

HOOKSETT, N.H. — Fear and frustration course through the lunch crowd at Robie’s Country Store and Deli, a popular outpost 500 miles from where Washington is again locked in tense negotiations over taxes and spending as a critical deadline looms.

Spice Girls musical 'Viva Forever' opens in London

LONDON — It’s time to find out whether Girl Power is still going strong, with the premiere of a new stage musical based on the songs of the Spice Girls.

Light shed on mysterious rock heaps up Walla Walla's Mill Creek Road

The two large, uniformly stacked piles of rock marking a driveway on Mill Creek Road have been a mystery to many passersby, including Walla Wallan Joe Drazan, a retired Whitman College librarian.

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20 bucks says it will be a white Christmas

Your weatherperson is feeling pretty good about himself this week after nailing Saturday's snow flurries in last week's column.

We're all fabric in an endless story

December brings us stories. In this last of month of the year we celebrate stories of paramount religious explanations, those of miracles and faith, intertwined with the tales of personal tradition, family memories and community rituals.

Paper books hold allure locally as gifts in digital age

Damn the recession, full speed ahead.

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Theater, credit union ring in partnership

The Power House Theatre and Gesa sealed a naming deal Monday.

WALLA WALLA -- Power House Theatre managers and Gesa Credit Union executives made their new partnership official Monday.

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Plans take shape for new Davis school

The building, which has roots that date to 1906, will be demolished and a new school built.

COLLEGE PLACE -- Change is fast approaching for Davis Elementary, which will be rebuilt into a larger, modern facility starting next year thanks to a bond measure approved in April.

Latest effort to save Aviary worth trying

Once the birds have been shipped away and the Aviary is gone, it is never coming back. The Council made the right call to let citizens formulate a plan.

The Pioneer Park Aviary has gotten yet another reprieve. It’s good news. The Aviary is a local treasure.

City puts out call for proposals to run farmers market

WALLA WALLA — City officials have not renewed the lease for the Walla Walla Valley Farmers Market and are asking for proposals from would-be operators, citing recent issues between vendors and management as the reason.

Variations of breast cancer disease complicate treatment

I have an elderly aunt who was diagnosed with breast cancer many years ago. She was treated and has remained cancer-free for years.

Raise taxes, don't cut more

The poor and the middle class pay the price when budgets are cut because the rich, the corporate giants and the defense department have lobbyists. It has little to do with the importance of their programs — it’s all about more lobbyists, more influence.

New way of governing or politics as unusual?

OLYMPIA — New Washington state Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom kept saying that it wasn’t about politics, it was about policy.

Washington state Department of Revenue should make more of its tax rulings public

Navigating the state and federal tax codes is hard enough for taxpayers as policymakers load them up with ever-more-complicated credits, deductions and write-offs that they can take as well as increasingly burdensome requirements that they must follow.

Man sues ex-Elmo puppeteer; fourth to claim sex abuse

MIAMI — Another man on Monday sued the former Elmo puppeteer who resigned amid sex abuse allegations, claiming the voice actor befriended him in Miami and promised to be a father figure before flying the teen to New York to have sex with him.

Fed expected to buy more bonds

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a nervous eye on the “fiscal cliff,” the Federal Reserve is expected this week to announce a new bond-buying plan to support the U.S. economy.

Is caretaker responsible for replacing entrusted items?

Dear John, My friend left a plant for me to take care of while she was out of town. The plant died. Do I replace the plant?

Winter bird count counts on volunteers to tally types

The Blue Mountain Audubon Society is seeking volunteers to participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count, this year to be held on Saturday.

Memorable gifts are those that can make a difference

(StatePoint) -- Better than any toy, trinket or fruit basket, what if you could give a gift that would actually make a profound difference in someone's life?

Emergency Services - 12/11/12

WW Police 1200 block of Yellowhawk Place. Trash can reported stolen. 2300 blook of Hawk Drive. Two gas cans reported stolen.

M's need bigger prize than Bay

SEATTLE — A relaxed and seemingly robust Jason Bay made such a positive impression Monday in his Seattle media unveiling, it was hard not to imagine a best-case scenario in his quest for a career revival.

Jason Bay hopes to revive career with fresh start in Seattle

SEATTLE — Jason Bay didn’t have very far to go in order to make his first appearance as a member of the Mariners outfield.

Could winning out save coaches on hot seat?

Andy Reid got such a hearty hug on the sideline from Howard Mudd that the 70-year-old assistant with the artificial hip actually lifted the burly head coach off his feet.

Pats rout Texans 42-14 in key matchup

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady can’t stop smiling these days. Or winning.

Brazile clinches 10th all-around title

LAS VEGAS — Trevor Brazile clinched his 10th all-around gold buckle by finishing third in team roping with partner Patrick Smith in round five of the National Finals Rodeo on Monday night.

Spotlight shines on Hawks; Carroll focuses on Bills

SEATTLE — The NFL changed its schedule Monday to give the rest of the country another look at a Seahawks team that is drawing increasing attention, moving Seattle’s Dec. 23 game against San Francisco into prime time.

Bounty ruling for players at hand

NEW ORLEANS — More than nine months after the NFL first disclosed its bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints, four players will finally get a ruling on whether their initial suspensions are upheld, reduced or thrown out.

Aldridge's 30 points power Blazers past Raptors, 92-74

PORTLAND — Injuries, an ejection and a dubious record.

NHL cancels games through Dec. 30

NEW YORK — The NHL eliminated 16 more days from the regular-season schedule Monday, and if a deal with the players’ association isn’t reached soon the whole season could be lost.

Seattle hands Eastern Washington 75-69 loss

CHENEY — Eastern Washington’s first home stand of the men’s basketball season ended just as it started: with a young team still aiming to improve.

Waitsburg-Prescott holds off TigerScot boys

WAITSBURG — Waitsburg-Prescott edged Weston-McEwen’s boys in a non-league basketball matchup here Monday night, 59-55.

Weston-McEwen girls finally pull away to victory over Waitsburg-Prescott

WAITSBURG — Weston-McEwen’s girls broke a 33-all tie headed into the final quarter by outscoring Waitsburg-Prescott 13-8 for a 46-41 non-league basketball victory here Monday.

Registration still open for Whitman’s Holiday Invitational

WALLA WALLA — Registration is still open for the Whitman Basketball Charter Media Holiday Invitational, presented by Les Schwab, that will be held Saturday and Sunday for boys grades 3-8 at Sherwood Center.

YMCA taking sign-ups for youth basketball leagues

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla YMCA is taking registrations for basketball leagues for boys in 1st-8th grade and girls in 1st-4th grades.

Redskins’ Griffin III’s knee knjury not serious

ASHBURN, Va. — All the medical terms associated with Robert Griffin III’s knee injury can be boiled down to one simple message: It’s not too bad.

Cameron fired as offensive coordinator in Baltimore

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Cam Cameron was fired as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, who have lost two straight and are still striving for consistency in the running and passing game.

49ers suspend running back Jacobs three games

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers suspended running back Brandon Jacobs for the final three games following a series of posts on social media sites addressing his lack of playing time, including one during the weekend saying he was “on this team rotting away.”

Falcons step closer to getting new downtown stadium

ATLANTA — After about two years of discussions, the Atlanta Falcons are a step closer to getting a new downtown stadium.

Dodgers sign pitchers Hyun-jin, Greinke

LOS ANGELES — Flush with cash after the team’s sale this year, the Los Angeles Dodgers are busy spending it on starting pitching.

Western Kentucky announces hiring of Petrino as coach

Western Kentucky announced that it has hired Bobby Petrino as the new Hilltoppers’ football coach.

In the minutes - College Place Council

College Place City Council members are William Jenkins, Alexander Scott, Marge Nyhagen, Bernie Yanke, Mayor Rick Newby, Larry Dickerson, Steve Dickerson and David Beamer. With Scott absent Monday, the board voted as follows:

Trial date set in July 5 stabbing

WALLA WALLA — A man charged in connection with a fight and stabbing last summer pleaded innocent Monday to charges in the case.

Man sentenced in 2011 rape

WALLA WALLA — A man who pleaded guilty to a charge of rape in October was sentenced Monday to time already served.

Man arrested after Ford stolen from Chevy dealership

WALLA WALLA — Police arrested a local man after he allegedly stole a Ford pickup truck from a Chevrolet car dealership.

CREA gets a charge out of dispersing scholarships

Columbia Rural Electric Association has application packets for its 2013 scholarship program.

YWCA to offer confection construction

The Walla Walla YWCA is raising the roof with a Hansel and Gretel candy house decorating Dec. 21.

Giving Tree program benefits seniors pining for presents

A tag from the “Senior Giving Tree” could help make the holidays a little brighter for residents of local assisted living facilities.

STAR Project sees deep budget cut

WALLA WALLA — Grants to help house Walla Walla County’s homeless were approved Monday, but at least one group drew the short straw.

Mill Creek parking area closed today, Wednesday

WALLA WALLA — Vehicle and pedestrian access to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Mill Creek Office parking area will be closed intermittently today and Wednesday due to paving work associated with a new public restroom installed last week.

In the Minutes - Walla Walla County

Walla Walla County commissioners are Perry Dozier, Jim Johnson and Greg Tompkins. With Johnson absent Monday, the board voted as follows:

Pirate grapplers go 11-5 at own meet

POMEROY — Pomeroy went 11-5 at a mix-and-match meet in Pomeroy Tuesday featuring Wa-Hi’s junior varsity team, Waitsburg-Prescott, and Tri-Cities Prep.

In the Minutes - Athena-Weston School Board

Board members are Preston Winn, Duane Smalley, Trenda Nichols, Scott Rogers, Rod Bonifer and Joshua Henningsen and Eric Quaempts. With Henningsen absent Monday, the board:

Walla Walla leaf collection crews move on to Tuesday trash routes

WW leaf collection crews move on to Tuesday trash routes

On the Agenda - Athena Council

When: Thursday, 7 p.m. Where: City Hall, 215 S. Third St.

Demolition application in for houses on West Poplar

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Joint Community Development Agency has received an application for a permit to demolish structures at 813 and 823 W. Poplar St.

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DeSales boys rally past Mac-Hi

MILTON-FREEWATER — The DeSales boys beat the Mac-Hi Pioneers in a cross-border rivalry here Monday night, winning 60-48.

Irish girls top Pioneers

MILTON-FREEWATER — The DeSales Irish girls basketball team received 17 points from Ashlyn Lyons and pummeled the Mac-Hi Pioneers, 52-19, here Monday night.

Monday, December 10

Egyptian army takes over security ahead of vote

CAIRO — The Egyptian military today assumed joint responsibility with the police for security and protecting state institutions until the results of a Dec. 15 constitutional referendum are announced.

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to European Union

OSLO, Norway — The EU received the Nobel Peace Prize today for promoting peace and human rights in Europe following the devastation of World War II, and the bloc was urged to use that unity in its battle with an economic crisis that is causing suffering for many of its citizens.

Pakistan: US drone strike kills al-Qaida commander

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — A U.S. drone strike has killed an al-Qaida commander in Pakistan’s northwest, the second member of the Islamic militant network killed in the area in less than a week, Pakistani intelligence officials and a Taliban militant said today.

Stock market a wild card in cliff talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress and the White House can significantly soften the initial impact of the “fiscal cliff” even if they fail to reach a compromise by Dec. 31. One thing they cannot control, however, is the financial markets’ reaction, which possibly could be a panicky sell-off that triggers economic reversals worldwide.

Rapper Psy apologizes for anti-American past

Psy, the South Korean rapper whose viral pop hit “Gangnam Style” has been viewed more than 900 million times on YouTube, participated in two anti-American performances about a decade ago, a story that finally trickled into English-language media this week. The K-Pop star quickly issued a public apology.

After climate talks, eyes on US for next round

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Even as international climate talks ended this weekend with no new commitments on carbon emissions or climate aid from the United States, some were relieved America didn’t make a weak deal even weaker.

'Falling man' generates mystery in London

LONDON — On a September morning, in a neighborhood situated beneath the final approach to London’s Heathrow Airport, a man from Africa fell from the sky and landed with a loud thud on the sidewalk.

Wash. man gets life for 1957 slaying of Ill. girl

Wash. man gets life for 1957 slaying of Ill. girl

Springsteen, Lady Gaga join Stones concert in NJ

Springsteen, Lady Gaga join Stones concert in NJ

Etcetera - 12/10/12

Community Bank's Milton-Freewater branch is supporting The Change For Charity Drive.

Port, College Place land development grants

The Port of Walla Walla and city of College Place will each get $400,000 in state economic development grant funds.

Milton-Freewater man's shooting claim prompts multi-agency response

MILTON-FREEWATER - The Umatilla County Sheriff's arrested a 21-year-old man early Sunday morning after he reportedly called 911 and reported he had shot at people outside of his home.

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Walla Walla's first same-sex marriage under new law held Sunday

WALLA WALLA -- Although the air was chilly at Pioneer Park Sunday, the mood was warm as Kathleen Claymore and Shara Orcutt were allowed, at last, to say "I do."

Teen drinking party swamps Milton-Freewater police

MILTON-FREEWATER - Police raided an underage drinking party in the 100 block of Northeast 15th Street early Sunday morning, citing nearly more than a dozen teens for possession of alcohol and an adult for allegedly supplying it.

Trustee slot to open on library board slot to open

WALLA WALLA -- The Walla Walla County Rural Library District -- which has been criticized heavily this year for failing to work out an agreement with the city and moving forward with plans for a new branch -- will soon have an opening on its Board of Trustees.

Photoshop fun: Layering creates alternate realities

As I was sipping my early morning coffee and preparing my Quest class notes on my iPad, I glanced down at the coffee cup and noticed a surface reflection of my desk light bouncing at me.

Seriously, fiscal cliff is Doomsday Machine created by Congress

The daily drumbeat of depressing details about the deadlock in D.C. has created an unexplainable and unpleasant uptick in anxious and addictive alliteration.

Plan to revamp student-loan payments is solid

The cost of a college education has gotten so high that borrowing to pay tuition and other costs has now surpassed credit-card debt in America. There is now over $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

Warrior women down Penguins, 80-66

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Walla Walla Community College’s women fell behind 8-0 to start the game, and trailed 10 early in the game.

Motum scores 23, Cougars hold on to beat Fresno State

PULLMAN — Brock Motum scored 23 points and Mike Ladd had a season-high 19 points as Washington State beat Fresno State 59-50 on Sunday.

Mariners make Jason Bay signing official

SEATTLE — After a delay of a couple of days, the Mariners on Saturday officially announced the signing of free-agent outfielder Jason Bay to a one-year, $1 million contract.

Helix boys pick up first win

HELIX — The Helix Grizzlies cashed in their first victory of the young boys basketball season here Saturday night with a 49-27 victory over Long Creek.

Hawks demolish Cards

SEATTLE — The biggest victory in Seahawks history ended with their backup quarterback taking a knee and letting the final 10 seconds run off the clock.

Quarterbacks Griffin III, Cutler top Sunday's list of injuries in NFL

Star quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Jay Cutler were injured Sunday, although Griffin’s sprained right knee did not cost Washington a victory.

Sherman leads Hawks' comically good defense

SEATTLE — The Seahawks made laughable history Sunday, and no one laughed harder than Richard Sherman. The cornerback is always at the center of fun and frivolity, even when he’s also entangled in controversy.

Go ahead, dream of Super Bowl

SEATTLE — Fifty-eight to nothing.

Senior wins delayed Australian Open

SYDNEY — Peter Senior won the Australian Open by one stroke Sunday, overcoming severe weather conditions that forced a three-hour suspension because of gale-force winds.

Young Huskies get chance to play

SEATTLE — What coaches often cite as one of the biggest benefits of qualifying for a bowl is the extra work younger players get in the practices leading up to the game.

NHL, union could resume labor talks this week

NEW YORK — The NHL and the locked-out players’ association are talking again, and a return to the bargaining table could happen soon.

Branquinho wins steer wrestling at NFR

LAS VEGAS — Luke Branquinho moved into second in the world standings for steer wrestling when he finished first in round four of the National Finals Rodeo on Sunday.

Tuberville leads Texas Tech to coach Cincinnati

CINCINNATI — Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville was hired Saturday as Cincinnati’s next football coach, leaving Texas Tech and the Big 12 for a school trying to move up to a better conference.

Marquez knocks out Pacquiao in sixth round

LAS VEGAS — Juan Manuel Marquez knocked Manny Pacquiao out cold with a vicious right hand at the end of the sixth round Saturday night, putting a ferocious end to the fourth fight between the two boxers.

Messi breaks 20-year-old record with 86th goal of 2012

BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi broke German great Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old record for most goals in a year by scoring for the 86th time in 2012 on Sunday.

Royals, Rays pull off six-player trade

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals acquired former All-Star James Shields and fellow right-hander Wade Davis from Tampa Bay in a six-player deal Sunday that sent top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi along with two other minor leaguers to the Rays. The swap immediately bolsters the Royals’ starting rotation and should make them a contender in the relatively weak AL Central.

Private college presidents' pay was up slightly

Compensation for private college presidents has continued to drift upward, while the number crossing the $1 million barrier — a signal of prestige, and a magnet for criticism — held steady at 36, according to a new survey.

The family of Touchet

The entire town of Touchet must’ve been present at the crowded Herring Funeral Home Wednesday for Robert Schaeffers’s service. For those who have roots in the community and managed to squeeze in, the nostalgic waves of mourning were especially heart-wrenching.

Some clarification is needed

The enlightened people of Washington state have declared smoking tobacco bad for our health. Then we embraced marijuana smoking. Is smoking marijuana OK and smoking tobacco bad? We need some clarification.

Elementary school coaches are great

Elementary school coaches are great

Moms' Network holiday event is one for the books

It’s a wonderful time to cozy up with a book. For the sixth year The Moms’ Network will partner with the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, city of Walla Walla, Starbucks and Book & Game Co. to offer the Holiday Reading Room this weekend.

Pacific Power's charity efforts heat up

As the temperatures drop for the season, Pacific Power is offering a way for local residents to help their neighbors stay warm.

Local wines featured at TV star's nuptials

From “Saved by the Bell” to wedding bells.

Sunday, December 9

‘Road Show’ to roll back into Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA — Producers of talent docu-series “Road Show” will trek back to Walla Walla next month.

State should crack down on texting drivers

Texting while driving is dangerous, perhaps as dangerous as drunken driving.

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Discovering his palette

For artist Steve Henderson, the rolling hills around Dayton are a great inspiration. “I really enjoy painting the landscape around here,” he said, “and the paintings it has inspired have been very well-received.”

Whitman men down PLU

WALLA WALLA — Whitman extended its winning streak to 6 with an 81-68 win over Pacific Lutheran Saturday night at George Ball Court.

Whit women down Corban, 79-48

WALLA WALLA — The Whitman women pummeled Corban University by 31 points, 79-48.

Bickelhaupt scores 22 to lead Dayton past Pomeroy

DAYTON — Pomeroy’s girls slipped to 0-3 on the season after two losses this weekend.

Pomeroy, St. John-Endicott combine for 14 3-pointers

ST.JOHN — Pomeroy and St.John-Endicott bombed away from downtown Friday night, hitting seven 3-pointers apiece, en route to a 78-68 Pirates decision.

Weston-McEwen beats Riverside with 3-pointer at the buzzer, 53-52

ATHENA — Weston-McEwen went 2-0 over the weekend to improve to a perfect 4-0 on the season.

Heytvelt, King lead Pomeroy at Potlatch wrestling tourney

POTLATCH — Pomeroy wrestlers walked away with two pod championships, two runner-up finishes and a fourth-place performance here Saturday during the annual Potlatch wrestling tournament.

Saturday, December 8

Defending state champs Colton down Touchet girls 81-24

TOUCHET — Both two-time defending Class 1B state champion Colton and Rosalia came calling this weekend and both left town with double-digit victories in girls high school basketball action.

Colton downs Touchet, 57-48

TOUCHET — Touchet’s boys basketball team kicked off the season straight into two league games.

Waitsburg-Prescott outlasts Asotin, 57-51

WAITSBURG — Waitsburg-Prescott got its first girls basketball win of the season against Asotin here Saturday night, outlasting them 57-51.

WWCC men rout All-Stars, 104-71

MOSES LAKE — After starting the season 0-3, Walla Walla Community College’s men’s basketball team now possesses a three-game winning streak after collecting a pair of wins at the Big Bend Runnin’ Vikes Classic that wrapped up here Saturday.

WWCC women smash Portland, 89-44

PORTLAND — Walla Walla Community College’s women’s basketball team commenced a three-game, three-day road trip this weekend with two victories in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Wa-Hi boys outnumber Cheney swimmers 4-to-1 in lopsided victory

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi posted a convincing 119-49 victory over Cheney in a non-league boys swim meet Saturday at Harvey Pool.

Mac-Hi girls fall to Imbler, Cove

COVE, Ore. — Injuries and a case of the tired legs led to a pair of losses for the Mac-Hi girls basketball team Friday and Saturday at the Cove Tournament.

Weston-McEwen downs Riverside, 47-39

BOARDMAN, Ore. — Weston-McEwen entered the fourth quarter of its game with Riverside Saturday tied at 32 before exploding for 15 points and coming away with a 47-39 victory.

Mac-Hi falls to Union, Imbler at Cove Tournament

COVE, Ore. — Mac-Hi outrebounded Union and committed less turnovers by a healthy margin Saturday night at the Cove Tournament in Cove, Ore., but still couldn’t come away with their second win of the year, falling 43-35 to the Bobcats.

Cowboys player charged after player dies in auto accident

IRVING, Texas — Police charged Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent with intoxication manslaughter Saturday after he flipped his car in a pre-dawn accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown.

Emergency Services - 12/9/12

Thefts, Burglaries MF Police 200 block of N.E. Sixth Avenue, Friday. Power tools taken. 900 block of Cowl Street, Friday. Bike taken.

U.S. undertakes review of border officers’ use of force

LOS ANGELES—U.S. Customs and Border Protection has launched what it calls a comprehensive review of its officers’ use of force amid a sharp increase in fatal confrontations along the Southwest border.

Senator seeks $15M for tsunami debris

HONOLULU — An Alaska senator wants $15 million for tsunami debris cleanup on the West Coast included in a federal disaster relief package for states affected by Superstorm Sandy.

State should crack down on texting drivers

We urge tougher penalties for repeat offenders. And, as a bonus, this would put Washington in line for a federal enforcement grant.

Violinist’s new history for Suzuki students published

Dipping into the parlance of yore, Hadley Johnson’s dance card is full, professionally and musically.

Pomeroy downs Dayton, 45-35

DAYTON — Cody LaMunyan scored 14 points to lead Pomeroy to a 45-35 victory over Dayton in non-conference boys basketball action here Saturday night.

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Milton-Freewater man dies in collision early Saturday morning

MILTON-FREEWATER — A local man died in a single-vehicle accident this morning after his pickup rolled off a rural road northeast of town.

McMorris Rodgers betraying conservatives

I see U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has aligned herself and given Speaker of the House John Boehner another vote where he promptly, with McMorris Rodgers' vote, removed several conservatives from prominent committees.

Giant octopus does not block view

The people responsible for governing the city of Walla Walla try to increase business and sales tax revenue. They also think they have the right to dictate business's advertising practices.

Taxpayers on hook for Schwerin Concaves cleanup

In a recent article in the U-B, comments were being sought on a draft plan to continue cleanup of toxic waste at the Schwerin Concaves site at 1106 Sapolil Road. What the article failed to say was that, per Department of Ecology reports, from the first Ecology inspection in June 1988 through 1993, over 40 site violations at Schwerin Concaves, a family-operated business, were recorded.

Both parties' militaristic policies failed

The baked meats from the re-election parties were still warm when Bibi Netanyahu telephoned our newly re-elected president. "I waited until your re-election but now I have my re-election to think about. It's time to 'cut the grass.'"

Tax vote during recession is troubling

City Council members Barbara Clark, Jerry Cummins, Mary Lou Jenkins and Mayor Jim Barrow all concluded the poor economy for the past years caused shortfalls and that you all were faced with yet another two years of shortfalls and a slow-to-recover economy.

Two words sum it up

Roberta Bardsley's latest, all-too-familiar and lengthy diatribe can be summed up in two words -- sour grapes.

'Feast of Carols' great start to Christmas

Whitman College and the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin are appreciated for sponsorship of the "Feast of Carols" Christmas music program at Cordiner Hall on Dec. 2.

Dishonesty might have its way

Democrats want tax increases as a first step in the fiscal cliff issue. Republicans want spending cuts as the first step.

Remodel of Wa-Hi necessary for learning

The proposed remodel of Walla Walla High School needs community support.

'Messiah' ideal Christmas season start

If timing is everything, Sunday's performance of Messiah at Walla Walla University Church arrived spot-on for Christmas season.

Country needs sugar-bowl savings mentality

Is it any wonder the hundreds of U.S. politicians with their aides, secretaries and chauffeurs can't organize a sensible and balanced budget when our local City Council is raising property taxes and in the next breath are building a $42,500 "bowl" at the Tausick Way SportsPlex. There is a skate bowl there already.

Four more years of no accountability

Basically the American people have sent the same people they failed to hold accountable the last four years back for another four years.

Nurses will be in high demand

In an effort to promote nursing, I'd like to share some statistics regarding the nursing shortage crisis.

Everyone has stake in WWCC's mission

Walla Walla Community College has received significant state and national attention after being named one of the top five community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute.

Are you sure, God? Be thankful in everything?

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas upon us, I’ve been reflecting on family time and the deeper meaning of these holidays. The apostle Paul offers wisdom for us all.

Church bulletin

St. Nicholas Day Breakfast slated at St. Patrick’s today WALLA WALLA — The Catholic Daughters of the Americas and Knights of Columbus host the annual St. Nicholas Day Breakfast, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. today at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Blanchet Hall, 425 W. Alder St. This is a fundraiser, with proceeds going to the Walla Walla mobile dental van. Cost is $7 for adults and $4 for child

Gypsy Girl specializes in granola

DAYTON — When Suzi and Duane Tasker found out that their son Noa was gluten intolerant, Suzi Tasker began researching recipes for good food he could eat.

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Family to offer goat-milk products

DAYTON — Terrisa and Andrew Churchill began raising goats on their Sedro-Woolley, Wash., property a dozen years ago. They prized the goat milk as a healthy alternative to cow’s milk.

Businesses sign up for Blue Mountain Station

DAYTON — Cheese, granola and hot sauce. While that combination may sound less than appetizing, the Port of Columbia hopes those ingredients will help cook up a successful new artisan food center at Blue Mountain Station in Dayton.

On the Agenda


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Roll out the barrel...

WALLA WALLA — The three-day Holiday Barrel Tasting weekend finishes today, marking the end of a season and a welcomed taste of what’s to come.

Port commissioners to meet with local legislators

WALLA WALLA — Port of Walla Walla commissioners will meet with legislative delegates Monday to discuss the economic development agency’s 2013 priorities.

Sheriff's Roundtable to be in Burbank on Tuesday

BURBANK —The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office will hold a Sheriff’s Roundtable meeting Tuesday in Burbank.

Last round of leaf pickups to begin Monday

WALLA WALLA — The city’s annual leaf pickup program, which began Nov. 1 and has gone through two full rounds on city trash routes, will have a third go at leaves starting Monday. This will complete leaf collection for the season and no further collection efforts will be done.

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Christmas Lighting Tour returns

WALLA WALLA — A Christmas tradition of years past is rolling back into town this week with the return of the Christmas Lighting Tour.

STAR in danger of fading away

WALLA WALLA — To Chuck Hindman and Glenna Awbrey, the logic is irrefutable — spend some money now or much more later. And not all that far down the road.

Former convicts face many bumps in road

WALLA WALLA — Former convicts face many challenges in staying on a straight path, according to findings by the U.S. Department of Justice, said Chuck Hindman, board president of the STAR Project in Walla Walla.

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Program helps put former inmates on right path

WALLA WALLA — Scott Andrews concedes he ruined his life and took other people down with him.

Snow dump in Cascades calls skiers to summits

Snow dump in Cascades calls skiers to summits

US: 200 teens have been detained in Afghan war

US: 200 teens have been detained in Afghan war

UW library freezes bedbugs off infested books

UW library freezes bedbugs off infested books

Engineers union at Boeing prepping for strike

Engineers union at Boeing prepping for strike

Jackson, cast discuss 'The Hobbit'

Jackson, cast discuss ‘The Hobbit’

Whitman men rout Loggers, 111-77

WALLA WALLA — Puget Sound was the bane of Whitman College last season.

Friday, December 7

Whitman women down Puget Sound, 66-52

WALLA WALLA — Led by 20 points each from Heather Johns and Sarah Anderegg Whitman won their second Northwest Conference game of the year and improved to 7-1 on the year with a 66-52 victory over the Puget Sound Friday night at Whitman’s George Ball Court.

Boehner: No progress in fiscal cliff talks

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner said today there has been no progress in negotiations to avert a “fiscal cliff” combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts in January and called on President Barack Obama to produce a new offer.

US works with Russia on Syria, but wants Assad out

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today that the United States and Russia are committed to trying again to get President Bashar Assad’s regime and the rebel opposition to talk about a political transition in Syria, setting aside U.S.-Russian disagreements that have paralyzed the international community.

Egypt protesters breach barriers, march on palace

CAIRO — Tens of thousands of Egyptian protesters push past barbed wire fences installed by the army and march on the presidential palace, calling for President Mohammed Morsi to “leave” a day after they say he offered no concessions to opposition demands.

Could 'platinum coin' solve the debt crisis?

WASHINGTON — If President Obama wants to avoid an economic calamity next year, he could always show up at a news conference bearing two shiny platinum coins, each worth $1 trillion.

Snow may have slowed North Korean launch

SEOUL, South Korea — New satellite images indicate that snow may have slowed North Korea’s rocket launch preparations, but that Pyongyang could still be ready for liftoff starting Monday.

Superstorm utility crews complain of payroll delay

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — Mike Valaskatgis slept in his National Grid truck for two nights, and then on a cot two more nights before getting a bed in a hotel room during a 10-day visit to New York last month to help in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Syrian rebels say airport legitimate target

BEIRUT — Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad declared Damascus International Airport a “legitimate target” today in a bid to cut off regime supplies, as clashes between government troops and rebels forced the closure of the airport road for the second time this week.

Shaq looks to become the Pat Riley of comedy

NEW YORK — With his latest endeavor, Shaquille O’Neal now considers himself the “Pat Riley of comedy.”

British study backs benefit of healthy eating

A healthy diet may reduce the impact of infections.

Natural techniques, products benefit health, beauty

Beauty begins with the skin. So, let's understand that the skin is actually an organ. It's a very wonderful organ.

Does yoga float? In the warm water pools, you bet

You may remember my "Simply Yoga" articles from The Walla Walla Valley Weekly this past year.

Extra ear wax calls for careful action

Specialists say shedding the excess can be done at home, but demands gentle treatment.

WALLA WALLA -- Folks not hearing the jing-jing-jingle of Christmas might suspect hearing loss. Chances are good, however, there's a different Grinch to blame.

Reporter, trainer share in gains from strength work

Monday was hard. I had been dreading it all weekend, this moment of truth. It was time to see what eight weeks -- give or take a few days -- of strength training had actually wrought.

US up 146K jobs; jobless rate falls

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008. The government said Superstorm Sandy had only a minimal effect on the figures.


CORRECTION: The Court Report published Dec. 6 contained a clerical error. The report listed Stephan Cleveland’s age incorrectly. He is 15 years old. We regret the error.

British nurse who took prank 'royals' call is found dead

LONDON — A nurse who took a hoax call from two Australian disc jockeys asking about the condition of Kate Middleton, Prince William’s pregnant wife, has been found dead, the hospital where the woman worked confirmed today.

Coffee from an elephant's gut fills a $50 cup

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Thailand — In the lush hills of northern Thailand, a herd of 20 elephants is excreting some of the world’s most expensive coffee.

College Place man to be charged in child pornography case

WALLA WALLA — A College Place man who is one of the moderators of a locally popular Facebook page made his first appearance in court today after being arrested for child pornography.

'Sweet Onion Burger' page gained momentum this year

WALLA WALLA — What is the “Walla Walla Sweet Onion Burger”?

Emergency Services - 12/07/12

WW Police Walla Walla County Public Health Building, 314 W. Main St., Thursday 10-10:15 a.m. While attendant was away, $89 was taken from petty cash drawer.

Wineries' efforts benefit kids in poor health

More than 30 Walla Walla Valley wineries raised $237,000 in cash and funds to assist with uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Walmart, Salvation Army unite to fight poverty

The College Place Walmart will continue to be a gathering spot for toy donations this weekend.

Black boxes in autos raise privacy worries

WASHINGTON — Many motorists don’t know it, but it’s likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there’s a snitch along for the ride.

Doubling parking fines downtown makes sense

Doubling the parking fines in downtown Walla Walla should benefit the community.

Walla Walla man charged in kidnap, assault

WALLA WALLA — A man charged with holding two women at gunpoint in his apartment Thursday made his first appearance in court today.

Sweets to open 2013 season vs. Bend

PORTLAND — The 2013 West Coast League schedule has been released, with each of the 11 teams playing 54-games in a revised divisional set-up.

Temporary lockdown lifted at local schools

Walla Walla High School and Prospect Point Elementary were on temporary lockdown this morning following a recommendation by the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office.

Whitman women to host annual Evanger-Raney Classic

WALLA WALLA — The Whitman women’s basketball team is hosting three regional opponents this weekend in the seventh annual Kim Evanger-Raney Memorial Classic.

Harris tops bull riding in NFR opener

LAS VEGAS — Three-time world bull riding champion J.W. Harris had a 90.5-point ride on Stink Eye on Thursday night in the National Finals Rodeo to win the opening round and take the lead in the world standings.

Seahawks receivers stepping up

RENTON, Wash. — Sidney Rice and Golden Tate have become the go-to targets for Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.

Mariners' shot at Josh Hamilton could hinge on another signing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Patience appears to be paying off this time for Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik as he wrapped up the baseball winter meetings with some big targets in his sights.

Hey M's, no free agent is perfect

SEATTLE — Even for those who don’t have to front the money, there are no perfect free agents, it seems. The potential warts are always lurking, fueling the debate: Prince Fielder is too hefty to age well, Albert Pujols too old for a 10-year deal, Jose Reyes too injury-prone, Albert Belle too flighty.

Broncs down Raiders, improve to 10-3

OAKLAND, Calif. — Everyone on the outside might be focusing on Peyton Manning setting more records and the Denver Broncos getting an eighth straight win to move a step closer to a first-round bye.

Late registration for youth indoor soccer still open

WALLA WALLA — Late registration will continue on an as-available basis for Walla Walla YMCA Youth Indoor Soccer.

'Better safe than sorry' goes to extremes with cancer

Nearly one-third of breast cancer diagnoses are wrong and the system has been faulty for decades.

Idaho duo sparks overtime win over Eastern Washington

CHENEY — Stephen Madison scored 29 and Kyle Barone scored 20 to lead Idaho to an 81-79 overtime victory over Eastern Washington on Thursday night.

Notre Dame linebacker Te’o wins Maxwell Award

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Manti Te’o was “at a loss for words” after capturing the Maxwell Award as the nation’s most outstanding player, one of three honors Notre Dame’s senior linebacker received at the 22nd Home Depot College Football Awards show at Disney World.

Quiet winter meetings figure to lead to busy rest of year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A quiet winter meetings figures to lead to a busy rest of December, given how few moves actually got finished at sprawling Opryland hotel.

Goodell says NFL willing to help fund Raiders stadium

OAKLAND, Calif. — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday the league is willing to contribute funding to help build a stadium in Oakland to keep the Raiders in town.

Senden takes two-stroke lead at Australian Open

SYDNEY — Australia’s John Senden shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday in calm morning conditions at The Lakes to take a two-stroke lead in the Australian Open.

Idaho schools may play 6-man football next fall

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Small Idaho high schools will have the option to play 6-man football next fall.

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Walla Walla veterans find support in coffee, conversation

WALLA WALLA — Not one of the six men sitting in the back corner booth of McDonalds on Ninth Avenue earlier this week was serving in the military Dec. 7, 1941. Yet each eventually heard the call of duty because of that two-hour period when hundreds of Japanese fighter planes first attacked America, at a naval base on Pearl Harbor near Honolulu.

Knights run roughshod over Pioneers, 70-36

MILTON-FREEWATER — Walla Walla Valley Academy took advantage of 26 turnovers and made 16 steals as it won a lopsided boys basketball game with Mac-Hi Thursday night, 70-36.

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Mac-Hi downs Walla Walla Valley Academy for 2nd win

MILTON-FREEWATER — Ten different Pioneers reached the scorer’s column and Makia Carlson scored a double-double as Mac-Hi’s girls basketball team picked up its second victory of the year with a 51-44 victory over Walla Walla Valley Academy Tuesday night.

Thursday, December 6

Syria criticizes NATO move on Patriot missiles

BEIRUT — Syria sharply criticized NATO’s move to deploy Patriot missiles along its border with Turkey, calling the decision “provocative,” as the West took a major step toward a possible military role in the civil war.

Jordan's king visits West Bank to support Palestinians

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Jordan’s King Abdullah II paid a rare visit to the West Bank today in a show of support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ successful bid for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.

US drone kills three suspected militants in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A U.S. drone fired a pair of missiles at a house in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region near the Afghan border today, killing three suspected militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

Sandy brings both economic boom, bust to N.E.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — On a storm-battered stretch of Connecticut’s shoreline, landscaping crews use heavy equipment to repair damage from Superstorm Sandy, racking up overtime pay at a time of year when many are typically looking for part-time jobs to carry them through the winter.

As Assad regime weakens, US, Russia discuss Syria's future

DUBLIN — Diplomatic efforts to end Syria’s civil war moved forward today with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joining Russia’s foreign minister and the U.N. peace envoy to the Arab country for extraordinary three-way talks that suggested Washington and Moscow might finally unite behind a strategy as the Assad regime weakens.

How far over the 'cliff' could they go?

WASHINGTON — The dealmakers who warn that a year-end plunge off the “fiscal cliff” would be disastrous don’t seem to be rushing to stop it. Why aren’t they panicking?

New at the Walla Walla Public Library

Featured books will be available for the public today. They can also be placed on hold online at or call the library for assistance at 527-4550.

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Holiday Barrel Tasting decks halls, taps into single varietals

WALLA WALLA — Local wineries will start looking a lot like Christmas this weekend during the three-day Holiday Barrel Tasting.

College Place man arrested in child pornography case

WALLA WALLA — A College Place man known to his Facebook followers as the “Walla Walla Sweet Onion Burger” has been arrested for investigation of distributing child pornography.

Carbon monoxide detector law sparks worry locally

Exemptions are available to the state rule calling for detectors in buildings in Washington.

A new requirement for carbon monoxide detectors in homes has raised a number of burning questions among property owners and developers.

Naming deal gives Walla Walla theater a boost

A $1 million agreement means the fixture on North Sixth Avenue will be called the Gesa Power House Theatre.

WALLA WALLA -- The Power House Theatre is set to debut a new name.

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City of Weston makes the best of poisoned trees

WESTON — Poisoned trees in Weston’s city park will find new life as statues.

UPDATE: Man sought in kidnapping taken into custody

WALLA WALLA — Police today are seeking a kidnap suspect they believe is armed with a handgun.

POLICE: Kidnapping suspect taken into custody

Two Walla Walla women were held hostage early this morning by a shotgun wielding suspect who has been identified as Kyle R. Jamerson, 27, 1020 Alvarado Terrace, Apt. C. Jamerson’s whereabouts are unknown at this time and he is believed to be armed with a hand gun. Anyone who knows where he may be is urged to call 911 and not to approach him.

Targets of online criticism strike back in court

WASHINGTON — Angered by what she thought was shoddy work on her home, Fairfax, Va. resident Jane Perez did what has become the go-to form of retail vengeance in the Internet age: She logged onto Yelp and posted scathing reviews of the Washington firm that did the job.

Etcetera - 12/06/12

Community volunteers have stepped in to assist The Salvation Army with its Red Kettle program, emailed J. Andrew Rodriguez, chairman of The Salvation Army Advisory Board.

Pioneer Middle School student arrested in pot dealing

WALLA WALLA — A Pioneer Middle School student was arrested for investigation of dealing in marijuana after several bags of the substance were allegedly found in the student’s backpack.

Robert and Susie Schaefer anniversary

Former Walla Wallans Robert and Susie Schaefer of Torrington, Wyo., celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary Saturday.

RLD should reconsider urban area library

Following the Walla Walla City Council's vote to sell non-resident library cards, the Union-Bulletin has again appealed to the Rural Library District to reconsider building a second facility in the urban area of Walla Walla and to work with the city to develop a system that will build on the strengths of the city Public Library to provide service to all residents of the area.

Two WWU Christmas concerts Friday

COLLEGE PLACE -- The Walla Walla University 2012 Christmas concert, "At the Door," will be Friday. Identical performances will be at 6 and 8 p.m. at WWU Church, 212 S.W. Fourth St.

Whitman offers 1 live radio play performance

WALLA WALLA -- Whitman College's Harper Joy Theatre, 345 Boyer Ave., will present a single performance of "The 39 Steps: A Live Radio Play" at 2 p.m. Saturday.

POLICE: College Place resident arrested for distributing child pornography

A joint investigation with the College Place Police Department and the Computer Forensics Detective of the Walla Walla Police Department led to the arrest this morning of David N. Polk, 57, 427 SE 8th,

'O, Come Let Us Adore Him' concert Saturday at LDS church

WALLA WALLA -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1821 S. Second Ave., will present its free, annual Community Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Student paintings, pottery, sculpture exhibited tonight

WALLA WALLA --The annual student art show at Lincoln High School, 421 S. Fourth Ave., will be from 6-8 this evening.

Milton-Freewater library to celebrate Christmas at North Pole

MILTON-FREEWATER -- The Milton-Freewater Public Library has two programs on its calendar:

Tea, confections offered at Pataha Flour Mill Saturday

POMEROY -- Pataha Flour Mill, 50 Hutchens Hill Road, will host its annual Christmas Tea and Confections at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Houser Room.

Uptight Out'a Sight jam gets down

WALLA WALLA -- Sapolil Cellars, will be the site for Uptight Out'a Sight Walla Walla Jam Night from 6-9 every Thursday this month at the tasting room, 15 E. Main St.

Walla Walla Choral Society to perform

WALLA WALLA -- The Walla Walla Choral Society, guest conducted by Paul Dennis, will perform "On This Shining Night" at 7:30 p.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church, 325 S. First Ave. Admission at the door is $12. Children under 13 are admitted free. For more information, cal 509-386-2445 or go online to or

United Brethren Church offers Christmas cantata.

DAYTON -- Dayton United Brethren Church, 1106 S. Fourth St., will present a free Christmas cantata, "Christmas Alleluia," at 8:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Sunday.

Tennessee Williams drama 'Camino Real' opens tonight at HJT

WALLA WALLA -- "Camino Real" a play by Tennessee Williams opens tonight, with curtain at 8 p.m., on the Alexander Stage at Harper Joy Theatre, Whitman College, 280 Boyer Ave.

Marijuana now legal; pot smokers celebrate

SEATTLE — The crowds of people lighting joints under Seattle’s Space Needle early today with nary a police officer in sight bespoke the new reality: Marijuana is legal under Washington state law.

Same-sex marriage backers took small steps to victory

OLYMPIA — It was the kind of open-ended prediction that can never be proven wrong. But I wonder if Ed Murray knew when he made the prediction how quickly it would be proven right.

Fall from fiscal cliff could flatten state

Much of America is concerned about the negative impact of the nation going over the fiscal cliff.

Downtown parking fines to double

WALLA WALLA — Downtown parking fines will double next year.

Homeland Security spending questioned

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department paid for an underwater robot in a Midwest city with no major rivers or lakes nearby, a hog catcher, a “latrine on wheels” in Fort Worth, Texas and a fish tank in a small Texas town, according to a new congressional report highlighting what it described as wasteful spending of tax money intended for counterterrorism purposes.

Banner promotes two execs

Banner Bank has announced the promotion of two of its real estate loan servicing department employees.

Groups work together to benefit undertoyed kids

Walmart and Pepsi are teaming up Friday for a daylong toy drive for Toys for Tots.

Unemployment fraudsters risk loss of tax refunds

If you’ve been wrongly receiving unemployment benefits, the state Employment Security Department may be coming after your income tax refund.

Man sentenced to jail in theft string

WALLA WALLA — A man caught with stolen property from as many as 30 vehicle prowls was sentenced to 10 months in jail today.

Walla Walla City Council OKs city budget

WALLA WALLA — City Council approved a $149 million biennial budget that includes increases in street funding, decreases in most other department — including police, fire and library — and an optimistic and possibly controversial goal to raise additional funds through a major annexation along the city’s southern Urban Growth Area boundary.

POLICE: Pioneer Middle School student arrested for marijuana possession

A Pioneer Middle School student was arrested after a school official walked by his locker and smelled the odor of Marijuana coming from the locker.

Aviary group gets initial OK

WALLA WALLA — City Council agreed, in part, to a new plan to save the Pioneer Park Aviary that would not cost the city any additional money.

Alaska or bust

IDAHO FALLS — If you’re traveling north along the Alaska-Canada Highway, you come to a town called Dawson Creek, British Columbia. It’s one of the last real towns for hundreds of miles — known as “Mile 0 City” on the AlCan Highway. Beyond it, the road passes through rolling hills of wilderness as far as the eye can see.

Angels add Blanton, Burnett; other bid deals on deck

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Los Angeles Angels added starter Joe Blanton and reliever Sean Burnett to their retooled pitching staff. Jeff Keppinger found a new home, as did Eric Chavez.

Stern says $250,000 fine of Spurs justified

NEW ORLEANS — NBA Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday his $250,000 fine of the San Antonio Spurs was justified because the club went beyond what league owners agreed was a reasonable approach to resting healthy players.

Bryant fifth player in NBA history to 30,000 points

NEW ORLEANS — Kobe Bryant scored 29 points, making him the fifth player in NBA history to score 30,000, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a two-game skid with a 103-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night.

Bulldogs slip by Cougars

PULLMAN — Two weeks ago, Washington State was blown out by No. 9 Kansas. On Wednesday night, they lost just 71-69 to No. 10 Gonzaga, and Cougars coach Ken Bone was pleased with the improvement shown by his team.

Seahawks' Browner begins suspension

RENTON, Wash. — Cornerback Brandon Browner began his four-game suspension sooner rather than later with an eye toward being available later this season.

Court Report - Superior court

CRIMINAL CASES Walla Walla County Zachary A. Reisenauer, 21, Benton County, was sentenced Dec. 3 on one count fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation. The sentence included restitution of to be determined, $

No oil spill found in Snake River after report

No news is good news. At least in regards to oil spills.

M's agree to 1-year deal with OF Bay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik spent the final day of the baseball winter meetings assuring fans that his first move isn’t expected to be his last.

Police urge vigilance to keep kids safe during holidays, travel

Parents, be careful not to let their guard down or become distracted while traveling or attending public functions with your children during the 2012 holiday season. The Oregon State Police Missing Children Clearinghouse urges parents to consider what they should be telling their children to keep them safe while shopping and traveling this holiday season.

George scores 22 to lead Pacers over Blazers, 99-92

INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George scored 22 points to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 99-92 on Wednesday night.

Manziel may make history as first Heisman freshman

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Johnny Manziel certainly has the statistics worthy of a Heisman Trophy winner. He plays in the powerful Southeastern Conference. He has a signature win — all things Heisman voters typically look for.

Titans' Locker learning, but not winning like rookies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Andrew Luck and RG3 are winning. Russell Wilson, too — and they're all NFL rookies.

Rams find passing game

ST. LOUIS — Sam Bradford can't help but be excited about the St. Louis Rams' passing attack.

NHL talks continue for third day in row

NEW YORK — The tenor turned a bit after a second straight marathon day of NHL labor talks. Gone was some of the lightheartedness and rare optimism expressed about 24 hours earlier.

Read-option back, better than ever in NFL

NEW YORK — Tim Tebow has been out with two broken ribs and maybe a bruised ego.

Utah downs Boise State, 76-55

SALT LAKE CITY — It was almost as if Rick Majerus was back in the Huntsman Center and Utah was re-living its glory days.

Folk musicians to perform in Pendleton

PENDLETON — Nationally known folk musicians Heidi Muller and Bob Webb will take the stage at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Pendleton Center for the Arts, 214 N. Main St.

OES holiday music fest Dec. 9

PENDLETON — The annual Oregon East Symphony and Chorale Holiday Music Festival will be held 3:15 p.m. Dec. 9, in the Vert Auditorium, 500 S.W. Dorion Ave.

A common winter beauty can be found in the house finch

With the onset of December, most folks assume it is time for cold temperatures, snow, ice and frequent Arctic fronts blasting out of the Gulf of Alaska and Canada.

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Cold weather brings new look to area wildlife

Brrr! Seven sparrows stood on the edges of a frozen-over bird bath. They pecked the ice and looked about, apparently for the deliverer of fresh water. “Poor birds,” Darlene said, warm in her chair before the window.

Care, experience a must when foraging for wild mushrooms

The recent death of two seniors served mushroom soup made with fungi foraged at a Placer County, Calif., elder care facility has lots of people asking: “Who gathers food?”

Natural techniques benefit health, beauty

Beauty begins with the skin.

British study links diet change to reduced illness

A healthy diet may reduce the impact of infections.

Reporter, trainer share in gains

Monday was hard.

Extra ear wax calls for careful action

WALLA WALLA — Folks not hearing the jing-jing-jingle of Christmas might suspect hearing loss. Chances are good, however, there’s a different Grinch to blame.

Does yoga float? You bet

You may remember my “Simply Yoga” articles from The Walla Walla Valley Weekly this past year.

Wednesday, December 5

French chateaubulldozed in error

PARIS (AP) — Residents of a sleepy French village in Bordeaux have been left dumbfounded after discovering their local 18th-century chateau was completely bulldozed “by mistake.”

Castaway camper lives aboard canoe in Boston Harbor

BOSTON (AP) — They say no man is an island, but Michael Richard Smith has been creating his own floating homes in Boston Harbor.

Reese Witherspoon honored by March of Dimes

LOS ANGELES — New mom Reese Witherspoon is being honored by March of Dimes for being a model celebrity parent.

Fast-growing fish may never reach market

WASHINGTON — Salmon that’s been genetically modified to grow twice as fast as normal could soon show up on your dinner plate. That is, if the company that makes the fish can stay afloat.

Clinton: Missile decision is a message to Syria

BRUSSELS — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says NATO’s decision to send Patriot missiles to Turkey is a clear message to Syria: Turkey is backed by its allies.

Los Angeles ports to reopen after strike

LOS ANGELES — Work resumed today at the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors after settlement of a strike that crippled the nation’s busiest container port complex for more than a week.

Clinton: Egypt's unrest shows need for dialogue

BRUSSELS — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Egypt’s unrest shows the urgent need for dialogue between President Mohammed Morsi’s government and opposing voices on a constitutional path going forward.

Syrian civil war spills into Lebanon

TRIPOLI, Lebanon — Gunmen loyal to opposite sides in neighboring Syria’s civil war battled today in the streets of a northern Lebanese city where two days of clashes have killed at least six people and wounded more than 50, officials said.

Liquor sales still up post-privatization

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Sales of hard liquor increased in the four months after the state privatized liquor sales June 1, compared with sales during the same four-month period a year ago, the Washington state Department of Revenue said Tuesday.

Dave Brubeck, jazz legend, dies at 91

LOS ANGELES — Dave Brubeck, the jazz pianist, composer and bandleader behind the legendary Dave Brubeck Quartet, has died at age 91. Brubeck would have turned 92 Thursday.

Papal Twitter account draws buzz

Papal Twitter account draws buzz

Gay marriage law takes effect Thursday

OLYMPIA — Gay and lesbian couples will start getting married in Washington state as early as Sunday, as the new state law allowing same-sex marriage takes effect this week.

Baker Boyer Bank wins statewide family business award

WALLA WALLA -- The family that banks together, ranks together. At least when it comes to Baker Boyer Bank's recent chart-topping award from Seattle Business magazine.

Athena Study Club sets annual Christmas party

ATHENA — Athena Study Club holds its annual Christmas party at the Athena Public Library on Dec. 7 at 12:30 p.m.

Sheriff's Roundtable set for Thursday in Prescott

PRESCOTT —The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office will hold a Sheriff’s Roundtable meeting Thursday in Prescott.

State embraces corporate tax breaks, despite constitution

OLYMPIA — When they were drafting the Washington state constitution in 1889, delegates argued passionately about an issue at the heart of the would-be state’s economy.

Balanced budgets mandatory in state

The focus on the national debt and Congress’ penchant for spending far more money than it collects in taxes — year after year — has caused some folks to conclude all government operates this way.

Farm groups to renew push for stable work force

YAKIMA — Farmers who grow labor-intensive tree fruit crops must continue to be vocal about the need for comprehensive immigration reform to ensure agriculture is included in any solution for the nation’s broken immigration system, several farm groups told Washington state growers at a conference Tuesday.

Emergency Services - 12/05/12

Information is compiled by the Union-Bulletin staff from the official logs and records of the agencies listed below. Readers with any information on these or other crimes should call the local police or county sheriff’s department. By law, victims of crimes may request through law enforcement agencies that their names not be released to the media. Theft and vandalism reports were filed Tuesday and today unless otherwise noted.

Journeys PUB to launch grand opening festivities

If you haven’t checked out downtown Walla Walla’s newest bar, it may be time for a trip to Journeys PUB.

AAA's WW travel office to set sail

Walla Walla’s AAA travel and auto club office is bidding bon voyage.

Chamber announces first winner of local shopping campaign

Gil Alden of Walla Walla was the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce’s first $100 winner this season.

Inland Octopus seeks toy donations for Giving Tree

Inland Octopus is doing its part to make it a Merry Christmas for those in need.

Prescott Planning Commission meeting set for Thursday

PRESCOTT — The Prescott Planning Commission will meet at 2 p.m. on Thursday at City Hall, 108 S. D St.

Man stabbed during early-morning confrontation

WALLA WALLA — A 20-year-old man was stabbed by two other men during a possibly gang-related confrontation early today.

M's looking at adding outfielders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With prices escalating for top players, the Mariners are remaining flexible in their efforts to land at least one big prize.

Hawkins helps No. 21 UNLV beat Portland, 68-60

PORTLAND — Mike Moser didn’t get his homecoming.

NHL owners, players in contact

NEW YORK — NHL owners and players were back in contact with each other this morning, but didn’t hold a bargaining session because they didn’t want to rush through a meeting before the league’s board of governors got together.

Cougars know size of challenge Zags present

PULLMAN — He grew up in Spokane, accompanying his parents to Gonzaga basketball games in “the old Kennel” during the beginning of the Bulldogs’ glory days.

29 years after crash, Rivera in College Hall

NEW YORK — Gabe Rivera was maybe the greatest defensive lineman to play at Texas Tech.

Steady K State QB Klein Heisman finalist

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Collin Klein is the Heisman Trophy finalist who fits no mold.

Make 'SMASH' your Christmas present

It would be a mistake to use the Christmas season with all its attendant responsibilities and parties to miss the chance to see Walla Walla Community College's production of "SMASH."

Bears Urlacher could miss rest of season with injury

CHICAGO — Brian Urlacher acknowledged he could miss the rest of the regular season because of a hamstring injury, meaning the linebacker might have played his last game with the Chicago Bears.

Auburn turns to Halzahn as new football coach

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn turned to Gus Malzahn to restore a program that made an unprecedented fall two years after winning the national title with Cam Newton operating the then-assistant coach’s high-powered offense to perfection.

Victorino to Boston; Scutaro remains with Giants

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In another busy day at baseball’s winter meetings, Shane Victorino bolted for Boston, Marco Scutaro stayed with San Francisco, and the Miami Marlins shed more payroll in a late-night trade.

Etcetera - 12/05/12

A building in Milton-Freewater rapidly approaching the venerable age of 60 is in need of some work, cosmetic and otherwise.

After Sandy, NYC pins housing hopes on repairs

NEW YORK (AP) — Facing Superstorm Sandy’s daunting toll of wreckage and displacement in the nation’s largest city, officials have put much of their hopes and hundreds of millions of dollars into jump-starting repairs to make homes livable.

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Moore, Richman lead DeSales past Riverside Christian, 81-74

WALLA WALLA — A Cameron Richman trey broke a 13-13 tie and gave DeSales a lead it would not relinquish at 16-13 with 4:03 to play in the first here Tuesday in boys non-conference basketball action.

Dayton girls stifle Riverview, 48-24

DAYTON — The Dayton Bulldogs doubled up on Riverview in a girls basketball game here Tuesday, 48-24.

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Riverside Christian girls down Irish, 48-39

WALLA WALLA — DeSales dug itself a 14-6 hole after one quarter here Tuesday in non-conference girls basketball action.

Whitman not so neighborly in crosstown battle with Wolves

COLLEGE PLACE — Whitman paid a crosstown visit to Walla Walla University Tuesday night and wasn’t very neighborly.

Riverview explodes for 21 4th-quarter points in victory over Dayton

DAYTON — Riverview led by just six points, 23-17, going into the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s game with Dayton before exploding for 21 points and a 46-25 victory over the Bulldogs.

Mac-Hi trounces Helix boys

MILTON-FREEWATER — Mac-Hi’s boys basketball team pummeled the Helix Grizzlies, 61-36, in its first game of the season Tuesday.

Waitsburg-Prescott girls struggle in 59-19 loss to Colfax

COLFAX — Waitsburg-Prescott’s girls basketball team took to the road and lost to Colfax, 59-19, Tuesday night in their first action of the year.

Tuesday, December 4

Pomeroy grapplers dominate Tri-Cites Prep meet

PASCO — Pomeroy grapplers dominated the Tri-Cities Prep wrestling meet Tuesday, posting 18 wins to just four losses at the meet which hosted junior varsity squads from Pasco, Chiawana, Southridge and Hanford, as well as varsity squads from Waitsburg-Prescott, Tri-Cities Prep and Burbank.

Redskins' rushing attack, pistol formation led to success against Giants

WASHINGTON — As they barreled toward a 17-16 victory over the New York Giants on Monday night at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., the Washington Redskins demonstrated once again why they have the top rushing attack in the NFL. It was evident that Washington had too much for New York, from the powerful legs of rookie running back Alfred Morris to the sprinter's speed of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III to the creative formations of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

Seahawks lose OL Carpenter, waive WR Edwards

RENTON, Wash. — Seahawks guard James Carpenter’s season has ended early for the second consecutive year.

Paul Petrino to get at least $390K at Idaho

MOSCOW, Idaho — New Idaho head coach Paul Petrino will be paid at least $390,000 annually in a three-year contract approved by the Idaho State Board of Education.

Mac-Hi girls rout Helix, 61-19

MILTON-FREEWATER — Mac-Hi had four players score in double figures in route to a 61-19 victory over the Helix Grizzlies here Tuesday night in a non-league girls’ basketball game.

Bret Bielema leaves Wisconsin for Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Bret Bielema is taking his brand of power football to Arkansas, leaving Wisconsin after seven seasons.

Out of home; forever in mind

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone with the familiar face absent from the holiday table. This seems as good a time as any to finish a column I have been writing in my heart for months now.

'Dishonored' a very honorable alternative to 'Call of Duty' series

Gameplay in “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2,” the latest in the long running shooter series, is the same as in previous versions.

December waves wan over weather

No travel agent in his or her right mind would choose photos taken in late November for use in a brochure to extol the virtues of southeastern Washington and entice would-be visitors to this part of the world.

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Walla Walla's gypsy boutiques

Two local women break new shopping ground with their refurbished trailers.

First came food trucks. Then came gourmet food trucks.

What did the voters say?

I have sat patiently as all of the "locals" have given their analysis on the election results, and now I would like to share mine.

Egyptian protest turns violent outside palace

CAIRO — Police have fired tear gas to stop protesters from approaching the presidential palace in Cairo as tens of thousands take to the streets to demonstrate against the assumption of nearly absolute powers by the nation’s Islamist leader.

California's 'gay conversion therapy' law put on hold

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento federal judge late Monday barred California from enforcing its new law prohibiting “gay conversion therapy” against two mental health providers and a student who are suing to derail the measure.

Holiday open house continues through today at unique College Place gift shop

College Place gift shop The Garden Shed is all dressed for the holidays.

Merged CPA firms count on smooth service transition

Two local accounting firms have become one.

Israel to advance east Jerusalem building plans

JERUSALEM — Israel is moving forward with plans for two major settlement projects in east Jerusalem, a spokeswoman said today, even as a senior Palestinian official warned that his government could pursue war crimes charges if Israel doesn’t halt such construction.

Syria says 30 killed in mortar attack on school

BEIRUT — A mortar slammed into a ninth-grade classroom in the Damascus suburbs today, killing 29 students and a teacher, according to state media, as the civil war closed in on President Bashar Assad’s seat of power.

Gonzaga rises to No. 10 in both major polls

Gonzaga, unbeaten in eight games this season, jumped two spots to No. 10 in The Associated Press media and USA Today/ESPN coaches polls Monday.

Watson says golf has no place in Olympic Games

SYDNEY — Eight-time major winner Tom Watson says golf has no place at the Olympic Games.

NHL labor talks slated to resume today

NEW YORK — With the lockout lingering into another week, the NHL labor talks are set to resume today with six owners and six players scheduled to meet while a couple of key figures remain on the sidelines of the negotiations.

A-Rod to begin Yankees season on disabled list

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Alex Rodriguez will start the season in what’s become a familiar place: the disabled list.

Eagles fire defensive line coach Washburn

PHILADELPHIA — Defensive line coach Jim Washburn was fired in the latest shake-up for the sinking Philadelphia Eagles.

Harbaugh to stick with Kaepernick at quarterback

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Jim Harbaugh watched how Colin Kaepernick handled himself when things didn’t go right for the San Francisco 49ers, and that told the coach plenty more about his second-year quarterback with all of three NFL starts to his name.

Friends, family of Belcher try to understand killings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Friends and family of Jovan Belcher and his slain girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, tried to come to grips with the murder and suicide that took their lives this weekend. As they did, a portrait of the 25-year-old player began to emerge, that of a man devoted to his family, who cherished his daughter and loved football after making it to the NFL against long odds. Still, the question remained: What would drive him to gun down the mother of his baby girl and then take his own life?

Study shows high academic progress for 70 bowl schools

ORLANDO, Fla. — A study of the 70 schools selected for college football bowl games this season showed football teams maintained high recent academic progress, but the gap between African-American and white players persists.

Kansas State’s Klein wins Unitas Golden Arm Award

BALTIMORE, Md. — Kansas State’s Collin Klein has won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the nation’s top upperclassman quarterback.

Irish linebacker Te’o wins Butkus Award

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Notre Dame star Manti Te’o just keeps winning.

Blazers storm by Bobcats

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After playing six games in eight days on the East coast, you might think the travel weary Portland Trail Blazers might be ready to run out of steam.

Morgan wins US women's soccer award

SEATTLE — Forward Alex Morgan, who played for the Sounders Women this year, has won the U.S. Soccer Federation award as female athlete of the year.

Three Sounders FC players eligible for MLS Re-Entry Draft

SEATTLE — Sounders FC has declined to exercise contract options on three players — midfielder Mike Seamon, goalkeeper Andrew Weber, and forward O’Brian White, whose contract for 2012 was bought out in March — making the trio eligible for the upcoming MLS Re-Entry Draft.

Petrino hired as Idaho coach

MOSCOW, Idaho — Arkansas assistant Paul Petrino was hired Monday as the new head football coach at Idaho.

Redskins best visiting Giants

LANDOVER, Md. — Robert Griffin III went down, the ball popped out and Washington Redskins teammate Joshua Morgan scored a first-quarter touchdown.

Chiefs' Crennel talks about Belcher

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel had tried to help.

New York's Wang named designer at Paris' Balenciaga

NEW YORK — Young downtown designer Alexander Wang is taking over the creative direction of storied Paris fashion house Balenciaga.

Allan giving away download with Sandy donation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Country singer Gary Allan was supposed to play Atlantic City, N.J., the day after Hurricane Sandy hit. He never made it, but his thoughts remain with victims of the storm, so he’s come up with a way to help.

Recording Academy adds three new Grammy categories

LOS ANGELES — When the Recording Academy consolidated last year’s Grammy nominations by eliminating 31 categories in R&B, American roots music, classical, Latin, jazz, country, pop and rock fields, the changes felt out of key for some musicians.

Comedian Katt Williams arrested in Seattle

Comedian Katt Williams arrested in Seattle

M's adjust focus after Bosox sign Napoli

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — One sought-after Mariners target was snatched up just hours after the annual baseball winter meetings had officially gotten underway.

Wilson gets better as games get bigger

RENTON, Wash. — Looks like August.

Whitman women pick up pair of wins

SPOKANE — Another stellar defensive effort and a hot shooting second half spurred the Whitman women basketball team to an 85-45 win over Colorado College here Saturday.

Manziel Heisman Trophy favorite

NEW YORK — Johnny Manziel and Manti Te’o are in position to make Heisman Trophy history.

Emergency Services - 12/04/12

Thefts, Burglaries CP Police 1700 block of Southeast Meadowbrook Boulevard. Reported theft of DVDs from vehicle.

In the Minutes - Dayton Council

Dayton City Council members are Delphine Bailey, Kathy Berg, Jim Cooper, Christine Broughton, Dain Nysoe, Arthur Hall and Bill Graham. With all present Monday, the council:

Oregon man on runaway dock arrested after rescue

PORTLAND (AP) — As stormy weather pushed Southern Oregon streams to the top of their banks, Larry Strain of Roseburg went out from his house along the Umpqua River to make sure his boats were tied securely to the dock.

County OKs levies; budget remains on table

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla County commissioners approved property tax levies Monday, but took no action on the 2013 budget.

Of cats, cameras and calendars. Kitty ready for his closeup

Of cats, cameras and calendars. Kitty ready for his closeup

Congress must make deal to avoid fall off fiscal cliff

The prospect of the United State’s economy falling off the fiscal cliff has Americans understandably concerned. After all, economists and other experts predict that if Congress and the president can’t agree on a way to keep the Bush-era tax cuts from ending and across-the-board spending from being enacted (as agreed to when the debt ceiling was extended in 2011) the economy likely will fall into another recession or, worse, a depression.

Gov. Chris Gregoire's legacy of public service

No one could blame Gov.-elect Jay Inslee, as he builds his Cabinet if he pauses to wonder if his feet are big enough to fill Chris Gregoire’s outsized gubernatorial pumps.

WW leaf collection crews move on to Friday trash routes

WALLA WALLA — Street Division crews have finished the second round of loose leaf collection in the Monday to Thursday garbage collection areas as of today and have moved into Friday’s area.

On the Agenda - Columbia County

When: Wednesday, 10 a.m. Where: Columbia County Courthouse, 341 E. Main St., Dayton.

Man in gun pointing pleads guilty to weapons charge

WALLA WALLA — A man charged with brandishing a gun during a confrontation witnessed by frightened customers at a College Place store pleaded guilty Monday to reduced charges.

On the Agenda - Walla Walla Council

When: Wednesday 6:30 p.m. Where: 15 N. Third Ave.

New restrooms to be installed at Bennington Lake

WALLA WALLA — Vehicle and pedestrian access to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Mill Creek Office parking area and portions of the Bennington Lake parking area will be closed Wednesday.

Christmas Bird Count, pre-count survey on tap

WALLA WALLA — The Blue Mountain Audubon Society’s pre-bird count survey tour will be held Saturday and the Christmas Bird Count will be on Dec. 15 this year.

Man pleads guilty in string of thefts

WALLA WALLA — A man facing charges for a string of auto prowls last summer pleaded guilty Monday to reduced charges.

Man imprisoned for assault on infant

WALLA WALLA — A man convicted of breaking the ribs of his infant daughter was sentenced to prison Monday.

Victims of factory fire hope to get their old jobs back

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — As 112 of her co-workers died in a garment-factory fire, Dipa Akter got out by jumping from the third floor through a hole made by breaking apart an exhaust fan. Her left leg is wrapped in bandages and she has trouble walking.

US Coast Guardsman killed at sea off California

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The killing of a U.S. Coast Guardsman whose crew was chasing a vessel suspected of smuggling drugs appears to be the latest example of how smugglers are venturing farther north in a game of cat-and-mouse along the California coast.

Congress eyes student loan collection

Congress will consider overhauling debt collection in the $100 billion-a-year U.S. student loan program, replacing it with automatic withdrawals from borrowers’ paychecks tied to their income — a system used in Britain.

Trust of Afghan soldiers cost 2 American lives

WASHINGTON (AP) — It was a sneak attack, but not by the enemy they feared.

Bangladesh tragedy brings back horror of 1911 Triangle fire in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — Terrified women leaping to their deaths. Locked exits trapping workers. Piles of clothing blocking stairwells to safety.

Victims of factory fire want old jobs back

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — As 112 of her co-workers died in a garment-factory fire, Dipa Akter got out by jumping from the third floor through a hole made by breaking apart an exhaust fan. Her left leg is wrapped in bandages and she has trouble walking.

Walla Walla Choral Society to perform

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Choral Society, guest conducted by Paul Dennis, will perform “On This Shining Night” at 7:30 p.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church, 325 S. First Ave. Admission at the door is $12. Children under 13 are admitted free. For more information, cal 509-386-2445 or go online to or

'O, Come Let Us Adore Him' concert Saturday at LDS church

WALLA WALLA — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1821 S. Second Ave., will present its free, annual Community Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Tea, confections offered at Pataha Flour Mill Saturday

POMEROY — Pataha Flour Mill, 50 Hutchens Hill Road, will host its annual Christmas Tea and Confections at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Houser Room.

Student paintings, pottery, sculpture exhibited tonight

WALLA WALLA —The annual student art show at Lincoln High School, 421 S. Fourth Ave., will be from 6-8 this evening.

Whitman offers 1 live radio play performance

WALLA WALLA — Whitman College’s Harper Joy Theatre, 345 Boyer Ave., will present a single performance of “The 39 Steps: A Live Radio Play” at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Uptight Out'a Sight jam gets down

WALLA WALLA — Sapolil Cellars, will be the site for Uptight Out’a Sight Walla Walla Jam Night from 6-9 every Thursday this month at the tasting room, 15 E. Main St.

M-F library to celebrate Christmas at North Pole

MILTON-FREEWATER — The Milton-Freewater Public Library has two programs on its calendar:

Monday, December 3

'Three Cups of Tea' co-author Relin dies at 49

PORTLAND — David Oliver Relin, co-author of the best-selling book “Three Cups of Tea” that drew allegations parts of it were fabricated, has committed suicide, authorities said.

Manufacturing shrinks as orders dwindle

WASHINGTON — Manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in November as orders dropped to a three-month low and exports slowed.

Letterman, Hoffman, Zeppelin acclaimed at Kennedy Center Honors

WASHINGTON (AP) — David Letterman’s “stupid human tricks” and Top 10 lists vaulted into the ranks of cultural acclaim Sunday night as the late-night comedian received this year’s Kennedy Center Honors with rock band Led Zeppelin, an actor, a ballerina and a blues musician.

Third storm in less than week drenches Northern California

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Residents of Northern California endured the brunt of another powerful storm that drenched the area with yet another round of pounding rain and strong winds, but damage from the storm was less than expected, officials said.

Egyptian civil disobedience could widen

CAIRO — Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi faced the prospect of widening civil disobedience today as media and the tourism industry pondered measures to join a protest by judges against the Islamist leader.

DuPont sends in former cops to enforce seed patents

DuPont Co., the world’s second-biggest seed company, is sending dozens of former police officers across North America to prevent a practice generations of farmers once took for granted.

State fights brew over Medicaid

WASHINGTON — As state legislatures prepare to meet in January, lawmakers across the country are girding for a battle over whether to sign on to the health-care law’s expansion of Medicaid.

Death of Newport women means that man accused of rape may go free

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 32-year-old Newport woman who died in an October car crash was in the midst of a fight to put away a man accused of sexually attacking her.

Pendleton police chief says town doesn't have gang problem

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — A white supremacist gang has been linked to several assaults in Pendleton, but the town’s police chief has cautioned locals against any worries that supposed members of the European Kindred were inciting a wave of violence.

Germany’s Kaymer shoots 3-under to win Nedbank

SUN CITY, South Africa — Martin Kaymer of Germany shot a 3-under 69 to earn his first title of 2012, holding on for a two-shot victory in rainy conditions at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

McDowell wins World Challenge by three shots

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Graeme McDowell closed with a 4-under 68 on Sunday and held off Keegan Bradley with a pair of superb short-game shots that carried him to a three-shot win in the World Challenge despite the Sherwood Country Club playing longer than ever in a light rain.

Galaxy wins MLS Cup with 3-1 victory over Dynamo

CARSON, Calif. — Landon Donovan scored the tiebreaking goal on a penalty kick in the 65th minute, and David Beckham left MLS as a two-time champion with the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup on Saturday.

College basketball coach Majerus dies at age 64

LOS ANGELES — Rick Majerus, the jovial college basketball coach who led Utah to the 1998 NCAA final and had only one losing season in 25 years with four schools, died Saturday. He was 64.

Motive for Belcer’s killings under investigation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Investigators are searching for a motive to help explain why Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then himself.

Notre Dame ends season No. 1 in AP poll; ’Bama No. 2

NEW YORK — Notre Dame ends the regular season as the No. 1 team in The Associated Press college football for the first time since 1988, the last championship season for the Fighting Irish.

2013 WCL All-Star Game awarded to newcomer Victoria

PORTLAND — The 2013 West Coast League All-Star Game has been awarded to the expansion Victoria HarbourCats. The game will be played at Royal Athletic Park on July 23.

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Parade staging a choreography of chaos

WALLA WALLA — It rained on Macy’s Parade of Lights Saturday night.

Palace says Duchess of Cambridge expecting a baby

LONDON — Get the nursery ready: Prince William and his wife Kate are expecting their first child.

House and Senate sit on tax bills the other passed

WASHINGTON (AP) — It may not sound like it from the rhetoric, but both the House and Senate already have passed separate bills to delay big tax increases awaiting nearly every taxpayer next year if Congress and the White House can’t agree on a plan to avert the “fiscal cliff.”

Dayton girls open with two victories

DAYTON — Dayton’s girls basketball team tipped off its season with a 60-20 romp at Elgin Friday night, and followed that up with a 46-37 victory over Kennewick’s junior varsity squad on the Bulldogs’ court Saturday.

Russia, Turkey downplay Syria differences

ISTANBUL — The leaders of Russia and Turkey today downplayed differences over the Syrian civil war, saying they shared the common goal of trying to end the humanitarian crisis there and hailing their countries’ booming trade ties.

Bellingham couple's dogs die after eating mushrooms in yard

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A Bellingham couple whose dogs died from eating mushrooms in their yard want others to know about the danger to pets.

Emergency Services - 12/03/12

Thefts, Burglaries WW Police L&G Ranch and Supply, 2930 Isaacs Avenue. Fraudulent use of account to purchase a coat and boots.

UN pulling out nonessential international staff from Syria

BEIRUT — The United Nations says it is pulling out all non-essential international staff from Syria due to security issues in the civil war-struck Arab state.

Let's dive off the fiscal cliff

SEATTLE — Sign me up for the Thelma and Louise caucus. I’m with Patty Murray. We should clasp hands and careen right off that fiscal cliff.

State Senate control must be brokered before session

Democrats hold all the power in Olympia, having won the race for governor and the majority in the House and Senate — at least on paper.

BCS title tilt a blockbuster

NEW YORK — The penultimate Bowl Championship Series gave college football a national championship matchup low on controversy and loaded with star power.

Wolves men rally past Pacific

COLLEGE PLACE — Walla Walla University’s men overcame a 35-21 halftime deficit to outscore Pacific 48-30 in the second half and win the game, 69-65, at the Wolves gym Sunday.

Hawks battle past Bears in overtime

CHICAGO — The victory was unforgettable.

Mac-Hi grapplers second at Enterprise Tourney

ENTERPRISE, Ore. — Mac-Hi’s wrestlers placed second at the 11-team Enterprise Tournament on Friday.

Washington gets past Titans

SEATTLE — Considering it’s the holiday season, the Huskies gladly accepted a gift from Cal State Fullerton.

Bears LB Urlacher injures hamstring in loss to Seahawks

Undermanned Chicago was hit with more injuries Sunday in a loss to Seattle, including to star linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Huskies to face Boise State in Las Vegas

SEATTLE — The Washington Huskies will head to Sin City for a chance to atone for the ugly ending to their 2012 regular season.

Dickey visits winter meetings; more action ahead

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — R.A. Dickey wandered through the sprawling Opryland Hotel on Sunday, dropping into baseball’s annual winter meetings for a quick visit.

Broncos, Patriots, Falcons clinch divisions

If NFL executives really adore parity, they must be wincing at the early division clinchings by the Broncos, Patriots and Falcons.

Gunman severely wounds Swedish woman in Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan — A gunman on a motorcycle shot and severely wounded an elderly Swedish Christian woman who worked at a church in eastern Pakistan today, officials said.

Walla Walla fortunate to have top-notch ambulance service

By the end of the year the Walla Walla Fire Department will have responded to somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 medical calls in Walla Walla, College Place and throughout the county. The number varies from year to year, but it’s always in that ball park. Some calls are routine, some require transfers to hospitals in other cities, and many are matters of life or death.

RLD’s actions don’t feel like a democracy

I’ve had the good fortune or blessing of never living under a dictatorship or theocracy.

Suspect in barista's slaying kills himself

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man found dead of an apparent suicide in an Alaska jail was not only suspected of killing an Anchorage barista but may be linked to seven other possible slayings around the country, investigators said.

November serves up warmth, wind, wet

WALLA WALLA — If you had a swinging time in November, give the weather some credit.

Evolutionary theory grows stronger with age

As all good theories should, the theory of evolution has grown to account for new discoveries.

Sunday, December 2

Weston-McEwen girls win Sherman County Invite

MORO, Ore. — The Weston-McEwen TigerScots cruised to a 72-30 win Friday over Southwest Christian and a 54-50 victory against Culver Saturday, the two wins earning them the Sherman County Invitational championship.

Employer-based health insurance is in death rattle

My boss mentioned that he may cut back our hours to avoid paying the employer mandate for health care next year. Is that legal?

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Fade into grey

Finding color is an elusive hunt, as autumn fades to grey and the white of winter approaches.

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McKiernan, Gordon lead Blue Devils to 9th at swim meet

WALLA WALLA — Joe McKeirnan and Micah Gordon led Wa-Hi to a ninth-place finish Saturday at the Eastern Washington Invitational boys swim meet.

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Warrior women rout Linn-Benton, 84-34

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Community College’s women’s basketball team built a 22-2 lead by the 7:41 mark of the first half Saturday night and cruised to a 84-34 victory over Linn-Benton during the final session of the annual Warrior Classic in the Dietrich Dome.

Wa-Hi grapplers 9th at Bob Mars Invite

KENNEWICK — Wa-Hi opened its wrestling season here Saturday at the Bob Mars Invitational wrestling tournament.

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Rada's 39 leads Warriors past Mt. Hood

WALLA WALLA — Case Rada torched Mt. Hood for 39 points Saturday night as Walla Walla Community College’s men’s basketball team notched their first win of the season, a 101-75 romp over the Saints in the finale of the annual Warrior Classic in the Dietrich Dome.

Wa-Hi girls cruise past Davis, 65-40

WALLA WALLA — Torri Crawford controlled the opening tip here Friday in girls non-conference basketball action against Davis.

Saturday, December 1

Klicker hits 7 3s as Wa-Hi crushes Chiefs, 73-36

MOSES LAKE — Wa-Hi, on the back of Eric Klicker’s six first-half 3-pointers shooting, took a 25-20 lead over Moses Lake to the locker room at half.

Wa-Hi upsets defending state champs Davis, 61-55

YAKIMA — Wa-Hi dug itself a 19-11 hole after one quarter here Friday against the defending 4A state champion Davis Pirates.

Pomeroy downs Asotin to open season, 52-38

ASOTIN — Pomeroy’s Riley Bott and Tyson Feider pumped in 13 points apiece in a 52-38 victory over Asotin here Saturday.

Turnovers doom Pomeroy girls in loss to Asotin

ASOTIN — Pomeroy played well for three quarters and trailed by just six points heading into the final quarter of their game against Asotin, but the wheels fell off as the Pirates were outscored by 13 in the final quarter to lose, 59-41.

McKiernan, Gordon lead Wa-Hi boys to 9th at swim meet

WALLA WALLA — Joe McKeirnan and Micah Gordon led Wa-Hi to a ninth-place finish Saturday at the Eastern Washington Invitational boys swim meet.

Blue Devil girls win 3rd game in 4 days

MOSES LAKE — Wa-Hi warded off a Moses Lake comeback and finished with a 13-10 fourth-quarter run to post a 40-33 non-conference girls basketball win Saturday night.

TigerScot boys win Sherman County invite

MORO, Ore. — The Weston-McEwen boys basketball won its two games in the Sherman County Invitational to take home the first-place trophy behind balanced team scoring Friday and Saturday.

Mac-Hi opens wrestling season with 2nd-place finish at Enterprise

ENTERPRISE, Ore. — Mac-Hi opened its wrestling season with a second-place finish here Friday at an 11-team tournament hosted by Enterprise High School.

Weston-McEwen girls win Sherman County Invite

MORO, Ore. — The Weston-McEwen TigerScots cruised to a 72-30 win Friday over Southwest Christian and a 54-50 victory against Culver Saturday, the two wins earning them the Sherman County Invitational championship.

Whitman women rout PLU in NWC opener

WALLA WALLA — A blistering shooting performance in the first half gave Whitman a commanding 48-18 halftime advantage and the Missionaries eased to a 71-51 victory over Pacific Lutheran University in their Northwest Conference women’s basketball opener here Friday.

There's a relationship between religion, good health

A better title might be The Gospel of Good Health. Because God is a God of love, He cares about your health. About my health. There are many texts in the Bible showing this to be true. A few of these will be quoted.

WWCC men fall to Gonzaga club team in overtime

WALLA WALLA — The Warrior men dropped an 88-84, overtime decision to a club team from Gonzaga University In their Classic opener on Friday.

WWCC women gut out 62-55 victory over Clackamas

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Community College gutted out a 62-55 women's basketball victory over Clackamas Friday night in the opening day of the Warrior Classic.

Syrian Internet, phone service restored in ‘most’ areas

BEIRUT — Internet and telephone lines were largely restored across Syria on Saturday after a two-day blackout, according to activists, as fighting raged around the Damascus International Airport between rebels and government forces.

Defendant in bridge-bombing plot gets six-year sentence

AKRON, Ohio — The first defendant to plead guilty in the unsuccessful plot to blow up the state Route 82 bridge was sentenced Friday in federal court to six years in prison.

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Woman makes her dreams come true

Sandy Flores is the first Latina to be sworn into the bar locally.

Commissioners to hold public hearing on budget

A major issue in the budget discussion is the uncertainty of the outcome of current contract negotiations.

Report shows visitors lighten wallets in Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA — Visitors to the community spent $91.9 million in their travels to the community in 2011, according to the latest tourism figures.

Processing time for vets’ claims skyrockets

In fiscal 2012, the average time to complete a VA disability compensation or pension claim rose from 188 days to 262, the highest in at least 20 years.

Cold, mold loom as hazards in Sandy disaster zones

NEW YORK (AP) — A month after Sandy’s floodwaters swept up his block, punched a hole in his foundation and drowned his furnace, John Frawley still has no electricity or heat in his dilapidated home on the Rockaway seashore.

Washington in fog over how to create marijuana industry

Even countries friendly to marijuana users haven’t really gone beyond decriminalization.

Artist gets a Legos up on sculptures

Nathan Sawaya builds human forms and dinosaurs, skyscrapers and flowers, all made from standard Lego bricks.

Weaver-Hutchings engagement

Former Touchet resident Katie Weaver and Morgan Hutchings, both of Colville, announce their engagement.

Emergency Services

Information is compiled by the Union-Bulletin staff from the official logs and records of the agencies listed below.

Sen. Hewitt has been outstanding Republican leader

Hewitt has stepped down as leader, but he will continue to represent the 16th Legislative District.

Time needed to process veterans' claims skyrockets

WASHINGTON — The time needed to process veterans’ disability claims shot up by nearly 40 percent last year despite years of effort by federal officials to streamline and shorten the process, records show.

Sheriff's Roundtable to be held in Touchet

Sheriff’s Roundtable to be held in Touchet

Skate with Santa scheduled for today

Skate with Santa scheduled for today

On the Agenda


Wool you believe it? Wa-Hi student wins state sewing competition

WALLA WALLA — Danny Butler was dapper in his three-piece brown wool suit as he enthusiastically described his win at the Washington state Make it with Wool contest and fashion show.

'Spiritual' estate planning passes on values of departed

“Spiritual” estate planning — deciding how to pass down money based on values — is becoming a hot topic for baby boomers who want to make sure their values are passed along with their money, financial planners say.

A disenfranchised marriage

When my wife came home she said, "Why are you packing your things in cardboard boxes?"

Balanced approach to debt issue is needed

I appreciated your excellent editorial Nov. 18 describing the importance of making military cuts based not only on our national defense needs, but also on their impact on local economies, including Seattle and Tacoma. It is at the level of our local economies that cuts affect our employment rate.

Listen to Lloyd and Saxby

If someone asks, "Who comes to mind when you hear the word 'capitalist?'" it's a good bet that Wall Street's Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, would spring to mind for many.

Albanian independence celebrated

I'm an exchange student from Kosovo, which is in southeastern Europe, and I've been in America for five months. I am having new experiences every day, sharing and learning culture.

Strength of conviction alone isn't enough

According to historians, Thomas Jefferson rarely made speeches in public. He had a soft, high-pitched voice, and perhaps, a slight stutter. When he was sworn in as our third president, many people in the room couldn't hear his speech and had to read it in the newspaper the following day. He was, however, a world-class listener.

Let's work together to solve problems

For 12 years we have not paid enough taxes to pay our way, so we have borrowed money. This was supposed to create jobs. Instead, it put us in debt. We can't have it both ways -- not pay taxes and have money!

Walla Walla had a past before wine

It's stories of people of present and past -- history and what people contributed through their daily lives -- that really are factors that made Walla Walla the hometown it is today.

Winter months hard for needy and homeless

The quick action taken by Dan Willms and Sharon Longmire at Helpline shows good accountability and was a godly response. Their action is appreciated.

Time to stop the blame game

Most items suggested so far to avoid the fiscal cliff -- for cutting spending or increasing revenue -- will have only a small impact. Using the standard of "how many days of federal government operation will it cover" none of them, separately, has been shown to be good for more than a few days, weeks, or months at best.

Change needed in law on selecting RLD Board

On Dec. 31, rural residents of Fire Districts 4 and 8 will no longer have access to the Walla Walla Public Library unless they pay the city a $68 per family fee.

Change education for 21st century

No to all school construction/remodeling. No more useless debt for a system ranked average in the industrialized world. Adopt 21st century technology and thinking to configure the finest education system possible.

Focus spending on essential personnel

I've always wondered if elected officials and well-paid government officials think of cutting their own pay instead of cutting essential personnel such as police officers and firefighters?

One four-letter word is OK -- in fact, it's holy

I’m going to do something dangerous. I want to talk about a four letter word.

Police: Chiefs' Belcher kills girlfriend, self

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend Saturday morning and minutes later, holding a gun to his head, thanked his general manager and coach before shooting himself outside the team’s practice complex.

Cold, mold loom as hazards in Sandy disaster zones

Cold, mold loom as hazards in Sandy disaster zones

N. Korea's rocket launch plans boost tensions

North Korea’s rocket launch plans boost tensions

Curacao police have new leads in $11.5M gold heist

Curacao police have new leads in $11.5 million gold heist

South Africa makes progress in HIV/AIDS fight

South Africa makes progress in HIV/AIDS fight

Stolen laptop signals owner to its location

BURBANK — Using the latest in Internet Cloud programs, GPS locators and good old-fashion footwork, a sheriff’s deputy recovered a stolen laptop after the owner was alerted where the stolen device was being used.

Bazaar vendors craft offerings to meet demand

WALLA WALLA — ’Tis the season to shop and not just at stores.

State in fog over how to develop marijuana industry

OLYMPIA — State officials tasked with developing a legal marijuana industry in Washington state have a problem: There's no similar system anywhere in the world that they can look to for guidance.


CORRECTION: A correction Friday was in error. Walla Walla Choral Society will presents its holiday concert, On This Shining Night at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at Walla Walla First Presbyterian Church. Tickets are $12 at the door. Call 386-2445 for more details.

Mickey Baker, '50s guitarist heard on 'Dirty Dancing,' dies at 87

Mickey Baker, ‘50s guitarist heard on ‘Dirty Dancing,’ dies at 87

Uneasy neighbors hope zoo vultures get some culture

WASHINGTON — When Natalie and Tuck first arrived at the National Zoo, their neighbors, the gazelles and the oryxes, were too scared to walk by their stall, such horrid noises did they make.