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Alfred Diaz

Stories by Alfred

Bids for new Wa-Hi track rejected after coming in over budget

After a community push to make it so, Walla Walla High School students won’t be running on a new track this fall.

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Panorama - A bounty of blueberries

From backyards to breakfast muffins, blueberries are great treats for bakers and gardeners.

CP School Board candidates face off in primary

A three-way race for College Place School District position 5 has left many school district residents wondering who to vote for in the current Aug. 4 primary.

Downtown to be closed at times for MumFoo weekend

The Gentlemen of the Road Stopover street festival will close up to nine blocks of downtown Walla Walla for three days Aug. 13-15. Admittance to the area will be free to the public only when live music isn’t playing.

Council OKs Isaacs lane changes

Isaacs Avenue, one of the city’s arterials that serves thousands of vehicles daily, will one day see a lane reconfiguration from four lanes to two, with a center turn lane.

WW Council to vote on Isaacs reconfiguration

The Walla Walla City Council will vote on a proposal to reduce driving lanes on a 1.4-mile stretch of Isaacs Avenue.

Blue Creek fire uncontained, forces evacuations

Authorities today said the fire was human caused and is under investigation. A full update will be posted later this morning.

Drought forces early use of wells

City water officials said that’s normal when they cut back on using water from Mill Creek and instead draw from the city’s seven deep aquifer wells.

Vista Hermosa awards $200,000 in scholarships

The Vista Hermosa program awarded 46 students scholarships that could add up to $200,000.

College Place board to vote on $14.56 million school budget

The College Place School Board will vote Thursday on a $14.56 million school budget for the 2015-16 school year, up 20 percent from the current year’s $12.09 million budget.

Milton-Freewater may limit merchandise on sidewalks

The Milton-Freewater City Council will vote on a sidewalk-merchandising ordinance that will limit where and how long items can be sold on business-district sidewalks.

Former Wa-Hi choir teacher faces charges of indecent exposure

A community music leader has been charged with exposing himself twice at Walla Walla High School this year when he was the choir teacher there.

City OKs contract for music festival

The City Council unanimously approved a draft contract for the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover music festival coming to Walla Walla in August.

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Council reverses position on Alder Street parking

Despite overwhelming support from the city’s own online survey, there will be no left-turn lanes on Alder Street.

Navy mobile dental lab to become Walla Walla police command unit

A truck that once took on people who were regularly asked to sit back and open wide will one day serve as a Walla Walla Police Department mobile command unit.

Alder Street parking plan up for a second Council vote

The City Council this week will again decide on a downtown Alder Street parking plan that will either add 13 parking spots or add two left-turn lanes.

Walla Walla officials release draft of August music festival contract

Four months after officially announcing that Gentlemen of the Road Stopover was coming to town in August, Walla Walla city officials on Thursday made public a draft of a contract regarding who pays for what during the major music festival.

Walla Walla considers less costly water treatment plan

After more than a decade of planning and spending some $1.5 million in studies and designs, city engineers want to pull the plug on a $26.3 million slow-sand water filtration project and instead go with an $18 million alternative.

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Idea of Walla Walla fireworks ban doused for this year

Thoughts on banning fireworks in Walla Walla for the Fourth of July fizzled this week, leaving fire officials with only words of recommendation that people not use them during the extremely dry fire conditions expected this weekend.

WWCC trustees vote to ban tobacco on campus

Walla Walla Community College will be tobacco- and smoke-free campus starting Sept. 1.

WWCC to vote on tobacco-, smoke-free campus

Walla Walla Community College trustees are expected to blaze ahead with an all-out ban of tobacco products, although the school’s student government was in favor of banning only the smoking kind.

Commission to hold hearing on local charter school

The state agency that will determine the fate of a proposed Walla Walla charter school has set a local public hearing to be held next month.

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Middle schoolers fly drones to fight 'summer slide'

Drones are all the buzz for Garrison Middle School students participating this week in 21st Century summer programs focusing on science, technology, engineering and math.

City sends contract to MumFoo producers to cover services

Reimbursement of city costs for Walla Walla’s Gentlemen of the Road Stopover music festival continue to be negotiated with producer Madison House Presents.

City puts Alder parking issue online

After 16 months of sitting in idle, the parking-versus-traffic controversy has returned to Alder Street, revved up by a small group of downtown business and property owners who want more parking.

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End date for Alder Street work pushed back

The Fourth of July will not bring independence from downtown construction on Alder Street, as the project now faces a second major delay and won’t be completed by early July.

Principals hired for Walla Walla, College Place schools

Local school boards this week approved hiring new principals for two elementary schools.

Changes in store for Highway 12 intersection

A current “F” rating for traffic flows, a history of serious collisions and a proposed nearby industrial park are why state transportation officials will permanently reduce access to U.S. Highway 12 at Clinton Street if a nearby warehouse project is built.

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Buyers barnstorm annual sale at Love of Junk

Love of Junk — Walla Walla’s annual rustic flea market where outdoor vendors sell repurposed, farm-themed, Pinterest-esque items — also proved to be a Mecca of sorts for those who love old barn wood.

Concert pay decision prompted by legal concerns

Trying to avoid a legal mess is the reason why Gentlemen of the Road Stopover producers will instead pay temporary workers the state minimum wage of $9.47 an hour at the Walla Walla music festival in August.

State auditor: Walla Walla school workers inflated hours, got extra pay

The state auditor’s fraud manager has referred a case of “misappropriated” Walla Walla School District funds to the county prosecutor.

City sticks with Alder Street plan over protests

City Council refused to consider a proposal to eliminate left-turn lanes at on Alder Street at the intersection of Second Avenue, now set to go in as part of the current downtown construction project.

Isaacs Avenue roadway options up for discussion

Whether to add either bike lanes or planter strips on both sides of Isaacs Avenue will be discussed next week when city officials meet on the $15 million reconfiguration of the arterial.

Walla Walla schools dinged in state audit

State officials found fault with the Walla Walla School District in an audit that said officials failed to obtain federally required competitive bids for goods and services purchased with Title 1 funds.

Pot shop OK’d for Walla Walla

A hearing examiner has ruled in favor of allowing what will be Walla Walla’s first retail marijuana store.

Advisory board signs off on partial smoking ban at parks, playgrounds

The city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board recommended banning smoking in and around city playgrounds but passed on kicking the habit entirely out of all public parks and community events.

City, state reach pact on Sudbury cleanup

A $3.2 million agreement for contamination remediation at Sudbury Landfill has been reached between Walla Walla and the state’s Department of Ecology, with the understanding that the state will fund 75 percent.

Walla Walla City Council OKs new park rules

The Walla Walla City Council unanimously approved numerous ordinance revisions aimed at curbing unwanted behavior at Heritage and Crawford parks.

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WWCC, Central team up to offer 4-year IT degree

Walla Walla Community College and Central Washington University have worked out an agreement for students wanting to stay here but earn a four-year bachelor’s of applied science in information technology and administrative management.

Application filed for first Walla Walla charter school

Supporters of a Walla Walla charter school this month submitted an application to the state to open a new public middle school in 2016.

Walla Walla, College Place schools make personnel changes

Walla Walla and College Place school officials this week announced several key personnel changes that included a new middle-school principal, a change in elementary principals and hiring a firm to conduct a search for a new superintendent.

Pros, cons heard at permit review for first Walla Walla pot shop

A conditional use permit for Walla Walla’s first retail marijuana store was reviewed Thursday by a hearings examiner, who has 10 working days to issue his decision.

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City crews tackle sidewalk tripping hazards w/video

Work crews today will remove tripping hazards on Main Street between Isaacs and Fourth avenues, as the city continues to inch forward on the goal to fix deteriorating, buckling and often missing city sidewalks.

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City hopes for mid-June opening of splash pad

Fountains for Youth, the soon-to-open splash pad at Washington Park, won’t be gushing with water this Memorial Day weekend due to construction delays.

Updated: Umatilla County election results

Voters said yes to a $23 million college bond but no to a Milton-Freewater School District appointed incumbent who was seeking election this year.

Filing period closes; 18 races contested

The last day to file for office saw increases in contested races for Walla Walla and College Place city councils and candidates for College Place School District, among other positions throughout three counties.

Election 2015 - Filing week so far yields one contest

Candidate filings in Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties over the first two days of filings this week have been relatively slow, with mostly incumbents submitting declarations of candidacy for city council, school board and other special district elections.

Request made for lodging-tax funds for music festival

The Downtwon Walla Walla Foundation is seeking $20,000 to boost its MumFoo efforts.

Ten weeks after announcing the Gentlemen of the Road Tour Stopover was coming to Walla Walla, city officials have no contract, have been hit with increasing planning costs — including a recent $20,000 lodging-tax funds request — and are facing the question of what guarantee is there that the show will go on.

Local teachers opt for red sweatshirts over walkout

Walla Walla and College Place teachers voted against leaving their classrooms for a day to protest state funding shortfalls for education. But they said yes to wearing red shirts to show their support for teachers in other districts who walk out.

Walla Walla School District rolls out online forum

The Walla Walla School District this week will try a new online forum that is a bit like Facebook and other social media sites, where viewers can read other people’s comments.