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Alfred Diaz

Stories by Alfred

Garfield County goes for Keller, Dixon and Roosevelt in local races

POMEROY — Keeping with August primary results, current Garfield County Sheriff Bennie Keller again took about three-quarters of the vote or 73.5 percent to challenger Bruce Barkhuff’s 26.5 percent.

Council to weigh Walla Walla property tax rate

WALLA WALLA — The City Council will hold a public hearing and possibly vote Wednesday on whether to increase property tax funding from last year’s $5,134,852 to a proposed $5,434,743 for 2015.

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City could throw coin into fountain renovation

WALLA WALLA — A century-old Pioneer Park fountain could be the next recipient of utility roundup funds.

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Spooks, ghouls swamp downtown

Light rains did little to turn back a bounty of trick-or-treaters, who hit up merchants on Main Street from Palouse Street almost all the way to Fifth Avenue on Halloween.

City pool survey so far drawing a 33 percent response rate

WALLA WALLA — Less than a week remains for 1,000 residents to let city officials know what they think about a multimillion dollar plan to rebuild Memorial Pool.

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Video: Wonderheads bring mime, mirth to Power House

WALLA WALLA — Sometimes success can lead an actor to getting a big head.

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State clears water-recycling splash pad design

The state gave official approval for an innovative Washington Park splash pad design, well within the time frame Walla Walla officials said is needed to build Fountains For Youth by May 1.

Pilots fly tall for fall Stampede

WALLA WALLA — Ballon Stampede organizer Scott Spencer is now more confident the event will be better for pilots and spectators and sponsors if it is moved to this time of year instead of in May.

Wine industry mourns death of Eric Dunham

Highly celebrated local winemaker, philanthropist, artist, foodie and friend to many, Eric M. Dunham, 44, died Thursday.

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Video - Students quadruple fun at science balloon launch

WALLA WALLA — The annual Garrison Middle School weather balloon launch was inflated by four when students from four local schools set off four balloons, all of them expected to reach heights of 20 miles up before they deflate and parachute back down to earth with their time capsules.

Walla Walla City Council signs off on pot rules

WALLA WALLA — City Council narrowly approved a set of ordinances that will regulate locations for future growing, processing and retail sales of marijuana.

Wa-Hi teacher investigated after reports of inappropriate touching

WALLA WALLA — A Walla Walla High School teacher was put on leave after three students reported they were inappropriately touched by him during shop class.

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Faculty votes ‘no confidence’ in WWCC president

The nation’s best community college recently got a black eye of sorts from its Arts and Sciences faculty, who last month submitted a no-confidence statement criticizing the management style of Walla Walla Community College President Steven VanAusdle, as well as the organizational structure and lack of funding to the Arts and Sciences departments.

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Summer hangs on, but Farmers Market to pack it in

One more Downtown Farmers Market is left in what has proved to be a mild-fall where vendors are still able to sell their more traditional summer crops.

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Walla Walla sailors tear up the waves

Some of the most exciting and challenging sailing in the Northwest is located at the most southwesterly section of the county at Port Kelley, Wash.

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Seahawks' hawk promotes Pioneer Park Aviary

Taima, the Seattle Seahawks mascot who flies into the stadium before games to lead the way for the Super Bowl champions, made a local landing Friday night at the annual Pioneer Park Aviary fundraiser — An Evening of Foliage and Feathers.

Update: 250 acre fire south of Dayton 70 percent contained

A 250 acre wildland fire in the Robinette Mountain Road area is approximately 70 percent contained as of Saturday morning.

Fire south of Dayton spreading rapidly

A wildland fire approximately 10 miles south of Dayton has grown to 100 acres since it was first called in at 11:15 a.m. today.

Wildland fire spreads in Dayton area

DAYTON — A wildland fire approximately 10 miles south of town has grown to 100 acres since it was first called in at 11:15 a.m. today.

Port vote kills proposed option for downtown purchase

WALLA WALLA — A proposed $47,200 purchase option to buy five downtown properties for $1,847,200 died Thursday for lack of a majority vote by the Port Commission.

Port of Walla Walla hears arguments for, against downtown purchase

A special Port hearing to consider a $47,200 earnest-money offer on an asking price of $1,847,200 for private downtown properties at Rose and Colville streets saw more supporters than opponents on Tuesday night.

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Complaints spark notice for sign code violations

WALLA WALLA — It’s a sign of the times — commercial messages flashed by LED light boards along roadways.

Walla Walla Council OKs aviary construction timeline

WALLA WALLA — The, City Council has approved a timeline for new Pioneer Park Aviary construction and an agreement to have the city pay to run the facility if Friends of the Pioneer Park Aviary falls short of money when the nonprofit is expected to take over operations in 2016.

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ArtSquared rounds up funding

WALLA WALLA — It was a weekend frenzy for 6-by-6 inch paintings as some 200 people snapped up hundreds of the treasures at the second annual ArtSquared.

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Updated: Stretch of Myra Road closed after ammonia tanker tips over

Myra Road from Rose Street north to the roundabout at Pine Street is closed due to a tip-over of a tanker truck carrying 15,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia on Myra Road, north of Rose Street, according to a news release.

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Ice Bucket Challenge hits it out of the park

Though they were fewer in numbers than hoped, the efforts of volunteers still raised $2,445.68.

City seeks clarification on aviary issues

Operational matters and when the city would receive repair funds remain ‘ambiguous,’ a Council member says.

Design pulls plug on splash pads this year

WALLA WALLA — Summer officially ended Monday without a new splash pad in due to a delay caused by the state’s departments of Health and Ecology.

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Colorful dance raises funds for local schools

WALLA WALLA — Close to 300 people attended Fiestas Patrias on Saturday night, a fundraiser for Garrison and Pioneer middle schools’ Baile Folklorico dance programs.

Council taps brakes on Heritage Square revamp plan

A Sherwood Trust Leadership Class project for Heritage Square has Council members asking staff to hold off changes until they’ve had a look at the plan that would make major changes to the park.

YouTube choices mar local tourism effort (with videos)

WALLA WALLA — Tourism Walla Walla is dealing with a rather inelegant YouTube swine snafu after it used the Google-owned web hosting site to embed and showcase its new video featuring snippets of local entrepreneurs of upscale food, wine and lodging.

Annual Duck Conservation Day quacks youths up

They were born to be wild, and wild they were as little hands struggled to hold them before setting them free.

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‘M4’ to stand tall in Power House performance

WALLA WALLA — As far as marching bands go, don’t expect the MarchFourth Marching Band to play John Philip Sousa — or even do any marching, for that matter.

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Walla Walla aviary group says it’s hit funding goal

WALLA WALLA — In a surprise announcement, Friends of the Pioneer Park Aviary told city officials the group doesn’t need an extension of a fundraising deadline because it has received an infusion of pledges and donations in the past two days.

City of Walla Walla to conduct formal poll on pool

WALLA WALLA — The city will take the next step toward a $5.7 rebuild of Memorial Pool by contracting for a poll to see if voters will go for it.

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Walla Walla City Council, aviary group at funding ‘crossroads’

WALLA WALLA — City Council members at a work session Monday frowned upon granting another extension to a group trying to raise funds to rebuild the Pioneer Park Aviary.

City survey supports $5.7M pool option

The City Council will discuss results of an online survey that shows 84 percent of respondents opting to rebuild Memorial Pool to the tune of $5.7 million.

Aviary group nears goal for rebuild funds

Pioneer Park Aviary supporters say they are close to raising their portion of a $375,000 aviary rebuild project.

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Wheelin' Walla Walla cruises downtown

Wheelin’ Walla Walla saw a good turnout of cars and crowds on Main Street on Saturday.

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Historic Preservation Commission works to secure local history

It isn’t often that members of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission oppose demolitions. And it’s rarer for the commission to oppose two demolitions as the same time, which is the current situation.

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Demolition of city’s old valve house on hold

WALLA WALLA — A decision on whether to demolish the city’s water facility valve house at 541 Mill Creek Road has been delayed 60 days by the Joint Community Development Agency.

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Takin’ it to the streets: Wheelin’ Walla Walla Weekend grows

WALLA WALLA — On Saturday car lovers will be able to walk down Main Street between Palouse and Sixth to take in the flashy sights and roaring sounds at the 19th annual Wheelin’ Walla Walla Weekend.

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Fair judging: Cats hair, then gone already

WALLA WALLA — For six years fair officials have included cats with the numerous other animals that will be shown by handlers and judged by fair officials this week.

Tere King shooting: an anatomy of a 'clean shoot'

Three months after a Umatilla County grand jury cleared an Athena police officer who shot and killed a man in a brief standoff, Mayor John Shafer said his own departmental administrative review found no procedural actions warranting reprimand.

Athena shooting was officer’s third use of deadly force

Many, if not most, police officers go through their entire careers without shooting at a subject.

Mental instability dogged King to violent end

In this rural Oregon town with a little more than 1,000 people, Tere David King was well known as a long-time resident, part-time hayloader, avid outdoorsman and craftsman.

Jalapeños spice up Muddy Frogwater

MILTON-FREEWATER — The 34th annual Muddy Frogwater festival in Yantis Park saw some major changes this year, including the end of the Saturday afternoon watermelon eating contest, and the same fate for Sunday’s corn, watermelon and hot dog feed.

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Jazz fundraiser sets scene with improv, scat, acoustics, variety

WALLA WALLA — Keeping it to the classic essentials is what Jazz & Wine Among Friends is all about.

Walla Walla police awarded higher pay in arbitration

WALLA WALLA — For the second time in more than 25 years, a union contract dispute between Walla Walla Police Guild members and city managers had to be settled through binding arbitration.

City set to begin hiring for planning department

City officials are moving ahead with hiring personnel and a director to run a reconstituted development services department that will start up when the current operation with Walla Walla County is dissolved.