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Andy Porter

Stories by Andy

Updated: Representative urges death penalty repeal

WALLA WALLA — Local state Rep. Maureen Walsh is among sponsors of a bill introduced Monday to replace the death penalty in Washington state with a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Interim fairgrounds manager sought

Applicants are being sought to serve as interim manager of the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds during the search for a replacement for outgoing manager Cory Hewitt.

Grant to benefit Palouse River drainage project

A project to restore land and improve water quality along the Palouse River is among five conservation efforts in Washington state to be funded by a new federal program.

Walla Walla police find girl reported in luring case

Walla Walla police today said they have found the young girl who they believe was the victim of a reported luring incident last weekend.

Walla Walla native to head Nebraska prison system

A Walla Walla native has been named the new head of Nebraska’s prison system.

Grant to benefit Palouse River drainage

A project to restore land and improve water quality along the Palouse River is among five conservation efforts in Washington state to be funded by a new federal program.

Auditor calls for more local government transparency

In a special report, the state Auditor’s Office has said more than $2 million in public funds is unaccounted for because local governments have failed to follow a century-old state law.

Contested dredging project at Ice Harbor Dam finished

Channel dredging at Ice Harbor Dam, part of a Lower Snake River dredging project that was the subject of a court challenge, has been completed.

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Early freeze nips Walla Walla Valley crops

Last November’s polar plunge has put a gloomy outlook on this year’s orchard fruit harvest in the Milton-Freewater area, but its full effect on Walla Walla Valley wine vineyards is still unknown.

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December gives Valley a weather sampler

WALLA WALLA — Rain, wind, warm and frigid — December had it all.

Heat, cold, wind, fire top 2014 local weather events

A December wind storm ranks first on the list among National Weather Service staff in Pendleton.

State auditor issues report in airport fuel case

WALLA WALLA — The State Auditor’s Office has released its report into the alleged misappropriation of thousands of gallons of aviation fuel at Walla Walla Regional Airport.

County, city to open separate planning departments

Due to the dissolution of the Walla Walla Joint Community Development Agency, Walla Walla County and the city of Walla Walla will reopen their own planning departments next month.

Forecast: White Christmas likely only on videos in Valley

A wet, not white, Christmas Eve is in the forecast, but clearing skies are expected on Christmas Day.

Carbon tax proposal raises local concerns

Although hailed by some, critics are trashing a plan by Gov. Jay Inslee to tax state industries for their greenhouse gas emissions.

County names new department heads

Two Walla Walla County agencies with “emergency” in their titles have new bosses.

Fairgrounds manager Cory Hewitt to retire

he longtime general manager of the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds, Cory Hewitt, has announced her retirement.

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Money snag alters rural library plans

A major expansion project by the Walla Walla County Rural Library District is proceeding, just not as initially planned.

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Thursday windstorm wallops Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA — Winds whipping through the Walla Walla area Thursday toppled trees, blocked roads and cut power to thousands of customers.

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Shirtsleeve temps blow into Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA — Talk about your ups and downs.

Walla Walla man pleads guilty to child porn possession

WALLA WALLA — A man could face up to 8½ years in prison for possessing child pornography.

‘Moving target’ figure delays Walla Walla County budget

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla County commissioners voted Monday to continue discussion of the 2015 budget until next week to allow the county Auditor’s Office to add last-minute changes.

Man sentenced in DUI, eluding case

WALLA WALLA — A man who was drunk as he led police on a vehicle chase in Waitsburg earlier this year was sentenced Monday.

WW native shifts into off-road stardom

When he was 14-years old, Carl Jantz used his earnings from delivering the Union-Bulletin newspaper to buy his first four-wheel-drive ride, a 1964 Scout.

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Valley weathers freezing rain without incident

Despite freezing rain that fell overnight, today’s morning commute appeared to be free of any rashes of crashes.

Freezing rain ices Valley; more to come

Freezing rain that made for slippery conditions this morning remains in the forecast today and tomorrow, with the potential for reducing traction to zero on roads and sidewalks.

County OKs property and EMS levy tax hikes

County commissioners approved a 2 percent property tax increase Monday for the county’s current expense fund.

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Prison program helps inmates practice sustainability

A prison program all about sustainable practices is sustaining itself pretty well.

Walla Walla County weighs 2 percent property tax hike

WALLA WALLA — County commissioners have agreed to notify the county assessor of plans to seek a property tax increase for the county’s general fund.

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Freezing rain leaves a mess in region

WALLA WALLA — Highways were closed, school canceled and numerous collisions reported after freezing rain coated roadways with ice today.

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Umbrellas and ice skates in forecast

WALLA WALLA — Talk about a “good news, bad news” scenario.

Port files lawsuit over missing aviation fuel

WALLA WALLA — A lawsuit and a criminal investigation are underway following the discovery that thousands of gallons of aviation fuel are missing from Walla Walla Regional Airport.

County looks to tax hike and savings to hit budget

WALLA WALLA — As the annual budget deadline approaches, Walla Walla County officials met Thursday to find ways to close a $1 million gap in the county’s 2015 budget.

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Frigid plunge unlikely to harm area vineyards

WALLA WALLA — The sudden onset of freezing temperatures can put and end to some late-blooming gardens, but this week’s plunge isn’t likely to harm the Valley’s vineyards.

Most Walla Walla County incumbents cruise to easy wins

WALLA WALLA — Incumbent candidates for Walla Walla County offices appear headed back to office after Tuesday's election.

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Cooper, Turner not ready to call election

WALLA WALLA — The two candidates in the hotly contested race for Walla Walla County Sheriff were neither declaring victory nor conceding defeat this morning.

Updated: Commissioners vote county a no-pot zone

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla County is poised to become the fourth county in Washington state to ban recreational marijuana operations following a vote Monday by county commissioners.

Walla Walla County commissioners ban pot operations

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla County was poised to become the fourth county in Washington state to ban recreational marijuana operations after a vote today by county commissioners.

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Walla Walla County voter turnout so far near 33 percent

WALLA WALLA — Nearly a third of Walla Walla County’s voters had returned their ballots by the end of last week, according to the county Auditor’s Office today.

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October sets record for warmth in Walla Walla Valley

WALLA WALLA — Summer is over, but apparently October didn’t get the message.

Walla Walla County pot ban up for final vote

Final action on an ordinance to ban all recreational marijuana operations in Walla Walla County will be up before county commissioners Monday.

Man charged with assault in police pursuit

WALLA WALLA — Charges were filed Thursday against a man accused of almost striking a police officer with a car during a pursuit.

Man sentenced to jail time for indecent exposure on bus

A man convicted of exposing himself on a Valley Transit bus earlier this year will serve a jail term instead of going to prison.

Eastgate attacker sentenced to time served

WALLA WALLA — A Walla Walla man involved in an attack on two men outside an Eastgate restaurant last year was sentenced Monday to time he’s already served in jail.

Vehicular assault suspect pleads innocent

WALLA WALLA — A woman pleaded innocent Monday to causing a traffic collision this summer that injured another driver.

Trial set for suspect in Walla Walla arson

WALLA WALLA — Trial has been set for a man charged with holding his former girlfriend against her will, then setting a fire outside her apartment.

Two plead innocent in home robbery

WALLA WALLA — Two men have pleaded innocent to multiple felony charges stemming from a home robbery earlier this month.

Shallow gas pipeline raises Port concern

WALLA WALLA — A thinned-out cover of earth over a natural gas pipeline near Wallula has sparked concerns by Port of Walla Walla officials.

County property tax payment deadline nears

WALLA WALLA — It’s property tax Part 2 time again.

State legislature candidate Q&A - Terry Nealey vs. Frank Blair

Republican Terry Nealey of Dayton faces Democrat Frank Blair of Kennewick in the race for representative of Legislative District 16, Position 2, the office Nealey now holds.