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Andy Porter

Stories by Andy

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Walla Walla Diversity Day survives volunteer crisis

WALLA WALLA — The Diversity Day Multicultural Festival will live to celebrate another day.

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Senator lauds local effort to save, expand Walla Walla VA

WALLA WALLA — A bevy of federal, state and local officials turned out Tuesday to dedicate a new facility that will provide medical care to hundreds of local veterans.

Pursuit suspect was given ‘last chance’ in 2012

MILTON-FREEWATER — A man who was given what officials said was a “last chance” at rehabilitation in 2012 was arrested Tuesday after a high-speed pursuit from Athena to Milton-Freewater.

College Place begins work to fill late mayor’s position

COLLEGE PLACE — The City Council Monday decided to begin the search for applicants to fill the vacant mayor’s position.

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Civil War on display at Fort Walla Walla

Although the fighting was almost a continent away, Walla Walla wasn’t left untouched by one of the defining moments in U.S. history.

Man admits guilt in jail vandalism and Walla Walla County Courthouse escape

WALLA WALLA — A man who committed a crime to get into jail and then fled from the County Courthouse following an appearance last month has pleaded guilty to vandalism and escape charges.

Vehicular homicide charges filed in deadly 2012 wreck on Highway 12

WALLA WALLA — A driver involved in a 2012 head-on crash on U.S. Highway 12 that killed two people faces homicide charges.

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Walla Walla County's replacement software for property searches beset by problems

WALLA WALLA — A change to a new software system has been causing problems with people doing property tax searches on the Walla Walla County Assessor’s website.

Trial set in drive-by that injured two in Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA — A trial date has been set for a man charged in connection with a drive-by shooting last summer.

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March: the month the rain finally showed up

Rainfall was above normal for the first time in many months.

WALLA WALLA — March mostly lived up to its reputation of “in like a lion, out like a lamb,” provided you don’t mind a somewhat soggy lamb.

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Freeze nipped wheat in region but major damage not seen

WALLA WALLA — Although Eastern Washington had its share of harsh weather in December, the winter wheat crop appears to have escaped major damage.

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Shoe's Cosmo Fishhawk sez Walla Walla’s a yawner

A comment about the town by the “Shoe” syndicated cartoon character stirs the pot on social media.

WALLA WALLA — The Shoe has dropped on Walla Walla, but does it fit?

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Wa-Hi students try out GMO presentation

FFA students made pro and con arguments to county commissioners and bankers this week.

WALLA WALLA — No strangers to controversy, Walla Walla High School’s Future Farmers of America Ag Issues team is taking another hot topic to state competition this year.

Walla Walla County cobbles together money for service center fix

WALLA WALLA — County officials resolved to use a combination of $475,000 in a grant, loan and Human Services reserves to fix the heating and cooling system at Walla Walla County’s Community Service Center.

Arrival of property tax statements sparks concerns

WALLA WALLA — Call it a variation of Lubarsky’s Law of Cybernetic Entomology, i.e. “there is always one more bug.” In this case, the bug is one piece of information missing on the new Walla Walla County property tax statements that has resulted in a deluge of calls to the county Treasurer’s Office.

Dayton extends marijuana moratorium another six months

DAYTON — The City Council voted Monday to extend a marijuana moratorium for another six months to give the city time to develop zoning regulations.

College Place Council undecided on filling mayor’s seat

COLLEGE PLACE — City Council members discussed, but took no action Monday, on how to fill the vacancy left by the death of Mayor Rick Newby earlier this month.

Walla Walla County tax statements finally in the mail

WALLA WALLA — With bugs in converting to new software exterminated, property tax statements should begin going out Friday to Walla Walla County property owners, a hopeful county Treasurer Gordon Heimbigner said Wednesday.

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County mourns former Sheriff Mike Humphreys

WALLA WALLA — Shock, sadness and praise poured from friends and colleagues of former Walla Walla County Sheriff Mike Humphreys today following his death Monday.

Deepening snowpacks spell improved water outlook for much of Northwest

As spring approaches, snowpacks in the north half of the Western United States are in good shape, but the dry southern half is still hurting.

Emergency management director to run for Walla Walla County commission

WALLA WALLA — A second candidate has announced he plans to run for a Walla Walla County District 3 commission seat.

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College Place begins task of replacing late mayor

The City Council commemorated Mayor Rick Newby and discussed procedures to find a successor.

COLLEGE PLACE — With a vase of flowers and an agenda on the table in front of an empty chair, the City Council on Monday began discussion of how to fill the vacancy left by Mayor Rick Newby’s unexpected death on Sunday.

Walla Walla County commissioner will not run for re-election

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla County Commissioner Greg Tompkins announced today he will not seek re-election to a fourth term.

College Place mayor Rick Newby, 54, dies

COLLEGE PLACE — Flags at College Place City Hall were at half-staff this morning for Mayor Rick Newby, who died unexpectedly at his home Sunday.

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Device eases dam passage for lamprey

Lampreys, whose numbers have drastically declined, are critical to local river health.

County planners wrestle with pot regulations

WALLA WALLA — Creating regulations for growing, processing and selling marijuana doesn’t promise to be easy, Walla Walla County planners were told Thursday.

Flood watch in effect for Walla Walla area

WALLA WALLA — A combination of melting snow in the mountains and widespread rain expected Wednesday have prompted a flood watch for Central and Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon.

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911 moves toward new technology

WALLA WALLA — New ways of communicating are spurring new improvements in Walla Walla County’s E-911 system.

Candidates announce for county offices

WALLA WALLA — Former County Coroner Stephen Ames has announced he will run for the Walla Walla County Commission District 3 seat, which is up for election this year.

Storms ease state’s drought fears

WALLA WALLA — Last month’s storms have eased drought worries, but Washington state’s drought committee is still meeting just in case.

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Icy February meets March ‘lion’

WALLA WALLA — February’s icy weather has carried right into March, which is living up to its “in like a lion” reputation. Whether it goes out like a lamb remains to be seen.

County planners to discuss pot zoning proposals

People who want to comment will have to wait until a formal public hearing is scheduled.

Walla Walla County sheriff's reorganization plan OK'd; pay raise nixed

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla County commissioners today approved a reorganization of appointed positions in the Sheriff’s Office, but with changes after several meeting on the issue.

Marshall Tucker Band to open for Charlie Daniels at fair

The Charlie Daniels Band will headline the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days concert, with an opening performance by Southern rock group The Marshall Tucker Band.

Walla Walla Fair Court, queen announced

WALLA WALLA — Bethany Voss has been named queen for this year’s Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days, which begins in August.

Sheriff's Office reorganization to be revisited after legal hurdle found

WALLA WALLA — A legal roadblock will force Walla Walla County commissioners to readdress a proposed reorganization of appointed officers in the Sheriff’s Office.

Election results finalized with no changes in outcomes

WALLA WALLA — Results of the Feb. 11 election for emergency medical services and school levies were certified Tuesday with no changes in outcomes.

Walla Walla County OK’s sheriff’s reorganization plan

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla County commissioners Monday approved a proposed reorganization of appointed officers and staff members in the Sheriff’s Office and let Sheriff John Turner decide what those officers will be paid.

State chops size of pot growing areas

The Washington Liquor Control Board also restricted licenses to one per applicant

WALLA WALLA — Concerned about possible overproduction, Washington’s Liquor Control Board took a weed-whacker to would-be marijuana growers Wednesday.

Cellphone problem appears limited in Washington, officials say

WALLA WALLA — Cellphones in Washington state prisons don’t appear to be the problem they are in other states.

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Draft principles on pot sent to county planners

WALLA WALLA — Draft principles for regulating marijuana operations in Walla Walla County are on their way to the county Planning Commission.

Thaw prompts truck weight restrictions on county roads

WALLA WALLA — Load restrictions on Walla Walla County roads have gone into effect due to recent freezing and thawing temperatures.

Local EMS, school levies win approval

Voters OK’d the funding measures by wide margins in Tuesday’s elections.

WALLA WALLA — Voters gave levies for emergency medical services and schools in Walla Walla County a big thumbs-up Tuesday.

Pay hike for sheriff's administrator irks county officials

The proposed 20 percent pay increase drew fire from other county department heads.

WALLA WALLA — A proposal by Sheriff John Turner to give his chief administrative deputy a hefty pay raise sparked protests by elected officials and others Monday.

Snow melt could bring flooding to Walla Walla Valley

The largest snowfall in the Valley in several years is heading for a stream near you.

WALLA WALLA — The big freeze is going to give way to a big thaw this week.

Updated: Cathy McMorris Rodgers facing possible ethics investigation

WASHINGTON — The House Ethics Committee is considering an investigation of the No. 4 ranking member of the House Republican leadership, congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state.

Homeless warming shelter extends operations through cold spell

In winter weather, the needs are many and solutions fairly simple.

Washington senators weigh in on Farm Bill

Washington’s U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray this morning welcomed passage of the Farm Bill, saying it contains numerous benefits for local farmers.

Governor rallies the 12th man for a 'moment of loudness'

The following is a possible conversation somewhere in Seattle today.

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State braces for possible drought

A state drought preparations panel is meeting this week for the first time since 2010.

WALLA WALLA — As areas of California wither under the state’s dryest weather in decades, the question crops up: Are Washington and Walla Walla also in line for a drought?