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Andy Porter

Stories by Andy

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June sets all-time heat record

Summer, as anyone who’s been in the Walla Walla Valley in recent weeks knows, is off to a blazing start.

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Hiring, repairs underway as jail transitions to County

As Walla Walla County’s jail undergoes its first change in management authority since Washington state’s territorial days, officials are hiring staff and checking off items on a long list of repair and maintenance needs.

Heat pushes wheat to an early harvest

Dry, hot conditions have sparked an early start to this year’s harvests of winter wheat and peas.

College Place OKs rule for future fireworks bans

COLLEGE PLACE — Although a fireworks ban is off the table this year, the City Council voted Thursday to allow for one next year.

Wildfires scorch region

Fire crews today are battling a series of blazes in the Umatilla National Forest east of Walla Walla, among wildfires elsewhere in the region that broke out over a simmering weekend.

Temperature records fall in Walla Walla

A heat wave that arrived Friday has broken Walla Walla records for three days running.

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Heat blast could crimp blueberry harvest

Oregon blueberry growers are having one of the earliest harvests in decades, but an oncoming heat wave has pickers scrambling to save what they can from sun damage.

Searing temps spark health, fire warnings

As temperatures head into the hundreds and possibly the record books this weekend, health warnings and burn bans are in the air throughout the Walla Walla Valley.

Brawl injures three prison inmates

Two units at Washington State Penitentiary were on lockdown this morning after a large fight Wednesday injured three prisoners.

Corrections workers put on layoff notice

Washington State Penitentiary workers and local Community Corrections employees are among the thousands of state employees who have received notices they may be temporarily laid off if a new state budget isn’t adopted.

Weekend temps to top 100

Break out the sunblock and Gatorade. Baking-hot temperatures are due back in town by this weekend.

County coroner requests full-time deputy

Walla Walla County Coroner Richard Greenwood called on county commissioners Monday to add a full-time deputy coroner to his office.

College Place City Council appoints new councilmember

The City Council on Monday appointed Heather Schermann to fill the open Position 6 seat.

College Place to consider Council appointment

COLLEGE PLACE — The City Council may have two applicants to choose from tonight to fill a vacant Council seat.

Washington prison breaks short-lived

While there have been numerous escape attempts from Washington state prisons, there have apparently been almost none where the inmates made it far or remained free for long.

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Bomber flight takes woman back to WWII

Another person taking flight in a B-17 this week had a ground-eye view of World War II.

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WWII pilot back in the air in B-17 over Walla Walla

Before this week, the last time Allen Penrose was in a B-17 bomber was 70 years ago.

Walla Walla airport area streets cleared for golf carts

Walla Walla County commissioners Monday approved creation of a golf cart zone at Walla Walla Regional Airport.

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Panorama - Foot on the floor, dirt in my teeth!

It was pedal to the metal time at the Walla Walla County fairgrounds last week.

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WWII bomber tour to stop in Walla Walla

Three World War II bombers bound for Walla Walla made their first stop in Washington state Friday, touching down at the Tri-Cities Airport.

National Forest officials brace for fire season

Area area National Forest officials said Thursday they are anticipating a busier-than-normal fire season this year, starting next month and going through September.

Drones add to worries of wildfire fighters

The proliferation of drone aircraft have added a new dimension to the hazards of fighting wildfires, a U.S. Forest Service official said Thursday.

Walla Walla commissioners OK court fee surcharge

People filing cases in Walla Walla County District Court will soon be paying more to fund a service to mediate disputes instead of having them go before a judge.

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College Place might get fiber optics in street rebuild

A dark fiber with a potentially bright future will be included in a major rebuild of the city’s main roadways now underway.

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Hot weather settles in for Walla Walla area

Summer officially is still a few weeks away, but it’s already shoving spring off the stage.

Blackman retires, reluctantly, as sheriff’s sergeant

After more than three decades in law enforcement, Walla Walla County sheriff’s Sgt. Barry Blackman called it a career Friday.

Resignation opens seat on College Place City Council

COLLEGE PLACE — The resignation of a member has opened up a seat on the City Council.

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Extended lock closures planned for area dams

Starting late next year, major repairs of locks on Upper Columbia-Lower Snake river dams will shut down shipping for at least 14 weeks.

County begins planning for jail split

Switching operation of the County Jail to a new county corrections department will not be a rapid process, Walla Walla County Commission Chair Perry Dozier said Monday.

Updated: County commission OKs jail split from Sheriff's Office

Walla Walla County commissioners this morning unanimously approved splitting operation of the county jail from the Sheriff's Office.

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May ends as second-warmest on record

A severe early-evening thunderstorm sent May out with a bang Sunday. It also boosted the month’s rainfall total to near-normal during a month that was, weatherwise, something of a roller-coaster.

Special filing period ends with unfilled position aplenty

A special filing period in Walla Walla and Columbia counties for offices no one filed for closed Friday with many positions still unfilled.

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Fire officials put on workshop as extreme wildfire season predicted

Two seemingly contradictory conditions, drought and spring rains, are setting the stage for an early start to wildfire season.

Lawmakers called back for 2nd special session

State legislators ended their special session Thursday passing one transportation spending plan but leaving another still pending, one that includes money to extend four-laning of U.S. Highway 12.

Crop of zoning changes proposed for Walla Walla County

Applications to add areas in Walla Walla County where weddings and events could be held are among this year’s crop of proposed amendments to the county’s Comprehensive Plan and zoning code.

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Warming trend underway in Walla Walla

The Walla Walla Valley’s warmest days seen since last October could be in store for this weekend in what could be the first days of the year hitting 90 degrees.

Area counties open special filing period

Special three-day filing periods will open Wednesday in Walla Walla and Columbia counties for offices no one filed for earlier this month.

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Warbirds tour has Walla Walla in its sights

The Collings Foundation will fly its World War II military airplanes into town for a three-day exhibit.

The roar of warbird engines will once again fill the skies next month as three World War II combat aircraft pay a visit.

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Unsettled weather due for holiday weekend

Memorial Day weekend looks to start cloudy, but should turn sunny by Monday in the Walla Walla Valley.

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Funding for Plaza Way roundabout in transportation bill

Along with funds to widen U.S. Highway 12, the transportation budget package now before the Legislature also has $3.9 million for a roundabout at Plaza Way and Ninth Street.

Senator: Transportation bill likely to pass

A pending transportation package with funds for the next phase to widen U.S. Highway 12 has an “80 percent” chance of passing soon, a local legislator said.

Candidate filings continue to trickle in

Eleven more people were added to candidate filings in Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties this morning.

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Stunt comic finds hope in town with store named Hot Poop

Voted Seattle’s Funniest Alternative Comic, stuntman Matt Baker said a visit to Walla Walla when he was first starting out gave him hope. A dozen or so years later, he’s coming to back to perform on Saturday.

County considers allowing golf carts to roam airport

A zone to allow golf carts equipped for street travel may be in Walla Walla Regional Airport’s future.

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.

College Place transportation service to cease

COLLEGE PLACE — The city’s Appointment Keeper Transportation System has hit the end of the road.

Walla Walla County goes for Mill Creek flood channel study

A drive to address “what’s next” for the aging Mill Creek flood control system rolled forward Monday.

Candidate filing week starts Monday

The majority of seats up for election in Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties will be city council, school board and other special district positions.

Mental health tax draws high praise

How money from a sales tax to aid mental health services is being used drew high praise Monday.

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Dryness a driver in April’s weather

In golfing terms, April came in slightly over par for temperature but turned in a subpar performance for rainfall.