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Ken Graham

Stories by Ken

Touchet voters to see bond for secondary school work

TOUCHET — The Touchet School Board recently approved a resolution to put a $6.5 million bond measure before voters in February. The funds would be used along with state matching funds for complete renovation of the secondary school.

Ski Bluewood to open season Friday

Ski Bluewood’s 34th season will begin Friday with operating hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The ski area’s management says plenty of fresh snow is expected by this weekend.

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Discovering his palette

For artist Steve Henderson, the rolling hills around Dayton are a great inspiration. “I really enjoy painting the landscape around here,” he said, “and the paintings it has inspired have been very well-received.”

Businesses sign up for Blue Mountain Station

DAYTON — Cheese, granola and hot sauce. While that combination may sound less than appetizing, the Port of Columbia hopes those ingredients will help cook up a successful new artisan food center at Blue Mountain Station in Dayton.

Gypsy Girl specializes in granola

DAYTON — When Suzi and Duane Tasker found out that their son Noa was gluten intolerant, Suzi Tasker began researching recipes for good food he could eat.

Wool you believe it? Wa-Hi student wins state sewing competition

WALLA WALLA — Danny Butler was dapper in his three-piece brown wool suit as he enthusiastically described his win at the Washington state Make it with Wool contest and fashion show.

Touchet River levee in Dayton raises concerns

DAYTON — The Columbia County Board of Commissioners recently approved a capital expenditure of $35,000 in 2013 for maintenance of the Touchet River levee near Dayton. The money will be used to remove trees and vegetation from the portion of the levee outside Dayton’s city limits.

Dayton lays out its holiday welcome mat

DAYTON — The city will crank up its Christmas spirit Friday and Saturday

Columbia County Courthouse evacuated after bomb threat

DAYTON – The Columbia County Courthouse was evacuated Thursday afternoon after a bomb threat was received. It was one of eight bomb threats received at county courthouses in Washington yesterday.

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Dayton's Liberty Theater musical 'Annie' comes fully dressed with a smile

DAYTON –- Based upon the Harold Gray comic strip, "Little Orphan Annie," the musical "Annie" opens here Friday in the Liberty Theater.

Schirman receives Dayton Chamber’s citizen award

DAYTON — Retired Columbia County extension agent Roland Schirman was named Citizen of the Year by the Dayton Chamber of Commerce during the Chamber’s 66th annual awards banquet Thursday evening.

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Duo collaborate on music for 'Annie'

DAYTON — As cast members of “Annie” rehearse at the Liberty Theater this fall, they are accompanied by two veteran musicians who have worked together many times. “Annie” is the 12th fall musical production at the theater, and Jim Thorn and Randy Pearson have helped provide the music for almost all of them.

'You can cry, but don't be a baby'

WALLA WALLA — In a cavernous warehouse building a block off Rees Avenue, eight people arrive in workout clothes, ready to find out what they’ll be doing during the next hour. They learn that the workout of the day, or “WOD,” as it’s known at CrossFit Walla Walla, includes “wall climbers,” “kettle bell swings” and sit-ups.

McCabe, Ledgerwood face off in Garfield County commission race

Wynne McCabe is finishing his first term in office.

POMEROY - Garfield County Commissioner Wynne McCabe, who is finishing his first term, faces a challenge from David Ledgerwood in his bid for re-election in Position 2.

Columbia County to pick new commissioner

DAYTON — Longtime residents face off in the Columbia County commissioner race

New CEO for Columbia County Health

DAYTON — Dale Polla, the new CEO at Columbia County Health System, says Dayton’s hospital is a perfect example of why critical access hospitals in rural communities are so important.

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Chinook back big time on the Snake

A short fishing season for the once-endangered fish ends Oct. 31.

Anglers line up along the wall at Little Goose Dam, waiting for a bite. Downstream on the Snake River -- at the Texas Rapids campground and Lyons Ferry marina and campground -- fishermen get up early to launch their boats as the sun rises. Others fish from shore.

Garfield County wind farm offers hunting access

POMEROY — Beginning this fall, hunters will have access to some of the land that makes up Phase I of the Lower Snake River Wind Facility in Garfield County. The project, located west of here, was completed and began producing power earlier this year.

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North of the Tracks

In Dayton, it's the "north side of the tracks" that is often looked down upon and treated with disrespect.

Dayton Council reopens skate park at urging of young skaters

DAYTON — After five young skaters came to the lectern and spoke in favor of Dayton’s skate park Monday night, the City Council passed a motion to reopen the park and move toward establishing an ordinance to make park rules enforceable by law. The young speakers ranged in age from 8 to 15 years old.

Columbia County receives drug-free communities grant

The Columbia County Coalition for Youth and Families has been awarded a grant totaling $675,000 to establish a program to help prevent youth substance abuse. The grant is one of 60 nationwide awarded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Many outlying schools see improved assessment results

Assessment results from spring 2012 show improved performance over 2011 for many students in Columbia and Garfield counties, and the outlying areas of Walla Walla County.

Waitsburg's Pioneer Fall Festival set for Sunday

WAITSBURG — The Waitsburg Historical Society will host its 40th annual Pioneer Fall Festival on Sunday in downtown. Activities begin at 11 a.m. on the grounds of the Bruce Mansion at Fourth and Main streets.

Garfield County Fair kicks off Friday

The Garfield County Fair opens Friday, with most activities at the fairgrounds, east of Pomeroy.

Two men arrested at Columbia County marijuana grow

Two Mexican nationals were arrested Tuesday by a federal drug enforcement team that was investigating a marijuana growing operation in Columbia County.

Columbia County Fair starts Friday

Fair season isn’t over yet. The Columbia County Fair rides into Dayton this weekend with the theme, “A Treasure Chest of Columbia County’s Best”.

Liberty Theater goes digital

DAYTON — The century-old Liberty Theater has entered the modern age with the installation of a digital projection system. The new projector, server and associated equipment were installed Aug. 22, and they worked flawlessly for the theater’s showings of “The Dark Knight Rises” the first weekend, according to theater manager Kirsten Schober.

Honor flights take veterans to visit war memorials

DAYTON — Owen Agenbroad served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and fought at the battle of Iwo Jima. In May, the Dayton resident was honored with a free trip to Washington, D.C., to visit the Iwo Jima Memorial, the World War II Memorial and the five other war memorials there.

New ER opens at Dayton General Hospital

A new state-of-the-art emergency room facility opened Friday at Dayton General Hospital. The $280,000 renovation expanded the emergency room area, creating three private rooms along with a dedicated waiting room and rest room.

'Third strike' nets man life sentence in Garfield County

POMEROY — An Asotin man was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without possibility of parole in Superior Court in Garfield County, after being convicted by a jury in May of three counts of second degree rape.

Dayton man booked on firearm theft charges

A 33-year-old Dayton man, who confessed in February to a burglary in Dayton, was booked in the Columbia County Jail on Tuesday after being transferred from the Walla Walla County jail.

No need to putt around waiting to tee off in Dayton

DAYTON -- Tee times are impossible to get at the Touchet Valley Golf Course.

Waitsburg schools make staffing cuts

Facing decreased enrollment, the Waitsburg School District is making significant employment reductions for the 2012/13 school year.

Talbott, Bensel move on in Columbia County race

Mike Talbott and Tom Bensel were the top vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary election for Columbia County commissioner position 2. They will face off in November’s general election. Anne Higgins was eliminated.

Two Columbia County Health System CEO candidates withdraw

Two of the three finalists for the open CEO position at Columbia County Health System have withdrawn their names.

Three run for departing Columbia County commissioner's seat

Tom Bensel, Anne Higgins and Mike Talbott are running for the Position 2 seat on the commission.

Three candidates will face off in the Aug. 7 primary election for Position 2 on the Columbia County Board of Commissioners. Tom Bensel, Anne Higgins and Mike Talbott are running to replace Commissioner Richard Jones, who is not seeking reelection. The top two vote-getters in the primary will move on to the November general election.

Three run for departing Columbia County commissioner's seat

Tom Bensel, Anne Higgins and Mike Talbott are running for the Position 2 seat on the commission.

Three candidates will face off in the Aug. 7 primary election for Position 2 on the Columbia County Board of Commissioners. Tom Bensel, Anne Higgins and Mike Talbott are running to replace Commissioner Richard Jones, who is not seeking reelection. The top

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For municipal pools in the Valley, go north

For the dog days of summer, those fortunate enough to live in one of the small towns north of Walla Walla have municipal pools as a favorite way to beat the heat. Dayton, Waitsburg and Prescott all have public pools located in the middle of town — walking distance for most kids and adults.

For municipal pools in the Valley, go north

DAYTON — For the dog days of summer, those fortunate enough to live in one of the small towns north of Walla Walla have municipal pools as a favorite way to beat the heat.Dayton, Waitsburg and Prescott all have public pools located in the middle of town —

Mule Mania a kick for Dayton

The second annual celebration of mules comes with a wagon load of fun and food.

DAYTON -- Ancient Egypt had them, and they were key to settling the American wilderness.

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Mule Mania a kick for Dayton

The second annual celebration of mules comes with a wagon load of fun and food.

DAYTON — Ancient Egypt had them, and they were key to settling the American wilderness. But this weekend Dayton will be the mule capital of the Northwest More than 150 mules and donkeys — and their owners — are expected to arrive for the second annual Mule Mania show at the Columbia County Fairgrounds Thursday through Sunday. Admission is free

Alexander's: Dayton's great chocolate shop

The newly opened business offers unique chocolate confections created from the highest quality ingredients.

DAYTON -- Alexander's Chocolate Classics has opened on Main Street, creating and selling such artisan chocolate treats as truffles, pastries and cookies. The business is at 309 E. Main St., in the former location of Homebaked Goodness.

Pomeroy High renovation nearly done

A $9.5 million update is expected to wrap up by the start of the coming school year.

POMEROY -- Pomeroy High School students will start out the coming school year in a state-of-the-art facility, thanks to a $9.5 million renovation project that is nearing completion.