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Rachel Alexander

Stories by Rachel

Agreement to put officer at Pomeroy schools

POMEROY — The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office will have an officer in the schools starting in August, thanks to an agreement approved last night by the Pomeroy School Board.

Summer reading program set to kick off

School will be out for the summer soon, but that’s no reason for young people to stop exploring.

Appeals in gun club dispute to be heard Tuesday

MILTON-FREEWATER — A hearing to consider appeals in a land use decision for the East End Rod & Gun Club has been rescheduled for Tuesday.

Weston committee to interview two police officer candidates

WESTON — After a second round of applications, the city’s police officer hiring committee will interview two candidates in a closed session Friday.

Dayton hospital weighs redesign of facility

DAYTON — The Columbia County Hospital District is working on a redesign of the 50-year-old hospital building to improve its ability to meet current health care needs.

Dayton struggles to document veterans’ graves

At least 800 veterans are buried in the Dayton cemetery, and it’s up to just a dozen volunteers to mark their graves for Memorial Day.

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Dayton dishes up a foodie summer

DAYTON — Foodies will have a few extra reasons to visit Dayton this summer.

Permit approved for straw pulp plant outside Starbuck

DAYTON — Columbia Pulp is one step closer to building a large straw pulp processing plant outside of Starbuck.

Change in the air with filings in Columbia, Garfield counties

Long-serving incumbents are stepping down from the Columbia and Garfield County Commissions, but one day into filing week, it appears both seats will be competitive.

Dayton forges ahead with marijuana rules (with documents)

DAYTON — Though the city’s moratorium on marijuana-related businesses doesn’t expire until Sept. 23, Dayton is moving forward with a draft marijuana zoning ordinance.

Hearing set on proposed straw pulp plant outside Starbuck

DAYTON — Columbia County will hold a public hearing Friday to hear comments on a proposed straw pulp plant outside of Starbuck.

State marijuana lottery awards licenses to stores on Myra Road

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla County’s first marijuana stores will likely be on Myra Road, according to results released this morning on the Washington Liquor Control Board’s pot business licensing lottery.

Sheriff ends immigration holds for people who would otherwise be released

Under a new sheriff’s order issued Monday, Walla Walla County will no longer honor requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold immigrants in custody who would otherwise be released.

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Athena-Weston School District sporting a new track

ATHENA — Though it won’t host a home meet until next year, a new track next to Athena Elementary with easy access to Weston-McEwen High School already is being put to good use by student athletes.

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Blue Mountain Station gets splashy christening

The town’s artisan food center has been in business for several months, but it was officially christened in a lively ceremony Friday afternoon.

Dayton High’s FBLA chapter scores big in state competition

DAYTON — Dayton High School students took home a slate of awards from this year’s Future Business Leaders of American state competition.

McMorris Rodgers campaigns in Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA — Jobs, tax reform, deficit reduction and veteran support are on Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ to-do list if the Spokane Republican is re-elected to a sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, she said Tuesday in Walla Walla.

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Prescott gathers for cowboy poetry celebration (with videos)

PRESCOTT — Poems about a fat pony and a timid cattle dog were among local winners at the Prescott Library’s annual Cowboy Poetry Celebration.

Dayton school bond overwhelmingly rejected

Superintendent Doug Johnson said the district would likely seek to run a smaller measure in November.

Dayton voters overwhelmingly rejected a $20 million bond measure in a special election Tuesday.

Latino research project finds strengths, weaknesses in local programs

WALLA WALLA — Staff and students at Lincoln High School know its health center has helped improve student morale and well-being, while increasing academic performance.

Waitsburg water rates headed upward

WAITSBURG — Waitsburg City Council voted Wednesday to raise city water rates $6, bringing the monthly base rate to $33.90.

Waitsburg tops Valley schools in achievement

WALLA WALLA – The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction announced the 2013 Washington Achievement Awards Tuesday, and Waitsburg High School won the most accolades among area schools on the list.

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Prescott gets glimpse of future community park

PRESCOTT — Come June, a vacant, burned-out lot in Prescott will be reborn as a community gathering space.

Longtime Columbia County physician retires

A party in honor of Dr. Michael Luce will be held tonight at Dayton’s Liberty Theater.

DAYTON — Dr. Michael Luce, a general practitioner who served the county for over 30 years, is retiring.

Longtime Columbia County doctor retires

A party in honor of Dr. Michael Luce will be held Wednesday at Dayton’s Liberty Theater.

DAYTON — Dr. Michael Luce, a general practitioner who served the Columbia County for over 30 years, is retiring.

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Rocketry club gives youths a lift in sciences

DAYTON — For Tim Quigg, there’s something fulfilling about building a rocket with your own hands and watching it fly thousands of feet up at three times the speed of sound.

Heartbleed fix: Use caution

The recently-discovered Heartbleed security bug means your passwords, payment details and other secure information on websites could be vulnerable to theft. That sounds scary, but before you rush to change all of your passwords, here are some things you should know.

School needs, tough times at odds in Dayton bond

The district hopes voters will see their way clear to take on a nearly $20 million debt for 20 years.

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Ag science is a get-down-and-dirty deal

Waitsburg FFA students get hands-on learning about soil nutrition.

Judge whose territory covers Columbia, Garfield counties to retire

Superior Court Judge William Acey, whose Hells Canyon Circuit includes Columbia and Garfield counties, announced his retirement this afternoon.

Finalist for Weston police withdraws; meeting set for discussion

WESTON — Weston is back to square one in its search for a police officer, after the city’s finalist for the position withdrew his application this morning.

State: Garfield County commissioners broke law with salary hike (with document)

POMEROY — Garfield County commissioners inappropriately raised their salaries in 2012, according to a report released this week from the Washington State Auditor’s Office.

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Mace Mead Works has bands truckin' in to Dayton

DAYTON — For bands on a tour of the Pacific Northwest, the stretch of highway between Seattle or Portland and Spokane, Boise or Missoula often looks long and empty.

Pomeroy gets loan to upgrade water system

POMEROY — Pomeroy wants to improve portions of its aging water system with funds from the USDA.

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Cheesemaker in ag zoning limbo

Monteillet Fromagerie has been at odds with Columbia County over the commercial uses of its rural property.

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Gov. Inslee tours new Dayton food processing center

Blue Mountain Station houses several local specialty product makers.

When Governor Jay Inslee stopped by Dayton’s artisan food center, he couldn’t help but admire the rolling hills out the window.

Pomeroy school resource officer funding agreement reached

POMEROY — Following a discussion with the sheriff’s office and school district, Garfield County Commissioners are working on an agreement to hire a resource officer for the Pomeroy School District.

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Dayton cafe's new owner expanding offerings

DAYTON — For Mandi Wendt, the Weinhard Cafe was an early first introduction to the world of fine dining.

Prescott wins grant for public space project

PRESCOTT — Before becoming vacant, the lot next to Prescott’s Tuxedo Bar & Grill housed a post office, a gentleman’s store and a sweet shop. Now, it’s to become the center of a community-building project, bringing residents together to create a new public space.

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5 instructors + 50 students = ‘In the Library’ in Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA — Five instructors and 50 students at Walla Walla Community College will come together to pay tribute to libraries through song, dance and art.

Funding debated as Garfield County, Pomeroy schools eye resource officer

POMEROY — Although funding specifics still need to be worked out, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office hopes to put a full-time school resource officer in Pomeroy schools next year.

Deputy prosecutor’s pay claim with county settled

DAYTON — Columbia County paid $3,668.62 to settle a claim with Deputy Prosecutor Julie Karl over her compensation.

Dayton seeks longer pot moratorium

DAYTON — Dayton is considering extending its marijuana moratorium for another six months to give the city time to develop zoning regulations.

Group urges more local help for disabled in Columbia County

DAYTON — Living with a developmental disability in Columbia County often means spending a lot of time driving. That’s something the Dayton Developmental Disabilities Leadership Group hopes to change.

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Bluewood Ski Patrol fills many roles

Patrolling the slopes, from upkeep to rescue

They work in Kennewick, Walla Walla and Lewiston as firefighters, EMTs and even teachers, then spend their weekends patrolling the slopes outside of Dayton.

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.

Dayton board puts school bond on April ballot

DAYTON — Dayton School District residents will vote on a nearly $20 million bond in April, a measure that members of the public told board members on Wednesday will be a tough sell.

Appeals filed by both sides in gun club standoff (with documents)

A legal battle over the future of a Milton-Freewater gun club is headed to the Umatilla County Commissioners.

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Dayton painter has a Magic touch

A Dayton painter’s work on Magic game cards has made him a ‘famous’ unknown.

Dayton Council votes down special events policy

Dayton City Council members voted down a special events policy after citizens voiced concerns at last night’s meeting.