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Articles written by Roger Harnack


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  • BREAKING NEWS: Two girls injured in crash

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Jun 21, 2024

    KENNEWICK — A Pasco man may be facing charges following a June 20 crash that injured two girls on the Kennewick side of the blue bridge. Jesse Moctezuma Chino, 25, of Pasco, was northbound on U.S. Highway 395 on the bridge at about 9:12 p.m. when his 2000 Honda Accord struck a northbound tractor trailer, the Washington State Patrol reported. The tractor-trailer, a 2025 Freightliner towing a 2015 utility trailer, was driven by Nolan G. Williams of Albany, Ore. Neither Williams nor Chino was injured in the crash, the patrol r...

  • BREAKING NEWS: Say goodbye to camping at Vernita

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Jun 20, 2024

    VERNITA - If you like spending a week or more fishing for salmon and camping on the Columbia River adjacent to Vernita Bridge, your days are numbered. On Monday, June 17, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced plans to limit the number of days fishermen can camp at the water-access area just upstream the bridge during fall salmon seasons in 2024 and 2025. During the fall salmon season, fishermen will be allowed to camp a maximum of 14 days each of the next two...

  • Biden creates Columbia River Task Force

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Jun 19, 2024

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden Administration on Tuesday, June 18, announced the creation of a new Columbia River Task Force to guide efforts to breach dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Simultaneously, the administration released a Department of the Interior report finding that the dams are detrimental to American Indian tribes in the region. The Biden Administration named Democrat operative Nik Blosser to lead the task force. Blosser is the former chief of staff for Oregon Governor Kate Brown and a former Biden A...

  • Two injured in Pasco crash

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Jun 19, 2024

    PASCO — A one-vehicle crash at the U.S. Highway 395-Court Street interchange left two people hospitalized Tuesday night, June 18. Diego A. Galvez-Gutierrez, 20, and Luciano M. Galvez, 64, both of Pasco, were injured and transported to a Richland hospital. According to the Washington State Patrol, both men were wearing seatbelts when the northbound 2006 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Galvez-Gutierrez struck a guardrail. Galvez-Gutierrez swerved and overcorrected, causing the crash, the patrol said. Neither drugs nor alcohol was a...

  • Combine Derby set for Lind

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Jun 19, 2024

    LIND - The town will roar to life this weekend as the annual Lind Grand Parade and Combine Derby return to town. The action begins Friday with car and pickup truck racing. Locals and visitors alike with "run what they brung" to Lion's Club Arena on state Highway 21. Racing is set to begin at 6 p.m. As of press time, racers were still able to get registered for the event by calling Eric Lund at 509-677-3432. Expect racers from across Whitman, Franklin, Adams, Lincoln, Spokane...

  • Someone paid for your freedoms

    Roger Harnack|Updated May 22, 2024

    Disappointingly, many Americans are worried about silly first-world problems like where to go boating or what to barbecue over the upcoming weekend. Too many view this upcoming three-day break as an excuse to eat, drink and party, never giving a thought as to why Memorial Day is observed. So while you’re anxiously awaiting the long weekend, take time to remember, understand and plan to observe Memorial Day. Memorial Day is dedicated to the men and women killed while serving i...

  • Golden hue

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Apr 5, 2024

  • Three Burbank wrestlers win bronze

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Apr 2, 2024

    SPOKANE — The Burbank Wrestling Club brought home four bronze medals March 30 from the annual Jason Crawford Memorial Tournament in Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. More than 2,100 wrestlers competed in the event billed as "state" for youth grapplers in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Burbank's four bronze medalists include three boys — Leon Avalos, Ashton Miller and Cody Sloan — and one girl — Amy Sloan. In addition to the Top 3 finishers, Ryker Ricard finished fourth. Here are the individual results for Burbank...

  • Six Connell wrestlers win weight classes

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Apr 1, 2024

    SPOKANE - The Connell Little Guy wrestling club brought home several gold medals from the Jason Crawford Memorial Tournament on Saturday, April 30, in Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. More than 2,100 wrestlers competed in the tournament that features youngsters from ages 5-14 from across Eastern Washington and North Idaho. In the 5/6 age division, Liam Rodriguez won gold at 46-47 pounds and in the 9/10 division, Romeo Cortez was first at 80-82 pounds. In the 11/12 division,...

  • Water-right bill signed into law

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Mar 22, 2024

    OLYMPIA - Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill into law to allow for water right modifications in the Columbia Basin Project area. Authored by Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, House Bill 1752 authorizes the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to apply and obtain approval for water-right modifications and provides farmers flexibility as new pumping systems are developed to save the Odessa Aquifer. The new law goes into effect June 6. According to Dye, efficient use of federal water would assist i...

  • Trump, Biden rematch looms

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    PASCO - Following the Tuesday, March 12, primary in Washington and other states, its appears that voters will see a rematch in the race for U.S. President. Preliminary results show both former President Republican Donald J. Trump and current Democrat President Joseph R. Biden Jr. secured enough support to become the presumptive nominees for their parties. In Washington state, 1.25 million voters cast ballots in the primary election. Trump received 442,048 votes statewide, or 7...

  • Moses Lake man facing charges in DUI-related crash

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    ELTOPIA — A Moses Lake man was hospitalized Saturday, March 9, after an alleged drunken driving crash. Jonnathen C. Cole, 51, of Moses Lake was northbound in his 1998 Ford Ranger pickup at about 7:41 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle, the Washington State Patrol reported. The pickup left the road and overturned near Milepost 31 of U.S. Highway 395. Cole was injured and transported to Richland hospital, the patrol reported, noting he was not wearing a seatbelt. Troopers said the cause of the crash was driving while u...

  • Leak assessment delays West Canal watering

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    EPHRATA — A leak in an irrigation canal below Pinto Dam may delay delivery of water to farmers downstream of the West Canal. According to the federal Department of Reclamation, routine monitoring showed a higher-than-normal rate of flow in the irrigation canal, officials said Tuesday, March 12. "This situation has prompted the Bureau of Reclamation to dewater the Main Canal prior to irrigation startup to better understand the source of the seepage water and develop a plan to address it," the agency reported. "As a result o...

  • State unveils pike plan

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    LAKE ROOSEVELT - The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has released a "rapid response" plan to take extraordinary measures to kill northern pike found in waterways like Lake Roosevelt. Released last week, the plan would allow state officials and tribes to draw down reservoirs, using Rotenone to poison the fish, netting and seining, quarantining waterways and more after declaring a northern pike emergency. State Aquatic Invasive Species Policy Coordinator Justin Bush...

  • Holaday seeks 5th District seat

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    ADDY - A 51st state advocate has joined the pool of candidates seeking to replace Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in Congress. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, Rene Holaday, a Republican from Addy, reached out to media to announce her run for the 5th Congressional District seat. The district includes Ferry, Stevens, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Whitman, eastern Franklin and Adams, and other counties. Holaday is an author, radio personality and the former spokeswoman for the 51st state...

  • Two Sen. Schoesler bills stall in House

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    OLYMPIA - Two bills introduced by Sen. Mark Schoesler have stalled in the House. Schoesler, R-Ritzville, represents the 9th Legislative District, including eastern Adams and Franklin Counties, among others. "Unfortunately, two bills that I introduced received their death sentences in the House," Schoesler said last week of Senate Bills 5291 and 5344. Senate Bill 5291 would have helped restaurants, taverns and similar establishments navigate the state's permitting process...

  • Dam compact words matter

    Roger Harnack, Whitman County Gazette|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Let’s take a few words that should be on the minds of all Eastern Washingtonians concerned over efforts to breach Snake River dams — agreement, restoration and sovereign, to name a few. Last Thursday in the White House, President Joe Biden signed onto the “Commitments in Support of the Columbia Basin Restoration Initiative and in Partnership with the Six Sovereigns” agreement. The so-called “sovereigns” refers to the states of Washington and Oregon, and four tribes — th...

  • Burbank boy competes in Mat Classic

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Feb 22, 2024

    TACOMA - A Burbank wrestler competed in the state Mat Classic XXXV tournament Feb. 16-17 in the Tacoma Dome, but came home empty-handed. Wrestling at 113 pounds in the boys 1B/2B division, Carter Katz made it to the third round of the tournament. He was pinned by Abraham Montealagre of Forks in 1:41 in his opening bout. In the wrestlebacks, he received a bye and then was eliminated from the state tournament by Landon Batton of Cle Elum by pin in 4:15....

  • Three Chiawana wrestlers win silver medals at state

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Feb 22, 2024

    TACOMA - Chiawana wrestlers brought home several medals from state Mat Classic XXXV, including three silvers and a bronze in the boys 4A division Feb. 16-17 in the Tacoma Dome. Silver medalists include Anthony Shima at 106 pounds, Daeton Johnson at 138 and Jordan Tobias at 144. Chiawana's bronze medalist is Lane Hedrick at 285. During the two-day tournament, Chiawana amassed 169.0 team points, good enough for second-place. Tahoma won the team title with 193.5 points. Skyline,...

  • Three dead in Othello crash

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Feb 22, 2024

    OTHELLO — Three Warden residents were killed in a crash Thursday, Feb. 15, on state Highway 17 a mile east of the city. Manuela Franco Huerta, 44, Daniel Gama Perez, 14, and Brini Moran Flores, 44, all died of injuries they sustained in the crash, the Washington State Patrol reported. Flores was pronounced dead at the scene; Huerta and Perez were pronounced dead at Othello Community Hospital. All three were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, the patrol reported. Neither drugs nor alcohol was a factor. The crash o...

  • Othello girls take fourth at state

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Feb 22, 2024

    TACOMA - The Othello Huskies girls wrestling team finished fourth in the state Mat Classic XXXV tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16 and 17, in the Tacoma Dome. The Adams County girls amassed 87.0 team points in the small school girls division (1B-2A). Toppenish won with 166.0 points, followed by Orting with 103.0 in second and Royal with 89.5. Warden was fifth with 83.0 points. Othello had several girls in the state tournament. Those placing include Grayce Mendez,...

  • McMorris Rodgers won't seek re-election

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Feb 14, 2024

    SPOKANE - The 5th Congressional District will have an opening next year. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, announced Thursday, Feb. 8, that she is not seeking re-election. "It's been the honor and privilege of my life to represent the people of Eastern Washington in Congress," she said. "After much prayer and reflection, I've decided the time has come to serve them in new ways. I will not be running for re-election to the People's House." The 5th Congressional...

  • Pursuit reaches 150 mph on U.S. 395

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Feb 14, 2024

    HATTON — A Portland, Ore., man was arrested shortly after noon Sunday, Feb. 4, after leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase in excess of 150 mph. Issac D. Burks Jr., 33, of Portland, Ore., was arrested near the intersection of U.S. Highway 395 and state Highway 26 at about 12:20 p.m. after crashing his vehicle, records show. He was booked into the Franklin County Jail. Burks is facing possible charges of felony eluding, driving while under the influence and two counts of hit-and-run, records show. According to the A...

  • Moses Lake man killed in Highway 17 crash

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Feb 14, 2024

    WARDEN — The Washington State Patrol is looking for information on the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash early Sunday morning, Feb. 4, on state Highway 17. Jeremiah T. Gregg, 36, of Moses Lake, was killed in the crash at 1:53 a.m. near Milepost 41 north of Othello, the Washington State Patrol reported. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene. According to the state patrol, Gregg was northbound in a 2021 Ford F150 pickup on the highway when he rear-ended a 1989 Toyota Camry. Gregg’s pickup went onto the...

  • State parks failing at Palouse Falls, Lyons

    Roger Harnack|Updated Jan 31, 2024

    Two years ago, Washington State Parks bureaucrats in Tumwater hatched a plan to address so-called "overcrowding" at Palouse Falls. The plan was to close and relocate the campground to Lyons Ferry, require permits to visit Upper Palouse Falls and to end hiking and exploring in and around the main Palouse Falls basin. The effort also eliminated kayaking access on the upper Palouse River. And to make the effort sound legitimate, those city-dwelling bureaucrats called Palouse...

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