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  • 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...

  • Kitsap court to hear attempt to keep Trump off ballot

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Jan 12, 2024

    OLYMPIA – Eight Kitsap County residents have filed a lawsuit to try to remove former President Donald Trump from the March 12 primary election ballot. The lawsuit (Kitsap County Superior Court case No. 24-2- 00075-18) was filed in both Kitsap and Thurston counties on Wednesday, Jan. 10, records show. A hearing on the matter has been set for Tuesday, Jan. 16, in Kitsap County Superior Court. The lawsuit alleges Trump, a Republican, is ineligible to be on the ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. C...

  • Snake River salmon pact filed in court

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Jan 3, 2024

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Biden Administration and environmental activists formalized an agreement Dec. 14 on plans to manage and improve salmon populations on the Snake River. A “memorandum of understanding” was filed with U.S. District Court in an attempt to curtail lawsuits over salmon and efforts by environmental activists to breach the four Lower Snake River dams. The agreement was formally announced Thursday, Dec. 14, by the Biden Administration, more than two weeks after a leaked document was released to the public by 5t...

  • Ephrata woman arrested in burglary

    Roger Harnack, The Journal|Updated Jan 3, 2024

    RITZVILLE – An Ephrata woman is facing multiple charges in connection with an attempted theft. Tianna Gene Marie Trumble, 19, of Ephrata was arrested Dec. 6 in the 1100 block of North Rand Lane and she was found hiding in a vehicle on the property. She was arrested for residential burglary, first-degree criminal trespass and second-degree vehicle prowl. Deputies were called to the property about 11:30 a.m. for an unknown person on the property, records show, noting they c...

  • Secret dam-breaching pact released

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Jan 3, 2024

    WASHINGTON D.C. - The Biden and Inslee administrations have been colluding secretly with extremist environmental groups and four tribal governments on plans to breach dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers. A "confidential mediation document - not for distribution" on their dam-breaching efforts was leaked to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers last week, and then to the media Wednesday, Nov. 29. McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, represents Eastern Washington's 5th Congressional District,...

  • Pasco woman sentenced in fentanyl case

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Nov 30, 2023

    PASCO — A local woman has been sentenced to 108 in prison after pleading guilty to drug-dealing charges. Amy Lynn Loza, 38, of Pasco, was sentenced after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of a mixture of a substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl. U.S. District Judge Mary K. Dimke sentenced her to 108 in prison, followed by five years of probation. Court records show that in October of 2022, the federal DEA and the Tri-Cities drug task force began tracking several f...

  • GAO: Bad water is the problem

    Roger Harnack|Updated Nov 18, 2023

    Aren’t you sick and tired of hearing Gov. Jay Inslee and his ilk blaming Columbia and Snake River dams for the decline in Puget Sound salmon and orca populations? Despite voluminous information to the contrary, Inslee, Sen. Patty Murray and other extremist environmental politicians continue to push a narrative on salmon decline that is patently false. There should be penalties for being so disingenuous. While there isn’t a penalty for false statements made to appease pol...

  • Area solar projects receive grants

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Nov 7, 2023

    OTHELLO – More than $1 million has been earmarked to help four area businesses develop and maintain solar arrays to generate power for agricultural use. The USDA has announced Othello-based Basin Farmworks, Weyns Farm and Sage Hill Electric will receive Rural Energy for America Program grants. Big Bird Farms of Harrington is also receiving a grant. Weyns Farm, 8289 Kulm Road S.E., was awarded $1 million to purchase and install a 1080 kilowatt solar array. The project is expected to generate 1.49 kilowatt-hours and save the f...

  • USDA: Supplant Odessa aquifer use

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Nov 7, 2023

    OTHELLO – The USDA is moving ahead with a plan to draw water out of the Columbia River for irrigation in an effort to curtail aquifer groundwater depletion. In an announcement Wednesday, Nov. 1, the agency said it will accept the recommendation of the federal Bureau of Reclamation to use “new Columbia River diversions” for irrigation water for 70,000 acres of the Odessa subarea in the East Columbia River Irrigation District. Under the plan, water siphoned from the Columbia River will replace groundwater currently being withd...

  • USDA earmarks $40 million for ground water diversion

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Nov 7, 2023

    OTHELLO – The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing $40 million in grants to three projects designed to divert Columbia River water into irrigation canals while curtailing the drawdown of Odessa aquifer groundwater. The grants were announced Wednesday, Nov. 1, the same day the agency announced it plans to move ahead with an effort to supplant groundwater use with more water withdrawn from the Columbia River. The grants include $19.7 million to complete a...

  • Write-ins leading races in Hatton, Kahlotus

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Nov 7, 2023

    HATTON — For the second time in the last three general elections, the new mayor and town council members may all be write-in candidates. At the end of the first day of counting Tuesday night, Nov. 7, "write-in" was leading in all of the races. The names of the write-ins were not available late election night. All of the named candidates had received 7 votes at the end of the first tally; write-ins received 9 votes in all of the races. Rhea Isaac appeared to be losing the mayoral race, with her 43.8% of the vote versus the w...

  • Pedestrian found dead on U.S. 395

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Nov 1, 2023

    LIND – Southbound U.S. Highway 395 reopened Monday afternoon, Oct. 30, after a body was discovered near Milepost 81. Authorities have identified the body as that of Nicholas A. Cooper, 31, of Lakewood. Cooper was pronounced deceased at the scene two miles east of the city at about 3:41 a.m., the Washington State Patrol reported. An Adams County deputy notified the next of kin. The patrol said Cooper was killed in a hit-and-run incident. According to the patrol, an unknown vehicle was southbound and struck Cooper in the p...

  • Trestle back in operation

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Nov 1, 2023

    WINONA — Trains are running over Rebel Flat Creek only two months after the Winona Fire destroyed the train trestle here. On Friday, Oct. 20, state officials announced that the trestle has been replaced and the trains are running. The trestle is a vital link connecting wheat farmers and suppliers in Adams and Whitman Counties. The 197-foot wooden trestle over the creek was destroyed Aug. 19 in the Winona Fire, which burned 2,525 acres as well as several buildings. "The b...

  • Sonny's slated to reopen Thursday

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Nov 1, 2023

    WASHTUCNA – A longtime, iconic eatery will officially reopen Thursday afternoon here, three years to the day after it closed. Sonny’s Tavern, 250 S.W. Main St., will host a soft opening from 4-11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, for farmers, friends and first responders. “We are dedicating this special place to the local first responders, many of whom are volunteers, and farmers and ranchers who work together to make this community a great place to live,” co-owner Bridget Coon said. “Our first night of service will be for our frien...

  • Encephalitis case confirmed in Franklin County

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Nov 1, 2023

    PASCO — Local health officials have confirmed a rare St. Louis encephalitis case in Franklin County. According to the Benton County Health District, a county resident is believed to have contracted the mosquito-borne disease over the summer when the insects are prevalent. Officials did not identify the resident, nor their hometown, only that they are from Franklin County. St. Louis encephalitis is rare in Washington state and typically transmitted by mosquitos, officials said, noting the last confirmed case here was in 2...

  • Broncos cage Tri-Cities Prep, 36-12

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Sep 26, 2023

    PASCO – The Lind-Ritzville/Sprague boys football team remains undefeated this season after rolling over Tri-Cities Prep, 36-12, during a non-league matchup at Chiawana High School on Friday, Sept. 15. It was the closest matchup so far this season for the Broncos (3-0), which racked up 402 total yards on offense, compared to the (1-2) Jaguars’ 268 yards. Bronco running backs Brody Boness and Brock Kinch combined for 342 yards rushing in the road victory. Kinch had 16 carries for 129 yards and 3 touchdowns; Boness had 19 carrie...

  • Hart, Hebel advance to general election

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Aug 15, 2023

    CONNELL - The race for City Council Position No. sure has a lot of "pH." That's because today's certification of Aug. 1 primary election results determined Preston Hart and Patrice Hebel will advance to the general election. Hart topped a three-candidate field that also included Stephanie Hallman. Preston received 140 votes, or 50.91%. Hebel finished second with 68 votes, only 6 ahead of Hallman (with 62). Only the Top 2 candidates advance from the primary to the Nov. 7...

  • It's summer in Eastern Washington, not 'climate change'

    Roger Harnack, Ritzville Adams County Journal|Updated Aug 15, 2023

    The National Weather Service predicts we will see the hottest temperatures of the summer this week. It’s even gone so far as to declare an “excessive heat warning” until 11 p.m. today. Granted, 100 degrees is hot. But in our neck of the high-plains desert, that’s not excessive. Even if we hit 105 degrees, it’s not excessive here. Eastern Washington has a track record of hot daytime highs in June, July and August. The hottest day on record for most of our readership area was...

  • Othello receiving $850,000 for park

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Aug 15, 2023

    OTHELLO – Kiwanis Park will benefit from two grants approved by the state Recreation and Conservation Office. The agency has awarded $500,000 to add a water park and renovate trails. A second grant of $350,000 was awarded to build a futsal court. The funds will be administered through the city. The first grant will allow the city to build the water park, renovate walking trails and add lights to the park in an effort to make it more family-oriented. The water park, being called a spray park, will include amenities spraying c...

  • One dead, six injured in Mesa crash

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Aug 15, 2023

    MESA – An Othello man was killed and six others injured in a five-vehicle pileup Aug. 7 about three miles north of town. Jesus Camacho-Augustine, 21, of Othello, was pronounced dead at the scene near Milepost 10 of state Highway 17. Nicholas L. Abbott, 28, Valentin Galvez-Gonzalez, 24, and Estella DeJesus Gonzalez, 31, all of Othello, were injured in the crash, as were Anthony J. Mawer, 25, and Camden J. Love, 23, both of Vancouver, the Washington State Patrol reported. A juvenile was also injured; the state patrol failed t...

  • Wildlife board rejects spring bear hunt

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Aug 15, 2023

    OLYMPIA – It took only a minute Friday, Aug. 11, for the state Fish and Wildlife Commission to reject a petition to resume spring bear hunting in 2024. The commission’s almost-immediate, unanimous rejection of spring bear hunting followed a very short presentation by state Department of Fish and Wildlife Game Division Manager Anis Aoude. “From our position as a department … we’re recommending you deny this petition,” he said. “There really isn’t a reason to revisit.” The state’s presentation and commissioner’s fast...

  • Schmunk, Weidemann lead Lind primary election races

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Aug 1, 2023

    LIND - Preliminary primary election returns show Jamie Schmunk and Jim Weidemann leading Town Council races. At the end of counting Tuesday night, Aug. 1, Schmuck had 62 votes (37.8%) to lead the race for Town Council Position No. 4. Myra J. Horton was second with 47 votes (28.66%). In the race for Town Council Position No. 2, Weidemann led with 53 votes (32.32%), followed by James N. Dworshak in second with 44 votes (26.83%). Only the Top 2 advance to the Nov. 7 general...

  • Hart dominating Connell council race

    Roger Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Aug 1, 2023

    CONNELL — Candidate Preston Hart has a commanding lead in the Aug. 1 primary election race for City Council Position No. 5. but it's a dead heat to see who will be the runner-up. After the end of the first day of counting Tuesday, Hart had 108 votes, or 51.92%. His count exceeded the tally for the remaining two candidates, Patrice Hebel and Stephanie Hallman. The women were tied for second with 48 votes each, or 23.08%. Election officials said late-arriving ballots should break the tie before the election is certified Aug. 1...

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