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  • Fast food inflation: Which chains are hiking their prices the most?

    Updated May 29, 2024

    It's no secret that things just keep getting more expensive. From home prices to personal goods, the cost of living in the U.S. has increased 22% since 2019, leaving consumers searching for ways to combat rising costs. As Americans scramble to find better ways to budget, one historically wallet-friendly option, fast food, is becoming less and less of a cost-saver. In fact, fast food price hikes have outpaced the national inflation rate in some instances, prompting backlash onl...

  • State employees recommend keeping rabbit on endangered list

    Franklin Connection|Updated May 29, 2024

    PASCO – The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public input on a review of whether to continue to list the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit on the endangered species list. "The Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit was considered extinct in Washington by 2004 but has since been reintroduced through captive breeding and translocation programs," state biologist Gerald Hayes said. According to Hayes, the agency is recommending the rabbit remain listed as endangered. The pygmy r...

  • Oregonian sentenced to prison in Othello child-rape case

    Franklin Connection|Updated May 22, 2024

    PORTLAND, Ore. — An Eastern Oregon man convicted of raping two children in an Othello hotel has been sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison. Albert Wayne Johnson, 42, was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison and 10 years of probation. U.S. District Court documents show that on Aug. 8, 2022, deputies from the Clackamas County, Ore., Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of two minors abandoned at Barton Park in Boring, Ore. The children told the deputies they met Johnson on Snapchat and that he had driven them f...

  • Colorful aurora borealis

    Updated May 10, 2024

    A G5 (extreme) geomagnetic storm resulted in one of the most brilliant displays of northern lights, scientifically known as aurora borealis, on Friday night, May 10. The colorful aerial display was visible across Eastern Washington. Pictured, the colorful sky silhouettes farm buildings....

  • Wagner attends ag threat symposium

    The Journal|Updated May 2, 2024

    RITZVILLE — Adams County Sheriff Dale Wagner attended an agriculture threats symposium April 22. Presenters at the event included Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, as well as the FBI’s Stephanie Normand, U.S. Agriculture Ambassador Greeg Doud and agriculture negotiator Kip Tom, among others. The symposium focused on the security of agricultural and rural communities. “This symposium is an invaluable opportunity to enhance our understanding of the challenges facing our agricultural sector and to collaborate on effec...

  • Schoesler keeping tabs on gun case

    Franklin Connection|Updated Apr 15, 2024

    RITZVILLE — Sen. Mark Schoesler is following a gun case in Western Washington closely. On Monday, April 8, Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Gary Bashor ruled that the 2022 state law banning high-capacity magazines is unconstitutional. “As you might guess, Attorney General Bob Ferguson did not take this news well,” Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said in an email. The case involves Gator Custom Guns in Kelso, which was sued by the state in an effort to stop the business from selling magazines capable of holding more than 10 round...

  • Poll: Reichert leads Ferguson for Governor

    Brett Davis, The Center Square|Updated Apr 10, 2024

    WENATCHEE — A Chelan County gubernatorial hopeful and former King County Sheriff has the most support in a poll on who should replace Gov. Jay Inslee. In an Echelon Insights poll on behalf of Concerned Taxpayers of Washington, former Rep. Dave Reichert, a Republican, leads Robert “Bob” Ferguson, the Democrat state attorney general by 9 points. The candidates are the Top 2 in the race to replace Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island. They will be on the Aug. 6 primary election ballot; both are expected to advance to the Nov....

  • Glimpse of an eclipse

    Updated Apr 10, 2024

    With a little patience and a high-density filter, Eastern Washington residents were able to catch a glimpse of the Monday, April 8, solar eclipse. In our region, at about 11:35 a.m., the moon covered from 26.1-28.5% of the sun. The partial eclipse began here at 10:39 a.m. and ended at 12:31 p.m....

  • Connell school zone to get upgrade

    Franklin Connection|Updated Apr 5, 2024

    CONNELL — The city has received a state Transportation Improvement Board grant to upgrade signage for school zones. The grant will allow the city to replace temporary signs with flashing signs, officials said. The flashing signs are programable and include radar to tell drivers how fast they are going in the school zone. As the signs are upgraded, the city will also repaint the crosswalks in front of the school zone. City officials hope to have the updates in place late this summer, just prior to the start of the 2024-25 s...

  • 5 of the rarest astronomical events-and when you'll next see them

    Stacker, Jennifer Huizen|Updated Apr 5, 2024

    Humans have been looking to the sky to make sense of the world around us for thousands of years. Ancient cave paintings seem to show humans began using the position of the stars to keep track of time as early as 40,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence also indicates astronomy was one of the first natural sciences developed by many ancient civilizations. Based on the earliest recorded history, humans have long tried to assign scientific, philosophical, and spiritual meaning...

  • Pasco man arrested in odometer fraud

    Olivia Harnack, Franklin Connection|Updated Apr 5, 2024

    PASCO- A second man has been arrested in connection with an odometer fraud case out of Othello. Terry Ryan Cissne, 49, of Pasco, was arrested Thursday, April 4, and booked into the Franklin County Jail on charges of second-degree theft and driving under the influence. Additional charges are expected to be filed in connection with the odometer fraud case out of Adams County. Cissne is the second to be arrested in the case being investigated by the Adams County Sheriff's Office...

  • How we traveled before GPS-and how the technology affects our brains

    Updated Apr 3, 2024

    If it feels like GPS has been around forever, that's because it has. Well, at least the human brain-powered version. People have been making their way around the world—with and without maps—for ages. It is a true survival instinct. It has been just a few decades since humans outsourced their wayfinding to global navigation satellite systems. The United States only completed its global positioning system in 1993. Perhaps because superpowers don't want to rely on something out...

  • Boy driving stolen car arrested after pursuit

    Franklin Connection|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    PASCO — A teenage boy was booked into the Benton Franklin Juvenile Justice Center after being caught driving a stolen vehicle here March 28. The boy, whose name has yet to be released, was speeding on Pasco-Kahlotus Road when Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputies spotted him, records show. A deputy ran the vehicle license and learned it had been reported stolen from Kennewick, records show. As the teenager raced toward Pasco pursued by a deputy, city police were called in to assist. Pasco police stopped the vehicle and...

  • ZIP codes that have donated the most money to Donald Trump this year

    Stacker, Elena Cox|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    The 2024 presidential election is underway, and voters are getting ready to choose between two familiar candidates. President Joe Biden is once again set to face former president Donald J. Trump, and both teams are fighting for every available vote—and every campaign dollar. So far this year, Trump has raised $403,415 from individual donors. The amount is a far cry from the more than $75 million he received before the 2016 general election; however, that's mostly due to the l...

  • Torres' Senate Bill 5780 signed into law

    Franklin Connectino|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    OLYMPIA - A bill sponsored by Sen. Nikki Torres to help improve public defenders and prosecuting attorneys has been signed into law. Senate Bill 5780 was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on March 26. "Our state has a public-safety crisis, and reducing the lawlessness in our communities must be one of the Legislature's top priorities," Torres, R-Pasco, said after the signing. "My measure to increase training for public defenders and prosecutors will go a long way toward...

  • Juvenile court cases move from Ritzville to Othello

    Dale Brown, Franklin Connection|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    RITZVILLE — For the past decade, the courthouse has been the site of all Adams County Superior Court cases, including adult and juvenile dockets. Newly appointed Superior Court Judge Peter Palubicki is changing that. “We will be holding once-a-month dockets in Othello,” he said. “Juvenile cases will be heard at 10 a.m.; truancy cases, at 11 a.m.; civil cases, at 1 p.m.” Dockets will be scheduled for the first Thursday of every month in the Othello courtroom of Adams County District Court Judge Carolyn Benzel. Why the chang...

  • Hit-and-run remains unsolved

    Franklin Connection|Updated Mar 22, 2024

    LIND — The Washington State Patrol is still looking for a driver in a hit-and-run crash that killed a pedestrian last October. On Nov. 1, the body of Nicholas A. Cooper, 31, of Lakewood, was discovered near Milepost 81 of U.S. Highway 395. Cooper was pronounced deceased at the scene two miles east of the city at about 3:41 a.m., the patrol reported at the time. 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 s...

  • Man arrested after stabbing grandma

    Franklin Connection|Updated Mar 22, 2024

    OTHELLO — An Adams County Sheriff’s Office K-9 took down a suspect in a March 14 stabbing. Dario Ochoa, 23, of Othello, was booked into the Franklin County Jail at 3:06 a.m. Thursday, March 15. He was being held without bail for first-degree assault at press time. According to the Sheriff’s Office, depu ties received a report that a man, later identified as Ochoa, stabbed his grandmother in the 2600 block of West Kuhn Road. The man was allegedly still armed with a knife. The victim was transported to the local hospital for tr...

  • 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...

  • Pedestrian hit by Pasco driver

    Franklin Connection|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    PASCO — An unknown pedestrian was struck by a car on Interstate 182 at about 3:53 a.m. today. The pedestrian, whom Washington State Patrol troopers are still trying to identify, was struck near Milepost 8, a patrol report said. The pedestrian attempted to cross the interstate and was struck by a 2017 Cadillac XT5, driven by George J. Dvorak, 58, of Pasco, who was not injured, the patrol said, noting Dvorak called 911 to notify dispatchers of the early morning incident. Troopers said Dvorak was wearing a seatbelt and that n...

  • Electric school buses may be coming

    Mary Murphy, Washington State Journal|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    OLYMPIA — The yellow school buses you grew up riding may become a thing of the past. Both the House and Senate approved a new "zero-emission" school measure — House Bill 1368 — during the Legislative session, making electric buses likely the only option for school districts in Washington. Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, said he introduced the bill also on behalf of student health. “We as a student body are exposed to 5-15 times more air pollution than adults, as a result of school bus emissions alone,” said Moa Valentin,...

  • Police given more leeway to pursue suspects

    Mary Murphy, Washington State Journal|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    OLYMPIA — After voters submitted an initiative rolling back some police pursuit regulations, the Legislature approved the measure. As a result, new rules giving police more leeway to engage in high-speed pursuits become law June 5. “The people of the state are suffering increasing rates of crime, property, crime, violent crime,” said Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen. “When I talked to cops and sheriff's deputies, they told me the one thing more than anything else that we need is the ability to chase bad people.” In 2021, the Legis...

  • Initiative approved preventing a state income tax

    Aspen Anderson, Washington State Journal|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    OLYMPIA - An initiative prohibiting the imposition of a state income tax was approved March 5 by the Legislature. "This is a great day for everyone in Washington," said Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen. "Codifying Washington's long-standing tradition of opposing any state tax on personal income will help working families and local economies...When common-sense conservative policies lead the way, things get better for everyone." At the hearing on the initiative, every chair in the jo...

  • Bill updates ballot signature verification rules

    Aspen Anderson, Washington State Journal|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    OLYMPIA — A bill written to reduce the number of rejected ballots in elections is on its way to Gov. Jay Inslee's desk. Signature verification is done to curtail fraud in mail-in ballots. But, state officials say, too often people change the way they sign their name or they don’t sign their ballot at all. That results in a rejection of their ballot. Sen. Javier Valdez, D-Seattle, introduced Senate Bill 5890 after reviewing statistics on ballot rejection rates. The bill received unanimous approval in both the House and Sen...

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