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Articles written by Dale Brown


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  • McCormick postpones retirement

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jul 15, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Police Chief Dave McCormick isn’t going anywhere just yet. In a letter dated June 29, Mayor Scott Yaeger informed the City Council that Police Chief Dave McCormick has agreed to postpone his retirement to “no longer than” Sept. 30. The letter said the extension provides the city with more time to fill the position with an interim or permanent employee. “I am thankful for David’s decision to postpone his retirement, as the search for his replacement has not been an easy task, thus far,” Yaeger wrote, noting the po...

  • Lind church gets a new cross

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jul 8, 2024

    LIND – Seven men were on hand to hoist a bronze cross into place on the Lind Calvary Assembly of God church on Friday, June 28. Local bronze sculptor Lamar Thiel, who had previously designed crosses for the Church of the Nazarene and Zion Philadelphia Church in Ritzville, witnessed the installation. The cross, measuring 8 by 5 feet and weighing roughly 80 pounds, was lifted into place with a system of pulleys and ropes provided by Randy Gust. Once installed, Pastor Steve S...

  • Churches' fireworks fundraiser underway

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jul 1, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Local churches are offering noisemakers, rockets, smoking snakes and sparklers to Fourth of July revelers. As in prior years, Ritzville Foursquare Church and Lind Calvary Assembly of God plan to jointly staff a discount fireworks trailer near the Interstate 90-Division Street interchange. Fireworks sales will run from June 28 through July 4, while supplies last. State law allows for fireworks sales from noon to 11 p.m. June 28, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 29-July 4 a...

  • Council discusses McCormick retirement

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jun 24, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Mayor Scott Yaeger laid out various factors regarding the replacement of Police Chief Dave McCormick during the City Council's June 18 meeting. McCormick is set to retire at the end of June. Considerations include a competitive salary, connection to the community and experience, as both an officer and administrator. "This is clearly the mayor's decision," Councilman Dennis Chamberlain said of the hiring process. "Those of us on the council can talk all we want. B...

  • Two officers honored for outstanding service

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jun 24, 2024

    RITZVILLE – At the city council’s June 18 meeting, Police Chief Dave McCormick presented plaques recognizing two law enforcement officers. McCormick presented “The Lifesaving Award” to officer Jeff Lane for actions he took while responding to a call for assistance with a mental subject during the late evening hours of Saturday, April 11, 2020. Lane, who was covering a shift for the Police Department, faced a life-threatening situation, the chief said. He was on the scene with Washington State Trooper Nathaniel Romanes...

  • Golf course manager resigns

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jun 24, 2024

    RITZVILLE – The city is looking for a new manager at the municipal golf course. Daniel Duff, manager of the city golf course, is moving and will terminate his contract with the city, city records show. “My family and I are moving from Ritzville and this move will not allow me to continue my contractual duties beyond July 15, 2024,” an email to Mayor Scott Yaeger said. Duff offered to help train a replacement. At the June 18 City Council meeting, Yaeger said he had talked to a few local people interested in taking over manag...

  • Auction benefits Becky Main fund

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Dennis Sackmann and local auctioneer Jerry Synder have scheduled a benefit auction to help defray some of the outstanding medical costs incurred by the family of recently-deceased youth group leader Becky Main. The event, slated for Saturday, June 29, will begin at 6 p.m. at the grade school gymnasium. It will include a “pay at the door” dinner. The auction is expected to feature wood and fabric crafts, homemade breads and desserts, artwork and other contributions. Becky Main, longtime youth leader and commu...

  • Cemetery mapping underway in Ritzville

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Last week, Scott Field of ViaVista Mapping began collecting field data and generating maps at the Ritzville Memorial Cemetery, a half-mile west of town on Rosenoff Road. Founded concurrent with the town in 1887, the cemetery added "Memorial" to its name after the Great Depression in honor of American veterans. As of Monday morning, Field had identified more than 60 unmarked burial sites in the 10.8-acre cemetery. The cemetery is divided into six sections separated...

  • Foreign exchange student experiences Ritzville

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jun 11, 2024

    RITZVILLE – This past school year, Cindy Julien, a foreign exchange student from France, took part in this rural community and gained firsthand experience of its culture. Last August, Julien arrived from Sainte-Flour, a town of about 6,000 inhabitants in a mountainous region of central France. She hails from a small-town community where her parents and relatives are farmers. As a result, her transition to life in Ritzville has not been a tremendous culture shock. Previous f...

  • City council approves projects

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jun 11, 2024

    RITZVILLE – At a relatively short June 4 meeting, the City Council addressed three primary issues on its “action agenda.” First was the approval of bid advertisements for two street and sidewalk projects. Both bids will be opened Wednesday, June 26. One project will involve pavement maintenance and curb ramp replacement covering 2.5 blocks along East First Avenue, from Division Street through mid-block on Palouse Street. The other project will involve demolition and reconstruction of sidewalks along both sides of Sixth Avenu...

  • Community forum highlights child-care needs

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jun 11, 2024

    RITZVILLE — Following a tasty meal at the C.J. Newland American Legion Memorial Hall on Tuesday evening, May 21, about 20 community members, mostly parents with young children, attended a presentation by Soren Newman, Ph.D, The associate director at Arrowleaf Consulting, she presented preliminary results of a child care needs assessment conducted from March to April. Newman shared data gathered from listening sessions, interviews, and a survey. The goal: building a multi-purpose space for early learning. She noted that the f...

  • Lind-Ritzville graduates 34

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jun 4, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Gilson Gymnasium was a scene of jubilation and exhortation as the Lind-Ritzville High School commencement took place Saturday, June 1. Attendees sat in 17 rows of folding chairs spread across the gym floor. There were folks wearing shorts, jeans, T-shirts and flowered dresses. A man in a wheelchair sat in the front row and held a squirming infant on his lap. The commanding strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" filled the gymnasium as parents raised cellphones to r...

  • Turner mural taking shape downtown

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jun 4, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Stroll down Main Avenue and you'll see characters being painted on a building next to Umpqua Bank. Tina Turner, working with John Rankin and Linda Kubik, is adding barkeeps and customers to the building exterior. The depiction is based on a black-and-white photo from the era when the building was a tavern called The Office. Rankin will complete the "ghost signage" and Kubik will add an awning. Turner said she typically works on commission, painting scenes of f...

  • Vacation Bible School slated

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Jun 4, 2024

    RITZVILLE – This year’s All-Community Vacation Bible School will be at Emmanuel Lutheran Church from Tuesday through Thursday, June 11– 13. The theme is Scuba, which the curriculum creator describes as kids being “immersed in oceans of fun” and “a hands-on learning where kids will discover God is a friend who will love them forever.” Vacation bible school classes are scheduled for 9:30–11:30 each morning, and are open to children from Ritzville, Lind and surrounding communities. Kids from preschool through those entering...

  • Students learn about criminal court

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated May 28, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Fifth-graders from Ritzville, Lind, Benge and Harrington sat in a real Adams County courtroom May 17 without suffering the angst of real prosecution. It was Law Day. Students played roles as they read a script depicting a fictional case. The judge, bailiff, prosecuting attorney, defendant, witness to the alleged crime and jury - all played roles in the trial. As in an actual criminal proceeding, the jury heard the evidence, lawyers made objections and d...

  • Street improvement bids discussed

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated May 28, 2024

    RITZVILLE – The City Council authorized Mayor Scott Yaeger to sign two bid documents for road and sidewalk improvements east of Division Street during its Tuesday, May 21, meeting. Both bids have scheduled openings in June, and the projects are scheduled to be completed by September. The first bid provides for pavement maintenance and Americans with Disabilities Act curb ramp replacement for about 2.5 blocks along East First Avenue from Division Street to Palouse Street. Project specifications include removal of existing c...

  • Former Buick dealership being remodeled

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated May 21, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Resident Keith Graham is remodeling a building at 114 W. Broadway Ave., next door to the American Legion Hall. The building formerly housed a Buick dealership called Rogel Motor Co., according to a 1960 Journal-Times. Graham noted that roll-up garage-style doors on the Broadway side of the building were replaced by large windows. County records show the building's current owner is Kurtis Graham, brother of Keith Graham. Keith Graham said he plans to remove most o...

  • D's on Main opens downtown

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated May 14, 2024

    RITZVILLE – A new restaurant officially opened on Main Street with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, May 11. D's on Main, 214 W. Main Ave., occupies the building formerly owned by Mi Jalisco, which moved to a building near Interstate 90. The D's on Main building was known as The Circle-T Inn for more than 50 years. A historic sign at the building's entrance states that Del and Bob Templin built the original restaurant in 1946 and later expanded it with a bar and dining r...

  • Massage therapist expands to Ritzville

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated May 14, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Massage therapist Roxanne Potter recently set up shop downtown, adding local clients to her services in Lacrosse and St. John. Potter, her husband David, and their three daughters moved from upstate New York to Eastern Washington in 1994. "David changed jobs and we hooked up with Judy Harder in Hooper," she said. Hooper, located along the southern bank of the Palouse River, is a rural community east of Washtucna in Whitman County. Her husband was farming and r...

  • Cemetery mapping to begin in June

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated May 14, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Florida-based ViaVista Mapping will begin collecting field data and generating maps next month at the Ritzville Memorial Cemetery. According to a service agreement with the city, mapping services will include scanning for sub-surface anomalies and unmarked burials using ground-penetrating radar. The devices can also detect disturbed soil caused by wooden or metal caskets, voids in the earth with little to no surviving skeletal remains, ceremonial burial objects, vaults, improperly positioned or unmarked graves, a...

  • Locals brave the rain for Bloomsday

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated May 7, 2024

    RITZVILLE — Twenty-two local residents were among the estimated 27,885 people competing in this year’s 48th annual Bloomsday run on Sunday, May 5. The 7.46-mile course (12 kilometers) left many wet to the bone as they slogged the slippery streets of Spokane in a constant downpour and 45-degree temperatures. 1. Along the course, participants were regaled by bands singing gospel songs, accordion players and drummers playing folk tunes, rock’n’ rollers belting out oldies and pro-Palestinian protesters chanting their favorit...

  • Trees planted along First Avenue

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Apr 30, 2024

    RITZVILLE - Last Wednesday, Public Works Director Dave Breazeale and Police Chief Dave McCormick were on hand to oversee the planting of 12 trees along West First Avenue. The total project will include 24 trees to be placed in cement planters along the road's shoulder from Akins Fresh Grocery to the Department of Transportation facility. Trees being planted this spring include maples and other varieties. According to City Councilman and Tree Board member Mike Schrag, using a...

  • City celebrates Arbor Day

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Apr 30, 2024

    RITZVILLE - To celebrate Arbor Day, 23 fifth-grade students planted five trees at the Children's Memorial Park near the city's Little League fields on Friday, April 26. The planting was one of the featured events of the city's Arbor Day celebration. Ritzville Tree Board and City Councilman Michael Schrag began the ceremony at City Hall and introduced other members of the board, including Brooke Hayes, Karen Cady, Debbie Chapman and Michelle Keefer. He then shared a brief...

  • Maverick breaks ground, finally

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    RITZVILLE – Groundwork for a new gas station and convenience store at the Interstate 90-state Highway 261 interchange is underway. At the Tuesday, April 16, City Council meeting, Clerk/Treasurer Julie Flyckt announced the general contractor and earthwork subcontractor have finally broken ground for construction of a new Maverick gas station. The station will be located across the road from Love's Travel Stop, next to Big Bend Electric. According to survey maps, an existing t...

  • Resident voices concern over speeding, water rate

    Dale Brown, The Journal|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    RITZVILLE – During the public comment portion of the Tuesday, April 16, City Council meeting, resident Don Sanger expressed frustration about two issues. First was the lack of a solar-powered speed limit sign near his home on Weber Avenue. Second was his contention that the city’s water billing policy is unfair. Regarding the first issue, Sanger said, “I want a solar-powered speed limit sign placed on Weber Avenue. Countless semis travel that road in excess of 35 mph. “I offered to pay for a sign out of my own pocket,...

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