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Articles written by Olivia Harnack


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  • Local law agencies observe National Police Week

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated May 14, 2024

    OTHELLO — National Police Week began Sunday, May 12, and local law enforcement professionals are recognized for their dedication and sacrifice. “This week provides a special opportunity for us to recognize and honor the outstanding efforts of our Adams County law enforcement team and all law enforcement professionals across the nation,” said Adams County Sheriff Dale Wagner. National Police Week also recognizes the family members of law enforcement officers as they play a vital role in supporting the officers. A Faceb...

  • Second man arrested in odometer fraud

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Apr 9, 2024

    OTHELLO - A second man has been arrested in connection with an odometer fraud case. 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 deputies....

  • Chamberlin arrested in burglaries

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    RITZVILLE - The Grant County Sheriff's Office arrested a man wanted in connection with a rash of burglaries in Ritzville. Marcus James Chamberlin, 33, was apprehended by the Grant County Sheriff's Office and booked into the Franklin County Jail for first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary and first-degree trafficking in stolen property. According to the Adams County Sheriff's Office, Chamberlin was located in Grant County. On Friday, March 8, Ritzville police and the...

  • Sheriff releases February statistics

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    RITZVILLE — The Adams County Sheriff’s Office has released its crime statistics for February. According to the data, 298 calls were made to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office during February, indicating a steady level of activity for law enforcement personnel. The most frequent call type was 911 misdials or hangups, with 90 reported instances. That was followed by medical calls, with 40, and agency assist, which had 6 calls. Notably, there were no reported cases of kidnapping, joyriding, arson, bomb threat, child abuse, curfe...

  • Man wanted after high-speed chase

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    RITZVILLE - The Adams County Sheriff's Office is seeking information on the whereabouts of Daniel Wayne Gill, who is wanted on multiple charges, including eluding law enforcement, obstruction and driving with a suspended license. According to the Adams County Sheriff's Office, a routine check of a suspicious vehicle turned into a high-speed chase on the evening of Wednesday, March 6, as deputies pursued Gill. At approximately 5:23 p.m., deputies responded to a call regarding...

  • Deputies arrest man for resetting odometers

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    RITZVILLE — After several months of investigation, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man for resetting or reversing vehicle odometers. Reynaldo “Rey” Valdez Garza Jr., 52, faces charges of second-degree deception and disconnecting, resetting or reversing odometers. Garza was apprehended and booked into the Franklin County Jail on Tuesday, March 5, after a search warrant was executed to find additional evidence. The Sheriff’s Office is seeking information from individuals who bought or sold vehicles to Garza. Th...

  • Sprint boats make waves

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Jun 20, 2023

    ST. JOHN - Thirty-five sprint boats hit the water of Webb's Slough on Saturday, June 17; only three went home with checkered flags. The high-speed spint boats competed in three classes – modified, 400 and unlimited – for the best time and bragging rights from the first weekend of racing in Whitman County this season. Sprint boat racing pits a drive, navigator and their boat against a maze of islands and the clock, with some boats hitting turns at up to 10 times the pull of...

  • Lind celebrates as thousands crowd into town

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Jun 13, 2023

    LIND - Thousands of residents and visitors crowded into town Saturday for a day of old-fashioned fun Saturday, June 10. The festivities began with the Kiddie Parade, followed by the Lind Chamber of Commerce Grand Parade and Lind Lion's Club fundraising barbeque for everyone to enjoy. The Kiddie Parade began at about 10:45 a.m., it featured three entries under the '60s and '70s Flower Power theme. Following the kiddie parade, the Grand Parade showcased all the combines...

  • End of the trail

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Jun 13, 2023

    MALDEN – After more than two weeks on the trail, the John Wayne Pioneer Wagons and Riders Association completed its 45th 200- mile, cross-state trek Saturday, June 3. The riders hopped on their wagons and horses in Easton on Thursday, May 18. Since, they've traversed Kittitas, Grant, Kittitas and Whitman counties on what the state calls the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. Locals along the way have a different name for it – through Adams, Southern Spokane and Whitman cou...

  • Combine combat

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Jun 13, 2023

    LIND –– The town roared to life Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10, as thousands of fans rolled in to see combines smash into each other. The annual Lind Lions Club's Combine Demolition Derby was a smashing success, raising funds for local projects. The weekend festivities included car, pickup and grain truck racing, parades, live music, and of course, the highlight of the event – the combine derby. The combines competed in five heats, with the fifth marking the grand final...

  • In remembrance of those fell

    Olivia Harnack|Updated May 23, 2023

    An “aha” moment – a time when make that brilliant “I’m going to do it” decision. I got mine after reading “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell and studying up on my favorite Purple Heart recipient, Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter. It sounds crazy, but for some reason a moving film about Marines fighting to save our country and their ensuing brotherhood inspired me to start my search for a military career. It wasn’t until after I read the story of a Spokane local, Ty Carter, and how h...

  • Man accused in student slayings stands silent

    Olivia Harnack, Whitman County Gazette|Updated May 22, 2023

    MOSCOW, Idaho - The man accused of stabbing four University of Idaho students to death stood silent Monday, May 22, during his arraignment. Bryan Kohberger, 28, of Pullman, appeared before Latah County District Court Judge John Judge after following his indictment last week on four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary. He is accused of stabbing to death Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Morgen, 21; Ethan Chapin, 20; and Xana Kernodle, 20, on Nov. 13, 2022...

  • Bronco girls win one

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Apr 4, 2023

    ASOTIN - The Bronco girls bounced back from a doubleheader loss Wednesday, March 29, to split with Asotin on Saturday, April 1. The Lind-Ritzville/Sprague girls won the opening game of Saturday's doubleheader, 13-3, but lost the nightcap in a close 9-8 battle. The split doubleheader followed losses on the road to the Colfax Bulldogs, 15-0 and 25-2, last Wednesday. No game details were reported from Asotin. But in Colfax, the local girls faced the undefeated Bulldogs on a...

  • Local cowboy recovering from crash

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Mar 28, 2023

    LaCROSSE - A local cowboy is recovering after a March 19 crash. Caleb Berquist, 23, of LaCrosse, suffered significant and critical injuries Sunday night, March 19, when his side-by-side overturned on the family ranch. The son of Shane and Kim Berquist, he is out of surgery, and his mother reports her son is on the mend and making daily progress. "We are making a little bit of progress every day, which is good," Kim Berquiest said Friday. "He finally got fitted with a brace...

  • Mental strength before anything else

    Olivia Harnack|Updated Dec 27, 2022

    A strong mind and body are crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I learned that while recently completing basic training for the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Okla. I was never a stranger to the gym. In fact, I spent every morning working out at FIT gym in downtown Colfax prior to leaving for the military. As a regular there, I always focused on strength training and cardio. Afterward, I would get my morning cappuccino and find myself at my desk in the bullpen at The Whitman...

  • Temperatures remain in 90s this week

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Jul 14, 2022

    RITZVILLE – The National Weather Service predicts a warm week ahead for Adams County and its neighbors. “I can say summer has arrived. Things should stay mainly on the dry side for the next week,” said Robin Fox, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Spokane. With the sunny and hot weather expected all week, the National Weather Service reports Ritzville was supposed to hit its highest temperature of the week at 96 degrees on Tuesday. By Wednesday, a cool front...

  • Small plane crashes near LaCrosse

    Olivia Harnack, Whitman County Gazette|Updated Jul 1, 2022

    LaCROSSE - A small, general aviation airplane crashed before 2 p.m. Friday, July 1. The aircraft, a N5546D Beechcraft Bonanza went down near Milepost 104 of state Highway 26. The Washington State Patrol confirmed one person was injured and airlifted to a regional medical center. The name of the pilot was not immediately available. Dispatchers received a call about a downed plane about 1:48 p.m., with troopers arriving at the crash site at about 3 p.m. No other information has...

  • Sprint boats hit Webb's Slough

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Jun 23, 2022

    ST.JOHN – First-time sprint boat racers were among the top competitors Saturday, Jun 18, at Webb's Slough. Jason Perkins of Cheney drover the No. 145 Pour Decision boat to first place in the Modified class. Meanwhile, Clint O'Keefe of St. John drove the Dangerous Curves boat to a third-place finish in the class. Perkins' boat was navigated by Eli Gurske of Spangle and O'Keefe's boat was navigated by Mike Thomas of St. John. "This was my first time racing and I was nervous, s...

  • Webb's Slough Sprint boat races return to St. John

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Jun 16, 2022

    ST. JOHN — Webb’s Slough Race returns to St. John this year on Saturday, June 18, with 25 to 30 boats expected to race. Whitman County will be represented by one boat this year driven by Clint O’Keefe and navigator Mike Thomas, of St. John. O’Keefe and Thomas will drive their boat, Dangerous Curves, as number 23 in the race. “There is something for everyone,” said race and venue owner Amanda Webb, “You’ll meet great people from all over. We have folks that travel from bey...

  • Heavy rains bring flooding, harvest delays

    Olivia Harnack, Whitman County Gazette|Updated Jun 15, 2022

    GARFIELD – Heavy rains over the last week brought more than just water, localized flooding and mudslides to the area. They also may have brought a delay in the harvest season for local farmers. Garfield farmer Russel Jamison said Tuesday, June 7, he now expects a late harvest due to recent rainfall. "The fall-planted grain and winter-planted grain really love the weather," he said. "It's cool and there is plenty of moisture for the wheat. The lentils and the peas in the e...

  • On the trail, when it reins, it pours

    Olivia Harnack, Whitman County Gazette|Updated Jun 15, 2022

    Jockeying up for the opportunity to ride with the John Wayne Pioneer Riders and Wagons last week excited me. I left home early in the morning, encountering the sweet smell of stables, wet fur and dirt. It was a drastic change from what I was used to smelling while in college in the "Motor City." The rain, however heavy, didn't phase me. That is, until the ground began to flood and I realized I could no longer tell if my Michael Kors rain boots were now filling with water or a...

  • Fairchild 'fueled' my excitement for the military

    Olivia Harnack|Updated May 17, 2022

    As a young lady in her infancy of writing news, and in the process of enlisting in the U.S. Army, my experience while flying with the Thunderbirds last Thursday in advance of Skyfest was unimaginable. A caravan of press arrived at Fairchild Air Force Base on Thursday, May 12. The 0700 - that's 7 a.m. in military time - arrival riddled me with excitement, despite the lack of coffee fueling my usual caffeine addiction. I shook with excitement and chill as the wind blew past all...

  • Farmer wins state contest

    Olivia Harnack, Whitman County Gazette|Updated May 2, 2022

    ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Colfax farmer John Aeschliman earned a first-place state award in the 2021 National Corn Growers Association National Corn Yield Contest. The award was announced today, Monday, April 18. Aeschliman is one of the highest corn yield producers in the nation with DEKALB® DKC33-78RIB brand blend corn, yielding an outstanding 110 bushels per acre in the No-Till Non-Irrigated category. “These folks make farming look easy, but it’s far from it,” said Dipal Chaudhari, DEKALB® Asgrow® Deltapine® Brand Lead. “A lot go...

  • Pursuit ends near Washtucna

    Olivia Harnack, Whitman County Gazette|Updated May 2, 2022

    WASHTUCNA – A Walla Walla man who led deputies on a chase from Colfax to Washtucna in a stolen car April 6 is being held on $150,000 bail. Brandin Rencken, 29, of Walla Walla, was arrested and booked into the Whitman County Jail for driving under the influence, attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and theft of a motor vehicle, records show. The arrest came after a Washington State University police officer reported seeing a stolen black 2012 Mini Cooper heading north on U.S. Highway 195 toward Colfax and turned on e...

  • Fuel-price increase hitting farmers

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Apr 5, 2022

    RIZVILLE – “We’re north of a dollar more in diesel than where we were before the invasion,” Sen. Mark Schoesler began in a recent interview. Schoesler, a farmer himself, represents the 9th Legislative District, including Adams, Whitman and Franklin counties. His comments came during an interview on the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on diesel fuel and farming. Fuel prices continue to rise leaving farmers forced to save and to hope for prices to drop, he said. “I still consid...

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