2020 One year ago today

Whitman County communities and organizations have responded to the recent devastating wildfires by providing donations and shelter to those displaced by the flames. The Babb Fire that destroyed Malden and Pine City is still listed as zero percent contained according to the Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team that is coordinating the firefighting efforts.The fire, now estimated at more than 17,000 acres, damaged 91 single family residences, eight commercial properties and 90 other structures. … Whitman County Commissioner Michael Largent let loose on the Washington Department of Commerce, accusing the agency of overstepping its authority regarding federal coronavirus relief funds. Largent’s comments were prompted by provisions in a Community Development Block Grant application requiring the county to adopt policies “prohibiting the excessive use of force, and prohibiting the use of force against individuals engaged in nonviolent civil rights demonstrations” before any of the money could be spent. “I find it insulting. Insulting,” Largent said.

2016 Five years ago today

There was a change of plans at the Palouse Empire Fair Sheep Costume Class, as Whitman County Commissioner Michael Largent was forced to kiss a pig at the same time as the competition, leaving Commissioner Art Swannack to do the judging. “She doesn’t call; she hasn’t written,” Largent said after the kiss. “I’m confused. I feel a little used by that pig.”The commissioner was forced to kiss the pig after his cups at Colfax businesses collected the most money for the Colfax and Community Fund. Largent raised $290 of the $650 raised. The other three potential pig kissers in the competition were Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers ($200) Colfax Mayor Todd Vanek ($140) and Colfax Unified Executive Director Val Gregory ($17.50).

2011 10 years ago today

A lot has changed in the United States since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but one difference is more noticeable to the general public. Airports throughout the country have seen a major security overhaul during the past 10 years, with the first change at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport apparent soon after the twin towers tragedy. “That parking lot was created about that fast,” airport manager Tony Bean said this week, gesturing toward the lot that is positioned 300 feet away from the terminal. The parking lot distance requirement was one of the first new regulations implemented after 9/11, and Bean said the rule has since been loosened. But other changes remain and continue to be developed in order to enhance air travel and security.

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