Articles written by Olivia Harnack


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  • Police report call statistics

    Olivia Harnack, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 15, 2024

    CHENEY — The Police Department on Tuesday, March 12, released its call statistics for February, providing an overview of incidents responded to by law enforcement here. City police recorded 621 calls for service from Tuesday, Feb.1, to Friday, March 1. Among the various call classifications, traffic stops topped the list with 175 incidents, followed by suspicious circumstances with 40 reported incidents. Additionally, there were 30 welfare checks, 24 instances of 911 hangups and 20 calls for agency assist. Several other i...

  • Cheney girls win two, lose two

    Olivia Harnack, Cheney Free Press|Updated Sep 21, 2023

    PULLMAN – The Cheney girls volleyball team struggled to keep up with the Pullman Greyhounds in a non-league match Sept. 7. The Greyhounds swept the Blackhawks, 3-0. Set scores were 25-18, 25-20, 25-15. The loss followed a season-opening win Sept. 5 at Clarkson. There, the Blackhawks downed the Bantams, 3-2. Clarkston won the first set 25-20, and the third set, 25-21. But Cheney won Sets 2,4 and 5, with scores of 25-18, 25-9 and 18-16, respectively. Since those opening g...

  • Local crews hold Winona Fire to 2,525 acres

    OLIVIA HARNACK, Free Press Publishing|Updated Aug 25, 2023

    WINONA - Local fire crews contained the Winona Fire after it decimated 2,525 acres over the weekend. The fire destroyed Whitman County Emergency Management Director Bill Tensfeld, reported an fire management team that arrived Saturday to help local crews departed Monday, Aug. 21, after assisting with containing 90% of the blaze. Whitman County Fire District No. 6 is monitoring the smoldering Rebel Flat Creek train trestle that burned Friday and watching for remaining hot...

  • Malden family seeks help

    Olivia Harnack, Cheney Free Press|Updated Aug 3, 2023

    MALDEN — A family who lost their home in a Thursday morning, July 20, fire is asking for community support. “It’s like our whole life just disappeared,” renter Alysha Galindo, 35, said. “It’s so much to process.” Galindo lived in the home at 124 S. Main St. with Bobby Robbins, 37, and six children – Nevaeh, 15, Capryce,15, Skylar, 14, Danni, 11, Novah, 7, and Baynz, 6. They were left homeless and lost most of their belongings as well as cherished memorabilia, a Chevrolet Subur...

  • Two dogs missing after home burns

    Olivia Harnack, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jul 27, 2023

    MALDEN - Two dogs are missing and unaccounted for after a blaze destroyed a home and travel trailer Thursday morning, July 20. Nobody was injured in the blaze at 124 S. Main Street; the cause remained under investigation at press time. Alysha Galindo resided in the rental home with her two dogs, officials said. The dogs were in cages at the time of the fire and could not be rescued by the neighbors and volunteer firefighters. As of press time, the dogs remain unaccounted for,...

  • Man pleads not guilty in death of infant

    Olivia Harnack, The Record Times|Updated Jul 20, 2023

    REARDAN - A local man has pleaded not guilty in the death of a toddler that may or may not be his child. During a Tuesday, July 11, hearing, Jordan Mills-Jay, 30, of Reardan and Spokane, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree reckless manslaughter and second-degree. He is being held on $150,000 bail in the Lincoln County Jail. Visiting Whitman County Superior Court Judge Gary Libey presided over the hearing. Mills-Jay was charged after medical officials allegedly found...

  • Former sheriff loses certification

    Olivia Harnack, The Record-Times|Updated Jul 14, 2023

    DAVENPORT - Former Lincoln County Sheriff Wade Magers will no longer be eligible to serve as a peace officer following the commission's final decision to revoke Magers' Peace Officer Certification. The decision to revoke his certification was final on June 21 after the commission found Magers in default. Magers did not contest the decision or defend against the Statement of Charges (SOC) and failed to respond within the time provided by law. On March 22, 2022, Assistant...

  • Rollin through town

    Olivia Harnack, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jul 13, 2023

    Members of the West Plains Special Olympics wave to the crowd during the Chaney Rodeo Parade. More parade photos on page B8...

  • Two arrested in DUI-related crashes

    Olivia Harnack, The Gazette|Updated Jun 22, 2023

    ST. JOHN — Deputies had their hands full with drivers allegedly under the influence of alcohol June 17 after the conclusion of sprint boat racing. At around 6:15 p.m., Whitman County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a one-car, rollover crash with several occupants of the vehicle injured. Records show deputies arrived at the Webb’s Slough campground area, 4480 Rogers Road, and found a 2005 Chevrolet pickup on its side. Emergency personnel were assisting the injured occup...

  • Sprint boats make waves

    Olivia Harnack, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jun 22, 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 sprint 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. The Cheney-based Pour Decisions team wasn't among those with the checkered flag. But Jason Perkins, 42, of Cheney and Eli Gurske, 17, of Spangle did finish thi...

  • Combine combat

    Olivia Harnack, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jun 15, 2023

    LIND –– The West Plains made its presence felt Saturday, June 10, during the annual Lind Lion's Club Combine Demolition Derby. The annual Lind Lions Club's Combine Demolition Derby was literally a smashing success, raising funds for local projects. Farmers from across the state brought their battle-ready combines to Lind to see which which would still be running at the end of a weekend of festivities. William Mann of Sprague drove the Ritzville-based "Suds" and Cody Kulm of...

  • End of the trail

    Olivia Harnack, Whitman County Gazette|Updated Jun 8, 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...

  • In remembrance of those fell

    Olivia Harnack|Updated May 25, 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, The Gazette|Updated May 25, 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, 2...

  • Man accused in student slayings stands silent

    Olivia Harnack, Cheney Free Press|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...

  • 'Taken' stuntman turns local policeman

    Olivia Harnack|Updated Apr 6, 2023

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS - The Airway Heights Police department welcomed a new officer, Sebastien Vandenberghe, France, to the department on Monday, April 3. "I am excited to have a new member of the team. We try to serve at the highest level possible. We like to protect our children, partners, and business. This will allow us to do more as we continue to grow on the west plains," said the Chief of the Airway Heights Police Department, Brad Richmond. Vandenberghe was a Spokane County...

  • Local cowboy recovering from ATV crash

    Olivia Harnack, The Journal|Updated Mar 30, 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 t...

  • Mental strength before anything else

    Olivia Harnack, Contributor|Updated Dec 29, 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...

  • It's time to leave Eastern Washington for 'boot camp'

    Olivia Harnack|Updated Aug 4, 2022

    I officially began my internship at the Whitman County Gazette in January. I was 19 years old, a sophomore in college and contemplating what my future would look like. I came from Detroit to reconnect with my family and friends, explore and grow. Living in a crime-filled city like Detroit never had the glamor that Gotham did with its cape-wearing vigilantes. Just prior to the start of my internship, I had made the choice to consider the Army for the multiple benefits...

  • Small plane crashes near LaCrosse

    Olivia Harnack|Updated Jul 7, 2022

    LaCROSSE-A small Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft went down near Milepost 104 of State Highway 26 just before 2 p.m. Friday, July 1. The Washington State Patrol confirmed one person was injured and airlifted to a regional medical center. The name of the pilot is unknown at this time. No other information is available....

  • Sprint boats hit Webb's Slough

    Olivia Harnack, Whitman County Gazette|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...

  • High-speed action hits Webb's Slough on Saturday

    Olivia Harnack, Whitman County Gazette|Updated Jun 20, 2022

    ST. JOHN — The water-borne action returns to Webb’s Slough on Saturday, June 18, with 25 to 30 sprint boats expected to race. Several thousand race fans are expected. This year, Whitman County will be represented by one boat. Clint O’Keefe and navigator Mike Thomas, of St. John will aboard Dangerous Curves as No. 23 in the race. “There is something for everyone,” race venue owner Amanda Webb said. “You’ll meet great people from all over. We have folks that travel from beyond the Pacific Northwest.” The last race was Aug. 2...

  • Car Show and Pin-up Model Contest on tap

    Olivia Harnack, Gazette Reporter|Updated Jun 16, 2022

    ROSALIA — The community will take a step back in time to the days of American muscle cars and pin-up girls Saturday as the Car Show and Pin-Up Model Contest take center state. Rose Garage Brewing and Hot Rods is putting on the event that begins at 11 a.m. More than 100 cars are expected to make an appearance. “The car show will have really nice trophies. It’s a peoples choice type of award,” said Jay Scholz, owner of Rose Garage Brewing and Hot Rods. A barbecue and live mu...

  • Rosalia Graduation

    Olivia Harnack|Updated Jun 16, 2022

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  • Rosalia Battle Days

    Olivia Harnack|Updated Jun 9, 2022

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