10/31/2014

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2012 was an emotional year on the Palouse

2012 was an emotional year on the Palouse
MOSCOW, ID - From wildfires, to fund raisers, to education, KLEW has covered a wide range of news on the Palouse over the course of the year.

2012 was an emotional year on the Palouse.

"We want to remember Katy, and we want to remember her story," said Dean of Students Bruce Pitman.

After settling a lawsuit from the parents of Katy Benoit, the University of Idaho erected a memorial on campus and implemented a safety forum in her name.

"The theme will be about students taking care of students," said Pitman.

In Washington, Whitman County Commissioners were hit with a lawsuit from a group of angry residents after they agreed to fund a shopping center with the county's money.

"Bottom line is, we had to have more revenue to keep this county operating," said Whitman County Commissioner District Two Pat O'Neill.

The City of Pullman also struggled financially. The city council was able to balance the 2013 budget without laying off any employees, but the fire department, the police department, and the library saw some serious cuts in funding.

"We want to be a part of the solution," said Library Director Joanna Bailey.

But the budget wasn't the only news. The Pullman Fire Department welcomed a new chief in January.

"Thank you Pullman residents," said Pullman Fire Chief Scott LaVielle.

Goodbye was said to former chief Patrick Wilkins in November.

Smoke from wildfires filled the air in August, causing some U of I student firefighters to start the semester late.

"Our communities need those firefighters," said University of Idaho Registrar Nancy Krough.

Pullman voters showed their support for local schools when they passed a tax levy in February, and parents have joined forces again to help pass a bond next year that will fund the renovation of Pullman High.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you very much," said Pullman mother.

And even though Washington State University didn't have a phenomenal football season, Pullman showed even more Cougar pride with First Down Fridays.

"Go Cougs," said Cougar Fan.

And no one can forget that Apple Cup victory.

Finally, it was a big year for Gritman Medical Center. From sponsoring the region's first ever Color Run, to closing the Adult Day Health program.

"It's totally devastating," said Adult Day Health Board Member Cindy Kinzer.

To buying that federal building in Moscow that generated a lot of talk, but not a lot of bids.

The two universities on the Palouse also attracted some renowned speakers in 2012, such as Dan Rather, Gloria Steinem, and Paul Allen.

The Hawkins Development in Whitman County and the bond for Pullman schools are just a couple of the major stories of 2012 that KLEW will continue to cover in 2013.
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