Steve Van Vleet

Washington State University Extension regional educator Steve Van Vleet.

The pleas come from more than 5,000 miles away, where Russian troops are flooding into Ukraine in an attempt to overthrow the nation's elected government.

"My country needs help. We need weapons, we need political support, we need money for the army," the message reads. "Thank God, you cannot see your students, kids, with guns."

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Field Reporter, Spokane

I have been covering wheat and other topics for Capital Press since 2008. Recent stories include emus, radicchio, aphids, Q&As with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, National Association of Wheat Growers president Nicole Berg of Paterson, Wash., and national FFA president Cole Baerlocher, of Colfax, Wash; and a look at umami, or savoriness, the fifth basic taste sensation. If you have a news tip, please contact me at 509-688-9923 or

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