Kamie Ethridge was reportedly ticketed by Pullman Police on Aug. 28 after the Washington State women’s basketball coach held a gathering of approximately two dozen guests during the city’s COVID-19 crackdown on large parties and social events, Whitman County Watch reported Monday.
According to the website, the event held at Ethridge’s house was described by Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins as a “mini-block party” and Ethridge acknowledged she was the host.
Court records obtained by Whitman County Watch indicate Ethridge received an infraction under the city’s nuisance party ordinance. The alleged incident occurred approximately one week after city authorities warned they would begin enforcing restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has seen a major spike since undergraduate students began returning to the Palouse last month.
The city is issuing $250 fines for first-time violators of the social distancing guidelines, which are defined as civil infractions, and any subsequent offenses could warrant a minimum fine of $350. According to the aforementioned report, Ethridge has paid a $150 fine.
Whitman County Watch reported that of the 18 infractions Pullman Police have issued for “alleged violations of public health mandates,” all but two happened at student parties in the College Hill neighborhood, which is adjacent to WSU’s campus. Ethridge’s party was one of the two exceptions, according to the website.
It was also reported that “about 25 people” were outside in Ethridge’s yard not wearing masks or social distancing.
“She said she was just hosting a mini-block party,” Jenkins told Whitman County Watch, “The party started to break up while the officer was there.”
The Spokesman-Review reached out to Pullman Police on Monday, but nobody with authority to speak about the alleged incident was available for comment.
Last week, the S-R reported 618 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Whitman County – the vast majority of those linked to people 39 years of age or younger. That’s a sizeable increase from Aug. 20, when there were only 138 cases in the county.
Per Whitman County Watch, Jenkins urged offices on Aug. 27 to “start immediately writing infractions” for parties and social gatherings that violated the city’s health orders.
Ethridge was hired by WSU in April 2018, replacing former coach June Daugherty. The ex-University of Texas standout point guard went 9-21 and 4-14 in Pac-12 play during her first year with the Cougars, and the team improved slightly in 2019-20, going 11-20 overall and 4-14 in conference games.
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