Cheney Free Press -

Looking Back

Looking back with the Cheney Historical Museum... One hundred years ago in 1913, Washington Gov. Ernest Lister vetoed the funding to rebuild the Normal School at Cheney after fire destroyed the facility in April 1912. Cheney resident and state senator William J. Sutton used his charisma and persuasive skills to successfully lead the Legislature to overcome that veto. Learn more about our area’s history at


10 Years Ago

March 13, 2003

Faced with the likelihood of finding parking for a projected 9,000 students by 2010, Eastern Washington University announced it was beginning to study moving towards a combined public transportation and parking lot construction program to ease impact on city streets. The school hired the firm of Walker-Macy to conduct the study.

Life-long Medical Lake resident Brenda Redell was chosen over Howard Jorgenson by a 4-2 vote by the City Council to fill a vacant seat on the council.

EWU was hoping to see more money in its capital budget as the state’s fastest growing university plans to keep up with exploding enrollment – 24 percent - and with undergraduate applications up 28 percent in the past four years.

The state Legislature officially named SR-904 in memory of former Cheney resident and astronaut Michael Anderson who was killed in the Feb. 1 explosion of the space shuttle Columbia.

EWU’s Alvin Snow and Chris Hester earned repeat first-team berths on the All-Big Sky Conference team. They joined Kathleen Nygard and Michelle Demetruk, also named to the first team on the womens’ side.

20 Years Ago

March 1993 is missing from our archives.

30 Years Ago

March 10, 1983

Building fees for the city of Cheney were set to rise following a narrow 4-3 vote from the City Council. Fees would increase by an estimated 51 percent.

The Cheney Kiwanis Club presented the city’s Centennial Committee a check for $600 to assist in the group’s planned activities. The check was presented to Centennial coordinator, Hugh Mills from Kiwanis’ president Walt Lepski.

Families who had wanted to build their own homes in Medical Lake would benefit from a new program, Spokane County Self-Help Housing. The non-profit group received funding from the Farmers Home Administration, an agency designed to assist rural families build a home.

Plagued by injuries, the Eastern Washington University gymnastics team placed fourth in the first annual Mountain West Athletic Conference championships. The loss of Theresa Peterson to a knee injury was a key blow to the Eagles’chances.

40 Years Ago

March 8, 1973

Classified employees of the Cheney School District were set to receive a $40 per month increase in their salaries following approval by the Washington State Legislature.

Eastern Washington State College’s president, Dr. Emerson Shuck, was telling students, faculty and the community at large that “These implications are not warranted,” following a story in a Spokane newspaper that said the college had been negilgent in dealing with drug violators.

About 50 businessmen attended a recent Cheney Chamber of Commerce meeting in which EWSC professor of marketing – and City Council member - William Wynd described to the group some of the characteristics of the community. While those in attendance knew things like the city had a youth-oriented population, they likely learned the average gross income for students was $4.4 million compared to $12.3 million for Cheney families.

EWSC’s men’s basketball team endured what head coach Jerry Krause termed a “frustrating” season in which the Savages finished 6-6 in Evergreen Conference play, good for fourth place and 15-10 overall. This came following preseason predictions Eastern would challenge for the title.

50 Years Ago

March 8, 1963

William Showalter, 18, and Garey Dare Anderson, 19, were both found guilty of vagrancy following a hearing before Justice of the Peace James McInturf. The two had orginally been charged with second-degree arson in a blaze set to a garage owned by Eldon Engle, but the charge changed. Both were given reduced jail sentences.

Cheney High School’s auditorium was to be the site for the annual Festival of Bands March 15. The event would include 200 students from Betz, Windsor, Sunset, Garden Springs, Four Lakes and Cheney High.

Eleven teams were entered in swimming competition sponsored by the Eastern Washington Recreation Association and to be held the EWSC’s fieldhouse pool.


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