Cheney Free Press -

Looking Back


10 Years Ago

May 22, 2003

The Spokane County Sheriff’s color guard raised the American flag at the newly dedicated Cheney police station.

Pathways to Progress was celebrating its third year of existence with a new mission, that of improving the downtown business climate, not just the aesthetics. The promotional organization received nearly $94,000 from Eastern Washington University which provides students to work with director Charlie Dotson’s staff.

Crews from Shamrock Paving were busy in Medical Lake’s Fox Hollow West subdivision laying down asphalt on streets.

Former Cheney High School football player and later defensive coordinator, Jason Williams, was named to fill the vacancy of head football coach left by the retirement of Tom Oswald who served 25 years on the job.

20 Years Ago

May 20,1993

The Cheney School District found itself in a sudden search for a new superintendent. This followed the announcement that Walt Rulffes would be moving back to Spokane School District 81 in the role of associate superitendent of management services. Rulffes came to Cheney in 1991 after having served as SD 81’s business manager.

The city of Cheney was awarded a $680,000 state grant to improve bus shelters, build sidewalks and improve roadways.

The Cheney High track teams concluded their regular seasons with wins over East Valley. With Joe White winning three events, the 100, 200 and 400-meter sprints, the Blackhawks outscored the Knights 76-69. Chandra Kent in the discus and shot put and Jackie Luhn’s victories in the 100 and 200-meter sprints paced the girls’ 79-62 win.

30 Years Ago

May 19, 1983

Cheney welcomed the return of Dick Johnson as its new public works director. Johnson, who previously worked for EWU from 1968-77.

EWU sealed its time capsule with a variety of items from the school’s Centennial Celebration. Among the items are letters, unread by anyone except their authors who included President H. George Frederickson and Board of Trustees Chairwoman Eleanor Chase. The time capsule was to be placed in a concrete vault in the Governor’s Grove of conifer trees on the central mall and not opened until 2082.

Cheney fire fighters responded to the Circle K store on the corner of Elm and First streets to put out a car fire. A Volkswagen van suffered an estimated $2,000 in damage.

Lennie Parham, a senior guard for Medical Lake’s boys’ basketball team, was selected to play on an all-state team in a pair of games at Yakima and Mercer Island in June.

40 Years Ago

May 17, 1973

The building that currently houses Fisher Junior High School may be converted to a regional skills center it was announced following a tour by officials from Cheney, Medical Lake, Liberty, Sprague and Reardan school districts. The conversion was at least two years away according to state Sen. Sam Guess.

Permitting mobile homes to be placed in other than mobile home parks was an item being discussed at the Cheney Planning Commission meeting.

The Medical Lake Assembly of God dedicated their new church building. With seating capacity of 350, the 14,000 square-foot building was completed at a cost of $95,000 – over the original estimate of $60,000 – but is valued at over $200,000 thanks to a significant amount of donated labor.

Medical Lake’s track team returned to its Class A roots for state qualifying and rolled up 119 points to finish first in the Bi-County League championships. The Cardinals got a first in the hurdles from Rick Huber and five second place finishes to top Odessa’s 94 1/2 points and the 76 1/2 earned by Reardan.

50 Years Ago

May 17, 1963

Eastern Washington State College was set to host the spring sports championships for the Evergreen Conference. Competition would take place in baseball, track and tennis.

When driver Even Hawker of Walla Walla failed to properly set his emergency brake, his car rolled down Pine Street, across Highway 11 and into the yard of Chet Johnson before crashing into the house and causing $300 damage to the car.

Area Boy Scouts had a productive day at Badger Lake catching 54 rainbow trout, plenty for a fish fry later in the evening.


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