Cheney Free Press -

Looking Back


10 Years Ago

June 19, 2003

A charter fishing boat capsized off the coast of northern Oregon leaving a Cheney man missing. Barry Sundberg was one of two passengers listed as missing following the 7 a.m. accident near Garibaldi after a 15-foot wave struck the 32-foot Taki Tooo spilling 19 people into the water. As of this report, the accident had two confirmed fatalities.

Neal Sealock, a brigadier general in the U.S. Army, returned to Eastern Washington University where he once attended to accept the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award. Sealock played an integral part in 2001 negotiations with China to secure release of a U.S. Navy spy plane and its 24 crew members that were forced to land on the Chinese Island of Hainan.

After nearly four years serving as its chief, and 29 years total service with the Cheney Police Department, Greg Lopes announced he would retire at the end of August.

Cheney’s spring sports awards were handed out and included Aaron Rocky (baseball), Brandon Mount (soccer), Brian Overlie (boys track), Jeslyn Lemke (girls track), as well as golf’s Mike Schoengold and Katie Fuqua who were all named MVPs.

20 Years Ago

June 17,1993

The Cheney Planning Commission ruled that a five-block strip of property from Fifth to First streets between College and D streets would be zoned for Eastern Washington University’s Greek Row. The new regulation required city council approval.

EWU’s new budget for the 1993-95 binennium, which must include $7-million in savings in order to be balanced, would require the school to eliminate 47 non-faculty positions, 29 currently vacant jobs, plus reduced hours for 25 more.

A Cheney woman, 34-year-old Deon R. Wognild, died at the scene in a one-car accident on Tucker Prarie Road near Medical Lake. An unidentified 11-year-old female remained in critical condition following the crash.

Cheney High graduate, freshman Donovan Shanahan, was named as the University of Montana’s “Outstanding Men’s Cross Country Runner as awards for the 1992-93 season were announced.

30 Years Ago

June 16, 1983

Washington State Gov. John Spellman was the keynote speaker at the EWU Class of 1983’s commencement ceremony and told the grads he would continue to fight for more funding for higher education following it feeling “the full weight of the budgetary ax,” of the state Legislature.

Students at EWU assisted Medical Lake planners with a comprehensive plan study that predicted the community’s population could range anywhere from 1,800 to 3,500 residents by the year 2000. Estimates were based on various scenarios involving business growth on the West Plains.

EWU javelin thrower Jo Etheridge, a freshman from Grand Coulee, Wash., set a new school record with a toss of 148 feet, 11 inches at the NCAA Division II track and field championships held at Southeast Missouri State University.

40 Years Ago

June 14, 1973

Missing from our archives.

50 Years Ago

June 14, 1963

The resignation after 15 years of service by Dr. Wilfred A Gamon from the Cheney School Board took everyone by surprise. He cited pressure from his medical practice as the reason for the move. Gamon’s time commitment had increased significantly since the unexpected death of his partner, Dr. J. Pressley Caldwell.

Negotiations were in the process between Frank Bunker and Spokane County Commissioners to purchase 55 acres of lake property at Fish Lake for $40,000 that would ultimately become a county park. The purchase would include Bunker’s Resort on the north end of the lake but not property owned by the Myers’ family.

Eastern Washington State College was anticipating enrolling more than 1,500 students for its summer session that was to begin June 17.

Cheney’s Mike McKeehan, a freshman at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, was awarded a varsity track letter for his performance in the spring sports season.


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