Looking Back


Cheney Free Press photo

A motel sign after Fairchild Air Force Base was stricken from a federal commission’s closure list.

10 Years Ago

July 4, 2003

Eastern Washington University trustees voted to impose a 7 percent tuition increase in order to counteract the loss of nearly $2.87 million in state money from their budget.

The Cheney City Council was considering levying a fine on residents who turn in multiple false fire alarms.

Three weeks of steady work collected 600 signatures on a petition that would authorize putting a measure on the November ballot that would revive the Cheney Parks Department. The initiative called for imposing a 4.75 percent utility tax increase that would raise $367,000 to fund the department that recently lost its budget due to cuts.

20 Years Ago

July 1, 1993

The efforts of area residents to convince the federal government to keep Fairchild Air Force Base open seem to have paid off as the Base Closure Realignment Commission voted to keep the base open.

The screening process for Cheney’s new superintendent of schools, who would replace Walt Rulffes, was pared from 26 applicants down to five or six names that would be submitted to the school board for consideration.

The Medical Lake School Board was considering whether to allow the high school drill team to be armed with “demilitarized” M-14 rifles. State and district regulations prohibit any firearms on school campuses.

30 Years Ago

June 30, 1983

The firm of James A. Sewell and Associates was selected by the Cheney City Council to put together a new electrical rate study. The need for a study came in response to an anticipated 15-20 percent increase in wholesale power rates from the Bonneville Power Administration.

Up to 10 hot air balloons were expected to be part of the final portion Cheney’s Centennial Celebration and would take off at one of the city parks.

A number of EWU faculty members announced pending retirement. They included veteran biology instructor Frank Nicol who was ending a 35-year university teaching career – 30 of those spent at Eastern. The group also had Robert Lass, who joined the faculty in 1947 teaching English and noted national writer and journalism professor Patrick McManus.

Cheney High School’s request to join the Greater Spokane League in order to play soccer was rejected Superintendent Gale Marrs told the school board. The district received a letter from SD 81 Superintendent Gerald Hester with the news, but the letter did indicate Cheney could play non-league games against GSL teams.

40 Years Ago

June 28, 1973

Missing from our archives.

50 Years Ago

June 28, 1963

ZIP Code, the post office’s revolutionary new system of improved mail dispatch and delivery, was set to go into effect nationally July 1. Cheney’s zip would be 99004.“Everyone in the Cheney delivery area will want to use this ZIP Code on all their correspondences to speed mail delivery and reduce the chance of mis-sent mail,” acting Cheney Postmaster Bob Shea said.

The problem of roving dogs in Cheney had become such an issue that the City Council was looking at hiring a dog catcher to come from Spokane once a week, or to employ someone local to pick up strays.

Earl Brooks took over as manager of the Turnbull Wildlife Refuge replacing W.A. Rodgers who retired after 14 years on the job. Brooks came to Turnbull after serving in a similar position at the McNary National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Jim Dyck of Cheney’s Dyck’s Bowling Alley ran up a score of 2,869 in 12 games. His 239 average included one 300 game.


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