Looking Back


10 Years Ago

July 10, 2003

One and a half years after a head-on crash killed five Cheney residents on SR 904, the grassroots effort to improve safety on that stretch of road became reality with the beginning of the Memorial Highway Traffic Safety Project. Budgeted at $250,000, improvements would include turn lanes, rumble strips, and better lighting.

A petition drive to get a measure on the ballot that would increase utility taxes and help pay for the return of funds for the Cheney Parks and Recreation Department likely came up short of valid signatures City Administrator Paul Schmidt said.

Wilfred “Doc” Gamon, Cheney’s town doctor for 40 years, passed away of natural causes at age 86 at his home in Woodinville, Wash. Gamon not only served the community for many years but was both a 1933 Cheney High School graduate and attended college here before completing medical school studies at the University of South Dakota.

20 Years Ago

July 8, 1993

An otherwise uneventful Fourth of July holiday became tragic for Cheney firefighters when 38-year-old Jaynell McCoskey was found dead in her residence following a July 4 blaze on the 200 block of D Street. It was the first fire fatality in Cheney in 14 years.

The search for a new superintendent for the Cheney School District was reduced from 26 to three as Rick Cole from Colville, Bennet Acker of Castle Rock and Marcia Harris from Chimacum were candidates submitted to the school board for final consideration.

In a move that caught many people by surprise, Medical Lake City Administrator Charles Kindt submitted his resignation. “Let’s just say it was mutually acceptable,” Kindt said. However, Councilman Howard Jorgenson said, “Frankly I’m just glad he’s gone. I think he was misplaced; his expertise was suited more for a larger city.”

30 Years Ago

July 7, 1983

Cheney’s Centennial celebration was taking place in conjunction with the 16th annual Cheney Rodeo. Events included the rodeo parade, the display of railroad cars and locomotives, a sidewalk sale and cowboy breakfast.

The city of Medical Lake filed a lawsuit in Spokane Superior Court against the Department of Social and Health Services, which wanted the city to stop the flow of phosphorus into the lake from a drainpipe at Eastern State Hospital and Interlake School.

The Medical Lake School District School Board heard about a plan from Superintendent Clayton Dunn to add a new auditorium, band room, choir practice room and showers at the high school. The project, estimated to cost $3.1 million could be completed in whole or part and feature a $2.7 million auditorium seating 1,200, or an 800-seat facility at $1.8 million.

40 Years Ago

July 5, 1973

Missing from our archives.

50 Years Ago

July 5, 1963

A 17-year-old Cheney resident, James K. Rudolf was killed in a road construction accident when he reportedly fell from a gravel spreader and was crushed when run over by the tires.

Elbert Wagoner, owner-manager of the Cheney Department Store, announced he would run for a school board seat vacated by Dr. W.A. Gamon. Wagoner would face the Rev. Charles Dittmar in the November general election.

A broken speedometer helped reduce the penalty handed out by judge Jack Crabb, but Ben. H. Best of Route 1, Spokane, still had to pay $4 in court costs and $2 to attend driver’s education classes after being cited for speeding. Best, who said he could not pay the $10 fine “because he was on welfare,” said, “I didn’t realize I was going so fast.”


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