Looking Back


10 Years Ago

August 7, 2003

Washington State Highway 904, which travels from Four Lakes to Tyler and through Cheney, was officially renamed the Col. Michael P. Anderson Memorial Highway. Anderson died in the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Feb. 1, 2003 and was a 1977 Cheney High School graduate.

Two open City Council seats in Cheney attracted just three candidates as Patrick Rast was the only person to file for Position 2. Arlene Mowatt and dentist Robert Stockton would meet for Position 5 in the only contested race.

Eastern Washington University had its accreditation renewed by a regional body that authorizes such higher education endorsements.

Basketball players Lisa Comstock-Schultz and the late Wayne Gillman, along with football player Bob Picard and Olympic sharpshooter Wanda Jewell were announced as the newest additions to the EWU Athletic Hall of Fame.

20 Years Ago

August 5, 1993

The Cheney School Board met in its first regular session with Phil Snowdon as its new superintendent. One of Snowdon’s first requests to the board was that his old position not be filled, but rather that existing personnel take on some of his former duties. Snowdon replaced Walt Rulffes who returned to a position in Spokane School District 81, but would only serve for a year until a new search could begin.

The local political races in Cheney were shaping up with Al Ogdon being challenged by Nancy Wainwright for mayor, Curt Huff meeting William Campbell for Position 1 on the City Council. Thomas Davis would face off with Marliss Gregerson in Position 2 while Val Bobincheck and Bill Shaw at Position 3.

The Air Force’s Thunderbirds aerial acrobatics team was scheduled to appear at Fairchild Air Force Base’s Aerospace Day, Aug. 8 and feature pilots flying F-16 aircraft.

Medical Lake multi-sport athlete Chad Ripke announced he would pursue baseball at Cal-Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

30 Years Ago

August 4, 1983

Only one of four seats on the Cheney City Council was to be contested in the upcoming Sept. 20 primary election. The lone race with an opponent was Position No. 4 where incumbent Dwayne Paul was being challenged by Donald Dover. Running unopposed were Fred Johns in Position No. 1; Jack Crabb in Position No. 2 and Position No. 3 with Oliver McCord.

In a related story, Cheney officials learned that a special election must be held in conjunction with the November general election to fill the council seat vacated by Ray Soltero. The council had expected to name a replacement but was informed that a vote had to be conducted.

Fairview Cemetery was the recipient of a brand new entry gate, constructed as part of an Eagle Scout project by Cheney Troop 318 member Devin Warren who secured a donation of concrete and special plaques from Tresko Monument.

Clay Stillar, the maintenance supervisor for the city of Medical Lake announced he was retiring after 25 years on the job.

40 Years Ago

August 3, 1973

Missing from our archives.

50 Years Ago

August 2, 1963

The Cheney City Council began to feel the wrath of citizens following its vote to award XL Refuse a three-year contract to haul garbage for the city. Cries of “incompetence, foul play,” and that the decision was “the dirtiest deal ever seen,” were among the comments heard. The council passed over General Hauling Co. of Cheney after 13 years of service.

An explosion and fire, thought to be caused by spontaneous combustion, destroyed a large hay barn and scorched surrounding land near Cheney belonging to Sidney Wilson.

The Eastern Washington State College’s ROTC program received news that Lt. Col. E.R. Fenstemacher would take over leadership, replacing Col. Erwin G. Nilsson. Fenstemacher served in both World War II and the Korean War.

The Ambulance Corporation, headed by Al Denton, purchased a 1955 Cadillac ambulance for use in Medical Lake. The new ambulance was purchased for $3,000, but Denton had only raised $1,600 so far, but had 60 days to find the remaining money.


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