Articles written by Brent Johnson


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  • Cyclists descend on Cheney for Ride Around Washington tour

    Brent Johnson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Aug 4, 2022

    CHENEY – After braving the weekend's triple-digit temperatures, more than 80 members of the Cascade Bicycle Club set up camp in Cheney's Hagelin Park on Sunday after an 83-mile long trek from Chewelah. The club's 22nd annual Ride Around Washington (or RAW, as they like to call it) takes cyclists on a week-long tour across 419 miles of Eastern Washington's scenic countryside, spending the night either in local hotels or camped out in the park before completing the journey in C...

  • Cheney joins Spokane tourism program

    Brent Johnson, Free Press Reporter|Updated Aug 4, 2022

    CHENEY – The City Council has authorized Mayor Chris Gover to sign an interlocal agreement allocating local bed tax revenues to the Spokane Hotel and Motel Commission. The authorization came during the council’s Tuesday, July 26 meeting. Under the agreement, Cheney will be included in the Spokane County Tourism Promotion Area, with taxes collected on overnight stays at hotels, motels, campgrounds and other overnight amenities being disbursed to the commission. The com...

  • Airway Heights Council adds two members

    Brent Johnson, Free Press Reporter|Updated Aug 4, 2022

    CHENEY – The City Council voted Monday, Aug. 1, to suspend a requirement that no more than two Civil Service Commission members share the same party affiliation, in a decision appointing two new members to the three-person commission. Discussions over vacancies in the commission have been taking place over the past month, as one member resigned and another promised to stay until a replacement was found. Of the two applications the council received, only one, Brent Knight, r...

  • Fairchild Bids Farewell to Col. Bentley, welcomes new commander

    Brent Johnson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jul 28, 2022

    FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE -- Airmen from 92nd Air Refueling Wing gathered in a hangar Monday to send off its commanding officer, Col. Cassius Bentley, and to welcome Col. Chesley Dycus to the role of installation commander. The change-of-command ceremony took place in front of two of the wing’s parked KC-135 tanker aircraft, with one carrying a placard with the name of outgoing Col. Bentley. An estimated 500 guests were in attendance, including a host of military officers a...

  • Airway Heights appoints new council members, arts commission

    Brent Johnson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jul 21, 2022

    CHENEY—The Airway Heights city council voted to fill its two vacant seats Monday after a lengthy interview process to determine the best suitable candidates. Hank Bynaker, a local business owner and former CEO of the Port of Astoria, Oregon, was named to Position 1. At the same time, the council welcomed former mayor Kevin Richey to fill the Position 2 vacancy. After much deliberation over the past month, the decisions were unanimous. Bynaker, who owns the local company A...

  • USA gets win on the pitch over Germany

    Brent Johnson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jul 21, 2022

    SPOKANE-The U.S. Armed Forces Women escaped with a close 2–1 win over the German Bundeswehr team at Mead's Union Stadium Friday night, July 15, placing them within sight of the final championship rounds on July 22. The victory was sweet revenge for returning players on the squad after their defeat at the hands of the Germans in the 2019 Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) World Games in Wuhan. The American team pulled off the win after an uncertain first half, c...

  • Airway Heights council seeks to fill vacant seats

    Brent Johnson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jul 14, 2022

    CHENEY- Looking for replacements to fill the voids left by resigning council members Art Bubb and Sonny Weathers, the Airway Heights City Council, conducted three public interviews Monday to determine who will fill the two vacant seats. The interviews consisted of questions concerning what the candidates envision for Airway Heights in the next five years, what policies they would keep or change, how they would handle disagreements in the council chamber and where they would...

  • League of Women Voters hosts candidate forum

    Brent Johnson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jul 14, 2022

    CHENEY—Politics were on tap at the Cheney Library on Saturday, July, with the Spokane Area League of Women Voters hosting a candidate forum. Individuals running for Washington’s U.S. House District 5, Spokane County’s 5th Commissioner District and Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney were in attendance. Notably absent was the congressional incumbent, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (WA-05), who declined due to prior engagements in Washington, D.C. Each participant had equal time...

  • Rodeo draws competitors, crowds from near and far

    Brent Johnson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jul 14, 2022

    CHENEY-The annual Cheney Rodeo went off without a hitch this past weekend, with record numbers of spectators filling the BI-MART Arena to see America's top riders and ropers compete. According to event organizers, the rodeo was so well attended on Saturday that ticket sales were halted for the first time in many years. The pre-rodeo parade on Saturday boasted record participation as well. Contestants hailing from across the continent came to Cheney to earn big and several...

  • Airway Heights discusses sales tax increase

    Brent Johnson|Updated Jun 30, 2022

    CHENEY – The Airway Heights city council is considering renewing its Transportation Benefit District (TBD) at the cost of an extra one-tenth of a cent per dollar in sales tax. If approved, the decision would be introduced to the ballot as soon as the General Election on Nov. 8. The city’s TBD was created in 2013. “Sales tax collected from the TBD is the only way our community can ensure that travelers who use our streets pay their fair share for maintenance and traffic conge...

  • Founder's Day festival draws big crowds

    Brent Johnson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jun 23, 2022

    MEDICAL LAKE – Hundreds of people braved chilly conditions and uncertain skies to attend Medical Lake's annual Founder's Day events last weekend. The celebration began Friday evening with a relaxed picnic in Waterfront Park, where families dined on Toby's BBQ and listened to Alchemy's set of R&B classics. On Saturday morning, a rendition of the national anthem by Heather Cederblom kicked off the annual Founder's Day Parade and a host of other events across the city. The p...

  • Medical Lake joins county broadband project

    Brent Johnson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jun 20, 2022

    MEDICAL LAKE – City residents may be seeing faster internet speeds in the near future. Mayor Terri Cooper signed a Memorandum of Understanding before the city council on Tuesday, June 7, agreeing to partner with the Spokane County on a project to expand broadband infrastructure on the West Plains. Medical Lake is at least the sixth municipality to sign such a memorandum with the county, and it comes with no financial commitment on the part of the city. This is part of a larger initiative by the county to expand high-speed i...

  • Farmer's Market opens with few vendors

    Brent Johnson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jun 16, 2022

    CHENEY-The Cheney Farmer's Market opened Saturday to cloudy skies and a chance of thunderstorms, leading to several vendors withdrawing from the event. But four dedicated sellers braved the showers to sell their wares. Despite the poor weather, market organizer Lori Musgrave was nonetheless satisfied with the turnout. "We've had a great customer count," Musgrave said with a smile, surrounded by a wide variety of plants for sale. Vendors were equally content with the number of...

  • Shorty Combs Park gets upgrades

    Brent Johnson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jun 9, 2022

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS – Kids in Airway Heights have a new playground to explore in Shorty Combs Park. The upgrade is part of the Airway Heights Parks and Recreation plan to improve to city park facilities. Parks and Recreation Director J.C. Kennedy said the department ordered the metal playground in late 2021 from Buell Recreation at a cost of $77,145, which includes new fall protective material to protect children from injuries. He said plans for the revitalization of the park b...

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