Articles written by Drew Lawson


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  • Riding through Reardan

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jun 7, 2024

  • Wildfire workshop looms

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated May 13, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE — In Aug. 2023, the Gray Fire burned 10,000 acres of urban, suburban and rural interface just east of Lincoln County. Over half the Lazy R Ranch, the learning site for Roots of Resilience, was burned in the fire. Roots of Resilience, in collaboration with Lazy R Ranch, is proud to announce a comprehensive workshop, “Tame the Flames,” aimed at educating and demonstrating effective wildfire management strategies through grazing and forestry practices. Scheduled for June 22-23, this event will gather experts and s...

  • Fisherman's breakfast

    Drew Lawson|Updated May 2, 2024

    Volunteer firefighters in Medical Lake served breakfast to fisherman turning out for the first day of lowland lake season. Proceeds from the annual event benefit the local volunteer firefighters organization....

  • Tossed Taters

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 26, 2024

    DEEP CREEK—The Spokane Hutterian Brethren figured most of their seed potatoes were going to go to waste after their main customers in the Columbia Basin cut their contracts by 40%. So, Hutterians dumped the spuds in a West Sprague Road field. Instead, a video posted online by Denise Bennett of Reardan alerted locals to the free spuds. And it has brought thousands to pick up their share of potatoes from the hundreds of tons that have already been dumped. “I guess people are...

  • Federal warrant served in child porn case

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    DAVENPORT—The trial of a Sprague defendant in a criminal sex case has been continued again. This time, the trial of Jonathan Ray Stocker, 42, of Sprague, was continued because he was served with a federal warrant. Stocker is being held in the Lincoln County Jail. Stocker is already charged with five counts of first-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of second-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit. The federal warrant was issued for S...

  • Harrington meeting targets turbines

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 4, 2024

    HARRINGTON - Approximately 165 people packed the Opera House here Tuesday, March 26, for a community meeting about wind turbine projects planned from Edwall to north of Reardan and Davenport. Lincoln County Cattlemen's Association sponsored the meeting moderated by Sue Lani of Edwall. Cattlement's President Matt Schneider said until more facts are gathered, the association doesn't have an official position on the three planned wind turbine projects by Portland-based Triple...

  • One killed in crash east of Sprague

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 14, 2023

    SPRAGUE—One man was killed and two women were injured in a one-vehicle crash on Interstate 90 about four miles east of the city Thursday, Dec. 7. Angel A. Cuevas, 22, of George, was pronounced deceased after being transported to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, the Washington State Patrol reported. Litzy J. Arvivo, 22, of Merced, Calif., and Maira A. Guillen Baeza, 26, of Moses Lake, were injured in the crash and also transported to Sacred Heart, the patrol said. According to the patrol, a gold 2002 Saturn Vue driven by A...

  • Stocker trial pushed

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Nov 30, 2023

    DAVENPORT—The trial of a Sprague man accused of possessing more than 100 images and videos displaying child pornography was continued to Feb. 21 as Lincoln County attorneys wait to see whether the case will be picked up federally. Jonathan Ray Stocker, 42, is charged with five counts of first-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of second-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct after police allegedly discovered over 100 child p...

  • One killed in Sprague area crash

    Drew Lawson, Valley Herald|Updated Nov 30, 2023

    SPRAGUE—One man was killed and a woman was injured in a car crash at the westbound Sprague Lake rest area the day before Thanksgiving Wednesday, Nov. 22. Sam B. Moore, 82, Spokane Valley, was pronounced deceased at Sacred Heart Medical Center after being airlifted by Life Flight. His passenger, Pamela J. Brisboies, 76, Spokane County, was injured and transported to Sacred Heart, according to a State Patrol release. Moore was driving a blue 2010 Honda CRV westbound on Interstate 90 and took the exit to the Sprague Lake rest a...

  • The 10 best…and worst…Christmas songs

    Drew Lawson, Valley Herald|Updated Nov 30, 2023

    By As soon as the turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes are put away on Thanksgiving, it’s officially time to turn the holiday calendar to Christmas. Notice I didn’t mention mashed potatoes in the list of Thanksgiving foods. That’s because mashed potatoes are the worst dish served in a classic Thanksgiving meal. Think that’s a controversial opinion? Good. That was just a setup for this column that leans into the Christmas spirit by sharing the 10 best and 10 worst Christmas songs. You may think I, a true Christmas lover, took t...

  • Sprague looks to pass EMS levy

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Nov 2, 2023

    SPRAGUE—Voters within city limits will be seeing an EMS levy for approval or denial on their ballots in this year’s general election. City clerk Heather Krauter said the regular six-year levy is identical to that which was passed six years ago but is expiring at the end of 2023. Residents would be taxed 50 cents per $1,000 of property valuation for six years, beginning in 2024. That’s the same rate as the levy passed in 2017. “They didn’t want anything to change,” Krauter said. Elections deputy Norm Caley said the measure...

  • Two prominent cases continued

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Oct 19, 2023

    DAVENPORT—Trial dates in two prominent Lincoln County Superior Court criminal cases were continued at readiness hearings Tuesday, Oct. 17. Both the cases of 42-year-old Jonathan Ray Stocker of Sprague and 29-year-old Jordan Russell Mills-Jay of Spokane won’t go to trial on the original dates. Stocker, who is charged with five counts of first-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of second-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, has...

  • Sprague man arrested in child-sex case

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Sep 21, 2023

    SPRAGUE—A local man is facing six criminal charges after police allegedly discovered more than 100 files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on a laptop in the man’s residence. Jonathan Ray Stocker, 42, was arraigned in Lincoln County Superior Court and entered a not-guilty plea on five counts of first-degree depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of second-degree depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct Tuesday, Sept. 12. Stocker was arrested Friday, Sep...

  • Edwall family loses home to Gray Fire

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Sep 7, 2023

    SILVER LAKE-A couple with Lincoln County school and farming ties lost their Lakehurst Drive home in the Gray Fire in and near Medical Lake Friday, Aug. 18. Ashton and Ashley Klein were among the many who saw their homes and structures burn in the 10,000-plus acre fire that ravaged the south part of Medical Lake that fateful weekend. Ashley Klein, a school psychologist with the Davenport School District, was in the couple's house with their 2-year-old son Kolter when she...

  • Spokane County sues DSHS

    Drew Lawson, Press|Updated Aug 31, 2023

    SPOKANE — Spokane County is one of 22 counties suing the state Department of Social and Health Services. The plaintiffs want to hold the state accountable for “fulfilling its obligation to evaluate and treat patients with behavioral health concerns and would reduce further strain on a crumbling behavioral health system that the state legislature and local governments are actively working to restore.” The case, Pierce County v. Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, stems from the department’s decision to s...

  • Humanity shines as Gray Fire hit Medical Lake area

    Drew Lawson, Editor|Updated Aug 25, 2023

    On Friday afternoon, Aug. 18, our spirits were high. I’d just finished work for the day and was planning to grill some brats and cook baked beans for an enjoyable barbecue dinner. Summer weekends were running out, and we wanted to make them count. Little did we know, that naive plan was about to go out the window. After resurfacing from my home office on the north side of Medical Lake, I noticed a massive plume of smoke to the south. I instantly knew it was a wildfire, and my first instinct was to be concerned for the farmers...

  • One vote separates Sprague candidates

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Aug 17, 2023

    SPRAGUE — One vote. That’s all that separated challenger Ron Del Krauter and incumbent Trace De Garmo in the race for the City Council Position No. 5 seat following certification Tuesday, Aug. 15. Del Krauter and De Garmo were vying for the second position to advance to the November general election. The top vote-getter was Jeffrey Smith, with 46 votes to advance. Del Krauter received 27 votes and De Garmo 26. Barring a recount petition, Smith and Del Krauter will face off in November. The incumbent will be eliminated in the...

  • Davenport Parade

    Drew Lawson, The Record Times|Updated Jul 20, 2023

    Spokane Valley royalty heads down Morgan Street in Davenport on July 15 during the annual Pioneer Days July celebration....

  • Mercer Island wins big in first tournament game

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jul 20, 2023

    MEDICAL LAKE--The nightcap of the initial day’s action during the Washington Little League Juniors Tournament was essentially over after an inning. Mercer Island defeated Hazel Dell (Vancouver) 17-1 in four innings in opening round play Saturday, July 15. Mercer Island jumped on Hazel Dell’s pitching early, plating nine runs in the first inning. The Islanders added two runs in the second inning and six runs in the third inning while holding Hazel Dell to one inning in the top of the fourth to build an insurmountable lea...

  • Slamball

    Drew Lawson, The Record Times|Updated Jun 22, 2023

    Ridgeline won the slamball tournament held in Reardan over the weekend, beating the Tonasket Tigers 56-35 on Sunday....

  • Bergman given 15 years in prison

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jun 5, 2023

    DAVENPORT—A Moses Lake man has been found guilty of murdering his wife about 11 miles northwest of Sprague in Sept. 2022. 55-year-old Charles R. Bergman entered a guilty plea of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Lincoln County Superior Court Tuesday, May 30. Bergman was originally charged with first-degree murder after being extradited from Pennsylvania to Lincoln County by U.S. Marshals last year, but the charge was reduced to a second-degree count after an agreement was reached between p...

  • New officer patrolling Odessa

    Drew Lawson, The Record-Times|Updated May 25, 2023

    ODESSA—A new police officer has been patrolling the town for several weeks. Gordon “Gordy” Bentler, 49, was hired by the town Jan 26 and has been on patrol for the last month. Bentler, who now resides here, came from a stop with the Liberty Lake Police Department. Prior to his stint there, during which he lived in Spokane Valley, he worked for the Seattle Police Department near his hometown of Renton. “I like the close community niche,” Bentler said of his decision to move to Odessa. “It’s really a welcoming community.” B...

  • Bomb threat closes school

    Drew Lawson|Updated Apr 20, 2023

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS - Fairchild Air Force Base sent out bomb-threat squads, including canine units, to assess a bomb-threat for the area. School district officials in Lincoln county quickly canceled classes and after-school activities Wednesday, April 12, after receiving a bomb threat via email. Statewide, the threat was sent to 44 school districts, including nearby Wilbur, Creston, Coulee City and Hartline. The threat ended up being harmless. Here, no bombs were found in the high...

  • Man claims city didn't return email request

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 23, 2023

    SPRAGUE—A Langley man is alleging that the city didn’t respond to a public records request he filed in September. Eric Hood filed a civil suit against the city Thursday, March 16, claiming the city didn’t respond to an email request for records regarding a previous lawsuit Hood filed. According to court filings, Hood emailed the city Wednesday, Sept. 14 asking for records of “all costs, including attorney invoices related to the lawsuit Eric Hood v. City of Sprague.” After not repeating the response, he repeated his reque...

  • Wheat Producers meet in Davenport

    Drew Lawson, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 2, 2023

    DAVENPORT—A packed crowd of wheat farmers jammed into the Lincoln County Fairgrounds meeting hall for the WSU Lincoln-Adams Extension-hosted Wheat Producers Meeting Thursday, Jan. 19 to hear four speakers discuss data, projects and observations regarding recent wheat production the university has influenced in recent years. The four speakers gave five presentations on weeds and disease control, winter wheat variety selection, the state’s Soil Health Initiative, livestock/crops integration and a Wilke Research and Ext...

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