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  • All Aboard Washington proposes East-West rail

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 26, 2021

    CHENEY — All Aboard Washington (AAWA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting state-wide connectivity through passenger and freight rail services, stopped in Cheney Friday, Aug. 20, to discuss expanding passenger rail routes from Seattle to Spokane. The “2021 Train Trek” team presented a project that would renew daily rail travel across Stampede Pass, Yakima, Kittitas Valley and into Eastern Washington by utilizing dormant tracks across the region. The route could potentially utilize Ritzville and Cheney at an estim...

  • Future of the Cheney pool

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 19, 2021

    CHENEY — The future of Cheney public aquatics was discussed at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 10, regarding the plans for an engineering assessment study to renovate the pool and pool house. According to City Administrator Mark Schuller, to advance with any projects relating to the pool, a contractor will need to determine whether any aspect of the current equipment is salvageable, or if a new facility will require a complete demolition of the systems. “To get us down that road we need some experts to come in and...

  • Clover Street Rezoning Project debate

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 19, 2021

    CHENEY — An impassioned debate raged Monday night regarding the Clover Street Rezoning Project, that ultimately culminated in a decision to pass the decision forward to City Council. The neighborhood under debate is identified at the Clover Court/West 6th Street area and is currently designated as an R-2 multi-family zone. The rezoning plan aims to designate the area from R-2 to R-1 single-family structures. A high number of community members spoke during the public comment section or submitted letters expressing their o...

  • Teamster contracts, Covid concerns, body cams, and bonus density

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 19, 2021

    CHENEY — A new three-year contract with dispatchers was approved by City Council at the Aug. 10 meeting. The major features of the contract were a 2% cost of living increase, a 3-5% pay increase for dispatch trainers, and an addition floating holiday for employees with over 10 years of service, and an extra two days for those with over 20 years. City Administrator Mark Schuller praised dispatchers, saying, “That is the toughest position in the city to hire for. It’s a very special and unique skillset, being able to multi...

  • Cheney Museum preserves Covid History

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 12, 2021

    CHENEY — Although COVID-19 isn’t history quite yet, someday it will be, and the Cheney Historical Museum is preparing for that future by collecting local stories and artifacts to ensure future generations understand the 2020 Pandemic. It’s a complicated task in a modern age of technology, transient communication, and digital media. “It’s really preservation because we have a few letters from the 1918 Pandemic, but this time, people don’t write letters anymore. I’ve grabbed stuff off of social media, but I wanted physic...

  • Cheney schools look at masks, enrollment and staggered starts

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 12, 2021

    CHENEY — In accordance with Gov. Jay Inslee’s state-wide public school mandate and Center for Disease Control recommendations, the Cheney School District will require masks for the 2021-2022 academic year. The announcement arrives in the wake of rising COVID-19 infections across the nation and a fast-approaching start date for Washington State schools. “It’s important to note that the critical action, such as masking, are not at our discretion as a local school district. It not at the discretion of our superintendent or our...

  • Cheney Outreach requests school supplies

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 12, 2021

    CHENEY — In preparation for the 2021-2022 school year, the Cheney Outreach Center is requesting new and unused school supply donations to benefit local students. Items needed, as specified by the Cheney School District, are: Backpacks Calculators Wide-ruled Notebook Paper College-ruled Notebook Paper Graph Paper Red, Blue, and Black Pens Protractors & Compasses 3-Ring Binders& Dividers Composition Notebooks 3x5 Notebook Cards USB Flash Drives Graph Paper Pencil Pouches Highlighters Erasers Pointed Scissors Rulers Facial T...

  • EWU to open Interdisciplinary Science Building

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 12, 2021

    CHENEY — After three years of construction and over $67 million, a state-of-the-art Interdisciplinary Science Center will open this fall on Eastern Washington University’s campus. The 102,000 square foot facility with house teaching laboratories, laboratory support facilities, student study areas, offices, and a 100-seat lecture hall. Each of EWU’s scientific disciplines — biology, chemistry, earth & space science, general science, natural science, and physics — will be suppor...

  • Semitruck over turns near Medical Lake

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 9, 2021

    MEDICAL LAKE — An overturned semi-truck on westbound I-90 near the Medical Lake/SR 902 interchange backed up traffic nearly into Spokane on July 29. The rollover is believed to have occurred around 7:30 AM and any injuries to the driver are unknown. The semi and trailer were removed from the scene around 2 PM and traffic was allowed to flow normally. Scott Davis can be reached at [email protected]....

  • Declaration of emergency ended by City Council

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 5, 2021

    CHENEY — At the City Council meeting Tuesday, July 27, members voted to end the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration. With emergency funds already allocated, and addition support not anticipated, the council unanimously voted a suspension of the declaration issued by Gov. Jay Inslee at the inception of the pandemic on Feb. 29, 2020. “We are basically through the emergency,” said City administrator Mark Schuller. “We’re bringing this declaration forward because we no longer need the Eminency Declaration to be eligible to receive f...

  • Testing new police reforms

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 5, 2021

    CHENEY — As students return to campus this fall, new policing guidelines will be put to the test, City Administrator Mark Schuller said at the July 27 City Council Meeting. New police reform enacted in the wake of the George Floyd killings have altered how first responders interact with the populace and how they are able to respond to incident calls. “There’s a new standard for use of force measure in particular and how they pursue suspects,” said Schuller. “This new standard’s going to make it a little more reactive fo...

  • Belock, Posthuma advance in Cheney

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 5, 2021

    CHENEY — According to the initial results of the Aug. 3 Primary Elections, Mark Posthuma and Jacquelyn Belock will progress to the general election for City Council Position No. 3. Belock accumulated 37% of the vote with 332 ballots and Posthuma captured 27% with 239 votes. When reached by phone, Belock expressed shock and excitement over the current results. In a follow up email, she wrote: “I want to thank everyone who turned out to support our campaign during the primary. We still have a long road ahead till November but...

  • Cheney soccer team thrives with new training ball

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Aug 5, 2021

    CHENEY - A new brand of training ball with local connections has found its way onto the soccer fields of Eastern Washington and Nels Radtke, the head coach Cheney High School's women soccer team, has been impressed. Founded by Matt Folsom and Elliot Fauske, Riobol (pronounced rio-ball) is a small rubber ball designed in Brazil intended to improve control, shooting, and technique due to the implements decreased size and increased weight. And the results of have been promising....

  • Belock, Posthuma advance in Cheney

    Scott Davis, Cheney Free Press|Updated Aug 3, 2021

    CHENEY — According to the initial results of the Aug. 3 Primary Elections, Mark Posthuma and Jacquelyn Belock will progress to the general election for City Council Position No. 3. Belock accumulated 37% of the vote with 332 ballots and Posthuma captured 27% with 239 votes. When reached by phone, Belock expressed shock and excitement over the current results. In a follow up email, she wrote: “I want to thank everyone who turned out to support our campaign during the primary. We still have a long road ahead till November but... Full story

  • Cheney High FBLA shines at nationals

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Jul 29, 2021

    CHENEY – The Cheney High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club celebrated the conclusion of the 2021 season with “a huge amount of success at the virtual National Leadership Conference.” Three of the seven attending students placed in the national top 10 list: Steven Johnson, Ben Schreiber, and Skyler Hanson. Due to the remarkable success, the Cheney team finished among the top three chapters in the state. “Senior Steven Johnson placed second in the nation in Database Design,” reads the FBLA press release....

  • Making big plans in a small city

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Jul 29, 2021

    CHENEY - Local businessman Carlos Fuentes is living the American dream in Cheney with two growing businesses and a couple more on the way. The 25-year-old Mexican immigrant runs C&S Automotive at 1902 1st St., Sunshine Auto at 819 1st St. and is weeks away from launching a cab company and new restaurant at the old Willow Springs Station. The Fuentes family first arrived in the United States 10 years ago when Mexico, "turned into a not so safe place to live anymore," first...

  • Man falls down shaft at ADM

    Scott Davis, Staff Reporter|Updated Jul 28, 2021

    CHENEY - A man was injured at the Adm Milling Company on 1st Street Wednesday afternoon after falling backwards into a 4-foot-by-4-foot hole while cleaning excess grain in a recess beneath the loading floor. The Cheney Fire Department reacted quickly and began preparations for movement to a medical facility, but after a few minutes, the injured worker was able to stand and walked away from the incident. Other than a sore back, additional injuries are undetermined. The man is... Full story

  • Goodwill Cheney Donation Trailer closes Aug. 1

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Jul 28, 2021

    The Goodwill Cheney donation trailer located in Jarms Ace Hardware parking lot on Cheney Spokane Road, will be closing Aug. 1 due to region wide staffing shortages. The final day of operation will be July 31, 2021. Employees at the location have been offered positions at other facilities within Spokane. “We want to thank our Cheney donors, who have shown such support for Goodwill’s programs over the years through their donations,” said Heather Alexander, Sr. Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications, in a news...

  • Crowded field for Cheney council Position 3

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Jul 23, 2021

    CHENEY — The City Council is a legislative body comprised of Seven Councilmembers elected by the public to four-year terms, “responsible for formulating and adopting City policies.” Three City Council postings are currently open, and Position No. 3 has five candidates bidding for election: Jacquelyn Belock, Ryan Delaney, Tim Gainer, Mark Posthuma, and Justin Amyot. Each candidate was contacted and the information that follows was provided by those who replied. Further information can be found in the Voter Pamphlet. Why are y...

  • Cheney among recipients of $312 million Department of Ecology awards

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Jul 23, 2021

    CHENEY – The city’s Purple Pipe Project was among the recipients of a $312 million award from the Washington State Department of Ecology in conjunction with ongoing water quality projects in the state. The loan to Cheney totals $21.8 million and will aid in upgrading the Wastewater Treatment Reclamation Plant (WTRP) and the water distribution system to emit reclaimed water on “turf grass and landscape irrigation at City parks, athletic fields, and school grounds.” The intent behind employing recycled water is to limit w...

  • Three vie for Cheney School District Director 2

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Jul 22, 2021

    CHENEY — School board members are locally elected state officers responsible for governing designated divisions of the region, charged with implementing policy within the bounds of state law. This posting oversees sections of Four Lakes, the Airway Heights community, and areas to the south. There are currently three candidates running for the position of Cheney School District Director 2: Zachary Zorrozua, Suzanne G. Dolle, and Chad Smith. Each candidate was contacted, and the following information was supplied by those w...

  • Critical race theory discussed at Cheney School Board meeting

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Jul 22, 2021

    CHENEY — Issues and concerns relating to critical race theory – including questions on curriculum — were discussed at the Cheney School Board meeting on July 14. The increased interest in cultural education has emerged in the wake of new legislation passed by the state, “concerning professional learning, equity, cultural competency, and dismantling institutional racism in the public school system,” as stated in the final bill report for ESSB 5044. Cheney Public School Superintendent Robert Roettger reiterated that the legis...

  • Country dining and a bull named Boss

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Jul 15, 2021

    CHENEY - A new family restaurant steeped in rural charm has arrived to supply the Cheney community with a gathering center to enjoy "comfort food with flair." The Farmhouse Café, located at 1630 1st St., is a country-style eatery that opened last May, with an eclectic menu for an eclectic clientele. "I think Cheney was desperate for something like this," said head chef Tracee Sanchez. "There was nothing as far as a sit down, nicer, from scratch, restaurant in Cheney." The...

  • Fire encampment erected at Cheney Middle School

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Jul 15, 2021

    CHENEY — An encampment at Cheney Middle School was erected on July 5 to host a Type 3 incident management team (IMT) in fighting the Andrus fire that burned 232 acres. The camp remained in place for the entirety of the week and began to disband on July 11. Incident management teams are called upon when local community resources are taxed beyond capacity and require additional aid from governmental entities. “When the fire grew to a point where resources would be needed to mitigate the fire for a long duration, coupled wit...

  • End of heat relief?

    SCOTT DAVIS, Staff Reporter|Updated Jul 15, 2021

    CHENEY - The city's municipal pool will not open this summer due to "catastrophic failures" with maintenance equipment, the city announced on July 1. The closure arrives in the wake of issues attributed to the outdated filtration mechanisms, which has been an ongoing concern for city officials throughout the summer season. "After opening and operating the pool for two days, Sunday (June 27) morning pool staff arrived to discover the system was not operational," a city press...

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