Articles from the January 27, 2022 edition

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  • Updated Jan 27, 2022


  • Law enforcement bills an area of emphasis this legislative session

    Matthew O. Stephens, Reporter|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    OLYMPIA – With this season’s legislative session in full swing, although on virtual platforms, lawmakers are processing bills and Representative Jenny Graham (R-Spokane) recently spoke about her support for some of the potential bills to fund law enforcement agencies. House Bill 1787 which Graham co-sponsors went through a first reading on January 10, and looks to “provide funding for the recruitment, retention, and support of law enforcement officers,” as stated in the bill. “The criminal justice training commissio...

  • Website Created in Search Efforts for Loghan Starbuck

    Jonathan Olsen-Koziol, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    CHENEY – The family of Loghan Starbuck have intensified search efforts for their missing family member. Starbuck is 25-years-old and is considered an endangered and vulnerable adult because she is considered to be on the autism spectrum. Her family created a website in help coordinate and intensify the search efforts. is live right now and features her description and all the necessary phone numbers to contact if anyone has seen Starbuck since she w...

  • Covid test shortage affecting Medical Lake school district

    Matthew O. Stephens, Reporter|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    MEDICAL LAKE – Covid tests are in high demand in all facets of society right now, and the shortage is also starting to affect Medical Lake School District as described by Superintendent Tim Ames during the school board meeting on January 25. Ames said, “the testing shortage is getting real.” He added that school sports are also being impacted because athletes have to be tested three times a week, and the district doesn’t want to choose between allocating tests for either sports or to simply keep kids and staff in school....

  • Vehicle Prowling Upswing in Cheney

    Jonathan Olsen-Koziol, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    CHENEY – People breaking into cars and stealing backpacks, wallets, and other belongings is nothing new in Cheney or anywhere else for that matter. However, Captain Nate Conley from the Cheney Police Department noted that it seems like the city is in the middle of a upswing of property crimes involving vehicle prowling. “We go through periods where we see increased spikes,” Conley said. The cause of those spikes is hard to pin down but it usually comes down to a select group of individuals that choose to embark on a car p...

  • EWU Suspends Concessions at All Events

    Jonathan Olsen-Koziol, Free|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    CHENEY – As the omicron variant burns through the country, Eastern Washington University has decided to suspend all food and beverage services for all athletic events through the month of January. This includes any and all athletic events or anything happening at Reese Court, the Sixth Man Club, and Eagle Club hospitality services. EWU came to this decision after consulting with the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD). On top of not providing and food or beverages, fans will not being allowed to bring their own snacks e...

  • Looking Back

    Updated Jan 27, 2022

    New Betz Park design still retains all amenities city said it would build A new configuration for the 50-acre park was unveiled at last week’s meeting of the Cheney Park board. The Thursday, Jan. 19 meeting also featured a discussion with Let’s Move, Cheney! Consultant Adam Fletcher about the organization’s five-year strategic plan. Park board members shared their opinions on what Cheney was doing well and what was lacking in terms of opportunities and support for folks seeking to live healthier lifestyles. Parks and Recre...

  • News Briefs

    Updated Jan 27, 2022

    Area News Briefs By Matthew O. Stephens Reporter In a press release dated January 20 from Spokane Teachers Credit Union Strategic Communications Manager Dan Hansen announced that staffing issues have forced the credit union to adjust schedules for certain branches. The release said the Othello branch is completely closed for now. So are the Hutton Building Branch in downtown Spokane and the downtown Coeur d’Alene branch. Lobby closures will affect the Moran Prairie, Cheney, Silver Lake and Ritzville branches but drive thru o...

  • Future fund would help close income gap, supporters say

    Brooklynn Hillemann, Washington State Journal|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    OLYMPIA — Young adults will be able to access a fund years from now to give them a boost if lawmakers pass a bill aimed at narrowing the gap between the rich and poor. Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver, sponsor of House Bill 1861, said the Washington Future Fund Trust would serve as a savings and investment account for babies born under the state’s Medicaid program, Apple Health. Beginning in 2024, a minimum of $3,200 will be set aside for each eligible child to access between their 18-31 birthdays. “I think it’s an excitin...

  • Robert "Bob" Jacob Blank

    Updated Jan 27, 2022

    Robert “Bob” Jacob Blank went home to be with the Lord Jan. 13, 2022 after battling cancer. Bob was surrounded by family and friends until the very end and was very well taken care of by the “Golden Girls”. Bob was born June 3rd 1937 in Spokane to John and Mabel Blank and lived on a couple farmsteads in the Rosalia area before settling in to the house that was built on the farm, the place he called home in 1942. As a young boy, Bob fell in love with all aspects of farming, wor... Full story

  • Ernest Richard Melville

    Updated Jan 27, 2022

    Ernest Richard Melville "Richard, Ernie, Dick" passed away on Dec. 28, 2021 at the age of 85, in Davenport, Wash. Ernest was born in Sprague, Wash. on Sept. 4, 1936 to Mary Iva "Billie" and Ernest "Babe" Melville. Ernest was raised on the family farm in Lamont, Wash. until 1945. Ernest was 9 years old when the family moved to a cattle ranch in Cheney, Wash., where he lived and farmed until the fall of 1957. Ernest graduated from Cheney High School in June of 1954. After... Full story

  • John Taves leaves positive footprint in Cheney

    Jonathan Olsen-Koziol, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    CHENEY – John Taves, 74, spent nine years on the Cheney City Council before retiring during his last meeting in December. The soft-spoken man with glasses and a flannel button up clearly left a large impact on his colleague who only had glowing things to say about him as a colleague and his service for the community of Cheney during his last meeting. Before being on the council, Taves said he was a constituent account executive for the Bonneville power company “which is a large way of saying I was a liaison between BPA and...

  • Airway mental health specialists expand into private practice

    Matthew O. Stephens, Reporter|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS – Michela Dalsing from Airway Heights never thought her passion for helping people through pro-active mental health practices would ever reach a worldwide audience, but her partner Alyssa Johnson said she “has always been the big dreamer,” and knew it would get there with time. The two 30-year-old business partners started “Villain Esteem” a couple of years ago, and that is the website they created offering various platforms of mental health resources. Since then, they have developed to the point of offering...

  • West Plains Police News

    Updated Jan 27, 2022

    Police reports By Jonathan Olsen-Koziol Cheney Free Press CHENEY – Here is a list of all the Cheney police reports from January 17 to January 24. 1-17 Gas from one vehicle and a catalytic converter from another vehicle was stolen from the zero block of Spokane Street. Possible rape reported in Cheney. Clothing and battery jump pack stolen from vehicle on the 3100 block of Meadow Glen Lane. Grocery items shoplifted from the 2500 block of First Street. 1-18 Amplifier stolen from vehicle on the 3400 block of Meadow Glen Lane. Bi...

  • Medical Lake wrestler aims for state title

    Matthew O. Stephens, Reporter|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    MEDICAL LAKE – After having placed third in state last year, and fourth in state the year before, and sixth in his freshman year, 17-year-old Aden Carl said he has his sights set on taking first this year. Carl said he is extremely proud of his success and accomplishments as a Cardinal wrestler so far, but his goal is to win state before he graduates. The wrestler is undefeated this season with a strong record of 22 wins and no losses, and said he feels confident he can win b...

  • Cardinals fall to Colville

    Matthew O. Stephens, Reporter|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    MEDICAL LAKE – The Cardinals hosted Colville High School on January 19, and Colville came out with the team win 51 to 24. The matchup on January 19 started with the 195-pound wrestlers facing off with Cardinal True Cole losing by fall to Colville’s Tanner Goff. Jack Gallager of Colville received a forfeit at 220 pounds. Justin Finley of Colville defeated Cardinal Gavin Chaffee in the 285-pound class. Hudson Raulston came out with a win by forfeit for Medical Lake at 113 pounds. Colville received another forfeit with Log...

  • Blackhawks boys lose a heartbreaker

    Free Press Staff|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    CHENEY – When the Cheney boys took on the North Central Worlfpack on Friday night there were several things stacked against them. First of all, NC is an experienced, extremely tall team, having six players 6:5" or better. Secondly, the Blackhawks were short; minus 3 players and their head coach with Covid protocol difficulties, and they suited up only 8 players, including 3 frosh borrowed from the J.V.'s. But assistant coach James Whitely put together a great game plan and t...

  • Both Cardinal teams fall to Lakeside

    Matthew O. Stephens, Reporter|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    MEDICAL LAKE – The Cardinal basketball teams hosted Lakeside High School on January 18, and both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams lost to the Eagles. The boys’ team for Medical Lake lost 59-43, and the Lady Cardinals lost by a score of 44-21. Tyler Sembly led the Cardinals in scoring with 12 points, and pulled down several rebounds on the night also. Eugene Haas III, Oran Rhimer, and Noah Keister followed him in scoring, although they couldn’t get into double digits on the night. Defensively Medical Lake had a tough time st...

  • Lady Blackhawks Face Mt. Spokane Wildcats

    Jonathan Olsen-Koziol, Cheney Free Press|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    CHENEY – The lady Blackhawks basketball teams faced the Mt. Spokane Wildcats in a home matchup in the Cheney high school main gymnasium on Tuesday January 18. Junior varsity took the court first and fell behind by a large deficit early. However, they persevered and kept fighting to bring it back to a seven point game. However, the Wildcats shut their comeback down and won the game 45 to 38. Coach Ken Ryan said both teams are working hard every day to win these games and compete in the fourth quarter. When talking about the j...