Articles from the February 10, 2022 edition


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  • Superintendents: End of masks, contact tracing at schools

    Roger Harnack, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 16, 2022

    SPOKANE VALLEY – Following the lead of the Kettle Falls and Richland school boards, superintendents from across Northeast Washington sent a letter late Tuesday night, Feb. 15, to Gov. Jay Inslee requesting an end to mask mandates for students, staff and visitors. The letter was also sent to Dr. Umar Shaw of the state Department of Health and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. “We are writing on behalf of districts in the NEWESD (Northeast Washington Educational Service District) 101 region to encourage...

  • District 7 2B Tournament second round turns out one upset

    Drew Lawson, The Times|Updated Feb 16, 2022

    Spokane Valley--The second round of the District 7 2B Tournament featured two overtime contests, mostly expected results and one surprising result that affected the outlook of the girls' bracket. All higher seeds won Thursday, with the exception of the Reardan girls pulling off an upset victory over St. George's in overtime that sent them into the district semifinals and the favored Dragons into a loser-out scenario. Locally, the Davenport boys survived St. George's in...

  • Woman killed in two-car crash on Wood Road

    Drew Lawson, The Times|Updated Feb 16, 2022

    DEEP CREEK--An adult woman was killed this morning in a two-car crash near the 6500 block of North Wood Road in Spokane County northeast of Reardan. The crash occurred around 7 a.m., according to a press release from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. The woman, whose name has not been released, was driving a 2003 Saturn Ion northbound on Wood Road when the car crossed the center line and crashed into a 2005 Chevrolet pickup truck, the release said. The deceased was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the...

  • Seven Medical Lake wrestlers qualify for regionals

    Matthew O. Stephens, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    COLVILLE – Medical Lake senior Aden Carl scored 28 team points to claim the Northeast A League Championship in the 132-pound class at the district tournament on Feb. 4-5. "This is Aden's second straight district championship for Medical Lake,"Assistant coach Tory Carl said. Three other Cardinal wrestlers finished second in their respective weight classes including Tanner Sellers who placed second to Carl and scored 21.5 points for Medical Lake. Carl received a bye for his f...

  • Updated Feb 10, 2022

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  • Casino announces agreement with Caesars Entertainment Inc

    Matthew O. Stephens, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS – Sports betting is coming to the Spokane Tribe Casino. A multi-year deal that brings Caesars Sportsbook to the facility is in the final stages as Caesars Entertainment Inc., the biggest casino-entertainment company in the country and casino officials pound out the details. According to a Feb.1 press release issued by the Spokane Tribe of Indians, the agreement expects to offer retail sports betting to sports fans a seamless experience that makes it easy and q...

  • Cheney students dominate FBLA Winter Conference

    Jonathan Olsen-Koziol|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    SPOKANE VALLEY–Students from Cheney High and Westwood Middle School represented their community well with outstanding performances at the 2022 Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Northeast Regional Winter Conference at the Valley Assembly Church in Spokane Valley on Thursday, Feb. 3. "It's good to be back," Adam Smith, career and technical education director at Cheney High School, said with relief. "I was pleasantly surprised with the student's success due to the massive...

  • Bob Kirkpatrick steps in as editor of Cheney Free Press

    Jonathan Olsen-Koziol, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    CHENEY – Veteran journalist Bob Kirkpatrick has joined the Cheney Free Press to reinvigorate the newsroom and help bring a new look to the newspapers. Kirkpatrick came to the media industry later in his life. It had always been a passion of his. But he couldn't pursue it until his kids were grown and out of the house. "Growing up in the '60s, I developed a watchdog mentality of what's happening around me and felt there was a need for accountability," Kirkpatrick said. K...

  • Cheney School District seeks public input

    Bob Kirkpatrick, Editor, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    CHENEY– Citing driver shortages and district growth, Cheney School District Superintendent Rob Roettger is reaching out to the community as the district plans for the 2022-23 school year and beyond. “We would like to engage our staff and community in conversation related to current and future schedules,” Roettger said. “The ongoing growth of our district will make it necessary to continue a staggered schedule for future years. We desire to receive your feedback on this as it will provide valuable insight as we determi...

  • Areas of Palouse Falls closed for safety

    Matthew O. Stephens, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    PALOUSE FALLS – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously on Jan. 27 to permanently close areas known to be dangerous in Palouse Falls State Park. The decision comes after four deaths occurred in the park since 2016. "This closure includes access to rock formation referred to as Castle Rock, the top of the main falls, access to the plunge pool and surrounding canyon walls," Parks Planner Laura Moxham said. "It also incorporates the existing s...

  • Spokane Arts partners with EWU for Black History Month

    Jonathan Olsen-Koziol, CHENEY FREE PRESS|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    CHENEY – Shantell Jackson, program director for the Spokane Arts, is teaming up with Eastern Washington University’s (EWU) Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) to host two programs aimed at educating students, staff and the Cheney community about healing within the black community as part of Black History Month. Jackson is a visual storyteller and writer and has been the Spokane Arts program director since October 2021. This year, Jackson serves as GWSS’s ninth annual Activist in Residence. “I am very excited for the o...

  • Long time Airway Heights councilman awarded

    Matthew O. Stephens, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS–After serving on Airway Heights City Council for the past 10 years, Doyle Inman was recognized during a Feb. 7 legislative session with an outstanding service award for his contributions and service to the city. Inman retired from the council this year, leaving a lasting impact on many members and city staff. “I thought he brought great dialogue and balance to the community,” said Principal Planner Heather Trautman. “I’m going to miss him.” Councilman Sonny Weathers thanked Inman for his services and steward...

  • House passes Rep. Dye bill

    The Gazette|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    OLYMPIA — The state House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday by Rep. Mary Dye that would allow a temporary judicial officer to be designated to step into the courtroom of a single-court judge if the presiding judge becomes unavailable, incapacitated, ill, or dies. “There are more than 112 single judge courts in Washington state. If a vacancy arises, it could take weeks or months to fill that position, delaying court cases. Justice delayed is justice denied,” Dye, R-Pomeroy, said. “This bill ensures that gap is fill...

  • Historic Preservation Commissions meets after long hiatus

    Jonathan Olsen-Koziol, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    CHENEY – Members of the Cheney Historic Prevention Commission (CHPC) gathered for the first time in just under a year on Thursday, Feb. 3. The commission was on an extended hiatus because of COVID-19 restrictions, and two of their former board members were forced to resign because of various health issues and family commitments. The commission tried to gather for a meeting late last year but could not find times that worked for everyone, further delaying the regularly scheduled meetings. During the meeting last Thursday, t...

  • Drop Assault on Natural Gas

    Don C. Brunell, Contributor|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    Last year, Gov. Jay Inslee attempted an end run around the legislature by banning natural gas in new homes and commercial buildings via the state’s building codes. It was a bad idea. Now, some fellow Democrats who control the legislature are working on legislation trying to do the same—also a bad idea. Inslee’s proposed regulations forbid the use of fossil fuels for heating and hot water in new structures. Prohibiting natural gas is expensive for home and building owner...

  • Eastern Washington election results

    Updated Feb 10, 2022

    The Gazette COLFAX — Here are some of the unofficial results for Whitman County following the first count of ballots cast in the Tuesday, Feb. 8, special election: Endicott School District Programs and operation levy Yes 71.21% No 28.79% Health and safety levy Yes 67.42% No 32.58% Rosalia School District Programs and operation levy Yes 69.75% No 30.25% Technology and security levy Yes 67.09% No 32.91%...

  • Palouse Falls trails should remain open

    Roger Harnack, Publisher|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    Palouse Falls has long been one of my favorite places to hike. Over the years, I’ve hiked the mile or so trek to the top of the main falls on numerous occasions. I’ve hiked it by myself, with friends and even my daughter when she was very young. I’ve meandered along the Palouse River to the upper falls and descended the basalt rim to the pool at the base of the falls about 189 feet below. For those of us who grew up in Eastern Washington, hiking Palouse Falls trails has long b...

  • Lilly Joan Allen

    Updated Feb 10, 2022

    Lilly Joan Allen past away on Feb. 3, 2022 after a long and rewarding life. Lilly was born on Sept. 25, 1936 in Pasco, Wash. to Harry & Lilly (Thowe) Axtell and raised on a dairy farm. In her early teens Lilly's family relocated to the town of Post Falls, Idaho where she graduated from Chinook High School in 1954. Lilly was married to David Ray Davis on May 25, 1955 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. They started a family in Spokane, Wash. with their first born, Terry Michael Davis on... Full story

  • When Trees Cry

    Updated Feb 10, 2022

    I live in a remnant of a Ponderosa pine forest in Spokane County. Some of my grandchildren refer to my place as ‘Grandma Margy’s Mountain.’ My wanderings often take me to places within this unique spot on the globe that exude sacredness. I’ll never forget the day I learned trees cry. The morning was not unusually cold for April. There were still a few patches of snow lingering in shady places but evidence that spring was about to erupt was nearly everywhere in the forest. Even so, I donned my jacket, hat and gloves and ven...

  • Looking Back

    Updated Feb 10, 2022

    February 9, 2012 10 years ago Cheney's Matt Duvall contributes to agriculture work in war – torn Afghanistan These days, Cheney native Matt Duvall shows up at work without a full military security detail. But just months ago, convoys, bombs, and insurgents were all part of a day's work as a United States Department of Agriculture representative in Afghanistan. Duvall spent seven months in one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan, Paktika Province, working with g...

  • Cardinals split games with Rams

    Matthew O. Stephens, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    MEDICAL LAKE – Both games between Medical Lake and Riverside High School on Thursday, Feb. 3, were hard fought battles that came down to the wire. The Cardinal boys beat the Rams 50-43, while the girls team fell short 41-37. "We were able to get a quality win against Riverside," said Boys Head Coach Jordan Starr. "I am proud of this team's dedication and hard work through the season." The Cardinals started out with a strong first quarter up 16 -8. The first points on the board...

  • "Hawks" teams rumble over Rogers in initial spirit tilt

    Updated Feb 10, 2022

    The Cheney Blackhawks took both games from Rogers in the inaugural Railroad Rumble on the hardwood at Eastern Washington University Wednesday, Feb. 2. The event honored historical ties between the two railroad communities and is the newest of the Greater Spokane Leagues spirit games. The first game saw the Cheney Girls come away with a 43-31 win over the Pirates, Tough defense by the Blackhawks and cold shooting by the Pirates was the story of the opening half. Sophomore...

  • Fourth quarter woes derail Blackhawks Boys and Girls Basketball

    Cheney Free Press Staff|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    Despite playing one of their best games of the year, the Cheney Boys dropped a 59-53 contest Tuesday night, Feb. 1, to strong, physically aggressive Lewis & Clark squad. The first half of action favored the Blackhaws as they took advantage of the cold shooting and turnover-prone Tigers’ up 28-21 at the half. Evan Stinson, playing in his first game after having to sit out three due to protocol restrictions, got Cheney off to an early lead scoring 11 of the team’s first 17 points. But for reasons unknown, he didn’t get the b...

  • Cardinals

    Matthew O. Stephens|Updated Feb 10, 2022

    Amblessed Okemgbo is fouled on the way to the hoop. She made the bucket and converted the 3-point play against Riverside, Thursday Feb. 3....

  • West Plains Police News

    Updated Feb 10, 2022

    Cheney Police Reports These reports cover 2-1 through 2-7 By Jonathan Olsen-Koziol Cheney Free Press 2-1 Kyle R. Kiourkas, 25-year-old male, was arrested for a felony violation of a court order on the 300 block of Eleventh Street. 2-2 13-year-old male ran away and returned home later the same day on the 500 block of Third Street. 2-3 Child abuse and neglect reported on the 300 block of Erie Street. Domestic violence reported on the 1200 block of Second Street. 2-4 A suspicious vehicle doing suspicious things was reported on...

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