Articles from the February 29, 2024 edition


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  • Small, albeit impactful wins

    Judy Warnick|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    Let me begin with some political realities about your state Legislature. Republicans, and I am one, are in the minority. The Senate Republican Caucus, of which I am the chairwoman, has 20 members. Our Democratic colleagues have a 9-vote majority in the state Senate, which makes our jobs representing rural values and needs a challenge. Most Senate majority members are from King County and Seattle. So, their world view is different. I do my best to communicate the very real...

  • I-2113 would make Washington safer

    Mike Padden|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    Among the many problems plaguing Washington now, crime is perhaps the greatest concern for citizens and communities throughout our state. In fact, we have reached a crisis point in our state because of skyrocketing crime. Thanks to recent state laws that restrict law-enforcement officers and weaken public safety, criminals have become more emboldened. They are acting in a more brazen manner as they commit crimes. The result is many people throughout Washington have been...

  • Suspect arrested for driving forklift into store's glass doors

    Clare McGraw, Valley Herald|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    SPOKANE VALLEY – Deputies rushed to respond to a local store in the 16200 block of E. Broadway Avenue. The disturbance involved a suspect driving a forklift straight into the store’s glass doors, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. The culprit behind the chaos was identified as 54-year-old Matthew D. Fischer. Eyewitnesses recounted the incident, detailing how Fischer commandeered a store forklift from the garden center area. He maneuvered the vehicle, elevating its forks to chest/shoulder height before plowing it into...

  • Council votes to continue contract with Barr-tech

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE – The Council unanimously approved the extension of the city’s contract with Barr-tech at a meeting Feb. 20. City Finance Director Koss Ronholt presented the terms of the contract to the council. “Barr-tech is contracted for bio-solids,” he said. “This is a valuable contract.” He informed the council that there is no automatic renewal of the contract, which was originally established in 2010, and then renewed Dec. 31, 2015, for three additional five-year terms. “It’s time to extend the contract again,” he said...

  • Contract for animal control in Medical Lake

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE – The council discussed the continuation of the contract with Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) at the meeting on February 20. Sonny Weathers, the city manager, said that the 2020 contract is current, and that there’s an 180 day written notice required to terminate the contract. Citizen complaints will all be handled within five business days, and annual performance and service utilization is provided. The purpose of the contract is licensing dog and cat control behavior, impounding, and...

  • Reichert to stump in Tekoa

    Roger Harnack, The Gazette|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    TEKOA - The effort to bring candidates for public office to town to interact with area voters and present their platforms has landed a gubernatorial candidate. The Event Center on Crosby Street will host a meet-and-greet for former Congressman Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 6. Food and beverages will be available from C&Ds Tekoa Bar and Grill. Following the relaxed event, the 73-year-old Reichert will head down the street to Empire Theater, 126 S. Crosby St....

  • Three of the six initiatives to get hearings

    Mary Murphy and Aspen Anderson, Washington State Journal|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    OLYMPIA — Relenting to pressure from residents statewide, three initiatives will be get hearings before the Legislature. The Legislature will debate I-2113 on reasonable police pursuit, I-2081 on codifying parental rights in their child’s education and I-2111 on prohibiting a state income tax, Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, D-Spokane, and Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, announced late last week. The two leaders have decided they won’t take up three other initiatives that qualified for the ballot. Those ini...

  • City discusses hiring a new HR employee

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS – Proposed changes to the city’s human resources department were a focal point of discussion at the recent Airway Heights City Council meeting held on February 26. Stanley Schubert, the finance director, highlighted the agreement reached on a 3.75% cost of living increase, which had been introduced the previous week. Albert Tripp, the city manager, expressed concern about the departure of the human resources specialist. “We’re asking for a one-time increase for a period of one month,” he explained, citing a...

  • Medical Lake strategic plan unveiled

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE – City Administrator Sonny Weathers unveiled the city’s new strategic planning initiative at the Feb. 20 council meeting. The initiative aims to streamline the city’s efforts and objectives into clear and actionable strategies, as outlined by Weathers during his presentation. “This serves to consolidate the city’s measures in clearly defined terms,” Weathers said, highlighting the strategic plan as a roadmap towards enhancing the community while fostering increased public trust and confidence in city governance....

  • EWU's 2003-04 team to be honored

    Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    CHENEY - The Eastern Washington team that launched the school's basketball program into a level of success that it maintains to this day will be honored Saturday, March 2 vs. Montana State. Many members of the 2003-04 Eagles squad that earned the program's first tournament bid will be on hand to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their achievement. The team started the season 3-9 but ended up as the Big Sky regular season champions and hosts of the conference tournament at...

  • Sports Briefs

    Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Liberty boys eliminated by Wahkiakum CHEHALIS — The Liberty (Spangle) boys basketball season came to an end Feb. 24 after a 66-53 loss to the Wahkiakum Mules. The playoff game at W.F. West High School featured the No. 13 Lancers agains the No. 12 Mules I the opening round of state 2B action. Individual statistics were not reported for the game. — Spring football schedule released CHENEY — Eastern Washington University football will hit Roos Field for spring practices starting with the first two sessions in mid-March befor...

  • Eastern women maintain BSC lead

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    CHENEY — The Eastern Washington women’s basketball team ran its latest winning streak to seven and maintained their lead in Big Sky Conference standings following a sweep of a pair of Reese Court games last week. Eastern staved off an upset bid from Northern Colorado, 68-63 on Feb. 24 and won in dominant fashion over their closest pursuers in the regular season, Northern Arizona, 67-42, on Feb. 22. Not only did that win allow the Eagles to take sole possession of first place in the Big Sky but with the victory the Eagles set...

  • Eastern men maintain lead

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    CHENEY — The Eastern Washington men’s basketball team let a late lead slip away Feb. 22 in a 78-71 loss at Northern Arizona. But they made sure that didn’t happen two days later in Greeley against Northern Colorado and following an 85-76 Big Sky Conference victory were able to maintain their two-game lead atop the standings with three games to play. Cedric Coward poured in a career-high 30 points and Ethan Price scored the 1,000th in his career as part of a double-double snapping a two-game skid for Eastern (12-3 BSC, 18-10...

  • Cardinal boys have big turnaround

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE — The turnaround the Medical Lake boys’ basketball team made in 2023-24 was quite remarkable under first-year coach Brett Ward. Ward — who moved from the girls bench last year as their head coach with the departure of Jordan Starr back to his home territory at Selah — helped orchestrate the program going from 1-19 in 2022-23 to 8-14 this season. The Cardinals went from 1-11 in Northeast A League play to 6-6 this season, qualifying not only for the playoffs but getting within a game of qualifying for state....

  • Council discusses supplying mobile home park with water

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS – During a Feb. 26 meeting, the council discussed the water system challenges faced by residents of West Plains Village Mobile Home Park. “West Plains Village has experienced a decline in groundwater availability over time, coupled with the pressing issue of PFAS contamination,” said Christa Connoly, owner and operator of West Plains Village. “We’ve had to use our emergency backup for additional water usage and have installed water heaters on all usage points. We’re positive for PFAS, currently hovering ri...

  • The US airlines most likely to arrive on time in the last year

    Stacker, Olivia Zhao|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Picture the scene: Your alarm wakes you at the crack of dawn. The suitcase you packed the night before stands accusingly in the corner. You brace yourself for the long ride to the airport and the even longer queue of security checks. To make matters worse, after dashing to the airport and getting through TSA, you discover your flight has been delayed. There are many reasons delays happen: maintenance or crew problems, extreme weather, air traffic, etc. But, according to data...

  • Clothing Exchange expands hours

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    CHENEY – The Cheney Community Clothing Exchange, nestled between the Community Cupboard and the Cheney Outreach Center, has extended its hours to accommodate the increasing needs of the community. Exchange Director Connie Oakes shared insights into the evolving landscape of their services during a recent visit. "We serve all of Cheney Schools, all the people in Cheney. Some people come from Sprague and Spangle" Oakes said. "I accept everyone here." Entirely reliant on the gene...

  • Spangle man indicted for fraud

    Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Cheney Free Press SPANGLE — A local man has been indicted on 14 counts counts of fraud in connection with an alleged illegal business scheme that bilked other businesses out of more than $5 million. Christopher Lee Terry Sr., 39, of Spangle, was indicted Feb. 21 by a federal grand jury for running a fraudulent car import and finance scheme between January 2019 and June 2020. The indictment alleges Terry, through Allwest Financial LLC doing business as Allwest Auto Remarketing, defrauded auto financier NextGear Capital Inc. an...

  • Public Records

    Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Airway Heights AIRWAY HEIGHTS — City police arrested the following individuals from Feb. 16-23: Feb. 16 Anthony T. Garcia arrested for driving while under the influence and driving without an ignition interlock on U.S. Highway 2, south of Hazelwood Drive. Feb. 20 Johnny K. Kieffer arrested for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver in the 12500 block of West U.S. Highway 2. Jacob C. Doyle arrested for possession of a controlled substance in the 10800 block of U.S. Highway 2. Feb. 21 Dangxi Li arrested f...

  • Ruth Ann (Martin) Van Kuren

    Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Ruth Ann (Martin) Van Kuren was born Dec. 10, 1943, to Chester and Helen (Scharpenberg) Martin. Ruth was the oldest of five children and passed away at the age of 80 on Feb. 24, 2024. She grew up in the LaCrosse community and graduated from LaCrosse HS in 1961. She graduated as a registered nurse from Deaconess School of Nursing in 1964. Ruth loved her family, cruising, camping, gardening and kids in general. Within a week of graduating nursing school, she flew to Waco,... Full story

  • Rose Mary "Rocky" Henson

    Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Rose Mary "Rocky" Henson, age 79, of Sprague, Wash. passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. She was born on July 28, 1944, in Spokane, Wash. Rocky enjoyed time spent with her family, especially her grandchildren, and many friends. She was a member of the Sprague City Council and was active in the Lutheran Church After School Program and the Annual Sausage Feed. Her favorite vacations involved family or visiting the Oregon coast. She is survived by her husband of 39 years,... Full story

  • Butterfly Wings

    Updated Feb 29, 2024

    I hope to be known as a Proponent of Pollinator Protection. So much so I belong to a group known as the Pollinator Committee. We PPP’s (only slight traces to Urinary Tract Malfunction) are enthusiasts of educating the public about the perils pollinators are facing worldwide. We don’t wear large gossamer wings strapped to our backs to meetings but we do have ‘feelings’ for the decline of major pollinators of our food crops. Insect pollination is nothing new. Insects have been assisting plant reproduction for at least a 100 mil...

  • What to do?

    Carol Beason|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Dearest One, It saddens me to address you in this manner but I don’t know what else to do. You do not listen to me. So, that being the case, I will have to let you know in writing that our relationship is over. I am done! I have repeatedly been blown over by your unfatihfulness and your stormy behavior. Up one day, down the other. I can no longer depend on your promises of change and your empty assurances of warmth are fickle to say the least. I need your love like the warm caress of balmy spring breezes and the beauty of c...

  • Malden celebrates new building

    Teresa Simpson, Gazette Reporter|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    MALDEN - A packed crowd filled the new town Fire Station on Thursday, Feb. 15, to cut a ribbon commemorating completion of the new building. Community members, supporters and officials were present to celebrate the construction of the new Town Hall, which houses the Fire Station, post office and clerk's office. Those and other town structures were lost in the Babb Road Fire on Sept. 7, 2020. Mayor Dan Harwood said the building was funded by the Federal Emergency Management...

  • People in these 19 industries donated the most money to Donald Trump

    Stacker, Aine Givens|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    As the Trump campaign actively courts deep-pocketed donors, it's worth looking at which groups and industries have donated most heavily to him during the current election cycle. Stacker examined Federal Election Commission data compiled by OpenSecrets to find the 19 industries that contributed the most to Trump's 2024 campaign committee, as well as any super PACs or hybrid PACs working on his behalf, as of Feb. 2. The list is ranked based on the portion of that industry's...

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