Articles from the March 7, 2024 edition

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  • Tree farms reduce greenhouse gases

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    As climate change concerns grow, researchers are turning to family tree farmers for assistance. They have been helping for a century, but their efforts go unrecognized. The American Tree Farm program has emphasized sustainability and managing lands for water quality, wildlife, wood and recreation. In recent years, it has included climate change. According to the American Forest Foundation, families and individuals collectively care for the largest portion of forests in the...

  • Climate agenda may cost you more than $20,000

    Updated Mar 8, 2024

    Eleven years ago, when we started debating the climate agenda in Olympia, I sat on a study committee we called the Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup and asked an unpopular question: How much good will these policies do and how much will they cost? How dare I ask a question like that? The fate of Mother Earth was at stake. No expense was too great. Today, we are starting to get an idea of the cost. How would you like to pay $20,000? How about $50,000 or more? This is how...

  • Drive-by shooter walks away from mental hospital

    Spokane Valley News Herald|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    UPDATE: Jamil M. Fields has been arrested in Reno, Nev. SPOKANE VALLEY - A Whitman County man committed to Eastern State Hospital has walked away from Valley Hospital. Jamil M. Fields, 28, walked away from the 12606 E. Mission Ave. hospital where he was receiving treatment on March 6, records show. His disappearance was reported to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office at about 1:15 p.m. By reason of insanity, Fields was found not guilty of a drive-by shooting in 2022 and involu...

  • Fishing opens early at some lakes

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE - Anxious anglers are getting their itch scratched. In excess of two-dozen lakes in in the state opened for business March 1 for fishing, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Nearby, Medical, Liberty, Amber and Downs lakes are open. Coffeepot Lake in Lincoln County also opened March 1, with selective gear rules in effect. Those rules include, but are not limited to, artificial flies with barbless single-point hooks or lures with barbless...

  • Coach wishes Cardinal girls season a bit better

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE - Cardinal girls basketball Coach Yeta Holloway likes to think with a little more time that his first season guiding the team might have been just a bit better. Elevated to the girls' job in mid-summer following moves among existing staff, this year's Cardinals had an 8-0 start and won nine of their first 10. They doubled overall win totals, finishing 14-11 before star Charde Luat was sidelined for a few weeks with an ankle injury. Medical Lake andLuat recovered...

  • Padden bill awaits Inslee's signature

    Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    OLYMPIA - A bill to encourage home ownership by making it easier to construct smaller condominium buildings is on its way to the governor's desk. Senate Bill 5792, introduced by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, would exclude buildings with 12 or fewer units that are no more than three stories high from the definition of "multiunit residential building" if one story is utilized for above- or below-ground parking or retail space. The House of Representatives passed the...

  • Two Sen. Schoesler bills stall in House

    Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    OLYMPIA - Two bills introduced by Sen. Mark Schoesler have stalled in the House. Schoesler, R-Ritzville, represents the 9th Legislative District, including Cheney, Medical Lake, southern Spokane County and other areas. "Unfortunately, two bills that I introduced received their death sentences in the House," Schoesler said last week of Senate Bills 5291 and 5344. Senate Bill 5291 would have helped restaurants, taverns and similar establishments navigate the state's permitting...

  • Holaday seeks 5th District seat

    Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    ADDY - A 51st state advocate has joined the pool of candidates seeking to replace Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in Congress. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, Rene Holaday, a Republican from Addy, reached out to media to announce her run for the 5th Congressional District seat. The district includes Ferry, Stevens, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Whitman, eastern Franklin and Adams, and other counties. Holaday is an author, radio personality and the former spokeswoman for the 51st state...

  • Cooper in race for Congress

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE - Mayor Terri Cooper has declared her candidacy for Congress. The 62-year-old. Cooper's announcement came during the Spokane County Republican Convention on Saturday, where she outlined her vision for addressing issues facing the district. With Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers opting not to seek reelection, Cooper joins a competitive field of Republican candidates vying for the vacant seat. Among them are Spokane City Councilman Jonathan Bingle, Spokane County...

  • Dr. Grant Orion Gilbert

    Updated Mar 8, 2024

    Dr. Grant Orion Gilbert passed away peacefully holding the hand of his childhood friend and wife of 58 years on Feb. 4, 2024, one week before his 78th birthday. He is survived by his wife, Donna; daughter, Trinette; and sons, Garrett, Tristan, Nathaniel, Joshua, and Tobin; four daughters-in-law; 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Grant believed in hard work, acquiring his doctorate degree while working full-time and raising six children. After retiring from Lakeland...

  • Heated debate erupts at city council meeting over 'Nextdoor' post

    Clare McGraw, Valley Herald|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    SPOKANE VALLEY – A recent city council meeting turned into a heated debate over the alleged disclosure of information discussed during an executive session. The focus of the discussion revolved around Councilman Al Merkel's statements regarding the purchase of land, sparking accusations of breaching confidentiality and violating procedural norms. The controversy unfolded during the council meeting held on March 5, following a Nextdoor post by Councilmember Merkel that suggested the purchase of land had been discussed and d... Full story

  • Thank hockey for that

    Paul Delaney|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    Once upon a time when March rolled around in these parts, there was only one meaning for post-seaso: Hockey. March madness was still decades away from being a trademarked phrase and meant it was time for raucous regional rivalries between Spokane with tiny communities in British Columbia to reach a boiling point. And if the post-season reached April, as today, it meant things were going well. April playoff opponents were likely Calgary or Edmonton as the Jets of Flyers...

  • Repeat the feat

    Paul Delaney|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    Members of the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team hoist the Big Sky Conference regular season champions trophy amid a rain of confetti Feb. 29 at Reese Court. An 89-79 victory over Montana secured a second consecutive regular season title for the Eagles and a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament in Boise on March 9-13. Eastern's first game is March 10 against either the No. 9 or 10 team....

  • Martin Hall worker charged with raping girl

    CLARE McGRAW, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 7, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE — A former Martin Hall Juvenile Corrections Facility employee is being held in the Spokane County Jail after allegedly raping a juvenile inmate. Antwon D. Jones, 40, is being held on $150,000 bail, charged with third-degree child molestation, first-degree custody sex misconduct-incarcerated. and two counts of third-degree child rape, jail records show. He was arrested Feb. 29. Martin Hall, 201 Pine St., houses juvenile offenders from across Northeast Washington, including Cheney, Medical Lake and Airway H...

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  • Updated Mar 7, 2024


  • Winds of change

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 7, 2024

    ROSALIA – The winds of change are blowing across the region, with multiple developers pushing for prime agricultural land to become home to wind turbines. And the push for the rural skyscrapers, which can rise to a height of more than 500 feet above the ground - the blades can reach to nearly 700 feet - has area residents, farmers and local leaders concerned the winds are blowing the wrong kind of change into their communities. Around the region, multiple companies are a...

  • Driver airlifted after crash

    Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 7, 2024

    WILLIAMS LAKE — The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a suspected drunken-driving crash March 3 on Mullinix Road. The crash occurred about 4:50 p.m. near West Williams Lake Road, according to the Sheriff’s Office, which failed to release the names of the individuals involved. According to the report, a man was airlifted to an area hospital, where he remained at press time in stable condition. He was determined to be one of the drivers involved. The report said the man was northbound in a Mercury on South Mulli...

  • Public Records

    Updated Mar 7, 2024

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS AIRWAY HEIGHTS — The Police Department arrested the following individuals from Feb. 27 to March 2: Feb. 27 Benjamin A.O. Farnum arrested for possession of a stolen motor vehicle in the 100 block of North Hayford Road. March 1 Michael C. Numkena arrested of West McFarlane Road and of South Hayford Road for driving while license suspended. Shannon M. Garcia was arrested of West Frank Street and South Russell Street for domestic violence order of protection violation Joseph M. Erwin arrested on the 12500 block o...

  • Airway Heights approves grant application

    CLARE McGRAW|Updated Mar 7, 2024

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS – The city Planning Commission voted 6-1 to approve plans for the expansion of the West Prairie Mobile Home Park to provide water services there. During a recent City Council meeting, discussions centered around applying for feasibility grants to support the construction and infrastructure necessary for expanding the mobile home park. With 137 mobile homes under consideration, the project aims to address public health and safety concerns while providing a...

  • Public records must open and accessible

    Updated Mar 7, 2024

    A special report urges the mobilization of civic leaders, organizations, businesses and all residents to work together to save the state’s Public Records Act. The report is available online for viewing and downloading at State lawmakers and the courts continue to whittle away at the landmark public records law, which was adopted overwhelmingly with a citizens’ initiative in 1972. Since then, state legislators have passed more than 650 exceptions and have tried repeatedly to exempt themselves. Residents argued in...

  • Council adopts 10-year improvement plan

    CLARE McGRAW, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 7, 2024

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS – By a 6-1 vote, with one abstention, the City Council recently adopted recommendations for city improvements. In addition, the council initiated long-term planning efforts aimed at enhancing community infrastructure and services. During a council meeting, city manager Albert Tripp presented a comprehensive 10-year improvement plan focused on addressing current challenges and preparing for future growth. The plan includes short-term goals to be achieved w...

  • Purple Ribbon Banquet takes place Sunday

    CLARE McGRAW, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 7, 2024

    SPOKANE VALLEY – Prepare for an evening of empowerment at the annual Purple Ribbon Banquet on Sunday, March 10. Starting at 5 p.m., the event hosted by the Women’s Healing and Empowerment Network, promises a blend of live and silent auctions, complemented by a light meal. It takes place at the Center Place Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place. The network is dedicated to fostering healing and empowerment across Spokane County. Its mission extends to individuals, fam...

  • Leprechauns and their cohorts

    Updated Mar 7, 2024

    I think Leprechauns, gophers, ground squirrels and voles are in cahoots. (Moles are typically found west of the Cascades and belong to a different order and are not rodents.) Traps for any of them never seem to yield the culprits. When I excavated the mounds and holes in my lawn, I found neither gold coins, treasures nor furry rodents. Furthermore, I did not plant tulips in the middle of my walkway. I have looked for tiny footprints, but I fear the little green elves dance and leap over the new blades of grass. I thought...

  • Liberty team headed to state Knowledge Bowl

    CLARE McGRAW, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 7, 2024

    SPANGLE – Liberty High School’s Civics team is on the rise, making waves as they advance to the state Knowledge Bowl championship in Wenatchee. With their recent victory at the regionals, the team is poised to showcase their knowledge on government and general content against schools from across the state. Susan Mattoon, grandmother to two Liberty students, expressed her admiration for the team’s dedication and intelligence. “They are asked a bunch of questions about the gov...

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