Articles from the April 18, 2024 edition


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  • Season Begins

    Updated Apr 18, 2024

    Hundreds of families and aspiring ball playes turned out Saturday, April 13 for the opening ceremonies of the West Plains Little League season. At left, Coach Coodinator Randy Weatherbee served as the emcee. Above, girls softball players are introducted to the crowd in Salnave Park in Cheney....

  • Business owner donates to Cheney Cupbard

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    CHENEY — Andy LaBolle, the owner of West Plains Roasters, made a generous gesture at the City Council meeting April 9 by presenting a donation totaling $18,500 to Cheney Cupboard. Expressing his fondness for the community, LaBolle shared, “My wife and I love Cheney.” He highlighted the support received from 53 sponsors, primarily local businesses spanning from Cheney and Airway Heights to Coeur d’Alene. The donation stemmed from a charity poker event hosted by West Plains Roasters on April 2 and 3, drawing in 65 attende...

  • Writers Workshop

    Lisa Conger|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    April is not still. Underground, the roots are stretching — their arms pale and green. Above ground, tulip’s sword-like blades cut through the soil, allowing space for the tulip’s chalice to shine its red, yellow, or pink petals. Above, the trees are whispering in the breeze, and the grasses bend and bow. Robins bob on the lawn, looking for a treat. When the rain comes, it patters and plays polkadots on the sidewalk and the soil. The air has washed itself of staleness and is now refreshed, and refreshing. If we are lucky...

  • FFA plans Bingo Night

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    CHENEY — The Cheney High School FFA club is gearing up for an evening of entertainment and community engagement as they host Bingo Night on Thursday, April 25. The 5 p.m. event aims to bring together students, families and community members for a fun-filled evening while supporting the club. Senior FFA membes Grace Klinkenberg, 18, and Lincoln Miller, 17, spoke about the efforts that have gone into making it a success. “We recently started an alumni group, to help donate to FFA,” Klinkenberg said. The idea stemmed from discu...

  • Plants for Pets

    Updated Apr 18, 2024

    As a former pet owner who took boxes of puppies, yes boxes of puppies, not yet weaned to my house from the road near my house, I know attachment one has to its pets. I have also welcomed my children’s dogs and now grand dogs when the ‘Two Legged’ go on vacation. As a former professional landscape designer, I always asked these questions. 1. Do you have pets? 2. If dogs, are they male or female? 3. How do you propose to use your yard? 4. What are your favorite plants? 5. If you want lawn do you care what it looks like? Dogs...

  • Cheney Planning Commission discusses right-of-way rules

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    CHENEY — The Planning Commission met on Monday, April 8, to address the complexities surrounding construction and non-city-owned features in the right-of-way. City Administrator Mark Schuller led the presentation, highlighting the need for clarifying and simplifying regulations. Currently, these features are regulated under either a license or a permit, creating challenges for both applicants and city staff. “With five different chapters governing today, every project may have to obtain multiple permits for a scope of wor...

  • Capital facilities topic of April 8 meeting

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    CHENEY – Brett Lucas took the lead at the Planning Commission Meeting on Monday, April 8, presenting the Capital Facilities Plan spanning 2024-29. The six-year plan aims to uphold the quality of life by identifying and addressing basic services over the next two decades, as mandated by the Growth Management Act. Lucas emphasized the significance of capital facilities, defining them as major, non-recurring expenditures with fixed assets costing $50,000 or more and possessing a useful life of at least 10 years. These f...

  • Stability in enrollment trends predicted

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    CHENEY — School District officials are expecting the growth in the student population to slow. During the April 10 School Board meeting, Finance Director Jamie Reed reported on the district’s financial status and enrollment trends. Reed noted that despite fluctuations in enrollment, the district is maintaining a consistent financial outlook. “We’re budgeting for flat enrollment,” Reed said, highlighting the stability amid shifting demographic patterns. A closer look at enrollment figures revealed that kindergarten and first...

  • News Briefs

    Updated Apr 18, 2024

    Fairchild trains for shooter FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE — Base officials and employees participated in an active-shooter response exercise April 11. Personnel and visitors saw first responders conducting emergency procedures, heard sirens and loud noises emanating from the exercise area and saw vehicles racing to an “emergency.” The exercise did not impact on-base services, such as medical appointments or exchange and commissary operations, officials said. Council OKs fire contract CHENEY — The City Council has unanimo...

  • West Plains Police News

    Updated Apr 18, 2024

    Airway Heights AIRWAY HEIGHTS — The Police Department arrested the following individuals from April 8-15: April 8 Robert B. Don arrested in the 13600 block of West Sixth Avenue for violation of a protection order-previous conviction. April 9 Nova M. Burt arrested in the 12600 block of West Highway 2 for fourth-degree assault-domestic violence. Matthew R. McCauley arrested in the 12500 block of West Highway 2 for fourth-degree assault-domestic violence. April 10 Daniel W. Jackson arrested in the 12800 block of West Highway 2...

  • High-capacity magazines sold briefly

    Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    RITZVILLE — Sen. Mark Schoesler is following a gun case in Western Washington closely. On Monday, April 8, Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Gary Bashor ruled that the 2022 state law banning high-capacity magazines is unconstitutional. “As you might guess, Attorney General Bob Ferguson did not take this news well,” Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said in an email. The case involves Gator Custom Guns in Kelso, which was sued by the state in an effort to stop the business from selling magazines capable of holding more than 10 round...

  • Van Kuren Invitational

    Clare McGraw, Valley News Herald|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    The Valley Christian track team was among more than 20 that competed Saturday, April 13, at the Van Kuren Invitational in Cheney. The Panthers finished 23rd overall in boys standings and 26th in girls. The boys 4X100 Relay team of Jediah Kuhn, Kade Mariner, Jack Siderius and Trenton Lartz finished 13th in 49.17 seconds....

  • Bond survey results are in

    Clare McGraw, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    CHENEY – The School Board meeting April 10 featured a detailed analysis of the community response to a special election bond proposal. Jenna Larson took the stage to go over the survey findings. The bond proposal, which aimed to address infrastructure needs within the district, elicited community engagement, she said. With multiple modes of distribution, the proposal garnered responses from 395 individuals. Of the respondents, 161 voted to approve the bond, while 167 voted to reject it, she said. Additionally, 24 individuals...

  • Detectives investigate robbery

    Clare McGraw, Valley News Herald|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    SPOKANE VALLEY – Authorities are actively investigating an armed robbery that occurred at Crush Coffee on Sprague Avenue early in the morning of April 10. According to reports, employees of the coffee stand were confronted by a masked individual described as a white male wearing a dark hoodie. The suspect brandished a handgun and forcibly robbed the business, leaving the victims shaken and in shock. Deputies swiftly responded to the scene, while others combed the area in search of the perpetrator, who was last observed f...

  • Fatal two-vehicle crash on Argonne

    Clare McGraw, Valley News Herald|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    SPOKANE VALLEY – A collision between a 2018 Dodge Ram 1500 and a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze on North Argonne Road resulted in the loss of one life and left another individual with serious injuries on April 12. Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies swiftly responded to the scene to conduct a thorough investigation. Eyewitness accounts and evidence collected at the site suggest that the Dodge Ram, driven by a man, was heading northbound, while the Chevrolet Cruze, operated by Amanda Fuller, 28, was traveling southbound on North Arg...

  • Council to expedite Pipeline relocation

    Clare McGraw, Valley News Herald|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    SPOKANE VALLEY – The City Council convened on April 16 to deliberate on significant infrastructure projects aimed at bolstering the city’s transportation network. Both an ordinance and an agreement with Yellowstone Pipe Line Company about relocating their pipeline on Pines Road were unanimously approved after brief deliberations. “In amending Yellowstone Pipe Line Company’s franchise, we’re taking a crucial step to accommodate the City’s Pines Road Grade Separation Project,” remarked Tony Beattie, Senior Deputy City Attorney...

  • Suspect flees Deputy on electric scooter

    Clare McGraw, Valley News Herald|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    SPOKANE VALLEY – In the early hours of April 10, 2024, a Spokane Valley Deputy noticed a figure dressed entirely in black, zipping through parking lots and streets on an electric scooter without a proper headlamp. What began as a routine attempt to address a safety concern quickly escalated into a chase and apprehension. Spotting the individual, later identified as 29-year-old Bradley J. Luiten, in the 9300 block of E. Montgomery, the Deputy activated his emergency lights to signal a stop. Despite the presence of the m...

  • Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake

    Clare McGraw, Valley News Herald|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    A Valley Christian runner leads a Ridgeline competitor during the Van Kuren Invitational track meet Saturday, April 13, at Cheney High School....

  • Elect Conroy to Washington 5th District

    Updated Apr 18, 2024

    Carmela Conroy gives Eastern Washington voters the unusual, important opportunity to elect a foreign policy expert as their U.S. Representative. As a foreign service officer for 24 years, she served in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Norway, New Zealand and Tom Foley’s Japan office. Voters must weigh foreign policy experience much more than usual in their 2024 voting decisions. Foreign policy expertise is also prerequisite for ending the tragic Israeli-Palestinian conflict that Trump has accepted uncaringly. Like retiring Rep. Cathy M...

  • Rent control won't help tenants

    Mark Harmsworth|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    In a backwards approach to helping tenants, the Federal Government is capping rent increases on subsidized housing at 10% in a bid to reduce the cost of rental properties. The result, should the measures be adopted, will be exactly the opposite and rents will go up. When you place caps on rent, instead of letting the market drive the pricing, the supply of rental property declines and the result is higher demand and higher prices for rent. There is a short-term impact to rental costs, but as many studies show, including a...

  • Defend the free market and western civilization

    Updated Apr 18, 2024

    On July 13, 2012, President Obama was giving a speech in Roanoke, Va., and said this: “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” Those three sentences sparked a brush fire in that year’s presidential election that he spent the next few weeks trying to walk back. But while the third sentence tried to take credit away from entrepreneurs, and the second sentence tried to give that...

  • Stolen vehicle recovered after failed attempt to flee

    Clare McGraw, Valley News Herald|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    SPOKANE VALLEY – Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies sprang into action on April 9, following an alert from Flock ALPR regarding a stolen vehicle reported missing the day prior. In the early hours of the morning, a Deputy spotted the reported stolen vehicle on E. Upriver Drive. Attempting to halt its progress, the Deputy activated emergency lights and siren as the vehicle approached N. Argonne Road. However, the suspect, later identified as 20-year-old James O. Dawson, disregarded the signals and accelerated, setting off a purs...

  • Two suspects arrested for robbery, stealing vehicle

    Clare McGraw, Valley News Herald|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    SPOKANE VALLEY – Two suspects, Shawn D. Cranford, 45, and Elissia M. York, 23, were apprehended on April 13 for their involvement in an armed robbery and auto theft at a parking lot on East Indiana Avenue at North Evergreen Road. Spokane Valley Deputies responded to the scene following a report from the female owner of a stolen black Chevrolet Tahoe and a male victim. They recounted arriving from Montana and leaving a nearby store when the incident occurred. The female victim was arranging items in the hatchback when the v...

  • Gardening Expo slated for May 11

    Clare McGraw, Valley News Herald|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    SPOKANE – As spring blooms across the Inland Northwest, garden enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the annual gardening expo hosted by Inland Empire Gardeners. Scheduled for May 11, and located at Spokane Community College, this year’s event promises to be a celebration of all things green under the theme “Happy Everything!” Founded in 1994, Inland Empire Gardeners has become a large part of the local gardening community, offering a platform for garden nurseries, specialty products, local craftspeople, and horticulture service...

  • Suspect arrested for robbing nonprofit

    Clare McGraw, Valley News Herald|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    SPOKANE VALLEY – Spokane Valley deputies swiftly responded to a burglary in progress at the Spokane Valley Partners building, leading to the successful apprehension of a male suspect. The apprehended individual was identified as 42-year-old Justin W. Ingebritson, who exhibited signs of agitation upon discovery. This arrest comes in the wake of a previous burglary incident at the same nonprofit organization, suggesting a potential pattern of criminal behavior. The incident unfolded on April 16 around 3:00 am, when a...

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