Articles from the October 11, 2018 edition


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  • The one that almost got away

    John McCallum, Managing Editor|Updated Oct 12, 2018

    A wayward campfire has been determined the cause of a wildland fire that sprang up quickly last Tuesday in south Cheney, threatening several businesses and scorching almost 30 acres of woodlands before being contained. Cheney Fire Chief Tom Jenkins said once investigators from the Department of Natural Resources were able to get into the area, they uncovered evidence of a transient camp near the fire’s origin point west of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks and north of Mullinix Road. Two blackened metal car s...

  • What's happening on the West Plains

    Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Cheney • Oct 19, Master Gardeners: Cheney Plant Clinic and Information Booth, Cheney library, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. • Oct. 19, Terror Trot 5k/1-mile walk, EWU’s Reese Court, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. • Oct. 20, Leather Crafts: Mystery Braid Bracelet, Cheney library, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. • Oct. 25, Family Halloween Whodunit, Cheney community center, 5 p.m., $14 per person. • Oct. 26, Pence Union Building ribbon cutting, EWU’s PUB, 12 p.m. -12:30 p.m. • Oct. 30, Halloween Skate Night, EWU’s ice rink, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Airway Heights • Oct. 11, Friend...

  • Looking Back

    Updated Oct 11, 2018

    1 Years Ago Oct. 25, 2008 The Cheney City Council considered used cameras to curb downtown vandalism. A city-owned vacant funeral home in Medical Lake required about $13,000 in unexpected asbestos removal. Cheney High School was named a School of Distinction by the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for its performance on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL.) 20 Years Ago Oct. 29, 1998 The University House on the Eastern Washington University campus was fully renovated after months of...

  • 2018 Medical Lake High School Athletic Hall of Fame

    Updated Oct 11, 2018

    • Saturday, Oct. 13 • St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Medical Lake • Social: 5:30 p.m. • Dinner at 6:30 p.m. with induction ceremony to follow • Cost: $20 per person For additional information on the event contact Medical Lake athletics director, Justin Blayne at (509) 565-3291 or via email at [email protected]....

  • Medical Lake announces 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame

    PAUL DELANEY, Staff Reporter|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    The addition of four new members to the Medical Lake High School Athletic Hall of Fame brings the number in the group to 53. They will be honored at halftime of the Oct. 12 Cardinal football game against Riverside, and officially inducted during a dinner on Saturday, Oct. 13. This is the 11th induction into the hall and a tradition that started in 2008 with a group of three graduates — Dana Jensen, Dannie Turnbough and John Jensen — all posthumously inducted after being kil...

  • Running on adrenaline

    SHANNEN TALBOT, Staff Reporter|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Last week I was granted the privilege of spending some time at the Airway Heights Fire Department with a few of its on-duty volunteer firefighters. The day I was there, they didn't receive an onslaught of incessant calls, giving volunteers downtime to clean the station, service fire vehicles and work on training drills. That makes sense, since according to national estimates, firefighters spend just 1 percent of their time engaged in active firefighting. But when that alarm di...

  • Former EWU Deputy Police Chief Gasseling laid to rest

    PAUL DELANEY, Staff Reporter|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Gary Gasseling, the former deputy chief of the Eastern Washington University Campus Police Department and the man with an ever-present smile, was laid to rest on Oct. 6 at the Latah Cemetery in Latah, Wash. following a battle with cancer that took his life Sept. 23. Gasseling, 63, was born in Alliance, Neb. on Feb. 15, 1955 to Kenneth and Orleatha Gasseling. He was raised near Pomeroy, Wash., graduating from Pomeroy High School in 1973. Gasseling enrolled in Washington State...

  • News Briefs

    STAFF AND NEWS SOURCES|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Five injured in SR 902 crash A two-car collision on State Route 902 east of Medical Lake sent five people to the hospital last Friday. According to a Washington State Patrol press memo, a 2014 four-door Honda Accord driven by Eric L. Thompson, 59, of Spokane was eastbound on SR 902 in the westbound lane at approximately 9:51 p.m. near Keene Road. Thompson’s vehicle subsequently struck a 2016 Kia Sedona van driven by Amber M. Hall, 35, of Medical Lake that was traveling west in the westbound lanes. Both Thompson and Hall w...

  • Anthony has District 3 commissioner qualities

    Updated Oct 11, 2018

    I have never known Robbi Katherine Anthony by any other name, but that would have not mattered to me. Regardless of what her name is, it only takes one conversation with her to know that she has a beautiful mind. It takes a special kind of someone to literally invent things (she has patents), maintain multiple businesses and have the courage to run for county commissioner, all at the age of 26. Be she young or old, the people of Spokane County would be lucky to have her as a (District 3) commissioner. I know I am lucky and...

  • Jessa Lewis is needed in government

    Updated Oct 11, 2018

    From the first time I heard Jessa Lewis ask for support in her run for state senator in the Sixth Legislative District in a talk given in Airway Heights I was almost stunned. I remember thinking, “This woman will succeed at whatever she sets her mind to.” And as she spoke on I realized her broad range of life experience has made her committed to elevating people from every sector of society, not just economically but in terms of being valued, by both society and by themselves. I thought, “This is exactly the kind of perso...

  • 'Love Letters' is an excellent character study

    Updated Oct 11, 2018

    If you haven’t already seen StageWest’s current production of A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters,” do yourself a favor and grab some friends to go see it with you this weekend. It’s not a mushy romance, but rather a character study of two people whose lifelong exchange of letters began as children, born to wealth and position, writing thank you notes for birthday gifts and post cards from summer camp. Jamie Javorsky shines as Melissa, a flamboyant woman who does what she darn well pleases, and doesn’t mince words when writing to he...

  • Community response to fire appreciated

    Updated Oct 11, 2018

    We would like to express our most sincere thanks to several people and organizations for their immediate response and assistance involving the wildfire Tuesday at State Route 904 and Mullinex Road. We were staying in the Peaceful Pines RV Park which had to be evacuated due to our proximity to the fire. The outstanding managers of the park, Tracy and Pete, orchestrated a park-wide evacuation on short notice in a calm and organized manner. They followed up by phone and in person and even drove around Cheney to find us all and...

  • Initiatives are grassroots democracy at its best

    FRANK WATSON, Contributor|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Tis the season. We have four seasons in Eastern Washington: basketball season, dry season, fire season and political season. We are slowly making it through the season for politics. As bad as it seems, it could be worse. We could be in a presidential election year. National politics are depressing. Issues don’t seem to matter. Am I the only one who is tired of having my favorite TV program interrupted by candidates bashing each other? If this continues into “Dancing With the Stars,” I am going to scream. How many good peopl...

  • 'Breaking news and Tuesdays' really makes us frown

    PAUL DELANEY, Staff Reporter|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Back in the 1970s, brother and sister pop singing duo Karen and Richard Carpenter had a memorable hit song, “Rainy Days and Mondays.” It seemed to play all the time and lamented that those two times “always get me down.” There’s a paraphrased version here at the Cheney Free Press called, “Breaking news and Tuesdays.” Our retort? They make us frown — and maybe swear, but that doesn’t have the same ring. What do they do? They can get you down, but there’s no time for that becau...

  • What does responsibility mean to me?

    PEBBLES CHOE, Contributor|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    My name is Pebbles Choe, and I have attended the Medical Lake School District for my entire young school life. And currently I attend Medical Lake High School as a freshman. Last year, while I was attending Medical Lake Middle School, I had the honor of receiving PACE Student of the Month and later PACE Student of the Year based on the attribute “Responsibility.” I have learned a lot from middle school and all of the teachers were extremely kind and helpful. I also became more responsible as a student and as a person. Whi...

  • Unexpected visitors

    Carlene Hardt|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    You never know what you are going to see at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. A flock of Great Egrets (also known as the common egret, large egret, great white egret or great white heron) were passing through Turnbull on their way south for the winter. A couple of them are still hanging around. They are a uncommon sight, and a great surprise for birdwatchers....

  • Record yields for 2018 Eastern Washington wheat crop

    PAUL DELANEY, Staff Reporter|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    The first indication that the 2018 wheat harvest has been pretty good for farmers across the northern tier of Washington state is visible to those who travel Interstate 90 near Four Lakes. There, at the silos of Highline Grain's loading facility are two equally large piles of grain that have no place to stay inside either the concrete towers or steel tanks. "If we were going to categorize this year, I'd say (it's been) better than average, everywhere," Paul Katovich, CEO of...

  • A royal evening

    John McCallum|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Nathan Hagreen and Sara Nanny were crowned as Cheney High School's Homecoming royalty during halftime of Friday night's football game with East Valley. The Blackhawks easily downed the Knights 36-0....

  • Eastern Washington welcomes largest first-time freshman class

    Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Eastern Washington University has enrolled a record number of first-time freshman for the fall 2018 quarter, and the overall student body headcount and diversity remain strong. The freshman class this year totals 1,758 new students. This not only surpasses last year’s total by 123 students, or 7.5 percent, but also breaks the previous first-time freshman record of 1,711 set in 2015. “I’m delighted to welcome the largest-ever freshman class to Eastern this fall,” EWU President Mary Cullinan said in an Oct. 8 news release...

  • Lloyd exhibit asks us to confront prejudice of all sorts

    John McCallum, Managing Editor|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Photographer Robert Lloyd's "Path to Tolerance: Mixing Media, Messages, and Metaphors" exhibit at Eastern Washington University's Downtown Student Gallery is all about pointing out the prejudice within us. Even in places and over things we might not suspect ourselves of having any hidden bias toward - or against. The former EWU professor, who taught photography for 30 years at the university along with being a founder and curator of three different photography galleries, featu...

  • Cheney students struggle with Common Core

    SHANNEN TALBOT, Staff Reporter|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Cheney residents looking at the state's 2018 test scores may be alarmed, as the average score on standardized assessments for incoming sixth- and ninth-graders nosedived from the mid-70s to the low 40s and 50s. But Cheney School District officials insist all is not as it appears, chalking up the dip in scores to changing testing standards thanks to the recently instituted "Common Core" curriculum. Cheney students haven't lost knowledge and teachers haven't stopped teaching...

  • Boundless

    John McCallum|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Cheney High School drill team member Sienna Spencer performs with the Blackhawks marching band during halftime of last Friday's Homecoming game against East Valley. The band's show, which they also perform in competitions, is entitled "Know No Bounds."...

  • 'Moving Wall' discussion dominates ML Council

    PAUL DELANEY, Staff Reporter|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    The planned visit of the Moving Wall Vietnam War tribute next June will have the blessing and backing of the city of Medical Lake. Just how that happens, however, will remain somewhat up in the air following the Oct. 2 meeting of the Medical Lake City Council. After much discussion, a motion was eventually presented with very broad language to support the wall. “I don’t even know how to say it,” Mayor Shirley Maike said when crafting the language on which to vote. A 4-1 vote a...

  • High-speed car chase in Airway Heights

    SHANNEN TALBOT, Staff Reporter|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    The Airway Heights Police Department engaged in a high-speed vehicle pursuit on Oct. 3, chasing a suspect in multiple stolen vehicles all over the city before apprehending him along Highway 2. The pursuit began on South Lawson Street when 29-year-old Bryan D. Gilbert-Maple stole an unattended silver Mitsubishi that was left running in front of a residence, according to a news release. Police followed Gilbert-Maple for several blocks but terminated the pursuit near Sunset Elementary. The stolen vehicle was traveling at more...

  • Commission OKs Alki land swap

    John McCallum, Managing Editor|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Expressing feelings of frustration, Cheney's Planning Commission approved a request during a public hearing at its Sept. 10 meeting to swap the zoning of land along Alki Street slated to be developed into a 224-unit apartment complex. The commission approved the request by Whipple Consulting Engineers, representing owner Defender Development, 5-0, with commission chair Vince Barthels recusing himself due to a conflict with the owner. The request involves changing the zoning...

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