Articles from the December 21, 2023 edition


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  • Council defers sign code changes

    Matthew Stephens, Valley Herald|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    LIBERTY LAKE – The city has been discussing some amendments to city code for several months in 2023. Director of Planning, Engineering and Building, Lisa Key brought a presentation to council on Dec. 5. Council voted 7-0 to push the proposed amendments into next year’s sign code rewrite in 2024. This plan outlined some proposed changes to the city sign code along with several other projects including . Key told council she was looking for guidance with these amendments, not for council to adopt the proposals at that tim...

  • City Council denies grant requests

    Clare McGraw, Valley Herald|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    SPOKANE VALLEY – The City Council reviewed grant funding requests during its Dec. 12 meeting. City Budget Analyst Sarah Farr and Accounting and Finance Program Manager Gloria Mantz presented Behavioral Health and Human Trafficking grant funding proposals. The programs were among several vying for funds from the city. Farr said that an award capped at $1 million would be granted to agencies securing four or more supporting votes from the Council. Those receiving three or fewer votes were not eligible for a grant award. The s...

  • Residents to pay more to license vehicles

    Clare McGraw, Valley Herald|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    SPOKANE VALLEY – The city will begin collecting a $20 fee on license plate tabs to fund road repairs. A divided City Council voted 4-3 on Dec. 12, to levy the fee to help pay for $8 million in proposed road repairs around the city. Council members Laura Padden, Brandi Peetz and Ben Wick opposed the tax proposed by Eric Lamb through a $20 fee ordinance. According to Lamb, the estimated annual tax collection from the fee is approximately $2.785 million, with collection set to begin July 1, 2024. Councilwoman Laura Padden expres...

  • New resource available for youth around area

    Matthew Stephens, Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    CHENEY – The state Department of health has added a new online resource to help youth and families. The Teen Health Hub is a new website the department will be expanding. Currently, the site has members of the Youth Advisory Council offering information on multiple topics. According to the Coordinator of the TALK 2 Healthy Choices Coalition, Jessica Deutsch, the information includes behavioral health, primary health care, sexual and reproductive health, teen dating, violence prevention and more. Through the year, coalition m...

  • Liberty boys, girls basketball teams top Broncos

    Roger Harnack, Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    RITZVILLE – The Liberty (Spangle) boys and girls basketball teams brought home wins Dec. 12 over Northeast 2B rival Lind-Ritzville/Sprague. The boys won, 68-57; the girls, 51-41. In the boys game, a fourth quarter Liberty rally lifted the Lancers to victory. In that quarter Liberty put up 22 points, but the Broncos could only muster 9. Lance Williamson led all scorers with 22 points for the Broncos. Liberty’s Thomas Domrese led his team with 21. In the girls game, the Lancers came out on fire, racking up a 13-point lead in...

  • Radio station still broadcasting at Eastern Washington University

    Matthew Stephens, Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    CHENEY – The campus commercial jazz radio station, 89.5 FM, that was set to be shut down at year’s end will continue running into 2024. No final date for the station’s permanent closure has been established, but university officials said they anticipate extending operations through the rest of this academic year. The extension will allow the college to deal with the licensing and equipment complexities, officials said. This will also mean less disruptions for the college and students. During the transition, the station will...

  • Council members honored at final meeting

    Valley News Herald|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    SPOKANE VALLEY – Outgoing City Council members Arne Woodard and Brandi Peetz were recognized for their contributions last week. The recognition came during their final meeting as members. City Manager John Hohman expressed his gratitude and admiration for both members. “Arne has been a strong advocate for our business community and brought passion and vision to many city initiatives, including transportation, parks, land use and comprehensive planning, just to name a few,” Hohman said. “The impact of his work will continu...

  • ­McKenney stands out in Cheney gymnastics

    Paul Delaney, Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    CHENEY – Saddled with limited numbers, Cheney gymnastics had a bright spot emerge Dec. 13 in the season’s first Greater Spokane League meet. Co-op team member Makaila McKenney of Medical Lake finished third in vault with a score of 8.225, behind the 8.975 from Jacquie Bonnett of Mount Spokane. “(Makaila) did really well at her first meet,” Coach Melissa Linton said. “Vault is one of her strongest events. She works hard at it and is currently working on upgrading to an even m...

  • Throw this idea at the wall…

    Paul Delaney|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    — Editor’s note: Yet another controversial year in determining the four teams who will play for the national championship of the Football Bowl Subdivision is at hand. We revisit a column written in December 2011 that suggested a possible way to construct a true playoff based on rankings and utilizing the existing bowl games. It’s not unlike the Football Championship Subdivision in which Eastern Washington plays.) Roos Field sat in the evening chill, dark but silhouetted by th...

  • Girls League

    Updated Dec 21, 2023

    More than 100 girls participated Dec. 13 in the second league wrestling meet at Liberty High School (above). And on Tuesday, Dec. 19, the number increased to nearly 150 wrestlers, including the growing Cheney Blackhawks team, which now has 13 girls. At right, Cheney's Crysta Rice uses an arm to pull Kettle Falls wrestler Kendra McGovern to her back in a 155-pound match. Rice won by pin; her first-ever victory on the mat....

  • Holling, Wakai win matches at Tri-State

    Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    COEUR d’ALENE, IDAHO -- Two Spangle wrestlers won matches at the Tri-State tournament Friday, Dec. 15. Ren Wakai went 1-2 at the tournament at 132 pounds. Clae Holling went 2-2 at 170 pounds. Wakai pinned Quinton O’Bannon of University in 1:10, but lost to Drayden Gaither of Moses Lake and Talin Kerr of Anacortes. Holling pinned Robert Ochoa of Richland in 2:25 and Aram Garnick of Royal in 1:37. He lost to Hunter Taylor of Chiawana (Pasco) and Noah Holman of Gonzaga Prep....

  • Cheney boys split in games

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    CHENEY -- The Blackhawks boys basketball team split a pair of non-league games last week, losing Dec. 12 at Lewis and Clark, 59-43, before topping Shadle Park, 61-52, at home Dec. 16. Once again, a slow start sunk the Blackhawks (2-4) into a deep hole. LC’s 16-5 edge in the first quarter set the stage for the Tigers to lead 33-20 at half. “It’s never easy to play from behind early like we did at LC,” head coach Travis Peevey wrote in an email. “We have to come ready to play a...

  • Cardinal girls improve to 6-0

    Paul Delaney, Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    MEDICAL LAKE – The Medical Lake girls' basketball team ran its preseason record to a perfect 6-0 following wins last week against Greater Spokane League Rogers, Northeast A League Newport and 2B St. Georges. Using a dominating third quarter and outscoring the Prates 25-4 to break a 21-all tie at halftime, the Cardinals won going away 63-32 at Rogers, Dec. 12. Medical Lake capped the week with a 40-24 win against NEA foe, Newport, Dec. 15 and 46-30 at St. Georges', Dec. 18. A...

  • Busy week for Cheney wrestlers

    Paul Delaney, Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    CHENEY – In ­what might be termed their toughest week of wrestling outside what could occur in February at district, regional and state competition but Cheney exited the gauntlet with a number of plusses. Wrestling on back-to-back nights on Dec. 13-14, the Blackhawks came away with a split in Greater Spokane League competition, losing to Mount Spokane 42-34 before handling Central Valley by the same score. To cap the week the Blackhawks were at the Tri-State tournament in Co...

  • Eastern Briefs

    Updated Dec 21, 2023

    Kyman named the Big Sky Player of the Week FARMINGTON, Utah — Eastern Washington University guard Jake Kyman has been named Big Sky Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, as announced by the conference on Dec. 12. Kyman paced the Eagles in their important 73-68 road win over the Air Force Falcons on Saturday, scoring a career-high 25 points for the second consecutive game. The grad transfer sharpshooter shot 6-for-10 from the field and 4-for-6 from beyond the arc while converting 9-of-10 chances from the free thr...

  • Coaches teach more than football

    Updated Dec 21, 2023

    At this time of the year, I usually take time to reflect on the several years I was associated with the game of football. Contrary to what some people think, football coaches teach their players much more than how to block and tackle. Coaches are teachers who use football as a vehicle to instill in their players the essential attributes of character, citizenship, and ethics. My first coach had instructions for almost every occasion. He would recite them and post different ones in the locker room. My favorite was, “Focus d... Full story

  • Cardinal boys top Grizzlies

    Paul Delaney, Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    MEDICAL LAKE – The Cardinal boys basketball team had a pair of one-sided losses wrap themselves around a win last week. While the Cardinals were thumped by Greater Spokane League, Rogers 70-26, Dec. 12 and 2B St. George's, 73-35, Dec. 18, they did win handily in their Northeast A League opener vs. Newport, 57-37, Dec. 15. "They punched us in the mouth," head coach Brett Ward wrote in a text message regarding Rogers, which led 21-5 after the first quarter. Trailing at halftime...

  • Cheney girls 'adjust,' dunk Shadle Park

    Paul Delaney, Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    SPOKANE — The Cheney girls let Shadle Park have the lead for one quarter last Saturday afternoon before shutting the door on the visitors to claim a 58-44 non-league basketball victory, Dec. 16 at home. The win, Cheney’s second of the season in six games, gave them a 1-1 record for the week following a 43-30 loss at Lewis and Clark, Dec. 12. The Blackhawks trailed 15-14 to the Highlanders (0-5) after the opening eight minutes but then gave up just 11 points in the next two...

  • Cardinals compete in Newport JV tournament

    Cheney Free Press|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    NEWPORT - Ian Steege brought home a silver medal Saturday, Dec. 16, from the Newport JV tournament. Wrestling at 190 pounds, he opened by pinning Lincoln Koyama of Ferris in 1:11 and then Payton Hauser-Plumb of Hanford in 48 seconds. In his third bout, he won by medical forfeit over teammate Ivan Rolle of Medical Lake. In his fourth match, he lost by technical fall, 24-9 in 4:00) to Dillon Mareth of Deer Park. He then pinned teammate Ethan Bales of Medical Lake in 2:21 in his...

  • Local boy given award

    Matthew Stephens, Valley Herald|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    SPOKANE VALLEY – A local child was given a service award during the Dec. 11 Fire Commission meeting. Eight-year-old Leonel Bermudez was presented with a Life Saving Award for his heroic actions that helped save his mother's life on July 5, 2023. Bermudez, who was nominated by Spokane Valley Engine Nine Captain Josh Loftin, showcased remarkable composure and maturity during a medical emergency, earning him recognition from the Spokane Valley Fire Department. Monica Bermudez, L...

  • One arrested, one injured in crash

    Valley News Herald|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    SPOKANE VALLEY – One person was hurt and one arrested in a DUI-related crash Dec. 19 on Pines Street, also known as state Highway 27. Oleg A. Dyfort, 46, of Spokane is facing a charge of vehicular assault in a head-on crash that occurred on Pines Avenue at 12:17 p.m. Meanwhile, Connie L. Russell, 65, of Spokane, was injured and transported to Holy Family Hospital. According to the Washington State Patrol, Dyfort was northbound on Pines Street in a 2010 Chevrolet Silverado at the time of the crash. Russell was southbound in a...

  • New engine joining fleet

    Matthew Stephens, Valley Herald|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    SPOKANE VALLEY – A project that took several years of planning will be finalized and part of the Spokane Valley Fire Department fleet in March of next year. A Pierce Pumper, built in Wisconsin, will soon be known as "Engine 8" once it officially joins the city fleet. According to Deputy Fire Chief Tom Hatley, the process of getting the new truck started in 2019, when fire and shop personnel formed an apparatus committee. The truck was designed by the city shop workers. The m...

  • Ridgeline competes in multi-school cheer showdown

    Clare McGraw|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    Ridgeline's competitive cheer team performed at Joel E. Ferris High School's gymnasium along with 16 other teams on Saturday, December 16. The Falcons are going to the Washington State Cheer Coaches Association at Battle Ground High School on February 3 2024. Ferris cheer took home two first place trophies in the "Game Day" and "Traditional" routines....

  • Ridgeline girls wrestling

    Roger Harnack|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    Jayden Snyder of Ridgeline runs an arm bar for a near fall and pin over Cora Murray of Mount Spokane during the Dec. 19 girls league wrestling meet at Rogers High School. More than 130 girls turned out for the competition. Girls wrestling returns to Rogers on Saturday for the M2 Mallet tournament....

  • New rules coming for floating docks

    Valley News Herald|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    LIBERTY LAKE – Floating dock and walkway owners will have a new rule to contend with beginning Jan. 1. According to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the agency will begin requiring the plastic foam used in floating docks and walkways to be fully encased. The agency will require all such foam to be covered in concrete, steel, aluminum or plastic to prevent pieces from breaking off and floating away, officials said. The state won’t initially mandate replacement of existing foam structures, but will require them to...

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