Cheney Free Press -

Looking Back


December 13, 2018

10 Years Ago

Dec. 11, 2008

When a few Medical Lake City Council members suggested the creation of a 24/7 fire service despite a lack of funds to provide for even one full-time fire employee, questions were raised addressing whether or not the volunteer fire and emergency medical services department could continue to work at its existing capacity and still meet the needs of the community. The department missed about 10 percent of its calls in November 2008, partly due to plummeting volunteer numbers.

The Ice Age Floods Institute’s Cheney-Spokane chapter announced plans to build an interpretive center in Cheney, where visitors could be educated about the geological significance of the West Plains.

Eastern Washington University hosted its first annual Lego League Robotics competition for children aged 9 – 14. The theme for 2008 was the impact of climate change.

20 Years Ago

Dec. 10, 1998

Cheney High School’s full-time athletic trainer — one of the only ones in the state — discussed the emergence and growing importance of professional athletic trainers at the high school level in order to benefit students’ long-term health and well-being.

Following a steady stream of complaints from the neighborhoods surrounding Medical Lake High School, students and administrators struggled to avoid going to a closed-campus policy. Smoking, loitering and littering were repeatedly reported along the side streets near the high school.

The Cheney High School girls basketball team opened its 1998-1999 season with two resounding victories — a 55-42 win against Shadle Park and a 44-35 triumph over Lake City.

30 Years Ago

Dec. 15, 1988

Several different parties stepped forward expressing interest in the old Cheney library building following the City Council’s announcement that the building, deemed “dangerous” due to structural deficiencies, would be demolished.

The city of Cheney planned to continue employing an economic development specialist, despite disagreement among the ranks regarding how the position would be funded.

The Cheney Blackhawks’ football team closed out its most successful season in the school’s history, with seven seniors earing individual honors at the team’s annual awards banquet.

40 Years Ago

Dec. 14, 1978

The state Department of Social and Health Services announced that a vacant Air Force barrackes located at Geiger Field would be renovated for use as a 150-bed state and county work release facility. Spokane County was given about $310,000 to help fund the what would eventually be a three-acre complex.

The Medical Lake School District wrote to the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s office expressing concerns over their contractual relationship with the state. Most of the concerns centered around the loss of school funds.

A slippery, snowy First Avenue in Cheney led to a three-car collision and a total of $2,000 in damages when multiple cares were unable to stop due to the icy conditions. No one was injured in the accident.

50 Years Ago

Dec. 12, 1968.

The Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge designated an area for public skating on Spangle Road about three and a half miles south of Cheney. The decision allowed for ice skating during daylight hours and was set to be opened as soon as the ice thickened up.

A 90-unit apartment complex under construction on State Highway 195 was covered in a thick layer of snow as fall turned to winter. The building cost about $1.2 million and managers planned to rent out the one, two and three-bedroom units for anywhere from $100-175 per month.

The Cheney Free Press printed several local children’s letters to Santa. Many of the letters thanked Mr. Claus for the gifts he brought the previous year an assured the big man in red of the children’s continued good behavior. Gift requests ranged from an accordion to matchbox cars to “a cat and a dog.”


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