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By Lucas Walsh
Cheney Free Press 

A look back at 2022


Last updated 1/11/2023 at 1:01pm

2022 was a year of change and growth for the members of the Cheney Free Press. Reporters, interns, employees, came and went. Every member of our team left an important mark on the press and on our community. Here we take a brief look at some of the ups and downs of 2022 in the press.


Presents with a Purpose serves 80 Cheney students this year

By Sarah Stephens

Sarah wrote this piece on Cheney resident Andrew Graham, a 26 year old real estate agent who started Presents With a Purpose.

“His organization began three years ago serving children of all ages in many areas, including Cheney. “We provide Christmas presents for kids in the school district. I meet with the principals and counselors to determine which kids are in need of Christmas presents and get them the items on their Christmas wish list.” he said.”

This story was a leading piece in our Jan. 06 issue.


Cheney police start using body cameras

Jonathan Olsen-Koziol

In our Mar. 17 issue, we reported the upcoming usage of body cameras to the Cheney police department. The changes took place on March 21.

“The news of the addition to their apparel was announced during a city briefing on Tuesday, March 8.

“The implementation of body-worn cameras is an example of the police department’s commitment to being transparent with our community,” Chief John Hensley said. Additionally, the officers of the Cheney Police Department have overwhelmingly embraced the use of the cameras and understand their need in policing today.””


A gas leak leads to evacuation of Salnave Elementary and residents

Bob Kirkpatrick

One of our former editors covered this story of a gas leak on Tuesday Jun. 29. The leak occurred near Salnave Elementary and led to the evacuation of staff and nearby residents. “Cheney Fire Department and emergency personnel responded to the incident around 10 a.m. after receiving a call from the Cheney School District.”


Williams Lake Fire chars nearly 1,900 acres

Roger Harnack

“A fire that prompted evacuation notices Aug. 3 is still burning south of the city.

The Northwest Interagency Fire Center reported Tuesday, Aug. 9, that the Williams Lake Fire had charred 1,868 acres southeast of Badger Lake, south of the intersection of Rock Lake and Cheney-Plaza roads.”

For context, The largest fire in state history was the 2014 Carlton Complex Fire, which burned 256,108 acres on mostly public-owned lands managed by the state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service.


Lenny’s restaurant closes after almost 50 years

Lucas Walsh

“Lenny’s Classic Restaurant has closed down and will go up for sale at the end of October. Owner Allan Gainer cites economic shifts such as inflation and a reduction in expendable income as factors in his decision to close the business.

Rising food costs also took a toll on the sustainability of the restaurant. In the past, Lenny’s was known for its milkshakes, Stromboli, and the popular “bag’o burgers.” All of these items were revived by Gainer when he acquired the business in 2021.”


Cheney Cohousing plans to build in northern development if UGA swap proceeds

Lucas Walsh

Cheney Cohousing, in the process of being incorporated, plans to develop an area in the north of Cheney if the UGA land swap is approved by the county next year.

Normal Paradise LLC. is the company that currently owns a 10-acre plot of land in the northeast area of Cheney on the corner of Normal park and Paradise Rd. This is the plot that is being considered for a “cohousing” development.

Author Bio

Lucas Walsh, Managing Editor

Lucas is the managing editor at the Cheney Free Press. He is a nationally published author who contributes regularly to several publications across the country and abroad.

Phone: 509-235-6184


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