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Spokane Valley

Archive for June 2013

Today’s highlights

A goat waiting to be milked reacts as more goats push past Lorie Arnold, owner of Heron Pond Farm, and Corey Zalewski, left, who try to keep them from invading the milking room on Monday. Arnold said the goats typically are excited to be milked and some will try to force their way past others for a turn. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

Good Thursday morning, everyone. As we brace for Hoopfest and some really hot weather, let's take a look at some highlights from today's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by Heron Pond Farm to meet the goats behind thar specialty cheeses that are sold in local stores and featured in the menus of local restaurants. Apparently the goats are pretty pushy when milking time rolls around.

New shoreline rules being considered in Spokane Valley would give the green light to the Trailside at Coyote Rock development that has been stalled since 2011. There has been some dispute over the ordinary high water mark in the area and a ruling in 2011 meant that the proposed Trailside homes fell within the 200 foot buffer from that mark. The new rules would shrink the buffer to 50 feet in that area.

Correspondent Cindy Hval checked out the new Sideline socks that feature distintive elements from Spokane's skyline in the colors of Gonzaga University, Washington State University, the Spokane Shock and Lewis and Clark High School. You can look for them at Hoopfest.

Fire District 8 special meeting today

The Spokane County Fire District 8 board of commissioners will hold a speical meeting today at 5:30 p.m. at Station 82, 12100 E. Palouse Highway. The purpose of the meeting is to interview candidates that have applied to fill the vacant commissioner seat. The public is invited to attend.

And speaking of special meetings, the one last night on the County's Saltese Flats plan was a bit of a doozy. There was some shouting and strong opinions voiced. Look for a story in Saturday's Valley Voice for the full details.

Saltese Flats meeting tonight

Spokane County will host a public meeting tonight to talk about their planned wetland restoration project in the Saltese Flats. The meeting will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Valley Real Life Ministries, 1831 S. Barker Road. This project doesn't involved any treated wastewater being piped in, it's the redirection of natural runoff. You can find more information on the project online at www.spokanecounty.org/salteseflats.

Newman Lake milfoil treatment this week

Spokane County is scheduled to do a milfoil treatment on Newman Lake this week, weather permitting. People are asked to stay off the lake until Friday to allow the chemical time to work properly against the invasive aquatic plant. A map of the treatment area is available at http://www.nlfczd.org.

Saturday’s highlights

Photos and flowers are seen in the Pines Cemetery’s Mausoleum on Wednesday. Fairmount Memorial Association has acquired the Pines Cemetery and South Pines Cemetery. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

The wet weather returned again today, but we have some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice to keep us entertained while we stay dry. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on Pines Cemetery and South Pines Cemetery being purchased by the Fairmount Memorial Association. The Pines Cemetery has been run by the Opportunity Cemetery Association since 1910. The South Pines Cemetery opened in 2007.

The city of Spokane Valley is considering new regulations on shoreline development as part of its state mandated update of the Shoreline Master Program. Last week the city council and the city's planning commission had a joint meeting to go over the draft regulations. A public hearing and an open house will be held in July.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a story on longtime East Valley cross country and track and field coach Dave McCarty. He has been with the district as a teacher and a coach for 36 years. He was also a star athlete in the district as a student.

DUI patrols this weekend

Special DUI emphasis patrols are planned for all over Eastern Washington this weekend, so line up a designated driver if you plan to be drinking. The Washington State Patrol will have their mobile DUI processing trailer in downtown Spokane during Hoopfest this weekend. The special emphasis patrol is being funded by a grant from the Washington Safety Traffic Commission.

In addition to the WSP, other participating agencies include the Spokane Police Department, Spokane County Sheriff's Office, Spokane Valley Police Department, Cheney Police Department, EWU Police Department, City of Airway Heights Police Department, Republic Police Department, Ferry County Sheriff's Office and Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office.

But don't relax after this weekend. The special patrols will continue through July 7.

Today’s highlights

Greenacres Middle School eighth-grader Zach Windhorst salutes Friday after performing with teacher Dana Hilpert and her dog Murphy. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Welcome to wet and rainy Thursday. Today is a good day to stay inside and have that second cup of coffee while checking out highlights from today's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by Greenacres Middle School on the last day of school to check out their annual talent show. The singers, dancers and one dog strutted their stuff in the gym.

The Spokane Valley City Council had their annual day-long budget workshop this week. The city is looking for expenses and revenues to both increase a little more than 4 percent in 2014, but there is a long list of capital projects wanting attention. First among them is the replacement of the west Sullivan Road bridge.

St. Mary's Catholic Church is celebrating its 100th anniversary this week with a special Mass and potluck dinner Friday night. Current and former church members are invited to attend.

Lisa has another great story on two Central Valley High School students who created a bench using truck tailgates and tire rims. It was such a success that Greg Van Doren and Cory Jones are looking into starting a business to sell similar items.

Spokane Valley Council budget retreat

This is just a reminder that the Spokane Valley City Council will host their annual budget workshop Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave. The public is welcome to attend the meeting, which will focus on planning and the 2014 budget. I plan to be there, so don't expect any activity on the blog tomorrow.

Saturday’s highlights

Opportunity Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Laurie Spence and students dance the Dabke, a traditional Lebanese dance, during International Day on Wednesday in Spokane Valley. The five-step dance is often performed at weddings. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Good Monday morning, everyone. It sounds like we need to get our dose of sunshine in today before the clouds come back for the rest of the week. Meanwhile, we have some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by Opportunity Elementary School last week when they were celebrating International Day. Students learned about the culture of various countries and tried samples of traditional foods.

If your usual driving route includes Pines Road, you have probably already noticed that it is under construction. The Washington Department of Transportation is grinding and repaving the road, which is known as Highway 27 south of 16th Avenue. The repaving will be done between 32nd Avene and Montgomery Drive. There will be patching and crack sealing between Montgomery and Trent. Construction and lane restrictions will be during the overnight hours beginning at 7 p.m.

Lisa also has a story on University High School principal Alan Robbins, who just finished his first year on the job. He has spent a lot of his time getting to know the district and his students.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich reassured Rockford residents last week that he won't abandon them even though the town hasn't paid the bill for its law enforcement services contract. The town is still trying to come up with the money to pay the $32,000 bill.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a report from Millwood, where the town council talked about a water line running underneath property recently vacated for a Millwood Presbyterian Church construction project. There are also parking improvements coming to Buckeye Ave. between Argonne and Vista roads.

Live fire training Saturday

Residents near Spokane County Fire District 8 Station 82 on the Palouse Highway in Valleyford shouldn't be alarmed if they see smoke rising into the air tomorrow. The district will be doing some live fire training at the station Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. Firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources and the Bureau of Land Management will also be participating.

You need a cat, don’t you?

The kitty doors are bursting at the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service, so the shelter is offering free cats to good homes today and Satuday. One hundred and three cats have come in since June 1 and they need someone to feed them, pet them and snuggle with them. I highly recommend warm, purring lap kitties as a sleep aid.

The adoption fees are waived and every cat gets free microchipping, spaying/neutering and vaccinations. All you have to do is pay for a $15 license and you can take a cat home. Shelter hours are from noon to 5:30 p.m. both days. The shelter is located at 2521 N. Flora Road. Go forth and adopt!

Today’s highlights

The shoreline reinforcement project at a Newman Lake cabin stops the shore from disappearing under it, as seen Tuesday. The Spokane County Conservation District secured a grant to lay “bio logs” of coconut husks wrapped in netting and plant willow trees and other waterside species to create a root matrix that will stabilize the shoreline. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

There are some good stories in today's Valley Voice on everything from erosion control to an entry in the East Farms Diary. A property owner on Newman Lake has teamed up with the Spokane County Conservation District for an erosion control project on their shrinking beach. The addition of power boats to the lake has led to larger wakes, which has washed away 30 feet of beach in the last 15 years.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger spent the day at East Farms STEAM Magnet School recently as students made presentations on projects they have been working on this trimester. Their efforts ranged from watermelon plants to a helicopter mockup.

Half of the Liberty Lake Police Department is now wearing body cameras and recording all their interactions with the public. Wearing the cameras is voluntary and five members of the department have signed on, including the police chief.

The Spokane Valley City Council doesn't seem very happy with changes to the lodging tax rules. A new state law removes the final decision making on who is awarded money and how much from the city council and gives it to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. The council has no power to change the awards set by the committee.

Rockford town hall meeting tonight

There will be a town hall meeting with Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich tonight in Rockford. All area residents are invited to attend and ask questions at the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at the McIntosh Grange at First and Lake Street.

Newman Lake property owners meeting

The Newman Lake Property Owners Association is planning a meeting for Wednesday night to discuss, in part, an erosion control project put in place on one Newman Lake property by the Spokane County Conservation District. There will also be a presentation by Newman Lake Fire and Rescue and a discussion on milfoil removal. All Newman Lake property owners are invited to attend and bring something for the dessert potluck.

The meeting will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Tri-Community Grange on Starr Road.

Saturday’s highlights

Gretchen DeRusha, left, models one of her own wigs for the five Locks of Love donors in a fourth-grade class Thursday at South Pines Elementary. DeRusha, a cancer patient in remission, is a retired school district speech and language pathologist and she presented the girls with certificates for their generosity. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Good Monday morning, everyone. It's time to put out noses to the grindstone again and also time to take a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Kids, take notice. Spokane Valley pools open for the season this weekend and Splash Down begins daily operations this week.

Last week Ponderosa resident Chris Desborough returned from a 500 mile bike ride to Canada and back to raise money for Spokane County Fire District 8. A team of firefighters and paramedics saved his life in 2010 when his heart stopped beating and he's had a defibrillator and pacemaker in his chest ever since. He was back at work the day after his five day marathon ride, though he said he wasn't sitting down much.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger recently talked to a group of students at South Pines Elementary who donated their hair through the Locks of Love program. One of the girls was inspired to donate because of a neighbor who was diagnosed with cancer. Several of her friends have also donated.

SCRAPS will host an open house at 10 a.m. Saturday at what will be the new regional animal shelter once remodeling is complete. The building is located at 6815 E. Trent. There will be animals avaiable for adoption as well as entertainment, face painting, raffles and more.

Fire District 9 demonstration day

Spokane County Fire District 9, which stretches above the northern city limits of Spokane and Spokane Valley, will host a demonstration day and wellness fair Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3801 E. Farwell Road. Firefighters will be demonstrating auto extrications, high-angle rescues and extinguishing fires. Smokey the Bear the be there and residents can exchange old burn barrels, which are now illegal, for compost bins.

As part of the wellness fair residents can get free chair massages, glucose and bone density screenings and blood pressure checks. Various vendors will also be participating.

Today’s highlights

Good news! It's almost Friday. The arrival of Thursday, of course, means from Valley Voice highlights. This week photographer Colin Mulvany took some fabulous photos of high-angle rope rescue training put on by the Spokane Valley Fire Department. Deputy Chief Andy Hail volunteered to be “rescued” from a water tower and be lowered 200 feet to the ground in a gurney.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on West Valley High School student Tonya Lewis. Her iPod photo titled “Pathway to Happiness” won first place in the landscape category of the Photographic Society of America's international photo contest.

Spokane County recently submitted a 100-year flood plain map of the Saltese Flats area to the Federal Emergency Management Agency so the county can move forward with a project to rechannel runoff from Mica Peak to restore wetlands. The County submitted the map without the participation of the city of Spokane Valley, which is involved because any floodwaters from the flats would end up inside city limits. The city has concerns about some of the data included in the county's analysis.

The yard sales are coming

The giant Liberty Lake Community Yard sale is coming on Saturday, so it's time to get ready. The map of sale locations is expected to be released online later today at www.libertylakesplash.com/yardsales. On the day of the sale the map will be available at sale locations and at the Liberty Lake Portal at Mission Ave. and Molter Road. Commercial vendors will be set up on Settler Drive next to Pavillion Park and some sales will be set up in the park.

The sale is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Satuday. Expect a lot of traffic and difficulty finding parking spots as well as some good deals. Happy shopping!

Wildland fire training without the fire

Firefighter Tom Carleton of Spokane Valley’s Ladder 10 walks through a charred hillside during a wildland fire training session in June 2012 in Spokane Valley. SR file photo.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department will do wildland fire training this week at the same location where they trained last year, but this time they won't be practicing putting out a fire. Instead they'll be digging fire lines and practicing fire shelter deployment, hose lays and truck operations.

Residents near the hill that is north of Wellesley Ave. and east of Argonne Road should expect to see a lot of firefighters coming and going, but there won't be any smoke or flames to deal with. The training is expected to run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Saturday’s highlights

East Valley High School student Sierra Nalder, in black, acts the part of drunken driver while she looks at a bloody mock crash on Thursday on the road outside the school. The mock crash, staged in front of the student body with firefighters, law enforcement and even funeral home personnel, illustrated the consequences of drinking and driving. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Happy Monday, everyone. After a too short weekend, we're all back again to take a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. First up is a story a mentioned last week on the recent mock crash at East Valley High School. It was an emotional experience for some as they watched fellow students act out the aftermath of a drunk driving accident. Copious amounts of fake blood was used to set the scene.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger talked to the Horizon Middle School Math is Cool team after they recently won the state championship. Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a rundown of the farmers markets in the Spokane Valley area, including the new Veradale Farmers Market.

The town of Liberty Lake will host its huge annual community garage sale on Saturday, so be prepared for heavy traffic and scarce parking. After Wednesday you can find a map of participating sales at www.libertylakesplash.com/yardsales.

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About this blog

Welcome to the Spokane Valley blog. Here we cover news, events and information from the greater Spokane Valley area, including Millwood, Otis Orchards, Liberty Lake, Newman Lake, Rockford and Fairfield.

Stop by often to find stories, information on events received too late to print in the Valley Voice and breaking news.

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