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Spokane Valley

Posts tagged: Liberty Lake

Burn restrictions in Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Millwood

Well, this isn't really a surprise. The Spokane Valley Fire Department fire marshal has issued burn restrictions for Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Millwood. After so much hot and dry weather, it wouldn't take much to spark a wildfire. All open burning and most types of recreational fires are banned. Backyard barbecues, portable outdoor fireplaces and other patio/deck warmers are still allowed.

The burning restrictions will last until the fire danger drops. You can check out the fire department web site for more details.

Saturday’s highlights

Deputy Chief Larry Rider looks at the workmanship and materials inside the new Spokane Valley fire station going up in the 6300 block of East Sprague Avenue Wednesday. Station 6 will serve the area that extends west to Havana Street and east approximately 1.5 miles. It is scheduled to open in November. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

We're checking another Monday off the calendar, which means it is time to take a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Construction of Spokane Valley Fire Department's Station 6 has been delayed and is now expected to be complete in mid-November. The old Station 6 was torn down in March to make way for a new building.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has information on some restructuring going on in Liberty Lake. Longtime community development director Doug Smith has “parted ways” with the city. Smith had worked for the city since 2001 and had been functioning as the city administrator.

Last week's election results showed the replacement maintenance and operations levies of Spokane County Fire District 9 and the Spokane Valley Fire Department passing easily. The levies accounted for more than half the annual budget of both organizations, so the affirmative vote comes as a relief.

Assault rifle stolen from murder victim’s apartment

Family members of a man killed in Western Washington two weeks ago found his newly purchased assault rifle missing from his Liberty Lake apartment when they arrived to pack up his belongings. Ryan Crews Mumm, 20, was reportedly attending Spokane Community College. Police are investigating the burglary. Reporter Meghann Cuniff has more details on her blog here.

Shock players moving out of Big Trout Lodge

This Big Trout Lodge apartment was heavily damaged in a fire allegedly set by a Spokane Shock player. SR file photo.

Players of the Spokane Shock team have spent this week moving out of the team provided apartments in the Big Trout Lodge in Liberty Lake even though their lease isn't up for another month. This comes after Shock player Kevin Ellison was arrested and charged with arson for a June 14 fire that started in his bedroom. He told investigators that he set the fire because God told him to, according to federal court documents. The team and the apartment complex managers are calling the move a mutual decision. Click here for more details.

Saturday’s highlights

Bobbie Beese, left, and Betsy Mott are seen in their store on Tuesday at the Corner Door Fountain and Books in Spokane Valley. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

We have another cloudy Monday morning out there, but we also have another batch of Saturday Valley Voice stories as well. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on Corner Door Fountain and Books in Millwood that is owned by three siblings. The store has an eclectic mix of art, books, gifts and more.

The Spokane Valley Business Association met last week an heard a presentation on a planned city project to add stormwater swales to Sprague Avenue between Park and Thierman Roads. Some business owners are concerned about street trees blocking their signs while others are pleased to see some green come into the neighborhood.

The Spokane County Hearing Examiner recently ruled that Liberty Lake homeowner Lloyd Herman can keep most of the improvements he made to his lakeshore property without the proper permits, but he must shrink the size of a cabana/beach house that he built. Stairs and bulkheads will be allowed to stay because they held stabilize the slope, the hearing examiner wrote.

Saturday’s highlights

Teacher Kathy Bodrock gives eighth-grader Blake Womble a hug on the last day of school at Bowdish Middle School. SR photo/Lisa Leinberger

Welcome to summer! We'll celebrate by taking a look at today's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by Bowdish Middle School on the last day of school. The students and teachers have a unique and fun way of saying goodbye - for the summer or forever - with their annual talent show.

Spokane Valley residents and commuters will notice that construction started on Evergreen Road today. Crews are working on the first phase between 16th and 24th Avenues. The road will be closed to all but local traffic, so plan to drive around that area. Liberty Lake Police and the Spokane County Bomb Squad had to deal with an unexploded bottle bomb made from household chemicals last week.

Young swimmers from all over the region gathered recently in Spokane for the Summer Solstice Swim Meet. Correspondent Cindy Hval attended the meet and talked to some of the swimmers. Cindy also has a column about her trials with custumer service as she upgraded her cell phone. As a recent survivor of cell phone company customer service myself, I can sympathize.

Shock player arrested for arson, suspended from team

Photo courtesy the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

Third update: Shock player Kevin Ellison has been arrested on an arson charge for allegedly starting the fire that began in his bedroom. He has been suspended from the team. Check the updated story here.

Second update: Representatives of the Spokane Shock arena football team have confirmed that player Kevin Ellison is the resident who jumped from the burning building. The story is here.

Update: Fire investigators have determined that this was an arson fire, said Fire Marshal Kevin Miller. Investigators have not yet been able to interview the resident, who is still in the hospital. The fire began in the bedroom.

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A man jumped from his burning third story apartment at Big Trout Lodge in Liberty Lake early this morning and managed to escape serious injury. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhilation.

Spokane Valley Fire Department's Engine 3 was on its way to another call at 5:30 a.m. today when firefighters spotted a column of smoke coming from the apartment building, according to a press release from Capt. Pat Schaffer. They called it in and diverted to the building, where they saw flames coming from the third floor unit. Liberty Lake Police officers helped evacuate the building.

Firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading from the apartment where it began. Two other apartments had some smoke damage. The damage is estimated at $50,000 and the cause is still under investigation.

Boat safety emphasis this weekend

Spokane County Sheriff Deputy Jay Bailey checks the boat of anglers before they launch at West Medical Lake in 2011. SR file photo.

If you are planning to head out on a local lake this weekend (like Newman Lake or Liberty Lake), you may run into a Spokane County Sheriff's Office boat safety emphasis patrol. According to a Sheriff's Office press release, deputies will have “zero tolerance” for infractions like boathing under the influence, lack of life jackets and failure to have the mandatory boating education card. They will also be looking for wake violations and noise violations.

If we get some sunny weather this weekend I'm sure some boats will be out in the water. Just keep in mind that the water is still really cold. Everyone on a boat must have a life vests and children 12 and younger must wear their life vest unless the boat is docked or anchored. Everyone have fun and stay safe this weekend. 

Saturday’s highlights

Linda Crowe, pastor of Veradale United Church of Christ for the past 17 years, is shown outside the church on Tuesday. She is retiring. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Apparently we're back to rainy and cool Mondays now. While you enjoy your morning coffee, we've got a bunch of stories from Saturday's Valley Voice to highlight. The Rev. Linda Crowe has been the pastor at the Veradale United Church of Christ for 17 years. She retired Sunday and it was an emotional experience for Crowe and her congregation.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on East Valley High School student Emily Harris, who won a statewide art competition. Her painting, titled “My Childhood,” will hang in the Cannon Tunnel, which connects the Cannon House Office Building to the Capitol Building in Olympia.

The Liberty Lake City Council has an opening after Susan Schuler announced her resignation so she can move to New Zealand with her husband. Anyone interested in applying for the seat needs to do so by 4 p.m. on May 31. The Spokane Valley City Council had a discussion last week on what projects to fund with the street preservation money they recently set aside. There was some debate over which roads should be done first.

In other road construction news, the Sprague Avenue reconstruction project between Evergreen and Sullivan started today. The project will be completed in four phases to limit traffic impacts. Access to businesses will be maintained. The project should be done by mid-August.

Correspondent Juli Bergstrom Wasson has details on Wags to Riches dog grooming, which opened in Spokane Valley last fall. It's not just a place to go if Fido needs a bath and a trim. Owner Virginia Patton has nearly completed the requirements that will earn her the title of master groomer and she likes to do creative trimmming styles.

Today’s highlights

A dock sits below the Coyote Rock development May 8 in Spokane Valley. The Shoreline Master Program draft goals and policies includes a requirement that residential developments with more than two homes have community rather than individual docks. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

We have a nice, sunny Thursday before us, but there is still time to take a look at some highlights from today's Valley Voice. The Spokane Valley Planning Commission had a rather lengthy meeting last week to go over the draft goals and policies for the city's Shoreline Master Program update. Among the items they discussed were the policies addressing gravel mining pits and docks.

The Spokane Valley City Council also met and they approved awarding the bid for resurfacing and reconstruction work on Evergreen Road from 16th to 32nd and on 32nd between Highway 27 and Best Road. Vera Water and Power will be installing a new water line as well. Construction should start in about a month.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger spoke to 8-year-old Ansel LaPier recently. The Liberty Lake resident recently won a national award for a short film that he wrote, filmed and acted in. Correspondent Cindy Hval, who is always an expert on the emotions that make mothers tick, has a touching column today about her recent Mother's Day celebration.

Saturday’s highlights

Valley Mission Professional Building owner Ron Ogle talks Wednesday about reopening the Spokane Valley building. The structure has been rebuilt after being damaged by an explosion there last fall. SR photo/Kathy Plonka

Here were are on another rainy Monday morning with some good Valley Voice stories to catch up on over our morning coffee. Tenants have begun moving back into the Valley Mission Professional Building near the Valley Hospital. The building is being rebuilt after a fire and explosion last fall and the last tenant is expected to be back by July 1.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger talked to Katy Allen, the new Liberty Lake city administrator. She's been a resident of Liberty Lake for years but has commuted as far away as San Jose, Calif., for work. Lisa also has a report on new hires in the Central Valley School District.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department has been analyzing response times on the west end of Spokane Valley after the closure of Station 6 for construction. The times are up, but the department was expecting that even with the assistance of the Spokane Fire Department in some areas.

Spokane Valley chamber to move to Liberty Lake

The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday that it will be closing its Spokane Valley office on East Sprague by the end of May and consolidating its operations in its office in Liberty Lake. The chamber's Liberty Lake office has been open for two years. The recommendation to move was made by a task force formed to explore alternatives after the owner of the building on East Sprague announced it was being sold. Click here for more details.

Saturday’s highlights

Spokane Valley councilman Arne Woodard is known for his ties. Many are bright, loud and a few are a bit wild. He owns about 60 of them and since his appointment to the council last year, Woodard has tried to wear a different tie every Tuesday night. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Saturday's Valley Voice was so packed with stories that I'm really not sure how we fit them all in. Here's your chance to take a look if you missed them. Spokane Valley City Councilman Arne Woodard has been making a name for himself by wearing colorful and unusual ties to council meetings. He thinks the ties make him more approachable and they fit his sense of humor.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has several stories on local schools. The East Valley School District is considering purchasing portable classrooms for its elementary schools to create room for seventh graders. There will be a public hearing on the subject during the school board's meeting Tuesday. Lisa talked to students at University High School last week who were taking part in a distracted driving demonstration. They tried texting while driving and also driving with special goggles that simulated a drunk person's vision.

Students at University Elementary School spent some time last week planting seeds to grow in their new donated greenhouse. The students seemed happy to get out and have fun in the dirt.

Nineteen people have applied to serve on Spokane Valley's new economic development committee. The story includes a list of those who have applied. Mayor Tom Towey will make his appointment recommendations on Tuesday. Last week there was a public hearing regarding a retroactive substantial development permit being sought by a Liberty Lake homeowner for shoreline improvements that were put in without a permit. The owner, Lloyd Herman, was ordered to remove the improvements but has not done so.  

Liberty Lake Rotary moves

The Liberty Lake Centennial Rotary Club has announced that it is moving the location of its weekly meeting. Instead of at the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District, the meetings will be held at the Meadowwood Technology campus Liberty Room at 2100 N. Molter Road beginning April 5. The meetings will continue to be held every Thursday at noon. Lunch will be available from Seasons Cafe at the new location.

Liberty Lake Civic Center open house

The city of Liberty Lake has announced an open house Wednesday at 6 p.m. to present information on Phase 1 of the city's proposed Civic Center project. The first phase would expand the Liberty Lake Farmers Market and add more parking on land the city owns at Signal and Mission. The open house will be at City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive. Call 755-6706 for more information on the project.

Drivers in wrong-way I-90 accident identified

The Washington State Patrol has identified the people involved in an accident caused by a wrong way driver on I-90 near Liberty Lake just before 4 p.m. yesterday. Liberty Lake resident Kelly A. Yancey, 39, was driving her Honda Accord westbound in the eastbound lanes when she hit a car driven by Newman Lake resident Elizabeth E. Barbour, 52, almost head on. Yancey's car spun around before hitting a Dodge Ram truck driven by 21-year-old Chelsea E. Piper of Post Falls, according to the WSP press release.

Yancey was cited for driving the wrong way on the freeway. Alcohol does not appear to be involved, the press release said. Yancy and Barbour were taken to the hospital. A 1-year-old boy in Piper's car was uninjured.

Today’s highlights

Tom Towey was recently elected to his second term as mayor of Spokane Valley. Since the city has a city manager form of government, the job is mostly ceremonial, but it keeps Towey busy. Towey was first elected mayor two years ago during his first meeting as a council member. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Dust the snow off your boots and settle in for a look at today's Valley Voice. Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey was just re-elected to a second term as mayor. He recently took a look back at his first two years in office and looks ahead to the city's future.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger was at the recent Liberty Lake City Council meeting where new mayor Steve Peterson talked more about his plan to use land the city owns to expand the city's farmers market. The council also discussed the policy governing absences by council members. The council is also planning a special meeting for Jan. 31 to select a new council member.

The Spokane Valley City Council discussed several things at their meeting, including the city's snow plan, the Shoreline Master Program and putting a gateway sign at Appleway and Thierman. Everyone seems to like the idea of a sign, but the estimated $115,000 to $122,000 cost for a sign and landscaping is proving hard to swallow for some council members.  

Christmas tree lightings tonight

Hundreds of Spokane Valley residents turned out for the second annual Christmas tree lighting at University City Mall in 2004. The event had several musical performances, a Santa visit and the tree lighting. SR file photo.

Both Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake are having Christmas tree lighting ceremonies tonight, so bundle up the kids tonight and head out to one of the celebrations. Spokane Valley's annual ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the University City parking lot at University and Sprague. The lighting will be at 6 p.m. Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey will speak and there are usually singers performing Christmas music. The event is hosted by the Spokane Valley Rotary.

Liberty Lake's annual ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive. The night is packed with free events, including crafts, carriage rides, choir music and pictures with Santa. The evening ends at 8 p.m.

Only 24 more days until Christmas!

Saturday’s highlights

Ponderosa Elementary fifth-graders Isaiah Gessner, left, and Nick Griep, center, listen to Marine Corps veteran Rex Walter describe his experiences serving his country in the early 1950s. Ponderosa student ambassadors brought veterans from Broadway Court Estates to their school for a Veterans Day assembly Tuesday. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

More election results topped Saturday's Valley Voice as votes continue to be counted. Reporter Lisa Leinberger reported the results for Liberty Lake City Council, mayor and Proposition 1.  The proposition to switch to a city administrator form of government failed and former mayor Steve Peterson is poised to retake leadership of the city.

Fire levies and bonds in the areas around Spokane Valley mostly did not do well. A construction bond in Fire District 13 failed, as did an M&O levy in Fire District 8 and replacement fire levy in Rockford. The only success story was the small town of Spangle, which passed a fire levy and a police levy.

Lisa also wrote a story on her trips to Veteran's Day celebrations at West Valley High School and Ponderosa Elementary School. Recently the owners of Savage Land Pizza sued Spokane County Water District 3 because of a dispute over the installation of a new water main. The East Valley School District board of directors has voted to put a replacement levy on the Feb. 14 ballot.

More election results

Last night I didn't mention the scores of other election results, including the races in Liberty Lake. Former mayor Steve Peterson is making a comeback by trouncing opponent Josh Beckett with 74 percent of the vote. Council candidate Shane Brickner captured 664 votes to Keith Kopelson's 559. Liberty Lake's Proposition 1 to shift to a city manager form of government was soundly defeated.

In Millwood Brian Ellingson and Glenn Bailey were ahead, if only barely. Ellingson has 20 more votes than Mike Ellis and Bailey was ahead of David Kopp by 21 votes. In Rockford Clinton Stevenson was only ahead of Steve Christman by five votes.

In Newman Lake Fire District 13 challenger Kathleen Small has 140 more votes than incumbent commissioner Clayton Andersen Sr. The vote for a bond to pay for a new station gathered 330 votes against and 326 votes of approval. The M&O levy in Fire District 8 is winning by 41 votes.

Several of the close races, including Spokane Valley City Council Position 6, will be decided by the 40,000 votes left to count. Another batch of ballots will be counted today and the new results should be available late this afternoon. Click here for more details.

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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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