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Spokane Valley blog

Posts tagged: Michael Cronin

Today’s highlights

Toni Halloran, Deputy Chief of Newman Lake Fire and Rescue, concentrates as she maneuvers a water tender into the cramped confines of Station 1 on Tuesday. Newman Lake Fire and Rescue is again preparing to ask voters to pass a bond to replace Station 1. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

I hope everyone is having an excellent Thursday despite that nasty frost we had to scrape off our windshields this morning. Thursday is, of course, Valley Voice day, so we have some highlights. Newman Lake Fire and Rescue is considering tyring to pass a construction bond again to replace the aging Station 1. A bond failed at the polls in 2011, but this time commissioners are considering asking for only half the amount they asked for previously.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger attended a candidate forum this week featuring the candidates for the East Valley School District board of directors. Additional forums are planned for Oct. 12 and 16 for people unable to make the first session.

The Washington State Court of Appeals recently threw out the sentence of a former University High School teacher on a driving under the influence charge, ruling that he was improperly sentenced. However, Michael F. Cronin still served time in jail on other charges. He was fired by Central Valley School District in January 2012. A lawsuit Cronin filed in response to his firing is currently before the Court of Appeals.

Lisa checked in with Spokane Valely Rotary president-elect Mike Payson on the Spokane Valley Men of Rotary Fashion Show coming up this weekend. The fundraiser raises money for scholarships for high school seniors and books for local elementary schools.

Saturday’s highlights

Diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease as a teenager, Cindy Bergdahl has not let her vision impairment stop her from teaching fourth grade at McDonald Elementary School, or competing in triathlons. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

As promised, we brought you a bunch of interesting stories in Saturday's Valley Voice. Correspondent Cindy Hval talked to McDonald Elementary School teacher Cindy Bergdahl, who teaches and competes in triathlon despite being visually impaired.

A University High School student has come forward to say she reported to the school in the spring that teacher Michael Cronin had touched her inappropriately. Central Valley School District has launched in investigation into the allegation. This comes after Cronin was put on paid administrative leave in August while the district checked into recent criminal convictions.

Former SR reporter Mike Vlahovich wrote about longtime Spokane Valley resident Joe Custer, who led Vera Water and Power and was heavily involved in the community. We also have an analysis of Spokane Valley City Council campaign ad claims that the city's budget was increasing 7 percent a year until the new council took over.

Coming Saturday

We've got a few good stories coming your way in Saturday's Valley Voice, so look for it on your porch in the morning. I have a follow up story on University High School teacher Michael Cronin. A student has come forward to say she complained to school officials about Cronin's behavior this year and the Central Valley School District has launched a new investigation. I have also put together an ad watch story that looks at claims made in some Spokane Valley City Council candidate advertisements.

Former SR reporter Mike Vlahovich has put together an feature obituary on Joe Custer, longtime Vera Water and Power CEO and community activist. Custer passed away a couple of weeks ago.

Saturday’s highlights

Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Chamberlin hands out “Stickman Knows” tattoos, reflective stickers and wristbands at Otis Orchards Elementary School as a part of International Walk to School Day on Wednesday. The school has improved the safety of children walking and biking to school and being picked up by parents after school. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

The big news from Saturday's Valley Voice is University High School teacher Michael Cronin being put on paid administrative leave and sentenced to serve nearly a year in jail. I first wrote about him in 2009 after he was put on leave while the Central Valley School District investigated allegations that he had inappropriately touched a female student and a female staff member while allegedly drunk at school. His alcohol related arrests have continued to mount, which led to the jail time. There's also an update on the results of a state investigation into the 2009 allegations that was recently completed.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger went to University Elementary School last week to check out a new nutrition and cooking program being offered to students. She also has a bunch of school news in her Inside Our Schools column this week.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam attended last week's Millwood City Council meeting, where the council voted to move forward with two road construction projects. Grave Avenue and Laura Road will be widened and the intersection of Empire Ave. and Fowler Road will be improved.  

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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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Nina Culver (@ninaculver) Nina Culver covers city of Spokane Valley, Spokane Valley Fire Department, Newman Lake Fire and Rescue, Spokane County Fire District 8, Liberty Lake Police Department and the small towns of Fairfield and Rockford.

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