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Spokane Valley blog

Posts tagged: millwood

Valley’s first legal pot store set to open

The Valley’s first state-licensed recreational marijuana shop is hosting a grand opening celebration Friday.

Sativa Sisters is located in the former Planned Parenthood building at 10525 E. Trent Ave., just inside Millwood city limits. It plans on carrying marijuana from at least three regional producers, including a line of organic pot grown in nearby Lincoln County.

“It’s exciting,” said general manager Eric Skaar. “We haven’t even announced we’re opening and we’ve already got people stopping in.”

The store will keep daily operating hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and also offers smoking paraphernalia.

Friday’s celebration will include live music and a taco truck in the afternoon.

The store is the fourth to open in the Spokane area since July, when state regulators began issuing licenses to retail marijuana operations. The first three are in North Spokane. State regulators will allow up to 18 licensed retail shops throughout Spokane County, with eight allotted for the city of Spokane and three for the city of Spokane Valley.

Most of the first stores to open statewide have struggled with supply shortages that limited their hours of operation, but Skaar said he's confident Sativa Sisters will be able to maintain regular daily operating hours. He said that one of the reasons they're just now opening is because they wanted to have supply issues resolved ahead of time.

The city of Millwood issued the store a business license after concluding the location complied with zoning codes and other restrictions, officials said. The store also obtained city permits for renovations and other improvements to the property before opening.

Saturday’s highlights

A hair-raising experience. Daisy Daines grimaces while stylist Shawna Indahl bleaches his hair on Wednesday, at Paul Mitchell the School in Spokane Valley. Six Central Valley High School students pledged to bleach their hair if their classmates donated more than $10,000 to the Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank. Students raised $12,600 and the six had their hair done. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Here we are at Monday again. Bring on the extra coffee! While you are enjoying that second or third cup, check out some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger talked with six Central Valley High School students that pledged to bleach their hair blond if their fellow students raised more than $10,000 for the Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank. The students, all boys, followed through after the school raised $12,600 and collected 26,500 pounds of food.

A group of residents at Broadway Court Estates recently shipped of 1,000 children's books they collected to establish a library in Africa. They are the most recent group to participate in the African Library Project. Their books are going to a school in Botswana. The effort was led by a mother and daughter, both retired educators, who had previously established two libraries in Malawi through the non-profit program.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam reports that the city of Millwood's 2014 budget is in the black for the first time in years. The city is even planning several capital projects next year, including a sidewalk on Buckeye Avenue.

Saturday’s highlights

Central Valley High senior Chris Pittella, center, works the anchor position during the taping of CV’s weekly sports show on Monday. The show airs Thursdays at 10:35 p.m. on KAYU. SR photo/Kathy Plonka

I am here at my keyboard even though many people have today off in observance of Veteran's Day. On the plus side, though, there wasn't as much traffic heading into downtown this morning. As usual there are highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice to present. We caught up on updated election results in the Spokane Valley City Council and East Valley School Board. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on the newcomers that seem to be winning all the seats on the school board, which could lead to changes in the district. Newcomer Ed Pace is ahead of incumbent Gary Schimmels in a Spokane Valley City Council race. Change could be coming to the city as well if Pace and his supporters form an ultra-conservative voting block.

Lisa also has a story on Central Valley High School students that help put together the “This Week in High School Sports” show that airs on KAYU Fox 28. The students learn the skills they need to put the television show together, skills that can be useful in future careers.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a report on a special Millwood City Council meeting last week, where the council voted on its first contract for the Buckeye Avenue water main replacement project tentatively planned for next year.

Saturday’s highlights

Chris Sheppard dons only one costume on Halloween, a robe, crown and sweatshirt reading “Queen of Halloween.” Indeed, her house dominates the neighborhood, with hundreds of whimsical items for the holiday. Sheppard is shown at her home on Bettman Road in Spokane Valley, on Wednesday. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Saturday's Valley Voice was packed full of stories (and quite a few election advertisements), so lets get right to the highlights. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by the home of the Queen of Halloween, aka Chris Sheppard. Her home turns into a festival of the orange and spooky every year and this year is no different. She starts decorating the inside of her home in August but waits until September to start putting in the skeleton crawling out of its grave in the yard.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a story on the University High School girls soccer team, which is rallying after losing one of its star players in a car crash recently. The team had a small ceremony at their recent home game. The Spokane Valley Lodging Tax Advisory Commission recently met to make recommendations for 2014 funding to agencies that promote tourism.

We also had a ton of election coverage Saturday since ballots have now been delivered. Correspondent Valerie Putnam tackled the Millwood Mayor race between Kevin Freeman and Dennis Hamlin while Lisa covered the East Valley School District school board and Liberty Lake City Council. There was also a candidate forum last week featuring those running for Spokane Valley City Council.

Saturday’s highlights

McKenzie Mott's jersey was retired during an assembly held in honor of her and fellow classmate Josie Freier at University High School on Friday. The two were killed in a car accident on Saturday, October 5, 2013. SR photo/Kathy Plonka

It's Monday again. Monday seems to come around much too quickly, but at least it means we have a Saturday Valley Voice to go over. This weekend correspondent Jill Barville wrote a column based on her perspective as a parent with a student at University High School, where students are struggling to cope with the death of two students killed in a car accident. An assembly was heldto remember Josie Freier and McKenzie Mott on Friday and hundreds of toys were collected in their honor for the Toys for Tots charity.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by North Pines Middle School for a seventh-grade class that was studying the laws of motion. They were running experiments to learn whether balls of the same size but different weight behaved differently when rolled down a ramp.

Spokane Valley City Council incumbent Gary Schimmels and challenger Ed Pace answered some questions about their views on Spokane Valley issues. Ballots will be mailed this week and this story is one of a series featuring City Council candidates.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a report from Millwood, where the city councilvoted to accept a loan to fund a water line replacement project. Residents have also reported increased vandalism and Mayor Dan Mork indidated he would ask for extra police patrols.

Saturday’s highlights

Dan Mork, shown in his office at city hall on Sept. 24, has served the town of Millwood for more than 30 years, including the last eight as mayor. He will step down Dec. 31 and take a break from public life. He works at HollisterStier. SR photo Jesse Tinsley

Good Monday morning, everyone. Welcome to the first full week of October. As usual we have some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice in case you missed it. Reporter Lisa Leinberber has a story on Christmas ornaments being made by West Valley School District students for the 2013 Capital Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C. This year's tree will be cut from the Colville National Forest and 5,000 ornaments are needed to decorate it.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a story on the retirement of Millwood Mayor Dan Mork. Mork first began serving in the Millwood City Council in 1981 and was on the councl continuously until beging elected mayor in 2005. For the first time in decades he is not running for re-election.

Ballots for the November general election will begin arriving in mailboxes next week, so we have the first in a series of stories on the Spokane Valley City Council races. First up is the only race that doesn't have an incumbent. Bill Bates and Fred Beaulac are facing off in the race for the seat held by Mayor Tom Towey, who is not running for re-election.

Saturday’s highlights

Dan Westacott, of Crop Production Services, harvests wheat at the East Valley Farm and Community Garden on Thursday. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Good Monday morning, everyone. Sorry for ducking out of here unannounced last week. I took a little road trip to Colorado to drop my daughter off at school and forgot to warn everyone that I wouldn't be around. I'm back now, though, and ready with some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice.

The Millwood City Council has voted to postpone a planned sidewalk project on Buckeye Ave., according to a report from correspondent Valerie Putnam. The bids for the project all came in at least $40,000 higher than expected and the council voted to reject all of them and regroup. The project could still be completed in 2014.

Reporter Pia Hallenberg stopped by the East Valley Farm and Community Garden last week for the farm's first wheat harvest. The farm grows vegetables for the school lunch menu and the food bank. The wheat will be ground into flour and used in the school kitchens.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a story on Kayla Mainer, former volleyball player at West Valley High School and current assistant volleyball coach at Central Valley High School. She also plays with Team Evergreen in the Premier Volleyball League.

If you have a pooch that needs grooming, reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on Debbie's Dog Grooming, which has been in business in Spokane Valley for 40 years. The family owned business even does cats.

Saturday’s highlights

Ellin Schafer, 15, above, and her mother, Carolyn, assemble a quilt at their home in Spokane Valley on Tuesday. Carolyn Schafer is organizing a quilting drive for the members of Mason Flemmer’s unit. Flemmer, the orchestra teacher at Central Valley, is being deployed for the third time to Afghanistan. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

I invite everyone to take a look at today's Garfield comic strip. That sums up my approach to Mondays very well. With that said, it's time to take a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on the efforts by students and staff at Central Valley High School to create 140 quilts for the 455th Engineer Company in Afghanistan. CV orchestra teacher Mason Flemmer is part of the unit.The volunteers still need donations of material to make the quilts, volunteers to put them together and cash to ship them.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a story on new volleyball coaches at Central Valley High School and University High School. Both are from out of the area and have a good coaching track record. Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a report from Millwood, where the council recently voted to restrict parking on portion of Stout Road and Grace Ave. Residents have complained that employees from local businesses are parking there.

Being buzzed by a bee ended badly for one man recently when he and his tractor rolled down an embankment after he swatted at the insect. The man was seriously injured, but he also had the unfortunate luck to land on a dead porcupine. That call for help was one of hundreds responded to by Spokane Valley Fire Department crews in the last two weeks.

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.

Saturday’s highlights

Spokane Valley firefighter Paul Turcotte carries an enlarged photograph that represents a shooting victim as rescue crews participate in a mass casualty training exercise Wednesday at the department’s old administration building. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Good Monday morning, everyone. As another week starts, we've got some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. The Spokane Valley Fire Department has started using a new triage system for mass casualty events and tested it in training last week. Pediatric patients are now evaluated differently and colored tags are tied onto vitctim's limbs to identify their condition.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has details on the new home of the Liberty Lake Community Theatre. The group started five years ago and has been bouncing from location to locations, even rehearsing in  private homes.

Correspondent Jennifer LaRue has a story on Martina Whelshula, executive director of the youth rehabilitation facility Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations in Spokane Valley. she was recently named a health champion by the Washington State Public Health Association.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a report from Millwood, where finishing touches are being put on a plan to install a sidewalk on the north side of Buckeye Ave. between Argonne and Vista roads. The project will be completed before school starts in the fall.

Saturday’s highlights

Central Valley High School biology teacher Phil Plesek, center, talks about DNA with a group of Evergreen Middle School eighth-graders Wednesday at Spokane Valley Tech. Eighth-graders from Spokane Valley schools have been taking tours of the tech education center where career and science-oriented classes are available. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Good Monday morning everyone. I'm fairly certain it's still spring, but that wind is making for a chilly day today. While we wait for it to warm back up again, we can take a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story about Evergreen Middle School students who visited Spokane Valley Tech to learn about the career and technical education classes and programs it offers.There's an open house coming up this week for students who are interested in attending.

Newman Lake Fire and Rescue is looking at using volunteers and a temporary help to replace a retiring deputy chief. The issue will likely be discussed again during the district's regular fire commissioner meeting tonight. Spokane County Fire District 8 got some input from citizens last week after hosting a series of public meetings on the district's strategic plan. Residents offered suggestions on how the district can improve as well as identifying what the district does well. 

The Millwood City Council approved its draft Shoreline Master Program, according to a story by correspondent Valerie Putnam. The council made changes to the section that governs public shoreline access on private land. The council also awarded contracts for an irrigation project and resurfacing the city tennis courts.  

Saturday’s highlights

Lucy Tivis, 8, and Jerrol Olson, principal of Ponderosa Elementary in Spokane Valley pose for a photo at the school Wednesday. Lucy nominated Olson to be Principal on Parade, selected by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Good Monday morning, everyone. As usual we have a roundup of highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on Ponderosa Elementary School principal Jerrol Olson, who was named this year's Principal on Parade by the Friendsly Sons of St. Patrick. Olson and the student who nominated him, 8-year-old Lucy Tivis, got to ride in Saturday's St. Patrick's Day parade.

I caught up with Ed Mertens for a look back at the numerous incorporation efforts he was involved with before the city of Spokane Valley finally incorporated in 2003. Saturday the city held a birthday bash and Mertens planned to attend to celebrate the city's success.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has an update on the Millwood City Council meeting, where the council voted to vacate an alley behind Millwood Presbyterian Church and also tinkered with the public access language in its Shoreline Master Program.

Coming up this week, Spokane Valley Tech will have open houses on Wednesday and Thursday for high school students that will be juniors and seniors in the fall. Students can also get information on free summer classes.

Saturday’s highlights

During auditions for “I Hate Hamlet,” fight coordinator Brian Rempel, left, and Ignite! Community Theatre’s artistic director, Scott Finlayson cross swords, while Richard Donnelly waits to audition for the role of John Barrymore. “I Hate Hamlet” opens April 12. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

I'm bringing everyone the highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice a day late this week. I took yesterday off to spend a little quality time with my comfy recliner and my lap cat.

The city of Spokane Valley hosted a public meeting last week to talk about a proposed stormwater project planned for this summer in the Valleyview neighborhood. There has been problems with runoff on the west side of Dickey Road washing out some areas and flooding a street. The city plans to install underground piping to take the runoff down the street to a swale it will built on land it owns on 11th Avenue.

Correspondent Jill Barville wrote a story on the new home of Ignite! Community Theatre. The group is now putting on performances in the Spokane Valley Partners building. Correspondent Valerie Putnam reports that the city of Millwood is on solid financial footing thanks to increases in water rates and not spending as much as budgeted in some areas.

Reporter Nicole Hensley reports that the Central Valley School District is looking as new textbooks for history, civics, psychology and sociology classes. The books the district currently uses haven't been updated since the 1990's. Some students and their parents are helping evaluate possible textbooks.

The other side of the story

This afternoon I got a call from a woman who didn't give her name. She said she grew up in the Millwood house that was donated to the Spokane Valley Fire Department for a training burn this week. Her family sold the house last summer and it is the new owner that donated it to the department for training. She talked of her experiences growing up there and playing in the neighborhood. Her childhood pets are buried in the back yard. She said she was sad to see the house burn Tuesday but is glad that firefighters were able to get some useful training out of it.

Burning it down

I spent some time shivering in the cold this morning watching the Spokane Valley Fire Department doing training fires in a donated house near Empire Ave. and Woodruff Road in Millwood. The training is mainly for the benefit of eight recruits going through the department's training academy. I spoke to one who called himself the “oldest recruit,” a 51-year-old former KXLY radio DJ. Expect to see heavy smoke and some flames from the house later this afternoon. I'm told they plan to burn it to the ground starting at about 2 p.m. Look for my story and photos by SR photographer Tyler Tjomsland in Thursday's Valley Voice.

Saturday’s highlights

Joshua Bailey, 5, enjoys a kiwi during lunch with fellow kindergartners on Wednesday at Broadway Elementary in Spokane Valley. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

There is a strange, golden orb in the sky on this Monday morning. While we are enjoying some sunshine, check out some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on an experiment in Central Valley schools to serve lunch to half-day kindergartners. It's being tried at Broadway Elementary, where 72 percent of students quality for free or reduced price lunches.

Valleyfest organizers are once again waiting to see if they will receive lodging tax funding from the city of Spokane Valley. For the second year in a row the organization was not recommended to receive any by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a story on the discussion at the recent Millwood City Council meeting over the public access requirement for properies on the shore of the Spokane River under the state-mandated update of their Shoreline Management Program.

The town of Fairfield is looking for donations of personal hygiene items for gift baskets for local teens. There is still a week to make a donation. SCRAPS is also looking for donations as it hosts several adoption events and fund raisers during December.  

Saturday’s highlights

Central Valley High senior Alex Moore poses for a photo on Tuesday in Spokane Valley. Moore will receive the YWCA Young Woman of Achievement Award later this month. She excels in math and science and competes for her school’s cross country team. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

Sorry this edition of Saturday's Valley Voice highlights is late. My computer didn't want to speak to the network for most of the morning. But now I'm up and running again, so here we go. A new Wal-Mart store is opening on the west end of Spokane Valley on Wednesday. While the ribbon cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m. may be a bit early for some, the grand opening promotions and samples will continue all weekend.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has the third entry in her East Farms Diary. She has been spending time at the East Farms STEAM Magnet School that focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and math. This week's story checks in with volunteers at the school and what they contribute.

Lisa also has a story on Central Valley High School senior Alex Moore, who will recieve the Young Woman of Achievement Award from the YWCA next week. Her list of achievements in school and in the community is quite lengthy.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam reports that the City of Millwood is facing a deficit in 2013. More meetings and public hearings are planned to discuss the issue. Their neighbor, the City of Spokane Valley, voted last week to not take the allowed 1 percent property tax increase.

Saturday’s highlights

Machines operated by Piersol Construction scrape dirt from the Flora Road landing along the Spokane River on Thursday. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

It's another sunny Monday morning, so enjoy the sun while we still have it. A look at the calendar shows that October is just around the corner. Meanwhile, we have some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has her first entry in the East Farms Diary. She will be spending time at the East Farms STEAM Magnet School in East Valley as it transitions from an elementary school and wrote about her first day in class. She gave blog readers a preview last week.

The Department of Ecology is working on several Spokane River beach cleanups to remove and/or cap sites contaminated by heavy metals flowing in from upstream. Right now they're working on Flora Road and a spot near Barker Road is next.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam reports that the city of Millwood made changes to its medical marijuana dispensary license rules. Correspondent Steve Christilaw spoke to 1962 Central Valley High School graduate Bob Keppel, who was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame for his achievements in track.

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.

Driver accused in Millwood hit-and-run

The driver accused of running over a 2-year-old girl in a bicycle trailer and then driving away appeared in court Monday. Gonzaga University law student Timmy Nguyen has been charged with hit-and-run and vehicular assault. The girl he is accused of running over is still in the hospital with skull and wrist fractures. Police say she was likely saved by her bicycle helmet. Read today's story by Meghann Cuniff and Sara McMullen 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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