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Spokane Valley

Posts tagged: millwood

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.

Saturday’s highlights

Broadway Elementary summer school student Connor Dehn, 9, keeps an eye on his computer-programmed Lego car as it heads to a target Thursday. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Yesterday was a nice respite from the heat, but it looks as though our sunshine is back this morning just in time to take a look at the highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on a summer school class at Broadway Elementary focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students used pop bottle rockets to study flight and then built Lego cars to use on an obstacle course.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a report from the recent Millwood City Council meeting, where residents spoke their mind about the new water rate increases. The town of Fairfield has started a new recycling program after a lengthy discussion and so far the program seems to be a success.

University High School grad Hank Frame, who plays golf for Washington State University, won the recent Lilac City Invitational golf tournament. Correspondent Steve Christilaw talked to him about his win and about the golf program at WSU.  

Saturday’s highlights

Daisy Hanson and Kelsie Brulotte splash around in the Millwood wading pool Thursday. Community donations made it possible for the pool to reopen after being closed last year. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Sorry I wasn't on the blog Friday. I snuck out for a day off before the high temperatures made me feel like a chicken roasting in the oven. While it's still relatively cool this morning I've got some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked in at the popular Millwood wading pool. The city planned to close and destroy the pool, but residents objected and then took it a step further by raising the $10,000 needed to repair the pool. Now kids are again happily splashing away.

The Spokane Valley City Council appointed former planning commissioner Fred Beaulac back to a vacant position on the commission. He will serve out the term of Marcia Sands, who recently resigned. The council also heard a report on a development agreement negotiated with the owner of land on Conklin Road. They previously voted to allow the land to be rezoned as high density residential only if an agreement was reached to increase setbacks and limit density.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw spoke to University High School football coach Rob Bartlett, who is continuing a family tradition of coaching. He now holds the same job as his father did.

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

North Pines Middle School eighth-grader Asha Abbas, 14, and seventh-grader Isabella Moua, 13, share a laugh Wednesday after an English language development class presentation in which students tell stories about themselves using Microsoft Phot Story. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland
 
It's another gloomy Monday morning, but we've got some Saturday Valley Voice highlights to start our day with. The Spokane Valley City Council spent eight hours in a retreat last week going over the preliminary 2013 budget numbers and discussing how they might fund street preservation. No decisions were made, so the issue will continue to be discussed at future meetings.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger visited a English language development class at North Pines Middle School attended by young immigrants from all over the world. The students were presenting photo stories and some talked about where they came from.

Some Millwood residents upset about a recent 14 percent water rate increase visited the Millwood City Council meeting to complain about the rate hike. Correspondent Valerie Putnam reported their concerns about paying too much for water this year.

Spokane Valley pools are open now and we have details about open swim times and swim lessons. The Spokane Valley Fire Department renamed several fire stations last week and the names of one or two might surprise you.

West Valley Days this weekend

Alyssa Hilsiker, 4, dances her way down the street while marching in the West Valley Days parade with her fellow dance students from Company Ballet School in 2005. SR file photo.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, Saturday is the annual West Valley Days celebration in Millwood. It all starts with a parade down Grace and Stout at 11 a.m. that will end at the Millwood City Park at Stout and Frederick. There will be activities in the park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including carnival games, booths, prizes, a live DJ and food. There will be drawings in the free bike raffle at 1 and 2:30 p.m. (must be present to win) and a silent auction kicks off at 2 p.m.

This event is the 18th annual fundraiser for West Valley Scope and is a good place to take the family for some fun. Here's hoping it doesn't rain!

Today’s highlights

Third-graders Audrina Gainey, left, and Stephanie Sawchuk, right, wear ball gowns and munch on a lunch served by parents and teachers May 24, at Sunrise Elementary. The event, called the Fairy Tale Ball, was a time to dress up and practice proper dining etiquette. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

There's a lot to check out in today's Valley Voice, so grab a cup of coffee and settle in. I almost wish I was at Sunrise Elementary when reporter Lisa Leinberger was there last week to check out the third grade Fairy Tale Ball because it sounds like so much fun. The students dressed up in their finest clothes and snacked on food made by their parents.

If you are looking for things to do this weekend, you have a couple of options. The grand opening of Greenacres Park is Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The park has a playgroung area with splash pad and sand box, restrooms, a large picnic shelter and play fields. Saturday is also West Valley Days in Millwood, which includes a parade, carnival and free bike raffle.

The Spokane Valley City Council discussed their second thoughts about accepting the donation of a sculpture in a new entry to be built at Appleway and Thierman next year. Several council members suggested putting the work of art in Balfour Park instead so people can get up close to it.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department will have a replacement levy on the ballot in August. It currently provides 53 percent of their annual budget and there was discussion this week on what would happen if the levy fails. Six of the department's ten stations would close and staff would be cut from 180 to 76.

Saturday’s highlights

A dock sits below the Coyote Rock development Tuesday. The Washington state Court of Appeals ruled that docks installed at the development were illegal. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

We have a ton of good stories for you in Saturday's Valley Voice, so let's get right to it. The Washington State Court of Appeals recently ruled that the docks at the Coyote Rock development are illegal after a lawsuit filed by the Department of Ecology, but the court didn't examine one of the issues presented by the DOE and the environmental groups that joined the lawsuit.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a great story on students at Summit School, who sent their teacher light-hearted threats in iambic pentameter to convince him to allow them to put on a shortened, clown-based version of “Hamlet.” Lisa also reported on vandalism of the sheds at the East Valley community garden. Police quickly arrested the group of teens responsible, but students were left to clean up the mess.

A goup of Girl Scouts has come through in a big way for the town of Millwood. Correspondent Valerie Putnam reported on their successful effort to raise enough money to repair the town's wading pool. The Spokane Valley City Council seems willing to explore contracting with SpokAnimal for animal control services instead of SCRAPS. City staff is still in the information collecting stage.  

Saturday’s highlights

PE teacher PJ Jarvis, center, explains where black-eyed peas fall in the food groups during a nutrition lesson at Opportunity Elementary School. Jarvis was selected as the elementary school teacher of the year by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

There were a bunch of good stories in Saturday's Valley Voice, so let's take this sunny Monday morning to look at a few highlights. Reporter Lisa Leinberger had a story on Opportunity Elementary physical education teacher PJ Jarvis, who has been named elementary school teacher of the year by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey made his first State of the City speech last week. The work done by the city's first council and the policies the city set have allowed Spokane Valley to weather the recent economic downturn fairly well, Towey said.

Spokane Valley is owed over half a million dollars in unpaid gambling taxes, but apparently there is not much hope that the back taxes will ever be collected. A Spokane Valley firefighter was injured recently by a knife while trying to put out a mobile home fire, but his injury was not serious.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam stopped in at the Millwood City Council meeting, where Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich reported that Millwood's crime rate is down. The council also discussed its shoreline management plan.

Today’s highlights

Girls Scout Cadette Troop 2436 members, from left, Emma Porter, Victoria Harding and Mariah Bechtel ask Argonne Village Yoke’s shopper, Ron Irwin, far right, to buy cookies or donate money to help save Millwood’s wading pool. Irwin bought two boxes of cookies. SR photo/Dan Pelle

It's here. Road construction season is about to begin and in today's Valley Voice there is a map of upcoming projects, plus details on which roads to avoid when. The big three are being impacted this year - Argonne, Sprague and Sullivan.

A local Girl Scout troop is focusing on fundraising efforts to save Millwood's wading pool. Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a story on their efforts. The city wanted to close the pool to save money, but the girls are determined to have the pool repaired instead.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger talked to students from West Valley High School who are entered in a robotics competition. Each team is given bins of parts to build a robot in six weeks that must complete required tasks. Teams from East Valley and Central Valley are also competing.

Saturday’s highlights

After seven years as superintendent of the West Valley School District, Polly Crowley is stepping down. She visits with Orchard Center Elementary School Principal Travis Peterson on Tuesday in Spokane Valley. SR photo/Dan Pelle

There was a good mix of stories in Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger topped off the front page with a nice profile on West Valley Superintendent Polly Crowley, who has announced her retirement at the end of the school year.

The issue that is likely to generate some debate was a discussion by the Spokane Valley City Council last week on whether they should ban curbside fundraisers such as Fill the Boot. The city currently gives out permits to local charities to do this once a year, but many groups apparently aren't following the rules and there are safety concerns.

The 2011 numbers are in for the Spokane Valley Fire Department and show an increase in arson fires and a decrease in accidental fires. The number of arson arrests are up as well and the department is proud of it's high solve rate for the criminal fires. Correspondent Valerie Putnam attended the recent Millwood City Council meeting, where they voted to change the regular meeting date and spent a lot of time discussing water rates.

Saturday’s highlights

Karen Fournier, left, and Jane Murphy of Hearth Homes stand in the living room of the newest transitional home the group will open in Spokane Valley, Thursday. Hearth Homes runs a series of homes for women with children. Fournier is the group’s executive director, and Murphy is the development director. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Saturday's Valley Voice is chock full of news from the area and makes an excellent read over coffee (or lunch). Reporter Lisa Leinberger spoke to the founder of Hearth Homes, Karen Fournier. She runs several homes for homeless women with children and is getting ready for a ribbon cutting on another house.

The Spokane Valley City Council had its annual winter retreat last week and spent hours discussing various issues facing the city. They discussed how to pay for street preservation projects, economic development and the possible acquisition of land in partnership with the Spokane County Library District.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam attended the Millwood City Council meeting where the council discussed the possible need to raise water rates. Last week the Spokane Valley Fire Department managed to put out a chicken coop fire before any of the chickens were hurt.

Saturday’s highlights

“He scored very high on his behavioral test,” said Jackie Bell, development coordinator for SCRAPS, about Astro, the terrier mix at the facility in Spokane Valley on Tuesday. SR photo/Kathy Plonka

It feels a little odd to be at work on a Monday after the last couple of weeks, but here we are for the highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. (And we have next Monday off, too. Cool.) The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) is feeling its way forward after a new regional shelter failed at the ballot box in November. A new location is still the plan, but where and when that might happen is yet to be determined.

I checked in with Advent Lutheran Church, which was created by the combination of Good Shepherd Lutheran and Christ Lutheran in May. The new church seems to be doing well as members consider what they want their church to be.

Correspondent Val Putnam attended the Millwood City Council meeting, where new council members were sworn in and a water plan was discussed. Correspondent Jennifer LaRue interviewed a youg rapper, Aubrey Major of West Valley High School. She writes her own songs and has already performed some concerts.

Saturday’s highlights

Mike Frucci and his wife Vicki sort through books at the Children's Book Bank at the old University High School. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Good Monday morning, everyone. I have a few highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice in case you missed them. Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote a story about a hidden gem, the Children's Book Bank. The bank allows teachers to come and pick out free books for their students. There have been more than 100,000 books distributed since 1997.

The Spokane Valley City Council agreed to accept grants for two road construction projects, the reconstruction of Sprague between Evergreen and Sullivan and the completion of Mansfield Ave. east of Pines. The Mayor is interviewing 12 applicants for the two vacant Spokane Valley Planning Commission seats. His recommendation for the appointments is expected at the Dec. 27 council meeting.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a report from the Millwood City Council meeting. Finances in the city are apparently not as dire as they first appeared, but the council did approve a 2 percent natural gas utility tax.

Today’s highlights

Company Ballet School dancers get into costume before rehearsal for “The Nutcracker” on Nov. 7 in Millwood. SR phto/Colin Mulvaney

We've got a lot of news for you in today's Valley Voice. Correspondent Valerie Putnam checked in with the dancers with the Millwood Ballet Theatre and Company Ballet School who are putting on performances of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker.”

The Spokane Valley City Council did not allocate the community festival Valleyfest any lodging tax money for the first time since 2004. In 2011 the $36,000 the city gave to the festival accounted for 27 percent of its budget. Putnam also has a second story on the discussion at the Millwood City Council's special budget workshop. The city is facing a budget shortfall and is reportedly considering a 2 percent utility tax on Avista natural gas customers.

A group of members of St. Mary's Catholic Church have put together a petition calling for the dismisal of the parish priest, the Rev. Victor Blazovich. They have presented the Bishop with a six page document outlining their complaints against Blazovich.

In a story that reaches much further than Spokane Valley, reporter Pia Hallenberg writes that Camp Fire USA Inland Northwest Council has decided not to run Camp Dart-Lo as a day camp in 2012 because of a budget shortfall.

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.

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.  

Historic Millwood photo

Last week I wrote a post about the 100th anniversary of the Inland Empire Paper Company mill in Millwood, so this seemed like a good time to pull out a historic photo of the mill. This photo, courtesy the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, shows the mill at its present location in Millwood in the 1940s. Don't you just love all those old cars? 

Tours of Millwood paper mill this weekend

The Spokane River flows quietly past the Inland Empire Paper plant in Millwood in 2010. SR file photo.

If you have always wanted to see what goes on inside the Inland Empire Paper Mill in Millwood, now is your chance to take a peek. The company will be hosting tours Friday and Saturday to celebrate 100 years in business. The 45 minute tours be begin at 10 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday. The final tour will begin at 3 p.m. on both days.

Visitors are required to wear closed-toed shoes and the tour isn't appropriate for children under age 10. The company will provide safety glasses and hearing protection. Visitors should call 924-1911 ext. 316 to set an appointment for a tour.

Inland Empire Paper is owned by Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

STA route changes start Sunday

An STA bus travels through Cheney in March 2010. SR file photo.

If you are still not sure how the Spokane Transit Authority route changes will affect you, check out reporter Mike Prager's story today that lays out what is being cut and what changes are being made. The No. 95 Millwood route is being eliminated and several others are changing.

The No. 90 Sprague bus will now turn around at the Valley Tranit Center on University Road. The No. 174 Liberty Lake Express will now stop at the Mirabeau Park and Ride lot. Several other routes in Spokane Valley and being redesigned.

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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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