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Spokane Valley blog

Posts tagged: Rockford

Today’s highlights

Rustin Hall and his son Joseph unfold the wing structure of the 24-foot, 75-pound dragon they built for the University High School drama department production of “Shrek.” SR photo/Dan Pelle

Now that I have finally found my copy of today's Valley Voice that was sitting right in front of me on my desk, I can go over some highlights. (Don't ask. It's one of those days.) Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a cool story on a local family that built a huge mechanical dragon for the University High School's winter play “Shrek.” She breathes smoke, she talks and she moves. It will take five students to control the beast. The production is scheduled for Dec. 5-14. Is it too soon to buy tickets?

The Southest Spokane County Fair is this weekend in Rockford. The 69th annual event features a parage, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, live music, a pancake breakfast, a fun run and much more. Of course, you can't forget all the animals either. They even play center stage in the Cow Chip Bingo.

A woman interested in opening a gymnastics facility is asking the city of Spokane Valley to make changes to its zoning code to allow her business to be located in an industrial zone. In a close vote, the city council sent the proposal back to the planning commission for further deliberation.

The city of Liberty Lake has finished a couple of missing links in its trail system along Sprague Avenue. There will be a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday at Sprague and Molter Road.

Today’s highlights

Tyler Reeves mixes colored sprinkles and frosted animal cookies into ice cream to make Brain Freeze’s Circus ice cream. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Good Thursday morning, everyone. It's time for some highlights from today's Valley Voice. The election results are in for races in Spokane Valley, Latah, Rockford and Spokane County Fire District 9. In Spokane Valley incumbent Gary Schimmels will face challenger Ed Pace in November.

Reporter Pia Hallenberg stopped by the Brain Freeze Creamery in Spokane Valley, where you can buy flavors like salted caramel or Crayonberry Sorbet. They are always in search of new flavors to make. The maple bar bacon flavor sounds interesting.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked into the annual inspection process that all school buses must pass. Recently the Washington State Patrol was working its way through the Central Valley School District bus fleet. Any vehicle that carries children must pass inspection at least once a year.

There's also an interesting Vocal Point submitted by two Newman Lake residents addressed to whoever is having repeated parties on nearby land, leaving behind beer bottles and smoldering camp fires.

Last chance to vote

Attention procrastinators: Today is your last chance to vote in the primary election. Ballots must be postmarked by today or dropped off before 8 p.m. at any ballot drop box located at local libraries. Many people didn't get a ballot, which only includes races with more than three candidates. But there are contested races in Spokane Valley, East Valley School District, Latah, Rockford and Spokane County Fire District 9.

Apparently many people who have gotten a ballot haven't returned it. The small town of Latah is leading with way with 45 percent of ballots already returned. Rockford comes in second with a 28 percent return rate. Other return rates are in the teens: only 16 percent of ballots have been returned for the Spokane Valley City Council races. The numbers are 13 percent in the East Valley School District and 15 percent for Fire District 9.

The first vote tally will be released at 8 p.m. today. It usually takes two weeks to count ballots and certify the results.

Today’s highlights

Curt Buyser of Critter Control removes a captured yellow-bellied marmot near the Gonzaga University baseball field earlier this month. SR photo/Dan Pelle

I love Thursday for two reasons: it means it's nearly Friday and it's a Valley Voice day. Today's Voice section is packed with good stuff, so let's move on to some highlights. First up is our primary election coverage. Ballots are being mailed this week. I took a look at city council races in Rockford and Latah and a fire commissioner race in Spokane County Fire District 9. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has information on the candidates runnings for two East Valley School District board seats.

This week the Spokane Valley City Council took a look at several possible locations for a new City Hall. They favored buying the former Crescent building in the old University City Mall even though the building is significantly larger than what they would need for a combined city hall and police precinct. In other city news, the council is considering easing the sign code again to address the number and type of temporary signs and where they can be placed.

Reporter Pia Hallenberg has an interesting story on Curtis Buyser of Critter Control. He's the one you call when you have a skunk in the neighborhood, raccoons setting up house in your attic or marmots burrowing in the bushes.

Rockford candidate forum tonight

The candidates on the primary ballot for Rockford City Council Position 5 have been invited to participate in a candidate forum tonight at 7 p.m. at the McIntosh Grange and First and Lake St. in Rockford. The candidates are Larry Van Every, Chuck Collison and Robert Tollefson. However, incumbent Van Every has stated that he has resigned from the council and plans to withdraw from the race due to a family emergency. Residents are encouraged to attend and ask questions.

Look for a story in Thursday's Valley Voice highlighting primary races in Rockford, Latah, Spokane County Fire District 9 and the East Valley School District.

Thursday’s highlights

Greg Williams and Colleen Ramsey (reflected in mirror) drive the streets of Spokane Valley during a training session last week for the West Valley School District. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a safe and fun Fourth of July celebration. Before the weekend starts, lets take a look at some highlights from Thursday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on the training required to become a substitute bus driver in the West Valley School District. Aspiring drivers have to complete days of classroom work and road tests before being hired.

The town of Rockford has paid its bill for law enforcement services from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. The City Council had balked at paying the $32,000 bill, but they recently voted to pay what is owed to date. At a recent town hall meeting residents had expressed concern that the Sheriff's Office might stop responding to calls because the town hadn't paid its bill, but the Sheriff promised not to abandon the town.

Correspondent Stefanie Pettit has an update on Miss Chicken, who is now well settled in her new Spokane Valley home. The formerly feral chicken was trapped and relocated after hanging around Pettit's house for quite some time.

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.

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.

Saturday’s highlights

Broadway Elementary School students extend hands for high-fives from from Swoop, the Eastern Washington University mascot during an assembly, May 17 in the school gym. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Well, here we are on a Tuesday that feels like a Monday. I've successfully moved my base of operations across the room and am all set to go, so let's take a look at our packed Saturday Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote a story on Broadway Elementary students, who won a contest to have the Eastern Washington University mascot Swoop visit their school. The entry was a last minute decision, but the kids enjoyed the visit.

Three draft designs for the expansion of Balfour Park were presented to the community during a recent public meeting. The majority of people seemed to favor the design that put an angled library on the southwest corner of the property at Sprague and Herarld. Spokane Valley is developing the site in partnership with the Spokane County Library District.

Filing week is over and there are some heated races coming up. Controversies in Latah and Rockford have brought out more than the usual number of candidates. Every Spokane Valley City Council seat will be contested this fall.

A preliminary design for the Appleway Trail was presented at a recent public meeting to get input on planned features. The city has no construction money for the project and is creating a design so the project will be ready to go. At a recent meeting the Spokane Valley City Council heard details on several proposed comprehensive plan amendments.

The town council in Rockford recently took the unusual step of cutting their own pay to save money. They are down to one full-time employee and other changes are likely in the future.

Rockford bank robbed

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is looking for the man pictured above, who is suspected of robbing the Bank of Fairfield branch in Rockford just after noon on Monday. According to a Sheriff's Office press release, bank employees told deputies that the man handed over a note demanding money. He could not be located when deputies arrived.

The man reportedly had a trimmed beard and square eye glasses. He was wearing a camouflage hat and blue jeans. Anyone with information on the identity of the man is asked to call Detective Kirk Keyser at (509) 477-6611.  

Saturday’s highlights

Tony Ludiker has won five national fiddle championships, played with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony and trained many local musicians. Photo courtesy Tony Ludiker.

Good Monday morning, everyone. We started with snow and now I see sunshine. What's next? While we ponder that, let's take a look at Saturday's Valley Voice. Correspondent Jill Barville talked the national grand champion fiddler Tony Ludiker, a native of Spokane Valley. A fundraiser has been organized for Wednesday to raise money to help Ludiker with medical expenses for his kidney cancer after he found himself out of a job and with no health insurance.

Opportunity Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 100th anniversary this weekend with tours, a catered dinner, live entertainment and a special worship service. The church hasn't gone far since it began meeting in what is now the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. You still have time if you would like to attend the festivities; reservations are being accepted through Wednesday.

Reporter Nicole Hensley stopped by to check out an iPad training session for West Valley School District teachers. They discovered a wide variety of apps that can help in the classroom.

The town of Rockford is evaluating what to do next after a proposed law enforcement services levy failed at the polls this month. The town hoped to collect enought money to pay for the town's contract with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Today’s highlights

The Lilac Festival Royalty Coronation is scheduled for Sunday. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Good Thursday morning, everyone. I got my wish. It's supposed to be above freezing today! As we wait for our mini heat wave, we've got a few highlights from today's Valley Voice to go over.

Ballots for the Feb. 12 election will begin arriving in the mail this weekend and there are several Spokane Valley area issues on the ballot. Reporter Nicole Hensley outlines the East Valley School District construction bond and the Orchard Prairie School Distict levy. There are also details on the Rockford law enforcement services levy and the Newman Lake Fire and Rescue EMS levy renewal.

Nicole also has collected information on the 14 members of this year's Lilac Royal Court. One of the girls will be selected the Lilac Queen on Sunday. There are students from Central Valley High School, Freeman High School, and West Valley High School in the mix.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a story on the Millwood History Enthusiasts group that meets weekly to collect information on Millwood's history, including photos, recorded interviews or written stories.

Halloween events in Spokane Valley, Rockford, Liberty Lake

If you are looking for something indoors to do with the kids tonight for Halloween, there are several options available. In Spokane Valley the University SCOPE station is hosting an open house tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will be candy for the kids, plus information on SCOPE programs. University SCOPE is at 10621 E. 15th Ave.

The Liberty Lake Library will host a Halloween party tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Kids are encouraged to come in costume. There will be crafts, games and prizes. The Friends of the Liberty Lake Library will be offering pictures in decorative frames for $2. The Library is located at 23123 E. Mission.

In Rockford the annual kids halloween party will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the McIntosh Grange at First and Lake. There will be games, treats, prizes, a cake walk and other events. Costumes are encouraged. Rockford is located south of Spokane Valley on Highway 27.

This isn't a complete list of events going on tonight. There's a regional list of events available here on our web site.

SE Spokane County Fair starts today

During the 2004 Southeast Spokane County Fair, cousins Shelby and Kailyn Gady, then 10 and 9 respectively, of Rockford snuggled with their blue ribbon winner Simmental cow, Butterfinger. SR file photo.

The 68th annual Southeast Spokane County Fair got up and running in Rockford today. The classic fair includes plenty of animals, live entertainment and fun events. The best part: admission is free. The carnival opens at 3 p.m. today, but most of the events are on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday starts with a pancake breakfast at the fire station from 7 to 10 a.m. The cost is $6 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12 and kids 5 and under are free. The exhibit building opens at 9 a.m., but the highlights of the day might be the parades down Emma Road (also known at Highway 278). The children's parade starts at 10:15 a.m. and the grand parade starts at 10:30 a.m. This, of course, means that Highway 278 will be shut down from 10 a.m. to noon. This might be a problem for people driving to or from Worley. A detour will be available via Elder Road.

The weekend also includes a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and bingo. There will be a horse show on Sunday in addition to the other fair activities. Also be sure to check out the Cow Chip Bingo starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday. There will be cash prizes based on where three volunteers cows plop their, uh, cow chips.

A complete schedule is available at www.sespokanecountyfair.org. To reach Rockford, head south on Highway 27 from Spokane Valley. 

Today’s highlights

Perhaps the biggest news in today's Valley Voice is that the Spokane Valley City Council agreed this week to negotiate with SCRAPS for animal control services. The city has been contracting with SCRAPS since incorporation, but SpokAnimal had also submitted a proposal to provide animal control services. The decision has been discussed for months. The decision isn't final, however, until the city approves a contract.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger tagged along last week when a group of new teachers and employees in the East Valley School District took an orientation tour of the district on a school bus. They got a look at each of the schools and what makes them unique.

If you are planning ahead, start thinking about the Southeast Spokane County Fair in Rockford Sept. 21-23. It features livestock, a carnival, parade, fun run, live music, pie eating contest, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, horse show and Cow Chip Bingo. Admission is free, so bring the family.

Hot Rockford Nights

The fourth annual Hot Rockford Nights car show will be held Saturday in Rockford City Park, but there's also something to do Friday night as well. Car owners can pre-register for $15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Harvest Moon in Rockford and then stick around for a drive-in movie at dusk.

The car show begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and continues through 3 p.m. in the park Registration the day of the event is $20. There will be prizes, music and a barbecue. To reach Rockford, head south from Spokane Valley on Highway 27. The show is sponsored by the Rockford Lions Club.

Sheriff hosts town hall meeting in Rockford

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. SR file photo.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich will host a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. today at the McIntosh Grange in Rockford. The meeting is open to anyone living in Spokane County and people are encouraged to come and ask questions about law enforcement. The grange is located at First and Lake. To get there head south from Spokane Valley on Highway 27. Once you reach Rockford, take a left on Emma, then a right on First St.

The grand council meeting shuffle

Just about every city with a council meeting scheduled for next week is doing a bit of shuffling to avoid the Fourth of July holiday on Wednesday. The only exception is Spokane Valley, which will have its council meeting at its normal time at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

The Fairfield City Council is moving its Tuesday meeting to Monday at 7 p.m. at City Hall at 218 E. Main in Fairfield. The Rockford City Council is moving its meeting from Wednesday to Tuesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall at 20 W. Emma in Rockford. The City of Liberty Lake is moving its Tuesday meeting to July 10.

Rockford park trashed by vandals

The Rockford city park was hit hard by vandals sometime late Sunday night, according to a Spokane County Sheriff's Office press release. Nearly every building and fixture in the park was broken and/or spray painted, causing thousands of dollars in damage. City employees spent all of Monday trying to clean up the mess. Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233. Click here for more details.

Rockford fire levy passes

Sorry for my absence from the blog yesterday; I was knee deep in deadlines. But there's some good news today for the Rockford Fire Department. Last night's election results show the department's annual operations levy is passing with 67.8 percent approval. It will collect $12,500 in 2013 and represents 40 percent of the department's budget.

The department tried to pass the replacement levy last November and it failed with a 56 percent yes vote, short of the 60 percent supermajority needed. It was the first time the annual levy had failed in years.

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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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