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West Plains in brief: Police settle in to new quarters

THURSDAY, AUG. 20, 2009

The Airway Heights Police Department is settling in after upgrading from a 1,200-square-foot space to a 4,800-square-foot building at 1307 S. Ziegler St.

Police Chief Lee Bennett said 13 officers and an administrative assistant moved early last week from their offices at 13414 W. Sunset Highway, which the department has occupied for at least 13 years.

The City Council approved the new building’s purchase in early April for $260,000 plus title insurance and closing costs, paid for out of the city’s Real Estate Excise Tax fund.

“The city did a tremendous job in securing this building,” said Bennett. “The move went off without a hitch and everyone here is just ecstatic.”

The department handled more than 9,000 emergency calls last year and serves approximately 5,000 citizens over about five square miles on the West Plains, Bennett said.

Swimming: Not just a summer fling

Summer is winding down at the Cheney outdoor pool with a final free swim day this Saturday and the last swim of the season Aug. 28.

For those wishing to get wet all year round, however, the Eastern Washington University aquatic center has an indoor pool measuring 25 meters by 25 yards.

Until EWU’s fall quarter starts Sept. 23, the pool will be open Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m.

Pool times once classes start will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6:30 to 8 a.m., and Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. The pool also is available Sundays from 3 to 5 p.m.

Community residents can buy day passes, 10-day punch cards and monthly or annual passes. EWU faculty, staff and students are eligible for a discounted rate.

For more information, call (509) 359-2888.

Flea market in Cheney

Vendors and visitors are wanted for an outdoor bazaar in the Cabin Fever Antiques parking lot, 208 First St. in downtown Cheney. The market will be held Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Leslie Johnston, owner of Cabin Fever, said this will be the third outdoor market held there since the business opened last year, and about 20 food, crafts and antiques vendors typically attend.

Johnston said she and her husband live in a rural area and came up with the market idea as a way to unload some surplus goods in town. “We figured if we were putting stuff out there maybe others would have things to sell as well.”

Call Johnston at (509) 559-5050 for space rental information.

Computer classes in Airway Heights

If you don’t know a mouse from a microchip, the Airway Heights library is offering a one-hour primer in computer literacy Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Spokane County Library communications specialist Beth Gillespie said everything from word processing to e-mail will be covered by tech-savvy instructors. Technophobes have nothing to fear since there are no tests and classes can be attended as many times as necessary.

For more information, call the Airway Heights Library at (509) 893-8250.

Bus fleet moves out Sept. 2

Cheney School District transportation director Paul Harris said buses are ready to roll and his staff is standing by for phone calls from parents in order to finalize routes for the school year.

“We’re not yet sure how much growth we’ll have,” he said, but at least a few new students are expected come the first day of school, Sept. 2.

Harris said there are more than 60 buses in the fleet covering more than 46 daily routes. The buses are kept in good working order throughout the year by four technicians, including Brian Lang, who nabbed third in a national technician skills competition a few years ago.

Harris said the team passed a recent Department of Transportation inspection with no buses out of service – a rare feat. “It’s not always easy,” said Harris, “but we have a great crew and we’re all looking forward to the first day of school.”

Parents with children who are entering sixth grade, are new to the district or have moved during the summer should call the Transportation Department at (509) 559-4523 to determine which bus route to use.

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