Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Spokane Valley City Councilman/Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels is greeted by Latisha Hill, regional business manager for Avista, during a farewell gathering at Spokane Valley City Hall on Tuesday. SR photo/Kathy Plonka
Welcome to Monday, which this week is also known as Christmas Eve Eve. Not that we're counting the days until Christmas or anything. There are, of course, some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. A housing development is being discussed for the former Painted Hills Golf Course. The new owner may lease out the short par-3 course and the driving range, but it looks like various types of housing is the plan for the rest of the site.
Gary Schimmels is leaving the Spokane Valley City Council after serving ever since the city incorporated 10 years ago. He lost his re-election bid in November and now will be focusing on restoring his vintage cars and volunteering at local social service agencies.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on a group of Central Valley School District bus drivers who teamed up to collect enough money to send one of their coworkers on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii. Bus driver Teri Perry has been receiving treatment for ovarian cancer and her coworkers wanted to give her a special gift. They surprised Perry with the gift last week.
Oh, dear. It's coming. This morning on the way in to work I saw a truck sporting a cap of about an inch of snow. While we contemplate the arrival of snow flakes, we can check out some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a report on student enrollment in the Central Valley School District. Many more students are projected in the coming years and eventually the district will have to consider a third high school.
Election Day is tomorrow, so don't forget to mail in your ballot or drop your ballot off at any library. (Look for a ballot drop box by the book return.) The Spokane Valley City Council candidates got some late donations from PAC's last month, allowing a last minute advertising push. Tomorrow we will find out the results, or at least get a look at the first count. The race to watch is between established incumbent Gary Schimmels, who has served on the council since the city formed, and his well-funded challenger, Ed Pace.
Lisa also spoke to the new Miss Washington, Allyson Rowe, who started the Miss Washington competition as Miss Spokane Valley. She will compete in next year's Miss USA pageant.
Brett Siddoway, 18, holds up a fishing net full of golf balls he gathered from the aquatic driving range at MeadowWood Golf Course on July 3. Siddoway has been a range hand at the course the last three summers. SR photo/Colin Mulvany
I'm really not sure where the morning went, though I think I had a phone headset on for most of it. Still, it is not too late for some highlights from today's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked in with MeadowWood Golf Course range hand Brett Siddoway. He's in charge of fishing golf balls out of the lake in addition to cleaning golf carts and other tasks. HIs story is being told as part of a summertime series featuring people with unusual jobs.
Lisa also has a report on budget plans in the Central Valley School District. The district is looking at cutting kindergarten and first grade class sizes and offering all-day kindergarten at more schools. Doing so will mean hiring more staff and using portable classrooms.
The Spokane Valley City Council agreed this week to accept partial grant funding for the Appleway Trail. The city has three years to use the grant money, which should be enough time to find additional funding for the project, the council said. In other city news, the city has created a free smartphone app that uses mapping software to find local places to eat, play, shop and stay. You can use it to find local pools, department stores, gas stations and more. Look for it in the Android Play Store in the next few days. It will be available for iphones in a couple of weeks.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner has identified the man killed in a motorcycle accident in Liberty Lake early on July 4. He is 45-year-old Matthew L. Jones.
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputies believe a man working on his paintball gun triggered lock downs at nine Spokane Valley schools Thursday morning.
A woman told deputies she saw a man carrying a gun and shooting it into the ground near 28th Avenue and Blake Street around 10:45 a.m., according to a Sheriff’s Office news release, but authorties could not locate a suspect.
Several Central Valley School District schools were briefly locked down during the extensive search, the release said.
Later that day, a man called deputies to say he was in the area taking a CO2 cartridge off his paintball gun – an action that creates a loud popping noise. He realized the woman likely heard this sound.
No shots were fired, deputies determined.
WVHS sprinter-jumper Terrynce Duke runs through block starts Wednesday at the school. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley
All I have to say is that Monday came much too early this week. With that said, let's move forward with some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on the Central Valley School District's new computer system that allows students and parents to check progress online. The new software also means that teachers don't have to hand schedule students anymore.
The city of Spokane Valley held a public meeting last week to go over a planned stormwater improvement project on 14th Avenue between Carnahan Road and Custer Street. The project is expected to be completed this summer and should end the frequest flooding and erosion after heavy rains.
Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a story on West Valley senior Terrynce Duke, who is becoming a standout track athlete after years of playing football and basketball.
In today's Valley Voice, reporter Nina Culver attended the most recent Spokane Valley City Council meeting and heard the council debate whether to repave a section of Evergreen Road after it is dug up for a new water line here.
Pia Hallenberg met a local artist, Lisa Allen, who has been spinning out purses made from old record album covers.
Cindy Hval writes about the legacy little Vanessa Behan left on the community and a special fundraiser for the Crisis Center at local Red Robin restaurants.
And I sat in on a question and answer session with Central Valley Superintendent Ben Small where residents asked about the Feb. 14 levy election. Small will have two more of these sessions if you would like to attend. The next opportunity will be tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Liberty Lake Elementary School, 23606 E. Boone, and one more next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at University High School, 12420 E. 32nd Ave. If you have any questions, call the district office at (509) 228-5400 or visit the district's website.
The Central Valley School District will host the first of four public forums tonight on its school programs and operations levy on the Feb. 14 ballot. The forum is at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Central Valley High School, 821 S. Sullivan Road. The three-year $27 million levy, if passed, will replace one that expires in December. There will be a chance for residents to ask questions.
Addtional forums are scheduled for Jan. 31 at Opportunity Elementary (1109 S. Wilbur Road), Feb. 2 at Liberty Lake Elementary (23606 E. Boone) and Feb. 9 at University High School (12420 E. 32nd). For more information, click here.
University High School teacher Michael Cronin was placed on paid administrative leave in August and has been sentenced to serve nearly a year in jail after being found guilty of two criminal charges in September.
Additional charges from a separate incident in Pend Oreille County – resisting arrest and obstructing a law enforcement officer – are still pending.
Liberty Lake's TierPoint has landed a major contract to provide all information technology services for the Central Valley School District.
The job means CV moves its entire network, including email and parent information data, out of its buildings and into virtualized servers inside TierPoint's data center. Also relocated to TierPoint is the district's business data.
In effect, CV moved its IT system to the cloud, and the cloud in this case was less than 10 miles away.
CV Superintendent Ben Small said the project made sense in saving future upgrade costs for hardware, and in cutting about $190,000 per year for two "high level" IT staff. Those positions were recently cut, he added.
The move eliminates the need for the district to upgrade equipment every three to five years, Small said.
CV is paying a yearly cost of roughly $169,000 to switch, plus another $42,000 for one-time startup fees. The costs will continue at that level for the next five years, with some increases based on the volume of data storage the district needs, said Octavio Morales, a TierPoint spokesman.
Flaggers direct traffic on Bowdish Road just south of Sprague, July 11,while utility work is completed in the area. There have been several cases so far this year where utility workers have severed natural gas lines in Spokane Valley in residential neighborhoods. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak
There's a ton of news to catch up on in today's Valley Voice. Let's begin with a little primer on what you should do if there is an outdoor natural gas leak in your neighborhood. It's something that has happened a lot this year as construction crews dug up gas lines. According to the experts, you should leave the area if you can smell the gas inside your home. But if your windows are shut and you can't smell any gas, you should be fine.
Some Spokane Valley City Council members took aim at the proposed Bike and Pedestrian Master Program this week. In the end they decided there were too many questions to advance it to a first reading, so there will be another study session held on the plan. It hasn't been scheduled yet, but I'll be sure and let everyone know when the date is set.
You can also get your first look at the cash being donated to city council candidates, who has the money and who it is coming from. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on this week's discussion on the new utility tax at the Liberty Lake City Council meeting. She also checked in with three local churches who sent volunteers to Central Valley School District schools last weekend to do landscaping and other projects.
And if there are any fans of Chicken out there, correspondent Stefanie Pettit has another update. Apparently Miss Chicken is now a mother. I just love reading about that bird.
It can be hard for families who get free or reduced price meals through the school districts to provide enough food for kids during the summer when they are home. So every year local school districts open up federally funded Summer Food Program free meal sites for all children under age 18.
Beginning today Central Valley School District will serve free meals Mondays through Thursdays (closed on the Fourth of July) at Broadway Elementary, 11016 E. Broadway. Breakfast is from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. and lunch is from noon to 12:45 p.m.
The West Valley School District is also opening a meal site today at West Valley High School, 8301 E. Buckeye. Their schedule is also Mondays through Thursdays. Breakfast is from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meals are also available at Centennial Middle School, 925 N. Ella, the same days and times.
The East Valley School district already has several meal locations up and running. Meals are served Mondays through Thursdays at varying times. Locations include a couple of apartment complexes, the Valley YMCA, Trent Elementary, East Valley High School, Valley Mission Park, Terrace View Park, Edgecliff Park and Otis Orchards Elementary.
Click here for a complete list of summer meal locations and times.
Our Saturday edition of the Valley Voice included a story about a special therapy dog at Barker High School, a couple of Valley firefighters who competed in the annual Scott Firefighter Stair Climb, and a story about an autistic teen who has found a way to communicate through art.
You can find a complete listing of Saturday's Voices stories here.
Central Valley School District Superintendent Ben Small will present informational meetings regarding the district’s upcoming $69.6 million construction bond upon which voters will decide in February.
Tonight’s meeting will be held at Chester Elementary School, 3525 S. Pines Road, at 6:30 p.m.
The meetings will discuss the district’s need for expanding and
remodeling several elementary schools and middle schools as well as the
construction of a new elementary school at the intersection of
If approved by voters, taxpayers in the district can expect an increase of 65 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value on their property taxes.
At least 60 percent of the votes, a supermajority, is needed to approve the construction bond.
For more information, call the district office at (509) 228-5400 or visit the district’s website at www.cvsd.org.