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Today’s highlights

David Schultz, second from left, talks with incoming sixth-grader Brandon Hawvermale, 11, and his parents Keith, left, and Amanda, at Centennial Middle School during an open house on Tuesday. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

I've been zipping all over the county during a very busy week, so my apologizes for not posting this earlier today. There must be some rule of journalism that says that every jurisdiction must scheduled a special meeting during the same holiday week. But on to the highlights from today's Valley Voice.

The City of Spokane Valley will not participate in next week's auction to purchase the Painted Hills Golf Course. The property is being auctioned off in a trustee's sale on the steps of the Spokane County Courthouse to satisfy bankruptcy debts. The city council narrowly voted Tuesday not to try to buy the course after several residents spoke against it, including one person who said he represented a group trying to buy and preserve the golf course.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by Centennial Middle School this week for a meet and greet session before the first day of school. Students picked up their schedules, met their teachers and tried to get their lockers open.

Recently some Newman Lake residents invited Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke to come take a tour of the lake and look at areas that have been severely eroded. Reporter Mike Prager was along for the ride as well as homeowners asked for new regulations to help save their beaches and homes.

Newman Lake property owners meeting

The Newman Lake Property Owners Association is planning a meeting for Wednesday night to discuss, in part, an erosion control project put in place on one Newman Lake property by the Spokane County Conservation District. There will also be a presentation by Newman Lake Fire and Rescue and a discussion on milfoil removal. All Newman Lake property owners are invited to attend and bring something for the dessert potluck.

The meeting will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Tri-Community Grange on Starr Road.

Road re-routed off Middle Branch LeClerc Creek

PUBLIC LANDS — The U.S. Forest Service has completed a 2.25 mile reroute of Forest Road 1935000 (Middle Branch of LeClerc Creek) north of Newport and east of the Pend Oreille River as part of a larger road relocation and restoration project to benefit water quality and fish habitat.

The re-routed section of road begins near the new bridge crossing of the Middle Branch of LeClerc Creek and has been relocated away from the bottom of the drainage in order to improve the riparian and stream habitat. The old section of road is currently being decommissioned and is no longer open to motor vehicle use. The decommissioning of the 2.6 miles of road along Middle Branch LeClerc Creek includes the removal of fish passage barriers at 4 locations, restoring the stream channel at each of those four stream crossings as well as floodplain re-establishment and re-contouring the road.

Read on for funding sources and details.

Fish suffering from Forest Service road neglect

PUBLIC LANDS — Shrinking budgets at national forests are putting the squeeze on native fisheries.

Cutbacks in maintaning mountain roads have left a backlog of work totalling more than $1 billion in the national forests of Washington and Oregon alone, the Forest Service officials report.

The result is erosion, clogged culverts, road blowouts, blocked fish passage, and spawning areas smothered in silt.

Northwest Public Radio has an excellent report on the situation.