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Today’s highlights

Central Valley High School’s marching band practices on Saturday at Eastern Washington University’s Jim Thorpe fieldhouse in Cheney, for a trip to Washington, D.C., to perform in the Presidential Inauguration Parade. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

Sorry I'm so late with the highlights from today's Valley Voice. Let's just chalk it up to being one of those days. But we do have some great stuff for you. Reporter Nicole Hensley stopped by to chat with the Central Valley High School marching band before they left for their trip tp play in a parade at the inauguration of President Obama. The band is one of only 14 high school groups selected to march in the parade.

The Spokane Valley City Council selected five candidates to interview for a vacant city council position. Those selected include former state legislative candidate Amy Biviano, current city planning commissioners Kevin Anderson and Rod Higgins, Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council executive director Linda Thompson and real estate appraiser Samuel Wood.

Former Spokane Valley Fire Department Capt. Jon Sprague argued before the department's Civil Service Commission this week that he was improperly fired in October. He was fired from the department after refusing to stop sending religious emails to a group of fellow firefighters using the department's email system.

Nicole has a second story out of Central Valley High School on the school's world geography class that will be going away at the end of the school year. Students presented information and food from countries around the world that they had researched.

Valley Fire captain fired

Capt. Jon Sprague, shown June 27, was disciplined for sending emails with religious content to firefighters using Spokane Valley Fire’s email system. SR file photo.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department fired Capt. Jon Sprague Monday for sending emails with religious content to a group of fellow firefighters using the department's email system. He has been ordered repeatedly to stop sending the emails and has been disciplined several times this year. You can read today's story here and previous stories here and here.

Firefighter suspended over religious emails

A Spokane Valley firefighter says he'll continue using his government email account to send religious-oriented messages to fellow firefighters despite being suspended for two days and ordered to stop.

Fire Capt. Jon Sprague contends that he has a constitutional right to use taxpayer-provided resources to invite co-workers to a Christian fellowship group he founded. The Spokane Valley Fire Department's board of commissioners said that could be viewed as insubordination.

Spokesman-Review reporter Nina Culver explores the continuing conflict in today's edition of the Valley Voice.

Today’s highlights

Freeman Elementary School first-grade teacher Chris Cochrane helps Andrew Kopytin select his classroom seat during an open house Monday at the newly remodeled school. Cochrane has taught first grade for 25 years, including 10 at Freeman. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Happy Thursday, everyone. We have one more day until a nice, three day weekend. But before we take off, there are some highlights from today's Valley Voice to consider. For the first time in years, there are no construction crews and portable classrooms on the Freeman School District campus. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by the district's annual welcome barbecue to check out the new elementary school, which joins the new high school and upgraded middle school.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department commissioners voted this week to suspend one firefighter for two shifts without pay for disobeying an order and to fire another for unspecified reasons. Capt. Jon Sprague, who has asked to have all his discipline discussed in open public meetings, was suspended for sending religious emails using the departments email system even after he was ordered to stop.

The Spokane Valley City Council had another look at the city's proposed 2013 budget this week. The council also gave its approval for hiring an advertising firm to create some ads touting the city's attributes.

Saturday’s highlights

Bob Williams of Longview, Wash., rides a body bowl slide on Monday at Splashdown Waterpark in Spokane Valley. Williams said he and his son, Bob Jr., travel to the park from the West Side as much as they can. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

It's hot and it's Monday. Enough said. That does mean, however, that we have some Saturday Valley Voice highlights to share. If you're looking for a something to do and a way to beat the heat, check out the Splash Down Waterpark. Reporter Lisa Leinberger recently stopped by to check out the Fastball water slide and the Cannon Bowl.

A captain in the Spokane Valley Fire Department is in a dispute with the department over sending religious emails using department email. Capt. Jon Sprague has been suspended without pay for two shifts, but the firefighters union is contesting the discipline.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw talked to Morgan Manchester, former East Valley High School soccer player and current captain of the Gonzaga University women's soccer team. Manchester stopped by an East Valley practice recently.