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Everything is on tonight’s council agenda

Well, it's not everything, but it sure is a lot. There are going to be a ton of interesting discussions at tonight's Spokane Valley City Council meeting. Topcis include a draft plan for the expansion of Balfour Park, adding sewer lines to vacant industrial land, the Spokane County Saltse Flats wetlands restoration project and landscaping Appleway Blvd. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

Saturday’s highlights

Spokane Valley Tech students run though the large room that used to be a Rite-Aid during a sports medicine class taught by Keith Eggleston on Wednesday. Eggleston was teaching the students how to analyze body movements and make corrections for injury prevention and efficiency. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

Welcome to a blistering hot Monday. If you start hearing a lot of noise tonight and tomorrow, that's me whining about the lack of air conditioning in my house. But I'm nice and cool for now and ready with some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice.

Residents on both sides of the southeastern Spokane Valley city limits had some tough questions and comments for Spokane County representatives presenting information on their plan to restore wetlands in the Saltese Flats. The flats are located just outside Spokane Valley east of Barker Road. The area used to be a lake before it was drained for farming and ranching in the late 1800's.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by the new summer school classes being offered by Spokane Valley Tech. The free 13 day sessions cover everything from cosmetology to fire science to biomedical science. Students who attend the entire session can get credits. Lisa also has a story the new name for Contract Based Education - Dishman Hills High School.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw talked to The Pearl Snaps, a Spokane Valley blugrass band that recently competed in the National Old-Time Fiddlers Contest and Festival in Weiser, Idaho. The group has several performances lined up this summer and has put together a CD.

Saltese Flats meeting tonight

Spokane County will host a public meeting tonight to talk about their planned wetland restoration project in the Saltese Flats. The meeting will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Valley Real Life Ministries, 1831 S. Barker Road. This project doesn't involved any treated wastewater being piped in, it's the redirection of natural runoff. You can find more information on the project online at www.spokanecounty.org/salteseflats.

Today’s highlights

Good news! It's almost Friday. The arrival of Thursday, of course, means from Valley Voice highlights. This week photographer Colin Mulvany took some fabulous photos of high-angle rope rescue training put on by the Spokane Valley Fire Department. Deputy Chief Andy Hail volunteered to be "rescued" from a water tower and be lowered 200 feet to the ground in a gurney.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on West Valley High School student Tonya Lewis. Her iPod photo titled "Pathway to Happiness" won first place in the landscape category of the Photographic Society of America's international photo contest.

Spokane County recently submitted a 100-year flood plain map of the Saltese Flats area to the Federal Emergency Management Agency so the county can move forward with a project to rechannel runoff from Mica Peak to restore wetlands. The County submitted the map without the participation of the city of Spokane Valley, which is involved because any floodwaters from the flats would end up inside city limits. The city has concerns about some of the data included in the county's analysis.

Today’s highlights

Doug Scott closes the gate to a pasture at his Mica/Valleyford farm off Jackson Road. The three-story barn was built on what began as the California Ranch in the 1870s. It was used as a way station for the Kentuck Trail. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

There are so many good stories in today's Valley Voice I don't know where to begin. People living near Saltese Flats have probably noticed a whole bunch of water pooling up on the land that was once a lake before it was drained for farming more than a century ago. But Spokane County officials haven't started their plan of flooding the flats with treated wastewater. It's just Mother Nature at work, as reporter John Craig outlines in his story.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger talked to Horizon Middle School students who are working to clean up nearby Browns Park. Spokane Valley Fire Department arson dog Mako visited the Spokane Valley City Council meeting this week to provide a chance of pace. In other fire department news, Fire Chief Mike Thompson was just named the Washington State 2011 Fire Chief of the Year.

In addition to being a sucker for pictures of cute critters, I also love historic red barns. We've got a great picture of one today to accompany a Landmarks column by correspondent Stefanie Pettit. She wrote about a barn near Mica that was built in the 1800s on what was then the California Ranch. It served as a way station on the Kentuck Trail and is still in use today.

And if you read correspondent Cindy Hval's touching story on a Mother's Day luncheon for birth mothers who gave their children up for adoption I recommend grabbing a couple of tissues first.

Alert readers may have noticed that yesterday I mentioned a story about a new sign at Liberty High School. It was in the North/South Voice today, but won't appear in the Valley Voice until Saturday. So now we all have something to look forward to.