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Saturday’s highlights

Quarterback Gaven Deyarmin (center in white) returns for his third season as a starter and team leader for the Central Valley Bears. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

It never fails. I tried to sneak quietly away from the blog Friday for a day off and it was nonstop action. I missed mail thieves, the grand opening of the new Harley Davidson dealership, a street brawl and the identification of last week's mysterious boom (an improvised explosive attached to helium balloons).  

But I can still bring you highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Correspondent Steve Christilaw has the season's first look at the football teams at Central Valley High School and University High School. Catholic Charities seems to be taking the wait-and-see approach with their proposed low income senior housing complex next to St. John Vianney. It doesn't look like the issue is going to go away soon.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department commissioners spent some time last week looking at the 2012 budget, which looks healthy. The department has plans to demolish and rebuild Station 6 on Sprague on the west end of town.

The Spokane Valley City Council spent about 90 minutes last week discussing the city's sign code and what changes might be made. A lot of the focus was on temporary signs and the A-frame or sandwich board signs.

Coming on Saturday

If you can tear yourself away from Hoopfest or the Ironman this weekend, we will have a nice Valley Voice coming out on Saturday. As promised I will have more details about the truck weight restrictions on the Sullivan Road bridge. Some companies aren't worried about the limits but others are scrambling to figure out how to work around the problem.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger will have information on two awards the University High School drama department recently received. Greenacres residents are probably happy to see that construction on the long-awaited Greenacres park has begun. The park isn't expected to be ready for use this year, though.

Today’s highlights

“I’m really involved with my music,” said Central Valley senior Corbin Croom. When he’s not making music with the CV drum line, he takes AP classes, has performed with the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, attended Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., and job shadows surgeons to prepare for his ultimate career in medicine. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Welcome to our annual graduation edition of the Valley Voice. In it you can find every graduating senior in the greater Spokane Valley area. Counselors at every school also gave us the name of a notable student to interview and you will find their stories in today's Voice as well.

There are too many seniors profiled to include links for them all here, so I'll just pick a few to highlight. Let us introduce you to East Valley High School senior Hunter Bonawitz, who has cerebral palsy and can't speak. Meet University High School senior Spencer White, who overcame an angry and troubled childhood to win a full ride scholarship to Gonzaga University. Then there is Corbin Croom, the Central Valley High School senior so determined to become a surgeon that he's already observed a dozen surgeries.

The smaller schools also have exceptional graduates. RiverCity Leadership Academy senior Jake Kennedy found his inner voice and has turned it into effortless writing. Liberty High School senior Tyler Wilson is legally blind, but you would never know it if you watched him play on his school's basketball or football team. Northwest Christian senior Cole Ramey nearly lost his arm in an accident as a young boy, but has been playing basketball with full use of his arm.

If you would like to see the featured seniors from other Spokane Valley schools or other schools in Spokane County, check out the Voices web page here.

Saturday’s highlights

Taylor Keeton prepares to throw to first base from third at University High School. The Titan standout and his team were playing the Mt. Spokane Wildcats. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

University High School ended up getting a lot of coverage in Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote a story on the spring drama "Assassins" that students will be performing the next two weekends. The school's drama department has been tackling tough, edgy performances in the last couple of years. Regular correspondent Steve Christilaw also weighed in with a story on the school's baseball program and senior player Taylor Keeton.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam wrote a nice feature on Glenn Bailey, who has served on the Millwood City Council for 20 years. Now that is dedication to public service.

Now then, where was I?

University High School senior Lauren Archibald was part of the No. 1 doubles team that won the district championship and advanced to regionals last year. U-Hi shared the GSL girls tennis title last year and returns several key players. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Well, I managed to make it back to work today after unplugging from the blog and twitter for a week. I'd like to give a hat tip (as Huckleberries blog master D.F. Oliveria would say) to fellow reporter Lisa Leinberger, who kept the blog from being a vacant white space while I was gone.

Now it's time to get back to the Monday routine, which means a recap of what you may have missed in Saturday's Valley Voice. Lisa has written a story about West Valley School District teachers getting training on new web site software that lets them post online and allows students to listen to a class they may have missed.

Correspondent Cindy Hval took a look at the 2011 Inland Northwest Homeschool Conference, which will be held this weekend in the Valley. Correspondent Steve Christilaw talked to the tennis coach at University High School about the challanges of practicing indoors because of the weather and what the team looks like this year.

Saturday’s highlights

U-High sophomores Emerald Charbonneau and Megan Randles, both 16, shiver in 10 degree temperatures while waiting for a ride after school recently. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak 

Declaring yourself not cold while you shiver in 10 degree weather is a teenage thing. Teens venturing out in clothing best suited for 60 degree weather is nothing new and reporter Lisa Leinberger talked to some of those teens during a recent cold snap to find out just what they're thinking.

East Valley High School graduate Tyler Jolley is now a senior at Eastern Washington University and played a role in the recent football championship. A public memorial service is coming up Saturday for former SCRAPS animal behaviorist Patricia Simonet, who died recently of cancer.