Don’t bother lobbying Spokane Valley City Council members by text message or email during meetings.
The city Tuesday became one of the first in the state to ban council members from using electronic messaging during council meetings, a move that backers say is designed to help ensure transparency in public debate.
Spokane Valley soon may have more police on the streets when they’re needed most. A proposed reorganization of the patrol division that includes the hiring of two additional deputies and the creation of a fifth platoon to augment staffing during the busiest hours of the day was rolled out this week for Spokane Valley City Council members.
A key portion of the planned Appleway Trail through the heart of Spokane Valley could be completed this summer. Council members want formal proposals on how much it would cost to develop a section of the old Milwaukie Railroad right of way between University and Pines roads. The former rail line is just south of Sprague Avenue and is seen by city leaders as a way to encourage people to walk or bike through one of the busiest stretches of town.
Finding a place to legally sell pot in Spokane Valley is getting tougher. Much of Sprague Avenue is now off limits, for example, because of interim zoning regulations adopted by the City Council earlier this week that include extra restrictions on where recreational marijuana can be produced, processed and sold.
Spokane Valley city leaders want to know more about the growing number of rail shipments carrying Great Plains oil through the Inland Northwest. “I think it would be good information to have,” City Councilman Bill Bates said this week. “Cities around us are taking a position.”
The woman described only as “Bette in Spokane” during a nationally televised address by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said Wednesday she had no idea her frustrations over increasing insurance premiums would become part of the Republican attack on health care reform. Not that Bette Grenier, a critic of the Affordable Care Act, minds that much.
Liberty Lake has joined the list of cities imposing moratoriums on recreational marijuana, while Spokane Valley may explore ways to add its own set of restrictions on opening any state-licensed pot shops. The moves follow Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s conclusion earlier this month that the voter-approved law legalizing marijuana in Washington doesn’t prohibit cities and counties from banning pot if they want.
An undeveloped portion of Alki Avenue is being vacated by Spokane Valley so a developer can use it for an additional exit and emergency vehicle access to a planned senior housing complex. City Council members unanimously approved the vacation Tuesday night despite concerns that even though no plans existed for completing the section of Alki, it was included in a planning report as a street that should be considered for completion in the future.
Now it’s up to voters whether Spokane Valley gets a new library branch at Balfour Park. As expected, the Spokane Valley City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday night to sell 2.82 acres of land at Sprague Avenue and Herald Road to the Spokane County Library District for about $840,000. No one supported or opposed the deal during a public hearing held just before the council vote.
Gary Schimmels, described by many as one of Spokane Valley’s founding fathers, died unexpectedly Wednesday at his home. A longtime construction worker and locksmith who in later years immersed himself in utility issues, Schimmels was among the city’s first seven council members and would become one of its biggest boosters despite the fact that he’d initially opposed incorporation. He served as deputy mayor until last month following his November re-election defeat.
Florence B. Boutwell, an educator and historian whose books about Spokane Valley’s early years became the foundation for efforts to develop the local museum, has died at 94. “It’s a big loss,” said Jayne Singleton, director of the Spokane Valley Museum. “She laid the groundwork for this museum. All the research she did gave us a huge head start.”
Plans for a new library and expanded city park complex in Spokane Valley could soon be starting the next chapter. City leaders are preparing to sell 2.82 acres of undeveloped land at Sprague Avenue and Herald Road to the Spokane County Library District, which wants to build a new, more accessible Valley branch at the site.
Developers of a gated multi-family housing project planned for Spokane Valley want the city to vacate an undeveloped portion of Alki Avenue. The planning commission has unanimously backed the request but City Council members Tuesday night asked for additional information before proceeding. Of particular concern is whether it would leave a nearby parcel landlocked.
Readers overwhelmingly were drawn to tragedy and mayhem last year. From the fatal beating of a World War II veteran and the crash of a Navy jet near Harrington, Wash., to the shooting of a noisy camper by park rangers and a school murder plot hatched by armed youngsters, the Inland Northwest occupied the international spotlight at various times in 2013.
South Hill rapist Kevin Coe wants out. Coe, being held indefinitely at a secure state facility for sexually violent predators, has filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking immediate release from what he calls unconstitutional confinement. No hearings on the request have been set.
South Hill rapist Kevin Coe wants out.
Coe, being held indefinitely at a secure state facility for sexually violent predators, has filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking immediate release from what he calls unconstitutional confinement. No hearings on the request have been set.
Lakeland Village, the state-run nursing facility for the developmentally disabled, is under fire from federal regulators for what’s described as improper cuts in specialized services to nearly 30 residents. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has suspended distribution of matching dollars for the state-provided care and wants as much as $16 million in previous payments returned. In a Nov. 7 letter to state officials, regulators also advised they are recommending a civil rights investigation be initiated.
Bill Heath was barely 21 back in the fall of 1943 when he arrived at Thorpe Abbots airfield in southeastern England, a second lieutenant reporting for duty as a B-17 bombardier. It was the early days of the U.S. Army’s controversial daylight bombing campaign over Nazi-occupied Europe. The Newport, Wash., kid was among the fresh crews sent to help replenish the rapidly depleting ranks of the 100th Bombardment Group, which took such heavy losses it became known as “The Bloody Hundredth.”
The Pentagon is preparing to pull out of Kyrgyzstan, the former Soviet bloc nation where Fairchild-based tanker crews have flown thousands of combat refueling missions over Afghanistan since the start of the war. The Defense Department said Monday it will vacate Manas Transit Center by July rather than attempt to negotiate a lease extension for continued use of the expeditionary base. The transit center serves as a staging point for aerial refueling missions and as a northern air supply route into nearby Afghanistan for troops and equipment.
Spokane County must pay about $10,000 in lost wages to an accused assailant eventually cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in a 2010 melee that left two men with stab wounds, and now must reimburse him for the cost of the appeal as well, the state Appeals Court ruled Thursday. Although Tommy J. Villanueva, 53, was awarded the lost wages last year after a Spokane County Superior Court jury acquitted him of assault charges on self-defense grounds, prosecutors appealed on largely technical grounds that the appellate court rejected.
The first of two convoys from the Washington National Guard’s Spokane-based 1041st Transportation Company rolled into Canada over the weekend for an international training exercise designed to help improve overall North American military readiness. A second is scheduled to leave Spokane on Wednesday, joining Canadian, British and other U.S. forces participating in Exercise Maple Resolve northeast of Calgary, Alberta. It’s described as one of the most complex training operations ever organized by the Canadian Armed Forces.
The return of Skyfest will have to wait. Fairchild Air Force Base, which had planned to revive the popular air show this year to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Spokane’s Lilac Festival in May, confirmed Monday that Skyfest will be canceled because of federal spending cuts.
The Thunderbirds precision flying team has canceled its Spokane appearances in May, citing budget cuts that likely will doom what was supposed to be the return of the popular SkyFest air show this year to Fairchild Air Force Base.