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NASCAR driver Chad Little will present a benefit autograph signing session from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Players and Spectators restaurant, 12828 E. Sprague. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, which provides shelter to abused and neglected children. The event will include a silent auction of a John Deere pit crew uniform, including racing gloves and a helmet visor autographed by Little, a Spokane native. There will be a raffle for the chance to race against Little on a Daytona video game. Watts Automotive will display the No. 97 John Deere show car at the signing.
The last in a series of public meetings on stormwater problems in southeast Spokane is scheduled for Wednesday. Spokane County utility officials will talk about their recommendations for channeling stormwater on Moran Prairie, Glenrose Prairie, Browne Mountain and Central Park. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Chase Middle School cafeteria.
The 1997 Festival of Trees kicks off today with the Santa's Breakfast at the Spokane Valley Mall from 8 to 10 a.m. The breakfast will be held in the food court, with fruit, donuts, granola bars and juice available for $3. Children will be able to visit with Santa, participate in fun activities and watch several entertainers, including a balloon artist. Each child will receive a gift and door prizes will be given away. Proceeds of the breakfast will benefit the Valley Center of Sharing, the Hugs to Health Daycare at Valley Hospital and Medical Center and the new Valley senior center and park at Mirabeau Point.
SCOPE University is collecting nonperishable food items for Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets. The baskets will go to needy citizens in the University area. Donations can be left at the SCOPE University office, 10621 E. 15th, or picked up by calling 458-2582.
A Greenacres snowmobile rider hopes to see plenty of teenagers make it to the Spokane County Fairgrounds Sunday morning. The Spokane Winter Knights is holding a free safety clinic to train young snowmobile riders, ages 12-16. Those attending the clinic will receive a certification card. Without those certification cards, young snowmobilers riding in Washington will be cited by law enforcement officers this winter.
The Deaconess and Valley Healthcare Foundation will host its 17th annual Epicurean Delight at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Spokane International Agricultural Trade Center. The black-tie-optional dinner will benefit the Deaconess Center for Perinatal Medicine, which provides medical care for women with high-risk pregnancies. Tickets are $125 per person, $1,250 per table of 10 and $1,500 per sponsored table of 10. Tickets and information are available by calling 744-7673.
Deaconess Medical Center will host a three-part stress management workshop starting Tuesday. The class costs $35 and will be held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21 and 28 in the Deaconess Health Education Center, classroom 265.
Spokane Valley Fire District 1 will hold an open house today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fire Station 5, 2411 N. Pioneer Lane. Citizens can see the equipment and techniques used to fight fires and watch firefighters compete in a competition to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. For a $25 donation, private citizens can try the test course themselves from 2 to 4 p.m. Activities include dragging a hose charged with water, carrying it up stairs, climbing through a window with a 180-pound dummy and other challenges.
Anyone who loves the Centennial Trail can translate that affection into action next Saturday morning. Friends of the Centennial Trail is organizing a fall cleanup day, dubbed "Tidy up the Trail." Groups that have adopted miles, as well as community volunteers, will be sweeping, weeding and collecting litter. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon. Those who want to participate are asked to call the Friends office (624-7188) for an area assignment. Adopting sponsors for the trail include Bloomsday Road Runners Club, Spokane Mountaineers, Hewlett-Packard, Kaiser Aluminum-Trentwood, Telect Inc., Valley Kiwanis Club, Valley Rotary Club and Yoke's Pac'n' Save Foods. McCaslin plans town hall meeting Spokane County Commissioner Kate McCaslin will hold a town hall meeting next week in Liberty Lake to discuss the concerns and priorities of Valley residents. The meeting, one of four McCaslin holds in her district each year, will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Liberty Lake Community Church, Garry Road and Eighth Avenue. All topics are open for discussion, said McCaslin, who is also looking for community input on the 1998 county budget. County staff will be available at the meeting to answer questions. McCaslin's next meeting will focus on the Spangle, Rockford and Fairfield areas. It will be held this winter. St. Mary's fun run is fund-raiser St. Mary's Catholic School is having its 16th annual fund-raising fun run on Wednesday. Students, who will be running laps around the school gym to earn pledges they have secured from sponsors, have set a fund-raising goal of $27,000. The students will start running at 8:35 a.m. and continue until 2:30 p.m., with classes rotating in and out in 15-minute shifts.
The "R" word is not in the official Valleyfest weather forecast. Organizers are confident that it won't rain at the Spokane Valley's annual community event, being held today at Terrace View Park. But, just in case... "If it rains, we go forth," said Peggy Doering, Valleyfest chairwoman.
Peggy Doering didn't think twice before listing her home number as the telephone contact for Valleyfest. As Valleyfest coordinator, she filled out a form for the US West Yellow Pages months ago. "I feel like I should be an advertisement for US West," she said, laughing. Since the new directory was released a few weeks ago, Doering has been getting between 40 and 60 phone calls a day.
Although slightly behind schedule, county engineers still hope to reopen a widened, improved Dishman-Mica Road by the end of September. Construction crews plan to begin laying asphalt today between 16th and 28th avenues. Crews already have widened the road to four lanes, adding a four-foot bicycle path and sidewalks on the east side. They also have added an eight-foot shoulder to the west side.
After a successful 10-year run, organizers have decided that a Valley Christmastime tradition has run its course. The annual Festival of Trees, a benefit for Valley Hospital and Medical Center, has raised approximately $500,000 during the past decade, according to Lisa Orton, special events coordinator for the sponsoring Deaconess and Valley Healthcare Foundation. "It was a very successful event through the years, but all good things must end," Orton said. "We were hearing from a lot of people who said they felt it was time to try something new. We're responding to community sentiment."
The Town and Country Iris Society is having its annual sale next Saturday at University City Shopping Center. About 1,000 iris plants will be offered for sale, all priced at $1 each, according to Barb Midkiff, club spokeswoman. "These are all tall, bearded iris, but we won't have any old-fashioneds," Midkiff said.
A trust fund has been set up for a Newman Lake teenager seriously injured last month in a rock climbing accident. Jeremy Vetter, 18, broke his back during a June 14 climbing accident near Post Falls. He is paralyzed from the waste down and is undergoing therapy at St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute. Donations can be made to the Jeremy Vetter Trust Fund at any Seafirst Bank branch. Members of the Spokane Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church, of which the Vetter family are members, established the fund to help offset Jeremy's medical expenses.
Valley Fire District medics were recently honored for their emergency medical services work. The Spokane County EMS and Trauma Care Council, a non-profit organization that supports area agencies providing emergency medical service, presented Valley Fire with its Excellence in EMS award as agency of the year. The honor goes yearly to the area's outstanding fire department, ambulance service or other first responder trauma agency based on quality of response, professionalism and adaptation to growth. Thirty-three agencies belong to the council.
Pray for sunshine and heat this weekend. Hot, hot, hot is the general idea. "We're ready. All we need now is for the water to warm up," said Wyn Birkenthal, county parks and recreation director. That's because the three county pools in the Spokane Valley are full of water, waiting for the start of swimming lessons on Monday.
County animal control agents began canvassing Spokane Valley neighborhoods this week, selling pet licenses. The uniformed licensing agents, starting in the newer neighborhoods near Sullivan Road between 16th and 22nd avenues, are going door-to-door, targeting owners of unlicensed dogs and cats. "Some of the people have just moved here and may not know about licensing," said Nancy Sattin, county animal control director.
Two Valley scouts who plucked a struggling swimmer from Lake Coeur d'Alene last summer will be awarded the Boy Scout's Heroism Award. Life Scout Michael McCarthy, 14, and Star Scout Andy Schaller, 15, both of the Valley's Boy Scout Troop 424, will receive their awards during a ceremony Monday. The Heroism Award, bestowed by the National Court of Honor, requires that recipients demonstrate skill in saving a life at minimum risk to himself. McCarthy and Schaller were swimming in Lake Coeur d'Alene last Aug. 1, when they noticed John Eberle, who was snorkeling, struggling in the water. McCarthy swam toward Eberle while Schaller alerted a lifeguard.
Food, folly and fun await friends and neighbors at next Saturday's West Valley Family Days celebration. A parade through Millwood kicks off the third annual Family Days celebration at 11 a.m. A carnival at Millwood Park caps the day's events. Classic cars, fire engines, sheriff's patrol cars, and Sheriff John Goldman are expected to join the 30-minute procession that will snake along the town's streets and end up at Millwood Park.