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2003 year in review (part 1)
This is the first of a two-part look at the noteworthy news and happenings of 2003.
2003 year in review (part 2)
This is the second of a two-part look at the noteworthy news and happenings of 2003.
Fire service election likely April 27
It's not often that voters are asked to go to the polls to keep the status quo, but that's exactly what could happen April 27. The City Council has eyed that date as the probable election day when voters will be asked to annex to Fire District 1 to continue business as usual in Spokane Valley.
Race is on: teams vying for top spots
CV girls, U-Hi boys have division leads. Wide open is the best way to describe varsity basketball races in the Greater Spokane League a little more than a third of the way through the 2003-04 season.
County nixes $1 million road cut
A request by the city of Spokane Valley to cut $1 million off of their contract with Spokane County for road maintenance was sidelined by county commissioners last week.
Library contract a step closer
A few criticisms aside, the Spokane Valley City Council inched closer Tuesday to signing a contract with the Spokane County Library District for 2004. The council mulled over a pair of options proposed by the district; both would cost the city about $2.1 million.
Liberty Lake citizen group paves way for trail
Life is good for walkers, joggers and bicyclists in the city of Liberty Lake and the surrounding area. With a comprehensive network of well-groomed trails and walkways, the community has made a mark as one of the most pedestrian-friendly environments in the state.
Spokane Valley Community Center hit with holiday help requests
The family was not unlike scores of others who have come seeking help at the Spokane Valley Community Center. A mother and father - both working - arrived at the center faced with the challenge of providing Christmas for their children.
Central Valley School District names Pearson superintendent
The Central Valley School District board of directors decided to stay in-house by selecting Mike Pearson as its permanent superintendent at its Monday night meeting.
Lady Scotties earn victories over VC, Lakeside
Girls Basketball: Freeman rebounded from a 74-67 opening-game loss at Almira/Coulee-Hartline on Friday to ease past visiting Valley Christian 66-36 last Saturday in girls basketball.
Scotties stop ACH, Valley Christian, Lakeside
Boys Basketball: Freeman took advantage of 31 turnovers by Valley Christian to top the Panthers 59-50 in boys basketball last Saturday at Freeman.
Fire district tested in plane crash response
Fire District 9 firefighters faced a number of challenges when they responded to the crash of an Ameriflite cargo plane in the hills north of the Valley last Saturday morning.
City of Spokane Valley petitions Liberty Lake comp plan
The city of Spokane Valley has a beef with their neighbors to the east, and it has officials in Liberty Lake stewing.
West Valley, Central Valley boys win openers
Central Valley and West Valley tipped off Greater Spokane League play with Tuesday victories while East Valley and University suffered opening-night losses.
West Valley, Central Valley boys teams coming off 16-3 GSL marks
It's a good year to be young...West Valley and Central Valley boys hoop teams are coming off excellent seasons, and the Eagles and Bears look to continue their winning ways.
CVSD scheduling debate strikes emotional chord
Erik Ohlund has yet to pick out his cap and gown for next spring's U-Hi commencement exercises - but that doesn't mean he won't be moving on with the class of 2004.
Operation of senior center to stay same
The city of Spokane Valley won't be making any big changes to the way things operate at the senior center - at least for now.
Liberty Lake council approves assumption ordinance
The Liberty Lake City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to assume control of the area's sewer and water district Tuesday night - but not before a round of spirited debate
4-A Volleyball Championship tournament results
University High School won one match and lost two in the Lady Titans' first-ever appearance in WIAA/Dairy Farmers of Washington 4-A Volleyball Championship tournament last weekend at the Everett Regional Events Center.
Towns reject police dispatch charges
Mayors of two Spokane County towns that have their own police forces have rejected county efforts to collect fees for police dispatch services. Instead, they offered a compromise.
CV board hears pleas, shaves budget
Following an emotional litany of pleas from parents, staff and students representing programs from fifth-grade strings to middle-school counseling, Central Valley School District Board President Craig Holmes summed up the challenge of trimming next year's budget.
Lady Titans earn first-ever berth in state tourney
Facing elimination from the GSL/Big 9 4A Regional Volleyball Tournament at Moses Lake after a first-round loss last weekend, the Lady Titans earned back-to-back wins and qualified for the state tournament Friday and Saturday at the Regional Events Center in Everett.
Washington Home Sales Surge While Affordability Declines
The median sales price for an existing home in Washington was $208,000 during the third quarter, 8.6 percent higher than last year.
City's sales tax numbers on track
Ken Thompson, the city's inaugural finance director, was greeted with news of a sales tax shortfall. The problem was that many businesses within city limits were not punching in the city's code when registering a sale. Instead, the money was being routed to Spokane County.
Nov. 4th election results
Close races in Liberty Lake and Fire District 1. It's going down to the wire for a pair of Valley-area campaigns.
U-High girls qualify for cross-country state meet
The University High School girls cross country team, in addition to one member of the boys squad, qualified for the state meet in Pasco during the GSL/Big 9 Regional meet last Saturday at the Deer Park Golf Course.
Movin' on up: Sports complex progressing
Sitting on just over an acre of land, the 56,120 square foot structure will feature five full length basketball courts, 10 volleyball courts and seating for over 2,000 spectators.
Nov. 4 election something for all
The Nov. 4 general election is the political equivalent of a pot of jambalaya - it's got a little of everything tossed in it.
CV superintendent search local, cost-effective
The net being thrown out to catch the next superintendent for the Central Valley School District will look a little different this time around.
Valley harriers prepare for cold regional meet Saturday
High school cross country teams from University, West Valley and Central Valley will compete in regional meets Saturday at Deer Park Golf Course, as well as individuals from East Valley.
Senior Center dries out after flood
Despite some dour predictions, the Spokane Valley Senior Center reopened for operations Tuesday after being closed last week due to damage caused by flooding.
No-shoot zone partially shot down
No one on the county board of commissioners wanted to come right out and bar shooting on land where the residents wanted it. They also didn't want to disappoint those who signed petitions to establish the area on Tower Mountain as a no-shoot zone.
Library services to be studied
The Spokane Valley City Council closed the book on library service for 2004. The city will contract for service with the Spokane County Library District through next year, but study will begin on other possible options.
U-Hi spikers savor GSL win over Ferris
The fourth game of Tuesday night's University-Ferris GSL volleyball match magnified the character of the Lady Titans. U-Hi fought off match points five times in the game, pulling it out and eventually winning in a five-set marathon.
Millwood to seek new police bid
Alarmed with drastically rising costs of county police protection in their town, Millwood officials are going out to see if there is another way to do it cheaper.
Fire districts to serve city in 2004
The city of Spokane Valley will continue its fire service status quo for one more year. At Tuesday night's regular meeting, the City Council unanimously agreed to continue its relationship with Fire Districts 1, 8 and 9 through 2004.
EV's 34-20 win over CV was the first over the Bears in 31 years
Last Friday, Scott Campbell had just another day at the office. With lots of help from his co-workers, Campbell rushed for 270 yards and led the Knights to a 34-22 victory over homestanding Central Valley.
City to sell bonds for road repairs
Call it a 2-for-1 special. With a plan already in place to sell $7 million in bonds to go toward the construction of the CenterPlace community center at Mirabeau Point, the Spokane Valley City Council has decided to go further with an extra $2.3 million for street repairs.
Liberty Lake presents assumption ordinance, offers a compromise
Ordinance No. 120 made a relatively quiet debut at the Liberty Lake City Council meeting Tuesday night.
From cops to SCRAPS, county rethinks role
The Spokane County Animal Control has been renamed Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services.
Oliver North to spur Rotary program
Members of the Spokane Valley Rotary Club are hoping Oliver North can help them have a resounding impact on the lives of low-income kids.
Health board shake-up draws mixed reviews
Nothing appeared out of the ordinary at last week's Spokane Regional Health District board meeting. The only difference came when it was time to vote.
Valleyfest celebrates growth in leaps and bounds
After pulling off the most elaborate Valleyfest in the 14-year history of the event, Chairperson Peggy Doering will be back at it in less than two weeks, planning next year's bash.
New junk car law hits the streets
It didn't turn over the first time, but it's now running just fine. A law that would enable junk vehicles to be towed from Spokane Valley homes was unanimously passed by the council Tuesday night.
West Valley tech levy, juvenile tax both pass
A request to continue a technology levy - which failed in March by seven votes - came away a 68-percent winner in the West Valley School District. The measure won by a tally of 2,406 votes to 1,147.
Council weighs senior center operation options
Does building a new senior center necessarily mean a new way of doing business? That's the question on the minds of the members of the Spokane Valley City Council.
Liberty Lake works to launch municipal library
Last week, the Liberty Lake City Council held a public meeting to discuss the details of the town's new library. The council decided in July to forego an agreement with the Spokane County Library District and fund and manage a library of its own.
Project Access launches new era of medical care
It seemed appropriate that the movers and shakers in the Spokane medical community would gather under a tent on a hot, sweltering day to celebrate the launch of Project Access. After all, the innovative program - designed to provide medical coverage for the uninsured - is all about supplying ample protection.
City to take control of parks, pools
After months of legal wrangling, the Spokane Valley City Council voted Tuesday night to accept 11 parks along with the Spokane Valley Senior Center, Opportunity Township Hall and Western Dance Center. The city also accepted three pools: Terrace View, Park and Mission.
Council to settle lodging tax debate
It's a classic case of chicken or the egg. Or, as it happens, marketing or the event. The Spokane Valley City Council will decide next Tuesday how to divvy up approximately $200,000 in lodging tax reimbursement.
Voters to weigh in on WV levy, juvenile facilities tax
For citizens, it means 10 cents out of every $100. For Rand Young, it means much more. The administrator for Spokane County Juvenile Court is anxiously anticipating the outcome of a vote to renew the imposition of a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax - the benefits go toward maintaining juvenile detention facilities and jails.
Council will support Splash-Down sale
On Tuesday, the Spokane Valley City Council agreed to support a 20-year lease with two couples - Jeff and Debbie Weisen along with Dave and Debbie Finney- who plan to buy the popular summertime attraction. "We want this to be the place where everybody in the Valley will go," Debbie Weisen told the council.
Remodeled schools ready for students
Adams and McDonald elementary schools both underwent extensive facelifts thanks to a $9.3 million construction project. The funding came from a $78 million bond passed in 1998.
Council will support Splash-Down sale
On Tuesday, the Spokane Valley City Council agreed to support a 20-year lease with two couples - Jeff and Debbie Weisen along with Dave and Debbie Finney- who plan to buy the popular summertime attraction. "We want this to be the place where everybody in the Valley will go," Debbie Weisen told the council.
Remodeled schools ready for students
Adams and McDonald elementary schools both underwent extensive facelifts thanks to a $9.3 million construction project. The funding came from a $78 million bond passed in 1998.
Fate of joint sewer rests with Spokane
The Spokane Valley City Council agreed Tuesday night it is still willing to enter into a regional wastewater treatment agreement with the city of Spokane and county governments.
Long stresses exactness, accountability on board
This article is the first in a series of profiles on the three candidates running for position No. 3 on the Central Valley School District board of directors.
Council OKs to move CenterPlace forward
"The public has given us a mandate. We, as a council, have not come up with this on our own." Steve Taylor. Despite a price tag of nearly $400,000 a year to keep the building open, the Spokane Valley Council voted 6-1 Tuesday to progress on work of the CenterPlace community center at Mirabeau Point.
Water safety laws OK'd
Spokane Valley's waterways might be good places to float your boat - just do it under 50 mph in designated areas. The Spokane Valley City Council unanimously approved a water safety ordinance Tuesday night that will match county rules to the letter.
Disincorporation interest slows down
The mood was reminiscent of a halftime pep talk with Sally Jackson assuming the role of a coach in full-scale motivational mode. The Citizens for Disincorporation met in a basement room at the Valley Library last week - on the docket was a new game plan designed to ultimately dislodge the city of Spokane Valley.
Development director looks to city's future
In her new role, Marina Sukup will direct the course of a city seeking to establish its own aesthetic identity. She takes notes of issues like how many trees are planted in parking lots and is critical of certain commercial areas which feature "acres and acres of uninterrupted asphalt."
Council hopes to reduce CenterPlace costs
As Spokane Valley City Council members prodded and picked at the high start-up and operating costs of the planned CenterPlace community center at Mirabeau Point, Mercier wanted to make sure they realized even the smallest change at this point could have big impacts.
Parks department expands recreational options in new city
Despite a staff comprised of only three full-time workers, the city of Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation Department is making a resounding splash this
Council learns possible costs of Mirabeau
Spokane Valley Council Member Dick Denenny called it one of the costs of government. Greg Bever, one of Mirabeau Point's trustees and longtime proponent of the project, said he never thought the project would make money.
Council floats possible water safety ordinance
Summer's more than half over, but the city of Spokane Valley has yet to nail down a water safety ordinance. That could soon change, as Tuesday the City Council looked at drafting rules already in place in Spokane County.
City tries to get handle on sales tax
It is a number vital to the prosperity of the city of Spokane Valley. The digits - 3213 - are not spectacular in themselves, but to City Manager David Mercier, they represent a code that all merchants within city limits should know by heart.
Charity golf tourney more than just day on links
Doug Kelley of Avista Utilities Corp. uses the term "co-opetition" when describing how local energy companies are rallying to the cause of customers in need. That collaborative spirit will be on display at Liberty Lake's Meadowwood Golf Course on Thursday, July 17, as the Spokane Valley Community Center sponsors its fifth annual charity golf tournament.
Police adopt team approach to traffic
Every week, Sgt. Martin O'Leary of the city of Spokane Valley Police Department tracks the top 10 trouble spots on city roads. The Valley traffic hall of shame includes areas like.....(continue reading)
City looks for spots on area boards, committees
The city of Spokane Valley is beginning to throw its weight around. With a population base of over 80,000, the state's newest - and eighth largest - city is gradually gaining representation on some of the most influential boards and commissions in the area.
Former landfill holds up parks transfer
An old dump may be all that's holding up Spokane Valley from assuming ownership of county parks within city limits. As short as 15 months ago, county officials were laughing about the future of Buttercup Park.
Olsen goes to trial, wife swears he's innocent
While a Spokane Valley man accused of possessing a deadly poison goes to trial this week, his wife is convinced he wasn't trying to kill her or anyone else.
Sports facility breaks ground Monday
Game, set, match. It's official. Sport USA, a 56,000-square-foot indoor sports facility will be built in the Spokane Valley beginning with a ground-breaking ceremony Monday morning. Sports USA, a $2.8 to $3.5 million nonprofit basketball and volleyball complex, is expected to be constructed over the next seven months on a five-acre parcel north of Interstate 90, between the Central Valley School District Building and the Barker Road overpass.
County settles lawsuit, won similar case
As Spokane County commissioners voted Tuesday to authorize an $875,000 settlement for a Spokane Valley couplet-related death, it's possible they were thinking of a similar court case two years ago the county won.
Staged attack gauges emergency readiness
It was a typical Saturday afternoon in the neighborhood around West Valley High School. Residents leisurely tended to their yards and shared some smalltalk, basking in the early summer sunshine. Then the SWAT team showed up on the front lawn.
Proposed junk vehicle law motors on
The keys are in the ignition, and the Spokane Valley City Council is ready to put its foot to the gas. Only this time, it will yield to community concerns on junk vehicle restrictions before moving forward.
Road plan talks lead to couplet criticism
A public hearing Tuesday on the Spokane Valley six-year road plan led to open season on the Sprague/Appleway couplet. In the end, the Spokane Valley City Council approved the plan - which is described as a "fluid" document that can be changed at the whim of the council
East Valley budget cuts create counseling void
Christina Falsetto is the parent of a third-grade student at Trent Elementary. Last Thursday night, she went searching for answers concerning the fate of the counseling program in the East Valley School District.
Disincorporation movement targets August deadline
This summer, Nancy Moore is getting to know her neighbors. Canvassing one of 28 sections in the city of Spokane Valley, Moore has been trying to gather signatures to support the dissolution of a city she never wanted.
University becomes first east side softball team to win state 4A title
The Lady Titans of University High School (29-2) became the first large classification team east of the Cascades to win a Washington state softball championship when they defeated perennial power Prairie of Vancouver, 3-0, in the title match at Tacoma. The tournament started in the 1980s, beginning with slow pitch and continuing with fast pitch softball's conception in 1992.
Mission Pool will have to last a little longer
The Spokane Valley City Council doesn't appear ready just yet to dive into plans to build a new pool or aquatics center at Mission Park. As the three Valley pools prepare for a June 23 opening, Bill Hutsinpiller, interim parks director, told the council that another three years of use might be possible at the Mission Pool site, which had been targeted for closure by Spokane County prior to incorporation.
Valley council parks junk car law for now
If the Spokane Valley City Council was wondering what would drive more people to one of its meetings, it didn't need to look any further than a proposed restrictions on junk vehicles.
Future of DARE program remains in doubt
They have become a familiar sight on roads throughout Spokane County - black vans with splashy white and yellow writing on each side, signifying the official logo of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, also known as DARE.
Council gets look at road plan
This year, Spokane County remains in the driver's seat. In 2004, though, the city of Spokane Valley will get behind the wheel to keep road improvement projects in motion. On Tuesday, the Spokane Valley City Council got its first look at a proposed six-year transportation improvement program to start in 2004.
Liberty Lake sewer district responds to city's assumption plans
The Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District had its turn in the spotlight Monday evening. District officials - as well as residents from areas surrounding the lake - took full advantage of the opportunity to support the case for maintaining control of the area's most visible utility.
City, county at crossroads over street services
The city of Spokane Valley has reached a fork in the road when it comes to street maintenance - and how to pay for it. At issue is the transfer of road upkeep from Spokane County to the new city.
Emergency communications measure may go to voters
It's pretty basic: Call 9-1-1. Wait for help. It's a pretty good system, too - as long as everything is working. Therein lies the problem, says Sheriff Mark Sterk. The sheriff outlined a need to improve the county's aging, decrepit emergency communications network.
Junk auto policy gears up for city
Everyone has one. A neighbor. With a broken-down car. That sits in front of his house. And sits. And sits.
Well, the Spokane Valley City Council is hoping to do something about it. And soon.
New city staff bonds to streamline building process
Business comes in waves in the city of Spokane Valley's building department. The office in the back portion of City Hall - which also serves as the entrance way to the planning division, public works and engineering - has been an increasingly popular stop since the city incorporated over a month ago.
Innovative health-care program targets uninsured
Selinger is medical director of Project Access, an innovative program designed to offer health care to residents of Spokane County without medical insurance.The Spokane County Medical Society has hopes of initiating Project Access this fall.
Council interested in regional treatment plant
When it comes to wastewater, nothing is clear. The future of a new wastewater treatment facility just got murkier, as the Spokane Valley City Council informally agreed Tuesday to look into the possibility of building a regional facility owned in part by the cities of Spokane and Spokane Valley along with Spokane County.
CV Superintendent Stanley to step down
Central Valley School District Superintendent Wally Stanley is known for his humility and understated demeanor. So, it was no surprise when the district's leading man introduced his letter of retirement as an afterthought in front of a packed meeting room Tuesday afternoon at CV district headquarters.
West Valley levy passes this time around
A blitz of phone calls and quick explanations helped West Valley School District pass its maintenance and operations levy by nearly a 74-percent margin Tuesday.
Council reluctantly agrees to animal control contract
In the end, the council's bark proved to be worse than its bite. Despite reservations about cost, the Spokane Valley City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to allow Spokane County to provide animal control services through the end of 2004.
Mercier named Spokane Valley city manager
After more than 60 applicants, a dozen interviews, five meet-and-greets and six contract drafts, the city of Spokane Valley has come up with one qualified city manager: 53-year-old David Mercier.
Farm life still alive and kicking in new city
Neil and Nina Simpson's property once reverberated with the sounds of scurrying chickens, restless rabbits and a pair of Arabian horses that roamed freely in the two-acre plot of land behind their Victorian-style home.
West Valley to try again Tuesday
There have been some phone calls. And a few face-to-face chats. Signs, signs and more signs. A few students have even been convinced to register to vote. All this for want of a maintenance and operations levy.
Search narrows for city manager
Between 80 and 100 residents showed up Saturday to meet and greet the top five candidates for the job of city manager of the Spokane Valley.
Jackson forges on, eyes vote deadline
Sally Jackson can trace her genealogy back to pioneers who first settled the Spokane Valley.

Spokane Valley celebrates first week as a new city.
It started with balloons, cake and a sweaty, standing-room-only crowd. It will end with interviews for a city manager.

Welcome to the city of Spokane Valley, Washington

Council close to parks, animal control deals
An unlicensed dog running loose through a Valley park could experience the ultimate in freedom these days. That's because, officially, animal control and parks are now a city of Spokane Valley problem.
City officially open for business Monday
A talent show. The mayor's ball. An official ribbon-cutting at City Hall. The central event that unites them - the official incorporation date of the city of Spokane Valley - Monday, March 31, 2003.
City to net $3.4 million surplus at year's end
Not bad for a beginner. That was the consensus of the Spokane Valley City Council after it got its first eyeful of the proposed city budget Tuesday.
WV, CV regroup after vote failures
There is an unusual amount of activity in the West Valley School District office these days. School officials are already gearing up for another run at a levy that would provide 20 percent of the overall budget.
Big plans continue to shape up for celebration
If you haven't already, better secure that tux rental. About 200 tickets have already sold for the Mayor's Ball - touted as "the event for spring" - leaving 300 available for the March 29 black-tie-optional affair.
City plans big party
You know the old joke about the guy who threw a party, and no one came?
Well, it was starting to look like the Spokane Valley might have an incorporation celebration with no one to throw it.
Fire levy finishes strong, West Valley's just shy
A Spokane Valley fire levy was easily passed by voters Tuesday, but officials in the West Valley and Central Valley school districts will try to figure out where they went wrong.
Council passes moratorium on adult businesses
The Spokane Valley City Council is trying to get a leg up on the adult entertainment industry. In its regular meeting Tuesday, the council unanimously voted to establish a moratorium on applications for permits for new adult bookstores and exotic dance clubs that will remain in force until the new city is officially incorporated.
City, county forces unite to improve Valley roads
The city of Spokane Valley is rapidly developing a reputation for responsive service. Take the example of the resident who called City Hall recently with a complaint about a pothole.
Council passes interim budget
What if you threw a party - and no one came? Or, in the case of the Spokane Valley City Council, what if you held your first public hearing - and not a single person had a thing to say?
School districts target absentee voters
It should come as no surprise, then, that the latest trend in stress reduction is voting from home.
Firefighter remembers astronaut as easygoing, friendly
Michael Anderson may have belonged to the earth, but his passion lie beyond - in the vast universe which he would ultimately explore as an American astronaut.
Township Hall could house museum
The new Valley city may be still be over two months away from its official incorporation date, but its history has been years in the making.
City looking to start first planning commission
Got a hankering for a good rezone case? Endless debates that center around acreage for single-family home properties get your blood going?

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