Spokane Valley Online
The Spokane Valley News Herald
City of Spokane Valley, WA
Managing of marijuana flares up in 2014

01/02/2015

By MIKE HUFFMAN
Managing Editor

This is the second half of a two-part look back at the newsworthy events and happenings in Spokane Valley in 2014. The first half appeared last week.


July
Eldonna Shaw – CEO of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce for 13 years – announced she would leave the job at the end of July.
Barney’s Harvest Foods, 11205 E. Dishman-Mica Road, suffered a structure fire that resulted in the store’s closure. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire, traced to a room near the roof, was investigated.
Spokane Valley City Council members voted to support a partnership between the city and the Evergreen Regional Volleyball Association to develop additional sand volleyball courts at Browns Park at Pines Road and 32nd Avenue.
Samuel P. Wood was named Spokane Valley’s newest planning commissioner. He took the place of Chris Sneider, who was moving from Spokane Valley to accept a job in another city.
Despite the litigious warnings of one potential marijuana entrepreneur, the Spokane Valley City Council OK’d permanent zoning regulations aimed at restricting where pot-based business could locate.
Soaring temperatures resulted in two separate incidents in Spokane Valley where dogs were left in cars suffering from heat stress.
Spokane Valley Police along with Spokane County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team members and hostage negotiators successfully ended a three-hour standoff.
Max J. Kuney Co. would do the reconstruction work on the southbound Sullivan Road bridge for $12.7 million. City engineers had estimated the cost to be about $12.9 million.

August
Although much of the Spokane Valley area went largely untouched, Avista scrambled during restoration efforts in the wake of the worst storm damage to its electric system since the 1996 ice storm. A second storm, about a week later, uprooted trees as wind gusts reached speeds up to 55 mph.
Bob McCaslin and Diana Wilhite, both Republicans, would move on to face each other in the general election for 4th Legislative District representative.
State regulators fined CenturyLink $31,300 for billing errors related to taxes and surcharges.
Work was set to begin on the Appleway trail after the Spokane Valley City Council approved the first phase of construction between University and Pines roads just south of Sprague Avenue.
With the primary election eliminating former Spokane County Commissioner Bonnie Mager, the general election race would be between incumbent Al French, Republican, and Democratic challenger Mary Lou Johnson.
In a 4-3 vote, the Spokane Valley City Council decided that if any state funding to improve University Road between 16th Avenue and Dishman-Mica Road came its way, the current four-lane configuration would not be changed.
Mark Calhoun, Spokane Valley finance director, was named deputy city manager. Calhoun was picked over 44 other applicants in a nationwide search that was whittled down to four finalists.

September
Spokane Valley Police investigators continued to sift through the circumstances where an officer shot and killed a dog.
A 47-year-old man on a bicycle was fatally struck by an automobile while riding on the Park Road overpass at Interstate 90.
The majority of the Spokane Valley City Council decided that both of Thierman Road’s northbound lanes at Sprague Avenue would be left-turn lanes. The decision was contrary to city engineers’ recommendation to leave the pre-existing configuration alone.
The Northwest League announced that Avista Stadium would receive the 2014 NWL Field of the Year. Spokane had won the award 10 straight years and 16 out of the past 18 seasons.
Spokane County commissioners OK’d a contract with Waste Connections of Washington Inc. for operations, maintenance, transport and disposal services of solid waste materials received at the North County and Valley transfer stations.
Kelley Stickelmeyer, a Spokane County Road Department employee, was recognized for her going “above and beyond” after spotting two young girls crying on a porch in the area of Trent Avenue and Highland Estates. Stickelmeyer cared for the girls, as there was no adult present, until Child Protective Services arrived.
Interstate 90, Appleway Boulevard and the Centennial Trail reopened after being shut down for more than 18 hours after a tanker hauling hazardous materials leaked its load over a 6-mile stretch of the freeway.
Twenty-five years after debuting at Terrace View Park and a decade after moving to Mirabeau Meadows Park, Valleyfest celebrated its 25th anniversary in grand style.
The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce announced the hiring of its new president and CEO, Katherine Morgan. Morgan was raised in the Northwest and graduated from Gonzaga University.
Keytronic, Spokane Valley-based provider of electronic manufacturing services, announced that it had signed a definitive agreement and completed the acquisition of CDR Manufacturing Inc. (Ayrshire Electronics) for $46.9 million in cash.

October
A 16-year-old Valley boy was arrested for suspicion of starting nearly two dozen suspicious fires that occurred in the area over a two-week span.
Mitch Jensen, a member of the East Valley School District board of directors since 2007, announced his resignation. In a letter to the board chairman and interim superintendent, Jensen said he had grown frustrated with the majority of the board and its decision to jettison the newly implemented K-8 configuration.
Big rigs parking in residential neighborhoods in Spokane Valley continued to be an ongoing issue at City Council meetings. Mayor Dean Grafos proposed a law that would ban commercial and recreational vehicles over 22 feet in residential zones. The majority of the council, however, said a new law was unnecessary and voted to drop the issue for now.
The Spokane Valley City Council voted not to raise property taxes in 205. A 1-percent hike, authorized by the state, would have brought in about $110,000.
 
November
Incumbents dominated local races in the November general election, with Valley voters helping elevate Republican incumbent Al French over his Democratic challenger, Mary Lou Johnson, for Spokane County commissioner.
The Spokane Valley City Council voted unanimously to approve the final contracts with Waste Management and Valley-based Sunshine Disposal Inc. to handle municipal garbage and recyclables transfer, transport and disposal starting Nov. 17.
The Washington state Parks and Recreation Commission scheduled a public meeting to take testimony about land classification options and proposed expansion of a ski facility and Mount Spokane State Park.
Law enforcement continued to look for the suspect or suspects that shot and killed two men at an apartment complex at 11910 E. Broadway Ave.
The Spokane Valley Fire Department passed a 2015 budget anticipating $34.2 million in expenses.
BannerCorp., the holding company for Banner Bank and Islanders Bank, and AmericanWest Bank announced the signing of a definitive agreement to merge under the Banner Bank brand.
The Spokane Valley City Council passed a 2015 budget of $68.6 million, including $16.5 million in capital expenses next year.
The Central Valley High School girls soccer team rolled to its second 4A state title in two years.
Rep. Bob McCaslin took the oath of office Nov. 25 to serve as 4th District representative in Olympia. McCaslin beat former Mayor Diana Wilhite – and a fellow Republican -- in the general election.

December
The Spokane Valley City Council voted 5-1 to purchase land at University City to be eventually developed for a new city hall. The city would pay $1.126 million to James Magnuson’s Dartmouth LLC.
The Spokane Valley Fire Department snuffed a fire at the West Valley Outdoor Center near Pasadena Park Elementary School.
The city of Spokane Valley would ban new marijuana businesses, not regulated by the Washington state Liquor Control Board, from opening in the near future. The emergency ordinance was passed in the hope that the state Legislature will come up with some clearer rules regarding the businesses in 2015.
Services were held for Clark Hager, the former publisher of the Spokane Valley Herald, and a longtime Valley businessman.
A protest rally was held at the Spokane Valley Police Precinct in response to the sheriff’s office use of a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle. Over 300 attended, including guest speaker and 4th District Rep. Matt Shea.
The Spokane Valley City Council said its Lodging Tax Advisory Committee would have to try again in its recommendations for funding to organizations and events that promote tourism in the city. Council members said the committee too heavily favored groups that put “heads in beds” at motels and hotels where the tax is generated.
Spokane Transit Authority announced its 10-year plan to improve transit and would request a three-tenths of 1-percent sales tax increase from voters on April 28, 2015.

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is the City of Spokane Valley, Washington's official Newspaper. The City Council of the City of Spokane Valley, Washington named the Spokane Valley News Herald as the city's "official" newspaper. The designation means the Spokane Valley News Herald will publish the city's legal notices on a contract basis for one year.

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2012 Valley News Articles Archive