Spokane Valley Online
The Spokane Valley News Herald
City of Spokane Valley, WA
Work on new city hall begins in 2016

01/06/2017

By MIKE HUFFMAN
Managing Editor

This is the second of a two-part look at the noteworthy news and events in 2016. Part 1 appeared last week.

July
The city of Spokane Valley was set to extend its existing mining moratorium. Most of the controversy, however, had already been abated on the issue.

Spokane Valley Major Crimes detectives arrested Jeremy John, 44, who was suspected of the armed robbery of the Spokane Teachers Credit Union on 32nd Avenue.

Liberty Lake Elementary School collected the most pounds of clothing and shoes for recycling, thus receiving a cash prize from Gemtext Spokane, a textile recycling company sponsoring a regional competition.

Yoke’s Fresh Markets would once again have a Sprague Avenue presence after the regional chain purchased Trading Company’s four stores in Spokane Valley, Post Falls, Latah and Cheney.

Improvements to Broadway Avenue were underway between Sullivan and Conklin roads, and the work was expected to continue through the end of the month.

It took a couple of voting rounds, but the Spokane Valley City Council got back to seven members with the appointment of Michael Munch, a self-employed general contractor.

August
As of the Aug. 2 special election, the proposed new community center in Liberty Lake wasn’t clearing the supermajority hurdle in the polls. In the first round of vote counts, only 55.7 percent had said yes on the $12 million project.

The fourth-annual Valley Cycle Celebration rolled out of Mirabeau Point Park, with riders enjoying the summer scenery on 10-, 15- and 50-mile rides.

A stretch of busy Argonne Road would undergo a major overhaul, which construction expecting to take several months. The project would replace asphalt, upgrade stormwater facilities and replacing failing drywells. Upgrades would also be made to curb ramps to bring them within ADA compliance.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department board of commissioners voted to fill a vacancy on the board. Patrick Burch would fill the vacancy when Commissioner Kolby Hanson resigned due to work obligations. Hanson had served on the board since 2002.

The city of Spokane Valley learned it did not qualify for a federal grant for the proposed Barker Road grade-separation project.

Gilberto Delgado, 44, was arrested near Pocatello, Idaho, due to his believed involvement in the gunshot deaths of a Spokane Valley woman and her brother.  The woman’s 7-year-old son was present, not hurt and made the 9-1-1 call to law enforcement.

Two destructive wildfires bracketed Spokane Valley to the north and south, but the valley floor itself was largely untouched by the flames. However, the Valley proved to be where most of the smoke settled in the aftermath and it did not clear for several days.


September
While Spokane County Library District leadership said it was ready to move on from constructing a brand-new library at Herald Road and Sprague Avenue, the Spokane Valley City Council urged SCLD to ask voters again to fund the facility. In a follow-up meeting by the SCLD board of trustees, members reiterated there would be no third try.

Following months of preparation, the Spokane Valley Fire Department successfully earned reaccreditation by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.

ITT Technical Institute’s Spokane Valley location, 13518 E. Indiana Ave., would be among 130 campuses in 38 states that would end operations. The U.S. Department of Education banned ITT from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid.

The 27th annual Valleyfest celebration was staged at Mirabeau Point with a mix of events old and new.

A proposal to name Spokane Valley a “sanctuary city” for the Second Amendment received some accolades – and one criticism – during a meeting of the City Council. If passed, such a resolution would not trump state law, however.


October
Spokane Valley sheriff’s Sgt. H. J. Whaples received the Community Service Award presented by the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

Republican Spokane County Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn was challenged by Andrew Biviano, Democrat, in District 2. Meanwhile, Josh Kerns (Republican) and Candace Mumm (Democrat) would face each other for the open District 1 spot.

Work continued on the new Spokane Valley City Hall building at the former University City shopping center on Sprague Avenue. The completion date is expected for August 2017.

The selection process for a new city manager was on track, Spokane Valley City Council members announced. So much so, in fact, that a week later Mark Calhoun, who had been serving in the acting manager role, got the job after a series of interviews.

4th District Rep. Mark Shea, Republican, had his incumbency challenged by Democrat Scott Stucker, who was running a low-key campaign.

November
A proposed 6-percent utility tax – which would replace an existing telephone tax – received widespread criticism that caught some Spokane Valley City Council members off guard. The tax was estimated raise about $7.7 million a year on electricity, natural gas, sewer service, solid-waste disposal and water services.

Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn was re-elected to her Spokane County post. Matt Shea also kept his job in the 4th District, and Josh Kerns would be the newest county commissioner.

The Washington State Fire Commissioners Association awarded Spokane County Fire District 8 with a first-place award.

MultiCare Health Systems announced plans to purchase the assets of Rockwood Health Systems, including Valley Hospital, from subsidiaries of Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc.


December
Spokane County sheriff’s detectives arrested 85-year-old Marvin E. Petersen of Spokane Valley due to a series of alleged sexual assaults involving minors stretching back decades.

Spokane County District 8 volunteer firefighter Doug Archer passed away unexpectedly, and the department personnel mourned the loss.

Spokane Valley Police arrested 38-year-old Daren A. Suiter after he fled in a stolen Wal-Mart semi-tractor and trailer.

CenterPlace Regional Event Center and the Spokane Valley Senior Center were closed for two days for repairs to the building’s heating system.

The Spokane Valley City Council and Spokane County Library District came to terms to form an ad hoc committee to explore ways in 2017 that a new library could be constructed at Sprague Avenue and Herald Road.

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TheSpokane Valley News Herald
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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