Spokane Valley Online
The Spokane Valley News Herald
City of Spokane Valley, WA
Year in review, 2017 part 1

12/29/2017

By MIKE HUFFMAN
Managing Editor

This is the first half of a two-part look back at the newsworthy events and happenings in 2017. The second half will appear next week.

January
Basic education – the funding of which, in particular -- would likely dominate the 2017 session of the state Legislature. The Supreme Court has mandated that basic education must by fully funded, as per the state Constitution. More than 6,500 students, educators and parents assembled across the Capitol steps in Olympia to shout out frustrations over the state’s failure to fund basic education.
In a split vote, the Spokane Valley City Council failed to reach consensus on an agreement which would have begun the design process for a future grade separation at Barker Road.

The flu was particularly nasty this time around, and cases continued to rise in Spokane County.

Efforts to enforce greater snow-removal compliance on city sidewalks were pushed to the curb, as Spokane Valley City Council members were looking for greater education efforts rather than monetary fines.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that area car dealer Greenacres Motors admitted to the AG’s allegation of a pattern of harassment by its former owner and employee, Monte Masingale.

February
Spokane Community College’s environmental science department was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Hagan Foundation, which was established in 1997 by Cornelius E. Hagan Jr. in Spokane. The grant was in partnership with Central Valley High School’s A.P. environmental science program.

It was announced that the KSPS Public Television would bring “The Wall That Heals” – a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial – would be brought to Mirabeau Point Park in August.
Rep. Matt Shea, 4th District, introduced legislation in the state House of Representatives condemning the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. The purpose was to show support of the longstanding friendship and cooperation between Israel and the United States.

Lloyd Herman, of Herman and Associates of Spokane Valley, marked his 50th year of practicing law.

A bill prompted by deadly prisoner releases by the state Department of Corrections was scheduled for a vote in the Senate Law and Justice Committee, a year after the agency revealed it had turned loose some 3,000 violent and dangerous prisoners ahead of schedule.

Spokane Valley City Council members agreed unanimously to pull up a seat at the table for the Crave! NW four-day food festival planned for Father’s Day weekend.

March
While it was unclear why two top-level Spokane Valley staffers – Public Works Director Eric Guth and Senior Engineer Steve Worley – resigned in January, city officials revealed a reorganization plan that would incorporate the positions into a new command structure.

Ryan Holyk’s family agreed to settle for $1 million rather than go to trial in a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the 15-year-old. Holyk was riding his bike at night in May 2014 in the area of Vista Road and Sprague Avenue when Deputy Joe Bodman was responding to a call at high speed without emergency lights.

Central Valley and East Valley’s girls basketball teams lost their first games in state tournaments, with CV settling for fourth place in state. The Freeman boys, however, took second place in state after losing in the championship game in Yakima.

The water level rose as rain continued to fall, prompting the Spokane Valley City Council to join the list of local jurisdictions to enact closures on the Spokane River.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Liberty Lake fire station took place.

A vehicle-prowling call took a dangerous turn for Spokane Valley Police after a 17-year-old suspect attempted to fire a modified shotgun.


April

Spokane Valley residents could expect business as usual as Waste Management secured the contract for garbage disposal.
Spokane County Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn, who represented Spokane Valley, got a new job for the Inland Northwest Community Foundation as chief executive officer. The remaining commissioners would be tasked with appointing a replacement.
The Spokane River within the city of limits of Spokane Valley was reopened.

There was a bit of sticker shock when it was revealed the cost of the audio-video system at the new Spokane Valley City Hall would cost about $238,000.

With nearly 82-percent approval, Spokane County voters showed their support for law enforcement and emergency responders by agreeing to fund a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax for emergency communications systems.

Marlene Kay “Marti” Hollenbeck  -- owner of Dishman Dodge Ram Chrysler Jeep – passed away at the age of 74.

The state House of Representatives approved a bill to make a 4th DUI a felony in Washington state. The bill was sponsored by Valley 4th District Rep. Mike Padden.

May
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill sponsored by Spokane 4th District Rep. Bob McCaslin aimed at bringing individuals into the teaching through alternative-route programs.

A bill sponsored by state Sen. Mike Padden toughens penalties for retail theft was sponsored by Gov. Inslee.
Valley Christian School received a $5,000 grant from Century Link to build a robotics fabrication  workshop for the 2017-18 school year.

Five Spokane Valley City Council seats were up for election, and incumbents Rod Higgins, Ed Pace, Pamela Haley, Mike Munch and Caleb Collier would all be challenged.

Doug Kaplicky was named the 2017 Washington State Middle Level Principal of the Year by a panel of principals representing the Association of Washington Middle Level Principals.

June
Spokane Valley City Council members were considering possible spots for a farmers market.

The Freeman girls won the 1,600-meter relay and set a new school and 1A state record with a time of 3 minutes, 59 seconds. The team was made up of Tessa Gilbert, Alyssa Zimmerman, Anna Belle Schweiger, Megan Rubright and Madison Rubright.

The Spokane County Library District board of trustees announced the selection Patrick Roewe as the new executive director of the SCLD.

Bus fares were set to increase in July, announced Spokane Transit Authority officials. It would be the first increase in five years.
Accident-prone Eighth Avenue and McDonald Road got scrutiny by Spokane Valley traffic engineers.

Bob Lutz, clinical director of Urgent Care of Rockwood, was selected to be the next Spokane Regional Health District officer in charge.


 

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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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