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April 16, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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April 16, 2015
 

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Page 4 Free Press Thursday, April 16, 2015 Two new laws are going through the state Legislature that will hopefully avert some tragedies from happening in the near future. The House recently passed Senate Bill 5381, which requires law enforcement agencies to notify family members before returning firearms seized from a person involved in criminal cases, such as domestic vio- lence, or from someone being evaluated for mental illness. After an individual requests the return of their firearm, police have to hold the weapon for 72 hours after receiving a request from a family member. SB 5381 is known as the "Sheena Hen- derson Act." The Sheena Henderson Act is a companion to House Bill 1448, known as "Sheena's Law," which enables law enforcement officers to get mental health professionals more involved with an individual who threatens or attempts suicide, Displaying int but does not meet the threshold for immediate detainment. According to its wording, law enforcement agendes must have a system in place for officers to document, as part of an incident report, the need for a mental health evaluation of a person who is the subject of a report of threatened or attempted suicide. Police officers can currently detain individuals who present dear physical threats to themselves or others as long as there is evidence to support it. Both laws were created after an incident in Spokane in July 2014 at the Rockwood Cancer Treatment Center where Chris- topher Henderson shot his wife Sheena Henderson, who was working at the treatment center, and then shot himself. Prior to the incident, Chris- topher Henderson's coworkers informed law enforcement he had talked about killing himself and his wife. Officers checked Christo- pher Henderson and determined he was not a threat to himself or others. Three hours after officers deared him, Henderson retrieved a gun from Spokane police, which grity in spit they confiscated in May during a confrontation that was initiated by a threat of "suicide by cop." After the confrontation, he was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center and released three hours later. The Washington Department of Social and Health Service signed off on the return of his weapon. Sheena Henderson and her family knew Christopher was released, but they did not know his gun was returned to him because law enforcement had no requirement to notify them. Since the incident, Sheena's family and friends have asked the govern- ment to create new legislation for mental health. We fully support these laws and we wonder why it took a tragedy like Sheena Hender- son's to create these kinds of laws in the first place. Mental illness is not some- thing that you can easily detect with physical evidence and many people with it won't usually come forward or don't know they have it. Even if someone is being de- tained after an attempted suicide, they might believe they are not a threat to themselves and others, and police will have to let them go. Police officers should have been able to enlist the service of mental health professionals and conduct further interviews with Christo- pher Hendersonafter his confron- tation with police. In regards to SB 5381, officers should have used common sense and notified the family memt rs after Henderson retrieved his gun, even if there wasn't a requirement for them to do so in the first place. Sometimes it takes a little think- ing outside of the box to prevent something like this from happen- ing. More than likely these laws will pass and rightfully so. Both bills are currently in the Senate. SB 5381, which the Senate first passed in February, is undergoing an amendment to where the law will not apply to firearms under tem- porary holds from routine traffic stops, a suggestion from Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley. We hope these laws can ac- complish their intention and prevent future tragedies like their namesake. of obstacles and challen es By MAY PAXTON Contributor Courage. What a power- ful word! What do you think of when you hear the word courage? Possibly a firefighter rushing into a burning build- ing to save the person trapped inside with no con- cern for their own safety? Or a bystander jumping into May Paxton a raging river to save a drowning person? Words like "hero", "strength" and "bravery" come to mind. As a bit of an introduction, I am an orthodontist and I do not spend my day facing life- threatening events. When I first thought about writing this ar- ticle, my thoughts were to write about my experiences in the Air Force, about physical courage as exemplified by our young military men and women, our police and firefighters. But the more I thought about it I won- dered what does courage really mean? There are many famous quotes about courage. Accord- ing to Mark Twain "Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it" or as John Wayne put it "Courage is being scared to death.., and saddling up anyway." The dictionary defines cour- age as the ability to act in the face of fear, bodily danger or even death, to do something you know is difficult or dan- gerous. Physical courage is the mental quality that recognizes fear or danger but enables a person to take a risk and pro- ceed in spite of it. Consider the origin of the word courage. The root of the word is the Latin word "cur," or heart. In Middle English (1250-1300) the word courage meant "the heart as a source of feelings, spirit, confidence." Courage is a heart word, the Business leaders make deci- out to, I think of students and sions that are better for their families we meet each day that customers and employees but exhibit courage in the face of might not be better for their significant challenges. Among profit margin. Decisions are these challenges might be: made to reduce pollution for - Attempting a new sport or ability to act according to one's the betterment of our world, trying out for a team, not know- beliefs and convictions; to fol- even if it may lose votes and ing whether it will work out, low one's heart. Moral courage cost more money to take these but taking that risk anyway is the ability to recognize what precautions. - Standing up for someone you believe is right, and to act These are people who per- that is the brunt of teasing or accordingly despite criticism, tray courage through theirbullying, adhering to values popular opposition, shame, actions to support their beliefs, you believe are right, regard- scandal, or discouragement, to follow their heart. Courage less of any embarrassment or It is the courage to follow your acknowledges fear and uncer- repercussions from the "popu- heart. Courage is the decision tainty, but perseveres because lar" crowd to do the more difficult right, of conviction, beliefs and per- - Knowing who you are Social activists, such as sonal resolve, and having the courage to be Martin Luther King and Nel- Few of us willlikely be faced that person, not following the son Mandela chose to speak with life threatening events that crowd and buckling under out against injustice at great might challenge our physical peer pressure but acknowledg- personal risk. Innovators and courage. However, we are all ing your own true beliefs and entrepreneurs such as Steve faced daily with events where honoring them Jobs and Walt Disney risked our moral courage is tested. As - Facing a challenge that financial logs by persevering I think about the people that frightens you, butmeeting than in the face of the unknown, the Partners Advancing Character challenge by doing something unpredictable. Education (PACE) are reaching See Paxton page 5 FREE SS Vol. 118-No. 52 Press Production Manager Editor Randy Warwick John McCallum Pressman Reporters Mark Cordes Paul Delaney AI Stover Sales Steve Barge Graphics DeeAnn Gibb Brittani Montecucco John Myers Front Office Venus Bratsveen Bookkeeper/Office Manager Dawn Chernak Debi Labish Harlan Publisher Shellabarger The Editorial Board is composed of Paul Delaney, Al Stover, Brittani Montecucco, Bill Iffl, John McCallum and Harian Shellabarger The Cheney Free Press is The Free Press re- published every Thursday quests that contributors by the Free Press Publish- observe the following dead- ing Company, William Ifft, lines, which will be strictly president. Periodical post- enforced: age paid at Cheney, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W, OBITUARIES, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT First Street, Cheney, Wash. AGENCIES - Tuesday, 10 a.m. 99004. CHURCH, CLUB MEETINGS, ALL SOCIAL NEWS -- Monday, noon POSTMASTER: Send DISPLAY ADVERTISING -- Monday, 4 p.m. address changes to: Cheney LEGAL NOTICES-- Monday, S Free Press, P:O. Box 218, C SS F ED ADVERTiSiNG--Tuesday. Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. a.m. ID PUBLICATION # 102240 Rates: Addresses in Spokane County, $24 per year; $36 per year outside Spokane County; senior citizens in Spokane County, $22 per year. For other rates, call 235- 6184. Subscription cancellations are non-refundable! HOW TO CONTACT US Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 email: cfp @ cheneyfreepress.com www.cheneyfreepress.com Think of the children, support the school bond I was shocked and sad- dents had to share a gym. This firsthand how facilities can dened by the results of the hinders quality teaching and positively impact learning. election, in which the Cheney learning, as well as safety. Most recently, we helped run High School bond did not have This problem is not exclusive a fitness fundraiser for Wind- enough "Yes" votes to pass. I to physiCal education. Over- sor Elementary. Gratefully, we am concemed as a parent of two crowding is forcing students were able to use the newly built elementary students, as well as into portables, crowded hall- Westwood Middle School track a professor in health and fitness ways, and common areas, and tennis courts. I rave about education who works closely As a parent and professor, our schools to everyone. When with Cheney Schools. I am fortunate to collaborate newly hired professors ask my Last week, one of my EWU with the Cheney Schools often, opinion on where to purchase students taught a lesson in My EWU students observe at which 120 high school stu- Snowdon Elementary, seeing See Letters page 5 !i !ii iii John McCallum Editor Main contact for editorial coverage. Cov- ets all Cheney gevemment, communi~, school district news and events, as well as Cheney High School sports. jmac@chenevf~, re..~.com AI Stover Staff Reporter Covets all Medical Lake government, community and school district news, as well as Airway Heights news and Cheney High School sports. al @ cheneyfreepress, com Paul Delaney Staff Reporter Covets all Medical Lake High School and Eastern Washington University spor~s and news. Contact for miscellaneous sports. pdelaaey @ cheneyf~ com F lit!li[ I I / IIiiii i I i I I il t I Itil !1:i ii ii iii iiii;i