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Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
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September 24, 2009     Cheney Free Press
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September 24, 2009
 

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Cheney t September 24, 2009 Your West Plains '"="-="-" =="'AUTO*-DIGIT 981 813012010 12:00:00 l Small Town Papers 5026 California Ave SW Seattle WA 98136-1208 !!:!J-.I .... II..ILII ..... I1..I.I1|...I. =!.-.!1o!1 I..11 .................................. ,= Newspaper Since 1896 The Cheney Free Press is online at www.cheneyfree- press.com and is updated every Friday. 75 cents Cheney council approves utility building expansion By BECKY THOMAS S taft Reporter Construction of a 5,000 square foot addition to Cheney's util - ity building is set to begin after the council approved the project at its Sept. 22 meeting. -The addition will include new office space, conference rooms and reception area. It would also reconfigure the parking areas. "Customers would be able to come in and utilize parking right up front," Cheney's public works director, Todd Ableman, Medical Lake said, while a new road would be built for employees to access a back parking lot. The council approved the project, projected to cost a little more than $1 million. Ableman said Phase II, including renovation of existing interior and systems, was slated for March. An inter-fund loan from the solid waste fund to the information technol- ogy fund was speeded through Tuesday night. The loan was proposed to buy new servers for the city and upgrade its Web site at a cost of $220,000. Though the proposal was slated as a first reading, the council decided the servers were badly needed and it passed unanimously. The loan will be paid back over five years with funds collected from IT services. The council approved an amendment of the-city's zoning map to allow the Cheney Care Center to build multi-family units on a plot next to the current care center on North Sixth Street. A discussion was held on the possibility of moving the Cheney De- pot. Community development director Brian Jennings said he talked See Council page 11 Webster and mayoral race could focus on more business By RYAN LANCASTER StaffReporter Former council member Laura Parsons has just over five weeks to wrest the Medical Lake mayor position from first term incumbent John Higgins. Higgins, 62, finished the August primary with 544 votes to her 134, but Parsons, 48, said she's ready and able to fill the position and hopes to prove it to voters over the next month. Parsons, who has lived in Medical Lake for 21 years, said her path to public service began. ! . years ago at a conference with a teacher, speech therapist and the school principal regarding the progress of her then elementary-aged child. Parsons said she struggled to grasp what was being explained to her. "I did not want to feel ignorant...I wanted to understand and education z She now holds a bachelor's degree in applied psychology, a master's degree in public admin- istration and is working on a master's degree in urban and regional planning to be complete next year.Parsons said her experiences on the Spokane Transit Council, the Solid Waste Liaison Board and in a role as a certified union civil leader with the Association of Washington Cities have also taught her the complexities of government. In 1997 she ran for and won a City Council position, giving it up in 2005 to care for her ail- ing parents. Parsons said as mayor she would bring more business and community development to town by enhancing what the city already has - its lale - and preparing for.the Washington State Veteran's Cemetery which will be completed next spring. She envisions a visitor center, waterfront ven- dors and a hotel in order to keep visitors from simply passing through. "Medical Lake will become a place where a lot of people come through, the city and businesses here need to be proactive and meet the needs of those visitors," she said, adding that the city could offer incentives to help small businesses. Photo by John McCallum Light up the sky Fireworks explode over the scoreboard at Tom Oswald Field to celebrate Cheney's 42-13 Homecom- ing win over Rogers High School from Spokane. A full-time Fire Department is also high on her priorities list due to the city's coming growth. "Home owners here need the protection that a. full time EMT/Fire Department can provide," she said. Photo by John McCallum Homecoming crowning Megan Kelly, 2008 Cheney High School Homecoming Queen, places the crown on 2009 queen Millie Holy during halftime of last Friday night's football game. Looking on are senior court members (I to r) Jessica Ziemann, Rachel Mueller and Katie Grime, along with Holy's father Jeff in the background. Higgins said his concerns center on improved emergency services and more commerce down- town. "One thing I'll continue to do is try to find See ML mayor page 11 Pollard battle for Cheney City Council Pos. 1 By BECKY THOMAS Staff Reporter No matter who wins in November, the Cheney City Council will have a new face in the boardroom. Fred Pollard and Graeme Webster are running for the council Position 1 seat vacated by Curt Huff. Neither man has experience in an elected city position, and both say they will bring innova- tion to the job. "I have a diverse background," Pollard said, cit- ing his work as an engineer, real estate developer, and most recently as restaurant operator for the for- mer Cheney Delights. Pollard said he wants to bring new programs and practices to Cheney government. He said the city should explore the introduction of a smart growth program, in which developers pay of the service infrasc,e .that is needed to serve If the city had help footing the bill, Pollard said, it would alleviate stress on services like police, medical and other areas. "Pollard also said he wants to move toward a more open government, and hopes to garner more community involvement. "Most of the cities our size have video conferenc- ing for city council meetings. I think that's kind of important, it shows accountability," he said, adding that it may also allow more citizens to follow city happenings. Pollard has been involved with the Cheney Merchants Association and the Historic Downtown Cheney Partnership for several years, and he said he would spearhead an effort to create a chamber of commerce for the city. "The more I work with businesses here, the more I realize we really could use a chamber of commerce," he said, adding that a chamber could host local events and help attract businesses to Cheney. Pollard said he thought Cheney was moving in the right direction, citing the industrial park and comprehensive plan. L;neney wins money City is first in Eastern Washington money under Farmers Insurance program surance representatives and per- sonalities from 710 ESPN Radio of Seattle. Cheney is the first Eastern Washington city to win the "Im- prove a Field Contest," in its fifth year. Other cities receiving "Im- See Position 1 page 9 ,and athletic fields By BECKy THOMAS Staff Reporter Outdoor athletes rejoice. Cheney has an extra $10,000 to pay for sports fields, thanks to a grant from Farmers Insurance. The city of Cheney and West Plains Little League ac- cepted a check for $10,000 at a Sept. 21 cer- emony in the parking lot of the for- mer Wren Pierson Building. The ceremony was attended by Little League players and coaches, city and county officials, Farmers In- "It's a tremendous opportunity for us, for this community. It just shows what support Little League has statewide." West Plains Little League president Rob Beamer prove a Field" funding are Monroe, Yelrn, Sedro Wooley and Fall City, all west of the Cascades. West Plains Little League presi- ful for.the award. t' a tremendous oty for s; for S commly;  omer said. "It just shows whaLsuplmtt LittleLeague has statewide.r" : Rob Lee, Farmers; marketing director for Dastern Washington, explained why Cheney was this year's recipient. . .; "You had a Little League pro- gram thahad overextended :he said. - " Parks and recreation director, Paul Simmons said the money will go toward building new ath- letic fields at Betz Park. See Fields page 9 This week in the Cheney Fre, Suzanne Dolle and Don MitcheU face off in Cheney school board race. See the story on... Page 2 What season is it? It's elec- tion season. See In Our Opin- ion on... Page 4 Cheney's third annual jur- led art show is coming Oct. 3-4. See the story on... Page 6 Press... Offand running - Cheney girls soccer team opens with 3- 1 mark. See the story on... SecL 2, Page I Also insde... Business/Service Page 10-11 West Plains Briefs Page 3 West Plains Police Page 5 Legals Sec. 2 Page 5 Classifieds Sec. 2 Page 8