Author: Melissa Martin

Remembering where we came from

"With the Fourth of July, we're celebrating our independence as a nation. It's the folks that fought back in the Revolutionary War for our country. That is where it all started for us as Americans and our freedom. We have Memorial Day and that's when we tend to remember our troops that have fallen in conflicts or war, but it all started with the Fourth of July for us," Sgt. Jason Parker said.Senior Master Sgt. Parker is the Operations Superintendent for the Security Forces Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base."That freedom was born on the backs of hard working men and women and the blood of those men fighting for this country. And that will continue," said Sgt. Parker.

SFCC awarded $75,000 math grant

Spokane Falls Community College was awarded $75,000, to improve the alignment of math courses between Spokane Public Schools and the college.Spokane Public Schools will change to the new plan right away. All Algebra II students, at SPS will take the SFCC math placement test, starting in late spring 2013 and again in 2014. Students will also be able to use that test score for future college placement. The grant is funded by the Seattle-based group, College Sparks Washington.

Students in Idaho get fresh fruit and veggies

Over 100 elementary schools in Idaho were awarded Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grants. "Through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, schools will not only provide more nutritious options to Idaho students but also teach them about the benefits of healthy eating," Superintendent Tom Luna said.

Farm Chicks fill the fair grounds

Shoppers on Saturday afternoon were elbow-to-elbow inside the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center during the Farm Chicks Antiques Show.There was a sea of blue maps in the crowd as shoppers navigated their way to over 200 different vendors. Many of those vendors were breaking a sweat as they tried keeping up with the demands of shoppers.

UFC finalist hails from Spokane

Spokane's very own Mike "Maverick" Chiesa is fighting in tonight's UFC finals in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show is now on its 15th season and showcases a handful of fighters, cut off from the world, living in a house in Vegas for 13 weeks while competing for a 6-figure contract.

Man cursed with living cat for a beard

There's nothing worse than the constant sound of meowing coming from your beard, unless of course you were a pirate dealing with it on all your adventures. is the brainchild of local comic writer Matt Nelson. Nelson started the ongoing web comic over a year ago and just recently published a collection.

Grow beautiful flowers without leaving home

Moses Lake High School and the Moses Lake Business Association are partners in crime, littering LakeTown Landing with potted flowers. The Adopt a Pot program is open to anyone wishing to help give the city an economic boost.According to the MLBA their goal is "Promoting the area as an exciting place to live, shop, work and play." Students do all the planting and the MLBA hires someone to take care of them.For $100, you get a plaque proudly displaying your name, or business name, on the flower pot. You also get a shout out in their newsletter, or on their Facebook page and website.

Detour time in Grant County

Country Road T NE, between Country Roads 6 NE and 7 NE, will be closed to all traffic right after Memorial Day weekend. Culvert replacement will close down this stretch of road starting Tuesday, May 29th through June 14th. During construction, officials ask that Country Roads S NE and U NE be used as detours.

Lewiston-Clarkston church celebrates 100 years

In 1912, a group of Lewiston-Clarkston natives started a church congregation and 100 years later, the current members joined to celebrate that anniversary. St John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Clarkston, Washington went all out for the centennial jubilee. The tables were decorated with fresh flowers and soon covered in everyone's best home-made dish. There was a DVD slideshow with 100 years of faces and events. Some former Pastors and their families trekked all the way from the Midwest to be there for the celebration. The members gave speeches, some about the construction of their current church home in the 1960's and the way they all pulled together to have a place to call their own.

One man's Junk is another man's profit

Every third weekend, Junk opens its doors to shoppers on the hunt for vintage and handmade goodies. Local talents pull together and display their handcrafted jewelry and pins, their vintage finds or refurbished antique furniture.Junk is open Friday, May 18th from 5 PM to 8 PM and Saturday, May 19th from 10 AM to 4 PM. The store is located at 802 North 4th Street in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

SCC offers alternative to the brown bag lunch or drive-thru

The Main building on Spokane Community College campus looks a lot like every other classroom building. You pass by plain walls, under florescent lights, until you reach your class.Although, halfway through this journey down Main building, something changes.There is an assortment of candy glass sculptures decorating a window, giving passersby a sneak peek into what looks like an episode of

Chewelah Farmers Market is up and running

Come on down to the Best Small Farmers Market, according to the Washington State Farmers Market Association, the past two years.The Chewelah Farmers Market starts the season with Salad Days, a chance to bulk up on all the greens you can handle. Of course you can still get those local breads, meat, eggs, honey and soap.

Spokane man ain't afraid of no ghost

If there's something strange in your neighborhood, it's probably Alex Mickschl. Mickschl is a Ghostbuster fully equipped with a proton pack, ecto goggles and the Ectomobile he drives around town. "My best friend and I, when we were kids, about 11 or 12, we saw the movie Ghostbusters and we fell in love with it," Mickschl said.

Year of the chicken – Part 3: Getting started

Just like bringing home a newborn baby, your little chicks will need a place of their own. "We recommend having it all set up before bringing the chicks home. Turn on the heat lamp before you get your chicks, so that it's nice a warm by the time you get home," Assistant Manager at Big R on Trent Avenue, Cody Tylock said. We kept our girls in a feeding trough. We used a screened window frame to cover the top. They graduated to larger cardboard boxes every other week until they were ready to be outside.

Spokane women learn new survival skills

Enhancing the Survival Mindset is a class offered by the Spokane Police Department, helping women avoid or survive potentially dangerous situations. The students participate in a brief lecture before learning hands on defense skills and how to handle real life situations they might encounter.

Nonprofit organization helps women feel at home

Because There Is Hope helps women who are battling cancer to find housing in Spokane during treatment and recovery. The organization is hosting a fundraiser at Northern Quest Resort and Casino packed full of music, poetry, a local author's corner and trade show.

Local author takes Spokane 'Into the End' of the world

Ever imagined what the end of the world would look like? Author Bonnie Paulson did. Into the End is the first book of three in a series chronicling the end of life as we know it in the Pacific Northwest."The whole western coast is chopped off because of earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, you name it," said Paulson.

Year of the chicken - Part 2: The cost of raising chickens

The big question for many potential urban farmers is, how much is this poultry adventure going to set me back? Your friendly neighborhood chicken expert, Ron Welker has that answer. Welker manages the Aslin-Finch in the Spokane Valley. He says that in the long run chicks will cost less than a dog."You're going to spend the same on housing the chicks as you would a dog. Your overall expense for the chicks is going to be less," said Welker. "If you want to get a good coop that's going to hold 2, 3 or 4 birds, you're going to spend on a good one, probably right around $400-$500. That's going to be your number one expense." There are several resources out there if you would like to build your own coop. The creative urban farmer might convert an old camper top into a hen house or build a pint-sized Victorian mansion for their girls. Once you have a coop, the residual costs are reasonable compared to other pets.

Students will be Singin' in real rain at Central Valley High School

This is the last week to catch CVHS theater department's production of the Broadway musical "Singin' in the Rain." This massive show consists of 75 students in cast and crew, a 24-piece live orchestra and real rain on the stage. Final performances are Thursday, March 15th through Saturday, March 17th at 7:30 PM in the theater at CVHS.

Year of the chicken - Part 1: Know the laws

The sun rises on a warm spring morning. You wake up from that sweet slumber to the sound of a rooster crowing. The smell of coffee is wafting through the house as you greet the new day with a smile. That's until you hear the neighbor firing up his truck through your bedroom wall and you remember that the Spokane Police Department arrested a guy in your front yard last night (true story). Living in the city has its pros and cons. One of the pros is that you too can be an urban farmer waking up to that rooster crowing in the morning. Or to chickens cackling as they lay the farm fresh egg you'll be eating for breakfast. My husband and I became urban farmers last spring. We brought home four two-day old baby chicks and watched them grow up in the blink of an eye. We don't have these particular chicks anymore but we'd like to share their journey and ours for those of you thinking about raising chickens. This is the first post of a continuous series.

West Valley High School band plays Shock opening night

The WVHS band, color guard, cheer leaders and dance team put on a show for Shock fans, opening night.Band director Jim Loucks said before pregame, "We're doing the Monday night football theme song. Then we're going to do a gorgeous arrangement of Star Spangled Banner. We've got a thirty by twenty American Flag we're bringing on the field. It'll be pretty high emotion for everybody.Half time we're going to do a couple of our pep band tunes; we're going to end with LMFAO Party Rock Anthem. The band is going get out and do their dance moves, the dance team, cheer leaders, color guard, it's just going to be a party atmosphere."

Pedestrian killed south of Omak

An 18-year-old man is dead after he was struck by a car Thursday night about three miles south of Omak. Eli S. Brigman was declared deceased at the scene of the accident when first responders arrived around 8:12 p.m.The driver, Charissa M. Williams, 36, struck Brigman with her Ford F250 as he was walking in the southbound lane. WSP says Brigman was in the roadway when he was hit.WSP says alcohol was not involved in the crash. Williams does not face any charges.