Local News

Fairchild Employees Breathe Sigh Of Relief After Government Agreement

President Barack Obama says a last-minute deal with congressional leaders to avert a government shutdown happened because "Americans of different beliefs came together." The shutdown would have threatened many military jobs including those at Fairchild Airforce Base. KXLY4's Annie Bishop has the story.

Safer Railroad Crossing in Medical Lake

A heavily used railroad crossing in Medical Lake will soon be much safer for drivers thanks to a state grant. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission recently announced it will use a $5,000 grant to make significant upgrades to the railroad crossing on State Route 902 near Medical Lake. The improvements include upgrading warning signals, new cantilevered-mounted lights and cross buck signs.

Dishman Hills Service Project Tommorow

Volunteers from around Spokane are converging on the Dishman Hills tomorrow to clean, prune and plant.  Spokane County Parks & Recreation, REI, and the Dishman Hills Natural Area Association are co-sponsoring the effort to build trails, clear illegal campsites and plant trees. More than 250 volunteers are expected including the Spokane Mountaineers, Inland Northwest Land Trust, Gonzaga University, and the Sierra Club. If you plan to join the effort, you're encouraged to bring your own tools, bottled water and work gloves. Check-in starts at 9:30 at Camp Caro, for details and registration click here.

"Discovering Spring" at Discovery Playground

Discovery Playground opened last May, but already it's been "loved to death", according to Mike Stone, Director of Parks & Recreation. "It's had a tremendous response from the public," Stone said, "It's unique to this region and it has attracted a lot of users."

Spokane Indians Looking To Hire Staff For Upcoming Season

The Spokane Indians are looking to hire game day staff for the 2011 Season. Interested appplicants should attend the on April 16th from 10 am until 12 pm at .  The job fair will consist of a 30 minute tour of the facilities followed by descriptions of the open positions.  After the tour, applicants who bring along a resume will then have an opportunity to arrange an interview.  All applicants who bring a resume will receive an interview, either on the day of the job fair or during the following week. 

Residents Baffled by Graupel

It's not snow.  It's not hail.  It's something in-between, and it's been falling all over the Inland Northwest this week.  It's GRAUPEL.   Most folks confuse graupel with hail or snow, but there is a difference. The American Meteorological Society Glossarydefines graupel like this: Heavily rimed snow particles, often called snow pellets.  Hail, on the other hand, is defined like this: Precipitation in the form of balls or irregular lumps of ICE always produced by convective clouds, nearly always cumulonimbus.

Volunteer Opportunity: Meals on Wheels

Last month Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels, delivered 9,236 meals to the homes of seniors and served 6,764 meals at their on-site location. All of that was accomplished with the help of volunteers. According to Pam Almeida, Executive Director of Spokane Valley's Meal on Wheels, it's not enough. To volunteer, it doesn't take much. "We need 20 more volunteers,'" explained Almeida. "They would be delivering meals on every route through out the city and Spokane County. They can do it once a week or month. They'll deliver to about 10-15 people."

Farmer's Love/Hate Relationship With Rain

For dry land farmers, rain is the lifeblood of a bountiful crop.  But as with everything, too much of a good thing, can be bad. The winter wheat crops on the Palouse are emerging from their winter sleep with plenty of moisture in the ground.  This springs rain has been good for the crop, but if the wheat doesn't get a chance to dry out, wheat rust will become a problem.   Wheat rust is a fungal disease that can cause crop loss of up to 20 percent. , who's family has been farming land near Colfax for 70 years says he's seen a little rust already forming.  The second problem all the spring rain has caused is the fact that farmers are unable to work in the fields because the soil is so saturated.  That means winter wheat crops have to be sprayed from the air and spring wheat crops can't be seeded.

City Gauging Community Satisfaction

The City of Spokane Valley wants to hear from you about how the city is functioning and what they can do better.In the coming week, 1,200 people in Spokane Valley will redceived postcard surveys in the mail, telling them they've been chosen at random to take part in a citizen survey. The following week, those households will receive a copy of the questionannaire.Citizens will be asked to rate the city on quality of life, safety and satisfaction with city services. The survey will ask about age, income level, housing and other information, but the responses are anonymous.

Summer Street Resurfacing Outside Trailhead Golf Course

The latest issue of the Liberty Link [.PDF], a Newsletter for Liberty Lake Citizens, discusses the upcoming plan to resurface seven residential streets this summer. No dates have been set but according to Andrew Staples, City Engineer, scheduling for resurfacing will be announced next month.  ?

Almost Time to Play at Discovery!

After what feels like an endless winter and wet spring, it's almost time to dry off the equipment at one of our region's favorite playgrounds!Discovery Playground opens for the season Friday, April 15th. The opening begins with a community party and environmental awareness event that runs from 3-5 pm on the 15th. Spokane Valley's mayor and other city officials will join the community, planting trees near the playground. You can even get your own seedling to plant and gather information about recycling and other ways to be green.Discovery Playground is near the Spokane River, just north of I-90 and east of Pines Road. It's near the Spokane Valley YMCA and the Centerpointe event facility.

Burglary Suspect's Grandmother Missing

Idaho State Police have taken over the search for a Kamiah woman who was last heard from Friday morning.The Kamiah Marshal's office was investigating a string of burglaries last week. They tried to contact the suspect's grandmother, 72-year old Lavina Hietala. They can't find her and now consider this a missing person's case. Because of the need for additional manpower, ISP is taking over. They have not said if they suspect foul play.Hietala is 5'4" and weighs about 220 pounds. She has gray hair and hazel eyes.

An Update to Stevens County's Future Broadband

Stevens County Public Utility District is still in the environmental study stage of their broadband project. They're working with several different agencies including the local Indian tribes to make sure no ecology or sacred sites are affected by the installation of the 100 Mb broadband. Kelly Terry, Stevens County PUD's IT Administrator, hopes the study would be completed in a couple months. "From there we'll go through the engineering process, which is the design of the route. We have to get all the permits. The permits and right aways are the biggest time consumer." He continued, "We hope to then break ground in early 2012. It will take 6-9 months for that construction. Customers should be hooked up by the end of 2012."

Load Of Lentils

     It's the the time of year when farmers on the Palouse are itching to get out into the fields and begin planting wheat, barley and lentils.      Wednesday morning an Arlo Huber semi-truck loaded up with about 70,000 pounds of lentils from the elevators in Spangle, Washington. The load will be delivered to the Spokane Seed Company in Colfax, Washington.

Chattaroy Teen Monitoring Deer Behavior

Riverside High School senior Erik Kemp is on a quest to learn more about Bambi's eating habits.  Kemp's science project is turning more than just antlers, Washington wildlife officials are taking notice too.   Kemp went so far as to set up cameras on his family's property.  He put out corn and crab apples for the animals to eat and filmed their actions.  Kemp found that the deer like the corn better than the crab apples, but once the baiting was over he found no lasting effect on animal behavior.   Kemp is expected to present his findings this week to the Fish and Wildlife Department.  

Arne Woodard Appointed By Spokane Valley City Council

Arne Woodard was appointed by the Spokane Valley City Council on Tuesday evening to fill the vacancy in Council position #3 that resulted from the resignation of former Councilmember Rose Dempsey.A native of Spokane Valley, Woodard is a real estate broker and owner of Woodard Properties and Investment, Inc. He has served on the Spokane Valley Planning Commission since 2010, and is actively involved in numerous local community and professional organizations. Woodard will serve on the Council until a candidate selected by voters in the coming November election can be certified. The process for filling the vacancy in position #5 (formerly held by the late Bob McCaslin) is currently under way, with applications due to the City Clerk no later than 4:00pm on Tuesday, April 19. Applicants not selected for position #3 who want to be considered for the vacancy in position #5 won't need to submit new applications, but must provide written and signed notification to the City Clerk no later than the application deadline above.

Spokane Valley Mayor Taking It To The Streets

Mayor Tom Towey will be presenting his State of the City address in four Spokane Valley locations in the month of April.  His speeches will touch on the highlights of 2010, the budget and goals for this year.  Each speech will be followed by an informal community forum, where Towney and the city council will take questions from the crowd. It begins Monday, April 11 at Valley Fourth Memorial Church, 2303 S. Bowdish Road starting at 7:00pm.  For details on when and where the forums will take place, click here.

The Great Turkey Walk

          The spring wild turkey season in opens on April 15th and we're betting this flock of birds will be no where to be found.

Spring Ski Season gets another snow bump

Delays in removing your studded tires due to snow in the mountains has also created more great spring skiing.Yesterday a few new inches were reported and now Lookout Pass has 11 new inches and 49 Degrees North has 3 additional to brag about.Most winter sports will start to wrap up April 10 in our area so now is a great time to get some deals.

Appeals Court Upholds Russell Conviction

An appellate court has upheld Fred Russell's conviction in a deadly 2001 collision on the Moscow-Pullman Road that killed three Washington State University students.

Wet March in Colville

One storm after another led to a very wet March in Colville and across Stevens County.  Many locations received more than double the normal amount of precipitation for the month.  Colville made it to the #2 spot on the list of wettest Marches on record. Colville (records began in 1899)