Regional News

The latest stories from Spokane Public Radio and the Northwest News Network.

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Retaliatory tariffs levied by China on U.S. goods are taking a toll on Pacific Northwest farm exports. Details about cancelled orders came out Wednesday at a state Senate committee hearing in Seattle.

Avista Coporation

Avista Utilities officials believe they are on track to get approval from utility commissions in five states to complete their merger with a Canadian company.

Hydro One of Ontario is hoping to acquire the Spokane utility.

The plan hit a bump in the road this summer when the CEO and board of directors at Hydro One were replaced.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission then asked for more information on how the management changes would affect the proposed merger. This week, Idaho regulators set a new schedule for hearings as well.

One of the surprise results from the August primary in Spokane County came when a political newcomer, Democrat Robbi Katherine Anthony, defeated longtime incumbent Republican commissioner Al French. Anthony won about 55% of the vote. They’re facing each other again in the general election.

Patrick Johnson

Here's our full interview with Spokane County District Court judicial candidate Patrick Johnson.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Supporters of an initiataive for stricter gun laws brought their campaign to Spokane Saturday.

Initiative 1639 is the third gun control measure sponsored by the Washington non-profit Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

Deer have already begun using an unfinished wildlife bridge over Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie Pass. The Washington State Department of Transportation on Monday celebrated the opening of a section of widened freeway there. The new overcrossing is expected to reduce frightening animal-vehicle collisions.

Patrick Johnson

Tens of thousands of people cycle through Spokane County District Court every year. Many judges and attorneys dub it the “people’s court.” It’s the venue where traffic cases, misdemeanors and simple felonies are heard.

Judge Vance Peterson is vacating his seat on the bench. Two men are vying to replace him, including one former judge.

Under pressure to step down following a new allegation of sexual misconduct, Republican state legislator Matt Manweller on Monday said that he would resign his seat if re-elected this November. 

poisonpapers.org

 

An investigative journalist who has spent years probing the story behind toxic chemicals, some of which are in the Spokane River, will be speaking this week at Gonzaga University.

PCBs, a family of chemicals also called polychlorinated biphenyls, were banned from use by Congress decades ago, but they are still found in the Spokane River. The chemicals were used in various electrical components, like transformers, but have been traced to human health issues, like liver damage or cancer.

A new state political action committee with a high-profile co-chair from California and national financial backing has launched a campaign to unseat Washington state legislator Matt Manweller.

The campaign, which launched Monday morning, comes as Washington House Republican leaders have asked Manweller to resign his seat following a report by the Northwest News Network last week on an alleged underage relationship Manweller had with a former high school student in 1997. Manweller was expected to respond to the call for him to resign later Monday. 

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