Steve Jackson

News Reporter

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999.  His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR.   Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC.    Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.  

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Steve Jackson/SPR

Researchers are looking into all kinds of quality-of-life issues for people as they age. And now that kind of work is extending into the canine realm.

Washington State University researchers are looking into about how your dog can live a better life.

The Dog Aging Project is a joint effort by WSU and several other higher education institutions.

WSU Researcher Dr. Lynne Nelson says the project is investigating questions about genetics, canine cognition, cardiology and age-related mobility.

Rebecca White/SPR

Spokane County Treasurer Michael Baumgartner is offering a possible solution to financing for preserving some desirable property in south Spokane.

The future of the 48-acre Pilcher property, located between Latah Creek and the bottom of High Drive Bluff Park, has been up in the air for a couple years.

 

Wikimedia Commons

Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking people to temporarily take down their bird feeders because of a salmonella outbreak.

Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Staci Lehman says sick birds are being reported all over the region. The initial reports came in at first from the west side of the state, but after an online page was set up to take reports of sick birds.

Flikr Commons

Washington's Covid vaccinations are getting back on track after harsh winter weather nationwide slowed down shipments last week.

Many scheduled immunizations had to be canceled, but this week picked up pace again. Department of Health officials say one day this week, a record 5,000 doses were administered at the mass vaccination sites.

Flikr Commons

Washington state health officials say they are working to make sure distribution of the Covid vaccine is equitable. That means it’s distributed in the same proportion to minority groups as to the population as a whole.

Recently, the head of the Washington Department of Health, Umair Shah, said further analysis of numbers of those vaccinated shows better progress toward that goal than initially thought.

Wikimedia Commons

Washington’s Senate Ways and Means Committee heard testimony Tuesday on a bill that would put in place more rules dealing with landlords and tenants during the Covid-19 emergency.

Last year, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation that put in place an eviction moratorium to help those facing financial difficulties because of the pandemic.

Courtesy of Washington Department of Health

Washington state health officials say nearly one million residents have received at least one of the Covid 19 vaccinations in the state. That's a major mile marker as they push to meet a goal of vaccinating 45,000 per day.

Even so, they say they are seeing inequity in the number of minorities who are receiving the shots.

TVW screenshot

The Washington Senate is considering a proposal that would protect election workers from harassment. The bill was prompted by threats reported nationwide, and in Washington following last November’s election.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Vaccinations against the coronavirus are on track to begin at the Spokane Arena Wednesday morning.

The Community Health Association of Spokane, or CHAS, is the lead provider under the direction of Washington’s Department of Health and the Spokane Regional Health District.

TVW screenshot

A Washington legislative committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would allow businesses shuttered by the pandemic to partially reopen.



More than 1,600 people signed up to weign in on legislation that takes aim at Governor Inslee’s latest re-opening plan.

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Although it hasn't snowed much in recent weeks at lower elevations, the snowpack in the mountains seems to be pretty close to normal this year.



The Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-St. Joe Basin snowpack is at about 92% of normal.
 To the north, the Kootenai-Pend Oreille Basins are at 104% of normal for this time of year.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz has called for the legislature to support a bill that would provide a dedicated funding source for wildfire response and forest health work.

Franz says the bill would provide $125 million every biennium to fund new firefighters and aircraft and work to upgrade existing helicopters.

Courtesy of Stevens County Fire District 1

The people at the top of the Covid vaccine pyramid are health care workers in high-risk situations and people associated with long-term care facilities.

 

But first responders are high on the list too. In fact, firefighters in Stevens County will receive the Covid vaccine in a matter of days.

Cannabis Regulators Association

When Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, they had to develop their own regulatory agencies and protocols from scratch.

 

Now that more states have joined the party, they’re pooling their expertise as the industry matures.

Courtesy of Idaho Department of Lands

New fire statistics from the Washington Department of Natural Resources show lightning has played a much smaller role in causing fires this year than in the past.

 

The agency has just released its latest data that covers the January through August period for northeast Washington counties.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

National Weather Service forecasts over the weekend indicated we might see winds early in the week that would move some of the thick wildfire smoke out of the region.

 

But the newest computer modeling indicates the weak low pressure coming in late Monday and early Tuesday won't have much of an impact on the smoke.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

The federal government has released results of health tests it conducted on people who drank water pulled from wells in Airway Heights before 2017. The wells contained a chemical used in foam that was used to fight fires at Fairchild.

 

The Airway Heights community is one of at least seven nationwide where blood and urine samples were taken from residents.

Courtesy of Sara Mader

While Covid has wreaked havoc with many businesses across the country, some companies that have teamed up with Amazon are seeing their businesses flourish. That is definitely the case with one Palouse grain grower.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Some rural hospitals in the Northwest are struggling to stockpile enough personal protective equipment for employees who care for contagious patients. Those employees say sometimes it means they use that equipment for longer than the recommended period.

 

One Spokane nurse says, because of that, he’s giving up his vocation until he can feel safe again at the workplace.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR


 

The grand experiment begins Monday for at least three Inland Northwest colleges and universities. Washington State, the University of Idaho and North Idaho College will begin their first academic year in the coronavirus age.

All of the institutions have plans on how to put in place various safety procedures, including distancing, temperature checks and mask requirements. And all plan a mix of online and in-class instruction.

Courtesy of Peter Davenport

If you've ever reported seeing something unusual in the sky, chances are the news eventually reached the national tracking center for unidentified flying objects. That center is located in eastern Washington.

The man who directs it, Peter Davenport, has had a lifelong interest in UFOs since first seeing one during a family outing at a drive-in theater in 1954.

Spokane County Fire District 10

Two Spokane County fire levies that were on Tuesday's primary election ballot are passing.

 

In Spokane County Fire District 10, a 10-year levy focused on medical services is passing handily, 66-to-32%.

Washington Department of Agriculture

Washington and Idaho state agriculture officials are warning you to be on the lookout for a surprise package that might arrive in the mail from China.

 

Officials from the respective states' Departments of Agriculture say they have received reports in the last week from people who received unsolicited mailed envelopes from China. Idaho officials say they've heard of about 20 cases.

Spokane County Fire District 10

Two fire levies are on the August 4 primary election ballot in Spokane County.

 

In Fire District 10, which covers much of the West Plains, voters are asked to approve a 10-year levy focused on medical services.

Brownes Addtion Concert Series

 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee's office has modified rules for venues that feature entertainment that strictly prohibit live music in areas that are still in phase two - or even phase three - designations because of the Covid virus.

A Spokane County judge has ruled in favor of a neighborhood group opposed to development of a sports complex in its southeast Spokane neighborhood.

The victory is just one step in the efforts by the Glenrose Neighborhood Association to stop a 20-acre sports complex planned by the Spokane Youth Sports Association.

Wikipedia

A Spokane conservation group is giving a demonstration of a new burning device it hopes forest managers will use to revolutionize the way they deal with forest slash.

Spokane County Sheriff's Department

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says he’s happy the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation of Washington State Representative Matt Shea.

 

The sheriff learned about the investigation from a letter sent by the state bar association. It revealed it would forgo its own investigation of Shea until the FBI probe is complete.

 

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Federal officials say the water supply this year in north Idaho is looking good, especially when compared to other areas of the state. 

The Clearwater Basin in north central Idaho had near normal amounts of snowfall last winter. The farther north you went, the better the snowpack.

Photo Heather Keen

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe is making a special effort to keep its elders safe from the Covid virus. 

 

The tribe's Older Americans Program is working in conjunction with its Miramn Health Clinic to provide special Covid Safety Packs to tribal members older than age 55.

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