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.  

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of NOAA


It's been a bad year for steelhead runs on the Columbia and Snake rivers. It’s so bad that some anglers are calling for other fishers to voluntarily limit their catches.

Flikr

The refrain “paper or plastic” will still be heard at your local supermarket, but starting today the plastic bags will be a lot sturdier.

The ban was approved in 2020 by the Washington State Legislature, but its implementation was delayed at the start of the pandemic.

Courtesy of Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox

Patrons who plan to attend performances at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox will now be required to show proof of vaccination – or negative COVID-19 test.

Spokane Symphony Executive Director Jeff vom Saal said during an interview Monday the changes would go into effect September 7.

Courtesy of the Northeast Fire Information Center

The Ford-Corkscrew fire that has burned 15,000 acres in Stevens County is now 14% contained.

Stevens County Fire District 1 Chief Mike Bucy says a rough perimeter has been established around the fire. He likens the current activity to connecting the dots, where some gaps remain in areas with rougher terrain.

Flickr Creative Commons/Trevor Bexon

It's a good time to enjoy the night sky. The annual Perseid meteor shower is ready to make an appearance. It looks to be one of the best shows in years.

U.S. Forest Service

People in northeast Washington are weighing in on a proposal to add new wilderness areas to the Colville National Forest. Some support the idea, others are wary.

The proposal is part of the management plan for the Colville National Forest that was released two years ago. It calls for designating 61 thousand acres as wilderness. That means it would be essentially off limits to motorized travel, with a few exceptions.

That concerns Merrill Ott, a former Stevens County commissioner who represents the Tri-County Motorized Recreation Association.

Office of the Governor

Idaho Governor Brad Little made an appeal Tuesday to Idaho residents to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

His request comes during a dramatic increase in positive cases.

Pandhandle Health District.

The hot temperatures this summer have promoted algae growth at some area lakes, and Idaho officials are warning people to try to avoid contact with contaminated lake water, which can be a health threat.

The algae appears as discolored water, streaks or globs of scum, or thick green matts along the shore.

Spokane has received about half of the precipitation it normally receives by this time in the summer.

Since January 1, the city has seen only 4.88" of precipitation. The 30-year average is 9.58" for the same time frame. Even so, this year comes in as the fourth driest on record for that time period.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Coeur d'Alene water officials say the hot weather this summer has translated into much higher water usage by residents. They're hoping they can convince people to conserve the precious resource.

Courtesy of Fairywrenproject.org

A new Washington State University study finds one species of songbird was so impacted by wildfire that it delayed the period where the males molted into bright plumage, thus postponing the breeding season.

The discovery was made in Australia by WSU researcher Jordan Boersma after a wildfire raced through the habitat of the red-backed fairywren.

Flickr Creative Commons/Cannabis Culture

You've probably heard the anecdotal evidence for years from sources as varied as school anti-drug programs to Cheech and Chong. Now, a WSU study seems to confirm what we have heard about cannabis use and memory issues.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The unprecedented heat in the region this week poses some extra challenges for those with vegetable gardens.

 

With temperatures in the triple digits for the next several days in the Inland  Northwest many plants could stop producing food and blossoms, wilt or die.

Despite increasing vaccinations and relaxation of COVID-19 regulations across the state, state wildland firefighters will still need to follow strict COVID-19 protocols.

The Department of Health says more than 67% of the state's population over age 16 is now vaccinated against Covid. And while that certainly includes many who work on DNR fire crews, currently DNR managers have no way to determine who that might be.

Courtesy of American Red Cross

American Red Cross officials say they are urgently looking for blood donors right now.

They say there's a shortage caused by an increase in demand, combined with fewer people donating during the Covid pandemic.

Here's one small item that shows state officials are worried about wildfires. The Department of Natural Resources says people may, temporarily, no longer use two of its properties in Stevens County as shooting ranges. They're worried shooters could spark fires in the dry conditions there.

Courtesy Stevens County Fire District 1

Fire crews in Stevens County are urging the community to be cautious when using guns after several fires broke out at shooting ranges.

Officials say the most recent fire at the area known as Bogg’s Pit near Loon Lake was the third since April.

The largest burn was about two acres.

Courtesy of Irvine Seed Company

Washington State University has long been known for its agricultural research. Now it’s expanding its emphasis on a crop that was once considered fringe, but is now becoming more mainstream. It has created a center that focuses on marijuana-related issues.

Courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

As the Covid crisis starts to recede, more people are returning to normal activities, like fishing. A major fish release at Lake Roosevelt should make that location a great destination soon for anglers.

Flikr Commons

Spring means there are a number of new baby animals in the great outdoors.

But experts warn that it's not a good idea to try to care for any animals you assume have been abandoned.

Courtesy of National Park Service

The wildfire season is off to an early start in the Inland Northwest. Over the weekend, local fire agencies responded to several small grass and timber fires.

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.

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