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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The local race for Spokane county prosecutor includes a man who has worked as a lawyer for the past 24 years, and says it’s  time serious reforms of the system takes place. Breann Beggs says it’s time the status quo in the county justice system be shaken up.

Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

A vintage warbird is paying a visit to Spokane. The B-17 now called the Memphis Belle is in Spokane this week. The plane took the name of the legendary WWII plane when it starred in the 1990 movie of the same name. The real Memphis Belle resides in a museum.

Last week, the National Climate Assessment was issued. Now, a WSU researcher says some of the predictions could mean benefits, at least in the near term, for Eastern Washington agriculture.
Chad Kruger is the director of the WSU center for sustainable agriculture and natural resources. He was a co-author of the agriculture chapter of the North West climate assessment, a summary of which was used to put together the National Assessment. Most of that research focused on central and eastern Washington.

http://www.votebonniemager.com/

There is a familiar name in the race for Spokane County Commissioner, District 3. Former commissioner Bonnie Mager will try to win back the seat she lost to Al French four years ago. This time Mager has decided to run as an independent, rather than a Democrat. She says she would like to make the position non-partisan, but she's weighing in with some progressive opinions.

If you are signed up for private insurance through Washington’s Health Exchange, don’t be surprised if you are asked to prove you are not in jail. The question may come as surprise. But it may come, even if you’ve never been convicted of a crime.

 

The Saturday Earth Day celebration will be in a familiar place. After a couple of years holding the event on the streets of downtown Spokane, the location has been changed back to Riverfront Park.

Sherry Urann is an Earth Day organizer. She says "moving Earth Day back in to the park is an opportunity to bring awareness to the beautiful river and the falls, and also to remind us of all the intentions that came with the building of the park during the 1974 World's Fair."

The national zombie craze is going to mean some exciting business for the Spokane area. A local film production company made a big announcement Wednesday, that caught the attention of Mayor David Condon and other city officials.

Even though marijuana has been legalized in Washington State, that hasn’t prevented a Kettle Falls-area family from being charged in Federal court with marijuana manufacturing charges.

Federal DEA agents raided the rural property of 70 year old Larry Harvey and his 55 year old wife Rhonda Firestack-Harvey in August of 2012 and seized 44 immature marijuana plants.

It’s a big weekend for music lovers, Saturday is Record Store Day. Indie record stores nationwide are taking part in the event, and that holds true in Spokane. Bob Gallager runs the 4,000 Holes record store on north Monroe Street. He says the event started about six years ago, when Indie stores were looking to drum up more business, as the economy was starting to fade.

The Washington Employment Security Department says a new program with the Federal Treasury has allowed them to collect money from people who received unemployment payments, who actually were working.

 

Officials at WSU Spokane have commissioned a feasibility study to look at the possibility of starting their own medical school. While WSU Spokane is already in a partnership with the University of Washington that offers a four year medical program, WSU Spokane officials believe the Spokane school is a good position to offer its own program.

Deborah Amos is a familiar name to NPR listeners. She has reported for years as a foreign correspondent, often reporting from the Middle East. Amos will be in Spokane this week, taking part in the Get Lit! festival.

Washington insurance commissioner Mike Kriedler is happy with the number of people who have signed up for medical insurance or qualified for Medicaid in the state. Kriedler says prior to authorization of the Affordable Care Act, it was estimated there were a million people in Washington without health insurance.

Medical marijuana patients in Washington State should probably not have to worry about federal intervention at this point. But a member of the Washington Liquor control board says the fate of medical marijuana dispensaries is uncertain.

The Spokane Indians Baseball team will have new logo this season, the first professional team to use a Native American language.  Spokane Tribal Chairman Rudy Peone says The Spokane Indians Baseball team has worked in conjunction with the Spokane tribe to establish the team name as a tribute.

A well known musical performer who lives in Soap Lake was honored this week, as she celebrated her 91st birthday. Born in 1923 in Seattle as Bonnie Buckingham, Bonnie Guitar received recognition from the state of Washington for her musical accomplishments. Mayor Raymond Gravelle was one of those who paid tribute. He named the day as "Bonnie Guitar Day.”

Washington State’s Basic Health program, which helped those with lower incomes gain access to health care, was discontinued when the state created it’s Health Exchange under the Affordable Care Act, and took the federal option of expanding Medicaid. But now, there is an effort to bring it back.

Area Native Americans met in Spokane this week to discuss various options available to increase salmon runs in the Columbia River. The talks are aimed at eventually getting such discussions included in negotiations for the Columbia River treaty between the US and Canada.

A public hearing Wednesday on a bill to allow people the right to protect livestock and pets from wolf attacks included the story of a very close wolf encounter near the town of Twisp. Senate Bill 5187 would let owners of livestock or pets kill a wolf without a permit if the predator is in the act of attacking or posing an immediate threat to their animals.

Spokane County may see some new companies set up shop on the West Plains soon. As Steve Jackson reports, that’s the word from County Commissioner Al French. In Commissioner Al French’s recent state of the county address, he talked about the importance of expanding aerospace businesses on the West Plains.

In Riverside State Park, you can’t help but notice that there seems to be lots of what appear to be dying Ponderosa pines this year, trees that look like all the needles are turning red. Forester Guy Gifford of the Department of Natural Resources says he has seen this happen before, in 5 to 7 year intervals. The trees are being hit by fungal or insect related pathogens that are related to weather patterns.

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