Regional News

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

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Get ready to hear a lot of World War II memories over the next two weeks: The milestone 75th anniversary of D-Day is coming up on June 6. Pilots from the Pacific Northwest aboard a historic plane have arrived in the United Kingdom to take part in a reenactment of the invasion of Normandy.

After wowing veterans and heads of state on the ground below in France, the plane and its Northwest crew will fly onward to Germany to participate in Berlin Airlift commemorations. The double-dose of 20th century history has meaning for crew members, most of whom weren't born yet when it happened.

Olympic National Park said a decomposing gray whale washed ashore Friday morning north of Kalaloch Campground. That makes the 24th dead whale stranding in Oregon and Washington this year during the northbound migration.

Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency held a celebration of its 50th anniversary Thursday at a ceremony in Riverfront Park. Several dignitaries spoke about the accomplishments of the agency, and there was ceremonial tree planting.

“I would like everyone to join me, just take one deep breath," said county commissioner Al French. "You know if you did that 50 years ago, you’d be choking, hacking, and your eyes would be tearing up right now.”

French opened the ceremony by citing some of the agency’s accomplishments.

Women Helping Women

Today on the Inland Journal podcast, we look at a new report about the challenges that women and children face in Spokane County. The study was put together by the group Women Helping Women, using data collected by the Spokane Regional Health District. It touches on issues of generational poverty and trauma, the lack of child care availability and other issues.

Steve Jackson talked with Tamara McGregor from the Women Helping Women board of directors and Stacey Wenzl, who manages the data center for the health district.

A new report highlights the issues women and children face in Spokane County.

The numbers tell a story that organizers hope will spur solutions from area organizations and agencies.

The study was put together by a group called Women Helping Women, a local organization that has developed a philanthropic fund to improve the lives of women and children in Spokane County.

CDA Basin 2019 Work Projects Begin

May 22, 2019
Coeur d'Alene Basin Commission

Crews have begun work on this summer’s environmental projects in the Coeur d’Alene basin, from the Silver Valley down to Coeur d’Alene. These annual projects are part of the long-term process of removing mining waste and improving the region’s environmental quality.

EPA officials estimate $25 million in public and private funds will be spent this summer on projects up and down the basin.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed into law a $52.4 billion, two-year state budget that he said "rises to the needs of our time," but that minority Republicans quickly criticized as a "tax-and-spend home run." 

Crew training deficiencies played a crucial role in the deadly 2017 Amtrak train derailment near DuPont, Washington, according to a final report from federal investigators accepted Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

NTSB board members also had sharp criticism for a quartet of entities involved in the Amtrak Cascades service: train operator Amtrak, track owner Sound Transit, rail service funder Washington State Department of Transportion and the regulatory agency Federal Rail Administration.

The practice of locking up people who are chronically sick, mentally ill or drug addicted in under-resourced city, county and regional jails in Washington is resulting in inmate deaths and a failure to “treat all people humanely, respectfully, and safely,” according to a new report by the statewide nonprofit law firm Columbia Legal Services.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane law and justice officials have begun a six-month process of evaluating the county’s criminal justice system as they decide whether the city and county should build a new jail.

Monday's forum at Spokane Valley City Hall was the first of two town hall facilitated this week by representatives from the Vera Institute of Justice.