Regional News

Report On Malden Fire Brings Closure, Questions

May 20, 2021
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Residents of the town of Malden in Whitman County finally know the cause of the fire that destroyed their homes last Labor Day, and they say that knowledge has helped them move forward, but also left them with questions.

Rebecca White/SPR

Spokane County will soon publish its first local voters guide in more than a decade.

That guide will include both for, and against sections for several local tax levies, a section the county auditor’s office says it needs volunteers to finish.

Filing Week For Public Office Opens in Spokane County

May 17, 2021
Rebecca White/SPR

The filing period to run for office in Spokane County opened today and there are nearly 150 elected positions open in Spokane County.

In the first few hours of filing week 41 candidates filed for 33 open positions said Spokane County elections manager Mike McLaughlin. He said that’s likely a small fraction of people expected to file this week.

“We’ll get a lot of people the next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday night. A lot of people will file, we’ll come to work, get them processed and up on the website.”

Washington Senator Patty Murray Seeking Reelection

May 17, 2021
Screenshot from U.S. Senate livestream

Washington State Senator Patty Murray announced Monday that she is seeking re-election in 2022.

Murray, a Democrat, was first elected to the Senate in 1992 and was Washington’s first woman senator. During her time in the Senate, Murray has focused on family leave and childcare.

Before she was elected to Congress, she was a state senator and a school board member in the north Seattle suburb of Shoreline.

Downtown Spokane Partnership

The United Soccer League, the organization set to become one of the first tenants of the Spokane School District's new downtown stadium, hopes to have a team playing here by spring of 2023.



United Soccer League’s future in Spokane was contingent on a downtown stadium. Now that the stadium has been approved by the school board, USL leaders say they will follow through on that promise.


Rebecca White/SPR

Hundreds of students, the youngest of which just became eligible this week, were vaccinated Friday at the Spokane Public Schools Pfizer immunization clinic.

Inslee: Washington Economy Can Re-Open June 30

May 13, 2021
Courtesy of Governor's Office

Governor Jay Inslee announced Thursday that the economy can fully re-open on June 30, or whenever 70% of the state’s eligible population has had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

Health Officials Encourage Youth To Get Vaccinated

May 12, 2021
Spokane Regional Health District

As authorization for children over 12 to get vaccinated against the coronavirus nears, health officials urge families to consider getting the vaccine, and for currently eligible 16 and 17-year-olds who are eligible to get vaccinated now.


Dr. Gretchen LaSalle, a family physician with Multi-Care said during a Health District briefing Wednesday, that children usually have milder cases of COVID, but that can still lead to long-term impacts.


Spokane Regional Health District

A preliminary Washington Board of Health investigation released Tuesday found that Spokane Regional Health District Administrator Amelia Clark likely violated state law when she removed Dr. Bob Lutz from his role as health officer.

Spokane Chooses New Flag

May 10, 2021
Courtesy of the city of Spokane

The city of Spokane now has a new flag, which replaces an old design the city has used since the 1970s.

The flag was designed by Derek Landers, who is co-founder of Spokane Print and Publishing Studio and a lifelong Spokane resident. The flag has a sun in the top left corner, a river running through it diagonally and strip of lush green.


Spokane Tribe Says No To Native American Mascots

May 7, 2021
Rebecca White/SPR

Washington has a new law that bans schools from using Native American imagery without a tribe’s consent. The Spokane Tribe says it won’t be endorsing any such proposals.

The Reardan-Edwall, Wellpinit and Spokane school districts all currently use Native American themed mascots. North Central High School in Spokane and Reardan-Edwall, which is spread between Lincoln and Spokane Counties and has many students from the tribe, both use Indians. Wellpinit uses the term “Redskins.”

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.

Downtown Spokane Partnership

After pressure from downtown businesses, a professional soccer league and many community members, the Spokane Public Schools Board voted to build an outdoor stadium downtown.

Courtesy of Quiero Flamenco

The governor’s announcement that Spokane County will stay in Phase 3 brought sighs of relief to some venues and artists. But many in the arts say it will do little to help the arts.

Most performing art groups have been completely shut down for the entirety of the pandemic, and have been holding out for Phase 4 of the governor’s re-opening plan. That, however, seems farther away than ever as the state rides a fourth wave of coronavirus cases.

So, for now, they're making due.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The city of Spokane has released a plan, which focuses on both greenhouse gas emissions and inequities in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.

The city’s recently released Sustainability Action Plan Draft, gives the city two overarching goals, make the entire community more resilient, and reduce sources of pollution, and greenhouse gases, says Kara Odegard, the city’s manager of sustainability initiatives.

Former EWU President Mary Cullinan Dies

May 3, 2021
Courtesy of EWU

Eastern Washington University’s former president Mary Cullinan has died.

Interim President David May announced her death to the campus in a statement Monday.

Rebecca White/SPR

What do the Pavilion, St. Charles's Parish in Spokane and the Steam Plant have in common? They’re all one-of-a-kind feats of architecture and engineering, says a Gonzaga professor who recently co-authored a paper on an iconic Spokane structure.

Joshua Schultz is a professor of civil engineering at Gonzaga University who recently co-authored a paper about the roof of St. Charles's Parish. Buildings on the church property recently caught fire, but the sanctuary and church structure itself received little damage.

Downtown Spokane Partnership

The Public Facilities District accepted Spokane Public Schools' terms to operate a stadium downtown during their meeting Friday.

Rebecca White/SPR

Spokane County's interim health officer says the county will likely revert back to more restrictions as both coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise.

Spokane County has 299 cases and 8.6 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, significantly above the requirements to stay in the state’s current phase of re-opening.

Rebecca White/SPR

North Central High School has received overwhelming support to retire its mascot, the Indians, and pursue a different symbol to represent the school.

Dozens of alumni, current students and parents called in to a public forum sponsored by the Spokane School District Tuesday night. They shared their concern about how using a stereotypical image of a Native American can be damaging to Indigenous students.

Courtesy of Jonathan Bingle

This week we're continuing our series profiling Spokane City Council candidates who expect to file for office in three weeks.

Jonathan Bingle owns an events business, which has been on hold most of the pandemic.

Rebecca White/SPR

Spokane County Commissioners have chosen a former Healthcare executive as the final member of a committee that will redraw the county’s election lines.

Spokane County Commissioners Monday unanimously chose Elaine Couture. She retired from her position as Providence executive vice president and regional chief executive for Washington and Montana, earlier this year.

Spokane County Commissioner Mary Kuney, who nominated her, praised her business sense, leadership and community ties before the board voted.

SPR City Council Interviews: Luc Jasmin III

Apr 26, 2021
Courtesy of Luc Jasmin III.

This week we’re continuing our series profiling city council candidates running for the open seat in the Northeast, City Council District 1.

Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White discusses homelessness, policing, affordable housing and the environment with candidate Luc Jasmin, who is running for the open District 1 seat.

Courtesy of Luc Jasmin III.

This week we're continuing our series profiling Spokane City Council candidates. We’re focusing on candidates for District 1, which includes most of Northeast Spokane.

We’re introducing Luc Jasmin III.

Wikimedia Commons

Tenants in Washington State now have new rights and protections related to late fees and other punitive actions if they missed paying rent during the pandemic.


As Washington State braces for a fourth wave of coronavirus and spread from a more infectious variant, Governor Jay Inslee is urging residents to continue to follow health rules, and take the vaccine.

Inslee noted that half of virus cases now are more infectious variants of COVID-19.

“This is bad news for us because these are more transmittable. Each person with the same disease can transmit it more easily. The science is highly suggestive that this is a significant reason the virus is now increasing in our state.”

Downtown Spokane Partnership

The Spokane Public Schools Board voted 4-1 to start negotiations with the entity that owns the Spokane Arena on parameters for building an outdoor stadium downtown.

Natalie Newcomb

Spokane city leaders are urging community members to keep their response to the verdict in the George Floyd trial peaceful, and respectful.

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder for kneeling on the neck of a black man for nine minutes. That murder sparked a wave of protests across the nation, including several in Spokane last summer.

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.

SPR City Council Interviews: Tyler LeMasters

Apr 20, 2021
Courtesy of Tyler LeMasters

This week we're continuing our series profiling Spokane City Council candidates. Spokane Public Radio's Rebecca White spoke to candidates for District 2, which includes the South Hill, East Central and downtown Spokane.