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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

After loosening masking recommendations for vaccinated people, the CDC is now urging people in areas with high COVID-19 case rates to put on a face mask when indoors.

WSU Football Coach Talks Covid Vaccination At Media Day

Jul 27, 2021
Screenshot from Pac-12 Conference

Today [Tuesday] football coaches and star players in the Pacific-12 Conference met with reporters to talk about and promote the upcoming season.

Washington State University coach Nick Rolovich was among them. But football was only part of what he talked about.

Spokane Mayor Declares Housing Emergency

Jul 27, 2021
City of Spokane

Mayor Nadine Woodward has declared a housing emergency as housing cost and scarcity continue to skyrocket in the city of Spokane.

Breean Beggs

Spokane City Council President Breean Beggs has been diagnosed with cancer, and is taking medical leave from his leadership role on the city council for treatment.

“This June I joined millions of American who have been diagnosed with cancer, and I’m now in the hands of a great medical team, and we’re eradicating it.”

He said he underwent surgery in June to remove a tonsil and will soon undergo radiation treatment.

Spokane Public School Board Candidate: Jake Leadingham

Jul 26, 2021
Jake Leadingham

Thirteen candidates are running for two seats on the Spokane Public School Board of directors. Our Rebecca White spoke to nine of those candidates in a series of interviews that airing on Spokane Public Radio.

Jake Leadingham is a member of the National Guard and also works as an analyst. 

Leadingham said he is primarily running because he is concerned that the school board is promoting critical race theory.

Spokane Public School Board Candidate: Kenneth Cameron

Jul 26, 2021
Ken Cameron

Two openings on the Spokane Public School Board have attracted 13 candidates.

Nine of those candidates agreed to interviews with Spokane Public Radio that are airing during the primary election.

Today, we’re introducing Ken Cameron, who recently retired as the owner of a promotional products business.

He said he's running on behalf of school board constients who currently don't feel heard. 

Corstian Dehle-Jones

As Spokane Public School Board rounds out a headline making year, two members have chosen not to file for reelection.

Thirteen candidates have filed for those two positions. Nine agreed to interviews with Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White.

Candidate Corstian Dehle-Jones is a union shop steward and grew up in the greater Spokane area. He said he is running to promote options outside of a four year degree from a university and is supportive of racial equity measures the school district is implementing.

Spokane Public School Board Candidate: Riley Smith

Jul 26, 2021
Riley Smith

Two open Spokane Public School Board of Directors seats have attracted 13 candidates.

Nine of those candidates agreed to speak to Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White.

Riley Smith works at a food bank non-profit and is a North Central High School Alumni. He said he’s focusing on the growing mental health needs in public schools and the need for tech and trade school opportunities.

Interviews with other candidates are airing this week and on

Emergency medical technicians in Spokane County are reaching for Narcan more often to revive people suffering from opioid overdoses. Narcan is the brand name for naloxone. It is often used to bring opioid users back from the brink of death.

The Spokane Fire Department has tracked how often first responders have deployed the drug this year.

Courtesy of Washington State University

A WSU Spokane administrator is moving into the leadership of one of the state’s most prestigious science groups. John Roll will serve as the new president-elect of the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

Spokane Public School Candidate: Rion Ametu

Jul 23, 2021

Thirteen candidates are running for two open seats on the Spokane Public Schools Board.

Nine of those candidates agreed to interviews with Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White.

Today, we’re introducing candidate Rion Ametu. He is a Navy Veteran and Fed Ex driver, who said he is running to ensure the school board follows through its pledge to improve racial equity.

Trying To Escape The Smoke? Try A Corsi Box

Jul 23, 2021
Courtesy of

Weather forecasters say smoke and haze are in the forecast this weekend in parts of the Inland Northwest.

One air quality regulator in north Idaho says it won’t be the last time we see smoke this summer and he urges people to get ready for it.

Health Officials Doubt Overdose Levels Will Wane Soon

Jul 23, 2021
Courtesy of Drug Enforcement Administration

Spokane public health officials aren’t optimistic that the county’s drug overdose rate is going to decrease anytime soon. But if it does, one unusual factor may have something to do with it.

It wasn’t that long ago that just three of Washington’s 147 state lawmakers were Black. Now there are nine Black members – all Democrats -- and they’ve formed their own caucus. The growing diversity of the Washington Legislature comes at a time of racial reckoning and demands for police reform and other systemic changes. So how are these members changing the conversation at the state Capitol? And what policy changes are they seeking?

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Sheriffs and police chiefs from eastern Washington are warning they’ll have to change their response to crisis when new state policing laws go into effect on Sunday. 

The laws are meant to reduce the number of violent confrontations between police and the public.

Spokane Public School Board Candidate: Kata Dean

Jul 21, 2021
Courtesy of Kata Dean

Spokane Public School District voters will see 13 candidates on their ballot for two open positions this year. 

Nine of those candidates agreed to speak with Spokane Public Radio's Rebecca White. 

Today we’re introducing Kata Dean. She is a stay at home mother of 5 who said her highest priority is getting children back in school, and caught up after a year at home.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Public health officials say Spokane County appears to be mirroring the state trend for opioid overdoses.

The Washington Department of Health reported Tuesday that 418 people died from overdoses during the first quarter of 2021. That’s up from 378 during the first quarter last year.

Spokane Regional Health District officials say they also suspect that overdoses are increasing in the county, but they cite a different indicator.

Courtesy of Karina Hernandez.

Thirteen candidates are running for two seats on the Spokane Public School Board of directors. Spokane Public Radio's Rebecca White spoke to ten of those candidates in a series of interviews.

Today, we’ll hear from Karina Hernandez. She is a stay-at-home mother who says she's running in hopes of increasing resources for children with non-traditional learning styles and disabilities. 

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.

Spokane Public School Board Candidate Daryl Geffken

Jul 20, 2021
Daryl Geffken

Spokane school board seats are in high demand this year. Thirteen candidates are running for two open seats during the August primary election.

Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White has spoken with nine of those candidates in the run-up to election. Today she talks with Daryl Geffken.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Department of Natural Resource lands will be closed to the public from Friday until further notice due to the growing danger of wildfires.

Elevated Fire Risk Continues In Inland NW On Tuesday

Jul 20, 2021
Courtesy of National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for much of eastern Washington and northern Idaho. That’s in effect through Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Spokane County’s air quality is listed as moderate this morning and it’s expected to remain there for a few days.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

About $200 million in federal pandemic rescue plan money are coming Spokane’s way. Local officials have outlined the deliberative public process they’ll use to decide how to spend it.

Spokane Public School Board Candidate: Melissa Bedford

Jul 19, 2021
Courtesy of Melissa Bedford

Spokane Public Radio has spoken to nine of the 13 candidates who are running for Spokane Public School Board of Directors.

An excerpt of an interview with each candidate will air in July and full interviews with each candidate is available online.

Spokane Public Radio's Rebecca White spoke with candidate Melissa Bedford.

If you like cheering for hometown athletes -- or former Ducks, Zags or Huskies -- you're in luck when the Summer Olympics start in less than a week. The team rosters for the USA and a bunch of foreign countries are chockablock with athletes with Pacific Northwest ties.

By our count, 49 U.S. Olympians have strong connections to Oregon or Washington. At least 52 more athletes are at the Olympics representing foreign countries after starring for universities or turning pro in the Northwest.

Courtesy of National Interagency Fire Center

Cooler temperatures and a bit more humidity are expected to help Northwest firefighters for the next day or two. But the winds from the west that are moderating temperatures may also help spread flames and embers from existing fires.

Rebecca White/SPR

Afterschool and summer programs that help children in northeast Spokane connect with safe recreation activities, literacy and science programs just received a $2 million boost from the federal government.

Since 2018 afterschool programs at northeast Spokane schools have introduced children to swimming lessons, new parks and educational opportunities.

Missy Nadvornick

Ballots are now in the hands of Washington for the August 3 primary election.

Voters are receiving some help this year. For the first time, counties are required to compile their own voters’ pamphlets to provide information about local candidates and measures.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin is trying to convince legislative leaders to reconvene to consider legislation barring private employers from requiring workers to be vaccinated to stay employed. A prominent business group is opposing her.

Courtesy of

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.