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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. The seat is currently held by Kate Burke, who is not seeking re-election.  

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.

Late Census Numbers Change Redistricting Routine In Idaho

Apr 26, 2021
Courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau

The delay in distributing 2020 census numbers is forcing some states to change the routine of redrawing political boundaries.

The changes seem to be minimal in Washington. The state’s redistricting commission members are appointed and meeting regularly, even though they have no numbers to work with yet.

Idaho is a little behind Washington.

Fifteen weeks ago, majority Democrats in the Washington Legislature convened a 105-day session vowing to address the fallout from COVID-19, police accountability, greenhouse gas emissions and issues of racial justice.

On Sunday, Democrats adjourned the session having accomplished much of what they set out to do, including passage of a number of sweeping bills that Gov. Jay Inslee, in a statement, called “historic” in nature.

"This session's accomplishments are as important to the long-term well-being of our state as any session I've seen," Inslee said. 

The state of Washington will beef up security around the governor’s executive residence following a major breach of security on January 6, the same day a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Money for the upgrades is included in the state’s next two-year capital construction budget which the state Senate approved Friday.

Vanessa Delgado’s dad didn’t want to take a whole unpaid day off of work to get a vaccine appointment.

She’s working on her doctorate in Irvine, Calif., but helped her father, Victor Delgado, get a vaccine close to his home in Benton County, Wash.

The number of wolves in Washington state rose strongly last year, according to an annual report from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife released Friday. The rate of increase was more than double what Oregon reported earlier in the week for its wolf population in 2020.

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.

Courtesy of State of Idaho

Idaho lawmakers are getting cabin fever.

"This is potentially a ticket out of here, so I would really appreciate it if you introduce this," said Idaho Republican Majority Caucus Chair Megan Blanksma, presenting a bill Friday morning to the state House Ways and Means Committee.


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.”

Courtesy of Amazon

The Idaho House on Thursday approved a bill that supporters say will limit how teachers can talk about race in the state’s classrooms. It’s a theme that has gained steam in the last few weeks.

Idaho House Approves Permanent And One-Time Tax Cuts

Apr 22, 2021
Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Idaho House today [Thursday] approved a two-part tax relief bill.

One part would provide residents with a one-time rebate check later this year. Residents who filed a state tax return in 2019 would get back nine-percent of the amount they paid or $50, whichever is more.

Discover Kalispell

Researchers from two Northwest universities are wondering about the most effective way to get Covid testing supplies to Native American and Latino people. They’ve received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to test their ideas in Washington and Montana.

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.

Few among us have tried our luck at competitive ski jumping, and there is no shame in that considering these skiers can reach speeds around 60 mph before they take flight. But there's something riveting about the daring sport even for casual onlookers. The Pacific Northwest was once a "hotbed" for Nordic jumping as detailed in a new book and a parallel museum exhibit.

The Washington House has approved a bill to institute a seven percent tax on capital gains over $250,000 from the sale of such things as stocks and bonds. 

The 52 to 46 vote followed an hours-long debate that spanned two days. 

Screenshot from Spokane Regional Health District

Spokane County’s chances of staying in Phase 3 of Washington’s coronavirus reopening protocol beyond the first week of May are becoming more tenuous.

Interim Health Officer Francisco Velazquez says the county is failing one of the two metrics state officials consider when evaluating counties’ progress.

Courtesy of State of Idaho

The Idaho House voted Wednesday to override a veto by Governor Brad Little of a bill that would limit the governor’s powers during an emergency.

The 48-19 vote is a rebuff to the governor’s argument that the bill limits his ability to quickly act.

Courtesy of State of Idaho

Idaho public health officials say they’re nearing the point where the supply of Covid vaccine will be greater than the demand.

“We are concerned that we are already seeing a sharp drop off in vaccine uptake," said Idaho state epidemiologist Christine Hahn.

Tidbits About Idaho's Covid "Breakthrough" Cases

Apr 20, 2021
Courtesy of State of Idaho

Idaho health officials are learning more about the people who have contracted Covid after being vaccinated for the virus.

Kathryn Turner says the state of Idaho has documented 166 so-called ‘breakthrough’ cases. Turner is the deputy state epidemologist in the state Division of Public Health.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

Voters in Idaho may get the chance to decide whether state legislators may call themselves into special, non-scheduled sessions. The change requires an amendment to the state constitution.

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.

Tyler LeMasters shared his approach to homelessness, policing, affordable housing and the environment.

LeMasters is running against Betsy Wilkerson. Stories with both candidates are airing this week and interviews are posted online. 

Courtesy of Tyler LeMasters

This week we’re profiling candidates for Spokane City Council’s South City Council District. There are two. We’re introducing, Tyler LeMasters.

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.

Gonzaga To Debut New Climate Center On Earth Day

Apr 19, 2021
Courtesy of Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University this week will formally announce a new center devoted to studying and teaching about climate change.

The new Gonzaga Center for Climate, Society and the Environment will, appropriately enough, get its public unveiling on Thursday, Earth Day.

You can drive an hour on the highway and still be in central Oregon’s Crook County. 

Perhaps, then, it’s easier to understand why patrolling the vast remote region is difficult.

WA State Auditor Releases Results Of Review Of Spokane City Housing Agency

Apr 19, 2021
Screenshot from City Cable 5

The Washington state auditor’s office says a Spokane city agency failed to comply with its own rules when it made financial agreements with outside contractors in 2017 and 2019.

That was one finding in a report released Monday by the auditor’s office.

In another sign of the rebound in travel, Amtrak and the state transportation departments of Oregon and Washington announced plans to restore a good chunk of the passenger train service that was curtailed due to low ridership in the pandemic.