Regional News

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

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Twice a year Gonzaga University brings renowned authors and researchers to speak in Spokane. The Presidential Speaker in April is a man who wrote the book on modern slavery. Siddharth Kara has actually authored two books on modern slavery and sex trafficking, documenting more than 1,000 cases worldwide. Kara says there’s much more awareness now, than when he started his research in the late 80’s, but work to stop trafficking hasn’t progressed.

Police Use of Force Progress Report an Improvement

Mar 27, 2014

Spokane’s mayor and police chief have presented their one year update to the Use of Force Commission. The commission set 26 tangible recommendations for the department, and Thursday's meeting was the second of three requested updates.

McMorris-Rodgers Ethics Probe Probably Closed

Mar 25, 2014

 

U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers probably won't face an investigation from the House Ethics Committee, despite a report from a non-partisan office which found she may have mixed campaign and official funds, office space and staff time. Through her lawyer, Elliot Berke, McMorris Rodgers said the ethics complaint was based on "frivolous allegations from a single source, a former employee who discredited himself by admitting his own improper conduct".

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.

 

You don’t have to live in the country to raise pigs or sell your backyard veggies anymore. Livestock and neighborhood markets are now allowed in Spokane’s city limits, thanks to two measures approved Monday night by the city council. Council president Ben Stuckart sponsored the urban farming measures.

Inland Northwest Threatened by Fire, Not Slides

Mar 24, 2014

 

Western Washington is no stranger to landslides, which prompt road closures and train delays there each winter. The threat is much different in the Inland Northwest, where fire and flood top the natural disaster list.

 

The above freezing temperatures have allowed construction workers to get back on the job, including on the North Spokane Corridor. But after they finish the existing small projects, there’s no funding in place. Al Gilson with Washington’s transportation department says discussions started in the 1940's for a north-south freeway in Spokane.

Rising Water Risks Mean Rising Premiums

Mar 24, 2014

Thousands of home and property owners in Washington, Oregon and Idaho face a rising tide of costs for their mandatory flood insurance policies. A review conducted by the Associated Press found that more than 13,000 federally subsidized flood insurance policies in Washington face hefty premium hikes, despite a rate relief law approved earlier this month.

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.

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