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Inland Journal, September 13, 2018

Sep 13, 2018

This week on Inland Journal (9/13/18; Thursday at noon on KPBX; Thursday at 3 pm on KSFC):      
    ▪    The Spokane Valley Fire Department is using data and technology to help it find where the pockets of opioid abuse are most severe.
    ▪    Washington environmental regulators have begun the process of reviewing a proposal for a silicon smelter in Newport.
    ▪    We start preparing for the November general election by meeting candidates. Today, we’ll hear from the people running for a Spokane County Superior Court seat and for county clerk.
    ▪    North Cascades National Park turns 50 years old. Our correspondent looks back at its creation and how the anniversary will be celebrated.

National Park Service

North Cascades National Park turns 50 years old next month (Oct. 2, to be precise). It took skillful political compromise in the 1960s to establish the new national park and the adjacent Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas. The next fifty years for the park complex may need more skillful stewardship.

Environmental Review Begins For Proposed Newport Smelter

Sep 13, 2018
Washington Department of Ecology

One step forward today [Tuesday] toward a new silicon smelter just south of Newport, in northeastern Washington. The state Department of Ecology has formally begun the process of evaluating the proposal by the Canadian firm PacWest Silicon. That kicks off a 30-day public comment period that will include two hearings next week in Washington and one in north Idaho.

Spokane County Clerk Faces Challenge From Kirk

Sep 13, 2018
Michael Kirk

The Spokane County’s clerk’s office is the keeper of the papers related to the Superior Court system. The clerk is Tim Fitzgerald, a Republican who was appointed in 2014 after a long career in the Marine Corps. He was re-elected later that year.

Spokane Valley Fire Officials Map Opioid Hot Spots

Sep 12, 2018
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

What started as a research project for a Spokane Valley fire administrator has turned into a useful tool to evaluate the city’s opioid use.

The project compiled data from overdose calls and the number of times in which the drug Narcan was administered to reverse the effects of opioids. It also tells fire officials about where many of those calls originate.

Shelley Szambelan

One of the least visible races on the November ballot in Spokane County is for Superior Court judge. It includes an incumbent and an attorney who claims the late civil rights attorney Carl Maxey as a mentor.


A Washington man with tribal roots in Canada is back in court Wednesday in British Columbia. The nearly decade-long case could set precedent for tribal sovereignty issues in Canada.

An Australian newspaper is reporting that hunters shot at two firefighters from down under while they were battling the Miriam Fire near White Pass, Washington, but law enforcement has debunked the claim.

National Weather Service

Weather forecasters in Spokane today [Monday] issued what they call a “Happy, Good News Briefing.” National Weather Service forecaster Greg Koch says it has some welcome elements: cooler temperatures, the possibility of rain and better air quality this week.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Teachers in a few western Washington school districts remain on strike as they negotiate with administrators over pay raises funded with new money from the state. The Tacoma and Battle Ground Districts today [Monday] asked state arbitrators to help with negotiations.

In eastern Washington, there are no strikes, but several districts are still at the bargaining table.