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Four Gonzaga Men's BB Players Head To The NBA

Jul 30, 2021
Screenshot from CBS Sports

Four Gonzaga men’s basketball players are now headed to the National Basketball Association. All were picked in last night’s NBA draft.

Pandhandle Health District.

The hot temperatures this summer have promoted algae growth at some area lakes, and Idaho officials are warning people to try to avoid contact with contaminated lake water, which can be a health threat.

The algae appears as discolored water, streaks or globs of scum, or thick green matts along the shore.

National Weather Service

Eastern and central Washington should prepare for an intense, but short, heat wave this weekend.

National Weather Service meteorologist Rebekah Cheatham says temperatures on Friday and Saturday will be close to as hot as they were during the record-breaking heat wave at the end of June.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane city council members want police to do a better job communicating with the public about how they’re responding to new state laws that took effect on Sunday. Those laws are designed to lower the risk of violent encounters with the public.

Spokane Sets Average Heat Record

Jul 29, 2021
Courtesy of National Weather Service

Weather forecasters say Inland Northwest temperatures will be back in triple digits as we head into the weekend.

From June 1-July 26, Spokane recorded its highest-ever average temperature, 73.7 degrees.

Fernan Lake Under Health Advisory After Algal Bloom

Jul 28, 2021
Courtesy of Panhandle Health District

The Pandhandle Health District has detected toxins that are dangerous to human health in Fernan Lake.

According to a press release, toxins have been found across the entire body of water due to algal blooms. The dramatic increase in algae looks like thick green mats or scum in the water.

Health officials are urging people who recreate, or fish on the lake to be cautious and avoid exposure to the water. Toxins can’t be removed by boiling or filtration, and can contaminate fish caught in the lake.

Courtesy of Northwest Interagency Coordinating Center

Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz toured two of eastern Washington’s major wildfire sites today [Wednesday], where thousands of acres on Indian reservations have burned. They are two of more than a thousand fires reported this season in Washington, already an all-time record, she says.

Rebecca White/SPR

The Center for Disease Control is now recommending everyone, vaccinated or not, wear masks while indoors due to an increase in infections driven by the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Dr. Francisco Velazquez, the Spokane Regional Health District’s interim health officer, said the Delta, as well as other variants, have been detected in Spokane County.

Washingtonians who are fully vaccinated should wear masks in public indoor settings, Gov. Jay Inslee said on Wednesday.

Fully vaccinated people who live with young children or someone who is vulnerable to sickness should consider masking indoors even in counties with lower transmission. This is guidance and not a legal requirement.

Conrad Gowell

This summer’s heat wave led to some unhealthy hot water for salmon. But, fish managers said it hasn’t been as devastating for salmon runs as the warm water temperatures were in 2015.

Copyright 2021 Northwest News Network. To see more, visit Northwest News Network.

Spokane has received about half of the precipitation it normally receives by this time in the summer.

Since January 1, the city has seen only 4.88" of precipitation. The 30-year average is 9.58" for the same time frame. Even so, this year comes in as the fourth driest on record for that time period.

Algal Bloom Puts Hayden Lake Under Health Restrictions

Jul 27, 2021
Panhandle Health District

Panhandle Health officials are urging people to be cautious when swimming, or fishing in the northern portion of Hayden Lake due to a harmful algal bloom.

Algal blooms can produce dangerous bacteria in high concentrations.  They can look like an algal mat or murky, or scummy water.

Health officials are asking people who use Hayden Lake for drinking water to be careful, because boiling, or filtering it may not remove the toxins.

They are also urging people who are exposed algae to wash with clean water.  

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.