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Spokane Tribe Says No To Native American Mascots

May 7, 2021
Rebecca White/SPR

Washington has a new law that bans schools from using Native American imagery without a tribe’s consent. The Spokane Tribe says it won’t be endorsing any such proposals.

The Reardan-Edwall, Wellpinit and Spokane school districts all currently use Native American themed mascots. North Central High School in Spokane and Reardan-Edwall, which is spread between Lincoln and Spokane Counties and has many students from the tribe, both use Indians. Wellpinit uses the term “Redskins.”

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The pandemic has required Inland Northwest school districts and universities to be flexible this spring in designing commencement ceremonies.

This week, Gonzaga is celebrating in-person, while Washington State University Spokane has combined virtual and in-person events.

Flikr Commons

Spring means there are a number of new baby animals in the great outdoors.

But experts warn that it's not a good idea to try to care for any animals you assume have been abandoned.

Courtesy of Gonzaga University

Gonzaga and the University of Washington are marking a construction milestone in Spokane.

Stargazers across the Pacific Northwest were treated to quite a light show in late March when the errant reentry of a spent rocket sent fireballs streaking high overhead. The uncontrolled disintegration of the rocket rained debris onto eastern Washington state, where fortunately no one was hurt. While the search for mangled rocket parts goes on, the event also provided a great learning opportunity for researchers that could foreshadow a space junk warning system.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Washington State University today [Thursday] graduated its first-ever medical school class during a virtual ceremony, part of a three-day university-wide festival of commencements.

The first time salmon were released above Chief Joseph and, later, Grand Coulee dams, Hemene James watched elders from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Many weren’t even old enough to remember when salmon last swam in those waters.

In their faces he saw pure emotion, as salmon slipped into the waters where they hadn’t been since Grand Coulee Dam blocked their path in 1942.

Then, he looked at the children. Their excitement was infectious. They jumped and ran into the water, trying to catch the fish swimming upstream.

Spokane Public Library

Artists are often inspired by their surroundings. Some are lucky enough to work in places that feed their imaginations. Others, though, struggle to find ample space to create their art.

Spokane's public libraries and schools are developing a new building with studios they'll offer for artists to work.


Courtesy of Green Star Cannabis

It is illegal to use, possess and grow marijuana and several other drugs in Idaho. Now, state lawmakers are a step closer to adding another drug-related prohibition.

Downtown Spokane Partnership

After pressure from downtown businesses, a professional soccer league and many community members, the Spokane Public Schools Board voted to build an outdoor stadium downtown.

Screenshot from Spokane Regional Health District

People in Spokane County are among those breathing sighs of relief now that Governor Jay Inslee has announced a two-week delay in changes to Covid recovery phases.

It means businesses and others won’t have to change what they’ve been doing since the county moved to Phase 3, says Interim Health Officer Francisco Velazquez.

Courtesy of Quiero Flamenco

The governor’s announcement that Spokane County will stay in Phase 3 brought sighs of relief to some venues and artists. But many in the arts say it will do little to help the arts.

Most performing art groups have been completely shut down for the entirety of the pandemic, and have been holding out for Phase 4 of the governor’s re-opening plan. That, however, seems farther away than ever as the state rides a fourth wave of coronavirus cases.

So, for now, they're making due.

Redtail hawks glide off telephone poles sailing above verdant fields that scoop downward along a basalt slope to the bending Columbia River. 

This unique swath of ground is about to get a new owner; the roughly 12,000 Easterday family acres in Benton County are to be auctioned off starting in mid-June. 

Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Idaho House has passed a trio of bills that chip away at the governor’s powers during an emergency.

Since Governor Brad Little declared the current Covid emergency back in March, 2020, legislative leaders have chafed at how widely he has used his executive powers.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed into law a new tax on capital gains aimed at the state’s wealthiest residents.

But the future of the tax is uncertain.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has announced the state will wait two weeks before deciding whether to shift counties up or down in the coronavirus reopening protocol.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The city of Spokane has released a plan, which focuses on both greenhouse gas emissions and inequities in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.

The city’s recently released Sustainability Action Plan Draft, gives the city two overarching goals, make the entire community more resilient, and reduce sources of pollution, and greenhouse gases, says Kara Odegard, the city’s manager of sustainability initiatives.

Spokane Indians Return To The Park After A Year Off

May 3, 2021
Courtesy of Spokane Indians Baseball Club

Tuesday was Opening Day for the Spokane Indians baseball club. That’s a big day in any year, but especially this year because the 2020 minor league season was cancelled.

The Indians are not only adjusting to pandemic-related changes, but also to a radical restructuring of the minor league baseball system.

You can see Mount Adams rising from the horizon on a grassy hilltop on Amy Hanson’s land. Farms reach out in most directions. Homes dot the landscape.

Hanson and her husband invested more than a decade and thousands of dollars into this property, driving nearly 200 miles from Chehalis on weekends to build fences and whatever else they could afford as the years went on.

She might not be walking distance from everyone, but recently Hanson and her neighbors in rural Klickitat County have become closer than ever. They’re banded together to fight a new giant knocking at their doors: big solar.

Courtesy of Stop the Sweeps

Advocates for people who are homeless in Spokane are urging the city to stop its sweeps of outdoor encampments.

They’re also asking city officials to address more of the basic needs of people who live on the streets.

Former EWU President Mary Cullinan Dies

May 3, 2021
Courtesy of EWU

Eastern Washington University’s former president Mary Cullinan has died.

Interim President David May announced her death to the campus in a statement Monday.

Rebecca White/SPR

What do the Pavilion, St. Charles's Parish in Spokane and the Steam Plant have in common? They’re all one-of-a-kind feats of architecture and engineering, says a Gonzaga professor who recently co-authored a paper on an iconic Spokane structure.

Joshua Schultz is a professor of civil engineering at Gonzaga University who recently co-authored a paper about the roof of St. Charles's Parish. Buildings on the church property recently caught fire, but the sanctuary and church structure itself received little damage.

Courtesy of State of Idaho

Idaho legislative leaders expect to finish their 2021 regular session this week. Today [Monday] is the 113th day. It’s one of the longest sessions in Idaho history.

Legislators were working toward adjourning last week until one event took center stage and slowed things down.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Washington lands officials are emphasizing prevention at the beginning of what could be a busy wildfire season.

The Department of Natural Resources reports more than 250 wildfires so far this spring, most of them east of the Cascades. That’s well above normal for this time of the year.  

A residential community north of Spokane is among those signing on to a new state initiative aimed at minimizing damage caused by wildfires.

Ferry County Moves Back To Phase 2 Because Of Outbreak

Apr 30, 2021
Courtesy of Ferry County Memorial Hospital

Ferry County has become the fourth Washington county to move back to Phase 2 in the state’s coronavirus reopening protocol.

The Northeast Tri-County Health District on Friday announced that it has moved Ferry County back a step because of an outbreak, brought upon, at least in part, by two maskless parties at an Eagles’ Lodge in Republic in mid-April.

Downtown Spokane Partnership

The Public Facilities District accepted Spokane Public Schools' terms to operate a stadium downtown during their meeting Friday.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Washington’s Department of Natural Resources says fire agencies around the state have already responded to more than 250 wildfires this year. They say that’s several times more than usual this early in the season.

This spring, Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz has her agency focused on preventing fires and minimizing their severity. On Friday, she went to Reflection Lake, near Elk in north Spokane County, to launch a new wildfire prevention campaign.

This spring, biologists discovered something they weren’t expecting to see. Male sage grouse proudly strutting during their quirky mating dances. The strange thing was, these birds were puffing up the bulbous air sacs on their chests, their songs calling out to nearby hens, right in the middle of a giant burn scar. 

TVW screenshot

Washington health officials say a dozen counties are in danger of moving back to Phase 2, or perhaps even Phase 1, in the state’s coronavirus reopening plan.

They include rural Ferry County.

For the first time in its 40-year history, the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) will be led by a woman.

On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee named Cheryl Strange as the agency’s next secretary.