Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The Spokane City Council unanimously approved a 5-year police contract that will give police officers raises and remove barriers to civilian oversight.

City Council Members and Mayor Nadine Woodward have praised the contract, saying it complies with a city charter amendment passed in 2013. The charter required the city to allow a police ombudsman to independently investigate potential police conduct and publish reports on his findings.

Rebecca White/SPR

Spokane’s city Flag Commission says it has picked a dozen finalists for a new city flag. They were chosen from 400 citizen submissions.


Flikr Commons

Washington's Covid vaccinations are getting back on track after harsh winter weather nationwide slowed down shipments last week.

Many scheduled immunizations had to be canceled, but this week picked up pace again. Department of Health officials say one day this week, a record 5,000 doses were administered at the mass vaccination sites.

Rebecca White/SPR

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is urging schools to return to in-person instruction as soon as it is safe for them to do so. Inslee made the point during a visit to a Spokane school on Tuesday.

Inslee met with students and teachers at Stevens Elementary, and participated in a roundtable with Spokane Public School District staff and city officials.

He said other schools across the state should be looking at Spokane as an example.

High Winds, Some Power Outages Expected Monday Night

Feb 22, 2021
Courtesy of the National Weather Service

Some residents across the greater Spokane region could lose power late this afternoon and tonight as strong winds hit the area.

The National Weather Service issued an advisory Monday warning winds could be around 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts as high as 50 miles per an hour. The warning is in effect for the area ranging from Spokane to Moses Lake and South to Walla Walla.

Hoopfest To Host Spring Outdoor Basketball League

Feb 19, 2021
Jeremy Burnham/SPR

Hoopfest, Spokane's famed three-on-three basketball tournament, is extending its popular outdoor, all ages event to more than one weekend a year.

The organization has announced it will host an outdoor league, starting in March.

Courtesy of Nine Mile Falls School District

Spokane area school districts are heeding the call of Governor Inslee and President Biden to bring more students back to school.

Most, if not all, have had at least some children attending since day one of the academic year. But now individual districts are moving at their own pace in easing in older students or expanding the number of days in the classroom.

Courtesy of the Spokane Police Department

Spokane Police arrested an Airway Heights man Thursday who is accused of vandalizing a Spokane Jewish Temple with racist symbols.

The man, 44-year-old Raymond Bryant, was caught on the temple’s camera system earlier this month and was arrested for defacing the side of the temple and its Holocaust memorial. Thursday morning police executed a search warrant on his home and arrested him. He was charged with malicious mischief and harassment, both felonies.

courtesy of Amazon

Amazon announced Thursday that it will open a new Fulfillment Center in Spokane Valley.

The new center will be located at 18007 E. Garland Ave and will process larger orders like pet food, outdoor workout equipment and cleaning supplies, according to a news release. 

Courtesy of CHAS Health

Many Spokane residents who have been inoculated at the mass Covid vaccination site at the Spokane Area could get their second dose within days.

Kelli Hawkins, the communications manager for the Spokane Regional Health District, said the switch to second doses is a part of a larger Washington State Department of Health push to get people fully vaccinated.

“I do know they have released information about prioritizing second doses for a couple weeks," she said. "That will happen here in Spokane too and our second doses will start taking place next week.”

Courtesy of the Federal Food and Drug Administration

As Washington rolls out the COVID-19 vaccine for its most vulnerable residents, new data shows significant racial disparities in coronavirus immunizations. People at both the local and state levels say they’re taking steps to address those.

One of the biggest vaccine disparities is among those who identify as Hispanic. According to Washington State Health Department data, Hispanics make up 4.7% of people who have at least one dose of the vaccine, but 13.2% of the population.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

After four years of negotiating the city could soon have a new police contract.

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward announced the contract in a press conference Friday and members of the city council and police union both voiced their support.

Kate Burke won't seek reelection

Feb 11, 2021
City of Spokane

A Spokane city councilwoman has announced she won't run for a second term. That move inserts some intrigue in a council district that commonly elects people with a variety of views.

Spokane City Councilwoman Kate Burke announced she will not seek a second term. She made the announcement in a Facebook post Wednesday saying she’s cherished the opportunity, but wanted to make space for others.

Eastern Washington to move to Phase 2 of re-opening

Feb 11, 2021

The door has opened a little wider for Spokane and eastern Washington counties as they emerge from the pandemic. 

Governor Jay Inslee announced during a press conference Thursday that the East region of the state, which includes Spokane and eight other counties have met the metrics to move to Phase 2. The criteria the region had to meet included a flat or declining hospitalization, positivity and new cases rate. 

Spokane Police Department

Police are investigating a hate crime Monday after a Jewish temple in Spokane was vandalized with anti-Semitic symbols.

When workers arrived at Temple Beth Shalom Monday, they found the Holocaust memorial and the side of the temple had been vandalized, according to the Spokane Police Department. Police suspect a white man last seen wearing blue jeans, a dark jacket and a red mask spray painted Swastikas on the temple. He was caught on Temple Beth Shalom’s security cameras Monday.

Jared Brown


While most Gonzaga Prep students were hustling to class before the 8 a.m. bell, an alumna of 1997 was circling the Earth for the third time this morning.


Lt. Col. Anne McClain says she’s wanted to be an astronaut since she was 4 years old. And during her time at Gonzaga Preparatory School, no one told her that wasn’t possible; instead the school encouraged her trajectory toward NASA.

Jared Brown

Spokane got its first taste of snow last week, but Nov. 15 marks the official start of snow season for the city.


If big vehicles like RVs and boats aren’t moved from street parking by Thursday, they could be towed by the city to make way for snow plows.

Montana Environmental Information Center

***Note: Burlington Northern, B-N-S-F, is an underwriter of Spokane Public Radio programming.***

The prospect of a catastrophic accident is driving the sponsors of Proposition 2. That’s the ballot measure that would fine the owners of railroad cars who ship uncovered loads of coal or certain types of petroleum on rail lines within the city of Spokane. Supporters and opponents generally agree about the need to protect the region from the effects of a destructive rail-related incident. But they disagree about whether this ballot measure is the right way to do it.

KPBX image

From the Studio presents the Golden West Winds. This group is part of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West from Travis Air Force Base, California. Performers include A1C Candy Chang on flute, SrA  SSG Natalie Wren on Oboe, TSgt Andrew Tucker plays percussion, SrA Daniel Shifren on bassoon, A1C Emily Hoffner on French Horn and SrA Alaina Shaw on clarinet.

City of Spokane

City officials say Spokane is making progress in helping homeless people, and especially families, stabilize their lives. This despite an 11% increase in the number of homeless people counted during the city’s one-day census in January.

The city says it and its private social service partners made contact with 1,090 homeless people during the annual Point-in-Time count on January 16. That number is up about a hundred from the 2016 figure.

Bureau of Land Management of Oregon and Washington

It was 25 years ago this Sunday that the Spokane area experienced its greatest loss due to fire since the Great Spokane Fire of 1889. The event was called Firestorm '91.

Dave Conner via Flickr

  A coalition of human rights groups and politicians says there needs to be independent oversight to the Spokane county Sheriff’s office.

How The Sad Puppies Won — By Losing

Aug 26, 2015

"We smacked the Sad Puppies with a rolled-up newspaper," said a woman on the shuttle bus between hotels at WorldCon in Spokane, Wash., on Sunday night. "It's the only way to teach them."

The Boeing Company built more than 700 KC-135 Stratotankers for the Air Force in the 1950s to the mid-1960's. The majority of these "flying gas stations" are still flying today because of delays in building a modernized replacement.

The annual World Science Fiction Convention is happening now in Spokane, Wash., packed with the usual discussion panels, author readings and autograph sessions. In most ways, it's like any other WorldCon — five days of mingling between fans and creators of genre-related media from novels to paintings to music to podcasts. WorldCon has been held nearly every year since 1939 (World War II necessitated a break), rotating through different cities around the globe.

Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

President Obama’s emergency declaration for Washington unlocks federal firefighting tools. U-S Senator Maria Cantwell applauded the declaration during a stop in Spokane Friday, but says the state still needs aerial resources.


Spokane will be the center of science fiction and fantasy next week. The World Science Fiction Convention comes to Spokane for its annual event Wednesday through Sunday. While the city welcomes guests, it also plays host to a controversy among insiders.

Condon Challenges ‘Worker Bill of Rights’ Validity

Aug 5, 2015

Only one citizen’s initiative has qualified for the November election, but a court challenge prompted by Mayor David Condon yesterday (Monday) seeks to keep it off the ballot. He says one issue is the city’s authority to enforce it, but opponents say he’s playing into political pressure.

The city of Spokane has filed a lawsuit against the giant chemical company Monsanto. City officials filed the suit in U.S. District Court against the chemical giant.

City Buys Natural-Gas Garbage Trucks to Save Money

Aug 3, 2015

20 new garbage trucks will take on Spokane’s routes this month, running on a new, and cheaper, fuel. The city is slowly transitioning its garbage fleet from diesel to natural gas.