Spokane: Second Best American Riverfront

Oct 22, 2014
Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

Go ahead and soak in that view of the Spokane River if you drive past or across it this week. Spokane is rated as the number two city for best American riverfront. USA Today and the website 10 Best collaborated on the poll, naming the best city through votes by the public.

‘Reforest Spokane’ Work is Growing on Hangman Creek

Oct 21, 2014

More than 200 people will welcome the damp weather this weekend by planting trees in Spokane. The Lands Council hosts their 4th annual Reforest Spokane day Saturday at five locations along Hangman Creek.

When dozens of cars pull up Saturday morning, Lands Council staff will have about 1,000 trees ready to go into the ground. The holes will already be there, dug out by jail inmates this Friday. Conservation Programs Director Kat Hall says they focus on Hangman Creek because it’s a very degraded watershed.

Spokane Woman's Murder Conviction Upheld

Oct 8, 2014

A Spokane woman, serving 25 years for murdering her estranged husband, has lost her bid to have her conviction overturned for the second time. Shelly Stark, now 52 years old, contended she was unfairly convicted of first degree murder when the Spokane trial judge shut the public out of closing arguments after lurid testimony about spousal abuse, forced prostitution, and a plot to kill her husband, Dale Stark.

But two out of three appeals court judges rejected her argument that the courtroom had been closed to the public.

The message at Wednesday’s YWCA awards luncheon was for women: take chances in your career, and doors will open. Northwest native Hattie Kauffman knows that first hand, and gave the keynote address at the Women of Achievement event. This year seven Spokane women were recognized for leadership.

Big rig truck drivers are accustomed to getting the stink-eye and rude gestures from other drivers on the freeway, but one Washington long-haul driver is getting much nicer recognition in Spokane. He's being hailed as a genuine hero by the state.

Jason Lucas, who works for Swift Transportation in Newport, is credited with protecting and assisting a woman who crashed head-long into a deer on I-90 near Spokane last May - probably even saving her life. It was morning rush hour - heavy traffic streaming into Spokane - when Ramona Sheppard noticed Lucas's big truck slowing.

Audit Highlights 7 Problems in Spokane City Hall

Sep 23, 2014

The city of Spokane’s administration will receive the detailed findings from their annual audit on Thursday. Mayor David Condon says the city council got a briefing Tuesday, and the city is already working on some of the seven problems highlighted in the audit. Of seven problem areas, five are under the department of community housing and human services (CHHS). Condon underlined the audits summary alongside representatives from the CHHS department, and community groups who receive the city’s support.

South Hill Rapist Loses Demand to Go Free

Sep 18, 2014
Treatment Center
Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times

The man known as Spokane's notorious South Hill Rapist has struck out again in his latest bid to go free. Kevin Coe, now 67 years old, is locked up indefinitely at Washington State's McNeil Island facility for sex criminals.

WSU Plans Med School While UW Highlights Flaws

Sep 17, 2014
Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

Washington State University leaders announced plans Wednesday for a medical school in Spokane. School leaders approved the idea last week, which has the University of Washington on edge about its own Spokane program.

STCU / https://stcu.org/smartchip.html

In light of security hacks at major retailers this year, local organizations have ramped up efforts to protect citizens. Among them, Spokane’s largest credit union will order ‘smart’ credit-cards for members. Over the next year STCU will roll out more than 62,000 credit cards with a special micro-chip.

After some major financial problems, the board of directors at Interplayers is merging operations with the Lake City Playhouse of Coeur d’Alene. The merger, announced Monday, gives operational control of Interplayers to Lake City. The playhouse’s artistic director George Green will oversee both companies.

WSU ‘Well Positioned’ to Develop Own Medical School

Sep 11, 2014
Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

Friday, Washington State University leaders could approve one of the biggest educational ventures the school has seen in decades. A new report shows WSU is ready for a full-fledged medical school in Spokane.
Consultants from MGT of America, contracted by WSU, gave this report to the school’s board of regents: WSU is well positioned to develop an accredited medical school in the near future. 2015 in fact. The group says WSU could seek accreditation in Fall 2015, and have its charter class in 2017. Ray Thompson led the project.

Former ambassador Ryan Crocker of Spokane issued a blunt call in a Wall Street Journal opinion article for President Obama to step forward and show leadership to confront the terrorists of the Islamic State. Crocker, who is now dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, didn't mince words in calling for this country - and the president personally - to step forward and show the world that we can and will move decisively, collectively and immediately against what he calls "Al Qaeda, Version 6-point-0."

Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

A Clarkston Washington man, in prison for making bombs and trying to give material support to terrorists, has lost a bid to go free after a search of his prison cell. 24-year old Joseph Jeffrey Brice, a college dropout, was sentenced two years ago for terrorism-related crimes. Before he was arrested and tried in Spokane federal court, Brice nearly killed himself in 2010 when a bomb he build blew up prematurely.

Governments Merge At Annual Fairgrounds Meeting

Sep 5, 2014

Friday was the annual get-together of mayors, city council members, and other key players in Spokane County. The Council of Governments meeting at the fair grounds focused on economy, military, and local transportation. In summary, officials made optimistic predictions for the year to come.

The commander of Fairchild’s refueling wing, Colonel Charles McDaniel, says he is still set on bringing the Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker to Fairchild. He says there’s also discussion about bringing the water survival course to Fairchild.

The Spokane Symphony musicians are getting a raise. Over the weekend the Board of Trustees and orchestra musicians agreed on a new two-year contract. It raises salaries across the board by four-percent in the first year, and another 3.5 percent in the second year, and keeps benefits the same.

‘Smart Growth’ Lesson for Spokane County Leaders

Aug 27, 2014

Spokane county leaders held their third meeting on growth management today, following the development freeze they instituted in April. The entire board of Spokane County Commissioners, Spokane City Council and Mayor are using the meetings to facilitate conversation.
This meeting focused on learning about smart growth, a term thrown around by city and county leaders when they started their year long growth moratorium. Christopher Zimmerman of Smart Growth America was flown into Spokane to assess the growth situation here.

For years now, state and federal courts have tied themselves in knots trying to decide if a Spokane man, Dwayne Woods, ought to be put to death for two brutal murders in Spokane Valley in 1996. But whatever the final decision is, Woods won't be executed any time soon.

Virtually any convicted rapist in Washington State may now be able to demand and get DNA testing which might, or might not, point to his innocence. In a case dating from 1993, a majority of the state's high court has ruled that a man serving time for five counts of first degree rape has a right to have DNA from the crime scene tested.

The mayor of Spokane and a couple dozen football players took the ice bucket challenge today, dumping buckets of ice water on their heads at Gonzaga Prep. The fundraiser asks people to dump a bucket on themselves, or donate for Lou Gehrig’s disease, otherwise known as ALS. It’s gone viral, and for the organizers of Spokane’s Gleason Fest, that’s a good thing.
Condon chose to take the challenge at Gonzaga Prep because it’s his alma mater, and the alma mater of Steve Gleason, a prominent NFL veteran living with ALS.
Condon: “Ohh, that’s a cold one!...”

You may see posters soon in Spokane that read “Give Real Change”. It’s a new anti-panhandling campaign by the city and Downtown Spokane Partnership, meant to direct people’s money away from panhandlers and into area charities.

Day After Storm, Update From Spokane

Jul 24, 2014

Of the roughly 70,000 customers who lost power in the Inland Northwest Wednesday, about 20,000 homes and business are still in the dark. Even with all available crews at work, that’s the combined total from Avista Utilities and Inland Power and Light.

Vets Find Home Through Goodwill Grants

Jul 15, 2014

Officials from Goodwill Industries and the City of Spokane held a joint news conference today to announce three federal grants that will help offset homelessness. The funding totals more than eight-million dollars, and its all dedicated to housing for the homeless. 

Washington Near the Bottom in Road Quality

Jul 15, 2014

To ratchet up the pressure on Congress to replenish the nation's road-building fund, the White House on Monday released a state-by-state assessment of crummy roads and bridges. It probably won't surprise Spokane drivers, who are accustomed to being rattled and shaken by potholes, that Washington has some of the worst roads and bridges in the northwest.

BBC Broadcasts Worldwide from Spokane

Jul 9, 2014
Alan Kasujja from the BBC

A team from BBC News broadcast their program Newsday live from Spokane on Thursday, July 10, showcasing a family that had been relocated here from Rwanda. Spokane Public Radio carried the international broadcast live on KSFC 91.1 FM from 7-10 p.m.

The broadcast features a series of stories about one of Spokane's newest immigrant families on their journey from a Rwandan refugee camp to their new life in America. Newsday co-anchor Alan Kasujja, a journalist from Uganda, met the family in the camp where they lived with no electricity or water.

Campers, Brides, Crowd Turn Out for Spokane Pot Store

Jul 8, 2014
Paige Browning

Marijuana passed hands from cashier to customer Tuesday across the state. To mark the first day of legal weed sales statewide, Spokane Green Leaf opened its doors at 2:00. To say the least, it was not your average shopping experience. Mike Boyer camped overnight so he could be the first customer.

Fourth of July Fireworks Still Banned in Spokane

Jul 3, 2014

The nation’s biggest week for firework use is overlapping with some of the year’s hottest weather yet in Spokane. It could be a nice combination for those celebrating the 4th of July, but it solicits worry for fire officials. Firework use is banned in the city of Spokane, and it has been for 22 years. Fireworks are also banned in Spokane Valley, Millwood, Cheney, Liberty Lake, and the unincorporated areas of Spokane County. 

Fire Station 9 Starts its Engine Again in Spokane

Jun 30, 2014

As of Tuesday, firefighting response will improve on Spokane’s South Hill. The city of Spokane has restored firefighting capabilities out of station nine, near Manito Park. In early 2013, the city cut off firefighting efforts at station nine by replacing the station’s engine company with a rescue truck. City leaders blamed budget shortfalls for the change.

Limerick Written into Plans for St. Patty's in Spokane

Mar 14, 2014

More than 20 years ago, Spokane became sister cities with Limerick, Ireland, a river city and regional capital. This year, Irish people in Spokane are giving a couple nods to the sister city.