SPR News Feed - Spokane Public Radio http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed New website coming soon! In early July, all stories will be located on our new site. Stay tuned... Debt-Buying Firm Runs Afoul of State Consumer Law Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:06:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2211-debt-buying-firm-runs-afoul-of-state-consumer-law One of the fastest growing industries in Washington - collecting bad debts - hit a speed bump Thursday thrown up by the state's high court. The high court justices ruled unanimously that a debt buying company is. In fact, a collection agency, and may not file collection lawsuits without a state license. 2211 Judges Wrangle Over Death Sentence Which Will Not Be Carried Out Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:56:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2210-judges-wrangle-over-death-sentence-which-will-not-be-carried-out 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. 2210 City Clerk Stratton Fills Opening on City Council Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:25:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2206-city-clerk-stratton-fills-opening-on-city-council City of Spokane clerk Karen Stratton will take a leave of absence as clerk and start her city council duties September 15th The Spokane City Council voted five-to-one to hire Stratton Monday night. Stratton says public service is in her blood.  2206 ACLU Says WSU-Spokane Should Refuse Religious Medical Doctrines Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:10:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2203-aclu-says-wsu-spokane-should-refuse-religious-medical-doctrines WSU-Spokane excitedly announced funding for six new medical residency spots in December. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington says the partnership that made the slots available could bind WSU to religious directives. The resident students will work in a medical clinic at WSU Spokane. 2203 Idaho Celebrates Water Rights Allocation Process Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:43:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2208-idaho-celebrates-water-rights-allocation-process With completion of a long, laborious legal process to figure out who owns what water in the Snake River basin, Idaho has become the first state to adjudicate water rights on a large scale. Completion of the process was so momentous that Idaho invited Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to preside over a celebration. 2208 ‘Smart Growth’ Lesson for Spokane County Leaders Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:15:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2204-smart-growth-lesson-for-spokane-county-leaders Spokane county leaders held their third meeting on growth management today (Wednesday), 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. 2204 One Wolf Dead in Stevens County Wolf Hunt Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:51:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2209-one-wolf-dead-in-stevens-county-wolf-hunt The Washington department of Fish and Wildlife has authorized killing several members of a wolf pack that have been preying on Sheep in Stevens County. Fish and Wildlife officials say the Huckleberry wolf pack is believed responsible for the death of 22 sheep in an area between Hunters and Springdale, Northwest of Spokane. 2209 Footloose Wolf Needs His Batteries Recharged Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:14:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2212-footloose-wolf-needs-his-batteries-recharged While airborne hunters try to track and kill at least four wolves in Stevens County which are under a death sentence because of sheep depredation, a hunt will also be underway for a lone wolf in Oregon, But in the case of the world's most famous wolf, the idea is to re-collar him, not kill him. 2212 Spokane To Be Sisters With Central-Mexico City Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:19:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2205-spokane-to-be-sisters-with-central-mexico-city The lilac city will soon have ties to a trade hub in Mexico. The city of Spokane is working to become sister cities with a state capital in Mexico’s north-central region. Spokane has business, cultural, and educational links to Limerick, Ireland, Nishinomiya, Japan, and Jecheon, South Korea. Add San Luis Potosi to that list.  2205 Mayor’s Ice Bucket Challenge Preps Spokane For Gleason Fest Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:48:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2192-mayor-s-ice-bucket-challenge-preps-spokane-for-gleason-fest 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. 2192 State High Court Gives Rapists Access to DNA Testing Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:47:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2191-state-high-court-gives-rapists-access-to-dna-testing 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.  2191 Council Will Sunset TBD If City Ignores Pedestrian Plan Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:56:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2193-council-will-sunset-tbd-if-city-ignores-pedestrian-plan The Spokane City Council on Monday approved a sunset clause on the city’s $20 vehicle license fee. Council member Jon Snyder brought forth the ordinance, which mandates that city administrators must create a pedestrian master plan that gets council approval by the end of 2015, otherwise the transportation benefit district will fold. 2193 Oregon Growers Go Nuts Over Hazelnut Demand Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:19:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2189-oregon-growers-go-nuts-over-hazelnut-demand A few Oregon farmers are downright smug this summer about another weather-inflicted crop disaster on the other side of the world. They're hazelnut growers, mostly in the Willamette Valley, responsible for virtually the entire US crop of the nuts. 2189 Snyder Hangs Pedestrian Planning Over Heads of City Administration Fri, 15 Aug 2014 12:32:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2187-snyder-hangs-pedestrian-planning-over-heads-of-city-administration Spokane City Council member Jon Snyder wants to take city administrators to task on creating a pedestrian master plan. Already this week he presented his ordinance that would dissolve the six-year transportation funding pool if the city fails to create a pedestrian plan. 2187 Tribe Looking To Claim Water Rights in North Idaho Process Fri, 15 Aug 2014 12:22:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2186-tribe-looking-to-claim-water-rights-in-north-idaho-process Idaho officials will be taking up the issue of water rights in North Idaho this fall. That, after the negotiation process was approved by the legislature this year. The process is called water adjudication, and will determine who gets how much of the region's water. The state has had a senior water rights policy for years, but also has a “lose it or use it policy” meaning if some aren’t using their current rights, they can be taken away. 2186 Megaload Moving Despite Petition In Northern Idaho Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:25:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2207-megaload-moving-despite-petition-in-northern-idaho Another megaload of oil refinery equipment is traveling through the Inland Northwest this week, and with it, protesters have scheduled demonstrations in Idaho towns. Friday, the Idaho Transportation Department issued a permit to the company Bigge Crane to haul a nearly one-million pound load across northern Idaho. 2207 Primary Election Results Wed, 06 Aug 2014 16:24:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2173-primary-election-results Primary Election results from Washington state and Spokane County, as of Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. 2173 Tight Race For Spokane Commissioner Favors French, Johnson Wed, 06 Aug 2014 16:20:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2172-tight-race-for-spokane-commissioner-favors-french-johnson The race for Spokane County Commissioner is just about as close as it gets. At last count (pre-5:00pm), Incumbent Al French has 36.2 percent of the vote, and newcomer Mary Lou Johnson has 36.5. Bonnie Mager only won 27 percent of the vote, even considering her experience as a past commissioner and her clear opposition to controversial urban growth decisions. 2172 Ecology Initiates Conversation on Water Quality Talks Wed, 06 Aug 2014 16:03:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2169-ecology-initiates-conversation-on-water-quality-talks Washington’s governor proposed new state water quality standards in early July, and off the bat citizens debated the proposal. The department of ecology acknowledges getting the public on board will be a challenge, so it held info sessions for both reporters and citizens this week. 2169 French Company Wins INL Waste Disposal Contract Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:15:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2175-french-company-wins-inl-waste-disposal-contract The company which runs the Idaho National Laboratory has agreed to pay a French nuclear company $34-million to entomb low-level nuclear waste at the giant facility. Battelle Energy Alliance awarded the contract to Areva Federal Services, an American subsidiary of the French company, Areva. 2175 Carlton Complex 90 Percent Contained Tue, 05 Aug 2014 17:29:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2162-carlton-complex-90-percent-contained Fire managers have the Carlton Complex in north central Washington almost fully contained. The containment lines are now circling 90 percent of the largest fire in Washington state history, the Carlton Complex. Those lines run nearly 200 miles around the 255,000 acre fire. 2162 Education Chief Wants to Drop the Spending Hammer on Lawmakers Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:45:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2161-education-chief-wants-to-drop-the-spending-hammer-on-lawmakers In a special Washington State Supreme Court hearing early next month, state legislators may feel a bit like kids called to the principal's office. The high court justices have summoned top lawmakers to explain why they have not come up with a plan to increase state funding for education. 2161 Mayor Announces 2015 Budget and Hillyard Police Station Tue, 05 Aug 2014 15:34:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2163-mayor-announces-2015-budget-and-hillyard-police-station City leaders announced the proposed 2015 budget Tuesday in a parking lot in Hillyard, northeast Spokane. Mayor David Condon says in the past two years the city has built a sustainable operating budget, which allows them to shift attention to the capital budget in 2015. 2163 “Give Real Change” Effort to Steer Money Away from Spokane’s Panhandlers Mon, 04 Aug 2014 15:53:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2166-give-real-change-effort-to-steer-money-away-from-spokane-s-panhandlers 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. 2166 Acclaimed Explorers Photographers to Take on Spokane’s Stage Mon, 04 Aug 2014 15:48:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2165-acclaimed-explorers-photographers-to-take-on-spokane-s-stage The organization that brings Broadway shows to Spokane every year is branching out to world renowned photography. West Coast Entertainment announced Monday it will host a four-part series called National Geographic Live over the next year. 2165 Otter Warns Judges Against Activism in Gay Marriage Fight Mon, 04 Aug 2014 15:36:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2164-otter-warns-judges-against-activism-in-gay-marriage-fight Idaho Governor Butch Otter is not only mounting a vigorous defense of Idaho's constitutional mandate that marriage is between a man and a woman, he's also wagging an admonishing finger at the judges who will decide the case. 2164 A Libertarian and Independent-R Battle Against Riccelli For State Rep Fri, 01 Aug 2014 16:01:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2168-a-libertarian-and-independent-r-battle-against-riccelli-for-state-rep Primary Election ballots are in hand in Washington, and among the races in Spokane is state representative district three. Incumbent Marcus Riccelli is finishing his first term and running for re-election, this year against one opponent he faced last time, and a first time candidate. 2168 Yellow Pine Rocks Tiny Idaho This Weekend Fri, 01 Aug 2014 15:56:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2167-yellow-pine-rocks-tiny-idaho-this-weekend Summer music festivals abound in the Inland Northwest. But a tiny hamlet in the mountains of central Idaho boasts a showcase this weekend for a unique instrument - the pocket harp. OK, so pocket harp is just an archaic name for an instrument almost every kid knows - the harmonica. 2167 Pub Ready for Business After Fire in Twisp Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:21:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2145-pub-ready-for-business-after-fire-in-twisp The fires in North Central Washington have made life miserable for those worried about their homes. One area businessman says the situation has many worried about their livelihoods. The small town of Twisp, Washington is a destination for holiday travelers in the summer months. But at the Twisp River Pub, things have been very bad the last week. 2145 Fire Community Bands Together For Resources, Animals, Mental Health Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:40:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2147-fire-community-bands-together-for-resources-animals-mental-health The Carlton Complex of fires has consumed 300 homes in north-central Washington, according to the Okanogan County sheriff Friday. It’s too soon for many people to know what they lost in the fire, including homes, orchards, livestock, or pets. Fire spokesperson Joni Quarnstrom says other counties have stepped in to help. 2147