Steve Jackson

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Fire officials say they are starting to send some crew members to other fires from the Cayuse Mountain fire burning on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

Fire officials say they are making good progress on the Cayuse Mountain fire burning on the Spokane Indian reservation, but they worry about what the weather may bring for the weekend. The Cayuse Mountain fire is holding steady at 18 thousand acres, and as of mid-day Thursday the fire is at 40 percent containment.

Robert Ashworth / Flickr

It’s been ten years in the making, but the Spokane tribe has won approval from Governor Inslee for its Casino in Airway Heights. The tribe says it will be an economic boon that will bring thousands of new jobs, but not all are happy with the announcement.

Lindsey Bieda / Flickr

The ballots have both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates on them, even though the Democrats already held their caucus a couple of weeks ago.

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia

Washington Governor Jay Inslee visited Spokane Tuesday to meet with local officials dealing with the aftermath of a major windstorm that knocked out power to tens of thousands of area residents.
 

The Governor met with officials from electrical utilities and Spokane city and county officials to discuss recovery efforts following the storm. He was told that while there were 180,000 homes and businesses without power following last Tuesday’s storm, there are still about 20,000 without power.

U.S. Army

Two psychologists who worked for the Air Force out of Spokane are being sued by the American Civil Liberties union. 

US National Weather Service Spokane Washington

A very bad scenario looks to play out Saturday when it comes to the weather and fires burning in North Central and Northeast Washington.

While the weather forecast looked promising Thursday in calling for rains to hit both regions, the newest prediction could not be worse when it comes to the wildfires.

Meteorologist Andy Brown of the National Weather Service in Spokane is calling for sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph Saturday, with gusts up to 50, and even higher gusts in the mountains.

Fire crews have been making progress on the Rutter Canyon fire, burning just north of the Spokane city limits. The 150 acre fire was 25 percent contained by Thursday morning.

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There is promising news on the Little Spokane fire burning just north of Spokane, even as the region is braced for dry lightning and winds in the weather forecast.

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More students are complying with state law in the Spokane School District when it comes to immunizations.

Washington state law says before a child can attend school, parents need to provide proof of immunization status or have signed a certificate of exemption form.

The Spokane School District started enforcing that rule in earnest this week.

District spokesman Kevin Morrison said a number of students were sent home on Monday, for at least one classroom period.

Carline Jean MCT / Landov

The nonprofit community health centers of Washington are concerned about the latest action by lawmakers dealing with money from marijuana sales in the state.

Initiative 502, which legalized recreational marijuana, mandated that 5 percent of tax revenues from pot sales go to nonprofit community health centers.

But the public policy director for Community Health Network, Molly Belozer Firth, said the House and Senate have both proposed budgets that divert that money elsewhere, rather than to what they see as a priority, serving the uninsured.

Google Images

Medical marijuana activists are reacting to Tuesday’s verdict in federal court in Spokane, in which three people were convicted of growing marijuana in a state where medical and recreational marijuana are legal. The three defendants were found guilty of growing marijuana, but not on the scale the federal prosecution maintained. They were also acquitted of charges related to selling marijuana, and possession of firearms.

Kari Boiter of the group American for Safe Access, says the fact the jury acquitted the defendants on four out of five charges meant they knew the truth.

Hendrike / Wikimedia Commons

The case of a northeast Washington family accused of growing and selling marijuana has gone to the jury in a federal trial in Spokane.

The closing arguments in the case began Monday and continued briefly Tuesday morning. The judge sent the jury to the deliberation room shortly after 9 a.m.

The federal case is unusual in that it accused a family of producing and selling marijuana in Washington, where both medical marijuana and recreational pot are legal. The family claimed they were growing marijuana for medical purposes.

AP Images

The trial began Wednesday in federal court in Spokane for a group of people accused of growing marijuana near Kettle Falls in northeast Washington. The case is seen as a test of federal drug laws, in a state that has legalized recreational and medical marijuana.

In the case known as the Kettle Falls Five, there are now only three defendants. Charges were dropped earlier this month against 71-year-old Larry Harvey, who has been diagnosed with stage five pancreatic cancer. Miller's family members are accused of growing marijuana, which they say was for medicinal purposes.

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The ACLU of Washington is launching an effort to ensure that hospitals are following the state’s abortion rights laws.

Thursday the ACLU filed a lawsuit seeking to have Skagit Regional Health comply with Washington’s Reproductive Privacy Act, or RPA.

The ACLU’s Doug Hoening says the public hospital has a policy of not providing abortion services, in violation of state law.

Hoening says The ACLU also has sent letters to three other public hospital districts in Mason County, Jefferson County, and Whidbey Island that have the same policy:

Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

The Washington department of Ecology has completed a draft report to the legislature outlining safety recommendations to deal with increased oil train traffic in the state.

The Ecology department worked with the Utilities and Transportation Commission and the state’s Emergency Management Division to prepare the draft report on improving public safety. Lisa Copeland is a spokeswoman for Ecology.

When legal recreational marijuana sales begin later this year in Washington, it’s likely the majority of sales of pot will still be through the black market.

Both sides in the debate over an initiative to require labeling of Genetically Modified foods say results of a recent Seattle poll are promising.

Elvert Barnes

A Native American ceremony was held in Riverfront Park in Spokane Friday to protest plans for coal shipping terminals on the west coast.

The Washington state initiative that calls for labeling genetically modified foods will impact food producers in the state and those that sell here. Some feel it will cost them more, others see it as a chance to expand their market.

The Washington state Hospital association is weighing in on their concerns about the possible aftermath of a US Supreme Court ruling that could overturn all or part of the Affordable care act.  Steve Jackson has more.

Photo credit: Kim Keating / U.S. Geological Survey

Idaho state and federal officials are searching for whoever killed a female Grizzly bear and her cub. Grizzly bears are a federally protected Endangered Species.

The incident occurred north of the town of Bonners Ferry on Hall Mountain. The animals were discovered on Friday by a hiker.

Idaho Fish and Game Spokesman Phil Cooper says it’s not known if a hunter mistook the Griz for a black bear, shot it, and then noticed the cub, “and then approached the animal , saw it had a cub with it and panicked, or whether it went through their mind that this animal is going to starve, I’m going to shoot rather than let it starve, who knows”.

Photo credit: Harvey McDaniel / Wikimedia Commons

You may be familiar with the sight of wind turbine generators in the Columbia Gorge, but soon, dozens of the tall structures will be built some 40 miles south of Spokane.

SILVER VALLEY, Idaho -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to scale back plans for cleaning up Idaho’s Silver Valley. The region has been the site of a Superfund clean-up of mining waste since the 1980s. Steve Jackson has more on the story.