Spokane

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

The US Department of Justice has found leadership was lacking amongst Spokane police for more than eight years. This came in a list of 42 recommendations handed down by the federal COPS program to the Spokane Police Department Friday.

The recommendations came after the police department requested a federal review of its use of force practices. It stems from a 2006 case, in which Spokane man Otto Zehm was beaten by police and died.

COPS Director Ron Davis says they reviewed more than 200 use-of-force cases from the past five years.

Beowulf Sheehan / PEN American Center

“Faith became a larger and larger part of the book as I began to shape it and write the later stories. And for me, that’s just Mormonism. That’s what faith is. That's my background, and so that's the prism through which I can look at the subject."

A Northwest writer is this year’s winner of a prestigious PEN award. Shawn Vestal of Spokane won the prize for debut fiction Monday night in New York.

Photo credit: ELBAZ / Wikimedia commons

By Friday morning, 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.

Spokane Indians Baseball Club

Football season has kicked off another round of scrutiny over how professional sports teams use Native American mascots. But in eastern Washington, a minor league baseball team has earned the approval of its native namesake.

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Washington’s recreational marijuana market is open for business. From Seattle to Bellingham to Prosser, marijuana stores opened for business Tuesday. Excited customers lined up, dressed up and celebrated the end of pot prohibition. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has this wrap-up.

Mary Randlett

It started with the discovery of long-forgotten gravestones in a thicket of bramble and alder. That set one author on the faint trail of a feisty Native American woman and oyster farmer who lived in 19th century western Washington. The biographer is using the resulting book to inspire other Northwesterners - particularly tribal members. She wants to bring out the stories of people who, in her words, have been "left out of our histories." Correspondent Tom Banse reports from Oyster Bay in Mason County, Washington.

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