Friday, October 25, 2013

MORNING BRIEFING: Oxygen deprivation, JonBenet and new pet food rules

Posted By on Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 10:27 AM

AROUND HERE

The county medical examiner says the man who died outside an Oz Fitness earlier this year after a confrontation with police (in which they put him in a choke hold) died from oxygen deprivation. (SR)

Former Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney will run for secretary of state. (CdA Press)

The sheriff's office blames distracted driving and pedestrians crossing streets outside of crosswalks for increased car vs. pedestrian accidents. (KXLY)

ELSEWHERE

DNA tests show the "mystery girl" found in a Roma camp in central Greece is the child of two people police say may have sold her. (BBC)

Newly released documents in the JonBenet Ramsey case show that a grand jury voted to indict Ramsey's parents before a district attorney said there was insufficient evidence. (CNN)

Amid nearly 600 dog deaths the agency suspects may be linked to treats imported from China, the FDA is considering new rules for animal food. (WaPo)
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

MORNING BRIEFING: Ridpath, dog treats and more HealthCare.gov drama

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 10:21 AM

AROUND HERE

A Spokane Valley woman says treats under investigation by the FDA killed her dog this week. (KREM)

A ruling is expected today on whether the Ridpath Hotel should be on the National Register of Historic Places. With the designations come tax breaks. (SR)

Rapper Macklemore, who himself has battled drug addiction, invited teens from a local rehabilitation center to his sold-out concert last night. (KXLY)

A pizza-eager SUV driver smashed into a salon in Hayden yesterday afternoon. (CdA Press)

ELSEWHERE

Police say they've arrested an 11-year-old boy who brought knives, a gun and more than 400 rounds of ammunition to school. (KPTV)

Contractors involved in building the federal government's healthcare exchange say they didn't do a full check of it until days before its launch. (NYT)

Pirates have kidnapped two American citizens off the coast of Nigeria. (AJ)
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Keep your submissions coming for the 2013 Short Fiction Contest

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 10:17 AM

FictionAd.png

Submissions have started rolling in for the Inlander's 2013 Short Fiction Contest. So keep those typewriters clacking, Spokane. We're looking forward to reading your stories.

This year's theme is "Bridges" — real, imagined or metaphorical. You can interpret the concept however you want.

Remember, you can submit multiple stories for consideration. Just keep them shorter than 2,000 words each. Send your stories as an attachment to [email protected] Check out additional guidelines here.

The contest deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 22.

For a little inspiration, here's a list from The Guardian of the Top 10 bridges in literature. They include the Westminster Bridge, the Hixon Whitney Bridge and the Spanish crossing in For Whom the Bell Tolls.

In related news: Short stories often don't receive the respect of novels and larger works, but earlier this month the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature reinforced the power of short stories by honoring Canadian writer Alice Munro as "master of the contemporary short story."

For a little more inspiration, you can read some of Munro's stories in The New Yorker right here.

You can also check out our contest winners from 2010, for which the theme was "Redemption."

2010 Winners:

Resource Management

A New Mexico Story

Alive and Well

Runners up:

Rose Blossoms at Midnight

Beauty Everlasting

On the Road: The Story of Jimi Snakeskin

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CONCERT REVIEW: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hit Spokane

Posted By and on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 9:38 AM

CHRIS BOVEY
  • Chris Bovey
When he was a kid growing up in Spokane, Ryan Lewis once told his dad he wondered what it would be like to perform at the Spokane Arena. Last night, a packed house of more than 8,000 people at the venue gave him that answer. Bringing along his better-known half, Macklemore (the one featured on the cover of Rolling Stone), the show absolutely did not disappoint.

Filled with mostly young people, and their parents or older chaperons, there were many in thrift shop apparel. Items made famous by the Seattle-based hip-hop duo’s music videos — terrible leopard print fur-lined coats and black Spanish cowboys hats — were everywhere.

Nearly 30 minutes after the second opener (a highly engaging Talib Kweli) had left, the overture began and lights danced over the black curtain. Finally, it dropped and Macklemore, wearing a Shawn Kemp Sonics jersey paired with a plaid kilt) rose up through the floor welcomed by mass hysteria, kicking it all off with “Ten Thousand Hours.”

From high above on his DJ perch, Lewis served as conductor over the production. And was it ever a production. Not only was there a brass section (impeccable trumpet and trombone), they also hauled in in a violinist and cellist, not to mention a trio of very flexible dancers, huge video screens and pyrotechnics galore.

Surprisingly, a few songs in, their massive No. 1 hit “Thrift Shop” was already going full throttle, but there was more craziness to come, although you wouldn't guess that by the way the crowd reacted, pulling out phones to document.

Macklemore, aka Ben Haggerty, was born to be on stage. He was born to share his testimony of getting off drugs and alcohol and acceptance for all. In between some songs, the rapper could get a bit long-winded with his speeches, but while many musicians preach about marijuana legalization and the atrocities of war, Macklemore's set had a more inclusive message. After laying down the gay-rights anthem, “Same Love,” he even invited two local girls out on stage for one to ask the other to her Homecoming dance.

Highlights from the show included: “My Oh My,” the tribute to the legendary Dave Niehaus and the Mariners’ historic 1995 run (the song that causes me to tear up no matter what), the crazy encore of “And We Danced,” and of course, the part where Lewis said, “I can’t tell you how good it feels to be home.”

Even with so much going on it was hard to take your eyes off of Macklemore. His charisma, the sweat dripping down his face, the ridiculous spinning fist-pump dance move he did, the way he performed what might have been the longest bow in history  (seriously, a full minute down there), oh, and that wry-sounding flow delivery.

As Macklemore explained from the stage, he wanted the show to feel like we were all in his living room, no matter how many people were crammed into the space. Wednesday night, the Spokane Arena felt like an over-sized house party hosted by Macklemore and Lewis, albeit one with lots of exploding fire and falling confetti. 
“I can’t tell you how good it feels to be home.” - CHRIS BOVEY
  • Chris Bovey
  • “I can’t tell you how good it feels to be home.”
Macklemore in all his Shawn Kemp glory - CHRIS BOVEY
  • Chris Bovey
  • Macklemore in all his Shawn Kemp glory
Ryan Lewis and Macklemore - CHRIS BOVEY
  • Chris Bovey
  • Ryan Lewis and Macklemore
Macklemore plays for more than 8,000 people on Wednesday - CHRIS BOVEY
  • Chris Bovey
  • Macklemore plays for more than 8,000 people on Wednesday
Poppin' Tags - CHRIS BOVEY
  • Chris Bovey
  • Poppin' Tags
Ryan Lewis - CHRIS BOVEY
  • Chris Bovey
  • Ryan Lewis

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis tonight at the Arena

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Everyone who cares probably already fully knows: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are coming to the Spokane Arena tonight. Look for our recap and photos from the show tomorrow.

To get you in the mood, whether you're going to the show or not, is our favorite grandpa-style ragtime "Thrift Shop" cover on the Internet:

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PHOTOS: Haunted Dania Furniture

Posted By and on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

It is alleged that portions of the 100-year-old Dania Furniture building in downtown Spokane are haunted, especially on the fourth floor and in the basement where a speakeasy called the Cactus Room used to be. Photos by Sarah Wurtz.

The first floor showroom at Dania Furniture, where employees have reported strange incidents like beds being unmade overnight and shadowy figures walking around. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • The first floor showroom at Dania Furniture, where employees have reported strange incidents like beds being unmade overnight and shadowy figures walking around.

The remains of what once was the Cactus Room, a speakeasy, located in the basement of Dania Furniture. As the building has undergone renovations this year, workers have reported strange things happening here and throughout the rest of the store. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • The remains of what once was the Cactus Room, a speakeasy, located in the basement of Dania Furniture. As the building has undergone renovations this year, workers have reported strange things happening here and throughout the rest of the store.

The remains of what used to be the Cactus Room speakeasy, located in the basement floor of the 100-year-old Dania Furniture building. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • The remains of what used to be the Cactus Room speakeasy, located in the basement floor of the 100-year-old Dania Furniture building.

The Dania building was constructed in 1904, and was originally built between two existing structures. The west-facing building no longer exists today — it's now a parking lot — but remnants of it can be seen throughout building, especially on the allegedly haunted fourth floor. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • The Dania building was constructed in 1904, and was originally built between two existing structures. The west-facing building no longer exists today — it's now a parking lot — but remnants of it can be seen throughout building, especially on the allegedly haunted fourth floor.

The building once located to the west originally housed a grocery store, and a sign for the business can still be seen on the inside wall of Dania's fourth floor, currently undergoing renovations. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • The building once located to the west originally housed a grocery store, and a sign for the business can still be seen on the inside wall of Dania's fourth floor, currently undergoing renovations.

Old tin panels cover the ceiling of the fourth floor. The building was originally constructed as a department store. Over the past 100 years it's also been a music store and another furniture store, aside from its current occupant, Dania. The tin ceilings are being restored during the currently ongoing renovations. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • Old tin panels cover the ceiling of the fourth floor. The building was originally constructed as a department store. Over the past 100 years it's also been a music store and another furniture store, aside from its current occupant, Dania. The tin ceilings are being restored during the currently ongoing renovations.

Ongoing renovations call for the tin ceilings to be restored, and the wooden floors on the fourth floor to be refinished. The brick walls with the old grocery store lettering will also remain intact. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • Ongoing renovations call for the tin ceilings to be restored, and the wooden floors on the fourth floor to be refinished. The brick walls with the old grocery store lettering will also remain intact.

Construction workers have told Dania's employees that strange things have been happening on the fourth floor, such as lights being turned off when no one else reportedly has been around. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • Construction workers have told Dania's employees that strange things have been happening on the fourth floor, such as lights being turned off when no one else reportedly has been around.

The Dania building's fourth floor gives a not-often-seen look into Spokane's past. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • The Dania building's fourth floor gives a not-often-seen look into Spokane's past.

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MORNING BRIEFING: pot zoning, Valley shooting and snowmobiles in Yellowstone

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 8:58 AM

AROUND HERE

Spokane County Commissioners passed zoning rules for recreational marijuana operations outside city limits, focusing on keeping pot out of residential areas. (SR)

Police say a fight between two brothers in Spokane Valley last night resulted in one of them dead from a gunshot wound. (KREM)

The woman who, along with her two children, was hit by a car while crossing Monroe Friday night tested positive for meth, and authorities are considering pressing charges. (KXLY)

The June officer-involved shooting on I-90 has been ruled justified. (KHQ)

ELSEWHERE

After 15 years of fighting between snowmobilers and environmentalists, the federal government announced new rules for Yellowstone with an eye toward limiting noise and air pollution in the park. (NPR)

The prime minister of Pakistan will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss drone strikes and other contentious issues between the two nations. (BBC)

A student who was in the Nevada middle school where another student opened fire Monday now says the shooter told others, "You guys ruined my life, so I'm going to ruin yours." (LAT)

THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN'

According to this Gallup poll, Americans favor legalizing marijuana for the first time in history. 

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Check out Google’s parachute doodle of the day

Posted By on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 2:50 PM

googledoodle1.png

My browser history indicates I use Google for several hundred different Internet searches each day, but this rarely happens through the actual Google home search page — so I feel lucky to notice today’s darling Google Doodle.

The occasion today is laughably obscure — the 216th anniversary of the first parachute jump — but that’s OK, because someone clearly just wanted to make a fun little parachute game. Once the parachutist goes up, use the arrow keys to control where he goes. (See if you can land him on the boat.)

googledoodle2.png

The LA Times has more on the history of French parachutist Andre-Jacques Garnerin, who made a dizzying descent from 3,200 feet at a Paris exhibition in 1797.

Yesterday’s doodle celebrating the 88th birthday of Celia Cruz also caught my attention. And the recent pinata game for Google's 15th birthday is a fun one, too. You can see the whole archive of increasingly elaborate Google doodles here.


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Rep. Larry Crouse of Spokane Valley is resigning

Posted By on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

larry-crouse.jpg

Citing ongoing health concerns for him and his wife, Rep. Larry Crouse, R-Spokane Valley, announced today that he will resign from the Washington state Legislature on Dec. 31.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had, but it’s time. This decision is about family,” Crouse said in a press release. “I had an opportunity to represent a wonderful district. As I look back, it’s humbling to know thousands of voters put their faith in me. It has been a great honor to serve the people and communities of the Fourth Legislative District.”

In the 2013 legislative and special session, Crouse, 68, missed 121 votes out 694, including the vote for the 2013-15 capital budget, according to WashingtonVotes.org.  Asked about his missing votes, he told the Inlander that his wife, Peggy, fell seriously ill in March, forcing him to miss both the first and second special sessions to care for her. He also had surgery shortly after he was sworn in this year and suffered from food poisoning later.

“This has been a very difficult session for me, healthwise,” Crouse said.

First elected in 1995, Crouse is the longest serving Republican in the Washington State House of Representatives. He is the assistant ranking Republican on the House Technology and Economic Development Committee, and sits in the House Environment and Local Government committees. According to the press release, Crouse will continue to assist his constituents through the end of the year.


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Jerky treats are still making pets sick, and we still don’t know why

Posted By on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 1:16 PM

No dogs actually had to get sick for the making of this stock image.
  • No dogs actually had to get sick for the making of this stock image.

In the past five years, more than 3,500 dogs in the U.S. (and 10 cats) have gotten sick after eating jerky pet treats. Nearly 600 pets have died. After alerting consumers in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012, the FDA released a consumer update today about the investigation — and the cause is still a mystery.

Scientists have tested more than a thousand jerky samples and visited factories in China. They’ve tested for known contaminants like Salmonella, metals, pesticides and antibiotics. They’ve done nutritional analyses to make sure the listed ingredients are accurate. But without any clear answers about what’s making pets sick, they’re now asking for help from pet owners and veterinarians.

"This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we've encountered," says Dr. Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, in the update. "Our beloved four-legged companions deserve our best effort, and we are giving it."

Most of the jerky treats in question have been made in China, though the supply chain of ingredients is not always clear and pet food manufacturers don’t need to list countries of origin for each ingredient. (The FDA has not named suspect brands or companies; there have been other, separate recalls recently for identified problems.)

These are the warning signs the FDA tells pet owners to watch out for:

Within hours of eating treats sold as jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes and/or dried fruit, some pets have exhibited decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption, and/or increased urination.

Severe cases have involved kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and a rare kidney disorder. About 60 percent of cases involved gastrointestinal illness, and about 30 percent involved kidney and urinary systems.

The remaining cases reported various symptoms, such as collapse, convulsions or skin issues.

Pet owners can report problems at safetyreporting.hhs.gov, and find more information here. (Check out the jerky treat background here, and all pet food recalls and alerts here.)

The FDA doesn’t go so far as telling pet owners to just stop buying jerky treats. But it suggests that might be a perfectly fine idea: “Pet treats are not a necessary part of a fully balanced diet, so eliminating them will not harm pets. All the nutrients your pet needs can be found in commercially produced pet food.


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