Thursday, March 20, 2014

Welcome to the city of Spokane, North Dakota

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 7:44 PM

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In a crazy day of college basketball, one of the craziest games happened right here in Spokane.

North Dakota State, whose fans we told you about earlier today, just beat Oklahoma 80-75 in overtime. And it was crazy.

By the time Lawrence Alexander hit a three pointer with 10 seconds left to tie the game, everyone in the Spokane Arena not wearing Oklahoma gear was on their feat cheering for the Bison. It was easy to do, considering how many people made the trek westward on I-90 from Fargo. There was more than an entire section of the arena decked out in yellow. Apparently, the yellow blazer is an easy-to-come-by piece of clothing in North Dakota, as evidenced tonight.

It's going to be nice to have these rowdy, yellow-loving folks back here on Saturday. They might even earn some bandwagon fans in the meantime.

So far, two different 12 seeds have emerged out of Spokane, after Harvard knocked off Cincinnati earlier today.

And nationwide, this was the third overtime contest. Not a bad day of hoops. Hopefully you didn't waste your day doing something stupid, like working and got to see some of this.

Next up, New Mexico State takes on San Diego State.
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FOOD BLOTTER: New projects from Stella’s and the Flying Goat

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 4:15 PM

LISA WAANANEN
  • Lisa Waananen

To be clear up front: If you love Stella’s or the Flying Goat, rest assured neither is going away. But we’ve confirmed that both restaurants are opening new sister locations with different names, causing some fans to panic about “moving” rumors.

The new Flying Goat restaurant will in fact be on the South Hill at the former Vintages/Villaggio location, as previously reported, and called Republic Pi. It will also serve pizza, but the two restaurants won’t be identical — Republic Pi will have a wood-fire oven instead of gas, for example.

The new Stella’s spot, called Ruins, will be located at 825 N. Monroe — the former Top Notch Cafe — and will open for dinner and cocktails during the week as well as brunch on the weekends. “I love what we do here at Stella's, making sandwiches and whatnot, but I’ve always had my eye open for a full kitchen,” co-owner and chef Tony Brown told the Inlander.

Read more about both in this week’s Entree newsletter, and sign up for the newsletter here to make sure you don’t miss this kind of news.

Additionally, as you may recall, the people of Casper Fry and Madeleine’s are also opening a new restaurant with a new concept at 415 W. Main Ave. There’s still a ways to go before Durkin’s Liquor Bar opens, but here’s a photo posted online of the space.

CASPER FRY
  • Casper Fry

Indaba is hosting a latte art competition this evening.

The Culinary Stone in Coeur d’Alene is opening a new all-local, in-house butchery this weekend, called Chop Shop Butchery at the Stone.

Following the closing of the Fiesta Mexicana in Coeur d'Alene, Inland Northwest Business Watch reports that owner Miguel Amador is opening a new spot on the South Hill called Miguel's Mexican Restaurant & Tequileria.

Local spice company SAVORx is formally rebranding as Spiceologist.

Inland Northwest Growlers is also expanding its scope and rebranding as Northwest Brew Gear.

The Shop, which has been making the Perry District cool long before everyone else joined the bandwagon, is celebrating its 15th anniversary this Saturday with $2 beers, lattes and ice cream.

More signs of spring — Jamaican Jerk Pan is back out in Browne’s Addition at 4th and Cannon.

Zola installed an entirely new system for their beer on tap. And it’s no minor thing — they’ve typically had a good selection, but this makes the quality craft beer noticeably tastier.

If you enjoy beer and March Madness, you’ll like this year’s Beer Bracket from Draft Magazine — the only local beer is Laughing Dog’s Dogfather Imperial Stout, so vote now to push them through to the next round.

Read previous food news here. Find food events here.


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NCAA Spokane: Harvard pulls the upset, pep bands and road trips

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 3:10 PM

The first game of the four contests at the Spokane Arena is in the books and it was a good one.

Twelfth-seeded Harvard pulled off a shocker and downed fifth-seeded Cincinnati by a score of 61-57. Because people love an underdog, the Spokane crowd was behind the Crimson for pretty much the whole game as they maintained a slim lead over the Bearcats throughout the entire contest. In the end, it was Harvard's defense that won the game, holding Cincy to just 37 percent shooting.

The weird thing about this game was that it was an upset for sure, but Harvard looked like the better team for most of the contest. They didn't look small or unathletic. They straight outplayed Cincy.

On the court now, the Michigan State Spartans are showing why so many folks have them winning the whole thing in their brackets, even if Delaware is hanging in there. The Spartans have a 44-33 lead on Delaware at halftime.

And here are some other things that happened today...

The Harvard band looks like Harry Potter, sound like a dream.
  • The Harvard band looks like Harry Potter, sound like a dream.

THE HARVARD BAND
If you go to Harvard, you're probably a smart person. That's kind of their thing — being smart. And some of those smart people make up the Harvard pep band, which was on hand for this morning's contest.

They played some Top-40 hip hop in their set, with some added flair. They also looked downright awesome doing it. If you didn't know any better, you'd think they just came from pumping up the crowd at a Hogwart's quidditch match (yeah, I know my Harry Potter). Their blazers and ties are the sort of class you'd expect from Harvard, which also brought with them a sizable cheering section.

Whether it was the band or not, the Spokane Arena sided with Harvard today. When time ran out and their win was final, you would have thought it was Gonzaga on the court by the way folks roared.

Anthony Lee, left, and eight of his buddies drove all the way to Spokane from North Dakota.
  • Anthony Lee, left, and eight of his buddies drove all the way to Spokane from North Dakota.

SPOKANE OR BUST
It's been awesome getting travel stories from all the fans who've descended on Spokane for the tournament. The best I've found so far is from nine guys from Westhope, North Dakota (a tiny town near the Canadian border) who drove all the way to Spokane in one push — all in one rented passenger van.

Anthony Lee is one of the guys who charged some 16 hours straight to cheer on his North Dakota State Bison in a game against Oklahoma later today.

"The second we heard that they were playing in Spokane, we decided we'd make the drive," says Lee.

He and his buddies haven't had a chance to see much of the town. They rolled up to their hotel, checked in and then came to the Arena. Hopefully they'll get some sleep in there sometime.

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90 Washington state lawmakers maintained a perfect roll call record this session

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Although they passed few significant new policies and only a modest supplemental budget, lawmakers in Olympia did manage to improve their roll call record this year, according to a new report by WashingtonVotes.org

“Lawmakers finished this year's short 60-day session on time," said WashingtonVotes director Franz W. Gregory. "And, in terms of voting activity, accomplished a lot."  

In the 2014 regular session, 1,372 bills were introduced and 237 measures were passed. Ninety legislators maintained a perfect roll call record — up from 53 last year — and only three missed more than 50 votes.

Among the lawmakers who missed the most votes was Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane. He missed 87 votes — more than any other senator this session. But his excuse is pretty good (and super cute).

“My wife gave birth to our third child, Victoria, in February," he told WashingtonVotes.org. "We experienced some complications with my wife’s pregnancy causing me to miss votes during session.”
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Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, missed 25, including a vote on the "Real Hope Act," the Senate's version of the DREAM Act allowing undocumented students to apply for state college aid. 

“Unfortunately I was absent one day because of an illness and had to go to the doctor. The only other time I missed votes occurred due to being stuck on the other side of the Cascades, as Snoqualmie Pass was closed," Parker said. "I have also been on and off the floor because I have been part of the ongoing budget proposals with Rep. Chandler.”

Here's how our other local lawmakers' voting records compared: Sen. Mike Padden, Rep. Timm Ormsby, Rep. Marcus Riccelli and Rep. Matt Shea didn't miss any votes. Sen. Andy Billig missed two. 

Explore WashingtonVote's database of lawmaker voting records here
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Share your own best Stockton caption

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 10:35 AM

When we saw that John and David Stockton finished second and third in our Best Athlete category in our readers poll this year, we knew we had to feature them in our annual Zags poster.

So Mike Bookey and I bandied some catchy headlines back and forth: The Family Swishness; Stockton and Son, Inc.; Longer Shorts, Same Hair; Chip Off the Old Stock’; Blue-Chip Stocktons; Generation Zag. Kudos to our art director, Chris Bovey, for a cool design.

Pick up our Best Of issue today to see what we finally chose; in the meantime, share your own best caption idea!

stockton_webposter.jpg
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Meet the people who followed their teams to the NCAA tournament

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 10:31 AM

David and Jill Henry battled overbooked flights to make a last-minute jaunt to Spokane to cheer on Cincinnati.
  • David and Jill Henry battled overbooked flights to make a last-minute jaunt to Spokane to cheer on Cincinnati.

The NCAA tournament is fully underway right now and you should be watching it. Even if you're at work — especially if you're at work. Here's how to do that.

Here at the Spokane Arena, we're getting ready for the tip-off of what's quite likely to be a fascinating matchup between Harvard (12 seed) and Cincinnati (5 seed). Before the doors to the stadium opened, fans were already lined up to head into the game.

Two of those fans were David and Jill Henry, who flew from Cincinnati to Spokane — despite overbooked flights — to be here to cheer on their beloved Bearcats. That's them in the photo.

The husband and wife are both alums of the University of Cincinnati and decided early on that they were going to see the team play in the NCAA tournament.

"We had the week off, so we were just waiting on Sunday to see where we'd be heading," said Jill, who is at her first-ever NCAA tournament.

Then they had to track down tickets — and find a way to get to Spokane, but they made it. They've never been here, but find the town excellent so far. Mostly, though, they're just glad they made it. And, after a long winter in Ohio, they were just thankful that it wasn't snowing here.

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MORNING BRIEFING: Sandpoint's Ten Commandments, "found" bikes and Subway robberies

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 10:09 AM

HERE

Sandpoint's city council meeting last night was packed for a controversial discussion about a Ten Commandments monument in Farmin Park, a public city park. (KXLY)

Missing a bike? Live in Liberty Lake? The Liberty Lake police department is getting ready to donate a growing collection of unclaimed "found" bicycles, many which are children's or high-end adult bikes. (S-R)

Look for updates today from Inlander Culture Editor Mike Bookey, who's reporting court-side from the NCAA Tourney at the Spokane Arena. (Inlander)

Be careful and observant out on the roads, people. Two cyclists were hit by cars in separate incidents last night. (KREM)

Not too long after a string of local coffee stand robberies, three Subway restaurants in the Spokane area have been held up at gunpoint this week. (S-R)

THERE

Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, has died. (Slate)

More updates on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: search teams are now scouring a part of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia after two large objects were spotted via satellite. (WSJ)

Airbnb, the web-based couch surfing/room rental startup — which of late has caused a stir in Spokane — has raised $400 million in its latest round of financing. (NYT)
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