Monday, March 27, 2017

Lawsuit over 'torturous' euthanasia of Cle Elum man's dog could set new precedent

Posted By on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 12:31 PM

  • Courtesy of Rob Repin
  • Kaisa

Kaisa was not supposed to wake up. The grey and white Alaskan Malamute was diagnosed with cancer, and veterinarians gave her only months to live. Her owner, Rob Repin, made the difficult decision to have her put down.

What was supposed to be a peaceful goodbye to Kaisa, Repin's sole companion for the past 11 years, quickly turned into a torturous ordeal. Nearly five years later, it's not over.

Repin sued Washington State University and Washington state in a case that raises issues never before considered in courts throughout the country, according to a Washington State Court of Appeals commissioner's ruling. Repin, a reclusive gold prospector who lives in a 420-square-foot cabin that he built himself, is asking for compensation for the emotional distress caused by his dog's botched euthanasia.

If successful, his lawsuit could break new legal ground for pet owners in Washington. His claim focuses on the debate between the role of a pet. Was Kaisa "just a dog?" A piece of Repin's property? Or was she, as Repin describes, his family?

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Spokane Arena adds Matchbox 20, Counting Crows, Piano Guys to upcoming schedule

Posted By on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 11:59 AM

Adam Duritz of Counting Crows (left) and Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20
  • Adam Duritz of Counting Crows (left) and Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20

The Spokane Arena continues to bulk up its upcoming concert schedule with an impressive roster of names.

The big announcement of the week is that '90s hitmakers Matchbox 20 and Counting Crows will kick off a co-headlining tour in Spokane on July 12. The tour coincides with the 20th anniversary of Matchbox 20's breakthrough album Yourself or Someone Like You (doesn't that make you feel old?), a blockbuster LP that spawned the Top 40 singles "3 A.M.," "Push," "Back to Good" and "Real World." Counting Crows have been around even longer, best known for the alt-rock radio staples "Mr. Jones" and "A Long December."

Tickets for the show range from $35 to $85, and they go on sale Fri, March 31, at noon through TicketsWest.
The Piano Guys
  • The Piano Guys

And on Oct. 12, the Piano Guys will return to the Arena after playing there last May. Best known for imaginative YouTube videos featuring instrumental renditions of everything from Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling" to "Let It Go" from Frozen, the Utah-based quartet recently released its sixth studio album, Uncharted.

Tickets start at $29.50 and run all the way up to $179.50; they're available at 10 am this Friday through TicketsWest.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Social Distortion's reliable rock fills the Knit

Posted By on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 10:36 AM

Social Distortion got the packed Knitting Factory into a sweaty mess within a couple songs. - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • Social Distortion got the packed Knitting Factory into a sweaty mess within a couple songs.

Social Distortion is one of those bands whose fans can genuinely count on to deliver what they know and love every time the group records new songs or hits a concert stage. And what they deliver is a winning blend of punk attitude and retro-rock riffage.

The audience? Predominantly hot-rodders and bikers, old punks and Bettie Page fashionistas, although Social D had enough time in the major-label spotlight and on rock radio that plenty of decidedly un-punk souls join the mob to hear leader Mike Ness's raspy roll through hits like "Ball and Chain" and "Story of My Life."

"Mob" is a bit of an understatement for the crowd at the jam-packed Knitting Factory show on Saturday night. It was tough to find any room to move around, whether on the main floor, in the bar area or upstairs; it was wall-to-wall and instantly sweaty when Social Distortion took the stage and lit into the barreling "So Far Away" and "Bad Luck," a worthy one-two punch of a show opener that got the mob to at least move forward and break into a pit in front of the stage.

A few songs in, after watching the, um, aggressive reaction to the band's tunes in that pit, Ness implored the crowd to mellow out a little. "Let's all get out of here alive, okay?" he asked, grinning.

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Alton Brown heads to town, Zags hit final four, and morning headlines

Posted By on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 9:47 AM


What's up?: This week Alton Brown comes to town to show off food science, the Coeur d'Alene Blues Festival kicks off, Gilbert Gottfried is scheduled to make you laugh, and more. 


Zags score their way to Final Four
Gonzaga will face off against South Carolina in what will be the first Final Four game for each school. The Chicago Sun-Times takes a look at who might be favored to win in the final match ups of March Madness. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Baby behind bars
Some women serving time in a Washington state prison are raising their babies inside the facility through a program that could help reduce the likelihood the mothers will reoffend, and help the children have a healthy relationship with their moms, Melissa Santos reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

That's a first
SpaceX, the private space company started by Elon Musk, plans to launch a reused rocket for the first time this week. Live updates available at (Bloomberg)
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Sunday, March 26, 2017

THIS WEEK: Alton Brown, Louie Anderson, CdA Blues Fest and more

Posted By on Sun, Mar 26, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Alton Brown plays with his food Wednesday at the INB.
  • Alton Brown plays with his food Wednesday at the INB.

There are plenty of ways to have a great ol' time and put an end to March, so peruse our event listings and staff picks and get out there! Here's a little cheat sheet, a breakdown of some of the highlights of the week ahead:

Monday, March 27

LIVE BANDS | Some stellar rock at The Observatory to start your week, courtesy of Ice Cream, Heavy Seventeen and Balonely.

Tuesday, March 28

FILM | The New York Film Critics series continues with Salt & Fire, Werner Hertzog's look at a South American ecological disaster, screening at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint. Actor Michael Shannon will be part of the on-screen, post-show Q&A. Here's a look at the trailer:

Wednesday, March 29

WORDS | Prison writer Arthur Longworth uncovered life inside a Walla Walla prison in his book Zek: An American Prison Story, and two former inmates will read from the book at Auntie's, while Longworth joins the discussion via phone.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Zags win, SPD culture audit released, and Trump able to feel doubt and regret

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 9:19 AM

The river is still INSANE, guys - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • The river is still INSANE, guys


$10 justice
Why Spokane prosecutors sent a $10 theft to trial — and how it backfired.

Girls can be pioneers now

Check out the new WSU Spokane exhibit about how women in Washington state were able to do incredible things even before they were allowed to go to college.


Gonzaga totally didn't choke this year in the Sweet Sixteen

In a narrow game that left Zag fans utterly bereft of fingernails, Gonzaga beat West Virginia, and gave John Blanchette an opportunity to write a signature John Blanchette column. (Spokesman-Review)

Culture Audit
The Spokane Police Department wants more officers and more stability, the culture audit finds. (Spokesman-Review)

Rachel Profiling
“People might as well know the whole truth of my life story,“ says the woman best known for the lengths she went to obscure the whole truth of her life story. (Associated Press)

What is this new feeling they call... regret?

Trump has told people close to him that he regrets trying to pursue health care reform before tax reform. (New York Times)

Art of the Strongarm

Trump's dealmaking prowess is put to the test, but he's already been able to change the minds of several Republicans and convince them to support the incredibly unpopular health care bill. (Washington Post)

Living on borrowed words
Writer Benny Johnson— fired for plagiarism at Buzzfeed— apparently plagiarized Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers' biography in his new job.  (Business Insider)

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

$10 theft trial results in less punishment for teen

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 3:14 PM

Spokane County Superior Courthouse - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak Photo
  • Spokane County Superior Courthouse

Mike stole $10 from a kid living with him in a group home. The 17-year-old then ran to the gas station and bought energy drinks and Sweedish Fish. He told the clerk to keep the change.

He was arrested and charged with theft, though Mike says he paid the money back after he got caught. His public defender suggested he would do community service in exchange for dismissing the charge. But the prosecutor rejected the deal, and a case over $10 worth of allowance went to trial.

"We offered to pay the $10 back again and do community service," says Megan Manlove, the public defender. "That would have benefitted the community more than a trial that cost all this time and effort. I would say we've spent at least a couple thousand or so prosecuting the case. Not really sure what the point of it is."

Mike was found guilty at trial, but actually ended up with less punishment than if the prosecutor would have agreed to let the kid do community service instead.

Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie Collins, who supervises juvenile prosecution in the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office but did not handle the case herself, says she is not aware of the offer to do community service, adding:

"We look at each case individually, and consider how to hold someone accountable, what's best for the community and the offender," Collins says. "And in this case, what's best for the offender, before he goes into adult court, is to hold him accountable for his behavior."

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WSU's pioneers, science-student flameouts, & prepping for Spokane Bike Swap

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 2:48 PM

Women work side by side with men in early WSC chemistry lab. - WSU NEWS
  • WSU news
  • Women work side by side with men in early WSC chemistry lab.

Pioneering Women

At a time when women were often not even accepted to colleges in the eastern United States, Washington State College (now WSU) welcomed them. After all, there weren’t that many people clamoring to go to college in the remote West.

A new exhibit at the school’s library in Pullman features some of the university's "women of distinction." Among them: Josephine Hopper Woods, the daughter of German immigrants who earned a degree in pharmacy in 1899, then shifted to chemistry, and went on to become the school's first woman to earn a graduate degree in 1908. Neva Martin Abelson graduated in 1934 with a degree in chemistry and went on to earn a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University, and in 1942, she and Dr. Louis K. Diamond developed the Rh factor test that’s used to screen all pregnant women to this day.

“Ambitions and Intellect: Pioneering Women at WSU,” runs through June in Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections in the Terrell Library at WSU. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

C’mon kids! Learn to fail!
It’s spring and that means area high school seniors are receiving acceptance letters (or that surely undeserved rejection) from colleges and universities. But are even highly successful high school kids prepared for the rigors of scientific study in college? "Many students who began science degrees with me switched to other majors the first time a project failed. One failure and they were gone," writes Sara Whitlock in an essay on Whitlock says our national scientific endeavors will suffer if college students don't learn to deal with failure.

Clean out the garage
Have a bike you no longer need? Donate it to the Spokane Bike Swap and Expo by April 7. Children’s bikes are especially needed. Or, for $5 you can also register to sell your no-longer-needed bike (an 8 percent consignment fee applies to sold bikes). But the Swap and Expo may be best for those in the market to buy. Organizers anticipate there will be more than 700 bikes to choose from. Last year’s event raised $36,000 for the Friends of the Centennial Trail. Find more about donating and selling bikes, as well as opportunities to volunteer at the event which occurs on April 8, at the Spokane Bike Swap website.
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Tonight's STRFKR show is canceled

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 1:25 PM


STRFKR, the popular L.A.-based psych-pop band, has had to cancel tonight's concert at the Knitting Factory. According to the band's social media accounts, they've broken down en route to Spokane.

"We hate cancelling shows," their Facebook post reads, "so this is a huge bummer for us. We'll def make it up to you on the next tour."


According to that same post, online purchases will be automatically refunded; for any other inquiries, contact the Knitting Factory at 244-3279.

Read the Inlander's interview with STRFKR frontman and songwriter Josh Hodges here.
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Healthcare, plagiarism, March Madness and other morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 10:10 AM


NEWS: Medicaid patients could be hit hardest by changes to the country's health insurance.

MUSIC: Foo Fighters' guitarist Chris Shiflett is taking a break to explore some more twangy tunes.

JOURNALISM: Has a veteran Spokesman-Review reporter been putting his name on other people's work?


Bongs not bombs
A suspicious package left at a gas station near downtown Spokane yesterday turned out to contain weed and pipes, not explosives. (Spokesman-Review)

Deadly attack on British Parliament
The Islamic State is claiming responsibility for an attack Wednesday that ended with three people dead. The assailant, identified as Khalid Masood, was born in Britain and had been investigated previously for connections to violent extremism. (New York Times)

Make America Great Again
But with baseball. The U.S. beat Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic championship. (SB Nation)

March Madness
The college basketball tournament starts back up again today. Zags tip around 4:30. (
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