Monday, August 3, 2015

MB: Smoky haze, hitchhiking robots, the West is on fire

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 9:14 AM


Today and tomorrow, the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center hosts a free health care clinic, offering medical, dental and vision services. (Inlander)

Fires burning across the Northwest include a 600-acre fire near Sprague, one near Long Lake, and another outside of Ione, Washington. (KXLY)

Despite these nearby forest fires, the smoke covering the region this morning is actually from fires in Western Washington, and it's really hurting local air quality. (KREM)

A regular at the Coeur d'Alene Casino won $1.3 million over the weekend, the largest payout the casino has ever given. (KREM) 


If it seems like the entire Western U.S. is on fire, it's because it kind of is. In California, firefighters are working to contain 21 fires, including the 60,000 acre Rocky Fire in Northern California. (New York Times)

As the outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion continues, Zimbabwe officials are now looking for another American whom they believe illegally killed another protected lion earlier this year. (BBC)

Why we can't have nice things: An internationally traveled hitchhiking robot was "beheaded" less than two weeks into its journey across the U.S. (CNN)
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Friday, July 31, 2015

Free health care for two days at Spokane County Fair and Expo Center

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 1:58 PM

Your Best Pathway to Health seeks to provide free medical, dental and vision services to cities all over the world.
  • Your Best Pathway to Health seeks to provide free medical, dental and vision services to cities all over the world.

This week, on Monday, Aug. 3, and Tuesday, Aug. 4, Spokane residents can receive free health care services at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. The two-day event is made possible by Your Best Pathway to Health, an organization that partners with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to provide medical, dental and vision services to various communities around the world for no cost. The group has also partnered with Adventist Health West, and is co-sponsored by the Office of Spokane Mayor David A. Condon and the Spokane County Commissioner's Office. 

Over $8 million in free health-related services will be offered thanks to 1,400 healthcare professionals and volunteers. 

No insurance or identification is required to receive services, which include primary care visits, women's health services and consultations. Many other services will be offered, including gastroenterology, neurology, infectious disease, general and orthopedic surgery, as well as immunizations, root canals, eyeglass fittings, STD screenings, x-rays, haircuts, and a free meal. 

Free surgeries are being offered, but require a pre-surgery visit, which can be arranged by calling 1-888-447-Pathway (1-888-447-2849). All other services can be done without an appointment.

The event is first-come, first-served and opens at 7 am on both days. 
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MB: Gas tax eve, Ken Hopkins fundraiser, and Wet Hot American Summer

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 9:47 AM


A bicycle has been hit by an STA bus. (Spokesman-Review)

Good news for gas-tax fans! The gas tax is going up 7 cents tomorrow. (Spokesman-Review)

State Rep. Kevin Parker is holding a fundraiser for KZZU radio host Ken Hopkins at his Dutch Bros shops. 16 oz. drinks are just $2, and $1 dollar of every drink goes to help Hopkins recover from being paralyzed in a bike accident. (KXLY) 


The startup boom may be doomed. (Vox)

The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife can't find Cecil the Lion's killer. Has it asked the angry Internet mob?  (Washington Post, Vox) 

How Republicans are reaching out to black voters. (Washington Post) 


Happy Wet Hot American Summer Netflix TV Series Day everybody! At the AV Club, there's an annotation of the pop cultural references in the original American Movie Classic. 
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

MB: Eyman's back, teacher draft picks, and more Airway Heights mayor condemnation

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 9:25 AM


A Tim Eyman initiative's back on the ballot. And guess what? It's against taxes. (Spokesman-Review)

More than half of Airway Heights' city staff has signed a letter condemning the small town mayor. (Spokesman-Review)

Sandersmania strikes Post Falls! (CDA Press)


A new video of a cop shooting a black man during a traffic stop. (New York Times)

As the mentally ill fill the jails, a psychologist takes control of a jail in Chicago. (New York Times)

What was it like when Marco Rubio was a city councilman? Boring, turns out. (Washington Post)


If we treated teachers like we did athletes:

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Psych ward at Sacred Heart retains doctors, agrees to cut bed count by two-thirds

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 2:35 PM

As far as reductions go, two-thirds is pretty significant. Imagine reducing your weight or your wardrobe or the time you spend sleeping by two-thirds. Crazy, right? Now imagine Spokane's only inpatient psychiatric hospital — which currently has space for 48 adults and 24 children experiencing acute mental health crises — reducing it's bed count by 66 percent.  

You won't have to imagine for long; it's about to happen September 6. Providence Medical Group's Sacred Heart Hospital announced the reduction to 12 adult beds and 12 pediatric beds in a press release celebrating the retention of five of the seven doctors who had threatened to quit in June. "We have five right now that have signed contracts," says Providence's External Communications Director Elizabeth DeRuyter.

So why did all of Sacred Heart's seven psychiatric physicians turn in resignation letters in the first place?

"The issue was related to workload. The demand for psychiatric services is high and despite our best efforts to recruit and get more staff, we couldn't keep up with demand," says Providence Medical Group's Chief Medical Officer Kirk Rowbotham. "This was not about money, this was about lifestyle and workload." 

The hospital plans to alleviate the workload problem by reducing the number of patients they take in, at least temporarily. Sacred Heart will  "draw down" the bed count as they transition to a new model of care. By October, Providence hopes to hire additional doctors and begin bringing the bed-count back up. It could be touch and go for a bit, though, due to a national shortage of psychiatric doctors. The shortage of providers is felt more acutely in Spokane County, where 8 percent of residents have psychiatric needs, compared with a national average of 5 percent. "It's very difficult to recruit psychiatrists to the need that we have," says Rowbotham.

Sacred Heart is changing the way providers care for patients to a more team-based model in an effort to make the hospital more attractive to doctors. "We redesigned our program to make it more appealing. It's been very well received by psychiatrists, and we have three viable candidates, including one that's very close to signing a contract," says Rowbotham.

Continue reading »

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MB: CdA Goat killer, (a different) casino battle, and Inslee's carbon workaround

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 9:36 AM


No, Inslee isn't going to upset the transportation budget. But he's still going to find a way to further regulate carbon emissions. (Spokesman-Review) 

If this were still the 80s, we'd be speculating about a Satanic ritual. Instead, we're simply asking: Who stabbed three Coeur d'Alene goats? (KXLY)

Should Woodrow Wilson join the ranks of shamed historical figures not fit to title our elementary schools? (Spokesman-Review)

Five of the seven "resigning" psychiatrists at Sacred Heart have agreed to stay on, after workload changes. (Spokesman-Review)


Two Washington state Indian tribes are fighting over the placement of a new casino. No, not the tribes you're thinking of. (NPR)

College students are actually beginning to pick majors that may earn them money someday. (Vox)

How many times has your personal info been hacked? If this quiz asks for your credit card info, don't give it. (New York Times)

Migrants have been trying to storm the Channel Tunnel between France and Great Britain. (New York Times)


How Always Sunny manages to still be pretty great after 10 seasons. (AV Club) 
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Drug-test providers have trouble helping ID dangerous drugs at events like Paradiso

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 3:40 PM


Adam Auctor parks his car along an empty stretch of road in Swan Lake, New York. It’s 2 am as he slogs a miles through densely wooded forest, over a swamp, and across a bramble-choked creek. He reaches his destination wet and dirty and lobs the sacks he’s carrying over the six-foot chain link fence where a co-conspirator waits to intercept the booty. Auctor will smuggle in additional bags in the trucks of food vendors and merchants headed into the Mysteryland USA festival here tomorrow.

Auctor isn’t a drug smuggler; he relayed this scenario in an interview with the Inlander to show the lengths he has to go to to help festival-goers figure out what is actually in the drugs they plan on using. Auctor's company makes kits that test drugs for adulterants — additives or cutting agents used by drug dealers to stretch their products and sell more of less-pure product — and he sneaks 2,000 of these baseball-sized kits into each festival he attends. 

“We do what we need to to save lives,” says Auctor, though he's operating a business, not a charity; his basic MDMA test kit sells for $20 and is also available online

Continue reading »

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MB: Envision Spokane gets unwanted ballot language, Trump's attorney threatens reporter, kids eat pot cookies

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 9:42 AM


The Spokane City Council votes to pair two "advisory questions" with Envision Spokane's initiative, over their objections. (Spokesman-Review)

Pot edibles can look like cookies or candy. Kids love cookies and candy. Cue the problem. (KXLY)

WSU snags a crew of UW researchers to look into public health concerns facing minority groups. (Spokesman-Review)


A third undercover video is released by the anti-Planned Parenthood group, this one with a former phlebotomist of a company called StemExpress. This release, like the others, includes both an unedited and an unedited version.  (The Hill)

Obama could win a third term, says Obama. If Obama wanted to or the law allowed it, but Obama doesn't. (New York Times)

And now it's that season where the attorney of the leading Republican candidate for president says you can't be raped by your spouse and then threatens a reporter and then apologizes. #Trump (Washington Post)

Jon Stewart has the ear of the president — and more importantly, the president has the ear of Jon Stewart. (Slate)


Here's a map of the United States by home value, which gets really squished around the Montana/Wyoming area. (Vox)
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Monday, July 27, 2015

Ken Hopkins of "Ken, Dave & Molly" seriously injured in biking accident—you can help. Here's how

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 12:15 PM

Ken Hopkins of the "Ken, Dave & Molly" morning show on KZZU was partially paralyzed in a recent biking accident. - GOFUNDME
  • GoFundMe
  • Ken Hopkins of the "Ken, Dave & Molly" morning show on KZZU was partially paralyzed in a recent biking accident.

Inlander readers know Ken Hopkins. For that matter, so does much of the Inland Northwest thanks to his role as part of the "Ken, Dave & Molly" morning radio show on 92.9 FM, KZZU, a gig that earned Hopkins and his cohosts the honor of Best Radio DJ or Team in our 2015 Best of the Inland Northwest issue.  

Now Hopkins can use our readers' help recovering from a horrific biking accident that left him, at least for now, paralyzed from the chest down. News of the July 13 accident arrived today via the unveiling of a GoFundMe page dedicated to helping Hopkins.  

On the page, Hopkins relays his situation since the accident two weeks ago: 
As of now, I am left without the use of my legs and I have no feeling from my mid chest down. I do have full use of my arms, hands and neck muscles and am hopeful for the return of other functions once the damages heal and swelling returns to normal. The last 2 weeks have been filled with every range of emotions and tears. I have never before found myself in a position where recovery status is not measured by days or weeks, but my months. It will be a long journey just to get myself in a position to function in the world. 
The money raised will help Hopkins' family make the needed changes to his home and hopefully speed his recovery. Hopkins plans on returning to the KZZU air, according to the GoFundMe page, and the station is intent on reconfiguring the studio for him when he's ready to join Dave and Molly again. 

Once again, anyone interested in helping Hopkins and his family can donate to the cause via the Support for Ken Hopkins and Family GoFundMe page
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MB: Speech and Debate, earthquakes and Thai fishing boat slavery

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 9:49 AM


Embattled Airway Heights Mayor Patrick Rushing is now being targeted by Washington state Democrats. (Spokesman-Review) 

The Pacific Northwest's emergency planners say they're ready for The Big One. (Spokesman-Review)

After an accident during a bike ride, Ken Hopkins, member of the smash hit "Dave, Ken and Molly" morning crew at KZZU, is in the midst of the long rehab struggle. Here's his gofundme page


The New York Times investigates slavery on Thai fishing boats. (New York Times)

The play, Speech and Debate, loosely based on the Jim West scandal, is getting turned into a Kal Penn movie. (AV Club) 

Mass deportation actually a pretty popular position among Republicans. (Washington Post)

The tension between gay rights and religious freedom is increasing. (The Atlantic)


No, movie critic A.A. Dowd did not call "Accidental Love" a "comedic masterstroke," despite with that the DVD cover would lead you to believe. So Mr. Dowd pens a letter of objection. (AV Club)

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