Monday, June 16, 2014

MORNING BRIEFING: Labradorapalooza!

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 9:34 AM


Tea party conservatives scored a surprise out-of-nowhere victory over Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last week. But they struggled to find a house representative willing to challenge to Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy for the Majority Leader position — until Raul Labrador stepped up. Read our collection of coverage, corralled here. (Bloglander)

But all was not well for Mr. Labrador last week. He presided over a disaster of an Idaho GOP convention, where conservative delegates banned the credentials of delegates from three different counties, and adjourned without accomplishing basically anything. (SR)

It’s another nature-versus-development fight in Spokane, this time over 23 acres of South Hill bluff near Latah Creek. Activists are asking County Commissioners to use Conservation Futures funds to purchase the property and prevent a developer from building a condo development. But there may not be enough time. (SR)

After last week’s stabbing at STA Plaza, police managed to take into custody another man armed with a knife and issuing threats. (KXLY)


Did you know that some of the wacky pratfalls taken by soccer players are not, in fact, always entirely genuine? The New York Times investigates. (NYT)

Remember when liberals predicted that the U.S. invading Iraq would plunge the region into chaos? Remember when conservatives predicted the U.S. leaving Iraq would plunge the region into chaos? Welp. (Washington Post)

Health products can often be a bit scammy. Crowdfunding makes that scam even easier. (The Atlantic)


We won’t embed it because, you know, spoilers, but here’s a link to a Very Happy Father’s Day Montage inspired by last night’s Game of Thrones. (YouTube)

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mental health treatment increasingly part of national conversation

Posted By on Sun, Jun 1, 2014 at 9:21 AM

As America continues to grapple with its underfunded, overburdened and often splintered mental health system, national media have increasingly sought to shine a light on problems and potential solutions. For its part, the Guardian launched a new series this week on the county's "broken system."


The series includes a number of stories about how families cope with the many gaps in care and treatment options. It also includes guest columns from leaders in the field, including the former president of the American Psychiatric Association and the sheriff of Cook County in Illinois, home of the largest mental health facility in the country — a jail.

Many aspects of mental health care have come under renewed criticism in the wake of last week's mass killing near UC Santa Barbara. The LA Times finds the system never had much of a chance to intervene despite multiple red flags ahead of the killings.

The Inlander's State of Mind series has taken on many of these issues at the local level. This week we wrote about how a shortage of psychiatric beds in North Idaho results in police officers being tied up for hours or days waiting with mental health patients.

We also have a guest column from Ron Anderson, president of the Spokane chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Previous Inlander State of Mind coverage has explore Idaho treatment limitations, mental health first aid skills, doctor shortages, life at Eastern State Hospital, Spokane jail mental health services and the troubled history of mental health care. A full list of this year's stories can be found at inlander.com/StateOfMind.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

MORNING BRIEFING: The Spokane VA speaks and the Seattle City Council prepares to vote on the $15 minimum wage

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 8:59 AM


Amid national outcry over treatment delays within the Department of Veterans Affairs, Spokane's VA hospital says it's making progress toward better care after a 2012 report identified problems. (Inlander)

Three people have been charged with beating a man to death for stealing drugs and cash. The victim's body was found in Kootenai County earlier this month. (SR)

Spokane City Councilmembers are looking for ways to make crosswalks safer after the October collision that killed a 5-year-old girl who was crossing Monroe Street with her mother. (KREM)

Three megaloads have been stuck near Clarkston, Wash., for five months waiting to receive permits. (CdA Press)

The Seattle City Council will vote Monday on an ordinance to require a $15 minimum wage for nearly all workers, phased in over the next seven years. (Seattle Times)


Police knew about the videos Elliot Rodger posted online threatening his "Day of Retribution" before killing six people last week, but they never viewed them. (AP)

Conflict in Syria continues to ravage that country, with nearly 2,000 people dead at the hands of the government so far this year. (BBC)

Former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer wants to buy the Los Angeles Clippers from embattled owner Donald Sterling for $2 billion, the highest price ever paid for an NBA team. (Businessweek)

U.S. officials say Edward Snowden never raised substantial concerns about unconstitutional programs during his time at the NSA. He disputes that. (Reuters)

Two students were declared co-winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee after they ran through the entire official word list. (WaPo)


If you don't already have your tickets for our two-day, 80-band music festival that starts tonight, the bad news is they go up in price today. But the good news is they're still a steal: $15 a day or $25 for both days. (Remember: 80 bands!) If you have bought your wristbands, pick them up before 5:30 pm at Inlander HQ (1227 W. Summit Pkwy) or from 5-9 pm at our will call booth at Stevens and Sprague. To plan your weekend, learn about the bands here, check out the full schedule here and find recommendations based on what you're into here.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spokane VA hospital cites progress amid national reports of treatment delays

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2014 at 4:53 PM

The Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center reports it has worked to address consultation and care delays uncovered in a 2012 accountability report. - SPOKANE VA MEDICAL CENTER FACEBOOK
  • Spokane VA Medical Center Facebook
  • The Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center reports it has worked to address consultation and care delays uncovered in a 2012 accountability report.

In the face of intense national criticism targeting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane says it has worked to address care and consultation delays previously uncovered by oversight investigators who found routine confusion or miscommunication had held up treatment for local patients.

The VA Office of Inspector General, which conducts accountability audits and patient care reviews, released an “interim” report on Wednesday addressing allegations of patient treatment delays and scheduling manipulation at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, that may have led to patient deaths. The director of that facility, Sharon Helman, previously oversaw the Spokane facility until 2010.

In Phoenix and other facilities, investigators found a broad, “systemic” practice of manipulating appointments and treatment dates to minimize the appearance of waiting periods or delays in care. The report found 1,700 veterans who had been left off of wait lists and alluded to 42 VA centers now under investigation.

The report also listed 18 previous investigations in which treatment delays had been identified in recent years, including findings against the Spokane center from September of 2012. The Spokane investigation found multiple cases in which communication problems between care providers and specialized consultants had led to appointments getting pushed back or canceled.

“[Investigators] did identify several factors that contributed to a breakdown in the consultation process,” the 2012 OIG report states. “Delays in care did result in the adverse patient outcome of increased or unrelieved pain or an exacerbation of symptoms.”

A review of 15 cases found seven of the patients had suffered “adverse” care outcomes as a result of treatment delays ranging from six weeks to 11 months, the report states. Most of those cases involved assessment or treatment for chronic pain injuries.

Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center - FACEBOOK
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Bret Bowers, public affairs officer for the Spokane facility, defended the center’s practices via email today. He noted strict media protocols did not allow him to answer any questions over the phone, but responded that the Spokane center follows all of the standard VA guidelines for timely care and consultation scheduling.

“When a new patient requests care, every attempt is made to give the patient an appointment within 30 days of their desired date,” Bowers writes. “Regarding internal consults, our goal is for all eligible Veterans to be scheduled and seen within 90 days.”

Bowers notes the Spokane center also has a 24/7 emergency room for urgent care needs: “All Veterans are seen, and treated based upon the urgency of their condition.”

The 2012 report also found that scheduling problems sometimes led to care providers and consultants exchanging inappropriate comments within the medical records of their patients.

“Non-existent or poor communications between [primary care providers] and consultants was a source of frustration,” the report finds, adding, “In breach of [VA policy], PCPs often expressed dissatisfaction with this process by writing inappropriate comments in consult notes. Consultants, in turn, sometimes responded with unprofessional comments.”

OIG offered three recommendations for improving care, including establishing a comprehensive consultation process, tracking consultations and ensuring proper communication between care providers.

Spokane VA administrators responded to the 2012 report by strengthening its policies regarding consultation practices and conducting additional training on appropriate practices. It also instituted monthly reviews of all consultations to “ensure proper completion.” Bowers says OIG followed up and closed its investigation in May of 2013 with "no further inquiry."

The Spokane center has seen a slight increase in patients since 2012, Bowers explains, reporting the center served 29,362 unique veterans in 2013. Its 877 employees provided 330,595 outpatient services and 18,467 days of bed care.

Bowers declined to confirm whether any disciplinary action was taken based on the findings in the 2012 report. He also could not say whether the Spokane facility was included among the 42 centers now under additional investigation. OIG has said it will not identify those facilities to protect the integrity of the process.

Washington Sen. Patty Murray, a vocal advocate of veterans rights, called the new OIG report a confirmation of “deep-seated” problems within the system, demanding VA officials impose new transparency and accountability.

“It needs to put an end to what appears to be a pervasive culture of lying, cheating, and mismanagement,” Murray says in a statement. “And it needs to act right away — without waiting for more reports to come out detailing even more systemwide failures.”

Investigators expect to release a final, more comprehensive report later this year.

Spokane VA 2012 OIG Report by inlanderweb

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Red and Redder: Idaho’s primary results

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2014 at 8:49 AM

In a state as deeply Republican as Idaho, the GOP primary often serves as the real electoral battleground. Last night’s results were mostly unsurprising, though winners were more moderate than many expect from Idaho. Unless we’re talking about Kootenai County.

Here are the unofficial results, as of 8 am this morning.

Idaho Governor

"Take air superiority, and then roll in with our tanks on the ground... Blitzkrieg!"
— Idaho gubernatorial candidate Harley Brown

"Mr. Brown? The question was about taxes."
— Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

By now, the question wasn’t if you saw the Idaho GOP gubernatorial debate. It was what your favorite part was. Was it the formal tie Harley Brown wore with his biker gear? Was it the giant Cranky Kong beard on anti-abortion candidate Walt Bayes? Was it Brown’s line about how he’s as politically correct as a “turd in a punchbowl?” The moment where Bayes put his glasses up on his forehead and started reading scripture?

Brown’s still-slightly-offensive rhetoric about how much gay people love each other? His rant about spiritual warfare? The mention of his ex-wife’s restraining order and Fat Jack’s cellar?

It’s unlikely, of course, that it was anything about the statements of incumbent Butch Otter or his more conservative challenger Russ Fulcher. Probably nothing about the nuances of Fulcher’s opposition to Common Core (though Fulcher himself initially supported it) or his arguments over the governor’s support for a state-run health exchange.

Fulcher was fuming, complaining that by allowing the fringe candidates to debate, he’d subjected Idaho to public humiliation. Otter can point to a specific promise he made Harley Brown years ago as to the reason for demanding that Brown and any other fringe candidates be included in the race.

But there was also a clear political upside for the sitting Governor. Not only did Brown and Bayes take up time that Fulcher may have spent attacking Otter’s policies, but it clearly changed the conversation. Before the debate, local and national coverage focused on the surprise endorsement of Fulcher by 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador. After the debate, it was all memes, gifs, and highlight videos.

It became a “Moment of Zen” on The Daily Show. Conan O’Brien ran some clips from the video on his talk show, but edited the video to show a few more ridiculous debaters, like a Slim Jim with googly eyes.

Political drama had turned into political comedy, and a broad one at that.

And all that may have actually mattered. Where the Simpson/Smith race got all the big money, and much of the initial attention, this was a tougher fight for Otter. (And Harley Brown got a higher percentage than presidential candidate Ralph Nader did in 2002.) Kootenai County appeared to prefer Fulcher, voting for him by 52.5 percent.

Otter will go against businessman A.J. Balukoff, who refused to fill out the NRA’s questionnaire.

As of 8 am this morning, here are the results, ordered by Brown’s nicknames for each of the candidates:

The Cowboy (Butch Otter): 79,383 (51. 3 percent)
The Curmudgeon: (Walt Bayes): 2,751 (1.8 percent)
The Biker (Harley Brown): 5,052 (3.3 percent)
The Normal Guy (Russ Fulcher): 67,514 (43 percent)

Idaho U.S. Rep. 2nd District

If there was any surprise in Idaho’s first district it wasn’t that Labrador handily defeated his four other opponents (and got six times as many votes as the top Democrat in the primary.) It was that Labrador was running for reelection at all. Many thought he might run against Butch Otter for Governor this year.

Last year, Labrador told the Inlander, and others, that he has considered running for Governor himself. Conservative blogger David Freddosso speculates that Labrador’s endorsement of Fulcher was a way for Labrador to shore up Tea Party support for the 2018 race.

Check out our profile of Raul Labrador here.

Raul Labrador: 56,214 (78.6 percent)
Sean Blackwell: 3,304 (4.6 percent)
Michael Greenway: 3,494 (4.9 percent)
Lisa Marie: 5,155 (7.2 percent)
Reed McCandless: 3,373 (4.7 percent)

Shirley Ringo: (81.8 percent)
Ryan Barone: 2,003 (18.2 percent)

Idaho US Rep. 2nd District

Before all the excitement of the Governor’s race all the attention turned to Idaho’s eastern district, where Mormon-Dentist-Congressman Rep. Mike Simpson faced off against Mormon-Lawyer-Beekeeper Bryan Smith.

At times, Simpson has been a more moderate Republican, one who voted for the bank bailout, supports the farm bill and predicted very early on that the government shutdown would backfire on Republicans. That moderation drew the ire of the anti-tax group Club for Growth, the patrons that helped Texas’s Ted Cruz cruise to victory. They threw about a half million into the race to defeat Simpson.

But that just attracted about an equal amount of money from the Republican Main Street Partnership, which has pledged to counter the Club for Growth group when ever it challenges moderate Republicans. Simpson has other supporters, too, mostly from business groups like the sugar industry and the Chamber of Commerce.

Outside groups ran wildly dishonest ads on both sides.

In debates, Simpson pointed the need to occasionally compromise to get get things done. Smith portrayed compromise as just another word for surrender.

But Smith was still the underdog. Simpson still had a huge financial advantage, defeating an incumbent is always tough, and the 2nd district of Idaho isn’t nearly as conservative as the 1st. And in late April, according to Time reporter Alex Altman, Club for Growth stopped investing in the race.

Ultimately, it wasn’t even a contest. The Associated Press called it early in the night for Simpson, echoing the defeat of most right-wing challengers to Republican incumbents throughout the nation.

Read our story on the Simpson/Smith race here.

Mike Simpson 48,257 (61.6 percent)
Bryan Smith 30,095 (38.4 percent)

U.S. Senate

This was another blowout, though perhaps not as big of a blowout people were expecting. Slate columnist Dave Weigel pointed to the race — where Jim Risch only got 80 percent against a “fringe primary challenger” as a counter to the National Republican Senatorial Committee gloating over the big victory of Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell. Anderson, a website developer who puts the T in quotes, promised not to use any signs or mailers during his campaign.

Jim Risch: 79.9 percent
Jeremy “T” Anderson: 21 percent

Nels Mitchell 16,801 (69.6 percent)
William Bryk 7,337 (30.4 percent)

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction

Now, if Tom Luna were in the race, we’d have something to really talk about. But after his major Students Come First proposals (laptops in the classroom, merit pay, and stripping power from teachers unions) were defeated, Luna opted not to run for reelection.

Still, the initial leader of the primary, Sherri Ybarra, the federal programs director and curriculum director at the Mountain Home School District, still managed to pull off one of the night’s big surprises.

She says she didn’t vote during the Nov. 2012 election when the Student Comes First referenda on the ballot. And in her interview with Idaho Education News, she was downright secretive about a lot of things. Ybarra says she’s supportive about the Common Core state standards, but a little more skeptical of the Smarter Balanced state standardized tests designed to fit those standards.

She’ll face Idaho Falls Democrat Jana Jones, and it could be a good fight. In 2006, Jones nearly beat Luna.

Coeur d’Alene may have elected a more moderate school board, but Kootenai County ended up voting for the most fiercely anti-Common-Core candidate, John Eynon.

Sherri Ybarra: 38,425 (28 percent)
Randy Jensen: 32,793 (24 percent)
John Eynon: 32,431 (24 percent)
Andrew Grover: 31,498 (23 percent)

Kootenai County

And here’s the other big surprise: Mary Souza, despite being easily trounced in last year’s Mayoral race, appears to have staged a surprise upset against John Goedde.

"The federal government has invaded Idaho through the state Obamacare exchange and the Common Core in our schools," Souza says in an audio ad that autoplays with dramatic music when you visit her website. “My opponent, Sen. John Goedde was a major supporter of both of these measures.”

Incumbent County Commissioner Todd Tondee also received a shellacking, getting beat by cabinet-maker and oil investor Marc Eberlein. (On his website, Eberlein condemns “backroom ‘deals’” and “spending, spending, spending with no accountability.”)

All the Kootenai County challengers backed by the moderate North Idaho Political Action Committee (slogan: “Reasonable Republicans”) didn’t make much of a dent.

Of course, with only 21 percent in Kootenai County, voter turnout wasn’t exactly stellar. Low turnout usually means the most passionate base wins.


Marc Eberlein: 6,038 (52 percent)
Todd Tondee: 3,813 (32.8 percent)
Tim Herzog: 1,767 (15 percent)

Mary Souza: 1,853 (53.9 percent)
John Goedde: (46.1 percent)

Bob Nonini: 2,461 (64.7 percent)
Patrick Whalen: 1,345 (35.3 percent)

Vito Barbieri: 3,253 (67.5 percent)
Fritz Wiedenhoff 1,568 (32.5 percent)

Eric Redman: 2,897 (61 percent)
Ed Morse: 1,849 (39 percent)

Ron Mendive: 2,408 (65.6 percent)
Terry Werner: 1,260 (34.4 percent)

Don Cheatham: 1,450 (41.6 percent)
Jeff Ward: 1,037 (29.7 percent)
Greg Gfeller: 1,000 (28.7 percent)

Lucas "Luke" Malek: 1,751 (52.7 percent)
Toby Schindelbeck: 1,571 (47.3 percent)

Kathleen Sims: 1,318 (61.2 percent)
Elmer "Rick" Currie: 1,318 (38.4 percent)

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Silver bullet from Seattle

Posted By on Thu, May 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM


One of the authors of the new $15 minimum wage that seems to be taking the West Side of our state by storm was in Spokane Wednesday, talking about how most of what we think we know about the economy is wrong, about the welfare queen that is Wal-Mart and about demand for soft, fluffy pillows.

Nick Hanauer shared his thoughts on income inequality to more than 100 people at the Davenport Hotel — ironically, pointed out event sponsor and local business owner Ron Reed, in the Marie Antoinette Room. Hanauer is a surprising messenger, since he’s a card-carrying member of the 1 percent, having helped the startup of Amazon.com, among many other successful businesses.

“I am the problem,” he said, “rich guys like me.”

Hanauer — a devoted capitalist and noted TED talker — worries that too much greed is shrinking the middle class and will spell doom for many American businesses, like our own Coldwater Creek, which recently closed. He talked about his family’s first business, Pacific Coast Feather — makers of fine pillows. He says business is tough right now because fewer people can afford a high-quality headrest. “Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, they just need one pillow,” he said. A healthy middle class, however, needs lots and lots of pillows.

Last June, after five years of working the issue, his silver-bullet solution was published in a story in Bloomberg News: The $15 minimum wage. Crazy. Insane. Un-American. That was the reaction among the usual Forbes/Wall Street Journal/Republican Party axis. But guess what? The City of Sea-Tac passed the idea into law, and Hanauer says it’s looking 95 percent likely the city of Seattle will do the same very soon.

With more money to spend, lower-wage workers can buy more pillows — and taxpayers can stop buying food stamps for workers at Wal-Mart, which pays their employees below a living wage and leaves it to all of us to fund the difference.

Bill Clinton used to say the best social program is a job, but in recent years, as the chasm between the rich and poor has become ridiculous, there’s been a pretty big caveat added to that sound-bite. A crappy, low-paying job creates even more social problems, but a well-paying job is, indeed, a very good social program.

In an expensive place to live like Seattle, that means $15 an hour; or, as Hanauer put it, “maybe $12 an hour here in Spokane.”

OK local progressives, a citywide $12 minimum wage: You have your mission, should you choose to accept it.

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Feds will continue protecting woodland caribou

Posted By on Thu, May 8, 2014 at 10:12 AM


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that the dwindling population of woodland caribou living in the mountains of northern Idaho, northeastern Washington and southern British Columbia need continued federal protection as a threatened species. Fewer than 100 of the caribou remain in the area; according to one estimate, there are just 27.

In 2012, amid much controversy about just how far the government should go to protect the caribou, Bonner County enlisted the help of a California-based nonprofit to petition for removing the small group of caribou from the Endangered Species List. The effort was driven by snowmobilers and others in North Idaho who argued the protection of public and private lands for the caribou has hurting business and creating an unfair burden on the area's private land owners. The Inlander published a cover story about this issue in April 2012, which you can read here.

From that story:

Only an estimated 1,850 remain in the world, just slightly more than the number of endangered pandas. Most of these reside further north in the Canadian Rockies, but a small subset — the Southern Selkirk herd — dwells in this border country. While estimates vary, the herd is thought to number about 40. Few people are familiar with the caribou. Fewer still have seen one.

But this creature has sparked lawsuits and court-ordered land closures. Now, a controversial federal plan to help save the species is provoking fears of economic decline, cries of “social engineering” and efforts to remove it from the Endangered Species List.

At the center of the debate is math: How do you calculate the value of an entire species?

This week's Fish and Wildlife decision finds that the caribou should not be de-listed but would make some changes to how they are listed. The protected caribou population would still include the previously protected herd that moves between Idaho, Washington and British Columbia, but would now add additional British Columbia caribou. That would expand the size of the group, so the agency would consider it threatened instead of endangered. Still, the decision wouldn't change the agency's recommendation that 30,000 acres be set aside as "critical habitat" for the caribou.

Read the full finding and submit comments here.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New climate report warns of severe impacts to Northwest

Posted By on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 11:44 AM


In the latest effort to make climate change relevant to an easily distracted public, a new National Climate Assessment released yesterday provides a dynamic and dire warning of consequences to come, including localized climate impacts for the Pacific Northwest and other geographic regions.

The new report includes animated visuals, infographics and easy navigation to help make the massive amounts of information easier to read and comprehend. More than 300 experts compiled the report under the guidance of the 60-member Federal Advisory Committee.

As heat-trapping gas emissions continue to increase, researchers expect the average annual temperature to increase by 3.3 to 9.7 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 60 to 80 years. Precipitation may also drop. Other changes will likely harm fisheries, agriculture and ocean-based industries.


“Northwest summers are already dry and although a 10% reduction (the average projected change for summer) is a small amount of precipitation, unusually dry summers have many noticeable consequences,” the report states, “including low streamflow … and greater extent of wildfires throughout the region.”

About 140,000 acres of coastal Washington and Oregon also lie within the 3.3 feet of high tide, leaving them vulnerable to rising sea projections. Those regions may also see increased erosion and flooding, endangering homes and public infrastructure along the coast.

Shellfish and other marine life also face severe risks from increased acidification of ocean waters caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide emissions. The Seattle Times has published exhaustive reports on the issue in its Sea Change investigative series.

Forests, and the timber industry, face the combined risks of increased wildfire compounded by increased insect damage. Climate changes could harm some species of trees, ultimately shifting the diversity and makeup of our forests.

The Inlander wrote about the dangers of climate change in late 2012, exploring the controversy and misinformation surrounding the topic.

Read more from the new report about the impacts and vulnerabilities of the Pacific Northwest region.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

MORNING BRIEFING: Bloomsday, a lime shortage and the circus

Posted By on Mon, May 5, 2014 at 10:20 AM


Spokane Police are investigating an accident that killed a man yesterday after he became trapped between a truck and a backhoe bucket. (KXLY)

Runners, check to see if you made it into any of our photos taken during Bloomsday yesterday. (Inlander)

Two Spokane girls fled up into a tree to get away from a man who attempted to abduct them on Saturday in Hillyard. (KREM)


Happy Cinco de Mayo! Unfortunately, a lime shortage after rain wiped out Mexico's crop means restaurants are now paying three times the average price, rising from $40 to $120, a case. (KING 5)

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel is stepping down, nearly five months after the retailer suffered from a massive credit card data breach. (Forbes)

Two Nigerian women have been arrested for protesting the Nigerian government's response to the mass kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls by Islamist group Boko Haram. (NYT)

Nine circus performers were injured during a Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus show in Rhode Island yesterday when an apparatus hanging from the ceiling fell during a stunt in which the women hung from their hair. (CNN)

The U.S. Supreme Court voted to uphold a ruling allowing city councils and public boards to open meetings with Christian prayer. (LA Times)

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Friday, May 2, 2014


Posted By on Fri, May 2, 2014 at 10:08 AM


Phoenix VA Health Care System Director Sharon Helman, former director at the Spokane VA, has been put on leave following the accusations that the Phoenix VA created a secret waiting list to hide wait times. (AP)

Sheriff's deputies narrowly prefer the guy who didn't push for a bill to make it more easier to fire them when they break the law. (SR)

Security measures, established after the Boston Marathon, will continue to be in effect at Bloomsday this year. (KREM)

Looks like it turned out the spiciest hot wing of all... was justice. (KXLY)


The jobless rate is falling. But so is the labor force. (NYT)

Turns out everything is not so hunky-dory in the Ukraine. (NYT)

Only a single Wall Streetster went to jail for the financial meltdown, but the New York Attorney General is still fighting against the finance industry, focusing on high frequency trading. (The Wire)


The new Call of Duty trailer features Kevin Spacey as, basically, A Somehow Less Subtle Frank Underwood, whose monologue starts sounding out like Rand Paul and then very quickly dips more into a mustache-twirling Thomas Hobbes territory. You'll finish the $70 game in five hours and then go back to playing Team Fortress 2.

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Christmas Tree Recycling @ University High School

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