Friday, June 17, 2016

Oregon vs. oil, Iraqi military victory, Sanders stays and stories to end your week

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 9:22 AM

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ON INLANDER

InHealth:
Depression, kids and money issues at the Red Cross
ARTS & CULTURE: Bazaar is just one success Terrain has to celebrate on Saturday

IN OTHER NEWS

Oregon officials want oil trains out of Columbia Gorge
Leaders in the state's Department of Transportation, citing safety concerns, are asking the feds to halt the transport of oil trains in the Colombia Gorge.

British lawmaker shot; suspect in custody
Jo Cox, a member of the UK Parliament, was stabbed and shot by a man who, according to reports, had ties to white supremacist and apartheid groups. 

Diplomats dissent
Fifty U.S. State Department diplomats have signed on to a memo that faults the Obama administration for not taking military action in Syria. 

Iraqi troops retake city from ISIS
The military of Iraq says it's entered Fallujah, a city 40 miles west of the country's capital that's been held by the Islamic State for two years. 

Sanders still not dropping out
Vermont Senator and presidential contender Bernie Sanders gave a speech to supporters last night where he stopped short of dropping out of the race.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

InHealth: Depression, kids and money issues at the Red Cross

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 2:52 PM

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Depression Meds and Kids

As of April 2014, more than two million kids 17 and under were taking antidepressants in the United States. A study published this week in The Lancet found little evidence to support the use of anti-depressants in children and teens. The research team examined more than 30 published studies, encompassing more than 5,000 kids. Fluoxetine (Prozac) was the lone drug intervention that seemed to show benefits greater than a placebo, although the research team noted the depressingly poor quality of the published research with problems including, but not limited to, lack of access to patient data, poor methodology and selective reporting.

Read more here

Talking it Out
So what is the best option for kids with major depression? Psychotherapy. Something that can be really hard to find if you are a parent with a struggling kid in the Inland Northwest. Read about the challenges facing kids dealing with depression and other mental health issues in “Overwhelming Need” in the June/July InHealth.

"Everyone gets sent to the emergency room," says Dr. Christian Rocholl, who works in pediatric emergency services at Sacred Heart. To him, this constitutes a "health care crisis.”

Read the whole story here.

Red-faced at the Red Cross
Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley released a year-long investigation into the Red Cross response to the 2010 devastating earthquake in Haiti.

“The most important thing (from the report) is an unwillingness to level with the people about exactly where the money went,” Grassley said in the interview. “There’s too many questions in regard to how the money was spent in Haiti that it gives me cause to wonder about money being donated for other national disasters.”

“One of the reasons they don’t want to answer the questions is it’s very embarrassing,” Grassley added.

Read coverage of the investigation here
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Teen hit by deputy, Straub lawsuit dismissed, Senate gun filibuster and more

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 9:12 AM


ON INLANDER.COM 

• A federal judge dismissed former police Chief Frank Straub's claims that his due process rights were violated when he was canned by the city. There's some debate over whether Straub was fired or resigned. Judge Thomas relied on a signed letter of resignation from Straub for his ruling. Straub's attorney said she plans to appeal.

Here it is. Everything you could ever want to do this summer. THE SUMMER GUIDE!

• Read what Spokane is reading this summer. For the 15th year, the Lilac City suggests some summertime literature: The Tsar of Love and Techno, by Anthony Marra. 

IN OTHER NEWS: 

Holyk's hat was found in the middle of the intersection where he was hit by a deputy's speeding vehicle, 20 feet from where he fell. - MITCH RYALS PHOTO
  • Mitch Ryals Photo
  • Holyk's hat was found in the middle of the intersection where he was hit by a deputy's speeding vehicle, 20 feet from where he fell.
• An independent forensic investigator says Spokane Valley teen Ryan Holyk was clearly hit by Deputy Joe Bodman's police vehicle in 2014. His findings are in direct contradiction to four previous investigations including two by law enforcement. (Spokesman-Review)

• Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) seized control of the Senate floor Wednesday, demanding majority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.) hold votes on amendments to an annual appropriations bill seeking to tighten guns laws. Holding the votes are typically a "matter of routine." McConnell finally agreed after a 15-hour filibuster.

Watch highlights from the filibuster below: 

• A female cyclist in North Spokane was killed when she lost control of her bike and was struck by a pickup truck. The woman's name and age have not yet been released. According to news reports, the driver was not intoxicated and is cooperating with law enforcement. The driver is not facing criminal charges at this point. (KREM)

• Authorities recovered the body of a two-year-old boy who was dragged into a man-made lake by an alligator. The boy is deceased. Authorities are searching for the alligator. 

• Did Jesus have a wife?!? 
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

[UPDATED] Sheriff's Office admits deputy's SUV hit Spokane Valley teen Ryan Holyk

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 4:16 PM

Ryan Holyk was wearing this hat the night he was hit by Deputy Joe Bodman's SUV - MITCH RYALS PHOTO
  • Mitch Ryals photo
  • Ryan Holyk was wearing this hat the night he was hit by Deputy Joe Bodman's SUV

UPDATED (6/16/16, 2 pm)

After taking a second look, independent forensic accident analyst Jarrod Carter determined that his initial conclusions into the 2014 death of Spokane Valley teen Ryan Holyk were wrong, contradicting two law enforcement investigations and the conclusion of the sheriff’s citizen review board.

Originally Carter, who was appointed by the Sheriff's Office, and local law enforcement determined that Deputy Joe Bodman's police SUV missed hitting Holyk, and that he died of head injuries sustained by falling head first into the pavement. Now, Carter has identified an imprint of a snapback hat on the deputy's driver side bumper matching the hat Holyk wore that night. The imprint, coupled with Holyk’s DNA found in the same spot, indicates the vehicle clearly struck the teenager, Carter determined.

Holyk’s family has filed a civil suit against the Sheriff’s Office that is set for trial in August. Asked about the status of the suit during a news conference yesterday, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said it’s more important that the public know the truth. However, he said it is still to be determined whether or not Bodman is at fault.

“Had Holyk stayed on the bike, this wouldn’t have happened,” Knezovich says.

That night, Bodman was driving at least 70 mph without emergency lights or a siren en route to assist another deputy. Immediately after Bodman drove through the intersection, he radioed to dispatch: “I hit a pedestrian.”

He would say the same thing to a fellow officer, adding that he heard his vehicle hit Holyk — statements he would contradict later that same evening and in the two years since the accident.

Holyk was riding his bike with a friend and crossed into the intersection at Sprague Avenue and Vista Road against a red light. He was also not wearing a helmet. Despite the fact that Holyk’s DNA was found on the vehicle’s bumper, both law enforcement investigations, the citizen’s review board and Carter’s original conclusions determined the SUV did not hit Holyk.

• “Ultimately, this incident would not have occurred if Ryan Holyk had stopped at the intersection and avoided crossing against the red light and DON’T WALK signal,” Carter wrote in his initial report.

• “This collision can be contributed to the driving actions of Ryan Holyk,” Spokane Police Sgt. Michael Carr wrote in his investigation.

• “There is no transfer of evidence between unites, nor is there any [transfer] from Holyk to the [police vehicle]. The injuries he sustained included hand, arm and head trauma consistent with impacting the pavement in a forward motion,” wrote Washington State Patrol Det. Sgt. Jerry Cooper.

Mike Maurer, the attorney who is representing Holyk’s family in the civil lawsuit, has continually pointed to the presence of a “significant” amount of DNA found on the bumper as proof of a collision between the vehicle and Holyk.

“This accident happened because Deputy Bodman chose to drive down a city street at 70 mph without lights and siren,” Maurer says, adding that the sheriff’s suggestion that Holyk is still at fault is “repulsive.”

As for the sheriff's citizen review board, they came out with their conclusions last month. Leading up to the release of their report, the board faced scrutiny from local police oversight advocates, who said the board lacked autonomy and acted as a rubber stamp for the Sheriff's Office's investigations. 

In May, the board ultimately concluded that the deputy missed hitting Holyk, pointing to a conclusions by forensic video analyst Grant Fredericks and other investigations. 

Following Carter's most recent conclusion, board member Bob West still defended Bodman. 

"It hasn't been mentioned there was a second car," West says, referring to the pickup truck driving on the far left side of the road at the same time Bodman hit Holyk. "So if [Holyk] was turning around the other way, he wasn't trying to avoid the police car. He was trying to avoid the second car, and that needs to be brought out. 

Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell says his office will be reviewing the case in light of the new findings. Bodman could be charged with vehicular homicide, Haskell said yesterday. Currently, Bodman is on active duty. He was issued a letter of reprimand following an internal investigation last year. 

"For the sheriff to say now that that they've just learned of this evidence is completely ludicrous," Maurer says. "This was not  uncovered by their expert. We've been saying this for months and months and months." 

Maurer said he has not yet been presented with a settlement offer.
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Judge dismisses former police chief's million-dollar lawsuit against the city of Spokane

Posted By and on Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 1:39 PM

Mayor Condon and former Chief Straub
  • Mayor Condon and former Chief Straub

The chance of the city of Spokane shelling out $4 million to pay a former police chief accused of sexual harassment just got a lot smaller.

The horde of attorneys — representing the city of Spokane, Mayor David Condon, City Attorney Nancy Isserlis and City Administrator Theresa Sanders — won a major victory in court this morning in their defense against former police Chief Frank Straub. 

Federal Chief Judge Thomas Rice ruled that Straub's due process rights were not violated when the city severed ties with its former police chief last September. In doing so, Rice dismissed Straub's lawsuit against the city, Condon, Sanders and Isserlis. 

Rice cited a signed letter of resignation from Straub as the basis for his dismissal, finding that because he voluntarily resigned, there was no constitutional violation. 

In order to prove a constitutional due process violation, Straub had to prove three things, says Michael McMahon, who represented the city. First, that something bad was said about him. Second, that bad statement had to be false, and third he had to be fired. 

Straub's attorney, Mary Schultz, said although she respects the judge's decision, she disagrees. She argued that Straub was not given a choice but to sign the resignation letter. 

"The problem with the ruling today is that [the judge] made a finding of what happened, and that's ultimately the jury's role," Schultz said after the ruling. "So it doesn't end here."

The resignation letter was signed on Oct. 6, 2015, two weeks after his resignation had been announced. Straub added a note stipulating that the letter "does not waive prior claims per letters and communications of my counsel." 

One basis for Straub's claim were letters from police command staff to the City Attorney's office accusing Straub of "emotional outbursts," "personal attacks," "threats regarding employment," "retaliation" and "degradation of character," among other things. Those letters, which are labeled as attorney-client privileged communications, were handed out to reporters last September when Straub's ouster was first announced.

After the hearing, Schultz called the release of those letters "hypocritical" considering the city's refusal to release certain attorney-client privileged information to Kris Cappel, a former federal prosecutor who is investigating whether the city handled the disputed resignation appropriately. 

"Here they are refusing to participate in an investigation with their own investigators on the basis of attorney-client privilege, yet the whole genesis of this claim is them sending out attorney-client privilege letters to the public," Schultz said. 

She added she plans to appeal the case to the Ninth Circuit. 

You can read Straub's resignation letter below: 


Straub Resignation



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Trump proposes gun control, accuses vets of corruption and other unsurprising news of the day

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 9:36 AM

Trump still supports the right of all Americans to own pantomimed guns, even if they're on the terror watch list
  • Trump still supports the right of all Americans to own pantomimed guns, even if they're on the terror watch list

ON INLANDER.COM 


My Name is Earle. Her Name is Colvin
Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle are going to be folkin' up Spokane in August.

To Forgive, Divine
• Councilwoman Karen Stratton still feels hurt that David Condon endorsed her opponent in last year's election. Can they put all that stuff behind them to work together

Spokane Valley has a new Police Chief 

• Sadly, it is not Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich in a Groucho Glasses disguise. 

HERE

To Protect and Misallocate
• Stellar story by Patrick Erickson of KHQ finds there's still dirt left to dredge up in the Straub case. Former Director of Business Services Carly Cortright, in an interview with Heather Lowe of Human Resources, says that Straub spent seizure money for inappropriate purposes.  (KHQ)

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle bringing their new folk duo to Spokane in August

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 3:45 PM

Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle have joined forces for a new folk duo, and come to Spokane in August.
  • Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle have joined forces for a new folk duo, and come to Spokane in August.

A powerful duet can set one's soul on edge, the intermingling of voices capable of transcending the power a solo artist is able to find on his or her own. 

Two immensely talented folk artists, Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle, are joining up this summer to release a new album of duets called, appropriately, Colvin & Earle, and they're heading out on the road to support it with an acoustic tour that stops in Spokane in August.

Colvin and Earle will play the Bing Crosby Theater on Wednesday, Aug. 24, and tickets are $47 and $57. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 am through TicketsWest outlets.  

You can hear a little sample of what they sound like together right here: 
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Can Councilwoman Karen Stratton forgive the mayor for endorsing her opponent?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 3:15 PM

Mayor David Condon waving signs for Councilwoman Karen Stratton's opponent on October 27, 2015 - VERDUIN CAMPAIGN PHOTO
  • Verduin campaign photo
  • Mayor David Condon waving signs for Councilwoman Karen Stratton's opponent on October 27, 2015

About a year has passed since the campaign began gearing up for last year's city council election. Yet for at least one candidate, a wound left over from the race still hasn't healed. 

In this case, it's a candidate who won. 

"As far as my relationship with the mayor, one does not exist. I don’t have a relationship with him," Councilmember Karen Stratton says. "The mayor made it very clear during the election when he supported and worked for my opponent, he did not have confidence in me... It crushed my spirit a little bit. I was very, very disappointed."

Last week, we described the rift between the mayor and City Council President Ben Stuckart. But the division between Stratton and the mayor is a much deeper one. 

It wasn't a surprise last year that Condon endorsed Stratton's opponent, Evan Verduin. Stratton leans liberal, while the mayor and Verduin lean conservative. He also endorsed LaVerne Biel, who lost to Councilwoman Lori Kinnear, and four years earlier, endorsed councilmen Mike Allen and Steve Salvatori. 

Continue reading »

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Spokane Valley has named its new police chief

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 2:36 PM

New Spokane Valley police chief Mark Werner - COURTESY SPOKANE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy Spokane County Sheriff's Office
  • New Spokane Valley police chief Mark Werner

Months after Spokane Valley Police Chief Rick VanLeuven announced his retirement, the city has chosen his replacement.

Spokane County Sheriff's Office Patrol Commander Captain Mark Werner will take over the job as Spokane Valley Police Chief, the city announced Tuesday.

The city contracts with the county for police services. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich earlier this month chose three candidates for the job, including Werner. Each candidate was interviewed by two teams. One of those teams included acting City Manager Mark Calhoun and community leaders, and the other was made up of city department heads. Calhoun, per Spokane Valley code, then chose Werner based on those interviews.

Continue reading »

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Orlando shooting, ISIS killing in France, WA escaped murderer and morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 9:20 AM


ON INLANDER.COM
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ARTS & CULTURE: If you're looking for a good read this summer, check out the 15th annual Spokane is Reading selection: The Tsar of Love and Techno, by Anthony Marra. 

IN OTHER NEWS: 

Orlando shooting
The Spokane City Council yesterday said they stand with the local Muslim community following the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. (KXLY)

Meanwhile, more details are coming out about Omar Mateen, the man who carried the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Mateen touted support for the Islamic State, but also other militant factions that are their enemies. In addition to the 49 people he killed in the attacks, a doctor is saying that six people wounded in the nightclub are "critically ill," and five are in "guarded" condition. (Associated Press)

French attack
A Frenchman who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State stabbed a police commander outside his home and killed his partner who also works for the police. He also posted a video on the scene onto Facebook before it was taken down. The couple's three-year-old son was unharmed after police commandos killed the attacker. (Reuters)

Trump's ban
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump repeated his call for a ban on migrants from any part of the world "with a proven history of terrorism" against the U.S., without distinguishing between mainstream Muslims and Islamist terrorists. Hillary Clinton argued that "inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric" makes the country less safe. (New York Times)

Net neutrality win
A federal appeals court voted 2-1 on new rules for internet providers that will force providers such as Verizon and Comcast to obey federal regulations that ban them from blocking or slowing internet traffic for consumers — a victory for regulators in the fight for net neutrality. (Washington Post)

Murderer escapes 
One of the youngest murder defendants to be charged as an adult in Washington state history has escaped from custody, according to Yakima Police. Jake Lee Eakin, who is now 25, was convicted of murder in 2005 and sentenced to 14 years in prison for stabbing a 13-year-old to death in 2003, when Eakin was 12. (Associated Press)
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