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  • Ups and Downs
  • Ups and Downs

    A trapped inmate didn’t consume the breakfast cart, but officials are losing their appetite for constant elevator repairs.
      Spokane County budgets $50,000 a year for elevator repairs at the courthouse complex.Continuing malfunctions of the elevators in the Spokane County Jail are nothing to laugh at, but they did spark a f
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  • Jail Mail
  • Jail Mail

    A new mail policy at the county jail has inmates fuming.
      “He needs that connection,” says Connie Sullivan, who exchanged letters, documents and clipped magazine articles with her son in a near-constant stream of correspondence. “He doesn’t need to sit there and fester and listen to everybody else. He needs somebody that’s outside that realm right now.
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  • The (Finally) Fightin' Fifth
  • The (Finally) Fightin' Fifth

    Sheriff Knezovich wants to revive rehabilitation programs at Geiger. Plus, Cathy McMorris Rodgers gets a Dem challenger.
      “I said we needed $350,000 to $600,000 so we can keep all these programs intact,” Knezovich says he told county commissioners. Last year, the commissioners called for an across-the-board cut to every county department. “No one stepped up. … Everyone says.
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  • The Sheriff and His Jail
  • The Sheriff and His Jail

    A recent round of layoffs prompted by a low jail population has many people wondering why a new, larger jail is necessary.
      Two weeks ago, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich announced a round of layoffs at both the downtown jail and Geiger Corrections Center in Airway Heights. The hit was big: 57 jail employees would lose their jobs.
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  • Asylum at the Jail
  • Asylum at the Jail

    As the county debates where to expand the jail, others wonder why the jail is the second-largest mental health institution in the state
      Three-East in the Spokane County Jail: Men in dark jumpsuits and pink socks hang around, sitting at tables, clustered in corners and glued to the bank of six phones, their connection to the outside. I
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  • Change or Die
  • Change or Die

    As Spokane County has become more urban, its government has been given a choice: Reform or go under.
      Is it the commissioners, who must make the hard decisions on what to cut? Is it Tim Eyman, who was successful in convincing voters eight years ago to put a cap on property taxes, a major source of revenue for all counties?
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  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • Anatomy of a Murder

    How $23 in gas and an overcrowded jail cost Chris Rentz his life.
      What had begun as a perfectly normal summer morning would end as Chris Rentz’s last day of freedom, with an unpaid tank of gas landing him in a cell in the Spokane County Jail. Two months later,
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