Pin It
Favorite

A Place Holder 

The Spokane City Council wants an interim police ombudsman; plus, Idaho drops testing requirements for 2017 grads

click to enlarge The Spokane City Council led by Council President Ben Stuckart hopes to improve how future police ombudsmen candidates are found.
  • The Spokane City Council led by Council President Ben Stuckart hopes to improve how future police ombudsmen candidates are found.

IN THE INTERIM

The Spokane City Council passed an ordinance on Monday aimed at fixing what's widely acknowledged as a flaw of the city's police oversight system: It's been without a police OMBUDSMAN for nearly a year after Tim Burns' resignation, and there is no clear mechanism to install an interim ombudsman.

The new ordinance, which would create a process to appoint an interim ombudsman should the position become vacant, passed unanimously, but it first needs to be negotiated with the Spokane Police Guild before it can be fully implemented. Negotiations with the Guild aren't expected to begin until next year.

"So we've been without a police ombudsman, and it laid bare a pretty big flaw in our ordinance, which is that we don't have a good way to ensure there's an interim police ombudsman should there be a sudden vacancy in the position," said Councilman Jon Snyder, the sponsor of the ordinance, at the council meeting.

In May, the city council passed a resolution calling on the Ombudsman Selection Committee to send the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, which oversees the office, a list of three candidates that could be used to build a pool of interim candidates. However, the resolution went largely ignored.

Under the ordinance, the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, within 45 days of receiving notice of vacancy, would be required to form a five-member selection committee. The committee — comprised of representatives from the police unions, the city council, the mayor and the commission — would then find three to five individuals who could fill in as ombudsman for up to six months. (JAKE THOMAS)

FREE PASS

In Idaho, unlike in Washington state, the only way to opt out of the state's Smarter Balanced tests is to disenroll entirely from the public school system.

Yet Idaho has been much quicker to waive the tests from its graduation requirements. At an Idaho State School Board meeting on Monday, the board unanimously voted to waive all SMARTER BALANCED test requirements for the Class of 2017 — this year's juniors.

State Board President Don Soltman says one issue was that the Smarter Balanced tests assumed that students were 11th graders. But Idaho offers its state tests in ninth and 10th grades. As a result, the state has had to offer a customized Smarter Balanced test or risk testing their students on material they've never been taught.

"We didn't think it was fair," Soltman says.

The waiver follows decisions in October to waive the Smarter Balanced graduation requirement for sophomores, and to not require freshmen to take the test at all this year. Still, the discussion over testing isn't over yet. "We're going to devote most of next Wednesday's board workshop to the topic of testing," Soltman says.

With a growing opposition to standardized testing, the discussions at the Idaho board have lit upon more radical ideas, like replacing the Smarter Balanced test entirely. "There's a field of expertise out there that says we could do just as well with, let's say, the SAT," Soltman says. (DANIEL WALTERS)

ABDUCTED AND FOUND

A woman was found walking along Highway 53 on Nov. 25 in KOOTENAI COUNTY bound in duct tape. The 25-year-old from Washington was abducted from Broadway Foods in Spokane, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. She was taken to near Rathdrum and was physically assaulted by three people, authorities say.

Three suspects, all from Coeur d'Alene, were identified as Travis Anderson, 27, Angela Frisby, 37, and Lilly Johnson, 19. Anderson had previously been charged with attempted strangulation and Frisby with battery. Johnson did not have a criminal record.

The abducted woman escaped the same day she was taken after the three suspects left. Several people stopped to help when she was seen on the highway near Hidden Valley Road.

Frisby was found in Post Falls that same day. The other two were arrested the following day in Coeur d'Alene. All three have been charged with first degree kidnapping and aggravated assault, according to officials. (QUINN WESTERN)

Tags: ,

  • Pin It

Speaking of Briefs

  • No License to Kill
  • No License to Kill

    Task force says officers should be held responsible for police shootings; plus, state auditor clears Spokane Valley firing of city manager
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Big Blue Shakeup
  • Big Blue Shakeup

    Spokane's new police chief raises eyebrows; plus, WSU suspension news
    • Nov 23, 2016
  • A Clash of Values
  • A Clash of Values

    A Washington Supreme Court case pits the state's anti-discrimination law against religious beliefs; plus, the Spokane City Council on sick leave
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • More »

Latest in News

  • In Defense of Refugees
  • In Defense of Refugees

    In the aftermath of the presidential election, local residents seek ways to love and support their refugee friends
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • No License to Kill
  • No License to Kill

    Task force says officers should be held responsible for police shootings; plus, state auditor clears Spokane Valley firing of city manager
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Trumped-up Education
  • Trumped-up Education

    Could the President-elect's support of school choice trickle down to Spokane?
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Country Christmas Show Vintage Sale

Country Christmas Show Vintage Sale @ Moran Prairie Grange

Sat., Dec. 3 and Sun., Dec. 4

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Daniel Walters

More by Jake Thomas

  • WASHINGTON STATE INITIATIVES
  • WASHINGTON STATE INITIATIVES

    Breaking down some of the issues you'll get to vote on this year
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Ground Down
  • Ground Down

    The two candidates vying to oversee Washington's Department of Natural Resources have drawn different sources of support and criticism
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • Taking a Complement
  • Taking a Complement

    A group of health care providers in Spokane hopes therapies outside the American norm can enter the mainstream
    • Oct 3, 2016
  • More »

More by Quinn Western

Most Commented On

  • Unfinished Business

    Isaiah Wall wants to get his life on track. But first, he's gotta buy drugs for the police
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • The Scourge of Fake News

    Made-up news stories played a role in the presidential election: Who's to blame?
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


election 2016


Readers also liked…

  • Signs of the Times
  • Signs of the Times

    Can Spokane really curb the demand side of the sex trade?
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • The Contenders
  • The Contenders

    Candidates have filed to run for office in Spokane. Here's what's at stake
    • May 20, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation