Cherry Pitfalls

Cherry Pitfalls

Why fruit is rotting on trees while workers wait at the border
Cherries ripen all at once, and the window to harvest them before they turn to a mushy mess is mere days. And this year in Washington — the nation's top cherry producer — the succulent, shiny red orbs were dangling in the June sunshine two weeks ahead of schedule.

The Real Threats

What worries Spokane's sheriff; plus, Washington's lawmakers finally hash out a budget
WAR ON POLICE? Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is worried about VIOLENT EXTREMISTS, not police militarization, he told the crowd of over 300 mostly Republican community members gathered at Central Valley High School Monday night.

Party of Five?

Why Spokane County's newest commissioner is leading the fight to add two more
It's a rare thing for politicians, at any level, to stand up and advocate for their power to be diluted. But that, in a sense, is what Spokane County Commissioner Shelly O'Quinn is doing.

Running Dry

How Wild Waters slid from the top water park in the Inland Northwest to an abandoned ruin
The sun bakes the concrete roof of the La Quinta hotel in Coeur d'Alene, where 19-year-old maintenance worker LJ Waldvogel is standing, looking down on the Wild Waters water park below. Nostalgia floods past.

Elson Floyd's Final Year

WSU president leaves behind a strong vision for the school's future
On Saturday, Washington State University President Elson Floyd died from complications related to colon cancer. For even those who worked closely with him, it came as a surprise.

You Got Frenched!

Al French scuttles Todd Mielke's bid for county CEO; plus, a shoplifting death in Coeur d'Alene
Is there a second? Few people in Spokane have more negative things to say about County Commissioner Al French than former County Commissioner Bonnie Mager.

Privacy vs. Public Trials

Why a man convicted of first-degree murder in 2006 could get a new day in court
In 2006, Ben Burkey was sentenced to 69 years in prison for his role in a brutal killing in Spokane County. He and James Tesch, both part of the Gypsy Jokers motorcycle gang, had gotten word that a man named Rick Tiwater was a police informant and aimed to confirm that rumor.

Drilling Into the Future

When he gets done drilling for oil, rocket scientist Mark Russell wants to tap geothermal energy
Rocket scientist Mark Russell sees a future where humans harness the earth's energy to travel the cosmos. "Human beings will eventually be a space-faring people," says Russell.

Toxic Tokes?

The cannabis industry seeks regulations allowing more pesticides; others say that's a problem
Boris Gorodnitsky, a veteran pot grower of 12 years, remembers the time he had to fill garbage bags full of marijuana and throw them into the landfill. His crop had been reduced to a mushy, brown paste by a mold infection, leaving him with no choice but to toss it out, effectively doing the same with all the money he had invested in it.

The Real Rachel Dolezal

The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
Rachel Dolezal didn't become a leading voice on racial issues in the Inland Northwest by accident. She fought for it.

The Power of Money

Election season — namely, fundraising — has begun; plus, another inmate dies at the Spokane County Jail
MONEY RACE As ELECTION SEASON continues to come into full bloom, money is rapidly flowing into one race for Spokane City Council.

Care in Crisis

Why did seven psych ward doctors quit their jobs at Sacred Heart?
Last week, the entire staff of seven psychiatric doctors submitted resignation notices at Providence's Sacred Heart Medical Center, a locked, 48-bed inpatient psychiatric unit that treats adult patients battling acute bouts of mental illness. Sacred Heart is the place the police call when someone poses an imminent threat to themselves or others and needs to be involuntarily committed.

Waiting For Their Place

Rapid Re-Housing programs still mean months of homelessness for many local families
Angela Friedrich has lost count of all the places she and her children have spent the night in the past year. There have been couches, shelters and the motor home where it was so cold she could see her own breath.

Bumps in the Road

Condon and Stuckart get together on business incentives; plus, questions swirl around Mielke's bid for county CEO
HELP NEEDED? The Spokane City Council filed an amendment to the municipal code Wednesday that would allow council members to bypass the POLICE OMBUDSMAN selection committee in the hiring process for an interim ombudsman.

The Unsheltered Life

How do you give homes to those few who don't want them?
Earlier this month, Mayor David Condon stood before reporters to deliver some good news. The final numbers from a count in January of people without permanent housing had been finalized, showing that the number of homeless was 1,033, a 10 percent decrease from last year.

'What Are You Reporting?'

Spokane County needs 911 operators. Warning: The job demands focus and has been shown to lead to PTSD
Marci Prettyman's phone rings all day long. Some of her conversations last only a few seconds, some can take a several minutes, but all are urgent.


Recent Comments

  • Re: Running Dry

    • The locals should help out. If they want. It to come back to life they…

    • on June 29, 2015
  • Re: Running Dry

    • I think they should re open it and have it open in the winter as…

    • on June 29, 2015
  • Re: Running Dry

    • *jump builders in the summer

    • on June 29, 2015
  • Re: Running Dry

    • Take out the slides, bring in snow machines for the winter, jump builders in the…

    • on June 29, 2015
  • Re: You Got Frenched!

    • A druggie in CDA was YET AGAIN robbing and/or stealing from INNOCENT people or businesses…

    • on June 29, 2015
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  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015
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    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
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