Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 3:24 PM

The Office of Police Ombudsman Commission meets tonight at 7 pm in City Council chambers to discuss whether or not to hire one of the three final candidates. 

The Commission has a few options: 

1. Pick one of the three candidates. To read more about each candidate, click here. We took a more in-depth look at one of the candidates, Allen Huggins. To read that report, click here. The Spokesman-Review did the same thing for candidate Robert Breeden. To read that report, click here

The third candidate's resume is available here.

2. Decide that they need more information on each candidate. Commission chair Deb Conklin says that might mean sending someone to one of or each of the respective cities to do a more thorough background investigation. We wrote about what Conklin says are the inadequacies of the selection process earlier this month. 

3. Tell the search committee to start over, send three more names. 

Stay tuned, we'll update this post after the meeting. 

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Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 2:20 PM

Anyone worth their weight in celluloid knows that October 21, 2015, was the date that Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future II to help his future son stay out of trouble. And of course he effed things up royally by trying to buy a sports almanac and take it back to pre-Draft Kings 1985 to rake in some sweet cash for Jeeps and amplifiers and stuff. But I digress.

In honor of our Official Arrival into the Future, we would like to invite you to the next installment of our Suds and Cinema Series on, of course, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, when we'll be showing, of course, Back to the Future II at the Bing Crosby Theater. The doors open at 6 pm, at which point we'll be pouring beers from No-Li Brewhouse, the event's chosen local brewery, and at 7:30 we'll get the flick rolling.

I'll just cut to the chase that we will not have any hoverboards on hand, mostly because science has failed us, leaving  the only existing hoverboards in the hands of rappers.

But to make up for that shortcoming we will, however, have a DeLorean on hand! You can take your picture with it, too!

Sadly, this DeLorean is not of the flying variety that Back to the Future II promised us because, again, science has failed to catch up with the imagination of the late 1980s.

Come dressed as your favorite BTTF character (from any film in the trilogy) and you'll have the chance to win a flux capacitor for your car.

We'll see you on the 21st. Here's the official Facebook invite with even more details.

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Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 1:20 PM

click to enlarge Matthias Wilson's walk in the park led to a job at Rockwood Bakery. - KAILEE HAONG
Kailee Haong
Matthias Wilson's walk in the park led to a job at Rockwood Bakery.

Rockwood Bakery
, across the street from Manito Park, is located in a row of houses on the South Hill. If it weren’t for the cars lining the streets surrounding the bakery, you might drive past it without even knowing. The bakery and coffee shop has been around for some time now, and is a perfect place to stop on the way to or from the park. 

Though 21-year-old barista Matthias Wilson has only been working at Rockwood for eight months, he’s been in the coffee business for nearly three years. When he’s not studying exercise science at Eastern Washington University, you might find him at Rockwood Bakery.

INLANDER: How did you end up at Rockwood Bakery?
WILSON: It stood out to me one day because I was going on a walk around Manito. A lot of our customers, they’ll get coffee and go to Manito, and so I did that. I went to the garden first and then came here afterwards. I saw a bakery sign on the street right here and I thought I’d check it out, and I stayed for a bit, and I kept coming back. I knew somebody who worked here and she ended up giving me the job.

Do you have any jobs aside from being a barista?

I have two other jobs. I work at the Blackbird, I’m a busboy there. I also work at World Relief. I’m the healthcare intern, and I did that all summer and I asked to stay on for the fall. With them, I do home visits with a ton of different cultures and I promote hygiene and make sure that they’re using the right soap for the right task and promote healthy habits. I also take people to their doctor’s appointments. Myself and my boss apply people for healthcare and we walk them through the medical screening in order for them to get their green card.

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Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 12:08 PM

Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip? Email me at

You know what tomorrow is? No, not Thursday. Well, it’s that, too. But it’s also the first day you can legally buy recreational marijuana in Oregon.

Although recreational marijuana has been legal in the state since July, there’s been no way to legally purchase it. But beginning Oct. 1, some medical marijuana dispensaries will begin selling it for recreational purposes. Prices for a gram will range between $12 and $20.

However, a map put together by The Oregonian shows there are no places to buy in Eastern Oregon.


Someone is arrested for marijuana possession every minute in the U.S., according to analysis of FBI data.

Don’t mail weed to your grandma’s house.

KHQ has a story about how it’s still illegal to drive stoned, a fact that some people are unaware of.

If marijuana falls from the sky into your family’s carport, is it an act of God or just drug smugglers?

A tribe in South Dakota plans on opening a marijuana resort on its reservation.

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Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 10:42 AM

New documents reveal that Monique Cotton, a police spokeswoman who transferred out of the department under foggy circumstances, clashed with a police captain and lieutenant who complained that she didn’t report damage to her city-owned car quickly enough and doctored a document regarding media responsibilities.

In May, Cotton was suddenly transferred to the parks department to handle communication duties. The administration of Mayor David Condon has given shifting explanations for why Cotton was transferred. Originally, City Administrator Theresa Sanders told the Spokesman-Review that Cotton was given a near $10,000 raise to take a non-union job in parks.

“It’s mostly an enticement. I was bringing her into an uncertain environment,” Sanders told the paper, noting earlier that Cotton is not protected by a union.
click to enlarge Monique Cotton
Monique Cotton

Last week, Condon acknowledged to the Inlander that the raise wasn’t an enticement, but was part of a step increase and to compensate her for additional management and marketing duties. Sanders also told the Spokesman-Review that she was unaware of any issues between Cotton and police Chief Frank Straub, who abruptly resigned last week after the Lieutenants and Captains Association complained about his abrasive leadership style.

However, documents obtained by the Inlander through a public records request show that officers in the police force had raised issues concerning Cotton’s integrity, which were later deemed unfounded by the city’s Human Resources department.

“The complaints were fully investigated and determined to be baseless,” Cotton told the Inlander via text message. “They are unfortunate symptoms of the unhealthy work dynamic of select members of SPD’s senior leadership.”

In February of last year, Lt. Dave McCabe, president of the Lieutenants and Captains Association, brought a complaint to the city’s Human Resources department on behalf of Lt. Joe Walker and Capt. Dan Torok. The complaint alleged that Cotton has been “untruthful in official internal matters,” falsified work-related records and engaged in work-related dishonesty.

The allegations centered on whether Cotton reported “very minor damage” to the driver’s door of her city-owned car in a timely manner and falsified the precise date she reported the damage. Torok also alleged that Cotton had modified a document regarding the duties for officers assigned to media responsibilities. Specifically, Torok complained that Cotton modified when a public information officer or communications director would be expected to respond to a scene.

Both of the allegations were deemed unfounded by city HR. But the report notes that Torok brought up during the HR investigation that Cotton, or another public information officer, should have responded to a shooting incident in the Garland District that occurred in February of last year. The report states that Cotton had been in contact with a police captain and sent out media releases but had not been at the scene. Torok suggested, in the original complaint, that Cotton modified the media responsibilities document so that she wouldn't have to respond to incidents like the Garland District shooting.

“The investigator is concerned that this complaint of alleged policy violations concerning documentation was also used to express the opinion or disagreement of Capt. Torok that proper procedure was not followed during the [Garland District] incident,” reads the HR report, which goes on to state, “It is overwhelmingly evident from the complaint document and witness statements that there are underlying issues between Lt. Walker, Capt. Torok and Ms. Cotton.”

After the investigation concluded on March 6 of last year, McCabe sent a letter to HR expressing that the Spokane Police Lieutenants and Captains Association was “disappointed” with the investigation, noting a lack of witnesses interviewed and that no computer forensics had been utilized. McCabe also wrote that the department Internal Affairs Unit should have handled the investigation rather than HR.

The letter states that Walker explained to Heather Lowe, the city’s HR director, “that concerns from him and others about Ms. Cotton’s integrity had been brought to the Chief’s attention last year, but it appeared that nothing had been done about them.”

“Capt. Torok and Lt. Walker both expressed a concern to me that they may suffer retaliation as a result of making these complaints,” reads the letter, which also notes that a commissioned police employee recently resigned after an internal investigation.

“We believe that the manner in which this case was handled establishes a double standard for employees accused of untruthfulness in their official capacity,” reads the letter. “Commissioned and civilian employees in the past were investigated by Internal Affairs and disciplined for sustained allegations. Now, it appears that civilians or, at least civilian Directors, accused of the same allegations, will have their cases assigned to HR for investigation as a ‘personnel matter’ instead of being subject to SPD Policies and Procedures like the rest of the Department’s employees.”

Pick up a copy of this week's Inlander to read more about Chief Straub's forced resignation and what it means for Mayor David Condon.

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Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 9:34 AM

Most power has been restored following an outage affecting more than 30,000 in Spokane area.

When many people were still asleep in their beds this morning, a car hit a transmission pole around 4 am, causing a power outage to more than 30,000 people. Now, according to Avista Utilities, that number is down to mere hundreds. (Spokesman-Review)

Spokane Valley is going ahead with plans for a new City Hall.
The Spokane Valley City Council has unanimously decided on the conceptual design of a new City Hall building — a project costing $14.4 million. The three-story, energy-efficient structure will be built at Sprague and Dartmouth on the northwest corner of the former University City Shopping Mall. (KXLY)

Twitter is considering doing away with its 140-character limit.
Long-winded people rejoice! Twitter is apparently aflutter working out a format that would allow users to share content longer than 140 characters, according to technology news service Re/code. This would also change how the limit is measured. For example links would no longer be part of the word count.
click to enlarge Pope Francis met with Kim Davis last week.
Pope Francis met with Kim Davis last week.

Russia begins airstrikes on Syria.
After all of this United Nations chatter, Russian President Putin has decided to go after ISIS his own way. Washington, of course, criticized the airstrikes, warning it brings added risks to Syria.

Turns out Pope Francis met with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis.
During his first visit to America last week, the pope met with the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk, who, after refusing to grant same-sex couples marriage licenses, was put behind bars for five days. Davis is reported as saying that Pope Francis thanked her for her courage and told her to stay strong.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 12:31 PM

Don and Julia Derosier / Space Hero Mission

Who hasn't fantasized what it would be like to pop on a space suit and explore the farthest uncharted realms of the universe? Live out your childhood (or adult) dreams of boarding a space ship to Mars or the next undiscovered galaxy through a fun new arts project based in Spokane: Space Hero Mission

The brainchild of recent Inland Northwest transplants and professional photographers Don and Julia Derosier, the ongoing project is one of the many featured endeavors at this Friday's Terrain 8 (read more about this year's event in the new issue of the Inlander).

A few weeks ago the couple launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund an upcoming Northwest tour of the replica Apollo 11 space suit and their artwork to let more people across the region have a chance to be photographed in it. The campaign closes early Saturday morning, with a final push for donations happening during Terrain.

The $3,000 campaign would fund travel expenses for the couple, who plan to wind throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Western Montana later this year, letting campaign backers who donate $100 or more pose for a session in the space suit. The Derosiers also plan to donate 10 percent of proceeds from the campaign to local refugee resettlement nonprofit, World Relief Spokane. 

"The biggest reason we're doing [the Kickstarter] is to spread awareness and exposure. Even if we don't make it, we're going to try and and connect with people who donated and see if we could work something out," Don Derosier explains.

So far, the space suit has traveled with the couple on trips to Australia, Fiji and Hawaii.

"On our down time we like to do personal projects and this was something new and awesome. We love being creative and we find this is a great way to push our limits and to think of something that no one else has really done before," Derosier says. "We really like this particular space suit — it's iconic for American culture. It's the one people remember and that's why we chose it."

Don and Julia Derosier / Space Hero Mission

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Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 10:15 AM

Before "binge-watching" was a thing, there was The X-Files, arguably a show that would have benefitted greatly from things like Netflix or DVRs, had they been available during its fitful run between 1993 and 2002 on Fox. 

The mashup of alien investigations and government conspiracy theories — along with a little "will they or won't they" romantic tension between FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson); they eventually "did," at least for a little while — made the show must-see TV for dedicated fans. Sadly, the show's constant bouncing around the Fox schedule made it hard to keep up with what the agents and regulars like The Smoking Man, the Lone Gunmen and the agents' ally/boss Skinner were up to. Wikipedia has a decent summary of the show's characters and conspiracies, for the uninitiated. 

A couple of feature films have pushed the story along, but X-Files nerds truly rejoiced when it was announced that Fox was bringing the show back for a six-episode season this January, with series creator Chris Carter on board as producer and writer. Yesterday,  a couple of trailers hit the Internet, teasing the new season.

The first is a two-parter:  
And the second is a shorter version:   

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Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 9:26 AM

In Case you missed it from the Inlander:
- Spokane police shooting justified in case of a speeding stalker in a Monte Carlo
- Graying farms raise worry for agriculture

Sorry tea lovers, it’s National Coffee Day today.
Here are some of the places around the area serving up free or near-free java in celebration. (KHQ)

A Stevens County man killed his half-brother with an arrow.
When deputies arrived on the scene Monday afternoon, Brian Brodie, of Chewelah, was bleeding heavily from an apparent arrow wound. At that time, Brodie was not responsive. His half-brother Raymond Rudd was then taken into custody. (KREM)

The Mariners hire a new general manager.
Not to say this will ease any of the team’s troubles, but the new GM Jerry Dipoto (fresh from the Angels) does fit the “young, analytical, computer-nerd type’’ bill that the franchise’s ownership was looking for. (Seattle Times)

Volkswagen is trying to clear the air and its name.
After its diesel-emissions cheating scandal, the car company is prepared to refit all of the affected cars with updated engine software, which is as many as 11 million cars. Not helping their plight: airbag recalls.

Trevor Noah’s version of The Daily Show debuted last night.
And it didn’t go terrible. 

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 4:32 PM

The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office will not file charges against Officer Michael Roberge for shooting at a fleeing suspect last November. 

Roberge fired four rounds at Joseph Hensz, hitting him once, as he drove past the officer in a red Monte Carlo. Hensz was treated and released from Sacred Heart Medical Center and is currently serving time in Geiger Corrections Center.

Earlier that afternoon, police responded to a domestic stalking call in north central Spokane, where Hensz had been allegedly circling his ex-girlfriend's residence, according to the prosecutor's news release. Hensz evaded police in a high speed chase. 

Roberge and his partner, Officer Amy Woodyard, caught up with Hensz later that evening as he sped past them at more than 100 miles per hour, according to court documents. Roberge bumped his car into the right rear end of the Monte Carlo, causing both vehicles to stop. Hensz ignored orders to get out of the car, instead revving the engine and accelerating toward the officers. Roberge fired at Hensz as he passed. 

Investigators found three bullets inside the car along with a clear baggie containing white powder, the Spokesman-Review reported in 2014. Roberge was wearing a body camera, but it was not turned on.

Police spokeswoman Teresa Fuller says the Administrative Review Panel will now conduct an internal investigation and make a recommendation on any violation of policy and procedure to the chief if necessary. 

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Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 16
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