Wednesday, October 11, 2017

FILM: What's hitting movie theaters on Friday

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 11:46 AM

Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan in The Foreigner.
  • Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan in The Foreigner.

We're in that weird limbo between blockbuster season and Academy Award season, when most of the films hitting screens are mostly genre exercises and probably-not-Oscar-worthy odds and ends. This week's cinematic offerings including a couple of biopics, a dark Jackie Chan vehicle, and a teen slasher movie just in time for Friday the 13th.

DOLORES (at the Magic Lantern)
A documentary about the life of civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, best known for founding California labor unions in the 1950s and ’60s alongside César Chávez. Huerta, still active at 87, discusses adversity and gender inequality; other interviewees include Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem and Angela Davis. Not rated.

Jackie Chan is an immigrant restaurateur whose daughter is killed in a terrorist bombing, and he seeks revenge on the people responsible for the attack. It's an OK action-drama, says Seth Sommerfeld in his 2½-star review, but its tone is inconsistent and its moral compass is all out of whack: "Seeing Chan back in action delivers a decent supply of thrills, but ultimately The Foreigner tops out as a decent run-of-the-mill action flick with the real fun swapped out for an attempt at gravitas." Rated R.

A slasher version of Groundhog Day (or Edge of Tomorrow), wherein a popular college girl is offed by a masked killer, wakes up that same morning alive and well, then gets killed all over again. The only thing that will end the cycle: She needs to uncover the murderer’s identity. Rated PG-13.

Biopic veteran Chadwick Boseman (42, Get on Up) stars as Thurgood Marshall, the Supreme Court’s first African-American justice, who's assigned to represent a black chauffeur accused of raping a white woman in 1941. Rated PG-13.

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NorCal wine country torched, former Empire player slain, U.S. men Cup-less, morning headlines

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 9:21 AM


NEWS: Washington's auditor says the state needs to do a better job verifying self-reported incomes for Medicaid recipients, or risk losing $110 million by 2020.

NEWS: A South Korean lawmaker claims North Korean hackers stole a cache of classified military documents — reportedly containing U.S.-South Korean plans for a "decapitation" strike against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un —from the South. (via New York Times)

NEWS: Continuing his ongoing public feud with the National Football League, President Trump threatened the NFL and attacked African-American ESPN host Jemele Hill, who previously referred to Trump as a "white supremacist." (via New York Times)


'Devastation' in NorCal wine country

Firefighters in Northern California's wine country continue battling to halt the march of wind-whipped, fast-moving wildfires that now cover 170,000 acres and have claimed at least 21 lives — with more than 500 people missing in Sonoma County alone — incinerated more than 2,000 structures, and forced thousands to evacuate. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• Santa Rosa blaze: How a sudden firestorm caused devastation in the Sonoma County city of 175,000. (San Jose Mercury-News)
Apocalyptic images from wine country reveal total destruction. (Washington Post)
• An updated list of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino county wineries that have burned. (SFC)

Former Empire player killed downtown
Former Spokane Empire wide receiver Carl Sims, making a catch in a 2016 game, was shot and killed downtown on Sunday night. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak photo
  • Former Spokane Empire wide receiver Carl Sims, making a catch in a 2016 game, was shot and killed downtown on Sunday night.

Carl Sims, a wide receiver for the Indoor Football League's Spokane Empire for parts of the past two seasons, was shot and killed early Sunday morning in front of the Monterey Cafe. Sims, 31, was an IFL veteran who played in all nine of the league's seasons with eight different teams. (Spokesman-Review)

Spokane: No place for hate
Police charged two Spokane men, one with a "White Power" tattoo, with first-degree assault and malicious harassment yesterday; Jason Cooper, 32, and Donald Prichard, 36, are accused of punching a 66-year-old African-American man in the face and firing several rounds of bullets into his North Spokane house on Sunday night. (Spokesman-Review)

That's a Corker
Who's the most liberated man in D.C. these days? That would be Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker, who's not running for re-election and is finally free to speak his mind on President Trump and — in his view — the White House's ongoing reign of error. (Boston Globe)
• Corker's 12 most damning quotes regarding Trump. (CNN)
• Trump's Twitter war with Corker is threatening his legislative agenda. (New York Times)
• The president is blaming Corker for the "failed" Iran nuclear deal. (New York Times)

Rexit: Just a matter of time
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reached the breaking point regarding his fraught relationship with President Trump, writes the New Yorker's Dexter Filkins.
• Trump, stung by news reports that Tillerson referred to him as a 'f—-ing moron," has proposed an IQ-test competition with his Secretary of State. (GQ, Washington Post)
• Filkins — who won a Pulitzer for his coverage of the war in Afghanistan — on rising tensions between Trump and Tillerson and the looming threat of war in North Korea. (NPR)

Would you want to go to Russia?
The U.S. men's national soccer team, which had qualified for the previous seven World Cups, won't be in Russia next June and July for an eighth, missing the globe's biggest tournament for the first time since 1986. Needing only a draw to qualify, the Americans were upended 2-1 at Trinidad and Tobago,  a tiny, twin-island nation of 1.3 million off the coast of Venezuela, and a last-place team the U.S. had beaten without drama four months ago. Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl calls it the most embarrassing failure in U.S. soccer history.
• How the U.S. men missed the World Cup, minute by minute. (New York Times)
• The U.S. men failing to make the World Cup is a disaster for Fox Sports. (Sports Illustrated)
• With a 12th consecutive World Cup berth on the line, Lionel Messi's hat trick vs. Ecuador led 2014 runner-up Argentina to qualification. (Sports Illustrated)
World Cup 2018: 23 of the 32 teams have now qualified; who's in (Iceland, Panama), who's out (Chile, the Netherlands), and who still has to play their way in (Italy, Ireland).
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Audit: Washington needs to verify Medicaid incomes sooner or risk losing $110 million by 2020

Posted By on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 1:02 PM

A backlog created by more people signing up for Medicaid insurance coverage has meant that people who weren't actually eligible for coverage received it for an average of five months before their income was verified by a state agency, according to a recent report by the Washington State Auditor.

A performance audit of Washington's Health Care Authority found that the state could save millions by verifying self-reported income levels sooner, and booting those who don't qualify off the free coverage faster, but it will take more staff members to do so.

Part of the reason a backlog was created is that when Medicaid coverage was expanded to more low-income people under the Affordable Care Act in 2014, the state authority did not hire a proportional number of additional employees to help verify income, according to the report. While the state expected that another 237,000 adults would enroll that year, the state actually saw an additional 511,000 sign up.

This June, the state had a backlog of 112,000 cases to verify, the audit reports, and for fiscal year 2017, "HCA purchased about $15 million to $19 million in state-funded benefits for people who ultimately did not qualify, which could have been avoided with adequate staffing."

Some verification processes have already been improved, and should decrease the backlog of cases, according to the audit, but it could take four years to get through all current cases.

But if the Legislature were to approve additional verification employees starting next summer, as the audit recommends, the state could get through the backlog by spring of 2019 and save $13 million, even after the costs of paying for the new employees.

"Unless [HCA] hires 30 more verification staff and additional managers to supervise them, HCA will spend an estimated $110.2 million more on Medicaid benefits for people with ineligible incomes for the two years ending June 2020," the audit found.

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Google discovers Russian-bought ads, Northern California ravaged by wildfires, morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 9:25 AM


NEWS: Yesterday was either Columbus Day or, depending on where you were, Indigenous Peoples' Day. Here's a list of local cities that have made the switch.

NEWS: A student at Lake City High School was threatened on social media for refusing to send a nude photo, according to Coeur d'Alene Public Schools.

NEWS: The state Supreme Court, examining cases from Spokane County, ruled 5-4 that judges can restrict people from consuming drugs and alcohol, but can't give a pee test without suspicion.

SPORTS: Red Sox rookie third baseman Rafael Devers, just 20 years old, brings to mind memories of the youngest baseball-playing Brett brother, Ken.


Woman charged with vehicular homicide for Safeway crash
Brittney Moen, the 24-year-old woman who allegedly ran over three people on the sidewalk near a North Spokane Safeway on Sunday morning, was drunk at the time of the crash, court documents say. One man was killed; he has not yet been identified. (KREM)

Free speech
A federal judge has ruled that the Spokane Transit Authority violated the First Amendment when it refused to allow an ad from the union that represents its own bus drivers. (Spokesman-Review)

A mother's concern

Parents in the Mead School District are calling for the district to review its bullying and harassment policy after a student sent one parent's daughter a picture of a gun with the caption, "this would look nice next to your guys' heads." (KXLY)

California inferno

Wildfires in Northern California have now killed 11 people and burned 100,000 acres. Officials hope the winds will lessen, allowing firefighters to get a handle on the fires. (Los Angeles Times)

Fake news, comrade
Google has found evidence that Russian operatives used its platforms to try and spread disinformation and interfere with the 2016 election, sources tell the Washington Post. The company discovered that tens of thousands of dollars were spend on ads by Russian agents.

Weinstein's accusers speak out
The New York Times broke the story last week that film producer Harvey Weinstein was accused multiple times of sexual harassment; the women are now sharing their harrowing accounts of sexual assault and harassment with the New Yorker.
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Monday, October 9, 2017

Here's who has made the switch from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 3:02 PM

Depending on where you're reading this from, today's lack of parking enforcement and U.S. Postal Service presence is either in recognition of a federal holiday celebrating someone dubiously credited with discovering America, or is an updated recognition of the people who were there before 1492.

Christopher Columbus did sail across the Atlantic multiple times, though he didn't even set foot on the North American continent (he landed in the Caribbean, and Central and South America). It's clear he wasn't discovering the land, as there were already people on the islands and shores where he did arrive, not to mention that Norse explorer Leif Erikson sailed to Canada hundreds of years earlier (today is also considered Leif Erikson Day).

In recent years, city governments around the country 
  • Wellcome Collection photo
and in Washington state have felt compelled to recognize that actually, there were people here well before that. Many of them have dropped Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples' Day or Native American Day, honoring the people who were already there, and whose lives were often destroyed after increased contact with Europeans.

The pattern of dropping Columbus doesn't sit well with everyone: Italian Americans have spoken out against moves to drop the celebration, as the eventual federal holiday was initially started as a celebration of Italian-American culture and the 300th anniversary of Columbus' first sailing.

Here's a list of PNW cities that have made the switch:

Moscow: Just last week, the Moscow City Council voted to be the first city in Idaho to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day in lieu of Columbus Day.

Spokane: The city celebrated its first Indigenous Peoples' Day in 2016.

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Devers' clouts for the Red Sox bring back memories of a Brett brother

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Rafael Devers
, the 20-year-old Red Sox rookie third baseman who belted a two-run homer Sunday as Boston (temporarily) stayed alive in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against Houston, then hit an inside-the-park solo homer in the ninth inning of today's series-clinching Game 4, is the third-youngest Red Sox player to appear in the postseason.

The youngest? Ken Brett, the second of the four 
baseball-playing Brett brothers — John, Ken, Bobby and George — who pitched for the Red Sox in the 1967 World Series, tossing 1⅓ innings of scoreless relief against the St. Louis Cardinals, and at age 19 became the youngest player to pitch in a World Series game.

George, the youngest Brett brother, is a first-ballot Hall of Fame third baseman who spent his entire 21-year career with the Kansas City Royals. You might be more familiar with Bobby as a longtime Spokane resident and owner of the Spokane Indians and Spokane Chiefs.

Ken, a first-round pick out of El Segundo (California) High School in 1966, less than 10 months before making his major-league debut in the middle of a torrid, four-team American League pennant race, pitched in relief in Games 4 and 7 of the World Series vs. St. Louis.

Known as "Kemer," Brett was far from a flash in the pan, pitching three more seasons in Boston and playing for the Brewers, Phillies, Pirates, Yankees, White Sox, Angels, Twins, Dodgers and Royals over the course of a 14-year major league career; he was George's teammate in Kansas City for the final two seasons.

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MONDAY MORNING PLACEKICKER: Cougs pass first road test, Gubrud's arm rallies Eagles, Pirates keelhauled

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 11:56 AM

Washington State stayed unbeaten and took another step toward a potentially epic Apple Cup, Eastern showed what it's made of — in a good way — for the fourth straight week, Idaho came up short in its conference home opener, and Whitworth was blindsided at home by a team it had never lost to. The Seahawks? They're back in first place, thanks to their defense. Your Monday Morning Placekicker:

A swarming, relentless Cougars defense held Oregon's high-powered attack to just 10 points at Autzen Stadium. - WSU ATHLETICS
  • WSU Athletics
  • A swarming, relentless Cougars defense held Oregon's high-powered attack to just 10 points at Autzen Stadium.


Washington State's defense pitched a second-half shutout and the Cougars' attack wore down Oregon's defense as WSU — now ranked No. 8 in the new AP Top 25 poll —  stayed unbeaten through its first six games and moved to 3-0 in the Pac-12, pulling away from the Ducks 33-10 on Saturday night at Autzen Stadium.

The Cougs, who weren't fazed by their first trip away from Pullman, have beaten Oregon for three consecutive years for the first time since winning four straight under Jim Walden from 1981-84. WSU quarterback Luke Falk continued his assault on the record books, completing 24 of 42 passes for 282 yards and all three of the Cougs' touchdowns, and moved ahead of former Ducks Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota for second-place all-time in the Pac-12 with his 106th career TD. Erik Powell kicked four field goals, including a career-high 52-yarder midway through the second quarter that gave WSU the lead for good. The Cougs' tour through the Pac stays on the road; they travel to Berkeley on Friday night to face Cal.

Gage Gubrud strafed UC Davis defenders for 452 yards and six TDs and rallied Eastern from a late 11-point deficit. - EWU ATHLETICS
  • EWU Athletics
  • Gage Gubrud strafed UC Davis defenders for 452 yards and six TDs and rallied Eastern from a late 11-point deficit.


Trailing 31-20 early in the fourth quarter, No. 10 Eastern Washington stormed back behind three Gage Gubrud touchdown passes, then held off a last-minute rally to stun UC Davis 41-38 Saturday night in Davis, California.

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Divided state Supreme Court says Spokane judge's pre-conviction restrictions are unconstitutional

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 10:44 AM

Retired Spokane County District Court Judge Greg Tripp - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak photo
  • Retired Spokane County District Court Judge Greg Tripp

How much can a judge infringe on the rights of a person accused, but not yet convicted, of a crime?

According to a divided Washington State Supreme Court, that line is drawn in urine.

The state's high court examined three 2015 DUI cases from Spokane County, and in a 5-4 decision, ruled that judges can restrict people from consuming drugs and alcohol, but cannot require "suspicionless urinalysis testing" to ensure compliance.

In 2015, Chris Cooper, Cortney Blomstrom and Brooke Button were charged in separate cases with driving under the influence. Neither Cooper nor Blomstrom had been convicted of a DUI or any drug- or alcohol-related offense, according to court documents. Button, whose 2015 charge involved suspicion of marijuana intoxication, was convicted of a DUI in 2009 in Idaho, court records show.

In each case, Spokane County District Court Judge Greg Tripp, who recently retired, imposed random monthly urinalysis testing as a condition of release before trial. The state Supreme Court says that condition is too intrusive for people who are considered innocent in the eyes of the law and is a violation of state Constitution's guarantee of privacy.

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CdA police: Female Lake City High School student threatened to be shot for refusing to send nude photo

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 10:11 AM

A student at Lake City High School was threatened on social media after she refused to send a nude photo to someone, according to Coeur d'Alene Public Schools.

The anonymous suspect threatened to shoot the 
girl at school today if she didn't send the photo, according to a news release. The district says the suspect "deliberately chose social media apps that would hide his/her identity."

Police were notified of the threat last night and are trying to find the suspect. Meanwhile, there are additional police officers at nearby schools, including Lake City.

"We will remain visible and diligent all day," says Deanne Clifford, Lake City High School principal. "Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our students."

The district says it takes any threat "very seriously," and that students could face disciplinary action and be charged with a crime for engaging in such behavior. Clifford says she is available to meet with parents who have concerns Monday.

As the Inlander wrote about this week, area schools have seen an increase in reported threats to students in the last month, following a shooting at Freeman High School last month that killed one student and injured three others.

Anyone with information related to the threat is encouraged to contact the Coeur d'Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320 or
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EPA will roll back Clean Power Plan, Columbia River salmon nets come up empty, morning headlines

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 9:20 AM


NEWS: Spokane's district court judges are ready to pick up extra work after the retirement of Judge Gregory Tripp, in order to meet budget cuts requested by the county commissioners. The move would in part prevent someone being appointed to the seat, leaving it up for an open election next year.

NEWS: While the city works to reduce pollution entering the Spokane River, Spokane Mayor David Condon is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to rethink strict PCB guidelines put in place after much of the current planning for city improvements was done.

NEWS: Emails — from real people —  mostly have encouraged Spokane Public Schools to adopt a sex ed curriculum developed by Planned Parenthood.


Car hits several people in North Spokane, killing one
The Spokesman-Review's Jonathan Glover reports that a a silver sedan crashed into a group of pedestrians, killing one and injuring two others early Sunday morning outside of a Subway near the Safeway on North Market Street.

Clean Power Plan? You're fired!
In other EPA news, agency head Scott Pruitt announced plans to roll back the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which limits greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and is meant to push companies away from using coal, the New York Times reports.

Columbia River salmon numbers so low, some survey nets come up empty
"We have never hauled that net through the water looking for salmon or forage fish and not gotten a single salmon. Three times we pulled that net up, and there was not a thing in it. We looked at each other, like, 'This is really different than anything we have ever seen,'" David Huff, with NOAA Fisheries, tells the Seattle Times' Linda Mapes.

DACA: Deal or no deal?
  • Oregon Bureau of Land Management photo

The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration has made several demands in immigration policy negotiations to keep Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients in the country, including building a wall on the Mexican border and cracking down on "sanctuary cities" by reducing the amount of federal grant money they receive.
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