NEWS BRIEFS: PRIDE Prep to close

Plus, Ecology is testing more wells for PFAS; and there's a congressional debate next week

click to enlarge NEWS BRIEFS: PRIDE Prep to close
Young Kwak photo
Spokane is losing a public charter middle school.

Spokane is about to have one less alternative school for its students. On May 6, the PRIDE public charter school district's Board of Directors made the decision to eliminate the district's middle school, PRIDE Prep, starting in the 2024-25 school year. That leaves Innovation High School as the charter district's sole school. "These last two years of under-enrollment have exhausted our resources despite two and a half years of robust efforts to rebuild," the school's CEO Paige Albrecht stated via email. PRIDE Prep had about 215 students registered for the 2022-23 school year, according to OSPI enrollment data. That was down from more than 300 students enrolled in 2020-21. Students in sixth and seventh grade will need to find a new school to attend next year, but eighth grade students can continue with the district. (COLTON RASANEN)


With the first round of results in hand from private well testing on the eastern portion of the West Plains, the Washington state Department of Ecology is offering even more testing in the area. Of the 307 private wells tested with help from the federal Environmental Protection Agency this spring, 56% showed PFAS levels higher than drinking water standards. Now, up to another 125 private well owners can sign up before June 18 to receive free PFAS testing. The tests are looking to detect the so-called "forever chemicals" found in firefighting foam that was used at both Spokane International Airport and Fairchild Air Force Base. The opportunity will close either when all the spots are filled or when June 18 rolls around, whichever happens first. As of last Friday, 72 spots had already been taken. The expanded testing boundaries now include the area south of I-90 to Thorpe Road and east to U.S. Route 195. Eligible homeowners can sign up at (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL)


The Inlander is teaming up with high school students and other local media outlets for a Primary Election debate between the candidates running to represent Eastern Washington's 5th Congressional District. The debate is open to the public and will be held at 7 pm on June 4 in North Central High School's central theater. It will be recorded and broadcast by Spokane Public Radio. Spokesman Review reporter Emry Dinman and I will be moderating along with two North Central students. We'll ask the candidates questions submitted by students. Six Republicans and five Democrats are running for the position being vacated by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican who has held the seat since 2004. To qualify for North Central's debate, candidates need to have raised at least $10,000 and/or received major endorsements from established political entities. (NATE SANFORD) ♦

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