Something For Everyone
The Spokane City Council voted on a new name for the PLAZA next to City Hall this week but escaped having to actually play favorites among the three suggested names — and then some.
The plaza will soon be called "The Spokane Tribal Gathering Place" and the Salish word "Snt'el'?eminttn," meaning "The place where salmon is prepared." The city will also look into naming different landmarks after the other finalists.
Earlier this year, the city planned to name the new plaza after city founding father James Glover, but questions about the way he treated his wife derailed that plan. So, the city solicited public suggestions and three possible names ended up at the council: John Moyer, an ob-gyn and former state senator; King Cole, the "father of Expo '74"; and "The Gathering Place." Others continued to call for honoring Som Jordan, a local musician and writer who died last year.
Now, the city will start the process of naming the Post Street Bridge after Moyer, creating a memorial for Cole in Riverfront Park and naming a stage and annual music festival in the plaza or park after Jordan. The timeline for all three efforts remains unclear. (HEIDI GROOVER)
Reward Offered in Shooting
Anonymous tip service Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest has now offered a reward for information on the fatal shooting of 26-year-old ZACHARY LAMB, a restaurant worker killed outside his South Hill home on Nov. 7, as police continue to seek a suspect in the case.
Spokane investigators say the unidentified shooter followed Lamb home and opened fire at him near the intersection of Elm Street and 10th Avenue shortly after midnight. Lamb's friends describe him as outgoing and hardworking. He had learned a few days earlier that his girlfriend was pregnant.
The suspect, who remains at large, is described as a white male in his 40s with a gravelly voice, driving a dark SUV with a roof rack that extends about a foot over the windshield of the vehicle. Investigators ask witnesses to come forward with any suspicious sightings from around that time and location.
Crime Stoppers provides cash rewards to anonymous tipsters on unsolved cases. A board typically evaluates tips and awards an undisclosed amount of money up to $1,000. Tips on the case can be submitted at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or at crimestoppersinlandnorthwest.org. (JACOB JONES)
Another Bumpy Start
For the second time, technical problems on the health insurance exchange website mired the first day of OPEN ENROLLMENT in Washington state. On Saturday morning, officials were forced to shut down Washington Healthplanfinder two hours after the website launched in order to repair a software glitch that was miscalculating 2015 tax credits.
Fewer than 800 customers were affected, according to Washington Health Benefit Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka in a statement, including almost 150 customers who had already scheduled their payments. The glitch, which was fixed overnight, involved inaccurate credit tax information from the state's Department of Social and Health Services eligibility service system, Onizuka said. The site was open for the business Sunday morning.
Despite Saturday's problems, more than 5,000 people visited Washington Healthplanfinder during the first weekend of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. In Idaho, meanwhile, the new state-based exchange reported almost 13,000 visitors and zero technical issues.
Last year, technical difficulties forced officials to take down the Washington exchange website shortly after it went live. Users continued to experience problems into the second day of open enrollment. (DEANNA PAN)