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The Year That Was... 2015 

click to enlarge Mayor David Condon - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Mayor David Condon

Working his way to the top of the charts, Bruno Mars helps "UPTOWN FUNK!" us up, Star Wars kicks off a new trilogy with THE FORCE AWAKENS and the nation gets to see bootstrap journalism in action with eventual Best Picture winner SPOTLIGHT. Terrorists kill 12 people in the offices of Paris-based publication CHARLIE HEBDO and simultaneous terror attacks in the city later in the year kill 130. A Supreme Court decision allows SAME-SEX MARRIAGE throughout the nation, the image of a dead 3-year-old refugee on a Turkish beach raises calls around the world to help those fleeing VIOLENCE IN SYRIA and 195 countries come together to sign the PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD and commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

LIFE ON THE RAILS

For years Chuck Lawrence rode the rails all around the country, seeing mountains, desert and the Pacific Ocean along the way. But the risky train hopping caught up to him as he drunkenly hopped a train he thought was headed for Minnesota and instead found himself bound for Spokane. After sudden braking tosses him from the train, it "rips off his leg just above the knee," and lands him in an area hospital, where he tells writer Mitch Ryals his story.

INLANDER HISTORIES, VOLUME 2

The Inlander releases the second volume of its published histories of some of the main figures and events that shaped the Inland Northwest into what it is today. On Dec. 3, readers get a preview of the book with E.J. Iannelli's piece on how steamboats powered expansion into the region.

click to enlarge The May 14 issue | COVER ILLUSTRATION BY Chris Bovey
  • The May 14 issue | COVER ILLUSTRATION BY Chris Bovey

ODDS AND ENDS

Earlier in the year, writer Laura Johnson showed how small Spokane businesses had been hit with big fines from three major companies that own rights to thousands of popular songs. They gave the businesses the ultimatum to either cough up dough for offering their songs or see them in court. They'd have to pay to play the copyrighted music.

THE PEOPLE WE MET

Only after the November election did the extent of issues with then-Police Chief Frank Straub start to become clear, with MAYOR DAVID CONDON being called on to explain why the city hadn't released details of sexual harassment alleged by a former spokeswoman for the department earlier.

And readers in September got a taste of the worst jobs INLANDER STAFFERS ever held, from reviewing bank account information as a loss prevention employee, to scrubbing dirty college apartments, to bagging and hauling sacks of grain, the writers detailed their nitty gritty labors.

The original print version of this article was headlined "THE YEAR THAT WAS... 2015"

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