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The Year That Was... 2016 

25 Years of the Inlander

click to enlarge Craig Ehlo - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Craig Ehlo

Remember back in the olden days of 2016 when a brash real estate tycoon named Donald Trump decided to run for the presidency and everyone laughed and laughed and laughed? It was a time when Hillary Clinton was sure to be president and La La Land was sure to go on to win the Academy Awards.

In Spokane, meanwhile, much of the year was dominated by an independent investigation into how Mayor David Condon handled allegations of sexual harassment against his former police chief.


Spokane, thankfully, isn't a dangerous city for people. But it's long been a dangerous city for people's stuff. We took a dive into the many problems that gave Washington state one of the worst property crime rates in the nation. In particular, we pointed out that Washington was one of the only states that didn't supervise property-crime felons after they left prison.

Two years later and the Legislature still hasn't made any meaningful progress to fixing the problem.

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There's more to the Spokane culinary scene, it turns out, than Pig Out In the Park. With our 2016 Dining Out special section we taught our readers how to build the perfect meal from our fine dining establishments. But nothing quite captures the frugal-but-hungry spirit of Spokane like our Cheap Eats guide to great dining deals. We organized our 2016 Cheap Eats section not by neighborhood or country of origin, but by how you ate each food, like hands, forks, chopsticks and even — back before they were considered evil — straws.


The Inlander got some flack from both sides over its cover, "The Unlikeables," over the suggestion that neither Trump and Hillary were beloved by the American people. But it holds up — both still have rock-bottom favorability ratings. We were still caught relatively flat-footed over Trump's victory, ensuring our Hillary-becomes-the-first-female-president essay would never see the light of day.

We ended the year, meanwhile, not on email or Russia scandals, but on Spokane's own brand of historical scandals, writing about everything from sleazy city founders to the city's parking garage debacle.


We told the postgame story of local basketball legend Craig Ehlo, who struggled with painkiller addiction for years before finding some light at the end of the tunnel. Similarly, we followed bounty hunters Scott Gribble and Steve Krause as they searched for criminal suspects who've jumped bail. But maybe our most heartbreaking story was that of Isaiah Wall, a 19-year-old kid who, evidence suggests, was pressured into becoming an informant for the Idaho State Patrol. Eleven days later, he was dead.

The original print version of this article was headlined "THE YEAR THAT WAS... 2016"

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