NEWS: Andy Rathbun has dropped out of the 2019 Spokane mayoral race. But a quirk in a campaign finance law passed by the Spokane City Council in 2017 means that his brief tenure as a candidate for mayor could let the remaining candidates spend more money in the race.
NEWS: With environmentalist opposition mounting to the proposed new silicon smelter near Newport, Gov. Inslee's office says it's up for conducting a study of the potential environmental impacts of the project.
IN OTHER NEWS...
Real (trade) war
Despite attempts at talks, the U.S. and China are now in a full-fledged trade war, initiated by President Donald Trump enacting a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports. The stock market reacted poorly but has since stabilized. However, experts argue that both China and the U.S. have staked out hard-to-compromise-positions that could result in a lengthy trade war that ultimately hurts the American economy. (New York Times)
Other war plans
The White House is reportedly reviewing plans to send up to 120,000 American troops to the Middle East in the event that Iran attacks American forces or tries to expand its nuclear program. (New York Times)
Two airborne float planes carrying tourists collided mid-air in Alaska, killing four people. Two people are also missing, while 10 were sent to hospitals. (Seattle Times)
No $1 a day pay
A federal judge ruled against Geo Group — a private company that runs detention facilities, including the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma — in a lawsuit against their practice of paying immigrant detainees $1 a day for labor. The ruling means that the corporation will eventually have to compensate detainees per minimum wage laws. (Seattle Times)
Heated school board races
As the Spokane School District maintains its plan to lay off hundreds of teachers amidst a budget crisis, all three school board positions have drawn challengers. (Spokesman-Review)