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Posts tagged: Spokane

Little Lajla Meets, Delights Ron Paul

At KXLY, Web Producer Nicole Hensley took this great shot of Bjorn Handeen and his daughter. Handeen, the Kootenai County Republican precinct committeeman from Precinct 52, and daughter Lajla were front & center at the Ron Paul rally in Spokane Friday night. Bjorn emails of daughter Lajla, who isn't 4 year: “She was an angel the whole time. I've been able to bring her to all kinds of political events and meetings, as a matter of fact, and I suppose if she can sit through a KCRCC meeting, a Ron Paul speech is easy! When Ron Paul shook her hand, he asked if she knew his name. She smiled, nodded, and said “Ron Paul!”. He got a big kick out of that. She was beaming that whole weekend. She's not even four, but I have  feeling that she'll remember that exchange for a long time.” You can read Nicole's report & see her KXLY photo gallery here.

Question: Have you taken your children to a political rally?

Ron Paul Decries ‘War On Drugs’

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is decrying the “war on drugs” in a speech to supporters in Washington state. The Texas congressman told more than 1,000 people at a rally Thursday night in Vancouver, Wash., that Americans should be able to make their own decisions on such matters. Voters in Washington are likely to decide this year whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Paul was spending Thursday campaigning in Idaho and Washington and has rallies planned Friday in Richland and Spokane. He is expected to hit most of Washington's media markets before the state's nonbinding caucuses on March 3/Fox News. More here. (AP photo: Ron Paul waves to Twin Falls crowd Thursday)

Also: Ron Paul will rally in Moscow at 4 pm,” but those of you who are closer to Moscow should know that Paul’s appearance is at 4 pm in the Student Union Building Ballroom on the University of Idaho campus.

Question: What do you think about our decades-old “War on Drugs”?

Ron Paul To Visit Spokane Friday

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is tentatively scheduled for a rally Friday evening at the Spokane convention center, and is picking up endorsements in and around Spokane. State Rep. Matt Shea, Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase, and Republican Central Committeemembers John Christina of Spokane and Karen Skoog of Elk all endorsed Paul, the campaign announced today. Many of those endorsements come as  no surprise. Chase, like Paul, was once a Libertarian candidate; he became active in the Paul campaign in 2008 and was part of the Texas congressman's delegation that helped shape the Spokane County GOP platform/Jim Camden, SR Spin Control. More here.

Question: Will Ron Paul draw bigger crowds in Spokane/Moscow/Boise/Twin Falls than Rick Santorum?

Woman: Spokane Prostitutes Ugly

A group of traveling prostitutes suspected of settling in Spokane told police they were making good money here because the local competition is so ugly. One woman is in custody and other arrests are possible as part of an ongoing investigation into a 36-year-old California man who investigators believe has been brokering sex deals while living out of motels in Portland, Seattle and Spokane. Two motel rooms in Spokane were searched this week. Shaquisha L. Jenkins, 22, was arrested on a misdemeanor prostitution charge Tuesday. … A Spokane police officer contacted Jenkins and an 18-year-old woman on East Sprague Avenue on Jan. 31 and was told “that because there is a lack of attractive prostitutes in the area, they are able to make fairly good money,” according to court documents/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here. (Wikipedia photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Given that Spokane boosters sometimes fumble around for a slogan that befits the community … can you think of anything that can be used from this story?

Spokane Hosts Women’s Boxing Trials

Organizers of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s women’s boxing trials that start Monday in Spokane say this will be both a historic occasion and another chance to add to the region’s solid résumé of hosting sporting events. This year’s London Olympic Games will be the first to include women’s boxing. Spokane’s success in hosting events like NCAA women’s volleyball and basketball tournaments, plus impressive showings for two U.S. Figure Skating Championships, played a major role in selecting Spokane for the women’s Olympic boxing team trials, said Anthony Bartkowski, executive director of USA Boxing/Tom Sowa, SR. More here. (AP photo: Franchon Crews, left, from Baltimore, and Alyssa DeFazio of Peoria, Ariz., will compete as 165-pounders at the Olympic women’s boxing trials)

Question: How often do you go to Spokane for events?

Old Country Buffet Shuts In Spokane

The last two Old Country Buffet restaurants in Spokane County have closed as part of the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization. Parent firm Buffets, Inc. filed the bankruptcy last week in Delaware, announcing it would close 81 underperforming restaurants. Those closed restaurants are roughly 16 percent of the 500 it operates nationally. The local locations were 12205 E. Sprague, at the corner of Pines and Sprague, in Spokane Valley; and 5504 N. Division St. in Spokane. Both closed Thursday, said Melissa Sheer, a company spokesperson/SR. More here.

Question: Was the erstwhile buffet diner in the Silver Lake Mall an Old Country Buffet, too? Did you used to eat there?

PM: Condon Becomes Spokane Mayor

In the shadow of the Riverfront Park Clock Tower , David Condon is sworn in as the Spokane's 44th mayor by Judge Mary Logan this afternoon. Condon's wife, Kristin, right, holds the bible for the Oath of Office ceremony.  Story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

INW: Subway’s Jared Visits Spokane

Jared Fogle, the man who famously lost weight with exercise and Subway sandwiches, spends about 100 days per year traveling to elementary schools around the country to deliver his message about being healthy. “Since the kids know me from TV, hopefully the message will have a little more meaning to them,” said Fogle, who began gaining excessive weight in third grade. On Wednesday, the 34-year-old spoke at Spokane’s Holmes Elementary School. Story here. (SR photo: Christopher Anderson) And: KHQ video link to interview with Jared here.

Question: Does Subway spokesman Jared Fogle inspire/deflate you?

2 Hospitalized In Spokane Head-On

HucksOnline usually doesn't publish photos of bad wrecks. But … dang! … this one seems nastier than most. Cutline: Investigators look for evidence in a head-on collision involving a Honda CRV driving the wrong way and a Fed Ex truck on Southeast Blvd, south of 29th Avenue in Spokane Thursday. SR story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: OK, I'll admit that I once drove the wrong way off Lakeside onto 4th Street late at night, completely sober. How about you? When did you last drive the wrong way on a street?

AM: Karl Thompson Found Guilty 2X

Spokane police officer Karl Thompson, right, waits to cross the street after leaving the William O. Douglas Federal Courthouse in Yakima, Wash. Wednesday. A federal court jury on Wednesday convicted Thompson of using excessive force on a mentally ill man who died in 2006 after being struck and Tasered at a convenience store. Story here. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Christopher Anderson)

Clark: Jury Nailed Thompson Verdict

It takes a lot to get to a guy like me. Many journalists hide behind a shield of cynicism, and I’ve had 37 years of practice. But I’ll admit it. I choked up Wednesday afternoon when my Mom called to relay the bombshell she’d just heard on TV. The jurors I had watched so intently the other day during my visit to a Yakima federal courtroom had delivered a courageous verdict. They convicted Karl Thompson, the Spokane thug cop who beat Otto Zehm like a dog five years ago in a North Division convenience store. They found Thompson guilty for all those cruel, unwarranted baton strikes and Taser shocks that robbed the mentally ill man of his dignity and ultimately his life. And guilty for all the lies Thompson told afterward to cover his sorry ass/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Were you surprised by the guilty verdicts in the Karl Thompson case?

Thompson Guilty On Both Counts

A jury has convicted Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. of needlessly beating Otto Zehm and then lying about it to cover up his actions. The verdict comes five years and seven months since Zehm’s life ended and growing questions of police accountability began. Prosecutors are expected to seek a prison term of six to eight years, arguing that Thompson was in a position of trust and that Zehm, who was schizophrenic, was particularly vulnerable. … Despite the criminal conviction, Thompson, 64, was allowed to remain free pending a follow up hearing before a magistrate in Spokane to argue continued release conditions. He posted a $50,000 signature bond following the criminal indictment in 2009/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.

Reaction to verdict?

Trader Joe’s To Open Friday

Bargain prices, natural and organic offerings, unusual food finds and fun have earned Trader Joe’s some seriously loyal customers. Some scoffed when we suggested in a note to readers last month that fans of the California-based chain were trekking to the other side of state and beyond to stock up on their favorite Trader Joe’s staples. But more than two dozen sent notes with the details of their cross-state runs, the extra bags they stow on trips to see family in a Trader Joe’s ZIP code and the other shenanigans the beloved store has inspired. … The wait is almost over. The Spokane store in the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center, 2975 E. 29th Ave., opens with a lei cutting at 8 a.m. Friday. Regular hours will be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily/Lorie Hutson, SR. More here. (SR file photo)

Clark: Venue Change Slaps Spokane

The verdict is in. Anyone desiring to watch the upcoming federal trial of Karl Thompson Jr. – the Spokane cop whose deadly encounter with Otto Zehm earned him an excessive force charge – must fill up the tank and travel 200 miles to Yakima. Apparently we wags of the local media are to blame for potentially tainting the jury pool with our blather. Yakima? I can’t recall the last time I was in Yakima, but I think it had something to do with mad cow disease. There’s no use whining. U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle has made up his mind, sort of.  The judge, according to our news account, conceded he wasn’t convinced that Zehm-related coverage by local media created “actual” or “perceived” bias against Thompson. Not about to be swayed by the soundness of his logic, however, the judge moved the trial anyway/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Come to think of it, I've never been to Yakima, Wash. Have you? Good experience?

Trader Joe’s Sets Spokane Opening

Popular chain-grocery Trader Joe’s will open its first Spokane store on Oct. 28, the company said today. The California-based retailer of specialty items, including organic foods, snack mixes and discount wines, is completing work on its 12,000-square-foot store at the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center on Spokane’s South Hill. Area fans of Trader Joe’s have been clamoring for the store to move into Spokane. The company announced plans to build the Spokane store earlier this year. Trader Joe’s spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said applications for store jobs will be accepted next week at the store, at 2975 E. 29th/Spokesman-Review. More here.

Question: Will you shop at Trader Joe's, even if it means going to Spokane?

Butch Cassidy: The legend continues

This image provided by the Nevada Historical Society shows the famous group portrait taken in Fort Worth, Texas shortly after Butch Cassidy and his gang robbed the Einnemucca, Nev., bank in 1900.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Did Butch Cassidy, the notorious Old West outlaw who most historians believe perished in a 1908 shootout in Bolivia, actually survive that battle and live to old age, peacefully and anonymously, in Washington state? And did he pen an autobiography detailing his exploits while cleverly casting the book as biography under another name?

A rare books collector says he has obtained a manuscript with new evidence that may give credence to that theory. The 200-page manuscript, “Bandit Invincible: The Story of Butch Cassidy,” which dates to 1934, is twice as long as a previously known but unpublished novella of the same title by William T. Phillips, a machinist who died in Spokane in 1937. Full story.

Do you think Butch Cassidy and William T. Phillips were one and the same?

Megaload Promoters Target Spokane

Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil has announced that some of its controversial megaloads, instead of traveling a scenic route in Idaho, may instead rumble through Spokane on U.S. Highway 395 and I-90. The company said “lengthy permitting delays” for the original route across scenic U.S. Highway 12 from Lewiston, Idaho to Montana, then north through Montana to Canada, have forced it to look at alternative routes, though it still will pursue the Highway 12 route. “We have met or exceeded the requirements typically imposed on other oversize load shippers that have used the U.S. 12 route,” said Chris Allard, Kearl senior project manager for the oil company. “We will continue to pursue the permits for those full-sized modules through Idaho and Montana, which is more efficient and cost effective. However, we will also move forward with alternative routes to maintain project schedules”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (AP/Lewiston Tribune file photo)

Question: Do you expect residents of Eastern Washington & Spokane to squawk about megaloads?

Spokane’s Struggle w/Panhandlers

Months after Spokane passed an ordinance making it illegal to panhandle on street corners and freeway entrances and exits, the panhandling hasn't stopped. Men and women are still there and now they've also moved into neighborhoods - hidden from law enforcement.It started with fruit peddlers, whom KXLY discovered were actually illegal immigrants dropped off on neighborhood corners by an Oregon farmer. Then panhandlers started moving up from I-90 and into neighborhood areas/Colleen O'Brien, KXLY. More here.

Question: Do you support the aggressive enforcement of anti-panhandling ordinances in Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, and Kootenai County?

Boise Most Prone To Skin Cancer

Nicole Hensley of KXLY posts: “Coeur d'Alene, you're 379 miles via US-95 and ID-55 from the city most prone to skin cancer. Boise, with an average of 51 clear summer days per year leads the nation in the statistic put together by The Daily Beast. Their melanoma deaths average out to 3.9 per 100,000 people, with incidents averaging out to 27.3. Boise ranked #1 while its other Northwest neighbors ranked #10 (Spokane), #14 (Seattle) and #18 (Portland).” More here. (AP file illustration)

DFO: This issue has hit home in our household since my mother-in-law (Coeur d'Alene) and sister-in-law (Post Falls) are having a brush with skin cancer.

Question: Do you know anyone who has contracted and fought skin cancer? And/or: Are you careful to protect yourself from too much sunshine? Or do you take any precautions?

Spokane No. 4 for Stolen Vehicles

Spokane just made a dubious list. It was ranked No. 4 in the country for car theft rates. The annual “Hot Spots” report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau said the Spokane metropolitan area had 2,763 car thefts in 2010, a rate of 586.35 per 100,000 residents. The Seattle-metro area jumped to 13th from 37th last year on the list, and leads the state with more than 55% of all auto thefts/KREM. More here.

Question: How you ever had a vehicle stolen? Can you tell us about the experience?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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