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From Main Street To Mean Street

Sun., Feb. 22, 1998

By day, Spokane’s East Sprague neighborhood shows flashes of its exuberant youth.

Bargain hunters converge on the once-thriving avenue, looking for antiques, handmade sausage or a reliable used Ford.

On Sundays, the pews at St. Ann’s Catholic Church still fill. Afterward, the descendants of Italian immigrants linger to trade gossip - repeating their grandparents’ ritual.

When night falls, the isolated neighborhood - sandwiched between Interstate 90 and the railroad tracks, downtown and the Valley - is eerily transformed.

Elderly residents and families are chased indoors by drug peddlers, prostitutes and a motorized parade of their customers.

Now, there’s something even more sinister to fear. A serial killer who preys on prostitutes has turned East Sprague into a hunting ground.

Despite these threats, signs of a revival are brewing. Residents fed up with crime are demanding the city clean up the area.

Read about the neighborhood’s history and its struggle in “Shadow over Sprague,” a special six-page report that begins on page A-19.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Color Photos

MEMO: See Special Section, “Shadow over Sprague”

See Special Section, “Shadow over Sprague”


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