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Otter gets revised open meeting bill

The House voted 59-10 to toughen Idaho’s open meeting law, laying out stricter penalties and fines for not providing public notice.

The bill has already passed through the Senate and now goes before the governor.

Midvale Republican Rep. Judy Boyle argued Wednesday that the bill is still too lax because it allows committees or boards to change their agendas during the meeting. She says there will be no way for the public to know when to attend a meeting if the agenda can change.

If boards, including city or county commissions, simply err and hold an illegal closed meeting, they face a fine of $50. In more egregious violations where boards flout the limits, fines could run to $500.

Spokane County

Workshops begin on rural clustering

Spokane County will host the first of three workshops tonight to provide information and get comments about rural cluster developments.

The first workshop will be held at 6 p.m. at the Cheney Public Library, 610 First St., Cheney.

Other workshops will be held April 9 at the Green Bluff Grange and April 16 at the county’s Public Works Building.

Rural cluster developments are designed to give landowners more flexibility in developing their property while preserving open space for perpetuity. Several changes and modifications are being discussed prior to a presentation to the Spokane County Planning Commission. That board will hold a public hearing prior to making recommendations to the Spokane County Commission later this spring, senior planner Steve Davenport said.

For more information, call Davenport at 477-7221. To view the proposed revisions, the report can be viewed at http://www.spokane


Seattle university offers tuition aid

A private school in Seattle is offering $10 million in scholarships.

Gov. Chris Gregoire joined City University president Lee Gorsuch on Wednesday to announce the “Scholarships for Tomorrow’s Careers” program.

The program will help 1,000 laid-off workers as well as community and technical college students who may be unable to transfer to a public four-year university.

The private, nonprofit university is offering 600 tuition scholarships worth $10,800 each for eligible students who will graduate with an associate’s degree this academic year. The school is also offering 400 scholarships worth $10,800 each to Washington residents who recently lost their job and want to complete their bachelor’s or graduate degree.

From staff and wire reports


Top stories in Spokane

Northwest Passages Book Club: Author J.A. Jance on the art of (re)invention

UPDATED: 9:17 p.m.

Best-selling author J.A. Jance, the latest author to be featured by The Spokesman-Review’s Northwest Passages Book Club, is the author of 56 novels, spanning series featuring such characters as Arizona Sheriff Joanna Bradley, Seattle homicide detective J.P. Beaumont, former television anchor turned sleuth Ali Reynolds and Tucson’s Walker family.