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Spokane

Board delays decision on park smoking ban

Fri., March 13, 2009, midnight

A decision on whether to ban smoking in Spokane parks has been delayed for more review.

The Spokane Park Board had been scheduled to consider the proposal Thursday, but the vote was delayed to consider changes to the plan.

“There were just too many questions,” said Spokane Park Director Barry Russell. “It was not complete.”

He said officials will work to provide more details about how the law would be enforced, what kind of signs would be posted and whether the rules should affect golf courses.

The current proposal would exempt golf courses. Russell said the board may take up the policy at a meeting later this month.

Jonathan Brunt

Police say man was apparent suicide victim

Spokane police Thursday said that a man who died in a fall from the Parkade parking garage in downtown Spokane on Wednesday apparently committed suicide.

The name of the man, in his 50s, was not released.

Officers investigating the incident, which occurred about 4:30 p.m., said the man had been unemployed for more than a year and may have been despondent. However, he did not have a history of depression, said Sgt. Joe Peterson.

The man’s car was parked near where he apparently jumped at the sixth floor of the garage, with no other cars around. His body was found on top of a skywalk connecting Parkade shops and the garage with the Washington Mutual Bank building to the west. Investigators found footprints on a wall and cable barrier that indicated he pushed himself off from the upper parking garage.

“There is no indication of foul play,” Peterson said.

The Spokesman-Review generally avoids reporting on suicides, except when they are committed in public places.

Mike Prager

Schools measures pass; voters reject city bond

Voters approved Spokane Public Schools’ $288 million bond issue and rejected an $18.5 million criminal justice bond issue in the city of Spokane, the latest election returns showed Thursday.

The school district easily passed its maintenance and operations levy, as did other school districts within the county that had measures on the March 10 special election ballot.

The levies require a simple majority to pass, but bond issues need a higher supermajority of 60 percent. The Spokane schools bond issue has an approval rating of more than 62.6 percent, and a cushion of more than 1,400 ballots above the minimum. The Spokane County Elections Office has only about 500 ballots remaining to count.

The city’s bond issue, which would have paid for a new evidence warehouse, municipal courts, police training and animal shelter facilities, also needed a 60 percent approval, and received yes votes from about 50.6 percent of voters.

Sara Leaming



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