Local news

Verner hoped to wait on pool fees

The Spokane Park Board should have delayed swim fees on kids at least until next year, Spokane Mayor Mary Verner said Friday.

“I thought it would just be better timing and give us an opportunity to have everybody just thoroughly celebrate the openings of the new pools,” Verner said.

On Thursday, the Spokane Park Board approved a fee schedule for its new pools that includes $1 entry fees on minors ages 4 through 17. Spokane first opened outdoor pools in 1914 and has charged kids to use them only in 1982. Still, the Park Board has approved fees on children three other times, only to reverse itself after intense pressure from the public or elected leaders.

Verner said she won’t lobby the board to reverse itself.

“I respect the difficult decision that they came to,” Verner said. “I’m now going to roll up my sleeves and try to find sponsorships” to help offset the cost on kids and families who can’t afford the charge.

Spokane County

Driver injured in crash on I-90

A 19-year-old Sprague, Wash., man was injured Friday afternoon when he fell asleep while driving on Interstate 90 near Medical Lake.

Eric K. Fritts was westbound on I-90 about 3:50 p.m. in a 1991 Chevrolet pickup when he fell asleep near the Medical Lake Four Lakes Road overpass, the Washington State Patrol said.

The truck left the roadway to the left just east of the overpass, struck the guard rail, and continued through the median before launching onto the road. The truck came to rest on the driver’s side door, WSP said.

Fritts was taken by ambulance to Deaconess Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition Friday night.

He was cited for second-degree negligent driving, the WSP said.

LEWISTON, Idaho

Tribe delaying land-swap opinion

The Nez Perce Tribe will not take a position on a proposed land swap between the federal government and a private timber company until it can assess past cultural uses of the land and how the trade might impact the Treaty of 1855, the tribe’s chairman says.

Samuel N. Penney said a decision won’t be made until the cultural inventories are finished, a process that includes tribal members submitting comments to the tribe’s cultural resources department.

The treaty reserved the right for tribal members to hunt, fish and gather on open and unclaimed lands on and off the reservation, but it’s unclear how those rights would carry over if the land trade goes through.

The trade involves 39,000 acres of land owned by Western Pacific Timber on the Idaho-Montana border for about 28,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, Clearwater National Forest and Nez Perce National Forest.

HELENA

Yellowstone Club bid may be decided

The bankruptcy judge for the exclusive Yellowstone Club has said he may decide who has offered the winning bid for the resort, the Billings Gazette reported on its Web site.

The auction for the club, which has more than $400 million in debt, was set to start Wednesday, but has repeatedly stalled over disagreements between the bidders.

“The hang-up has been the inability of all of the parties involved to agree to get this thing to move forward,” said U.S. Bankruptcy Court Clerk Bernard McCarthy.

The international firm Credit Suisse, which loaned the club $375 million three years prior to its fall, has offered a “credit” bid of $110 million, including nearly $44 million in cash.

The other bidder, CrossHarbor Capital Partners, has bid $100 million, with a $30 million cash component. Its bid also includes a promise to invest $75 million in the posh resort over the next few years.

From staff and wire reports



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