Local news

In brief: Ballots due today on Convention Center

Today is election day for a proposal to expand the Spokane Convention Center as well as a series of smaller issues.

Ballots must be postmarked today or dropped off at any of 19 ballot drop boxes around the county. Those drop boxes are located at public libraries, the STA Plaza at 701 W. Riverside Ave. and the county elections office at 1033 W. Gardner Ave.

In addition, voter service centers are open today at the county election office, STA Plaza, North Spokane Library, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, CenterPlace and the Cheney Library.

The Spokane Public Facilities District is seeking to extend a 2 percent room tax at a 0.1 percent sales tax to raise money for a $65 million expansion of the Convention Center, the addition of 750 seats at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena and Centennial Trail improvements adjacent to an expanded convention center.

The taxes would be extended from 2033 to 2043.

Also on the ballot are issues in Rockford, Deer Park School District, Reardan-Edwall School District and Riverside School District.

Tips sought on burglar who ran from house

A 75-year-old woman found a burglar in her home after getting out of her shower Monday, sheriff’s deputies say.

The woman heard loud banging on her front door in the 600 block of West Regina Drive about 10:30 a.m. and found a man standing in her hallway after she got dressed and walked toward the front door, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The man ran out of the home, then ran westbound on Regina toward Mill Road. Deputies say he forced his way into the home through the front door.

The man is described as white, 18 years old with an average build and wearing blue jeans and a blue coat.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Tax rallies in park scheduled for today

People angry about taxes – whether they are too high in general or too low for the wealthy – can gather with like-minded folks at a pair of events at Riverfront Park today.

The Spokane Liberty Alliance, Tea Party Patriots, American Action Network and Americans for Prosperity are joining together for a rally at the Clocktower, with a lineup of guest speakers that includes state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley. Speeches start at 2 p.m.

Occupy Spokane, the Washington Community Action Network, Working Washington and the service employees union will meet at 2 p.m. at the Rotary Fountain, then march to Wells Fargo Bank and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ downtown Spokane office to demand higher taxes on the top 1 percent of Americans.

Emergency bridge work to close some lanes

Repair work on the Freya Way Bridge between Trent and Mission avenues will force closure of the northbound lanes for two hours starting at 10 a.m. today.

Crews are doing emergency repair work on an expansion joint on the bridge. The problem was discovered recently during routine maintenance.

After the bridge reopens, traffic will be reduced to a single lane northbound until the end of the week.

Delegates seek grant for corridor work

Members of Washington’s congressional delegation are lined up to support a federal grant application to continue construction of the North Spokane Corridor.

U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell were joined by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in co-signing a letter sent Monday to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

In it, they expressed strong support for an $18.9 million grant from a job-creation fund known as TIGER IV. It is one of three projects in Washington selected by the state Department of Transportation for funding requests under the grant program.

The proposed work includes relocating BNSF Railway tracks and building bridges to cross the tracks as well as completion of the interchange at Freya Street.

Segments of the freeway are open and under construction north of Francis Avenue. Opening of the four-lane route from Hillyard to Wandermere is expected later this year.

The freeway currently is open as a two-lane highway from Francis Avenue and Freya Street to U.S. Highway 2.


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