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In brief: Reid to spearhead health care forum

Journalist and health care policy author T.R. Reid will return to Spokane next month to lead a forum focused on how communities can best offer affordable medical care for all residents.

The panel is free and open to the public. It will be at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the Spokane Convention Center.

Reid’s “The Healing of America” is a best-seller that explores shortcomings of health care in the United States and how other countries provide more comprehensive care with better results at less cost.

His latest work is a PBS documentary, “U.S. Health Care: The Good News,” which takes a closer look at what communities in the U.S. are doing well.

The forum is sponsored by Providence Health Care and Eastern Washington University.

SNAP starts sign-up for heating help

SNAP is scheduling energy assistance eligibility appointments for low-income residents beginning Monday.

Appointments can be made at or by calling (509) 242-2376. Phone lines are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., until all appointment slots are filled, which typically happens in five to seven days. Appointments also can be made online beginning Monday at 8:30 a.m.

Once the appointment is made, it can take up to 12 weeks to get in, so SNAP urges people to continue working with their heat vendor to figure out payment arrangements.

SNAP expects to schedule 6,500 appointments through January.

To qualify, residents must live in Spokane County at or below 125 percent of federal poverty guidelines and prove they are responsible for paying the heat bill or that heat is included in their rent.

Rainy start to week, but a bit warmer

Saturday’s rain was a preview of this week in the Inland Northwest.

This morning the chance of rain in Spokane recedes to 30 percent before surging to 100 percent by 11 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. A rainy Monday is expected to follow.

The chance of rain decreases slightly over Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before dropping to 20 percent on Friday, the weather service said.

But the break in the rainy weather is likely to be brief. Weather service forecasters expect an “abnormally wet” early November.

For temperatures, the outlook through Wednesday is a bit warmer, with daytime highs in the 50s and overnight lows in the mid-40s.