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Editor: Legal Action Vital For SR

The Spokesman-Review has engaged in some important and costly legal challenges in recent months that produced mixed results, but our watchdog efforts remain an integral component of the newsroom’s commitment to our audience and the community. In one case, we lost in the effort to protect an anonymous commenter on one of our most popular online blogs, while in another case we succeeded in persuading a federal judge to unseal transcripts of the secretive query of jurors who convicted former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. in connection with his deadly confrontation with Otto Zehm. Meanwhile, our legal counsel is helping us push for release of disciplinary records involving a few public school teachers in the region. The case involving the anonymous comments posted on Huckleberries Online, a blog written, compiled and maintained by veteran Idaho journalist Dave Oliveria, was clearly the most complicated of the recent challenges/SR Editor Gary Graham. More here. (SR photo of Editor Gary Graham)

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12 Vet SR Staffers Take Buyout

At Huckleberries request, SR Editor Gary Graham (pictured) issued this statement re: 12 veteran newsroom staffers who opted to take an early retirement buyout recently: “It's no secret that we're losing 12 veteran, full-time journalists by the end of the year through an early retirement offer. Those who are leaving have played important roles in our journalism for many years and they will be greatly missed as colleagues and friends. The early retirement offer was only extended to employees who were at least 55 years old and had at least 20 years of service with the company. Those leaving include Steve Bergum, Rick Bonino, Jeff Jordan, Vince Grippi, Dave Trimmer, John Blanchette, John Craig, Kevin Graman, Bart Rayniak, Chris Anderson, Gil Hulse and Jim Kershner. I also want to note that some of the familiar names listed here will continue to write for us on a freelance basis.” More below.