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Given a chance to vote on some items on this year's ballot, Washington students supported wider background checks for gun sales and smaller classroom sizes for themselves.
The Secretary of State's office traditionally holds a mock election for students from kindergarten through high school, with some of the races on the actual ballot. This year it included the three initiatives and the U.S. House race in the district where the students live. With balloting available online, some 18,000 students voted.
Initiative 594, which would expand background checks currently required for sales from licensed dealers to most private sales, passed with more than 68 percent of the vote. Initiative 591, which wouldn't allow the state to change background check requirements unless there was a new national standard, failed with about a 55 percent votes marked no.
Initiative 1351, which would require smaller class sizes in grades K-12 of the state's public schools, received slightly more than 51 percent yes votes.
In Eastern Washington's 5th Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers got 63.5 percent of the vote against Democratic challenger Joe Pakootas. Congressional incumbents running in other districts also came out on top. In Central Washington's 4th District, Dan Newhouse edged Clint Didier in a race between two Republicans for the open seat.
Improvements made to Woodlawn Cemetery in Spokane Valley include a new entry gate and central bench/columbarium. SR photo/Kathy Plonka
We've got several good stories for you in today's Valley Voice. Correspondent Cindy Hval talked to 12-year-old Justin Peterson, who has been working to raise money for Honor Flight. The organization takes World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the WW II memorial. Peterson recently won a national competition that will result in a $15,000 donation to Honor Flight.
The Spokane Valley City Council held a special meeting last week with local state legislators to pitch the importance of replacing the west Sullivan Bridge. The city is trying to come up with the last $10 million it needs to fund the project, which is estimated to cost $19.5 million, and wants the state to help fund the projects.
Correspondent Stefanie Pettit has a story on Woodlawn Cemetery in the Edgecliff Neighborhood. The cemetery was overgrown until residents of the neighborhood banded together to clean it up. It was called Englewood Cemetery when it was established in 1888. The cemetery is now owned and maintained by the Fairmount Memorial Association and is again open for burials.
Spokane County Fire District 8 is looking at a budget deficit for 2013 after a maintenance and operations levy failed at the polls last November. The fire commissioners are looking at ways to fill in the gap while also making numerous cuts.
The results of the West Valley School district mock election are in and mirror the actual election results, reports Lisa Leinberger. The experience gave students a taste of what a real election is like.
Farmer Robin Jons hands customer Dawson Smith, 5, a pumpkin he just bought Wednesday, at AC Starr Farms. The Otis Orchards farm will present its annual Pumpkins for Pets Fall Festival, a fundraiser for Partners for Pets in Spokane Valley and River City Pet Rescue in Post Falls. SR photo/Colin Mulvany
Ah, Monday. How we've missed you. Of course, Monday means it's time to take a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. There is some new landscaping going in near Discovery Playground and Centerplace. The spot will also include two small picnic shelters that can be reserved for birthday parties or just family picnic.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote a story about the Pumpkins for Pets festival at AC Starr Farms. The annual event, which benefits two local pet rescue organizations, includes hayrides, a corn maze, face painting and more. Pets are invited to attend as well.
Lisa also has a story on mock elections at West Valley. All the high school students are learning about the candidates for local, state and federal candidates before they hold a mock election at the end of the month. They've been asking pointed questions of candidates who have come to speak to them.
The Liberty Lake Police Department is joining a new domestic violence program being spearheaded by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. The new Lethality Assessment Program is designed to get domestic violence victims the help they need immediately instead of officers just handing out a brochure with phone numbers. The new program will be used in Spokane Valley as well.