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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Animal Control

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County auditor’s project to digitize records nears completion

An 18-month project to preserve the hopes and dreams of generations of Spokane County residents is nearing completion. Paper may crumble, but faded writing in scores of oversize books at the county auditor’s office will continue to tell the stories of long-forgotten sweethearts who married, bought property and were laid to rest.

Assessor office requests traced to ex-employee

Anonymous requests for hundreds of thousands of Spokane County assessor’s records have been traced to a former employee. Appraiser Josh Bungen, who resigned Jan. 5, used untraceable Hotmail email addresses to request what Assessor Vicki Horton said was enough documents to cripple her office.

Layoff notices hit county’s embattled right-of-way office

Six Spokane County right-of-way workers received layoff notices Tuesday in the wake of severe criticism by state officials. The notices, effective April 29, apply to everyone in the right-of-way office except the secretary, who may be assigned other duties.

Face Time: SCRAPS director talks about her agency’s mission

Nancy Hill has been the director of Spokane County’s animal control program since 1995, well before it adopted the name SCRAPS (Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service). She would like to see her agency handed the responsibility for animal control throughout the county, including the city of Spokane. And she wants to move her operation from its somewhat remote Spokane Valley site on Flora Road to a new home near the fairgrounds.

Proposal increases county commission from 3 people to 5

Voters may get a chance to decide whether Spokane County needs more than three commissioners to run local government, the number it’s had since Washington became a U.S. territory in 1854. Karen Kearney, a civic activist and unsuccessful Spokane City Council candidate, said she soon will ask county commissioners to schedule a vote on increasing the size of the board to five members.

Face Time: Director talks about SpokAnimal and pet peeves

Gail Mackie has had good news to howl about in recent months. SpokAnimal C.A.R.E.’s executive director since 1986 has seen her nonprofit organization expand into modern new facilities next to its longtime North Side home. In addition, she has overseen the opening of a long-awaited Spokane dog park.

Commissioner French touts fiscal health of Spokane County

The state of Spokane County isn’t as bad as it might have been and things are looking up, county commission Chairman Al French said Friday. French told some 215 business and civic leaders that Spokane County finished 2010 in better financial condition than other counties in the state and the nation.

State of county not so bad

County Commissioner Al French addresses 215 business and civic leaders at Greater Spokane Inc. breakfast meeting Friday.

County pays $300,000 to settle former guard’s bias, harassment suit against Geiger

Spokane County will pay $300,000 to settle a former Geiger Corrections Center guard’s claim of on-the-job discrimination and harassment. Beverley Ridley-Gardner complained of racial and gender discrimination as well as harassment for reporting problems such as male guards fraternizing with female inmates.

Lab analyst running for mayor

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner has her first official opponent in this year’s mayoral race. Christopher W. Fenton, 32, filed paperwork last month announcing his intention to run for the city’s highest office, becoming the first potential challenger eligible to begin accepting campaign contributions.

County adds fee for court facilitator

Spokane County commissioners established a $25-per-session fee Tuesday for a court program that helps people file their own divorce cases. Commissioners said court officials requested the fee so they could add capacity to the overloaded “courthouse facilitator” program.

Spokane council split on joining county animal control

Spokane is not ready to sign off on a proposal for a regional animal-control shelter, City Council President Joe Shogan said Friday at a meeting of local governments. Shogan said the council is divided on whether to stick with Mayor Mary Verner’s plan to contract with the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service or try to renew the city’s contract with SpokAnimal C.A.R.E.

Assessor, treasure shuffle deputies after county election

The Spokane County assessor’s and treasurer’s offices have new chief deputies as well as new elected department heads. Treasurer Rob Chase planned to retain Chief Deputy Treasurer Bob Wrigley, but was forced to hire a new deputy last month when county commissioners selected Wrigley for a new countywide budget director position.

Baxter tapped to assume McCaslin’s seat

After a daylong interview process, Spokane County commissioners unanimously selected Jeff H. Baxter to replace Bob McCaslin in the state Senate.