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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Senate candidates will interview under oath

Candidates in a contentious process to fill a vacant state Senate seat will be asked to take an oath when they’re interviewed today. Spokane County commissioners hadn’t planned to require sworn testimony until state Rep. Matt Shea’s legislative assistant, Jim Robinson, asked Wednesday whether the interviews would be open to the public and under oath.

Commissioners approve incinerator improvements

Getting rid of a ton of garbage may cost about $12 more next year if the Spokane City Council accepts an agreement county commissioners offered Tuesday. Commissioners unanimously approved a contract amendment that would allow the city to pay $18 million for improvements to the electricity-generating incinerator that serves the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System.

County set to approve amendments to Waste-to-Energy Plant contract

County commissioners are ready to bless a plan to make Spokane’s garbage burner more competitive with regional landfills. The deal, which could be approved today, would allow Spokane to order $15 million worth of plant improvements.

Garbage deal taking shape with proposal for regional board

Public officials throughout Spokane County agreed Thursday to create a new regional garbage-disposal system that might not use Spokane’s Waste-to-Energy Plant. A host of thorny details are to be worked out by a committee, but the basic framework is a regional board with authority to contract with Spokane or any other service provider.

County, cities review waste system plans

More than 50 people turned out Wednesday for the first day of a conference to form a new plan for garbage disposal in Spokane County. Twenty-two officials from Spokane County and cities in the county reviewed the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System and their goals for reforming it.

Assessor says anonymous, burdensome records requests are intentional

Anonymous public disclosure requests threaten to cripple two Spokane County departments, commissioners were told Tuesday. Assessor Vicki Horton and Information Systems Director Bill Fiedler said numerous scattershot requests for documents from two untraceable e-mail addresses could tie up their departments for decades.

Verner or not, garbage summit is a go

Next week’s regional Solid Waste Summit will occur with or without Spokane participation, County Commission Chairman Al French announced Friday. The two-day gathering of local government officials throughout the county is intended to outline a new framework for the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System, which is owned and controlled by the city of Spokane.

Records dispute before high court

OLYMPIA – When a neighborhood group in 2006 demanded records about alleged nepotism in Spokane County, county officials said they checked employees’ current computers. But they didn’t check the hard drives of computers that had recently been switched out. They said a document didn’t exist when it did, on an old hard drive.

Spokane County public records case goes to high court

OLYMPIA – When a neighborhood group in 2006 demanded records about alleged nepotism in Spokane County, county officials said they checked employees’ current computers. But they didn’t check the hard drives of computers that had recently been switched out. They said a document didn’t exist when it did, on an old hard drive. So did they violate the state Public Records Act? And, if so, how much of a penalty should they pay?

County seeks 15 volunteers for boards, commissions

Spokane County is looking for 15 volunteers to fill vacancies on boards and commissions. Some of the openings are available to residents throughout the county, while others are limited to certain areas. Spokane County, boards, commissions, vacancies, volunteers, Fair and Expo Advisory Board, Boundary Review Board, Civil Service Commission, Health Sciences and Services Authority, Solid Waste Advisory Committee, Historic Landmarks Commission,

Mager accuses successor French of libel

Former Spokane County Commissioner Bonnie Mager on Tuesday announced a Public Disclosure Commission complaint accusing her successor, Al French, of libel. With exhibits, Mager’s complaint is 107 pages long and covers many of the issues in her race against French. However, Mager’s cover letter focuses on a barrage of e-mails in the week before the Nov. 2 general election.

Mager levels libel charge against French

Former Spokane County Commissioner Bonnie Mager Tuesday announced a Public Disclosure Commission complaint accusing her successor, Al French, of libel.

Pay raises lag in public sector

An analysis of recent wage increases shows that the pay of many local government workers is rising slightly slower than the rate of workers in the private sector. From 2002 to 2009, workers in the private sector in Spokane County experienced wage increases of 26.4 percent. Wages of workers in local government were up 24.7 percent.

City, county plan waste summit

Spokane County commissioners slogged through garbage issues for three hours Tuesday on their way to a Solid Waste Summit. They authorized Chairman Al French to join Spokane Mayor Mary Verner in sending invitations to the Feb. 2-3 summit at the CenterPlace Regional Event Center in Spokane Valley.

County leaders balk at city’s timeline for waste plant

Establishing a garbage democracy in Spokane County may prove as difficult as bringing representative government to Afghanistan. The challenge came into sharp focus Tuesday when Spokane city officials asked county commissioners to hurry up and sign off on $18 million worth of upgrades to the city’s Waste-to-Energy Plant.

Equipment, legalities create ballot-counting bottlenecks

Washington’s election system has many virtues, but speed isn’t one of them. Only 40.6 percent of last month’s Spokane County general election ballots were counted on election night.

Report shows local counties’ income and demographic numbers

Spokane County has a higher percentage of single men and single women. Kootenai County a higher percentage of married couples. Kootenai County residents are more likely to have been born in another state, although Spokane County has a higher percentage of residents born in another country.

Commissioners maintain conservation priorities

Last-minute pleas to preserve land on Beacon Hill failed to persuade county commissioners to shuffle a priority list for Conservation Futures property acquisitions. Eight people urged the commissioners to give a higher priority to a package of 11 parcels on Beacon Hill, a popular hiking and mountain-biking site overlooking Hillyard.