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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Betsy Z. Russell

This individual is no longer an employee with The Spokesman-Review.

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News >  Spokane

Group Helps Falcons Make Amazing Comeback

1. Jeff Cilek, vice president of The Peregrine Fund, with a male peregrine falcon at their Boise headquarters. Photo by Betsy Russell/The Spokesman-Review 2. The peregrine falcon can swoop down on prey at speeds of up to 200 mph.
News >  Idaho

New Law Wins Praise, Criticism Companies Immune From Prosecution If They Report Pollution Violations And Correct The Problems

Companies that pollute are immune from prosecution if they voluntarily file secret reports with the state on their environmental violations and clear them up promptly. Idaho's "environmental audits" law, passed during the last legislative session, officially took effect in July. But state agencies had until this week to adopt rules laying out how the new law will work.

News >  Idaho

Cities Team Up, Hire Boise Lobbyists Hope To Use Influence To Alter Outdated Sales Tax Formula

Thirty years ago, Post Falls didn't generate a lot of sales tax. That's changed today in a big way. But the formula the state uses to distribute a large chunk of the sales tax money to cities, counties, fire districts and the like is based on 1965 business inventories. That's back before there was a Factory Outlet mall and other businesses generating millions in sales each year in Post Falls.
News >  Idaho

Tribe Must Trade Casino For Sales Tax

North Idaho's Kootenai Tribe may get its long-sought sales tax exemption - but only if it loses its successful gambling operation at the Kootenai River Inn. A legislative committee voted 5-4 Wednesday to endorse the tribe's proposal, after committee Chairman Sen. Jerry Thorne said he'd add a provision when it came to the Legislature.
News >  Idaho

Giant Cross Survives Legal Battles

Down here, you don't have to wait until Christmas time to see a giant, brightly lit display of Christian faith. All year-round, a huge, white cross shines from the top of Table Rock, the landmark flat mountain that stands at Boise's northeast tip. Even a full moon sometimes doesn't seem to shine as brightly.
News >  Nation/World

Batt Endorses Sweeping Reforms Of State Welfare System 44-Point Plan Requires All Recipients To Work Or Learn Job Skills

Welfare recipients should be taught the work ethic, Gov. Phil Batt said Tuesday as he enthusiastically endorsed a sweeping plan for remaking Idaho's welfare system. "I want to create a means by which pride and dignity can be regained through self-sufficiency," Batt said. "It gives people pride when there is a connection between services performed and a paycheck."
News >  Idaho

Welfare Changes Likely To Get Batt Ok Council’s Plan Emphasizes Work, Temporary Nature Of Aid

Gov. Phil Batt is likely to endorse most of a sweeping welfare reform plan when it's presented to him Tuesday. Batt's Welfare Reform Advisory Council, which held extensive public hearings around the state, will formally present its 44-point plan for remaking welfare to Batt. The governor, at a news conference in his office, is expected to signal how much of the plan he wants to see enacted. Batt spokeswoman Amy Kleiner said the governor has only limited concerns about a few of the provisions. "You'll probably see that he'll be supporting the package almost entirely." The plan focuses on turning welfare into a temporary program that pushes people to work. Many of the sweeping changes, from limiting benefits to two years to requiring all recipients to work or learn basic job skills, can be made without passing new laws. However, Batt still will consult lawmakers on the program, and some legislation will be required. State lawmakers also review all agency rules, so they'll be able to oversee the changes even if they don't involve new laws. "He would feel pretty comfortable in making the changes because the proposals have had a pretty good public airing," said Kleiner. "People who are opposed to them have had ample opportunity to come forward." State welfare administrator Judy Brooks said there may be some advantage in going with rules rather than laws, to make sure the state can comply with whatever new rules come from Congress on welfare later in the year. So far, congressional welfare reform programs match up well with Idaho's plans. "We think it's real compatible," Brooks said. Batt plans to meet with lawmakers to discuss the plan Dec. 12, and he may travel around the state to talk with citizens about it later this month, Kleiner said. If enacted, the welfare plan would take effect on or before Jan. 1, 1997.
News >  Idaho

Community College Tax Plan Applauded

A Twin Falls lawmaker's proposal to replace local property taxes that fund community colleges with an additional statewide liquor tax is drawing good reviews in North Idaho. "This is something that should have been done years ago," said Ron Rankin, president of the Idaho State Property Owners Association and an anti-property-tax activist.
News >  Idaho

Loan To Chenoweth Under Federal Review

Democrats filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission Tuesday over a $40,000 loan to U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth's campaign. Chenoweth, who said she took out the loan from West One Bank to cover expenses between the election and the start of her term, maintains that there was nothing improper about the loan. "I'm confident I'll be cleared," she said Tuesday.
News >  Nation/World

Prison A Bleak House Batt Calls For Budget Squeeze But Inmates Have Few Extras

1. Nothing fancy: The medium-security prison gives inmates a place to relax and exercise. Photo by Betsy Z. Russell/The Spokesman-Review 2. Warden Joe Klauser Photo by Betsy Z. Russell/The Spokesman-Review 3. Inmates put together a puzzle in the day room at the Idaho State Correctional Institution. Photo by Betsy Z. Russell/The Spokesman-Review
A&E >  Food

If It’s Warren Miller, It Must Be Time To Ski

To thousands of skiers across the country, his voice means winter's coming. Warren Miller has produced a major ski film every year for nearly 50 years, just in time to set snowflakes dancing in skiers' eyes as the autumn weather turns cool. Now 71, the sharp-witted, fun-loving Miller sold his film company to his son Kurt six years ago. But he still writes the script each year and serves as the movie's narrator.
News >  Idaho

Panhandle’s Property Taxes Down Batt’s Relief Package Big Factor In Drop

North Idaho taxpayers will pay 3.1 percent less in property tax this year than last. A Spokesman-Review analysis of Idaho State Tax Commission figures shows that total taxes are falling in all five northern counties, despite substantial new growth. Some taxpayers still could see an increase, cautioned Henry Nagel, a Tax Commission division administrator. "It depends on what happened to their (property) value compared to the typical change in value for everyone else," he said.