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Jan. 8, 1996, midnight
Federal employees may be back on the payroll as early as today, at least temporarily. But if Congress and President Clinton reach another impasse over a balanced budget, a Spokane-based bank said it will offer no-cost loans to federal workers. Washington Trust Bank announced Friday it would loan federal workers in Washington and North Idaho as much as a month's net pay if they are either furloughed or receiving smaller paychecks. The loans would be interest-free, with no fees for processing.
Jan. 6, 1996, midnight
A suggestion floated during a PBS news program may have helped break the federal budget impasse Friday, Rep. George Nethercutt said. Appearing with four other freshman House members on "The News hour with Jim Lehrer" on Thursday evening, Nethercutt, R-Wash., offered an idea he thought had merit. Why not pass a continuing resolution - a temporary spending measure - that takes effect if President Clinton proposes the type of balanced budget that Republicans are demanding?
Jan. 6, 1996, midnight
The Salair cargo plane that crashed as it approached Spokane International Airport had enough fuel to make it to the runway, a federal investigator said Friday. The Convair 440 was experiencing engine and fuel problems, but wasn't out of fuel, Jeff Guzzetti of the National Transportation Safety Board said.
Jan. 4, 1996, midnight
Employees at the U.S. Bureau of Mines are wondering if things can get much worse. "It's tough losing your job and being threatened with furlough and getting half a paycheck," said Richard Grabowski, chief of the Western Field Operations Center in Spokane. "Do they want to kick my dog next?" The agency is supposed to go out of existence Monday, and because of that, all workers were exempted from the current furloughs. They have been busy getting records ready for transfer to other agencies.
Jan. 4, 1996, midnight
The Idaho congressional delegation hammered away at President Clinton Wednesday as Republicans tried to regain some high ground in the budget impasse. Reps. Helen Chenoweth and Mike Crapo both voted to override Clinton's vetoes of two spending bills - moves most Republicans acknowledged were mostly symbolic and had little chance to pass. "If the president had not vetoed those bills, there would be no shutdown," Chenoweth said after the two overrides failed.
Jan. 4, 1996, midnight
Members of Congress from Washington state played the blame game but sounded hopeful Wednesday that the budget impasse would be solved in the coming days. They expressed sympathy for federal workers who are receiving less than half their paychecks this week. Those workers could receive no pay in mid-January, even though they remain on the job, if some agreement isn't reached before then. In Spokane, that includes hundreds of employees of Veterans Affairs, Social Security, the Bureau of Mines, the Geological Survey and several other agencies.
Impasse Is Straining Federal Workers' Budgets Continuing Government Stare-Down Leaves Local Employees With Skimpy PaychecksJan. 3, 1996, midnight
Dr. Guillermo Rubio chats with a patient Tuesday at the VA Medical Center, where staff members are receiving half pay during the government shutdown. Photo by Sandra Bancroft-Billings/The Spokesman-Review
Dec. 31, 1995, midnight
A Spokane boy who grew up to be a national hero. A schoolgirl who never made it to the last day of class. Another schoolgirl who taught Spokane about AIDS. A revolution at the ballot box that moved on to the halls of government.
Fairchild Doctors Will Borrow Sacred Heart Contract Allows Base Surgeons To Use Hospital During RemodelDec. 27, 1995, midnight
An $11.3 million remodeling at the Fairchild Air Force Base hospital is creating a unique contract between the military and Sacred Heart Medical Center. Air Force doctors and nurses will perform surgery at Sacred Heart for much of next year while part of the base hospital is closed for renovation.
Dec. 22, 1995, midnight
There's no split between Republican House freshmen and their leaders over the handling of the budget negotiations, Rep. George Nethercutt said Thursday. "The tail isn't wagging the dog. The dog is one unit," the Spokane Republican told a Downtown Rotary Club luncheon group. "We're being more reasonable than we're being portrayed." But House Republicans won't back off of the commitment to balance the budget in seven years, using economic figures from the Congressional Budget Office, he said.
Dec. 22, 1995, midnight
Veterans who receive pension checks or disability payments will have to wait at least an extra day for their money this month. Maybe longer. The checks are a casualty of the budget dispute between President Clinton and Congress. Due shortly after the first of the year to about 20,000 veterans or their widows or children in the Spokane area, the payments may not arrive until after the first of the year.
Lowry Sticks Up For His Budget Says Bipartisan Stampede For Tax Cuts More Election Politics Than SenseDec. 20, 1995, midnight
Gov. Lowry says tax cut is negotiable. Photo by Kristy MacDonald/The Spokesman-Review
Dec. 17, 1995, midnight
UNPUBLISHED CORRECTION: The name of Evel Knievel is spelled incorrectly in this story.
Job Contract Proposed For Welfare Seekers Republican Legislators Will Propose Major Overhaul Of State's SystemDec. 12, 1995, midnight
Republican legislators will propose a major overhaul of the state's welfare system next year, requiring people who are able to work to sign contracts that will move them off public assistance. "We want to change dependence into opportunity," said state Sen. John Moyer of Spokane. But a welfare-rights activist said the GOP's "POWER Plan" fails to address the real causes of poverty.
A Day To Remember Wwii Veterans, Spouses, Widows Share Stories Of Dec. 7, 1941, Attack On Pearl HarborDec. 8, 1995, midnight
1. Bill Paulukonis listens as fellow veterans talks about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Photo by Sandra Bancroft-Billings/The Spokesman-Review 2. Third-graders from Metaline Falls, Wash., got a closeup look at Uncle Sam on Thursday during a visit to Spokane's Cheney Cowles Museum. The class looked at the World War II poster exhibit. Appropriately, they visited on the 54th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Photo by Christopher Anderson/The Spokesman-Review
Who's The New Mayor? Go Fish! Spangle Candidates Finish Recount In Dead Heat, Draw Cards To Pick A WinnerDec. 7, 1995, midnight
John Logan is the new mayor of Spangle by the luck of the draw. Just barely.
Dec. 2, 1995, midnight
There's no money in the Defense Department's 1996 budget for Bosnia, no matter what the president suggests, U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt said Friday. The Spokane Republican, who serves on a House subcommittee that writes the Pentagon budget, said Clinton will have to take money from training funds to pay for the U.S. troops he plans to send to Bosnia. While that's not unprecedented, it does suggest the administration will have to ask Congress for more money next year to pay for training the troops will need, Nethercutt said.
Nov. 30, 1995, midnight
Jay Inslee announces his candidacy for governor Wednesday. Photo by Shawn Jacobson/The Spokesman-Review
Nov. 29, 1995, midnight
Karen Clancy is torn between two realities about Bosnia. The Spokane day-care operator is a single mother with an 18-year-old son training to be an Army medical supply specialist. Due home for Christmas, he's already being warned to be ready to go to the Balkans.
Nov. 27, 1995, midnight
If initiatives are the voice of the people, Washington state activists are saying plenty this fall. Groups are busy collecting signatures for their favorite causes: gun rights, school reform, repeal of affirmative action and "special rights" for homosexuals.
Nov. 23, 1995, midnight
Spangle's next mayor may come down to the toss of a coin. Wednesday's final count of the Nov. 7 election ballots leaves Joe Coombs and John Logan tied, with 64 votes apiece, for the town's top spot. "Oh my gosh," said Logan, who had been two votes ahead coming into the final count. "I knew it was going to be neck and neck." That means an automatic recount of the town's 132 ballots - by hand - sometime in the next two weeks. If the two still are tied after that, they'll have to draw lots for the $50-a-month job. "This is one of those races where no one can say, 'My vote doesn't count,"' said County Elections Supervisor Tom Wilbur. The people who can say that least are those four Spangle residents who cast ballots in the election, but forgot or ignored the mayor's race. Wilbur said he'd give Logan and Coombs a choice on how they want to settle the race to replace incumbent Loretta Layton, who is retiring. Tossing a coin is one option. "I think that's as fair as anything," said Logan, a hearing aid fitting specialist. Coombs, an agronomist, was at a conference and couldn't be reached for comment. In the other close race in Spangle, Kenneth Degon edged out Pamela Kellogg by four votes, 64 to 60, for Council Position 1. Spangle politics traditionally are a tame affair with mayors and council members running unopposed. This year, however, a proposed sewer project with an $850,000 cost has the town divided and politically motivated. Voter turnout for Spangle was 65 percent. That compares to about 48 percent for the county as a whole. Coombs supports the project, while Logan is calling for detailed study to see if the existing sewer system can be overhauled for less. "We'll just have to hang on the edge a little while longer," Logan said of the ballot deadlock. Wednesday's final count of 6,087 ballots - a combination of absentee, mail-in and damaged ballots that had to be repunched - didn't change last week's preliminary totals of the close races in the city of Spokane or in Spokane County. The one-tenth of 1 cent sales tax for the juvenile detention and adult jail facilities passed with a 548-vote margin out of 98,578 cast. Councilman Orville Barnes retained his seat in a close race with citizen activist John Talbott, winning by just 106 votes. That's close enough to require an automatic recount by the computer. But had Barnes' margin been just two votes fewer, state law would have required the city's 47,137 ballots be recounted by hand. That's a time-consuming process with computer-card ballots. Those two votes gave county election staff, who spent the last two weeks opening, checking and sorting absentee ballots, something to be thankful for.
Nov. 21, 1995, midnight
As the partial government shutdown ended Monday, Spokane's federal workers went back to their counters in the United States Court House, the downtown Post Office and the Social Security and Bureau of Mines offices. Last week's furlough of some 41 people at the Social Security office could cause a delay of no more than a week in the processing of new claims for benefits, said staff assistant Meredith Hilby.
Nov. 18, 1995, midnight
Rep. George Nethercutt may take part this weekend in something that's been rare in the Capitol recently: a civil discussion of the budget. Pausing between votes on budget measures Friday, Nethercutt said he hoped to be part of a group of Republicans and Democrats that takes the House floor to point out common ground on a seven-year plan to balance the budget. "Everybody's yelling and screaming. It serves no purpose," the Spokane GOP freshman said. "We're not that far apart."
Nov. 16, 1995, midnight
Spokane-area candidates locked in close races will have to keep biting their nails. Some absentee ballots might be counted later this week, but winners might not be known until the final votes are counted next Wednesday, County Elections Supervisor Tom Wilbur said. As many as 10,000 ballots remain to be counted, and that could easily reverse the Spokane City Council race, in which incumbent Orville Barnes holds a 29-vote lead over John Talbott.