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

Jody Lawrence-Turner

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News >  Spokane

NC, Rogers students honored for being first in family to graduate

Lacey Sutton is the first in her family to graduate from high school, an accomplishment the Spokane teen calls a decent start. “I don’t like to feel too proud of myself, because I’m not all the way to my goal,” she said. The North Central High School senior will boast when she graduates from college.
News >  Spokane

Spokane teachers approve May 27 strike

Spokane Public Schools teachers and staff voted Wednesday to have a one-day walkout on May 27 to protest a lack of state funding for schools. More than 65 percent of nearly 2,500 Spokane Education Association members cast yes votes. All schools and work sites turned in ballots.

News >  Spokane

Concert organizer going out on a high note

Coordinating a concert featuring 2,600 elementary school kids blasting brass horns, blowing through woodwinds and dragging bows across stringed instruments seems nothing short of miraculous. But the annual Band and Strings Spectacular has become a “well-oiled machine” under Dave Weatherred, visual and performing arts coordinator at Spokane Public Schools, who has organized it for 18 years. He ended his role on a high note at Tuesday night’s concert by conducting a song at the event for the first and last time; he’s moving on to other administrative duties.

Mixed weather pattern could bring showers

Heading outdoors this weekend might require rain gear. On the other hand, sunglasses could be in order. With a mixed weather pattern, having both handy is a safe bet. The only consistency is high temperatures will be close to 70 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; lows are expected to hover around the mid-40s, according to the National Weather Service.
News >  Washington Voices

U-Hi equips ‘Mary Poppins’ cast for aerial acrobatics

University High School’s theater program is one of three drama departments statewide producing “Mary Poppins.” “We traditionally do at least one big show each year, and we try to go bigger and better each year,” said Briane Green, U-Drama director and high school drama teacher. “This year it’s ‘Mary Poppins.’ ”
News >  Spokane

Voting starts on Spokane teacher walkout

Spokane teachers will start voting today on whether to stage a walkout May 27 as a statement to legislators about funding smaller class sizes and pay raises. An unofficial vote taken last week showed Spokane Education Association’s membership is “overwhelmingly” in favor, union President Jenny Rose said. Before taking any action, “the leadership wanted to know if we should even go there,” Rose said.
News >  Spokane

Five teen suicides have left ‘whole community hurting’

Five teen suicides this school year – including three in the past month – have jolted the community. It’s the highest number in the history of Spokane Public Schools, prompting parents, students and community members to ask what they can do to help. “There’s an increased need. I see the whole community hurting,” said Sabrina Votava, Spokane’s Youth Suicide Prevention Program field coordinator. “It’s affected all the schools, even districts outside of Spokane.”
News >  Spokane

Young cancer survivor finishes Gonzaga degree

When Carissa Outen walks across the stage to receive her diploma from Gonzaga University today, she’ll have an anchor on her mortarboard. It’s in memory of one of her heroes, Pat Fiorillo, who lost his second bout with cancer when Outen was a college freshman. Fiorillo had given her hope and strength when she was fighting the disease in her senior year of high school.
News >  Spokane

Ex-Pasco police officer is suspect in 1986 killing

A transient found Ruby Doss’ body on a January morning in 1986. The 27-year-old woman from Detroit had been struck in the head and strangled near East Sprague Avenue. Her death was the first of at least five strangulations of Spokane-area women, most of whom worked as prostitutes, in a 20-month period from 1986 to 1987.
News >  Washington Voices

From multimillion dollar school bond to building

Architects have been vetted. Construction timelines established. Community input integrated. Now work is beginning. Central Valley School District officials are wasting no time in moving forward on projects under a $121.9 million construction bond voters approved in February – the district’s first such approval in more than 16 years.
News >  Spokane

Ferris High students set statewide example on biology test

More than 2,000 Washington high school seniors might not graduate if a requirement to pass the state’s biology exam is left intact. The Washington Board of Education sent a letter recently encouraging lawmakers to abolish the requirement immediately.
News >  Pacific NW

Rural schools provide benefits to students, communities

Nestled among Eastern Washington’s rolling wheat fields and towering grain silos are the heartbeats of farm towns: small, rural school districts. Bleachers swell during high school sporting events, and multipurpose rooms fill up for plays and musical performances.
News >  Pacific NW

Washington teachers receive same base pay no matter location

While many rural school districts in the United States struggle to recruit and retain quality teachers, Washington is one of just a few states where a teacher’s base salary is the same in most places, no matter the location, district size or cost of living. Large districts and those in high-cost or urban areas can supplement that base pay using local levy dollars.
News >  Spokane

Spokane Public Schools gets tough on vaccinations

Kids showing up at Spokane public schools on Monday without proof that they’ve had required immunizations or a signed waiver will be pulled out of classrooms. This is the first time Washington’s law to exclude children from school is being enforced in the region’s largest school district. So far, no other school district has announced plans to take similar steps.
News >  Spokane

Nine Mile Falls, Cheney school districts try again on bonds

Voters in the Cheney and Nine Mile Falls school districts will be asked a second time to approve construction bonds for major renovations in their high schools. Both districts proposed bonds in the February election. Cheney School District fell 2 percentage points short of the 60 percent needed for approval. Nine Mile Falls School District was more than 7 percentage points below the required supermajority.
News >  Spokane

Head Start marks 50 years of lessons

Small lessons learned early helped three Spokane-area residents succeed. The three are graduates of Head Start, the federal early-learning program for low-income children that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
News >  Spokane

EWU athletes mentor elementary school students

Fifth-grader Ka’Juan Solomon-Brown told his 7-foot-1 mentor, Frederik Jörg, about good choices, and then they threw a ball around and slid down slides on the elementary school playground. “And this is a place to sit and rest,” said Solomon-Brown, pointing to a purple bench under a play structure.
News >  Spokane

New start times for Spokane schools approved

Lots of students will need to adjust their alarm clocks this fall. Spokane Public Schools’ board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday to move elementary school start times earlier and push back middle school start times.
News >  Spokane

Medical Lake parents alerted to bullying on Burnbook app

A phone app that high school students have been using to post nude pictures and bully classmates prompted Medical Lake School District officials to alert parents and call police. The app is called Burnbook, and it allows students to post anonymously.
News >  Spokane

Sleep researcher says area high schools should start later

One of the nation’s leading sleep researchers says Spokane Public Schools has “the biology backwards” in the district’s proposals for new school start times. The board of Spokane’s largest school district is looking at starting high schools at 8 a.m.; elementary schools at 8:30 a.m. and middle schools at 9 a.m. Another option is to swap the middle school and elementary start times.
News >  Spokane

Lotteries fill up Spokane’s first charter schools

Children’s names written on 3-by-5 cards tumbled around a spinning bingo barrel until Spokane’s premier charter school leader drew them out one at a time. “Ready? This is a historic moment,” said Pride Prep’s director, Brenda McDonald. The first card had two names: David and Charles Thomas, brothers. The parents and children who gathered earlier this week at Spokane Community College for the student lottery erupted in applause.
News >  Washington Voices

Students create art inspired by art

Musicians will perform jazz during a fundraiser next week surrounded by artwork their tunes inspired. The oil pastels – some with brightly colored swirls, some featuring precise shapes and others with dark lines and deep hues – were created by Chase Middle School art students as they listened to a CD created by the school’s jazz band.