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

Jonathan Brunt

Current Position: Asst. Managing Editor (Govt)

Jonathan Brunt joined The Spokesman-Review in 2004. He is the government editor. He previously was a reporter who covered Spokane City Hall, Spokane County government and public safety.

All Stories

News >  Spokane

County may tap reserves

Even with strong tax revenues in a stable economy, Spokane County commissioners could be headed for a tough choice in 2007: cutting the budget or tapping into the county's reserve fund. The news has brightened since spring, when the county forecast that maintaining current services and staffing levels in 2007 would cost $6.7 million more than what the county would collect.
News >  Spokane

Walker’s future uncertain

The future of Spokane Valley Police Chief Cal Walker remains unclear. Having lost the GOP sheriff's primary to his boss, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, Walker says he's evaluating his future. Knezovich says he, too, is evaluating Walker's future.
News >  Spokane

Building moratorium OK’d

Spokane County commissioners put a temporary halt to residential construction in the West Plains Tuesday in an effort, they said, to stop encroachment to the Spokane International Airport and Fairchild Air Force Base. For six months the county will not accept new applications for homes and apartments in a light industrial zone, which is more than 10 square miles between Fairchild and Spokane.

News >  Spokane

Auditor Dalton subject of complaints by employees

An unsigned complaint filed with the state's Public Disclosure Commission alleges Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton has attempted "to intimidate and coerce" her employees into supporting her re-election bid. "This is the way she treats some people, and it's not right," said Cindy Bull, an accountant in the auditor's vehicle licensing department who says she didn't write the letter but supports the allegations. "There are a lot of departments under Vicky that really have low morale."
News >  Spokane

ATM burglary a loud failure

For several minutes Saturday morning, burglars in downtown Rockford made little effort to hide their attempt to pull an ATM from a bank lobby with a pickup. But with a 40-minute lag between the time sheriff's deputies were called and their arrival, the culprits easily escaped capture – though without any loot.
News >  Spokane

City-county relations tense

Mayor Dennis Hession welcomed hundreds of county officials to Spokane for a state convention this week, but the city's relationship with its own county is as contentious as ever. Spokane and its home county are embroiled in three lawsuits, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars as the governments battle each other in court.
News >  Spokane

Repairs to RPS barriers delayed

The city of Spokane told River Park Square officials Friday that the mall's plans to strengthen the walls of its garage are incomplete. The city's building department said it would not approve the building permit for construction until River Park Square provides more calculations and test results about the strength of the walls, according to a letter signed by city Inspector Supervisor Dan Skindzier and sent to the mall's general manager, Rob McOmie.
News >  Spokane

Insurer settles in RPS death

The insurance company representing River Park Square garage has reached a settlement with the family of a woman who died when her Subaru fell from the structure's fifth floor in April. Robert Rembert, the attorney who represents the family of Jo Ellen Savage, of Pullman, confirmed the settlement Tuesday.
News >  Spokane

An accordionist of note

He has been named the best piano accordionist in America, but don't ask him to do a polka. Sammy Thomas, 17, prefers jazz.
News >  Spokane

Democrats see good chance for Mager to defeat Harris

Results from Tuesday's primary have Democrats thinking they might have a weak opponent for county commissioner, even if they're running against a three-term incumbent and veteran campaigner with a much larger campaign chest. Not only did more people in Republican Phil Harris' district in western Spokane County vote for a Democratic candidate than for Harris and his GOP opponent, but Harris only garnered 60 percent of the vote within his party.
News >  Spokane

Baker holds slight lead in assessor’s race

In the tight, contentious and still undecided race for county assessor, Spokane City Councilman Brad Stark ran best outside of his home city, earning victories in Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Deer Park and other small towns. Incumbent Assessor Ralph Baker is maintaining his small lead because of a strong showing in the city of Spokane, especially in the northern part of the city, where many residents were angered by Stark's attempt to sell Joe Albi Stadium in 2005.
News >  Spokane

Knezovich wins

Ozzie Knezovich went from "Ozzie who?" to Spokane County's likely choice for a full-term sheriff Tuesday, swamping Spokane Valley Police Chief Cal Walker in the Republican primary. In ballots counted Tuesday night, Knezovich held an 8,000-vote lead over Walker, a gap so big it's mathematically unlikely to change. He becomes the overwhelming favorite against relative unknown James Flavel – the lone Democrat and a former Idaho State policeman who has thus far campaigned little – for the Nov. 7 general election.
News >  Spokane

County GOP will not support Stark

The Spokane County Republican Party shook up the already contentious race for county assessor on Thursday by disavowing GOP candidate Brad Stark. The move came within hours of a heated showdown between Stark, incumbent Assessor Ralph Baker and members of the Ponderosa Republican Women's Club, some of whom questioned the young challenger's GOP credentials. Among those taking aim was state Sen. Brad Benson's mother, who was upset Stark had contributed to the campaign of Democratic state Senate hopeful Chris Marr instead of her son.
News >  Spokane

Stark’s fundraiser cash kept apart, records say

Cash collected by City Councilman Brad Stark for his run at city office appears to have been kept separate from his war chest for county assessor, as required by law. Questions about the whereabouts of $5,000 he raised at an August 2005 fundraising barbecue were raised after it was revealed last month that Stark did not report the event to the state Public Disclosure Commission. Stark, who is in the midst of a GOP primary battle against incumbent Assessor Ralph Baker, said he held the event to retire a debt of about $1,000 from his 2003 campaign for City Council.
News >  Spokane

Stark resigns from Boy Scouts

City Councilman Brad Stark, in the midst of a contentious campaign for county assessor, has resigned from his day job at the Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts. Stark was one of several district executives for the council, which serves Eastern Washington and North Idaho. He is challenging incumbent Assessor Ralph Baker in the Republican primary.
News >  Spokane

Fair judges scrutinize entries

Friday was judgment day for hundreds of folks competing in the Spokane County Interstate Fair. Hundreds of ribbons were on display on the fair's opening day for the biggest gourds, tastiest chocolates and most intricate quilts, among dozens of other categories.
News >  Spokane

Assessor warchests a study in contrasts

Spokane City Councilman Brad Stark's run to become the county's tax man has been funded, in part, by real estate interests and some of the biggest property taxpayers in the county. But with more than 80 total contributions from various sources, including many individuals, Stark says the more than $16,000 he's raised for the race is a sign of widespread support.
News >  Spokane

Fair opens Friday for 10-day run

As the Spokane County Interstate Fair opens Friday, county leaders hope last year's attendance uptick was more than an aberration. Fair attendance was up in 2005 for the first time since 1998. Still, it was only the second time since 1968 that participants numbered below 200,000.
News >  Spokane

Sheriff lukewarm on restored chopper

For the first time in years, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office soon will have the ability to take flight to enforce drug laws and find lost people. But Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is concerned the office's recently acquired military-surplus helicopter, like past helicopters, will drain financial resources from other public safety needs.
News >  Spokane

Democrats eye county seat

On the issues, not much separates the Democratic candidates seeking their party's nomination for Spokane County Commission. They believe the county should consider impact fees on new construction to help pay for infrastructure. They stress the need for county leaders to better cooperate with cities. They support light rail, at least in the long term. They believe more services, such as wastewater treatment, should be regionalized to save money. They say the county has allowed haphazard growth that threatens the quality of life and the environment.
News >  Spokane

Run for commission a matter of approach

Larry R. Vandervert has nothing negative to say about his opponent and says incumbent Phil Harris has served residents well. So why's he challenging a 12-year county commissioner with a large campaign war chest?
News >  Voices

Youths will advise interstate fair

A new board is giving a younger perspective to the Spokane County Interstate Fair. Teens across the county are advising fair management on youth issues and providing volunteer services as members of the fair's new Junior Advisory Board.
News >  Spokane

County may move jail, courts

After serving for more than a century as the hub for the criminal justice system, the Spokane County Courthouse could face a future without courts. That same future could cost close to half a billion dollars.
News >  Voices

Youths to advise interstate fair

A new board is giving a younger perspective to the Spokane Interstate Fair. Teens are advising fair management on youth issues and providing volunteer services as members of the fair's new Junior Advisory Board.
News >  Voices

Youths will advise interstate fair

A new board is giving a younger perspective to the Spokane Interstate Fair. Teens are advising fair management on youth issues and providing volunteer services as members of the fair's new Junior Advisory Board.