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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

Late filers bring competition

As time was running out to file for office in Washington late last month, several surprise candidates filled the empty spaces on the Spokane County ballot. The late entrants created primary competition for three-term incumbent County Commissioner Phil Harris and ensured that the winner of the high-profile GOP sheriff's race between Ozzie Knezovich and Cal Walker won't be assured final victory.
News >  Spokane

RPS garage to get upgrades

River Park Square officials announced Friday that they will strengthen the mall's parking garage by attaching steel rods and plates to outside-facing walls. The announcement comes four months after a Pullman woman died when her Subaru went through a barrier on the fifth floor and 13 years after an engineer suggested erecting cables along the sides to prevent cars from hitting the concrete barriers.
News >  Spokane

Deer Park doctor’s medical license suspended

A Deer Park osteopathic doctor was informed by the state Thursday that his medical license has been suspended because of allegations that include prescribing narcotics to known drug abusers. Keith L. Hindman, who runs Shepherd's Staff Foundation Medical Clinic at 855 S. Main St. in Deer Park, was suspended from practicing medicine on Wednesday, said Deanna Whitman, state Department of Health spokeswoman. The suspension was effective immediately because his alleged actions may endanger patients, she said.

News >  Spokane

Heat is on in county elections

Voters will have choices to make in at least five of the seven Spokane County offices up for election this year. Multiple candidates have already filed to run for county commission, auditor and assessor. Competition also is expected for sheriff and treasurer.
News >  Spokane

County’s planning board now full

The Spokane County Planning Commission has a full membership for the first time in more than a year, a gap that leaders say won't repeat. "I'm certainly committed to making sure it doesn't happen again," Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard said. "We've got to do a better job of making that a priority."
News >  Spokane

Prescription overdoses deadlier than illegal drugs

Prescription drugs are causing more overdose deaths in Spokane County than illegal drugs like methamphetamine, the county's medical examiner said Friday. In 2005, 35 people in Spokane County died from overdoses of prescription medicine, according to the county medical examiner's annual report, which was released Friday.
News >  Spokane

Some RPS garage barriers inferior

Half of the barriers on the first seven floors of the River Park Square Parking garage – including one that collapsed earlier this year when hit by a car – do not meet current concrete standards set in the building code, according to an engineering report released Wednesday by the city of Spokane.
News >  Spokane

Medical Lake area gets a boost

Spokane County commissioners decided Tuesday to encourage industrial growth near Medical Lake by redirecting tax dollars to pay for sewers, roads and other improvements in the area. The decision, approved unanimously, affects about 2,000 acres and dozens of property owners around Interstate 90 from the Aero Road interchange (Exit 272) to Spotted Road.
News >  Spokane

Medical Lake area gets boost

Spokane County commissioners decided Tuesday to encourage industrial growth near Medical Lake by redirecting tax dollars to pay for sewers, roads and other improvements in the area. The decision, approved unanimously, affects about 2,000 acres and dozens of property owners around Interstate 90 from the Aero Road interchange (Exit 272) to Spotted Road.
News >  Spokane

Coffee roaster fired up over pollution law

Ryan Skinner says he's not the type to fight for relaxed air pollution laws. When opening a North Side organic market and coffee-roasting business last year, he ensured that coffee labels would be printed with soy ink and stuck to biodegradable packages with petroleum-free glue.
News >  Spokane

Plan presented to reduce phosphorus in Spokane River

The Spokane River will be healthier if a new plan to reduce phosphorus pollution is approved, state officials told local leaders at a meeting Thursday. Phosphorus reduction will help lead to the restoration of "one of the crown jewels of Washington state," said Jay Manning, director of the state Department of Ecology.
News >  Spokane

Phosphorus pact step to cleaner river

It may be too late to avoid a temporary halt of construction in Spokane County. But county leaders say the completion and likely approval of a new state agreement – expected this week – to reduce phosphorus in the Spokane River will allow them to move forward with a new wastewater treatment plant and possibly avoid a construction moratorium in the coming years.
News >  Spokane

Tax burden hits homes

With exploding home prices and a stagnant manufacturing base, the tax burden in Spokane County is falling on homeowners more heavily than anyone else. Homeowners will pay 62.5 percent of all 2006 property taxes due in Spokane County, according to the state Department of Revenue. That's up from 57.2 percent in 2001. They're expected to pay an even higher percentage next year because home values used for 2007 taxes have continued to rise faster than commercial properties, officials say.
News >  Spokane

Small-town tradition wins big

From the grandstand, Dave Graham gives Liberty Lake's Independence Day parade the professionalism usually reserved for lines of floats surrounded by skyscrapers and department stores. But the parade and the other events that mark the Fourth of July in Liberty Lake are no big-city affairs. For one, Graham's grandstand is the second-story deck on his house, and the parade floats that pass by are mostly golf carts, Radio Flyer wagons and baby strollers.
News >  Spokane

Air agency formally hires director

Four days after Bill Dameworth started work as leader of Spokane County's air agency, the group's board formally voted to approve his hiring. Dameworth, former environmental manager for timber company Pope & Talbot, was introduced at a public meeting on Monday as the new director of the Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority.
News >  Spokane

River among most polluted

The Spokane River is contaminated with more of a potentially harmful fire retardant than any other waterway tested in the state, according to state studies released Thursday. The reports also show that the river continues to contain more adverse chemicals and metals compared with other bodies of water statewide. However, the news wasn't all bleak: Officials say there has been a decline in PCB levels (mixtures of man-made chemicals) in fish over the past decade.
News >  Spokane

Air quality hire questioned

The hiring of Spokane's new air quality chief appears to have violated state law, legal experts and others said Wednesday. Bill Dameworth, former environmental manager for timber company Pope & Talbot, was introduced on Monday as the new director of the Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority.
News >  Spokane

New air quality chief starts under a cloud

Spokane County's new air quality regulator is unconvinced that pollution is causing global warming, a position that concerns some environmental activists and one of the agency's board members. "There is some scientific disagreement about that, and I'm not sure we are large enough to inject ourselves in the argument," said Bill Dameworth, who was introduced Monday as the new director of the Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority.
News >  Spokane

Spokane County expands growth boundary

A long-standing dispute between Spokane County and the city of Spokane was resolved partially Tuesday in a decision that could someday help the city expand its borders. The ruling made Tuesday by county commissioners expands Spokane's urban growth boundary – or possible future city limits – by more than 20 square miles. Commissioners stressed, however, that the annexation process is completely separate from Tuesday's decision and that the land could remain unincorporated.
News >  Spokane

Chamberlain joins race for county commission

The field is crowding in the Democratic primary for the chance to run against incumbent county Commissioner Phil Harris. Barb Chamberlain, a former Idaho legislator, filed campaign papers this week stating her intention to run for Harris' seat, which represents the southwest part of the county.
News >  Voices

County considers transfer of land for Appleway extension

County officials say they are inching closer to transferring land to Spokane Valley so that Appleway Boulevard can be extended. "Spokane Valley really needs to address future traffic needs and that is the extension of Appleway," said Spokane Valley City Councilman Mike DeVleming at a joint city-county meeting Wednesday.
News >  Spokane

Sierra Club says 2003 law threatens state water systems

Concerned that rivers are running dryer and fish are struggling to maintain populations, the Sierra Club is asking for help to challenge a 2003 water rights law. On Thursday, the group sent a letter to state Attorney General Rob McKenna to ask him to file suit to overturn the law on several grounds.
News >  Spokane

Attorney: RPS failed to act

An attorney representing the family of a woman who died when her car fell from the River Park Square garage sharply criticized mall officials Wednesday for failing to take the advice of a 1993 engineering report. In response to barriers cracking after being hit by cars, the report suggested conducting a more thorough look at the barriers or to add steel cable to the sides to prevent cars from hitting the concrete.