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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

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.

Sports

Spokane hopes to host trials

Soon after hosting championship ice skaters, Spokane leaders hope to be center stage for another national sports event. The Spokane Regional Sports Commission will submit a bid by the end of this month to host the 2008 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials, said Eric Sawyer, executive director of the commission.
News >  Spokane

County may give dogs spot to unwind

Until moving to Spokane a year ago, Max and Brutus got off-leash playtime daily at a Seattle dog park. In Eastern Washington, their owner, Beth Tubbs, has to settle for taking the two Labrador retrievers on walks.
News >  Spokane

City, county leaders discuss cooperation council

They may not be the Hatfields and McCoys, but Spokane city and county leaders have their issues. In an effort to resolve those problems, about 50 officials gathered Wednesday to discuss the formation of a council of Spokane County elected leaders.
News >  Spokane

Mental health contract OK’d

Spokane County commissioners voted Tuesday to end a long-standing partnership with United Behavioral Health, a California managed-care firm hired to look after the finances of the public mental health system. The decision ends an often prickly relationship between the county, the managed-care company and mental health providers in Spokane.
News >  Spokane

City, county leaders discuss funding for animal control

The first formal meeting between elected city and county leaders since 1998 turned into a dogfight – though not between the city and county. Mayor Dennis Hession and Councilman Brad Stark debated how the city will pay for animal control after its contract with SpokAnimal C.A.R.E. runs out Dec. 1.
News >  Spokane

Judge grants request for garage hearing

A Spokane County Superior Court judge has scheduled a hearing at 1:30 p.m. June 6 to examine the River Park Square parking garage. The hearing before Judge Kathleen O’Connor was granted at the request of former Spokane City Councilman Stephen Eugster, who has argued that parking spaces in the garage facing the outside should be closed until the sides are reinforced.
News >  Spokane

Commissioner questions Flint’s new job

County Commissioner Mark Richard on Tuesday added his voice to those sounding concerns about the career move of Spokane's former public works director. The director, Roger Flint, recently was hired by CH2M Hill, an engineering firm that is helping update a solid waste plan for Spokane. County leaders were asked on Tuesday to approve spending about $50,000 extra on the proposal.
News >  Spokane

County joins Valley in appeal for state land

If the state doesn't want land along the Spokane River, local governments say they do. Spokane County commissioners voted Tuesday to ask the state to turn over two properties along the Spokane River if the state goes ahead with plans to sell the land.
News >  Spokane

Pollution authority nominees screened

Three finalists were interviewed Monday to lead the Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority. The agency's board has been searching for a new director since September, when the group's director resigned. A final selection is expected Wednesday.
News >  Voices

Treatment center proposal will require input from county

The proposed move of a drug and alcohol treatment center to Spokane Valley will require extra approvals and public hearings, Spokane County commissioners decided this week. American Behavioral Health Systems wants to move its in-patient clinic from north Spokane to the former Good Samaritan nursing home on Mission Avenue, across from Valley Hospital and Medical Center.
News >  Spokane

Sheriff candidate backs GOP foe

Democrats now have a candidate for sheriff, but his strategy is irking party leaders. John Kallas, a former Spokane County sheriff's deputy and Tukwila, Wash., detective, said he would work to make sure every crime is investigated and fingerprints taken at every crime scene – even if that means an increase in taxes. He announced his candidacy on Thursday.
News >  Spokane

Voluntary RPS upgrades possible

River Park Square officials said Wednesday that safety improvements will be considered to prevent another car from falling from the mall's garage. However, they stressed that any changes would be voluntary because an initial study shows the garage meets building code.
News >  Spokane

Some uncovered trash fines lowered

Spokane County commissioners approved a measure Tuesday that will reduce some fines for people who haven't adequately covered trash while hauling it to the dump. "It's meant to be educational rather than punitive," said William Wedlake, Spokane County's regional solid waste coordinator.
News >  Spokane

Rest stop starts new life as park with reopening

A rest area along Interstate 90 is letting people rest once again. But this time, the site could be more of a destination than a pit stop for weary travelers. Spokane County is holding a reopening ceremony this morning for Gateway Park, which includes a rest stop just north of Exit 299 on Interstate 90. The rest area was closed about five years ago, but county leaders have agreed to lease it from the state for a buck.
News >  Spokane

Rest stop to start new life as park

A rest area along Interstate 90 is letting people rest once again. But this time, the site could be more of a destination than a pit stop for weary travelers. Spokane County is holding a reopening ceremony this morning for Gateway Park, which includes a rest stop just north of Exit 299 on Interstate 90. The rest area was closed about five years ago, but county leaders have agreed to lease it from the state for a buck.
News >  Spokane

Population growth vote delayed

Spokane County commissioners delayed a decision on future population growth Tuesday after neighborhood activists said that the commission appeared headed toward creating sprawl. The commission is in the midst of updating its 20-year growth plan and must pick among three state population forecasts to use for updating infrastructure and other county needs.
News >  Spokane

RPS report released

Results of a Spokane police investigation into a fatal River Park Square garage accident appear to support statements made by witnesses that the victim was pulling slowly into a parking space when her car bumped the barrier and fell from the fifth story. The front of the Subaru, which hit a barrier called a spandrel, sustained only minor damage, including scuff marks on the front bumper and slight damage under the bumper cover, according to the report released Monday.
News >  Spokane

River Park Square executive confident garage is safe

The chief executive of River Park Square said Friday that he is confident the garage is safe. However, nearly a month after a woman died when her car plunged from the garage's fifth floor, Robert Smith said he could not guarantee that it wouldn't happen again if a car hit one of the barriers at low speeds. And a study that could answer that question definitively is only now beginning.
News >  Spokane

Appeals to Kalispel Tribe’s tax-free development dropped

A significant land development project from the Kalispel Tribe of Indians got a boost Tuesday when county leaders agreed to drop opposition to its tax-free status. The tribe is proposing a 250-acre residential and commercial development within the city of Airway Heights, south of its Northern Quest Casino on Hayford Road.
News >  Spokane

Lawsuit challenges hiring of third Harris son

The Neighborhood Alliance of Spokane County announced Tuesday that it has filed a lawsuit in a case alleging nepotism in the county's hiring of Commissioner Phil Harris' son. The county hired Stephen Harris in April 2005 as a development assistance coordinator. He is the third son of Harris to be hired by the county.
News >  Spokane

Health board may redo vote rule

Appointed members of the Spokane Regional Health District board could soon have the power to vote. The Spokane County Commission will consider a resolution at a meeting this afternoon that would reverse a decision it made in 2003 to take away the voting authority of the appointed health board members.