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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Shawn Vestal

Stories by Shawn Vestal

Current Position: columnist

Shawn Vestal joined The Spokesman-Review in 1999. He currently is a columnist for the City Desk.

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News >  Spokane

EWU expands effort for first-generation students

In the middle of his freshman year, Carlo Calvillo was ready to drop out of Eastern Washington University and return to Tonasket. College was a stressful, foreign environment. Money was tight. He missed his mom and feared that his younger brother and sister needed him. "Maybe I should give up this dream," Calvillo thought.
News >  Spokane

UI president a living lesson

University of Idaho President Tim White says a college degree provides a steep ascent for students whose parents never attended college – an expansion of education and opportunity that outpaces the change for students of privilege. There are at least three supporting arguments sitting in the big offices at Inland Northwest colleges: Elson Floyd, Rodolfo Arevalo and White himself.
News >  Spokane

Research in Guatemala explores migrants, money

You wouldn't call Nathan Rodland's last summer break a vacation. A Whitworth University senior, Rodland spent most of last summer in Guatemala helping manage a research project on the effects of migration on the families left behind. He and another undergraduate, Emily Warren of Stanford University, had undertaken an ambitious, independent project – winning a $10,000 grant, devising a survey to be used for a population that speaks various Mayan dialects, and hiring and managing a team of interviewers spread all over the country.

News >  Spokane

Close Democratic race giving Spokane moment in sun

Enjoy it while it lasts, Spokane. The Democratic campaigns came calling Friday, and the country is awaiting the results of today's caucuses. But the fickle, intense light of presidential politics won't shine on us for long.
News >  Spokane

National Guard helps school dig out

SANDPOINT – The National Guard was called in against the snow Saturday, with Idaho soldiers taking up shovels to clear school roofs in Sandpoint and a Washington Air Guard crew opening snow-clogged roads in rural Spokane County. Forty members of the Idaho National Guard arrived at Sandpoint High around 2 p.m. Saturday, much to the relief of school officials and contract employees who had been shoveling for hours. The snow on 130,000-square-foot Sandpoint High piled to three or four feet, and it was just as bad at other area schools.
News >  Business

WSU allots cash for fiber optics

Washington State University plans to spend $5 million over the next seven years to expand network speed and capacity for researchers. The project, approved Friday by regents among a host of construction-related projects, would connect WSU researchers to a national fiber-optic network and vastly increase the bandwidth available for moving big chunks of data, said Viji Murali, WSU's vice president for information services.
News >  Spokane

EWU salary negotiations deadlocked

The faculty and administration at Eastern Washington University are again at an impasse over salaries, with contract talks scheduled to move into mediation today. Professors complain they're consistently the lowest paid of the 15 colleges EWU considers "peer institutions," and some are incensed the university is offering annual raises of roughly 4.2 percent just months after President Rodolfo Arevalo got more than a 13 percent bump in salary and deferred payments.
News >  Spokane

RV lovers brake for show

Rising gas prices and tides of economic woe didn't put a damper on the first day of the Inland Northwest RV Show, as crowds began showing up to case the latest deals in pleasure-mobiles. "The show prices are about $4,000 less than the regular prices – the ones I'm looking at, anyway," said Jim Weaver, a retired fire chief who lives in Spokane. "I had a pickup camper I've sold, and I'm looking for a trailer."
News >  Spokane

WSU nurses emaciated eagles

A pair of badly ailing bald eagles have been taken in at Washington State University's veterinary college, after being discovered separately in Stevens County during the holidays. The eagles were found emaciated, dehydrated and starving, said Nickol Finch, veterinarian at the college's teaching hospital.
News >  Spokane

Turning the page on textbooks

In her first three years at Washington State University, Abbey Holton went to the bookstore for her textbooks. It's a familiar story: She found it "incredibly expensive" to buy them, and hard to sell many back at the end of the semester.
News >  Spokane

WSU fights to keep water rights

The latest battle over Washington State University's water use and the region's dwindling aquifer will get a public airing this week in Pullman, when opponents try to overturn a state decision allowing WSU to consolidate its water rights. The university said the state decision addresses only where it can pump water – consolidation allows it to pump its total allotment from any combination of wells, rather than a certain amount per well. But the total amount of water it can use won't change, WSU says, and the decision won't affect watering its new golf course.
News >  Spokane

Loan options concern schools

As prospective college students look ahead to the challenges of paying for school, Dan Davenport has three numbers for them: Forty-five hundred. Twenty. And $22,303.
News >  Spokane

DNA suggests pattern of ancient migration

Brian Kemp learned a lot from one 10,300-year-old tooth. The Washington State University researcher has identified a previously unknown pattern of relationships among Native Americans – suggesting that humans arrived here more recently than previously believed and migrated down the western coastline from Alaska to the tip of South America. His finding suggests that ancient teeth might become a wider source of discoveries about historical DNA and unlocking more information about the past.
News >  Spokane

Slush part of the big picture

Monday was a typical day for this winter: Heavy snow becoming slushy by midday. In years past, you might have expected December's heavy snowfall to be piled up all over town. And while there's certainly evidence of winter on the ground, a lot of this year's snow hasn't stuck around long – at least not long enough to make you think that December 2007 was among the snowiest in history.
News >  Spokane

Report on UI grad programs rankles

Say the words "culture of Moscow" to anyone familiar with the college town, and a stereotype of artsy granolians is likely to emerge. But when consultants hired by the University of Idaho use the term, they have something different in mind – an inflexible, unproductive faculty they say is hindering the UI's efforts to overcome the financial crisis of recent years.
News >  Spokane

All about wheat

A lot of the world's wheat comes from the Palouse. It only makes sense that a lot of the World Book's information about wheat should, as well.
News >  Spokane

New building begins new look

The first new building at Spokane Falls Community College in more than a decade highlights a lot of the differences between the design styles of yesterday and today. Three low-slung, single-story buildings will be replaced by the new business and social science building, a three-story structure with a façade of glass. Windowless lecture halls will give way to classrooms with an expansive view of the nearby forests and hills. Dim linoleum hallways will be replaced with halls that are broken up with little communal areas for sitting and studying.
News >  Idaho

Yo ho ho! It’ll be on the test

There weren't a lot of Johnny Depps sailing around on real pirate ships. But the actor's popularity in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies may help a University of Idaho professor sneak a little history into his students' holds. Starting in January, Ian Chambers is teaching a course he devised on the real history of piracy – one that includes as much brutish reality as it does swashbuckling adventure.
News >  Spokane

Cougars force West Texas high school to sack logo

A high school in West Texas will have to dump its school logo because it's too similar to the Washington State University Cougar. Cooper High School probably will spend tens of thousands of dollars to replace the cougar head that has adorned its uniforms, scoreboards, gym floors, hallways and student IDs for more than 15 years, Principal Gail Gregg said.
News >  Spokane

Students learning philanthropy

It's not uncommon for colleges to emphasize service as part of their education. But a new program at Whitworth University will put students into the role of philanthropists – overseeing a $15,000 charity fund, investigating community needs, reviewing grant applications and deciding where the money goes.
News >  Spokane

Spike stars in children’s book

The cliche about expectations for college professors is publish or perish. But Michael Pringle, an associate professor of English at Gonzaga, has a new book coming out that probably won't do much for his academic career. "Spike, The Gonzaga Bulldog" -- a new children's book written in rhyme -- is more like a labor of love. "It's been a really nice break from academic writing," said Pringle, who has published poetry and scholarship on early American literature.
News >  Spokane

Lawsuit says state failed foster children

A lot of people were in a position to prevent the death of Tyler DeLeon, his advocates say. The state agency that licensed Carole DeLeon as a foster parent, which failed to respond to numerous complaints about abuse and neglect of foster children in her care and helped her adopt the boy. Social workers. His primary care doctor. His psychiatrist.
News >  Spokane

The Falls

It's time for another statistical cage match. Today: Spokane vs. Akron. The Lilac City versus The Rubber City. Both cities are roughly 200,000. Both are on bodies of water – Akron sits on shipping canals. Both cities have faded histories rooted in manufacturing.
News >  Spokane

The Falls

There was a lot of predictable news last week. Dino Rossi announced he's running for governor. The homeless tent city disbanded – only to reband. And public college tuition increased at about double the rate of inflation, 6.6 percent.
News >  Spokane

During a difficult time, walk brings motivation

The people in the bright yellow T-shirts left no doubt about their purpose on Saturday. They came to support Jenny Hoff, a Spokane woman who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease a year ago, and to remember Terry Hofer, a Chicago man who died of the disease in June.