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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Shawn Vestal
COLUMNIST
Shawn Vestal shawnv@spokesman.com (509) 459-5431

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


Most Recent Stories

News >  Spokane
Sept. 20, 2005, midnight
The Community Colleges of Spokane will honor two Spokane residents today – one for service on its board of directors and another for years of supporting literacy. Longtime board of trustees member Betty McInturff is stepping down, and a reception in her honor is planned today following the board's monthly meeting. The reception begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Learning Resource Center at Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene St.

News >  Spokane
Sept. 20, 2005, midnight
PULLMAN – Tucked behind the banks of engineering buildings at Washington State University, a tiny marvel of a home has taken shape. The wooden floors come from a quickly renewable Brazilian eucalyptus forest. The corrugated metal spent its youth deflecting Palouse rain before being recycled as siding and panels. And all of it – the dishwasher, the flat-screen swivel TV, the washer and dryer, even the four-person electric car parked outside – is run by the sun.

News >  Idaho
Sept. 19, 2005, midnight
MOSCOW, Idaho – Steven Spooner remembers the record that changed his life. As a 9-year-old taking piano lessons – which he hated – his teacher had him listen to "My Favorite Chopin."

News >  Spokane
Sept. 18, 2005, midnight
PULLMAN – William Spillman would be high on any list of Washington State University pioneers.His wheat varieties cover the Palouse. He helped revolutionize scientific understanding of heredity and genetic traits, and he brought practical lab results to the farm. He was the fifth faculty member hired, and he started the school's longest-running program, in wheat breeding. His story includes a stint as the university's self-taught football coach, work on a national survey of tribes, and helping to create the extension program. "It's spectacular," said Stephen Jones, a WSU wheat breeder and professor.

News >  Spokane
Sept. 17, 2005, midnight
Campus fund-raisers have been using all manner of attractions to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina, from benefit concerts to bake sales. But an enterprising and party-loving group of Gonzaga students turned to the most reliable draw of them all – the kegger.

News >  Spokane
Sept. 13, 2005, midnight
A new Gonzaga University program is turning unused dorm food into meals for the needy. Monday night, residents of the O'Malley Senior Apartments got salmon and wild rice with green beans, thanks to Campus Kitchen. Last week, student volunteers and Campus Kitchen staffers helped turn unused spaghetti sauce into sloppy joes.

News >  Idaho
Sept. 12, 2005, midnight
Amid the ongoing lawsuits and investigations surrounding University Place, officials with the University of Idaho say a positive development often is overlooked. The Idaho Water Center – the only remaining piece of the original four-building plan – is open and tenants are moving in.

News >  Idaho
Sept. 12, 2005, midnight
MOSCOW, Idaho – The cuts have been made. More than 250 jobs in three years. Seven degree programs.

News >  Spokane
Sept. 11, 2005, midnight
The editor of the University of Idaho Press' Hemingway Review helped the makers of a new documentary on the author answer some unlikely questions. What kind of pencils did he use as he composed his manuscripts in Paris?

News >  Idaho
Sept. 11, 2005, midnight
Everybody knew everybody. One of the most persistent factors in the planning and decision-making surrounding University Place is the network of connections – some say conflicts – that surrounded the relationships among top University of Idaho officials, the foundation, its law firms, the project developer – even the governor.

News >  Idaho
Sept. 11, 2005, midnight
MOSCOW, Idaho – University Place was supposed to change the face of the University of Idaho. Just not the way it has.

News >  Spokane
Sept. 10, 2005, midnight
Six months after the announcement that Eastern Washington University President Stephen Jordan was leaving, the university has formed a search committee and hired a recruiting firm and is preparing to advertise the opening. But a new president likely won't be on campus until next summer – and a couple of other top administrative hires will probably come after that.

News >  Spokane
Sept. 10, 2005, midnight
Six months after the announcement that Eastern Washington University President Stephen Jordan was leaving, the university has formed a search committee and hired a recruiting firm, and is preparing to advertise the opening. But a new president likely won't be on campus until next summer – and a couple of other top administrative hires will probably come after that.

News >  Spokane
Sept. 8, 2005, midnight
Some students spend years deciding where they'll go to college. Last week, Arthur Rowe spent about a day.

News >  Idaho
Aug. 30, 2005, midnight
MOSCOW, Idaho – Three generations of the Townsend family sat down for a talk recently. In itself, that wasn't so unusual. But this time, the Townsends were on the record. They walked away with a CD of the interview, which was also entered into a growing national database of oral histories.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 29, 2005, midnight
Garrett Swanburg, a freshman-to-be at Gonzaga University, dropped $400 on brand-new textbooks last week. GU law student Demetre Christofilis says he spends $400 to $600 a semester on textbooks and has a hard time finding used ones.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 26, 2005, midnight
Design students at Washington State University-Spokane were awarded a house project this week. The clients were kind of demanding. Daisy loves to chew on things. Sophie is a "sporty diva." Heather is allergic to grass.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 23, 2005, midnight
Gonzaga University and Whitworth College both ranked in the top 10 for their category in the new U.S. News & World Report listings of the nation's top schools – an annual report that stirs at least as much heartburn as pride in academia. Public universities in the Inland Northwest all ranked lower in their categories.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 21, 2005, midnight
PULLMAN – The technology wing of Jeff Records' life is significant. He has computers, both desktop and laptop. He's got a digital camera and cell phone, a PDA and a digital video recorder. Almost all of it, he says, could be used in one way or another as part of his classwork at Washington State University.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 18, 2005, midnight
PULLMAN – Gregory Jean got up early Tuesday, loaded the car and left Tacoma on a five-hour drive to a completely different world. Like thousands of other young people all over the Palouse, Jean gave up home for a dorm room this week. The 18-year-old – helped by his mother and older brother – was hauling boxes and hanging clothes at Washington State University's Stephenson dorm complex. Among his possessions, he brought a box fan, a basketball – and a guitar he plays a bit. "I'm planning on getting better while I'm here," he said.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 15, 2005, midnight
College football players are enduring twice-daily workouts in the August heat, practicing blocking and tackling, running wind sprints and learning the playbook. Sharon Stoll would like to see them add one more exercise – in ethics.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 14, 2005, midnight
For Ruth Dixon, World War II ended in the middle of a song. A USO singer on a six-month tour of the South Pacific, Dixon and her troupe were interrupted while performing at the estate of the Philippines' president on Aug. 14, 1945.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 7, 2005, midnight
Members of a tightknit Christian group that has been trailed by controversy around the West have purchased six homes bordering Whitworth College, raising concerns on campus and in the surrounding north Spokane neighborhood. Bill Freeman, who leads the group with his wife, Patsy, said he and the members of his church just want to live quietly, worship as they see fit and keep to themselves. For decades, the Freemans have led a group of fundamentalist Christians who live closely intertwined lives of intense religious devotion, according to several former members and published reports.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 5, 2005, midnight
Gov. Christine Gregoire has appointed Dr. Kim Thorburn, Spokane County's chief health official, to head up the state Board of Health. The part-time appointment means Thorburn will lead the 10-member state board for three years, while still serving as director of the Spokane Regional Health District. The state panel makes recommendations to lawmakers, regulates some health issues, gathers data and offers public forums on health.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 2, 2005, midnight
Washington State University President V. Lane Rawlins is shifting some responsibilities for running the Pullman campus to other administrators to focus more on statewide issues such as fund-raising, lobbying and long-range planning. In an executive reorganization announced Monday, Rawlins said WSU Provost Robert Bates will become executive vice president for the Pullman campus, giving him the primary role in the day-to-day affairs there.