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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Shawn Vestal

Shawn Vestal

Current Position: columnist

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

All Stories

News >  Spokane

Physics studies energized

When Benjamin Spaun finishes his undergraduate work at Whitworth College, he hopes to head to one of the country's top research universities for graduate school. "I'm thinking either nuclear physics or plasma physics," said Spaun, a 21-year-old junior from Wenatchee.
News >  Spokane

Philanthropy 101

In an average year, about $100 million is donated to colleges and universities in the Inland Northwest.
News >  Spokane

In the spotlight

Most national media coverage of the figure skating championships deals with what happens on the ice. But the focus occasionally strays to Spokane itself, a place described in recent press reports as "a river city near the Idaho border," "exuberant and charming" and "The Little Engine That Could."

News >  Idaho

Show honors missing man

MOSCOW, Idaho – Since John Dickinson went missing 18 days ago, he's been missed all over this town. At the City Council, where he was recently elected president. At the University of Idaho, where he retired from a distinguished career as a computer science professor. Downtown, where he was a frequent presence on his bike and in coffee shops.
News >  Spokane

Tuition caps find support

Following the governor's lead, lawmakers are considering ways to give college students a break this year. Gov. Chris Gregoire wants to freeze community college tuition and set annual limits for other schools ranging up to 7 percent, but she also proposes millions in additional spending on salaries and programs at the state's colleges and universities.
News >  Spokane

WSU physicist helps create quantum leap in fiber optics

A Washington State University researcher may have helped in a scientific advance that could radically speed up the operation of computers, Internet connections, medical technology and a host of other systems. Mark Kuzyk, a professor of physics and astronomy at WSU, and his colleagues have found a molecule that reacts to light more strongly than any other measured. It's a promising development in the field of optics, suggesting the possibility of much smaller, faster and more efficient light-powered systems that might someday replace a wide range of electronic systems.
News >  Idaho

UI theft spurs alert

Most people know to be careful with their Social Security numbers by now. But universities, government agencies, large companies and other big groups often have decades worth of personal information pegged to those nine important digits, dating back well before the phrase "identity theft" was ever uttered. And when they have a security breach – such as Wednesday's announcement of a computer theft at the University of Idaho – it can expose a lot of people.
News >  Spokane

Preparing for the big day

Nicole Balzer spent Saturday afternoon considering variations on the garden wedding. When she is married in July, she doesn't want it to be a "typical, hokey garden wedding," she said. She and her mother, Nancy, spent some time at the Bridal Festival on Saturday looking for ways to avoid the hokey.
News >  Spokane

What

Maybe no one knows what the future holds. But here at the front door of 2007, a lot of things seem very, very probable.
News >  Spokane

Residents remember him fondly from visits to area

Gerald Ford came to the Northwest several times for the usual political reasons, such as fundraisers and campaign stops. But especially during his years as an ex-president, Ford came here for other reasons as well – vacations, speaking engagements, a brief stop to refuel his plane. He appeared at regional events ranging from Eastern Washington University's centennial celebration in 1982 to the Richland Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet in 1979.
News >  Spokane

That’s a wrap – and a waste

For many people, Christmas is the biggest day of the year. For those who take care of our garbage and recycling, though, the biggest day of the year is the day after Christmas.
News >  Spokane

Season of giving also about receiving

Charlotte Karling decidedly has the Christmas spirit. Some might think she has reason to dislike this time of year – her father passed away earlier this month, and a son died three Decembers ago. But Karling says she appreciates the season on a deeper level because of that. The hustle and bustle, the lights and music, the religious foundation – she likes it all.
News >  Spokane

Pullman priorities

COLUMBIA, Mo. – When Elson Floyd enrolled at the University of North Carolina in the 1970s, it wasn't because of the school's academic standards or research record. It was simply because he could afford it.
News >  Spokane

New top Coug

PULLMAN – Moments before Washington State University announced the hiring of its 10th president Wednesday morning, many top administrators and faculty leaders had yet to even shake hands with Elson S. Floyd. By late afternoon, some on the WSU campus were noting the sharp contrast between the way that professors and deans are hired – with lots of participation and public input – and the relatively cloistered process surrounding Floyd's appointment.
News >  Spokane

Report criticizes, clears prof

An investigation by Washington State University has concluded that a professor was "immature, intellectually unsophisticated and thoughtless" when he cursed at a student demonstrating in favor of a fence along the Mexican border – but that he did not discriminate against or intimidate the student. The report, dated Dec. 1 and obtained Monday by The Spokesman-Review, also directs some blame for the incident toward WSU's College Republicans, who erected a 24-foot chain-link fence Nov. 2 on the Glenn Terrell Mall.
News >  Spokane

Fossil sheds new light on species

Judd Case had spent a lot of time in the Antarctic, and seen a lot of fossils. There were the hadrosaur bones he found in 1998. And the head and feet of a previously undiscovered species of raptor – everything but the "tasty bits" – he dug up in 2004. And countless pieces of teeth and bone he and his team gathered over years of fossil hunting around the South Pole.
News >  Spokane

Scientists have high hopes for tower

In the mountains about 20 miles east of Santa, Idaho, a tall tower is taking some very quick, very careful measurements. Every tenth of a second for about year, the 130-foot tower, which was built by University of Idaho scientists, has measured temperature, water vapor, carbon and wind speed. The information should help give a clearer picture of the way carbon, a key contributor to global warming, behaves in the atmosphere around mountainous terrain with lots of year-round vegetation.
News >  Spokane

Students to offer plans for Riverpoint growth

The idea of developing a university district surrounding the Riverpoint campus has drawn a lot of discussion, planning and support in recent years. Now some college students are trying to push the idea closer to reality.
News >  Spokane

Big freeze to test region’s plumbing

The region's first blast of subzero weather is expected to hit tonight, and Ron Gaunt knows what that means. By Wednesday morning, some pipes will be frozen. Gaunt, a technical services coordinator for the Spokane Neighborhood Action Programs, advises people on how to weatherize their homes. But a lot of times, his advice comes after the fact.
News >  Spokane

Peak conditions greet skiers

After an "epic powder day" kicked off the region's ski season Friday, skiers and snowboarders are looking forward to even more snow over the weekend. Heavy snows left 10 to 15 inches of new accumulation at most Inland Northwest resorts Friday morning. Over the previous 48 hours, some resorts got more than 2 feet of new snow. Most regional ski areas opened for the year on Friday.
News >  Spokane

Schools pledge tuition assistance

In recent weeks, the biggest universities in Washington announced they'll start covering all tuition and fees for low-income students. It became a bit of a marketing battle, between Washington State University's Cougar Commitment and the University of Washington's Husky Promise – which was announced first.
News >  Spokane

WSU fence drives controversy

A dispute at a recent College Republicans demonstration at Washington State University – which included a professor cursing at students – is becoming the latest cause for activists who argue that colleges are hostile to conservative views. The president of WSU's GOP club is expected to appear on the Fox News program "Hannity & Colmes" tonight, and the event has become a frequent topic of news articles, blogs and letters to the editor on the Palouse since the demonstration Nov. 2.
News >  Spokane

New charges for Fred Russell

COLFAX – Karen Overacker feared she might never actually see Fred Russell. She'd seen his picture, of course. Russell is accused of causing the drunken-driving accident that killed her son and two other Washington State University students in June 2001. But it wasn't until Monday afternoon – after Russell had disappeared for four years, and after another year of extradition battles in Irish courts – that Overacker finally laid eyes on him.