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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

Regional teachers’ college loans add up

About a third of college graduates in Washington and Idaho are too indebted to afford working as a teacher or social worker, according to a new report that argues student loan debt is exacting a growing cost in public service. Meanwhile, "Over the next decade, America will need to recruit 2 million new teachers to fill our nation's classrooms," according to the report, titled "Paying Back, Not Giving Back."
News >  Idaho

UI supersizes Internet access with ‘fat pipeline’

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho has expanded its Internet "pipeline" by more than 50 times, increasing the possibilities for research and collaboration with other schools and agencies, UI officials said Monday. The increased bandwidth makes it possible for researchers to download lots of data quickly and collaborate in real time with other scientists around the globe, officials said. It makes the UI part of a network set up through a federal grant to expand high-tech communications and biomedical research in Western states. And it should make it faster for a student in the dorm to download the latest song.
News >  Idaho

University Place fight settled

The University of Idaho and other parties associated with an ill-fated, multimillion-dollar attempt to expand into Boise have settled most of the legal claims surrounding the project. The key piece of the mediated settlement announced Friday is the repayment of trust funds used to finance the University Place project – in transactions investigators described as improper and possibly illegal. In the economic and legal fallout after the deal collapsed in 2002, the university found itself cutting budgets, programs and jobs, though that kind of budget pain is past.

News >  Spokane

Eagles eye new view

Eastern Washington University is moving ahead with efforts to shift its Spokane programs to the Riverpoint campus it shares with Washington State University. The school has received state approval – awaiting the governor's signature – to sell its downtown center and put the proceeds toward a new facility. EWU is stepping up efforts to find a buyer and considering options at the Riverpoint campus, spokesman David Rey said.
News >  Spokane

The beauty of wet paint

Who would paint a house on a damp March day in Spokane? About 50 college students on spring break who are painting 10 West Central homes for free this month as training for starting their own businesses.
News >  Voices

Protest in Peaceful Valley fits the name

It was a Peaceful Valley kind of protest – laid-back, low-key, potluck. Neighbors gathered in a back yard, sharing snacks and talking about writing letters in opposition to a proposed 17-story condominium tower about a block away. And, while they're focused primarily on that project, they share a general concern about the speed of development in their valley and their neighborhood's future.
News >  Idaho

College plan sparks NIC debate

Efforts to create a statewide system of community colleges have exposed a debate about work force training and tax fairness at North Idaho College. Two North Idaho chambers of commerce have issued statements of support for a statewide, state-funded community college system to replace the current system, in which schools like NIC are independently run and get a significant portion of their budget from property taxes. A legislative proposal for a statewide system was derailed in Boise, though supporters expect the idea to return as Idaho looks to expand community college offerings around the state.
News >  Spokane

Fight with police injures man

A Spokane man was in critical condition late Saturday after a "very horrific fight" with several police officers in a Division Street convenience store, said Jim Nicks, acting Spokane police chief. But the nature of the man's health problems was not immediately apparent Saturday night. Nicks said the man began having trouble breathing several minutes after police subdued him, and he did not have obvious injuries that would explain the reaction.
News >  Spokane

Suspect sought after body found in river

A 45-year-old Spokane man missing for more than a week was found dead in the Spokane River on Saturday afternoon, and police were searching the Northwest for one of two suspects in the possible killing. Donald Lynn Smiley-Lyle, 17, is being sought on a warrant for first-degree murder in the case, said Cpl. Tom Lee of the Spokane Police Department. Another suspect, Robert Allen Entel Jr., 18, was arrested in Salem, after a day of feverish developments around the region.
News >  Spokane

Washington law fights cost of textbooks

Sometimes a textbook is not just a textbook. In more and more cases, it comes shrink-wrapped with a CD, computer program or supplemental text – extras that critics say drive up the price but frequently go unused.
News >  Spokane

Seminar focuses on tribal issues

Carrie Dann's battle with the United States has played out on Nevada rangeland and in the chambers of the Supreme Court. It's reached from tribal councils to Congress. But her efforts to claim property rights for ancestral lands of the Western Shoshone tribe have run into roadblock after roadblock. The federal government has pointed to years of court rulings and a multimillion-dollar trust payment as evidence that the land in question is government property.
News >  Spokane

Collegians spring into action

Scores of regional college students are headed south for spring break, but their antics probably won't wind up on any sensational videos. Girls Gone Kind? Boys Gone Charitable?
News >  Spokane

Students spring to action

Scores of regional college students are headed south for spring break, but their antics probably won't wind up on any sensational videos. Girls Gone Kind? Boys Gone Charitable?
News >  Business

Selling an image

Want to create an effective advertisement? Your best bet might be to ignore the product completely. Pick some pleasant music or a sexy spokesmodel. Make it funny. Remind people of the good old days.
News >  Spokane

WSU students vote today on fees for stadium work

Looking to renovate its football stadium, Washington State University is turning to an increasingly common source of financing. A letter writer in the student paper called it the "Bank of Associated Cougar Students."
News >  Spokane

Project gets lift from contest

An award-winning business plan put together by a team of Washington State University students got its start in a coloring book. In crayon.
News >  Spokane

Invasive species control urged

Nine years after it moved into Lake Michigan, the quagga mussel has covered the bottom to depths of more than 300 feet. In a little more than a century, cheatgrass went from a North American newcomer to the dominant species on a lot of Western grassland.
News >  Spokane

WSU branches blossom

For more than a century, when people have thought of Washington State, they've thought of Pullman. But over the last 15 years, WSU has been planting its flag all over the state – in Spokane, in the Tri-Cities, in Vancouver. Across the state line, the University of Idaho has done the same thing, offering courses in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Boise and Twin Falls.
News >  Spokane

Energy study sees gold mine in cow pies

Washington could supply half its appetite for residential electricity with things found in the trash and the barnyard, according to a new report. It just needs to figure out how to use the 41,039 dry tons of apples that don't make it to market each year. Or the 7,932 tons of poultry feathers. Or the 699,436 tons that drop from hind ends of cows.
News >  Spokane

Teacher says she lost job for speaking out

Teresa Knudsen taught English at Spokane Community College for 17 years. She had an office. She was listed in the course catalog. She frequently taught three classes a quarter. But as a member of the adjunct faculty, Knudsen was paid less, got fewer raises and had no guarantee that she'd have a job when the next quarter rolled around.
News >  Spokane

Some students cold to ice rink

A new recreation center planned for the heart of Eastern Washington University's campus in Cheney has stumbled into student opposition over rising costs and the prominence of an ice rink. As construction costs go up, the project has scaled back its basketball courts and running track – while keeping the ice rink and multiuse surface at the center of the project.
News >  Spokane

Swank GU scanning system is truly digital

When Scott McCoy pays for his pancakes at Arny's these days, he swipes a fingertip, not a card. McCoy and about 400 other Gonzaga University students are among the first in the country to use a new program that allows access to funds through "biometric finger scans." Students can use the scans to pay for meals on campus, and other businesses in the Gonzaga area have added or are adding the program for services, including haircuts and lattes.
News >  Spokane

GU asks fans to quell ‘inappropriate’ chants

On the eve of the Gonzaga basketball team's nationally televised game against Stanford, students and faculty members are urging fans not to repeat chants of "Brokeback Mountain" against opposing players. In Monday's GU game against St. Mary's, some students chanted the title of the movie at an opposing player, apparently a culturally current suggestion the player was gay. The movie, considered a top contender for a best picture Oscar, tells the story of two Wyoming sheepherders who fall in love.
News >  Spokane

Only the best for family’s best friend

PULLMAN – The patient wore a bandanna that read, "I'm a Cancer Survivor." He was back for a checkup after a month of radiation treatments, and the doctor thought he was ready for the next step.