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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Division off-ramps to close

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Interstate 90 drivers take note.

The Division Street off-ramps in Spokane will be closed tonight at 8 and remain closed until 6 a.m. Friday. The closures are necessary to make way for paving at Division Street and Third Avenue.

Also today, Qwest repair work at Third Avenue and Maple Street will require the closure of some lanes on Maple for about two hours, starting at 8 p.m.

Symphony names new director

The Spokane Symphony on Wednesday named Brenda Nienhouse, who has been an administrator for several arts organizations in Michigan, as its new executive director.

She replaces John Hancock, who left in September for a position with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Nienhouse, most recently president and CEO of the West Shore Symphony Orchestra in Muskegon, Mich., has a master’s degree in woodwind performance from the University of Michigan.

As an American Symphony Orchestra League Orchestra Management Fellow, she worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Rochester (N.Y.) Philharmonic Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. She also has been an arts management consultant since 1990 and developed a national music program in Nicaragua.

She starts her Spokane job on June 28.

“We are excited about the strategic vision and experience Brenda Nienhouse brings to the Spokane Symphony,” Bill Simer, president of the symphony’s board, said in a press statement.

“As an ASOL Fellow she received valuable training,” Simer said. “She has proven to be a strong leader in strategic, production, education, outreach, personnel and artistic matters.”

The hiring of Nienhouse completes the turnover at the top of the symphony’s management team over the past year. Music Director Eckart Preu just finished his first season with the orchestra.

Following a national search, Nienhouse was selected by a committee made up of symphony board members and musicians along with Preu.

STA approves contract for new CEO

E. Susan Meyer is officially Spokane Transit Authority’s CEO.

The STA Board of Directors unanimously approved Wednesday a one-year contract with Meyer, who will be paid $109,000 a year to lead the agency.

The contract calls for a six-month performance review, and also gives Meyer 18 days of combined sick leave and vacation.

Her predecessor, Kim Zentz, was making $112,000 a year and had six weeks of leave a year. Zentz left STA to take an interim director position at the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute.

Meyer, who has never worked for a transit agency, said Wednesday that she has two weeks of meetings scheduled with STA employees to begin her “immersion” into the world of transit in general, and STA in particular. She doesn’t plan any immediate changes at STA.

“I’m the kind of person who likes to get a real sense of the organization and the culture,” she said.

Meyer earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in business administration from Eastern Washington University, and is a former vice president of Telect Inc.

Most recently she has been running her own planning and communications consulting company, Meyer Consulting.

Meyer said she doesn’t ride the bus now, but has in the past, adding that her mother is a paratransit rider.

Woman found after stuck in woods

Kalaloch, Wash. A woman who said she set out for a weekend drive on the Olympic Peninsula but ended up stuck in the woods for four days is recovering after she was found trying to walk out along a logging road.

Denise Foss, 48, of Amanda Park, told Jefferson County sheriff’s officers she spent three nights and four days in the forest after her car got stuck Saturday on a logging road in the western part of the county.

The woman set out for a drive Saturday, intending to go to the Kalaloch area for lunch, but became lost. When she tried to turn around, her vehicle got stuck, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Foss, reportedly a stroke survivor, spent Saturday night in the vehicle, and began trying to walk out on Sunday.

She slept on the ground on Sunday and Monday nights, she told Deputy Dave Thomas, walking during the daytime. She said she drank water from puddles.

Two men, identified as Victor Allen and Glenn Buchanan, found her Tuesday afternoon, dragging herself along the remote logging road. Out sightseeing themselves, they had chosen that road by chance.

Thomas said the woman was cold, hungry and thirsty, but appeared to be otherwise unhurt.

Her relatives and friends had been searching for her, the sheriff’s office said, but had not contacted authorities.

Thomas said the woman’s stuck car was found and secured so her family could retrieve it.

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