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Thursday, October 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Mayor dismisses city’s chief lobbyist

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner this week dismissed the city’s chief liaison with state and federal leaders.

Susan Ashe, director of legislative and public affairs, was informed by Verner on Monday that she would not remain on staff. Ashe, who oversaw the city’s lobbying efforts, will remain at the city through November.

Administration officials stressed that Ashe was not terminated for cause.

“Susan has served the city well in her capacity over the years,” said city spokeswoman Marlene Feist. “The mayor has decided that she wants to revamp the whole legislative affairs function.”

Ashe, who was hired for the job in 2003 by former Mayor John Powers, said Friday that Verner told her that budget difficulties factored into her dismissal.

“It’s just been a real pleasure to have worked for the city and for the last five and half years and four mayors,” said Ashe, who added that she has “no hard feelings.”

Spokane Valley

Pedestrian hit by car on East Sprague

A woman walking on the concrete median in the middle of the 13000 block of East Sprague Avenue fell into traffic and was hit by a car, just after 5:30 p.m. Friday.

“The vehicle that struck her was westbound on Sprague, just across Blake,” said Deputy Craig Chamberlain of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. “The driver of the car said she saw the woman and slowed down, but she couldn’t tell what happened to the pedestrian that made her fall into the roadway, if she tripped or perhaps twisted a knee.”

The pedestrian was taken to a hospital in critical condition, while authorities tried to locate her family.

The driver wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The accident happened during heavy traffic at one of the major shopping areas in Spokane Valley.


Columbus Day closures

Although Spokane parking meters will not have to be plugged Monday because of Columbus Day, Spokane city and Spokane County offices will remain open and garbage and recycling pickup will stay on schedule.

Post offices and most banks and credit unions will be closed.

Kootenai County offices will be closed, but garbage pickup follows the regular schedule and transfer stations are open.

City Hall in Coeur d’Alene is open and garbage pickup there follows the normal schedule.


School official answers questions online

Constituents with questions about spending, curriculum, students’ behavior or any other topic relevant to education can submit them on Spokane Public Schools’ Web site. Superintendent Nancy Stowell will respond to the questions Tuesday.

Among other issues, students in the past have asked about parking and the policy for computer use, taxpayers have asked about implementing a four-day week to save fuel costs, and parents have asked about the dress code and recess.

Stowell’s answers are sometimes involved and sometimes as brief as “That’s a question for your principal.”

To submit a question, go to and click on “Ask the Superintendent.”

Time to get heating systems checked

Now that the home heating season has begun, don’t let it all go up in flames. Service your furnace and woodstove, have your chimney cleaned, dust space heater elements and keep them away from flammables, an area fire official recommends.

Bill Clifford, deputy fire marshal for the Spokane Valley Fire Department, offers these tips to protect you, your family and the roof over your head:

• Hire a certified professional to maintain the furnace. They’ll get rid of dust on motors and electrical parts, install new filters and perform a system test run.

• Rely on certified crews to clean and inspect chimneys on fireplaces and wood stoves. They’ll take care of loose or missing bricks and mortar, remove volatile creosote and check for tight seals to keep carbon monoxide and fire from spreading inside.

• Follow the book on wood stove installation. Get a building permit, hire an installation expert familiar with proper wall clearances and ventilation.

• Do not overstock wood stoves. They’ll burn too hot and could ignite house fires.

• Don’t burn garbage, wrapping paper, treated wood or highly combustible wood in fireplaces and wood stoves.


Bill returns land to tribes

President Bush has signed a bill returning 24 acres the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians consider sacred.

The property, which includes Chief’s Island and Gregory Point near Charleston, will be placed in trust for the tribes.

“These 24 acres have historical significance for the tribes, as they were the site of an Indian village and tribal cemetery,” said tribal Chairman Bob Garcia.

The bill passed both houses of Congress in September.

The tribe will take over management from the U.S. Coast Guard. Chief’s Island includes the decommissioned Cape Arago Lighthouse, which the tribes have agreed to maintain.

The tribes have formally sought the return of the land since 1991.

Staff and wire reports
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