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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Meeting tonight on bus bench ads

Spokane City Councilman Al French will sponsor a public meeting tonight about bus bench advertising.

Citing a 2001 city ordinance regulating signs, Spokane Mayor Mary Verner recently sent a letter to bus bench advertising companies demanding that bus benches with ads be removed by May 25.

On Thursday, the Spokane Transit Authority is scheduled to consider purchasing 100 benches to replace ones with advertising.

French said he plans to sponsor changes in city rules that would allow bus bench advertising.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone St.

Injured police dog to be honored

Spokane’s injured police dog Var, shot by a suspect in a confrontation earlier this year, will receive a police Purple Heart award during a ceremony before the Spokane City Council on April 27 at 6 p.m., the Spokane Police Department said Tuesday.

Var was struck by gunfire on March 17 during pursuit of a man who ran from police following an attempted traffic stop along North Division Street.

The suspect fired at Var after being confronted by Officer Dan Lesser and Var in an alley off Division.

Var, who had been brought out of retirement at the time, has recovered from the bullet wounds but will not be returned to duty.

Lesser returned fire, killing the suspect, Johnnie L. Longest III, 22.

Eastern Washington

Dental clinics join forces with UW

Two dental clinics, in Colville and Springdale, have entered into an affiliation with the University of Washington School of Dentistry.

The agreement sets up the clinics as Eastern Washington training sites for students in their final year of dental school.

One stated goal of the N.E. Washington Health Programs program is that students also learn about the needs of rural and under-served areas.

The participating clinics include the Colville and Springdale Community Dental Clinics. Both accept most insurance, including Medicaid. Discounted services are based on family income and are offered to the uninsured and underinsured.


Water system work closes campground

Installation of a water system will close Sam Owen Campground and a day-use area until July 1.

The Forest Service campground lies 21 miles east of Sandpoint on Highway 200. Contractors will start working on the new system today. Heavy equipment will be used to dig trenches and lay new water lines, so people should avoid walking through the campground until the work is done, said Richard Kramer, Sandpoint District ranger.

Access to a popular hiking trail adjacent to Sam Owen Campground will remain open.

From staff reports

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