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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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River, Coyote Country swap spots on radio dial

Dawn Marie Wolski returns for Spokane Opera’s “Diamonds & Divas” on New Year’s Eve at the Davenport Hotel.  (File)
Dawn Marie Wolski returns for Spokane Opera’s “Diamonds & Divas” on New Year’s Eve at the Davenport Hotel. (File)

The River and the Coyote Country are swapping places on the radio dial as of Jan. 1.

The River is the nickname for the adult alternative format of KXLY-FM, presently at 99.9 on the FM dial.

Coyote Country is the nickname for the country format of KEZE-FM, which is at 96.9 FM. They are sister stations in the KXLY Broadcast Group.

On Jan. 1, KEZE will move to 99.9 and KXLY will move to 96.9.

So if you wake up New Year’s Day and are shocked to find yourself listening to Travis Tritt – or conversely, John Mayer – all you have to do is reprogram those presets and you’ll be right back at home.

This move will give Coyote Country a more powerful signal in rural, outlying areas. The 99.9 signal is at about 37,000 watts, while the 96.9 signal is at about 8,200 watts.

Yet power isn’t the only element affecting FM reception. Steve Wall, the program director of The River, said he hopes that the switch will also give The River better urban reception and make it easier to pick up at work.

CdA Summer Theatre lineup

The Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre lineup has been finalized for next year:

•“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” the hit Broadway musical about kids at a spelling bee. (The Spokane Civic Theatre has also scheduled this show, but not until 2011.)

•“Cinderella,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical version of the fairy tale.

•“Pump Boys and Dinettes,” a country-rock-bluegrass-gospel musical about the singin’ and pickin’ employees of a small-town diner and gas station.

•“Hairspray,” the Northwest premiere of the hit Broadway musical about the dance-crazy kids of 1962 Baltimore.

The exact dates haven’t been announced, but the season typically runs from mid-June through mid-August. Call (800) 4-CDATIX for subscription information.

A fine Christmas Wish

Word has arrived from the morning team at KZZU-FM (92.9) – Dave Sposito, Ken Hopkins and Molly Allen – that their “Christmas Wish” fundraiser collected nearly $30,000 for local families in need.

This is their 14th year of doing the event.

Meanwhile, congratulations to them and the rest of the KZZU team. They jumped back into what used to be a familiar position – No. 1 – in the Spokane radio ratings in the most recent Arbitron report.

KZZU has made a steady climb back up the ratings ever since Dave, Ken and Molly returned in 2005.

‘Musicians’ in museum

Photographer Rick Singer’s “Spokane Musicians” photo exhibit – which features portraits of 182 local musicians and groups – has been donated to the permanent collection of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC).

That means everyone from Patrice Munsel to Dead Man’s Pants will now be preserved in photographic form at the museum. The exhibit was on display in the Chase Gallery at Spokane City Hall earlier this year.

This donation was made possible by contributions from Singer and from a dozen other individual donors.

Singer’s previous – and similar – exhibit, “Spokane Artists and Arts Patrons,” was donated to the MAC’s permanent collection in 2007.

On a ‘Carrousel’

Speaking of the Chase Gallery, here’s an upcoming exhibit that should have plenty of nostalgic appeal: “The Art of the Carrousel,” Jan. 5 through Feb. 26.

It will feature artifacts from the Looff Carrousel in Riverfront Park, including antique horses and figures. It will also include artwork by Michael Gass, Nona Hengen, Betty Largent, Lorraine Krank and Jessie Swanson.

‘A Celtic Yuletide’

If you’re looking for a way to get into a Yule mood, here’s today’s top bet: “A Celtic Yuletide with Michael Londra” at 3 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave.

Irish tenor Londra, a former lead performer in “Riverdance,” will be accompanied by the Inland Northwest’s own An Dochas and the Haran Irish Dancers.

Those two excellent local groups aren’t merely joining Londra for this show. They have been on his entire “Celtic Yuletide” tour, which has taken them to Florida, Arizona, California, Pennsylvania and other far-flung places.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for students and seniors.

‘Diamonds & Divas’

Just a reminder about the Spokane Opera’s “Diamonds & Divas,” a black-tie gala and wine auction, at 6:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve at the Davenport Hotel.

It’s pricey – $175 per person – but you get dinner, champagne and musical entertainment from Mateusz Wolski, Dawn Wolski, Greg Pre sley and the Spokane Opera Orchestra.

The theme this year is “Passport to Poland,” so you’ll be sure to hear some Chopin.

I attended last year and I’ll guarantee you – you won’t find a more elegant New Year’s Eve event in the region. You’ll be waltzing to Strauss at midnight.

Call (509) 533-1150 for reservations.

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