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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: SkyFest will return to Fairchild this spring

After falling victim to Pentagon spending cuts, SkyFest is set to return to Fairchild Air Force Base this year.

The air show, once an annual fixture on the West Plains, is among a limited number of community open house events on military bases nationwide to receive Defense Department authorization this year.

The U.S. Air Force’s premier fighter jet demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, will perform. The air show also will feature numerous other displays and give the community a chance to learn more about the base. SkyFest is scheduled for May 31 to June 1, and admission is free.

The last air show at Fairchild was in 2010. Resource constraints from various overseas deployments forced the initial cancellations, but last year’s expected return was jettisoned after Congress was unable to reach a budget deal, triggering automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester, that grounded the Thunderbirds.

House OKs bill requiring abortion coverage

OLYMPIA – Washington’s Democratic House passed its latest version of a bill to require insurance companies to cover abortion if they cover maternity care. But the Reproductive Parity Act is unlikely to get a vote in the Senate.

The bill passed 54-44 despite objections from Republicans that it infringed on the religious rights of people who oppose abortion by forcing them to pay premiums to a company that covers it for others.

Both sides used the term “choice” – usually the watch word for supporters of abortion rights – to argue their case. Opponents like Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, said the Legislature was taking away the choice of people who want a policy that doesn’t cover abortion.

Rep. Larry Springer, D-Kirkland, said he supported the bill because it left the choice on whether to have an abortion to the woman, not to her employer who decides what policy to offer, or the insurance company.

The Senate, which is controlled by a predominantly Republican coalition, is unlikely to have a debate over the bill. Senate Majority Caucus Chairwoman Linda Evans Parlette of Wenatchee said she didn’t believe the bill was necessary because abortion is covered by most insurance plans.

Supermajority measure rejected by state Senate

OLYMPIA – The Senate turned down a proposed constitutional amendment that would have required a two-thirds majority in Washington to raise taxes, failing to give it that same two-thirds approval.

Supporters insisted “the will of the people” dictated that the Senate pass the amendment on to the November ballot because voters had repeatedly approved such a restriction by initiative. Opponents countered that it would actually create a superminority that could control any legislative discussion of taxes because as few as 17 senators could block any tax measure.

The proposal received a 25-21 vote in favor, but needed at least 33 yes votes under requirements for amending the state constitution.

SCRAPS finds owner of emaciated dog

The owner of a dog that was found severely emaciated and had to be euthanized has been found, according to animal control authorities.

The 4-year-old pit bull, which weighed about half as much as it should have, was found Saturday on the 1800 block of West Boone Avenue.

Tips from the public led the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service to find the owner, who was not identified.

An animal cruelty investigation is ongoing, SCRAPS said in a news release.

S-R collecting listings for summer camp guide

The Spokesman-Review is gathering information for its annual list of summer camps.

If you or your organization’s camp program would like to be included in the print and online editions of this popular publication, all you have to do is provide us the information.

This year, people can submit their free listings online at www.spokesman.com/summercamps-form/ ; email information to <strong>summercamps@spokesman.com> ; or mail it to The Spokesman-Review, 999 W. Riverside, Spokane, WA 99210, Attn: Summer Camps. Please include the name and location of the camp; dates of operation; general theme; any costs; recommended ages; contact information; and any other details readers might want.

The list will be published in print in late April and online all spring and summer. Listings received after 5 p.m. on April 4 will be included in the online version but won’t be guaranteed for the print edition.

Whalen will challenge Nonini in Idaho primary

BOISE – Post Falls businessman Patrick Whalen announced Wednesday that he’ll challenge Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, in Idaho’s May primary election.

“The Senate seat is an important leadership position that should be at the forefront of North Idaho’s economic development effort,” Whalen said in a statement. “To make that happen requires teamwork and consensus building.”

Whalen has been the owner of Resource Computing Inc. in Post Falls for 20 years. He is a past president of the local Rotary Club and is the current board president for the Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County, which last year built a club next to the Post Falls library. He’s also a four-time finisher in the Coeur d’Alene Ironman marathon.

Nonini is a first-term senator who previously served four terms in the House and chaired the House Education Committee.

Chase crosses state line, ends in Airway Heights

A man arrested Tuesday after allegedly waving and sticking his tongue out at police during a car chase across the state line was ordered held on $50,000 bond Wednesday on a litany of charges.

Michael S. Tavares, 33, is accused of stealing a car near a Denny’s restaurant in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday and fleeing police westward.

The Washington State Patrol took up the chase, but Tavares managed to avoid six spike strips and several attempts by police to bump his car and spin it to a stop, according to court documents.

The chase ended in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Airway Heights after three troopers boxed in Tavares, court documents say. Tavares initially refused to identify himself and was uncooperative, the documents say.

Tavares is charged with eluding a police vehicle, first-degree assault, possession of a stolen vehicle, refusal to cooperate/give information, third-degree driving with a suspended license and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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