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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Regional Ebola preparedness report released

From Staff Reports

The Spokane Regional Health District on Tuesday released its first weekly report about the area’s preparedness to deal with Ebola.

The report details the number of cases in Africa and examines the readiness of hospitals to deal with the disease should it arise in Washington. The report notes that Harborview Medical Center in Seattle is one of five hospitals in the United States that has signed an agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to accept and care for Ebola patients.

“Each of the hospitals in Spokane County have protocols in place to quickly assess and move a patient from the Emergency Department who presents with fever and history of travel to West Africa into an isolated setting, while further evaluation and care proceed,” the report said.

Officials: Hospitals’ water supplies OK

The water supplies at two Spokane hospitals are back to normal after construction caused an increase in iron levels, city officials said.

Workers sterilizing equipment at Deaconess Hospital reported a problem with the water supply late last week and tests indicated an elevated level of iron, city utilities spokeswoman Marlene Feist said.

Feist said state Department of Health officials did not have concerns about people drinking the water at Deaconess or Spokane Shriners Hospital for Children, but Deaconess was using bottled water until Tuesday.

She said the higher levels were related to the replacement of a cast-iron water main from 1900 during the reconstruction of Monroe Street. Replacement of mains, she said, can shake loose debris that can increase iron levels.

City workers flushed the water system near Deaconess and Shriners, and tests have confirmed that the iron level has returned to normal, Feist said.

Pledge boosts Whitworth project

The Harriet Cheney Cowles Foundation has pledged $2 million toward expansion and renovation of Whitworth University’s music building.

Plans call for the addition of 21,481 square feet of new teaching studios, practice and rehearsal rooms, and enclosed lobby space linking the expanded music center to the existing Cowles Auditorium nearby, according to the university. The project also will include remodeling 15,625 square feet of space.

With the latest pledge, the estimated $13.5 million project now is at $10.6 million in identified funding. The expanded building will be named the Cowles Music Center, which the university said is intended to reflect the Cowles family’s longtime support of Whitworth and the arts.

The Cowles family controls Cowles Co., which owns The Spokesman-Review and Inland Empire Paper Co., and has real estate holdings throughout the Inland Northwest.

SCRAPS requests cruelty charges

Authorities have requested multiple charges of animal cruelty against a woman who allegedly kept dozens of rabbits, chickens and other barnyard animals in dangerous conditions at a Spokane County residence.

Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service agents found the animals at 503 W. Bridges Road in Deer Park last month following a call from a concerned neighbor, according to a news release. Dorothy Osgood faces four charges of second-degree animal cruelty and two counts of confinement of an animal in an unsafe manner, according to a news release from SCRAPS.

When the warrant was served at her home last month, Osgood said she was trying to run a makeshift farm. Officials seized 65 rabbits, 73 chickens and a handful of goats, among other animals, many of which were caged standing in their own feces, according to SCRAPS.

Man suspected of stealing electricity

A Spokane Valley man was arrested on suspicion of stealing electricity from his neighbor by repeatedly plugging an electrical cord into her outlet.

Chad R. Wiyrick, 24, was booked into the Spokane County jail on misdemeanor theft charges, a news release from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said.

A retired woman in her 70s told deputies she’d found the electrical cord plugged into her house three times and reported it every time.

Deputies arrested Wiyrick on Sunday after responding to calls from the residence two days in a row.

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