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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Council OKs questions alongside ballot issue

The Spokane City Council narrowly voted to include two “advisory questions” on November’s general election ballot alongside Envision Spokane’s Worker Bill of Rights.

The questions, which were approved by a 4-3 vote, will basically ask voters if the city should raise taxes to pay for Envision’s measure, or if other city services should be cut to pay for it.

Envision’s initiative, which gathered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, would amend the city charter to require large employers to pay workers a “family wage,” ensure equal pay for equal work regardless of gender or race, and make it more difficult to terminate workers. The measure would make the rights of a corporation secondary to people’s rights.

Councilman Jon Snyder, who voted against including the questions along with Candace Mumm and Amber Waldref, said the council had to either leave initiatives alone once they qualify for the ballot or admit to playing favorites.

Council President Ben Stuckart spoke to his own “tragic hypocrisy,” saying he supported the advisory questions but would not join any lawsuit to block Envision’s measure from the ballot.

Nicholas Deshais

Radio host seriously hurt in cycling accident

KXLY radio host Ken Hopkins is recovering from a July 13 bicycle accident that left him partially paralyzed and facing a long recovery.

Hopkins is the program director for 92.9 KZZU-FM and also part of the popular Dave, Ken and Molly morning radio show.

A GoFundMe campaign launched Monday by his colleague Dave Sposito raised more than $27,000 toward Hopkins’ recovery by Monday night.

Hopkins wrote on the GoFundMe page that he remembers everything about the bike ride except the last 10 seconds during which he was injured gravely.

“As of now, I’m left without the use of my legs and I have no feeling from my mid chest down,” Hopkins wrote, adding that he is thankful for all the help and support he’s received and that his recovery will take months.

KXLY plans to remodel the radio studio to accommodate Hopkins’ desire to return to the air as soon as he is able.

Pia Hallenberg

Prosecuting attorney’s death believed suicide

Authorities say Emma Paulsen, elected in November to serve as Ferry County’s prosecuting attorney, was found dead last week in her Republic home after an apparent suicide.

Okanogan County Coroner Dave Rodriguez said Monday an investigation into Paulsen’s death, conducted with the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office, is nearing completion. She was found in her home by law enforcement after 10 p.m. Thursday, according to a statement from Ferry County Sheriff Raymond P. Maycumber.

“Everything that we located at the scene indicates it was a suicide,” Rodriguez said.

Kathryn Burke, the county’s sole deputy prosecutor, has been named chief prosecutor following Paulsen’s death, Ferry County Commissioner Brad Miller said.

“I think (Paulsen) was doing a great job,” Miller said. “This has kind of thrown us into a tailspin.”

Kip Hill

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