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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sewage plant set to open this week

Spokane County officials expect to get a state permit today to operate their new sewage treatment plant – and to celebrate on Thursday. There may be some crossed fingers when the high fives are handed out at the $173 million plant’s dedication ceremony.

County agrees to $687,000 settlement

Another allegedly faulty land-use decision by Spokane County officials resulted in a $687,000 settlement this week. The payout is for property near the intersection of U.S. Highway 2 and Day-Mt. Spokane Road, within a couple of blocks of a site where the county sank $750,000 in December 2008.

Sewer rates should stand pat

A new report on Spokane County sewer charges may give ratepayers a sigh of relief. A consultant’s study shows no increase in adopted rates is necessary and small reductions are possible.

Airway Heights to stop using Parkwest well

Airway Heights has agreed to stop using a well that has deprived residents outside the city of water they’re entitled to pump. An “agreed order” with the state Department of Ecology gives the city until mid-2013 to phase out its Parkwest well near the intersection of Craig Road and state Route 902.

State’s foster care system discharges ill-equipped young adults

On his 18th birthday, a boy with a history of behavioral health problems was turned out of the Spokane group home where he had spent the previous two and a half years in the state’s care and started a life on his own for which he was unprepared. Recently cut off of the powerful psychotropic drugs that had been used to control his aggression, Tyler Dorsey ended up in the Spokane County Jail on a domestic violence charge six weeks after aging out of child welfare.

Editorial: Treatment plant delay won’t help environment

Spokane County’s $173 million sewage treatment plant is ready to be tested. Conceivably it could be operating by year’s end and making an immediate reduction in the amount of PCBs and other contaminants going into the Spokane River. For now, though, the whole project is stalled, thanks to a protest by the Spokane Indian Tribe over – PCBs. Even though the new plant would remove an estimated 80 percent to 90 percent more PCBs than the city of Spokane’s plant is now removing, the tribe has demanded that the level of PCBs in the water be too low to be detected by current lab technology.

Tribe’s river PCB complaint jeopardizes treatment plant

A permit that was to have been issued last week for Spokane County’s new $173 million sewage treatment plant is on hold. State and federal environmental regulators are to meet Wednesday with Spokane Tribe officials to discuss tribal concerns.

Ruling upheld in sewage death

The state’s highest court on Thursday upheld a $6.5 million ruling against an engineering firm found responsible for the implosion of a sewage digester that killed a Spokane sewer plant worker and injured two others in 2004. The Washington Supreme Court affirmed the decision by now-retired Superior Court Judge Robert Austin, who ruled in 2008 that CH2M Hill caused the event and should pay more than $6 million to the families of the workers.

Washington Senate considers fines for dog owners who keep canines chained up

OLYMPIA – Keeping a dog chained up in unsafe conditions could get the owner fined under a proposal being considered by the Washington state Senate. Supporters told the Senate Judiciary committee that chained or tethered dogs are more likely to turn mean and sometimes are deliberately mistreated so they’ll be angry watchdogs at drug or gang houses.

DNA database links Spokane man to teen’s 2010 rape

A Spokane man whose DNA was entered into a national database after a felony property crime conviction in August has been linked to a rape on Jan. 1, 2010, police announced Friday. The suspect, Louis Victor Kuster, 23, is in custody on $250,000 bond after appearing Friday in Superior Court on a second-degree rape charge via video from the Spokane County Jail, where he was booked Thursday.

Idaho delegation sponsors only one successful bill

KETCHUM, Idaho – Idaho’s congressional delegation sponsored 52 bills during the 111th Congress, one of which became law. That was Democrat Rep. Walt Minnick’s measure to designate a Nampa post office as the “Herbert A. Littleton Postal Station.”

Worker falls into sewage pipe

An employee at Cheney’s wastewater treatment plant fell about 30 feet down a sewage pipe on Friday. The man suffered an unknown medical condition when he collapsed into a manhole and became lodged in the 2-foot-wide pipe as raw sewage flowed, said Lt. Aaron Boller of the Cheney Fire Department.

Lawsuit over river discharges could be boon for wetland

A lawsuit over river discharges threatens the January 2012 startup of a new Spokane County sewage treatment plant, so officials are working on a backup. Plan B, restoration of a wetland with treated wastewater, requires county officials to exercise many of the land-use tools in their kit – and one that doesn’t yet exist.