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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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Shawn Vestal: County permit ‘clerical mishap’ raises eyebrows

OK, just to be clear: Two Spokane County planning officials pleaded the Fifth Amendment – you know, the one where you can’t be compelled to give criminal evidence against yourself – when asked in a public hearing if they had falsified planning documents to boost a new gas station over a legal hurdle. But they didn’t, we’re told, do anything wrong.

Spokane closes loophole for contested developments

In a bid to curb unwanted sprawl, Spokane city leaders Monday imposed new prohibitions on extending water and sewer service to potentially contested developments outside city limits until any legal challenges are resolved. The 4-2 vote capped a marathon evening of public testimony pitting developers and business boosters against environmental activists, planners and fiscal conservatives. Councilmen Mike Allen and Mike Fagan opposed it.

Spokane City Council president stalls ‘sit-lie’ law

A proposed expansion of powers for Spokane police expected to decrease criminal behavior downtown has been partly blocked by City Council President Ben Stuckart after detractors said it would “criminalize homelessness.” Stuckart said he agreed with the primary motivation of the proposals but believed they were too broadly written.

Spokane city law proposal would cap surveillance

A proposed law limiting the use of surveillance technology in the city of Spokane has been diminished to the point of being ineffective, according to local and state civil rights groups. It’s also stoked some opposition from the Downtown Spokane Partnership, which is planning a downtown camera network to provide the Spokane Police Department with real-time surveillance and to assist in investigative work.

ACLU urges tougher law on surveillance equipment

The state’s top civil liberties watchdog group is arguing that a proposed Spokane law doesn’t go far enough in requiring City Council approval before the city purchases surveillance equipment such as unmanned drones. In a letter to City Council members, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington said Thursday it supported the “overall intention” of the ordinance written by Council President Ben Stuckart, but that it “excluded from its scope some key pieces of surveillance equipment.”

Court OKs expansion of St. Mark’s parking lot

Come spring, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church may be able to finalize its parking lot expansion. The project has been held up in court since 2010, when the church tore down one single-family home, and moved another, to make room for a bigger parking lot on its property off 25th Avenue, southwest of the church.

City hopes to extend sewage outflow deadline

Spokane city leaders have promised for more than a decade to stop the flow of raw sewage into the Spokane River by 2018.  But with five years left until that state-mandated target, the city is abandoning the goal, as well as a $350 million plan to reach it and the accompanying rate increases that would pay for it.

Symposium will discuss future of criminal justice system

Faced with the prospect next year of going to voters to fund a new $200 million jail, Spokane County leaders are teaming up with community activists for a discussion about alternatives to put fewer people in jail while also reducing crime. Virtually every stakeholder, from new Spokane police Chief Frank Straub to judges to mental health professionals, will meet Friday for the Smart Justice Symposium, an all-day event at Northern Quest Resort and Casino.