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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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Election fraud rare; ask observers

Observers ensure that workers aren’t making mistakes or doing something nefarious. Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton welcomes their presence, because it provides more certainty that the process is being run honestly.

Todd Mielke reflects on problems, solutions as he leaves commission post

Todd Mielke was a bit confused the first time he was asked if he’d consider heading Greater Spokane Incorporated. Mielke said he was having lunch with the chamber’s former CEO Rich Hadley in October when the topic came up. Mielke and fellow Spokane County Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn were preparing the next day to endorse longtime county employee Gerry Gemmill as their next chief executive, after Mielke failed to gain Commissioner Al French’s support for the job in May.

372 voters in north Spokane County will get extra ballot

Extra ballot will soon arrive to 372 voters in north Spokane County to correct an error made on their ballots for the Nov 3 election. The voters live in an area that used to be part of Spokane County Water District 3. But it recently was transferred to Whitworth Water District.

Auditor: Vote on immigration status measure unlikely this year, but close

November’s ballot likely will not see voters weighing in on a city ordinance barring police officers from making arrests based solely on immigration status. But petition organizers came “very, very close” to achieving the necessary signatures to do so, Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton said late Friday, setting up a potential vote as early as next year on Spokane’s so-called “sanctuary city” status.

Auditor’s office hires will upgrade dated systems

Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton has hired a face familiar to voters as her second-in-command. Mary Kuney, a former state auditor and failed GOP candidate for county treasurer last year, will serve as Dalton’s chief deputy auditor and take control of efforts to modernize the county’s dated methods of paying its bills. Payments are still handled using a paper-based system, a process Dalton said she wanted to address several years ago but was unable to because of staffing cuts.

Activist calls for adding two seats to county commission

Once again, Spokane County commissioners will hear a proposal to increase their ranks by two. Community activist Karen Kearney announced her intention to bring the idea to the all-Republican commission last week. Kearney said she has no intention of running for one of the seats if the proposal comes to fruition, and that her request is not politically motivated.

Larry Stuckart, advocate for the poor, dies at 65

Larry Stuckart, a champion for Spokane’s downtrodden who helped build the city’s most prominent nonprofit helping the poor, died after a 10-month struggle with cancer. He was 65. For 20 years, Stuckart led SNAP, the private, nonprofit social services organization that aimed to lift people out of poverty. He helped the organization grow from a nine-person outfit administering about $125,000 in grants to, at one point, an institution with 180 employees and an annual budget of almost $25 million.

Number of same-sex marriages in Washington in 2014 likely down from 2013

With much fanfare and even some post-midnight ceremonies, same-sex marriage became legal in Washington two years ago today. But after boosting state marriage statistics by 8,429 to 49,590 in 2013, the number of same-sex marriages may drop in 2014 as it becomes legal in more states.

Settlement could cost county $375,000

Spokane County commissioners are being asked to approve a $375,000 settlement with a former licensing subagent whose contract was revoked by Auditor Vicky Dalton in 2012. Alvin and Michelle Paulsen, the owners of the subagency, sued the county in federal court for violating their civil rights by depriving them of their property interest in the subagency contract. They had operated for 33 years in Hillyard, and contend in the suit that their subagency contract was regularly renewed.

Spin Control: News is something to click about

OLYMPIA – With the Legislature gone and the campaign season not officially starting until Monday, there was time last week to catch up on things like news of the world, email and important calendar dates. The capital bureau office television has been stuck on TVW for months, but the cable subscription includes the 24-hour news channels. Wonder what’s on?

John Ahern questions bill for City Council ballot recount

A failed candidate for Spokane City Council who paid for a partial ballot recount last year is questioning the bill he received for that service. Former state Rep. John Ahern lost all but two of the 50 precincts in his race against incumbent City Councilman Jon Snyder. He requested that four precincts be recounted, not enough to change the outcome of the race.

Patricia Neumann wins Latah Town Council election on tiebreaker

Sitting on a courthouse bench with a friend Friday afternoon before her political fate was decided by two balls the size of marbles, Latah Town Councilwoman Patricia Neumann said she wasn’t nervous. Neumann’s bid to retain her seat on the Town Council in last month’s election ended in a 41-41 tie, with one Latah voter opting not to make a choice in the contest. The count didn’t budge after a recount. Under state law, the county auditor must pick a game of chance to pick a winner.