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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Varied views spice up council race

A late entry in the race for Spokane City Council president turned what otherwise would have been a sleepy primary into a campaign with interest. Voters can chose among a newcomer to city politics, two of the most experienced political leaders in Spokane, and a long-shot candidate. The two who finish with the most votes will face each other in the November election. Ballots for the Aug. 16 primary will be mailed this week.

Q&A: Ben Stuckart, running for Spokane City Council president

Ben Stuckart gives his positions on taxes, libraries, streets and other issues facing the city in The Spokesman-Review's Spokane City Council candidate questionnaire. Stuckart faces Dennis Hession, Steve Corker and Victor Noder in the race for a seat representing South Spokane.

Centers aim to steer students on right path

Glover Middle School student William Fausett already has figured out how he’ll pay for college, manage a budget and make sensible purchases. He learned his lessons in the Comcast College and Career Center recently established in his Spokane school.

Boys & Girls Club program supports struggling students

Billie McMahon struggled in the sixth grade because her math skills were stuck at the kindergarten level. But after she got involved in Be Great: Graduate, her arithmetic abilities shot up dramatically. “I improved so many grade levels,” said the 13-year-old Spokane girl, who is now acing her seventh-grade math class. “I was getting some help before, but not the one-on-one help I needed.”

Children’s advocates optimistic about fund

Supporters of Spokane’s proposed tax levy aimed at helping children stay in school are confident voters will say yes in November despite competing with multiple state initiatives that, if approved, would also increase taxes. “We’ve had folks out in the field (going door-to-door), and I think the citizens in our city understand the challenges facing our children,” said Anne Marie Axworthy, a Children’s Investment Fund steering committee member and director of community development at Avista Corp.

Spokane hopes to establish a school-based health clinic

No workday is the same for Spokane Public Schools nurse Marianne Fischer. But there is one given – she’ll spend it running. By 11 a.m. Wednesday, Fischer had handed out asthma plans for several students at Woodridge Elementary School, looked at a student’s rash, educated a teacher on another student’s medication, headed to Salk Middle School to help a support nurse deal with a diabetic student and rushed to help a student who was having trouble breathing. After that, she was off to Logan Elementary.

School supply drives are falling far short

Being without a pencil, paper or a backpack can be scarring for a kid returning to school, but some families simply can’t afford school supplies. Organizations in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas say the need is higher than ever this year, and they hope to collect and distribute as many supplies as possible so children are spared the embarrassment.

School dropout study urges early intervention

A Gonzaga University study focused on dropout prevention starting in middle school suggests an early warning system for identifying potential dropouts, a bigger variety of academic opportunities and more rigor and additional funding for community-based social support programs. Some of the programs are already in place or in the works but need to grow, while others will take significant resources to establish, according to the report released this month.

Childhood learning tax qualifies for ballot

A property tax to raise money for early childhood learning, abuse prevention, treatment and other programs to help lower the dropout rate will likely be on the ballot in November.

Kids levy supporters hope for November

Supporters hoping to put a Children’s Investment Fund levy on the ballot this summer are now eyeing November after failing to collect the needed 12,000 signatures. Organizers said a late start – seven weeks before the April 19 deadline – and inexperience with signature-gathering were to blame for the shortfall. “We see this as a positive,” said Ben Stuckart, a member of the fund’s steering committee and director of Communities in Schools, a business-funded nonprofit. “It gives us a chance to run a longer campaign.”