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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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Vestal: Patience needed to weigh ‘Action Guy’s’ decisions

Mayor David Condon once referred to himself as an “action guy.” Eight months into the strongest example so far of Spokane’s strong-mayor system, the term seems apt. Action Guy! Cutting through red tape! Slicing through the fog of negativity! Getting stuff done!

Mobius Science Center opens with street festival

Mr. Green Jeans, an 11-foot-long, 7-year-old Burmese python, slithered down Main Avenue in Spokane on Saturday with a large group of children in tow. He was one of the many attractions at the Mobius Grand Opening Street Festival. Mr. Green Jeans’ cohorts in the Creature Feature, provided by Rasmussen Reptiles, included a tortoise, a large lizard, a chameleon and a hedgehog.

Police chief designee Straub to get interim title of director

The Spokane City Council will consider a resolution Monday to appoint Frank Straub as director of law enforcement, not chief of police. To become police chief, Straub needs to be commissioned in Washington by attending a police academy or receiving a waiver, said city spokeswoman Marlene Feist. Straub and Mayor David Condon are hopeful the state Criminal Justice Training Commission will grant him a waiver based on his background so he doesn’t have to attend a five-month training course.

Changes coming in recycling programs throughout Spokane County

It wasn’t a shocking revelation, but Spokane Mayor David Condon’s unveiling of the city’s new blue recycling carts on Thursday signaled that Spokane County’s recycling system has finally caught up with many other larger cities. In October, most trash customers with Spokane County will move to a new single-stream recycling system. Curbside recycling customers will dump all recyclables in a single container that will be sorted at Waste Management’s Spokane Material and Recycling Technology Center on the West Plains.

Straub acted as fiancee’s supervisor

The city’s nominee for police chief is engaged to a woman he supervised in his previous job as public safety director in Indianapolis, a relationship that wouldn’t be allowed under Spokane city policies. Frank Straub confirmed his engagement to Amber Myers, the chief of Animal Care and Control for Indianapolis and the person he elevated to that position last November after her predecessor left, the Indianapolis Star newspaper reported in an article published Tuesday. Myers had been the agency’s deputy chief, and before that she was an attorney with the city legal office.

Doug Clark: New chief’s somber demeanor understandable

Wednesday afternoon found me at the City Hall of Mirrors where reporters and the gullible gathered on the second-floor terrace to hear Spokane Mayor David Condon make the following announcement: Frank Straub will be the next police chief.

Mayor selects Straub to lead police

Mayor David Condon’s choice to lead the Spokane Police Department has spent much of his career managing and working for large law enforcement agencies. But it’s medium-size police forces serving cities like Spokane where Frank Straub thinks the greatest innovation can occur. “If you really want to be innovative in policing and you really want to get things done in policing, you get much more done in a department this size than you do in an Indianapolis-size department or Chicago or New York,” said Straub at a City Hall news conference after he was introduced as Spokane’s new chief.

Burns to stay longer as Police Ombudsman

The city announced today that Spokane Mayor David Condon will extend the contract of Police Ombudsman Tim Burns until the end of the year. He previously was set to leave the post next month.

Council may fight ombudsman move

The Spokane City Council appears ready to challenge Mayor David Condon’s decision to dismiss the city’s first police ombudsman. Tim Burns, who helped pioneer Spokane’s still-fledgling police oversight program, was informed on Monday by City Administrator Theresa Sanders that his three-year contract would not be renewed. His last day is Oct. 31, though he’ll be using up vacation for the last month.

Police ombudsman to depart in October

Spokane’s first police ombudsman will soon be out of a job, and the city may be without a permanent replacement for several months. Mayor David Condon has decided not to renew Ombudsman Tim Burns’ three-year contract that expires Aug. 24, said City Administrator Theresa Sanders. He will keep his job, however, until Oct. 31.

Vestal: Mayor’s proposed cuts come at price of safety

Mayor David Condon’s proposed city budget accomplishes his main objective: keeping his campaign promise not to raise taxes. It does not, however, do what he says it does: preserve the city’s “most critical services.” His proposal would lock in the smallest police force the city has had since the mid-1990s. Attrition and the long time it takes to train and replace officers will likely mean even fewer cops on patrol in 2013. Meanwhile, the budget “re-deploys” 14 people to help developers speed through the permitting process, and another five people for a new customer service initiative – kind of a City Hall concierge for citizens.

Clark: Condon needs to know when to fold ’em in chief search

A few years ago I made some extra dough moonlighting as the on-air reporter for Northern Quest Casino’s televised poker tournaments. It was a great gig while it lasted. Not just because of the loot, but I grew to love watching the games, especially the high drama of “all in,” where a poker player will wager every last chip in a single bet.