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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Four great seasonal dates

If you live somewhere that it snows a lot, it can be a challenge to find fun places to go on dates in the winter that are still eco-friendly. It is much easier to just go to the movies on a Friday night than do anything outdoors. But give these four dates a try with that special someone, and see if you change your mind.

Penny-pinching families go back to board games

MIAMI – Generating revenue in a recession is a difficult game, but a Miami entrepreneur has made the right moves in a growing industry: board games. Eric Poses rolled the dice in 1997, when he founded All Things Equal and took off on a cross-country sales trip in his car. Since then, revenue has grown and he now finds himself in a countercyclical sales boom. Board games traditionally do well during tough economic times. After all, Monopoly was launched in 1935, during the Great Depression. Last year, as total U.S. toy sales declined, board game sales rose 6 percent to $794 million, according to market research by NPD Group.

Doug Clark: Music that doesn’t involve a big screen? Imagine

Wednesday morning found me at the South Hill Hastings store to check out the big 9/9/9 intergalactic release of “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game. Sure enough, an attractive display of “Rock Band” boxes and accessories had been arranged in the middle of the store.

Video games help many escape depression, other mental disorders

Gail Nichols has suffered from depression for years. When the 49-year-old St. Marys, Kan., resident can’t sleep, she falls back on a form of entertainment that is gaining increasing credibility as a medical intervention: video games. Nichols says she discovered the mental health benefits of video games some years ago during a particularly bad spell of depression. She had just started playing a game called Bejeweled, which requires players to move gems into rows based on their color.

Scottish festival serves up fun and tradition

Buttery shortbread. Colorful tartans. Stirring bagpipes. And the distinctive scent of haggis. All this and more awaits visitors to the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center this Saturday, as the Spokane Highland Games marks its 51st year. The daylong festival, celebrating the rich culture and traditions of Scotland, is a popular annual event. “It’s growing every year,” said Highland Games chairman Peter Guthrie. “Last year we had 1,800 through the gate.”

Wheelchair Games wrap up

David Fowler travels all over the country. Until his Spokane visit this week for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, he had seen only one piece of public art with a wheelchair in it – Franklin D. Roosevelt’s monument in Washington, D.C. So when Fowler rolled by the Bloomsday sculpture in Riverfront Park and saw two wheelchair racers, he figured it was just another example of Spokane hospitality.

In vets’ eyes, Spokane a gracious host

David Fowler travels all over the country. Until his Spokane visit this week for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, he had seen only one piece of public art with a wheelchair in it – Franklin D. Roosevelt’s monument in Washington, D.C.

Editorial: Wheelchair Games score another win for Spokane

The 29th National Veterans Wheelchair Games come to a close tonight, and the big winner is … Spokane? Not to take anything away from the individual achievements of 600-plus competitors – and not to put too parochial an edge on it – but the city’s standing as a convention and tourism player can only be enhanced by what was a positive week as measured by such gauges as enthusiastic verbal feedback and athletes’ Twitter postings. And don’t overlook the veteran who positioned himself along Spokane Falls Boulevard and hoisted a “Thanks, Spokane” sign.

Veterans Games for women, too

Not long after multiple sclerosis struck Laura Schwanger, she found an outlet for her competitive urge. The former solider became involved in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

Games helped Bemis bounce back

Winning and losing doesn’t really matter this week to Loon Lake’s Roy “Bud” Bemis, who is competing in five events at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. “Six hundred of the most fantastic people you can imagine are coming over to play,” he said, “and they’re coming to my town to do it. What could be better than that?”

Crash course in teamwork

Known for its collisions and nicknamed "murderball," wheelchair rugby lets quadriplegic athletes compete in a team sport at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, held July 13 to 18, 2009, in Spokane. Catch the final rugby match at 7 p.m. Friday in the Group Health Exhibition Hall at the Spokane Convention Center.

Sports open one athlete’s eyes to post-injury possibility

Sean Halsted, of Rathdrum, was in a U.S. Air Force special operations unit in 1998 when he fell 40 feet from a hovering helicopter. He shattered the L1 vertebrae in his lower back and lost most of the use of his legs. But it hasn’t slowed him down much.

Finesse, fearlessness at the wheelchair games

The events of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games may vary in physicality but not in intensity. This slideshow captures competition in the air rifles and wheelchair rugby from Wednesday, July 15, 2009. "The hit's not real unless it bends the steel," says rugby player Bob Larkin, of Kansas City, Mo.

Basketball kicks off games planned across Spokane

The National Veterans Wheelchair Games are not about athletes with disabilities, the head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday. “The games are all about heart,” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said at the games’ kickoff ceremony. “There are no disabilities in these games. It’s about living life differently.”

Crowds, cameras welcome vets

Vicki Emmerson waited for opening ceremonies at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games to begin Monday night in the Spokane Arena, checking to make sure she had the most important item in her bag, besides a camera. “Kleenex,” Emmerson said. She had tissue in one hand, and a U.S. flag in the other.

National Veterans Wheelchair Games

The 29th National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Spokane are drawing national attention. Check back here for hand-selected links, updated daily, to stories from publications around the country.

Families and fans welcome wheelchair athletes

Vicki Emmerson waited for opening ceremonies at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games to begin Monday night in the Spokane Arena, checking to make sure she had the most important item in her bag, besides a camera.

Spokane gets set to welcome athletes from around world

Stevie Gilbert grabbed the yardstick, turned it horizontally and walked through Wonders of the World bead shop, the store she manages in the Flour Mill shopping center north of downtown Spokane. Gilbert measured the aisles of her shop on Thursday to make sure they were wide enough for customers in wheelchairs. The Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau passed out the yardsticks with informational fliers to all the businesses in the downtown core last week.