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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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State won’t fund phosphorus research in Spokane River

The Washington Department of Ecology has opted not to pay for additional research by a University of Washington professor whose earlier work suggested that not all of the phosphorus discharged into the Spokane River leads to rampant algae growth and poor water quality. Michael T. Brett, the professor, had strong words about the agency’s recent decision not to contribute to a second study costing $75,000.

Bat on stump bites angler along St. Joe River

It appeared as though nothing was biting when a Spokane fly fisher approached Idaho’s St. Joe River around 5 p.m. last Wednesday. The situation changed instantly when Tyler Comeau put his hand on a bat.

Last drugs standing: Key Alzheimer results coming

We're about to find out if there will be a way anytime soon to slow the course of Alzheimer's disease. Results are due within a month or so from key studies of two drugs that aim to clear the sticky plaque gumming up patients' brains. A pivotal study of a third drug will end later this year, and results from a small, early test of it will be reported next week at an Alzheimer's conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Report: Too little mental health care for boomers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Getting older doesn't just mean a risk for physical ailments like heart disease and bum knees: A new report finds as many as 1 in 5 seniors has a mental health or substance abuse problem. And as the population rapidly ages over the next two decades, millions of baby boomers may have a hard time finding care and services for mental health problems such as depression — because the nation is woefully lacking in doctors, nurses and other health workers trained for their special needs, the Institute of Medicine said Tuesday.

Ethics Committee appoints panel in Berkley case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee announced Monday that it had appointed a panel to investigate whether Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley used her position to benefit her family's financial interests, giving Republicans additional fodder to question her conduct leading up to November's election for a Senate seat in a critical swing state. The Nevada Republican Party filed a complaint last year saying that Berkley's efforts to keep a kidney transplant program open at University Medical Center in Las Vegas constituted a conflict of interest because her husband, Dr. Larry Lehrner, is a managing partner of a company that contracted with the hospital to provide kidney care.

UN: Costs of global drug therapy $200-250 billion

VIENNA — The U.N.’s drug-fighting agency says that about 200,000 people die annually from drug abuse and it would cost up to $250 billion to provide proper treatment for abusers worldwide.

Sewage plant set to open this week

Spokane County officials expect to get a state permit today to operate their new sewage treatment plant – and to celebrate on Thursday. There may be some crossed fingers when the high fives are handed out at the $173 million plant’s dedication ceremony.

County agrees to $687,000 settlement

Another allegedly faulty land-use decision by Spokane County officials resulted in a $687,000 settlement this week. The payout is for property near the intersection of U.S. Highway 2 and Day-Mt. Spokane Road, within a couple of blocks of a site where the county sank $750,000 in December 2008.

Sewer rates should stand pat

A new report on Spokane County sewer charges may give ratepayers a sigh of relief. A consultant’s study shows no increase in adopted rates is necessary and small reductions are possible.

Airway Heights to stop using Parkwest well

Airway Heights has agreed to stop using a well that has deprived residents outside the city of water they’re entitled to pump. An “agreed order” with the state Department of Ecology gives the city until mid-2013 to phase out its Parkwest well near the intersection of Craig Road and state Route 902.

State’s foster care system discharges ill-equipped young adults

On his 18th birthday, a boy with a history of behavioral health problems was turned out of the Spokane group home where he had spent the previous two and a half years in the state’s care and started a life on his own for which he was unprepared. Recently cut off of the powerful psychotropic drugs that had been used to control his aggression, Tyler Dorsey ended up in the Spokane County Jail on a domestic violence charge six weeks after aging out of child welfare.

Editorial: Treatment plant delay won’t help environment

Spokane County’s $173 million sewage treatment plant is ready to be tested. Conceivably it could be operating by year’s end and making an immediate reduction in the amount of PCBs and other contaminants going into the Spokane River. For now, though, the whole project is stalled, thanks to a protest by the Spokane Indian Tribe over – PCBs. Even though the new plant would remove an estimated 80 percent to 90 percent more PCBs than the city of Spokane’s plant is now removing, the tribe has demanded that the level of PCBs in the water be too low to be detected by current lab technology.

Tribe’s river PCB complaint jeopardizes treatment plant

A permit that was to have been issued last week for Spokane County’s new $173 million sewage treatment plant is on hold. State and federal environmental regulators are to meet Wednesday with Spokane Tribe officials to discuss tribal concerns.

Ruling upheld in sewage death

The state’s highest court on Thursday upheld a $6.5 million ruling against an engineering firm found responsible for the implosion of a sewage digester that killed a Spokane sewer plant worker and injured two others in 2004. The Washington Supreme Court affirmed the decision by now-retired Superior Court Judge Robert Austin, who ruled in 2008 that CH2M Hill caused the event and should pay more than $6 million to the families of the workers.