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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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Commission seeks list of changes for SPD

The long-awaited draft report by the independent City of Spokane Use of Force Commission was released today and it calls the Spokane Police Department to change how it polices itself and calls for more training to ensure that officers diffuse problems before they escalate into deadly-force confrontations.

City irks business owner

Business owner Claudia Kirkebo understands the city of Spokane wants to simplify business license renewals. And she’s not keen on a new $9 service charge for renewing her license on the state Revenue Department website. But she’s especially upset that the city is collecting an additional $10 charge, an employee fee it had never requested from her before.

Zehm plaque placed at Mission Park in ceremony on his birthday

Wrapped in a blanket under gray skies, Ann Zehm reached out to touch the metal plaque placed at Mission Park to honor her son, Otto, on what would have been his 43rd birthday. The entire Spokane City Council, Mayor David Condon, police Chief Frank Straub and family gathered for a private ceremony Wednesday in the park where Otto Zehm played as a child. The plaque reads: “In Memory of Otto Zehm.”

Spokane to pay golfer $215,000 for sprained ankle

A golfer who sprained his ankle at Esmeralda Golf Course is getting $215,000 from the city of Spokane plus free golf for the rest of his life, but neither side is talking about the unusual case. The settlement with 72-year-old Stan L. Peterson was approved earlier this week by the Spokane City Council, ending a five-year legal battle that featured gag orders and lost evidence.

Mayor, Stuckart award grant funds

Spokane Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart have announced a list of seven Economic Development Innovation Fund grants, using a competitive-bid process to hand out about $63,500 to area groups. The grant process modifies, but doesn’t replace, the city’s established practice of providing contributions to local organizations for economic development.

East Central center may switch to a nonprofit

In a cost-cutting move, city officials likely will convert the East Central Community Center to a nonprofit operation like Spokane’s other community centers. Twelve employees likely would lose their jobs by the end of the year if the transition happens.

Mayor eyes ‘metro’ model

Spokane Mayor David Condon said Friday that the Lilac City’s next police chief will not come from the ranks of the Spokane Police Department and indicated that he favors consolidating some police functions with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Condon said he’s reopening the search for chief, which no longer includes Interim Chief Scott Stephens.

Mayor seeks outside candidate for next police chief

Spokane Mayor David Condon announced today that Interim Police Chief Scott Stephens is no longer being considered a candidate for chief and that he will not accept applications from within the department ranks.

Otto Zehm family reaches settlement with Spokane

The family of Otto Zehm will get the apology they sought for more than six years as Spokane city officials agreed Tuesday to settle a civil lawsuit against nine police officers for $1.67 million. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Hogan, of Oregon, who directed the mediation along with Sandpoint attorney Ford Elsaesser, said Tuesday he will ensure that both sides get what they were promised as specific terms are ironed out in weeks to come.

Condon fires city attorney

In the biggest shakeup of his administration yet, Spokane Mayor David Condon on Thursday fired City Attorney Howard Delaney following worsening criticism of the legal office’s handling of a series of high-profile cases. Condon informed Delaney Thursday morning, said city spokeswoman Marlene Feist, who also announced the appointment of new City Attorney Nancy Isserlis, a former chairwoman of the city’s Ethics Commission.

Woman’s 911 call prompts investigation of officer

Another Spokane police officer is facing potential termination after using law enforcement resources to find the home address of a woman he’d met at a Spokane Valley bar, then showing up uninvited in the middle of the night. Contacted by The Spokesman-Review, interim police Chief Scott Stephens, confirmed that he met Thursday with Senior Officer Alan D. Edwards and a union representative about the Dec. 15 encounter, which came to the department’s attention after the concerned woman called 911 and later lodged a complaint.

City, Zehm family will enter mediation regarding lawsuit

In the first significant step toward a possible settlement, Spokane city leaders and attorneys representing the mother and estate of Otto Zehm announced late Thursday that they will enter mediation to settle the civil suit filed over his death. “It’s time to move this long-standing case toward resolution, and mediation provides a tremendous opportunity to resolve this case outside of court,” Mayor David Condon said in a news release. “Resolving the Zehm suit is a high priority for me and our community.”