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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Senate Oks Minting Of State Quarters, Changes To Dollar Coin

It looks like Americans will have new coins jingling in their pockets as the new century begins. The Senate has approved legislation for a gold-colored dollar coin and for quarters honoring the 50 states. A key subcommittee chairman said he expected House approval Wednesday or Thursday.

Grain Piles Up As Railroads Fall Behind Schedule Farmers Worry Crops Will Spoil While They Wait For Transportation

Railroads have fallen up to a month behind schedule supplying trains to ship the grain piling up on the ground in the Midwest, lawmakers were told Thursday. As of Monday, Union Pacific was 30 days behind in delivering hopper cars, and there are two- to three-week delays at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, railroad officials told a House Agriculture subcommittee.

Campaign Reform Panel Grills Clinton Aide Over Letter Witness Admits Document Should Have Been Turned Over A Year Ago

The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee resumed hearings on campaign finance abuses Thursday as Democrats and Republicans on the panel sparred over the usefulness of continuing an investigation that was effectively ended last week by its counterpart in the Senate. But amid the sparring, Thursday's session did produce one new witness, White House deputy counsel Cheryl D. Mills, and an admission by White House officials that a document they withheld last year should have been turned over to the committee then. "If anyone wonders why we must continue this investigation," said committee Chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., "just consider the history of this White House. Would anyone be surprised if documents central to our investigation are still somewhere in back rooms at the White House or basement offices or misplaced files?"

Senate Turns Up Attack On Anti-Social Pop Lyrics ‘Shock Rockers’ Tied To Suicide; Stricter Warning Labels Sought

A father on Thursday told a Senate committee exploring the effects of music on children that his 15-year-old son killed himself last December after listening to songs about death and the Antichrist. "He was a good boy," a weeping Raymond Kuntz of Burlington, N.D., said of his son, Richard. "The music wasn't symptomatic of other problems. I would say the music caused him to kill himself."

California Democrat Walter Capps Dies

Freshman Rep. Walter Capps, a California Democrat who came to Washington as a rare liberal in a traditionally Republican district, died Tuesday afternoon after being stricken by an apparent heart attack at Dulles International Airport. Colleagues said Capps, 63, of Santa Barbara, was en route back to Washington as the House prepared to vote on a defense authorization bill and other issues Tuesday. Capps collapsed about 6 p.m. EDT at the airport, said friend Marty Stone.

More Time Asked For Finance Probe Democrats Say They Won’t Support Thompson’s Request

Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred D. Thompson, R-Tenn., on Tuesday quietly asked Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., to seek an open-ended extension beyond the end of the year for the committee's campaign finance investigation. Lott, widely reported to be dissatisfied with Thompson's handling of the probe and its results to date, made no immediate comment on the request, transmitted to him in a letter from Thompson. Lott told reporters he wanted to speak with committee members before he decides how to respond. Lott's office said it did not plan to release the letter.

Proposed Religion Amendment Clears Hurdle

A proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit religion-based discrimination by governments and the courts cleared its first legislative hurdle Tuesday in the House. Supporters say the measure also would ban governments from requiring participation in religious activities, prescribing school prayers or denying equal access to a government benefit because of religion.

Highway Bill Dead, Lott Says

"We're just out of time for the year," Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said of the highway bill. File/Associated Press

Log-Export Measure In Dispute Lawmakers Disagree Over Effect Of Proposed Change To 1990 Ban

Democratic Reps. Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Norm Dicks of Washington clashed over a proposal the House approved Friday to alter a 1990 ban on exports of unprocessed logs from national forests. Dicks and other backers of the measure included in an Interior Department spending bill said the ultimate result would be an increase in the amount of timber milled within the United States.

Tribal Casino Fees May Be Hiked For More Regulators

The agency that regulates Indian casinos would double its budget under an agreement by lawmakers to impose a new fee on tribal gambling operations. The National Indian Gaming Commission has complained that it is badly short-staffed. The agency has six field investigators to cover nearly 280 casinos and bingo halls spread around the country.

Vote On Chenoweth Gun Bill Sought Lobby For Weapon Owners Says Gingrich Ignoring Its Wishes

The Gun Owners of America hopes to persuade House Speaker Newt Gingrich to allow a vote on U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth's bill to repeal a ban on gun ownership by anyone with a domestic violence conviction. Critics of the Idaho Republican contend her bill trivializes spousal abuse, but she said that may be the only defense of people who want to politicize the issue.

Republican Suspects Clinton Tapes Altered Rep. Burton Says He May Have Them Analyzed By Lip Readers, Technicians

Charging that videotapes of White House coffee klatches may have been altered, the head of a House investigating committee said Sunday that he may seek the assistance of lip readers "to make sure that we get the whole story." Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., leveled his accusation while complaining about the quality of the tapes, which show President Clinton acting as host at meetings attended by big donors.

Committee Climbing Back To Relevance

Memo to assignment editors: Take another look at Senator No. When the battle over William F. Weld's nomination as ambassador to Mexico ended with the former Massachusetts governor's withdrawal, the television cameras and much of the press lost interest in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and its controversial chairman, Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina.

House Passes D.C. Voucher Plan Gingrich’s Vote Needed To Pass Measure 203-202

With the deciding vote cast by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the House on Thursday approved a District of Columbia spending bill that gives poor children federal subsidies for private school tuition. The bill passed 203-202 after quick scrambling by Republicans to get some people to change votes and return from their offices. The bill sets up a potential fight with President Clinton, who staunchly opposes using federal tax money for such aid.

Craig Bill Met With Acrimony

Larry Craig's attempt to streamline national forest management restricts access to public documents, assaults open meeting laws and creates conflicting regulations, critics say. "It will replace resource managers with lawyers," said Robert Wolf, a forester who helped write the original National Forest Management Act when he worked for the Congressional Research Service. "There's going to be so many hoops to jump through every day that you're going to have to have Larry Craig in there micromanaging every day.