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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Inslee’s office: Hobby Lobby openings in Spokane area violate virus restrictions

After first checking with Spokane City Hall, Hobby Lobby retail stores this week started allowing customers into their businesses under reduced hours and social distancing directives. However, a spokesman for Gov. Jay Inslee said the opening appears to be in violation of state guidelines that only allow for essential businesses to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Records unveil layers of secrecy at Spokane City Hall

They draw the curtains in a room of Spokane City Hall when the cameras roll. On Sept. 22, reporters were given eight minutes to rush to that room adjacent to the mayor’s office on the seventh floor, where the mayor’s lectern already was set up, and the three flags of country, state and city hung as backdrop for a hastily called news conference about the forced resignation of police Chief Frank Straub.

Top city administrator fined $75 for ethics violation

Spokane Mayor David Condon’s top administrator has acknowledged violating the city ethics code rule barring dishonesty. At issue are answers given by Spokane City Administrator Theresa Sanders and city spokesman Brian Coddington in interviews with The Spokesman-Review in the weeks and hours before Police Chief Frank Straub was forced out of office Sept. 22.

Officials gave false details leading up to chief’s resignation

In the weeks, days and hours leading to the ouster of Spokane’s police chief, city officials provided incorrect information to the public about growing concerns among police employees about Chief Frank Straub’s leadership. Even Tuesday’s news release publicly announcing Straub had resigned said his departure was “to pursue new opportunities and be closer to family.” The fact that he had been forced out because of what some in the department considered brash and unprofessional management was not disclosed until Mayor David Condon suggested so in a news conference soon after the news release was distributed.

Envision Spokane: Mayor doesn’t have authority to block measure from reaching ballot

Envision Spokane is pushing back against Mayor David Condon, who last week sued to keep the group’s Worker Bill of Rights from appearing on the city’s general election ballot in November. In an official response to the city’s lawsuit, which was filed at Condon’s direction, the group argues that the mayor doesn’t have the authority to prevent the measure from reaching the ballot, and that only a supermajority of City Council members can block any initiative from appearing before voters.

‘Love locks’ starting to appear on Spokane bridge

The 60 or so metal padlocks hang from the cables strung between the supports of the Sandifur Bridge near Peaceful Valley. They offer a visual juxtaposition – the moving water contrasted with solid metal. The locks vary. Some are utilitarian Master Lock brand behemoths. Others are frilly, painted affairs with scribbled notes of adoration. Names, dates, short messages. Most represent commitment.

Condon sues to keep Envision’s Worker Bill of Rights off ballot

Spokane Mayor David Condon is trying to block the Worker Bill of Rights from appearing on the November ballot just a week after the City Council approved the measure for the ballot. The latest measure put forth by Envision Spokane – the group’s fourth to qualify for the ballot – would amend the city charter to require large employers to pay workers a “family wage,” ensure equal pay for equal work regardless of gender or race, and make it more difficult to terminate workers. The measure would make the rights of a corporation secondary to people’s rights.

Spokane City Council moves toward police leadership changes

The appointment of the Spokane Police Department’s managerial team moves forward Monday as the City Council considers shifting city money to help pay for a new captain’s position and a deputy director of the department’s business services division. The moves, which are said to save the city $30,000, are part of Chief Frank Straub’s effort to “streamline our operations and continue to create a department that runs more like a private business,” said Monique Cotton, the department’s spokeswoman.