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Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Breean Beggs offers new police ombudsman plan to minimize union influence

Spokane’s police ombudsman could be in a much stronger position to conduct independent investigations by the end of the year if City Councilman Breean Beggs has his way. Beggs says small changes to the city ordinance laying out the ombudsman’s powers and duties could effectively cut the city’s two police unions out of having a say in the ombudsman’s role and hiring, opening the door for more robust independent investigations.

Hire Logue as ombudsman

The community needs resolution more than additional deliberations. It needs to see someone doing the job. Someone they know will be around for awhile.

Police ombudsman commissioners seek deeper background check on job finalist

A week after Spokane’s police chief was forced to step down because of accusations he harassed and belittled subordinates, people involved in the decision to select a new police ombudsman say they’re concerned about similar allegations against one of the finalists for that job.

Police ombudsman commissioners seek deeper background check on job finalist

A week after Spokane’s police chief was forced to step down because of accusations he harassed and belittled subordinates, people involved in the decision to select a new police ombudsman say they’re concerned about similar allegations against one of the finalists for that job.

Long wait to hire Spokane police ombudsman nears end

Three finalists for Spokane’s police ombudsman will be in town this week for community interviews, signaling an end in sight for a hiring process many say has left the position vacant for too long. Since the start of the year, the Spokane Police Department has received 71 complaints and classified more than half as inquiries, meaning further investigation is not warranted, according to data provided by the department’s Office of Professional Accountability. They’ve also completed 21 Internal Affairs investigations and had three officer-involved shootings, one fatal.

Spokane Valley bond seeks $22 million for libraries

Spokane Valley residents will vote again in August on a $22 million bond proposal to build two new library branches and renovate others as the clock ticks on a land deal near Balfour Park. County commissioners last week approved the ballot measure that will be put to voters who are served by Spokane Valley libraries on Aug. 4. The proposal calls for a property tax increase that amounts to roughly 11 cents for every $1,000 of assessed home value for 20 years. That money will pay off bonds used to fund construction of a new library across the street from the old University City Mall, a new branch on Conklin Road and renovations to the Argonne branch as well as improvements in the existing Spokane Valley library on Main Avenue.

Former Mayor Hession among finalists for ombudsman attorney

Former Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession is among three finalists under consideration to serve as the Spokane police ombudsman commission’s attorney. Hession was an early advocate to create a police ombudsman position during his two years as Spokane mayor from 2005 to 2007. He told commissioners that he’s well-equipped to offer legal advice because of his past experience, and stressed the importance of believing in the commission’s mission of providing oversight.

Positions filled on new police oversight board

A five-member advisory board to give further oversight of the Spokane Police Department will include the former director of a human rights organization and a retired military official who most recently served at the Pentagon. Voters approved the creation of the citizen oversight commission in early 2013, and members are expected to begin their work within a month, after they pass criminal background checks and the City Council officially approves their appointments.

Downtown Spokane developer bringing back the Bickett

A three-story brick building on the east end of downtown Spokane is being renovated into ground floor commercial space and eight new apartments on the upper floors. The project is the work of Jed Conklin, who has put two years of his own labor into bringing the 1905 Bickett Hotel Building back to life.

U-Hi teacher named award finalist

In Mike Conklin’s pre-calculus class Wednesday, students were learning about piecewise functions – a way of calculating energy use in a building, the rate of water filling a bathtub or the altitude of an airplane using multiple formulas and graphs. “It’s a very new concept for them,” Conklin said. It’s a relatively early class, but the students are all paying attention.

Neighbors want vacant lots to bloom

Commuters on Interstate 90 likely noticed as homes along the East Central stretch of the freeway began to disappear. Washington state Department of Transportation has been buying up several city blocks on each side of the freeway between Havana and Hamilton streets to make room for planned freeway expansion and for the interchange connecting to the North Spokane Corridor. Houses located there have been torn down and what’s left is an arid strip of land home to dying trees, grass and weeds. And it may be anywhere from 15 to 20 years before actual freeway construction begins.