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Saturday, October 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control: GOP’s budget metaphor oversqueezed

OLYMPIA – It’s time for someone to give Senate Republican budget writers a new metaphor for hyperbolic parsimony. Looking at the state’s less-than-cheery prospects of matching income to outgo last week, the chief GOP Senate budgeteer deployed the well-worn image of personal thriftiness, the squeezed toothpaste tube.

Washington Justice Debra Stephens courts re-election

The timing of judicial elections has been unkind to Washington state Supreme Court Justice Debra Stephens. The Spokane native’s first race came in 2008, just as her daughter, Lindsey, prepared to graduate from Mt. Spokane High School. Six years later, she’s facing the same challenge with her son, Robert, who’s graduating from Capital High School in Olympia.

Records dispute before high court

OLYMPIA – When a neighborhood group in 2006 demanded records about alleged nepotism in Spokane County, county officials said they checked employees’ current computers. But they didn’t check the hard drives of computers that had recently been switched out. They said a document didn’t exist when it did, on an old hard drive.

Spokane County public records case goes to high court

OLYMPIA – When a neighborhood group in 2006 demanded records about alleged nepotism in Spokane County, county officials said they checked employees’ current computers. But they didn’t check the hard drives of computers that had recently been switched out. They said a document didn’t exist when it did, on an old hard drive. So did they violate the state Public Records Act? And, if so, how much of a penalty should they pay?

McKenna’s role in health care suit challenged

OLYMPIA – Washington state has entered both sides of a federal lawsuit challenging health care reform, and Thursday the state Supreme Court tried to figure out who had the authority to jump into the fray. The city of Seattle is suing Attorney General Rob McKenna, saying he overstepped his constitutional authority by joining a federal case in Florida against some aspects of health care reform, and wasn’t representing the interests of the taxpayers.

Ruling upholds online sex sting

The Washington Supreme Court, in a three-way opinion, has upheld the conviction of a man who tried to have sex with a 13-year-old girl he’d met online who really was a Spokane police detective. All justices agreed with the ruling that upheld the attempted second-degree child rape conviction against Mitel H. Patel, rejecting the man’s claim that the case should be thrown out because there was no actual underage victim. Two sets of judges that agreed with the overall ruling but disagreed with the majority opinion submitted separate concurring opinions.

Some question racial comments by 2 Washington justices

Two Washington Supreme Court justices stunned some participants at a recent meeting when they made comments suggesting that racial bias plays no significant role in the criminal justice system, The Seattle Times reported today.

Supreme court justice returns to West Valley

Washington State Supreme Court Justice Debra Stephens came home last week to visit her high school alma mater. As students from across the district gathered in the gymnasium of West Valley High School, dignitaries gathered in the hall. The high school band played “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and Gov. Chris Gregoire and her security detail swept into the room.