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Monday, October 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eastern State Hospital nurse dies of COVID-19

Esequiel “Zeke” Cisneros, who worked at the psychiatric facility in Medical Lake for more than 30 years, became critically ill after contracting the novel coronavirus and was treated in a local intensive care unit, his family said in an obituary published Sunday.

State AG takes up case of disabled Spokane woman who died in care

The Spokane Police Department determined it couldn’t pursue charges in the case of a developmentally disabled woman who died in February after a caretaker gave her a lethal dose of vinegar instead of her medication, but the state attorney general’s office decided the case needed to be investigated further in August.

Family of man who fell in lake while tied to wheelchair sues

The foster family of a 22-year-old man with disabilities has sued the state of Washington and a state-contracted company, claiming caretakers left the man strapped into his wheelchair at the end of a dock when he nearly drowned las year.

Governor names new head of social services agency

The woman who has been trying to keep Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital from failing has been appointed to run the state Department of Social and Health Services.

Reform, realign children services

Much like the push to coordinate efforts under criminal justice reform, the case for consolidating children services is compelling.

Number of U.S. foster kids rises; parents’ drug abuse a factor

After dropping sharply between 2005 and 2012, the number of children in the U.S. foster care system has increased for a third year in a row, according to new federal data released Thursday. A major factor: Worsening substance abuse by parents.

Legal settlement clears way for mental hospital patients to resume field trips

A crackdown on patients leaving the grounds of state mental hospitals put in place after the high-profile escape from an outing to the Spokane County Fair in 2009 will be largely reversed, thanks to a settlement reached earlier this month with patients who contended the rules violated their civil rights. Six patients and Disability Rights Washington, an advocacy group, sued the state in 2014 alleging restrictions on access to hospital grounds and outside trips implemented after patient Phillip Paul walked away from his field trip group in 2009 violated patients’ constitutional rights.

Judges: Washington in contempt in mental health case

A federal judge is holding Washington state’s mental health services agency in contempt for failing to comply with her order to provide competency services to mentally ill defendants in a timely fashion.

Gov. Inslee appoints interim leader for DSHS

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed an acting secretary for the Department of Social and Health Services while a national search begins for a permanent leader.

Head of DSHS announces resignation

The head of Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services has announced his resignation after three years at the state’s biggest agency.