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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gates Foundation CEO steps down after five years

SEATTLE – The CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is stepping down after more than five years in the role. Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellman on Thursday cited family and health as reasons for leaving the world’s richest philanthropy, calling it “the toughest decision” of her career. Desmond-Hellman, 62, was the third CEO in the organization’s 20-year history, the Seattle Times reported. With a background as a research scientist and physician, she was the first to come from outside Microsoft.

Gates makes largest donation since 2000 with $5 billion gift

The billionaire donated 64 million of the software maker’s shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on June 6, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings released Monday. The shares were valued at $4.6 billion at the time.

Gates Foundation gives University of Washington $210 million

The University of Washington is getting $210 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help build a new facility to advance efforts to improve the health and well-being of people around the world, officials said Tuesday.

Global AIDS conference exposes South Africa’s dramatic turn

JOHANNESBURG – The first time the world came to South Africa for a conference on AIDS, the country’s leader shocked attendees by questioning whether HIV really caused the disease. President Thabo Mbeki then walked out of the room as a slender 11-year-old boy with AIDS addressed the crowd in response, pleading for treatment and understanding in a region where the epidemic was taking its harshest toll.

Shawn Vestal: Students who need teachers most are least likely to get higher-skilled ones

There’s a lot of research in education that suggests the single most important factor in students’ academic success is the teacher. And there’s a growing amount of research suggesting the students who need a great teacher the most – students in poverty, students of color, students who are performing worse than their peers – are less likely to have one. A recent study published by a pair of University of Washington researchers, funded in part by the Gates Foundation, undertook a comprehensive analysis of teacher quality and student access in Washington state and found that our “teacher quality gap” is stubborn and widespread.

New education strategies endorsed

The challenge of preparing workers for jobs 20 to 40 years from now requires a “blended” approach combining technology and hands-on involvement by innovative teachers, says Mark David Milliron, an education specialist with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Milliron was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s Greater Spokane Incorporated annual meeting in downtown Spokane. The meeting drew more than 900 and focused on community plans to prepare the next generation of skilled workers.

Advocating for African farmers

For Janae Choquette, it’s a no-brainer to support small-scale agriculture because solutions are local-based and then set into motion through local experts.

The battle against bad farming Part 1

Pondering the characteristics of today’s supposed “all-about-me-and-my-social-networking” generation, lefties like me can occasionally become jaded.

Web usage up at libraries

A new University of Washington study confirms why library computers in the Inland Northwest are always busy. A third of Americans 14 and older – about 77 million people nationwide – use library computers to look for jobs, connect with friends, do their homework and improve their lives, according to the study.