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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Public defender John Adams terminated by Kootenai County

BOISE – Kootenai County commissioners voted to end a contract with longtime public defender John Adams three weeks after he made a harassment claim against a commissioner and two weeks after telling the board he’ll need a day off each week for cancer treatment. Adams has run the public defender office for 17 years and earned broad respect from the region’s legal community. During his tenure, he was the lead attorney on 26 murder cases and seven death-penalty cases, including the state trial of child killer Joseph Duncan.

County leaders offer ’12 budget

Kootenai County commissioners are proposing a 2012 budget almost $3 million higher than this year’s, but they say property taxes won’t increase because $4 million will be used from reserve funds. Several county reserve funds have risen to levels well beyond what is needed, said Commissioner Dan Green, who took office in January. “We are going to draw them down to prudent levels,” Green said. “Right now we have extra money.”

Kootenai County cuts staff

Kootenai County has eliminated another 10 positions, bringing to 20 the number of staff reductions that have occurred since two new commissioners took office in January. The recent reductions in the adult misdemeanor probation, juvenile probation, building and grounds, noxious weeds and solid waste divisions will result in almost $430,000 in savings from annual wages and benefits, the commissioners said in a news release.

Kootenai, Spokane counties think big

What if: • Kootenai County’s free Citylink bus system connected with Spokane Transit Authority routes to allow commuters to travel back and forth across the state line?

Kootenai County commissioners reorganize departments

The Kootenai County Board of Commissioners – with two newly elected members – recently cut 10 positions and reorganized some departments, resulting in savings estimated at $415,000 a year. Commissioner Dan Green said an internal review began with the previous administration and continued when he and Commissioner Jai Nelson took office in January, resulting in the changes.

Huckleberries: Councilman feels echo of Tucson

The assassination attempt against congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., hit home for Coeur d’Alene Councilman Mike Kennedy. While going toward the St. Pius X Catholic Church altar to receive Communion last Sunday, Mike was approached by a troubled woman. She tossed four pages of handwritten ramblings in the pew behind Mike and said “those are for you.”