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Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Disability benefit cut in half

BOISE – Idaho state employees who become seriously ill and go on disability leave will be laid off after 12 weeks rather than six months, the Otter administration has decided. The change in rules for state workers, one of several implemented by Gov. Butch Otter’s Division of Human Resources on Aug. 24, has angered state employees and lawmakers who say they weren’t informed.

Emissions control? We’re getting warmer

Not so much as a week seems to go by without another report on the dire implications of global warming. Monday, two new reports focused on the stress that will be put on world and national water supplies, and the regional conflicts that could result. The findings should heighten appreciation of the Columbia River, its tributaries, and the Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Aquifer. The Inland Northwest is incredibly fortunate to have the liquid resources it does.

Lonnie Sparks (D)

Resume: 51, Spokane area resident since 1976. ... Graduated from the University of Idaho and Gonzaga University School of Law (1981), officer in the U.S. Army Reserves ... Idaho potato farmer, Spokane attorney. Recently appointed state representative for position he now seeks ... Single, no children. Finances: Raised about $1,000 in contributions, invested about $9,000 of his own money.

Jeff Gombosky (D)

Resume: 25, Spokane native ... Mead High School, bachelor's degree Eastern Washington University. ... Program director for the Institute for Neighborhood Leadership, staff member to state Sen. Ray Moore, Democratic Precinct Committee officer in 1993. ... Spokane police advisory committee, steering committee for Washington Drug Free Youth, Hillyard Neighborhood Steering Committee. ... married, no children. Finances: Raised about $7,000, with much of that coming from state and local unions.

Ken Whitehall (R)

Resume: 24, lifelong Spokane resident ... Education: 1 years at Christian Life School of Theology, now enrolled at Spokane Community College. ... Held restaurant jobs ranging from cook to manager, currently Taco Bell shift manager ... Senator of student council, and treasurer of Student Awareness League ... Single, no children. Finances: Raised $3,500, Attorney Roger Felice biggest donor with $500 contribution.

Val Smith (D)

Resume: 58, Spokane area resident since 1951 ... Associate degree Spokane Falls Community College, bachelor's and master's degree in social work from Eastern Washington University, 25 years in child welfare business, last 12 years as director of child welfare services for Lutheran Social Services of Washington and Idaho, state board director Treatment Foster Care Services ... Married, with 8 children, six grandchildren. Finances: Raised about $1,000, and contributed about $4,000 of her own money.