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Monday, October 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Two public forums planned to discuss Spokane County Jail

Some local officials have mulled whether the county needs additional jail space, while some argue jail crowding should be alleviated by curbing or eliminating the use of cash bail to keep people incarcerated before trial.

Spokane is test site for federal jobless program

Spokane is one of a handful of national test sites for a new federal program designed to help the chronically unemployed get jobs and get off public assistance. The $200 million program was announced Monday by U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon, who spent the day touring Spokane’s food and nutrition programs. Washington, one of 10 states participating in the effort, will receive $22 million to pay for case workers, skills training, job-based training and support services such as child care and transportation.

Hundreds of volunteers gather to help the community

A hot and sunny morning welcomed hundreds of United Way Day of Action volunteers to the Northeast Community Center on Sept. 12. Janice Marich, vice president of community relations at Spokane County United Way, had her hands full helping everyone find their spot on the sprawling community center campus, nearby Shaw Middle School and other locations. “We have way more than 400 volunteers here today,” Marich said. “This is also our campaign kickoff day.”

Northeast collaboration looks at shared issues

The Greater Hillyard-Northeast Planning Alliance is inviting northeast organizations, residents and neighbors to a new-beginnings meeting at Northeast Community Center on Wednesday. The alliance has been a work in progress since 2009, when Bemiss, Hillyard and Whitman neighborhoods began collaborating on issues.

Demand in northeast has filled garden plots – again

The Northeast Community Garden opened in 1997 on a vacant lot next to the Northeast Community Center. It quickly became so popular it ran out of space and had to be moved to its current location: the southwest corner of Hillyard’s Andrew Rypien Field. Of the more than 20 community gardens, this one looks more permanent than most and it’s one of the oldest. It was then-Northeast Community Center board member Joyce Jones who initially got the idea for the garden. And it was a group of volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that built it.

East Central center may switch to a nonprofit

In a cost-cutting move, city officials likely will convert the East Central Community Center to a nonprofit operation like Spokane’s other community centers. Twelve employees likely would lose their jobs by the end of the year if the transition happens.

Northeast Community Center pioneer retires

When Joyce Jones got involved with the Northeast Community Center, it hadn’t even been built yet. And on April 5, after 30 years of service to her neighborhood, she retired from the board of the Northeast Community Center and received the John Kohls Excellence in Leadership Award. “When I got started there was nothing but a dream to build a community center,” said Jones. At that time the Hillyard senior programs were at a small church, the youth program was at an old school and SNAP was, well, homeless. “We knew we had to pay our own way if we wanted a center, and we knew we had to make sure we had people lined up to rent space here.”

COPS holds crime-prevention event

About 40 people joined Mayor Mary Verner, Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, neighborhood resource officers, COPS representatives and crime specialists, at a COPS-sponsored community crime prevention forum at Northeast Community Center Tuesday night. Kristy Hamilton, COPS director, opened the forum by thanking the more than 300 Community Oriented Policing volunteers who staff the 12 COPS shops across town.

Bemiss neighborhood losing a landmark

Until recently, the Olive It Cafe was a source of pride for many in the Bemiss neighborhood.  The restaurant and coffee house – located in a remodeled historic grocery where the founder of Yoke’s got his start – was affordable but had an upscale feel that gave the neighborhood a needed boost, many nearby residents say. It also supported local artists and musicians.

Northeast community center expanding

Spokane’s Northeast Community Center, at 4001 N. Cook St., has started work on a $3 million addition that will create 30,000 square feet of meeting and office space and a new computer lab. The three-level project includes a basement and two above-ground floors. When all facility improvements and equipment costs are included, the total cost will be around $6 million, said Jean Farmer, the center’s executive director.

Technology grants slated for Spokane

Two federal grants totaling $2.2 million will help a network of Spokane civic and nonprofit groups upgrade technology in public centers so that small businesses and individuals can get more value from online technology. The grants – one for $981,000, the other for $1.3 million – are among 18 projects named by the Obama administration Thursday to receive a portion of federal stimulus funds set aside to bring high-speed Internet to more people.

Community center expansion expected to house more services

Northeast Community Center officials will break ground Monday on a $3.7 million project that will nearly double the size of its building at 4001 N. Cook in Spokane. Director Jean Farmer said the expansion will be the center’s third in the 27 years since it was founded to serve the Hillyard area.