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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Spokane police investigate theft of officer’s rifle

One of the Spokane Police Department’s assault-style AR-15 rifles was stolen from an off-duty officer’s personal vehicle last month, and an investigation has led to an arrest in the case. Authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into the theft and an internal affairs investigation into whether any policies were violated, Spokane police Officer Teresa Fuller said.

Pullman pertussis diagnoses decrease

A letter posted by the Pullman School District on its website that five Pullman High School students have been diagnosed with whooping cough in the past few weeks is incorrect, according to the Whitman County Health Department. But that doesn’t mean parents and students can breathe easy.

Whooping cough cases decline in Pacific Northwest

Whooping cough is on the decline in the Pacific Northwest, with some health officials attributing the drop to immunization efforts. By mid-July, there were 419 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, in Washington – down considerably from the same period in 2012 when 3,237 cases were reported, the Longview Daily News reported Wednesday.

Pertussis death prompts warning

The Spokane Regional Health District is reminding everyone to get a pertussis vaccine along with a flu shot after a King County infant died from whooping cough last week. Health district spokeswoman Kim Papich said the death was the first in the state this year due to pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, which is still at an epidemic level.

Early shots best for flu

As the number of whooping cough cases in Spokane County drops, health officials continue pressing the case for immunizations, including this year’s flu vaccine. Mark Springer, an epidemiologist with the Spokane Regional Health District, said declining cases of whooping cough, also called pertussis, in the past two months is not proof that the disease is going away.

Whooping cough shot urged in pregnancy

ATLANTA – An expert panel is urging every expectant mother to get a shot preventing whooping cough, preferably in the last three months of her pregnancy to help protect her baby. The advice follows a frightening resurgence of the dreaded childhood disease. More than 32,000 cases, including 16 deaths, have been reported so far this year, and 2012 is on track to be the nation’s worst year for whooping cough since 1959.

Persistent pertussis

Whooping cough has spread across Spokane County during the summer, surprising health officials who expected numbers to drop once kids left school. No one has died.

Rock Doc: Adults need to protect against pertussis, too

Even if you don’t have kids in your household, you could be exposed to serious diseases that often affect children. And at the moment there’s a sharp spike upward in one contagious disease that you could help protect both yourself and youngsters against by getting a simple shot at the doctor’s office. Vaccines stand at the heart of modern medical science. They can help protect us against a number of serious, contagious diseases. Vaccines may not grant us perfect immunity, but they have helped transform the landscape of a number of problems that used to plague us, particularly in childhood.

Pertussis shows persistence

The whooping cough epidemic plaguing other counties in Washington has been slow to reach the Inland Northwest. While numbers in West Side counties continued to climb at the end of last week, Spokane County had 18 confirmed cases. (Skagit County, the state’s hardest hit, had close to 300.) In North Idaho, Kootenai and Bonner counties each had two cases.

Gregoire puts cash toward stifling whooping cough

Gov. Chris Gregoire is reaching into emergency funds to help contain Washington’s whooping cough epidemic. Gregoire said Thursday she will make $90,000 in crisis cash available to help strengthen a public awareness campaign about the need for vaccination. The state Department of Health is already looking to spend about $200,000 on the effort.

Huckleberries: Trio of authors share ink-stained newsroom past

What do Jess Walter, Richard Miller and Dan Kolbet have in common? Hint: They are ex-Spokesman-Review staffers. And? They’ve all written books. Walter, of course, parlayed his reporting of the August 1992 Ruby Ridge siege into a book (“Every Knee Shall Bow”) and a TV miniseries. He’s now penned seven books, with the last one, “The Financial Lives of the Poets,” receiving national acclaim. Kolbet, an Avista spokesman, worked in the sports department.