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Sunday, February 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: al french


Shawn Vestal: Justice reform moves forward, despite resistance from some in Spokane justice system

Spokane has gone to great lengths to get good information and develop good ideas about how to dispense justice more smartly. But all the good ideas and hopeful recommendations will …


UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 12, 2020

Spokane County CEO Gerry Gemmill to retire this summer

Spokane County CEO Gerry Gemmill is retiring after nearly 40 years working for the county, including the past four as the top administrator.


UPDATED: Tue., Feb. 11, 2020

Spokane County to spend $50,000 researching temporary jail structures

Spokane County Commissioners have approved spending $50,000 to study whether putting a few hundred inmates in temporary structures, or reinforced tents, is feasible.


UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 7, 2020

Euclid Bridge to remain out until at least next year, leaving residents to endure long detour

Residents around the shut-down Euclid Road Bridge are growing increasingly frustrated by the detour, but the bridge may not be replaced until 2021.


City, county now require open union negotiations, but they haven’t happened – and may never

Though Spokane County and the city of Spokane have both required their unions to negotiate with them in public, some union leaders aren’t ready to back down as they wait …


UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 22, 2020

It’s official: Spokane gets $53M in funding for newly named City Line bus project

The oversize check displayed on the stage said it all: $53,425,000 made out to the Spokane Transit Authority from the U.S. Department of Transportation. STA has known the huge sum …


UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 7, 2020

Al French selected to chair county commission for fourth time

Al French was elected as the chair of the board of county commissioners for the fourth time Tuesday, becoming the face of the county’s governing body for 2020.


UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 23, 2019

McMorris Rodgers says GOP leaders were right to oust Shea from caucus; other officials split on whether he should resign

“I have repeatedly condemned extremism, no matter its source, and have made clear the violence it inspires has no place here in Eastern Washington,” the congresswoman said in a statement.


UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 29, 2019

Spokane County gets conflicting reports about nonprofit public defense

Spokane County officials continue to explore the idea of contracting with a nonprofit agency to provide public defense attorneys even though more counties are choosing to make that a function …


Facing turnover, huge caseloads and complaints, Spokane County considers turning Public Defender’s Office into nonprofit

Spokane County appears poised to overturn decades of precedent and hand the responsibility of representing indigent suspects to lawyers who work for a nonprofit rather than the county. The move …


UPDATED: Wed., July 31, 2019

Spokane County Commissioners raise conservation fees

Spokane County taxpayers will soon see a $5 increase in conservation district fees, after the Spokane County Commissioners voted to increase their fees for the first time in 21 years.


UPDATED: Thu., July 18, 2019

Shawn Vestal: Building a bigger, better Spokane County Jail won’t necessarily solve overcrowding issue

Every release from the Spokane County Jail, from the least serious to the most, from allegation to conviction to dismissal, tells a different story. But we apply the same blunt …


UPDATED: Wed., July 10, 2019

STA board members clash over effort to research low-income transit pass

An effort to research the creation of a local transit pass for low-income people hit stiff resistance — but overcame it, at least for the time-being — at the most …


UPDATED: Tue., July 9, 2019

Commissioners pick Mike Sparber to continue running Spokane County’s jail facilities

Sparber has served as interim director of Spokane County Detention Services since February, when


UPDATED: Wed., June 12, 2019

Spokane Tribe will get a voice in transportation planning, a move that sparked controversy among Spokane officials

A new law tying state transportation funds to the inclusion of tribes on local transportation planning boards has its origins with the Spokane Tribe of Indians, but the effort to …


Buses still won’t have to pull over at bus stops in East Sprague business district, STA board decides

Buses will continue to stop in the lane of traffic on East Sprague Avenue, a victory for the transit agency and its plans to build out a “high performance transit” …


UPDATED: Wed., April 3, 2019

East Sprague business group wants to move fancy bus stops, but faces resistance

Eighteen months and $150,000 later, the glow has come off the fancy new bus stops on East Sprague Avenue for the city of Spokane.


UPDATED: Sat., March 16, 2019

Baumgartner and French disagree on pay raises for some Spokane County leaders; commissioners will receive 3 percent raises this year and next

Spokane County commissioners will receive a 6 percent raise divided over two years, an independent citizen salary commission decided last week.


With at least 2,000 new jobs on the horizon, West Plains poised for rapid growth

After decades as Spokane’s low-profile neighbor, the West Plains is suddenly in the spotlight for employment, population growth and commercial development. Rapid development, bringing at least 2,000 new jobs, will …


UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 27, 2019

Lawsuit challenges state law expanding Spokane County Commission from three to five members

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court. Plaintiffs include the county as well as Commissioner Al French, former Commissioner John Roskelley and the Washington State Association of …


Annemarie Frohnoefer: New jail won’t solve societal problems

County Commissioner Al French has proposed building a new jail, saying, “this can has been kicked down the road for too many years,” before adding that he needs to know …


UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 11, 2018

Spokane County commissioners open union contract negotiations to the public

The move means members of the public and media will be able to witness the collective bargaining process in real time, even though state law allows that process to take …


UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 4, 2018

County approves $790 million budget without raising taxes

Spokane County commissioners unanimously approved a $790 million balanced budget for next year that largely avoids cuts to county departments while maintaining funding for public safety, infrastructure, parks and capital …


UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 29, 2018

Spokane County Commission again votes for 1 percent property tax increase

Spokane County Commissioners approved a 1 percent property tax increase to fund core county services, road construction and property acquisition for the Conservation Futures program.


County commissioners vote to sue state over commission expansion

Spokane County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to file a lawsuit to block expansion of the board from three members to five.


UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 27, 2018

French, Kuney sworn in as Spokane County commissioners

Spokane County Commissioners Al French and Mary Kuney took the oath of office Tuesday evening surrounded by family members, friends and county employees.


Spokane County Commissioners to take action on lawsuit aiming to block expansion of board

Spokane County commissioners will vote on whether to approve a lawsuit to block expansion of the board from three to five members – which would be filed on behalf of …


Integrated 911 center could go forward without city of Spokane

City of Spokane dispatchers may not be apart of a new region-wide communications center after City Council required its dispatchers to exclusively work with city public safety employees.


UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 7, 2018

Al French wins third term on Spokane County Commission

Incumbent Republican Al French is leading in the race against Democratic opponent Robbi Katherine Anthony to retain his seat on the Spokane County Board of Commissioners.


Amazon showcases progress of West Plains fulfillment center

Amazon showed off progress on its new West Plains fulfillment center Friday, which will be finished in fall 2019.