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Wednesday, February 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Shawn Vestal: Greater Idaho is a wonderful name for a bad idea

Lest you think we’re the only region with a tiny but incurable case of the crackpot secessionist bug, cast your eyes toward rural Oregon.


Ask the doctors: Masks not very effective at preventing viruses

Ask the doctors advice column for Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.


Getting There: After glacial progress, East Central braces for effects of North Spokane Corridor’s eventual arrival at I-90

New plans for an on-ramp to the North Spokane Corridor off Hamilton Street have freed up some of the real estate in the East Central neighborhood that was going to …


Faith and Values: Politics and patriotism should not stand in the way of learning to love God’s children

Our love has become cheap and easy. We are seduced by a discourse of destruction and discontent. Love is not red, white and blue. We have forgotten, or never really …


Shawn Vestal: Pullman couple presses to turn daughter’s murder into a movement for campus change

Lauren McCluskey has been gone for 16 months now, killed by a man who stalked, harassed, threatened and extorted her for weeks before shooting her on the University of Utah …


Spin Control: Senate debates what’s the best things to drink in a kids meal

Senate debates what kids should drink in their Happy Meal.


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 …


Huckleberries: Prediction from 50 years ago proves out

Nothing in Kay Prosser’s description of a Stanley Hill remodel indicated that the home’s renovator would dramatically change future Coeur d’Alene.


Getting There: As traffic backs up and becomes unsafe on Highway 195, transit planners search for an off-ramp

Plans for how to handle increased development southwest of Spokane were discussed in the early 1990s, but funding was never found for those projects. That’s led to motorists finding themselves …


Spin Control: Anger over Iowa caucus problems partly the media’s fault

Problems with a computer app has some people predicting the beginning of the end for the Iowa caucuses as the three-ring political circus to kick off the nation’s quadrennial presidential …


Sue Lani Madsen: Farmers have to balance their interests with those of urban landowners

Trade wars are not new, and farmers who spoke off the record said standing up to China has been a long time coming. They’ll wait it out like an untimely …


Shawn Vestal: Cataldo Catholic School’s 8th graders turn impeachment into a civics lesson

Back and forth it went Wednesday morning in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, held in the eighth-grade history class at Cataldo Catholic School. As in the actual Senate, …


Shawn Vestal: Addressing police bias in roadside stop is a marathon, not a sprint

Take a gulp of relief, white people: Though we are more likely than any other racial or ethnic group in the state to be caught with contraband when searched by …


UPDATED: Tue., Feb. 4, 2020

Getting There: With City Line coming, STA plans expanded service elsewhere; plus, double-decker buses to Cheney?

A Spokane Transit Authority proposal would put double-decker buses on the busy route between Spokane and the home of Eastern Washington University. While that’s perhaps the most fun fact about …


Faith and Values: What overwhelms us is what brings us closer to God

Sorrow – over Kobe Bryant’s death. Fear – of a growing and global coronavirus outbreak.


Shawn Vestal: Noisy nights at Planned Parenthood lead to year of conflict between clinic, police

The evangelist came from Texas just for this: to stand in the rain on Indiana Avenue on a Wednesday, preaching a sermon about the walls of Jericho and Roe v. …


Spin Control: Will state really study removing Ballard Locks and raising Lake Washington? No dam way

Bill suggesting the removal of dams and locks in Western Washington tries to make a point, but may not move the salmon debate forward.


UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 31, 2020

Shawn Vestal: Moses Lake man’s abuse of toddler shows how monstrous thrive in internet age

It’s not the kind of language you often see in court documents – even in prosecutor’s strongest sentencing arguments for the worst convicts. However, in the case of Mikhail Yuriy …


UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 29, 2020

Shawn Vestal: Bill that would force UW to layoff 800 administrators is a good start to cut bloat that burdens students

A lawmaker is taking aim at administrative bloat in Washington’s universities, with proposed legislation that would take a cleaver to nonteaching jobs in the state’s system of higher learning and …


Getting There: Plans for Centennial Trail through West Central draw pushback that could result in new connection

The city of Spokane hopes to make up a gap in the popular paved trail that starts in Riverside State Park by replacing sidewalks in the West Central neighborhood, using …


Shawn Vestal: ‘What are you willing to kill for?’ asks Idaho candidate and GOP official

It was September 2019, and the Redoubters – Matt Shea, Heather Scott and the rest of the gang – were talking liberty at the Freedom Fest in Sandpoint. Alex Barron, …


Spin Control: Legislative hearings offer lessons in constitutional scholarship – sort of

People who don’t spend much time in legislative hearings might be surprised to know the state is apparently awash with constitutional scholars.


Sue Lani Madsen: Consolidating elections in even years would undermine, not empower, voters

Mail-in ballots were supposed to increase voter turnout. They have not. Free postage and more drop boxes were supposed to increase voter turnout. They did not. Making it easier wasn’t …


Huckleberries: An air travel horror story

Sara McDrummond didn’t kiss the tarmac at Spokane International after she disembarked Sunday from LAX. But no one would have blamed the Post Falls dental hygienist if she had.


UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 23, 2020

Shawn Vestal: Slumbering Jim Risch symbolizes the Senate’s sham trial

Years from now, as the no-trial impeachment trial of President Trump is reduced to lowlights by history, one image will indelibly symbolize the travesty: Idaho’s Jim Risch asleep during the …


Front Porch: Some short takes

This is a column dedicated to a couple of unrelated items.


Dave Nichols: All-star showcase will present best high school basketball east of Cascades

A lot of folks were disappointed about the demise of the Jack Blair girls all-star basketball game. We figured, why not do something about it? And add a boys game …


Spin Control: Inslee gives, gets apples as Legislature starts up

Apples made their way into House chamber, State of the State address.


Shawn Vestal: Obituaries paint portrait of community

One obituary is a portrait of a life. Several taken together, though, create a portrait of a community. Recent obits in the S-R have told the stories of tavern owners …


UPDATED: Sun., Jan. 19, 2020

Getting There: Local crews largely stick to salt to de-ice area roads

The search for de-icers that don’t involve salt – and, by extension, don’t corrode cars or contaminate bodies of water – have led some states and researchers to experiment with …