SPR News Feed - Spokane Public Radio http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed New website coming soon! In early July, all stories will be located on our new site. Stay tuned... Blame Game Escalates in Oregon ACA Debacle Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:04:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2228-blame-game-escalates-in-oregon-aca-debacle A squabble over who's to blame for a debacle in Oregon's attempted roll-out of the Affordable Care Act has led to a suit against the state filed by the software company, Oracle. Oracle has filed a damage suit against the state in Portland federal court, claiming breach of contract. 2228 Small Washington Think Tank Could Be Pot Trailblazer Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:43:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2224-small-washington-think-tank-could-be-pot-trailblazer Washington's well-publicized experiment with legal marijuana is shadowed by a much quieter - and perhaps more important - experiment. A Brookings Institution researcher said the state has launched a knowledge experiment to weigh the potential and the pitfalls of its legalization policy. 2224 Northwest News Network (N3) - NEWS HERE Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:28:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2222-northwest-news-network-n3-news-here For access to Northwest News Network stories. 2222 Fickle Weather Douses Idaho Farmers' Hopes Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:30:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2223-fickle-weather-douses-idaho-farmers-hopes August was a crummy month for central and eastern Idaho wheat and barley farmers - and for beer drinkers. The problem was rain - too much of it at just the wrong time - harvest time. The Twin Falls agricultural region in southeastern Idaho got about two-and-a-half inches of rain in the first week of August, an amount that would be unremarkable in some parts of the country, but which was astonishing in an area which ordinarily gets 10 or 11 inches a year. 2223 ‘Fiesta Spokane’ Celebrates Hispanic Heritage in City Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:10:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2219-fiesta-spokane-celebrates-hispanic-heritage-in-city September will mark a first for Spokane- a celebration of Hispanic heritage hosted by the city. Fiesta Spokane will last all month, highlighting Hispanic culture in food, entertainment, and dancing. 2219 WSU Health Clinic Free of Religious Directives Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:04:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2215-wsu-health-clinic-free-of-religious-directives The bylaws for a new health clinic at Washington State University-Spokane will be amended to ensure the care and education provided within is free of religious health directives. Providence Health Care made the announcement Friday, two days after the American Civil Liberties Union urged the WSU Board of Regents to ensure separation of church and state. 2215 Nearly Double the Insurance Policies Offered In November Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:13:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2216-nearly-double-the-insurance-policies-offered-in-november The Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s Office says the number of polices offered under the state health exchange has been increased dramatically for the next enrollment period. The next enrollment period for people to sign up for health insurance coverage will begin in November. People can sign up for the first time, or switch from coverage they currently have. 2216 Debt-Buying Firm Runs Afoul of State Consumer Law Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:06:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2211-debt-buying-firm-runs-afoul-of-state-consumer-law One of the fastest growing industries in Washington - collecting bad debts - hit a speed bump Thursday thrown up by the state's high court. The high court justices ruled unanimously that a debt buying company is. In fact, a collection agency, and may not file collection lawsuits without a state license. 2211 Judges Wrangle Over Death Sentence Which Will Not Be Carried Out Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:56:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2210-judges-wrangle-over-death-sentence-which-will-not-be-carried-out For years now, state and federal courts have tied themselves in knots trying to decide if a Spokane man, Dwayne Woods, ought to be put to death for two brutal murders in Spokane Valley in 1996. But whatever the final decision is, Woods won't be executed any time soon. 2210 City Clerk Stratton Fills Opening on City Council Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:25:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2206-city-clerk-stratton-fills-opening-on-city-council City of Spokane clerk Karen Stratton will take a leave of absence as clerk and start her city council duties September 15th The Spokane City Council voted five-to-one to hire Stratton Monday night. Stratton says public service is in her blood.  2206 ACLU Says WSU-Spokane Should Refuse Religious Medical Doctrines Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:10:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2203-aclu-says-wsu-spokane-should-refuse-religious-medical-doctrines WSU-Spokane excitedly announced funding for six new medical residency spots in December. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington says the partnership that made the slots available could bind WSU to religious directives. The resident students will work in a medical clinic at WSU Spokane. 2203 Idaho Celebrates Water Rights Allocation Process Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:43:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2208-idaho-celebrates-water-rights-allocation-process With completion of a long, laborious legal process to figure out who owns what water in the Snake River basin, Idaho has become the first state to adjudicate water rights on a large scale. Completion of the process was so momentous that Idaho invited Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to preside over a celebration. 2208 ‘Smart Growth’ Lesson for Spokane County Leaders Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:15:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2204-smart-growth-lesson-for-spokane-county-leaders Spokane county leaders held their third meeting on growth management today (Wednesday), following the development freeze they instituted in April. The entire board of Spokane County Commissioners, Spokane City Council and Mayor are using the meetings to facilitate conversation. 2204 One Wolf Dead in Stevens County Wolf Hunt Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:51:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2209-one-wolf-dead-in-stevens-county-wolf-hunt The Washington department of Fish and Wildlife has authorized killing several members of a wolf pack that have been preying on Sheep in Stevens County. Fish and Wildlife officials say the Huckleberry wolf pack is believed responsible for the death of 22 sheep in an area between Hunters and Springdale, Northwest of Spokane. 2209 Footloose Wolf Needs His Batteries Recharged Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:14:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2212-footloose-wolf-needs-his-batteries-recharged While airborne hunters try to track and kill at least four wolves in Stevens County which are under a death sentence because of sheep depredation, a hunt will also be underway for a lone wolf in Oregon, But in the case of the world's most famous wolf, the idea is to re-collar him, not kill him. 2212 Spokane To Be Sisters With Central-Mexico City Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:19:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2205-spokane-to-be-sisters-with-central-mexico-city The lilac city will soon have ties to a trade hub in Mexico. The city of Spokane is working to become sister cities with a state capital in Mexico’s north-central region. Spokane has business, cultural, and educational links to Limerick, Ireland, Nishinomiya, Japan, and Jecheon, South Korea. Add San Luis Potosi to that list.  2205 Whidbey General Hospital Calls The Midwife To Help Reduce C-Sections Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:30:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2233-whidbey-general-hospital-calls-the-midwife-to-help-reduce-c-sections In Coupeville, Washington, Sarah Meyer is pressing a fetal Doppler on Christine Meyer’s belly to check the baby’s heart rate. Meyer, no relation to Christine, then checks her ankles for swelling. Christine is 25, and this is her first baby. She says she chose Whidbey General because the hospital offers what she was looking for – a midwife. 2233 Mayor’s Ice Bucket Challenge Preps Spokane For Gleason Fest Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:48:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2192-mayor-s-ice-bucket-challenge-preps-spokane-for-gleason-fest The mayor of Spokane and a couple dozen football players took the ice bucket challenge today, dumping buckets of ice water on their heads at Gonzaga Prep. The fundraiser asks people to dump a bucket on themselves, or donate for Lou Gehrig’s disease, otherwise known as ALS. It’s gone viral, and for the organizers of Spokane’s Gleason Fest, that’s a good thing. 2192 State High Court Gives Rapists Access to DNA Testing Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:47:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2191-state-high-court-gives-rapists-access-to-dna-testing Virtually any convicted rapist in Washington State may now be able to demand and get DNA testing which might, or might not, point to his innocence. In a case dating from 1993, a majority of the state's high court has ruled that a man serving time for five counts of first degree rape has a right to have DNA from the crime scene tested.  2191 Doctors Say Modern Definition Of ‘Normal’ Labor May Be Driving C-section Rate Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:32:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2234-doctors-say-modern-definition-of-normal-labor-may-be-driving-c-section-rate The high rate of C-sections is a heated topic lately -- in Florida last month, one woman unsuccessfully took her hospital to federal court to avoid having one. It’s a life-saving surgery in complicated births, but today nearly a third of pregnancies end up as a C-section. Public health officials across the U.S. DO say the number of C-sections being performed has gotten way out of hand. And doctors are wondering if their definition of what a normal labor is might be one of the problems. 2234 Council Will Sunset TBD If City Ignores Pedestrian Plan Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:56:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2193-council-will-sunset-tbd-if-city-ignores-pedestrian-plan The Spokane City Council on Monday approved a sunset clause on the city’s $20 vehicle license fee. Council member Jon Snyder brought forth the ordinance, which mandates that city administrators must create a pedestrian master plan that gets council approval by the end of 2015, otherwise the transportation benefit district will fold. 2193 Idaho Senator Sees EPA Wood Stove Rules as Bureaucratic Smoke Screen Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:47:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2225-idaho-senator-sees-epa-wood-stove-rules-as-bureaucratic-smoke-screen Idaho senior Senator Mike Crapo was in Rathdrum, Idaho Monday in a campaign to fend off proposed EPA regulations that he fears will spell doom for manufacturers of wood-burning stoves. Crapo met with the owner of Kuma Stoves of Rathdrum, a family-owned business which has been building wood stoves since 1981. 2225 Oregon Growers Go Nuts Over Hazelnut Demand Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:19:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2189-oregon-growers-go-nuts-over-hazelnut-demand A few Oregon farmers are downright smug this summer about another weather-inflicted crop disaster on the other side of the world. They're hazelnut growers, mostly in the Willamette Valley, responsible for virtually the entire US crop of the nuts. 2189 Doc Hastings Not Retiring in Criticism of EPA Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:30:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2218-doc-hastings-not-retiring-in-criticism-of-epa Washington Congressman Doc Hastings is retiring at the end of his current term, but not quietly. He's issued another broadside blast against what he considers abuse of power by federal agencies such as the EPA. 2218 Snyder Hangs Pedestrian Planning Over Heads of City Administration Fri, 15 Aug 2014 12:32:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2187-snyder-hangs-pedestrian-planning-over-heads-of-city-administration Spokane City Council member Jon Snyder wants to take city administrators to task on creating a pedestrian master plan. Already this week he presented his ordinance that would dissolve the six-year transportation funding pool if the city fails to create a pedestrian plan. 2187 Tribe Looking To Claim Water Rights in North Idaho Process Fri, 15 Aug 2014 12:22:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2186-tribe-looking-to-claim-water-rights-in-north-idaho-process Idaho officials will be taking up the issue of water rights in North Idaho this fall. That, after the negotiation process was approved by the legislature this year. The process is called water adjudication, and will determine who gets how much of the region's water. The state has had a senior water rights policy for years, but also has a “lose it or use it policy” meaning if some aren’t using their current rights, they can be taken away. 2186 Gasoline Prices Fade, May Boost Back-to-School Spending Wed, 13 Aug 2014 14:52:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2226-gasoline-prices-fade-may-boost-back-to-school-spending Parents of Inland Northwest kids may get a little more breathing room in their back-to-school spending decisions, because the cost of gasoline is dropping. But even if lower gasoline prices don't provide all that much of a spark for increased spending on backpacks and school supplies, the downward trend should at least reduce the grumbling and muttered curses at the gasoline pumps. 2226 Council Candidates Interviewed for Open Seat Wed, 13 Aug 2014 14:21:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2221-council-candidates-interviewed-for-open-seat The Spokane City Council interviewed five finalists Wednesday for an open district three seat. The interviews were an indication of the council’s priorities, and that the next council member will be more wary of sprawl and likely more liberal than predecessor Steve Salvatori. 2221 Megaload Moving Despite Petition In Northern Idaho Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:25:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2207-megaload-moving-despite-petition-in-northern-idaho Another megaload of oil refinery equipment is traveling through the Inland Northwest this week, and with it, protesters have scheduled demonstrations in Idaho towns. Friday, the Idaho Transportation Department issued a permit to the company Bigge Crane to haul a nearly one-million pound load across northern Idaho. 2207 Fire Still Growing on Colville Reservation Mon, 11 Aug 2014 12:22:00 -0700 http://kpbx.org/spr-news-feed-entry-2217-fire-still-growing-on-colville-reservation The fire burning on the Colville Reservation continues to grow. The Devil's Elbow Fire Complex is now over 19,000 acres. About 700 firefighters battled the blaze over the weekend. 32 people have been evacuated, and about 150 homes are threatened. One abandoned house has been destroyed. 2217