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Thursday, May 20, 2004


Here's a list of all stories that were posted online May 20, 2004

Sales tax increase puts onus on STA
Even as local bus riders are breathing a sigh relief, Spokane Transit Authority officials are gearing up for more work.

General denies creating ‘culture of abuse’
WASHINGTON – A broad Army investigation of military detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan has found no pattern of abuse, Army Gen. John Abizaid, the top commander of U.S. forces in the region, testified Wednesday. Related stories

Civilians die in attacks
U.S. forces killed more than 40 civilians in a predawn attack on an Iraqi village Wednesday, striking what Iraqi witnesses said was a wedding celebration but U.S. officials called a way station for foreign infiltrators. Related stories

‘Smokers hut’ plan sparks debate
A Spokane Community College student government senator has proposed a $100,000 solution to the problem of messy smokers clogging up busy building entrances.

Area rivers rank near top in mine wastes
The Spokane River, the Coeur d'Alene River and the Clark Fork have some of the highest concentrations of mine pollution in the nation, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

U.S. House approves budget, but Senate poised to reject it
WASHINGTON – The House on Wednesday approved a $2.4 trillion budget for fiscal 2005 that would extend popular tax cuts and increase spending on defense and homeland security.

Hastert, McCain get testy over taxes
WASHINGTON – Growing tensions between House and Senate Republicans over the war in Iraq, abuse of Iraqi prisoners, tax cuts and budget deficits erupted Wednesday with House Speaker Dennis Hastert lecturing former POW and Arizona Sen. John McCain about sacrifice and war.

Giuliani defends 9-11 heroes
NEW YORK – Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani passionately defended the city's police and fire departments Wednesday amid criticisms that rescue operations at the World Trade Center fell short on Sept. 11, 2001. Related stories

National/World news
Army orders scrutiny of Afghanistan camps Washington The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan ordered a “top to bottom” assessment of American prison camps in the country Wednesday, saying he wanted assurances that facilities are adequate and that detainees are being treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention.

Man sues after firing over drug test not completed
ATLANTA – A man who says he was fired by Caterpillar Inc. because he wasn't able to urinate for a drug test sued the equipment giant Wednesday, alleging discrimination.

Capitol Hill staffer chronicles sexploits on blog
WASHINGTON – An entry-level staffer in Sen. Mike DeWine's Washington office titillated Capitol Hill this month with an explicit blog that detailed her performing sexual favors for money -- until her blog was ended this week.

Kerry, Nader meet for talk about ‘human race’
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kerry met privately Wednesday afternoon with Ralph Nader, whose independent bid for the White House threatens to peel crucial liberal votes away from the Democratic presidential candidate in November. Related stories

‘Buff’ first lady chats with Leno
BURBANK, Calif. – Jay Leno pressed Laura Bush on his show Wednesday: Who would win if she duked it out with Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of Democratic rival John Kerry?

Soldier gets one year for role in Abu Ghraib inmate abuse
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A 24-year-old Army mechanic pleaded guilty Wednesday to abusing inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison. It was a plea bargain that points ahead to a summer of ugly trials of fellow soldiers who say higher command urged them to strip and humiliate captured Iraqis to make them talk. Related stories

OPEC chief says group could boost oil output by 15 percent if necessary
LONDON -- Demands for an increase in OPEC oil output intensified Wednesday, as crude prices rose from already high levels despite the group's efforts to reassure markets against a possible shortfall in supply.

President won’t tap gas reserves
WASHINGTON -- President Bush on Wednesday rejected Democrats' calls to ease high gasoline prices by tapping the nation's petroleum reserve, saying such action would leave America vulnerable to terrorism in a time of war.

Lack of air routes can leave region’s business grounded
Spokane business leaders know the way to San Jose. They just have to convince an airline to get them there.

Kaiser gets OK to sell Mead plant
Kaiser Aluminum Corp. said it has received Bankruptcy Court permission to sell its Mead smelter to a St. Louis company for about $7.4 million.

Morgan Stanley files lawsuit against Washington
SEATTLE -- Morgan Stanley DW Inc. has sued Washington regulators after the state withdrew from a settlement agreement over investment advice to Microsoft Corp. employees.

AmericanWest will move into new facility
The new AmericanWest Bank Building in downtown Spokane soon will be the corporate and regional headquarters of the building's namesake.

Business News
Children's Museum to open clubhouse The Children's Museum of Spokane is opening a summer outreach location at River Park Square to provide interactive events for kids.

High oil prices dampen Dow’s day
NEW YORK -- Wall Street's rally sputtered to a stop Wednesday as rising oil prices deflated the market's enthusiasm over strong earnings from technology bellwethers Hewlett-Packard Co. and Applied Materials Inc. Prices ended mixed, and the Dow Jones industrials gave up a triple-digit advance and closed with a loss.

Being nice: A pie-in-the-sky venture?
ATLANTA -- Airlines have offered more legroom, televisions and even martinis on flights to draw customers in a highly competitive market. In the latest unusual effort, Delta's low-fare carrier, Song, will give free tickets to passengers who are nice to one another.

Halliburton shareholders meeting draws protesters
HOUSTON -- Halliburton Co.'s annual shareholders meeting drew about 500 protesters Wednesday, and five who entered the hotel where it was held and shouted chants were arrested for trespassing.

Barber shop with PG-13 attitude creates a buzz
This has to be the first local clip joint with a warning label on the front door.

Accuracy watch
Choral concert is this Friday Due to a clerical error, the location of the EWU Choral Concert with Spokane Falls Community College was incorrect in last Friday's 7 section. The event will be at SFCC's Music Building Auditorium this Friday at 7:30 p.m.Decision to shoot bear mischaracterized

Spokane-area man faces charges
A Spokane-area man with past ties to the Aryan Nations faces a minimum of 30 years in prison if convicted of newly filed federal charges accusing him of firebombing a synagogue in Oklahoma City.

Mill River gets financial boost from LCDC
The Lake City Development Corp. will spend nearly $4 million to help jump-start two private development projects.

CdA’s City Salon is growing out
One of the newsroom guidelines is that a barbershop is one of the best places to hear story ideas. When I was a Montana college student on spring break in Tijuana, I listened to the barbershop crowd chat about their dope-smuggling operation -- not realizing that this innocent blond boy understood (somewhat) their Spanish.

Judge orders crematory to close
A home-based pet cremation business will have to shut down or move after a Kootenai County judge ruled last week that the operation, though valuable to society and holding a valid county permit, is not allowed in the rural subdivision where it is located.

Sheriff, prosecutor on Shoshone ballot
Shoshone County residents have a choice between insiders and outsiders when it comes to voting for sheriff and prosecuting attorney in the Tuesday primary, candidates in the contested races say.

Terrorists raise cash online, expert says
BOISE – An internationally known terrorism expert testified Wednesday that terrorists now use the Internet to raise funds and draw recruits – by posting materials exactly like those sent out on Web sites linked to University of Idaho student Sami Al-Hussayen. Related stories

CV evacuated after bomb threat
Two notes discovered Wednesday in Central Valley High School bathrooms said bombs had been planted in the school and were set to explode today.

Couplet earns local support campaign
For many Spokane Valley businesspeople, the Sprague-Appleway couplet is the enemy. Since Spokane County built the roadway in 2000, they've blamed its two one-way roads – and their lower traffic counts – for the demise of several stores.

Records show history of abuse
James V. Adams has a history of assaulting his family. Spokane juvenile court records show Adams often threatened to kill his stepfather. He pleaded guilty to assaulting an ex-girlfriend. Now, the 20-year-old Adams is accused of assaulting his 3-month-old son, who is in “very critical condition,” according to one law officer.

Structure gives kids a chance to grow
Kathi Tribby-Moore likes to think her students come by choice. She realizes it's not much of a choice – either they go to the Structured Alternative Confinement (SAC) school for four hours a day with her, or spend long days and nights in juvenile detention.

Tuesday voters to pick county commissioners
Voters don't have to wait long to see who will control the Kootenai County Commission, because Tuesday's Republican primary determines who gets the job.

Gregoire offers plan to create 250,000 jobs
OLYMPIA – Christine Gregoire, Democratic front-runner for governor, has proposed a jobs program anchored by a $1 billion investment in biotechnology research and development.

Log airlift helps improve habitat for young salmon
SULTAN, Wash. -- Juvenile salmon that need hiding places in slow-moving streams got some help on Wednesday, when a state Department of Natural Resources helicopter dropped dozens of logs and tree stumps along a side channel off the Sultan River.

Primary will be last vote for some state legislative seats
North Idaho voters will help shape their representation in the Legislature next week – and in some cases, the decision will be final.

Candidates vie for spots in rural areas
The Founding Fathers may have imagined Bonner County when they proposed a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Because in this place where the children of loggers and children of the counterculture can hit the drive-through espresso stand on their way to a chain-saw carving contest, people by the score are running for office.

Regional news
Outbuilding falls, kills Eastport man Bonners Ferry, Idaho

UI blames Hoover, Wallace
BOISE -- The University of Idaho claims former school President Robert Hoover and former Financial Vice President Jerry Wallace contributed to the multimillion-dollar losses suffered on the ill-fated satellite campus.

Bishop advocates interfaith peace
In the same way that countries have sought to work together through the United Nations, so, too, should the religions of the world, said the Rt. Rev. William Swing.

Study shows local trends of domestic violence
Domestic violence in Spokane County is generally a crime committed by men against women, affects young people between the ages of 25 and 35, and often involves children who witness the violence.

Some air tankers may return to service
MISSOULA -- Heavy air tankers could return to the skies as part of the battle against wildfires if the Federal Aviation Administration is able to certify their safety, says an Interior Department official, but the focus now is on preparing for use of other aircraft.

Man pleads guilty to assault in stabbing death
A Spokane man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to third-degree assault for the July 2003 stabbing death of a woman.

Idaho flight disappears near Portland
MOLALLA, Ore. -- The Civil Air Patrol was searching Wednesday for a missing light plane in the Molalla area.

Orcas meander in Puget Sound area
BREMERTON, Wash. -- They don't usually wander so far inland, but a dozen or so killer whales are wowing onlookers after swimming through the Port Washington Narrows and cruising around Dyes Inlet.

Man convicted in slaying
EVERETT – A Snohomish County Superior Court jury took just six hours Wednesday to convict John Anderson of aggravated first-degree murder in the abduction, beating and killing of his former girlfriend, Rachel Burkheimer.

Everything old is new again
WASHINGTON -- It was barely more than two years ago that Congress passed its latest version of campaign finance reform. The legislation best known by the last names of its Senate sponsors, John McCain and Russ Feingold, was widely hailed as the greatest advance in a generation in cleansing the political system of the corrupting effects of money. Now, in the first election under the new regulations, here is what we see:

STA tax victory a pleasant surprise
Our View: Vote shows renewed public faith in transit agency

Global politics tarnish Olympic spirit
The only thing worse than a victorious American at the Athens Olympics? A proud one. The United States Olympic Committee has requested that our athletes curb their enthusiasm, since we are, you know, uh, hated. Says the London Sunday Telegraph:

And another thing. . .
Call it a monumental miscalculation. Fred Phelps Jr., a self-proclaimed pastor from Kansas, brought his anti-gay family circus to Coeur d'Alene on Tuesday to grab a few headlines by denigrating the memory of the late Matthew Shepard, the young gay man who was badly beaten and left to die on a Wyoming fence.

Bailey deserves re-election On May 25, we have the opportunity to make our voices heard again. We must get out and vote for the incumbent senator in District 3, Kent Bailey.

Swastikas fuel courthouse controversy
IDAHO FALLS -- Swastikas in the tile pattern on the Bonneville County Courthouse floor disturb some visitors, one saying they invoke the horrors of the Holocaust.

Company recalls millions of pounds of almonds
WASHINGTON -- A California company is recalling 5 million pounds of raw almonds sold nationwide after the Food and Drug Administration received seven reports of food poisoning.

M’s fall to another youngster
SEATTLE -- Erik Bedard got his first major league win, and Melvin Mora hit an RBI double in the Baltimore Orioles' 5-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night. Related stories

Garnett king of Game 7
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Garnett jumped atop the scorer's table and made a huge footprint in the chalk dust before saluting a screaming sellout crowd.

Regional fishing could worsen
Getting word about “hot fishing” this summer won't necessarily be reason to head out with a fishing rod.

Flames will play for Stanley Cup after downing Sharks
CALGARY, Alberta -- The pandemonium began while the puck was still in play, sliding alone toward the tranquility of the San Jose Sharks' unguarded net.

M’s latest scapegoat: the umps
SEATTLE – Edgar Martinez wouldn't say if the pitch he took for strike three in the seventh inning was low or outside. He wouldn't talk about home plate umpire Larry Young's strike zone. But Mariners manager Bob Melvin would. And so would Mariners starting pitcher Ryan Franklin. Related stories

Wednesday’s games
Astros 10, Marlins 2: At Miami, Lance Berkman homered for the second straight night, and Jeff Kent and Morgan Ensberg drove in three runs each to lead Houston over slumping Florida.

Pirates part ways with Mondesi
The Pittsburgh Pirates finally ran out of patience with absent outfielder Raul Mondesi, terminating his contract Wednesday when he didn't show up for the start of a three-game series against San Diego.

National sports
Bush welcomes NCAA winter champions to the White House President Bush is commander in chief, yet on Wednesday he turned and saluted Emeka Okafor, the 6-foot-10-inch former center for the University of Connecticut men's basketball team. “Yes, sir,” Bush exclaimed.

Today’s menu
Off-track betting Coeur d'Alene Casino: Dog racing, first post 9:05 a.m.; horse racing, first post 9:25 a.m.

On the air
For Thursday, May 20, 2004

Kentucky’s finest
It started with former Miami Dolphin Nick Buoniconti. It continued with baseball broadcaster Tim McCarver. Detroit Piston Bad Boy Bill Laimbeer. Football star Gale Sayers.

Guelph eliminated from Memorial Cup
KELOWNA, B.C. – The Ontario Hockey League's Guelph Storm were eliminated from the Memorial Cup after falling 7-2 to the Gatineau Olympiques on Wednesday.

MC games reflect trend
The Memorial Cup hockey tournament in Kelowna has become a national stage for what is wrong with hockey.

Local fighters the showcase at House of Fury
WORLEY -- A pair of hometown and homegrown boxers headline tonight's boxing card at the Coeur d'Alene Casino's House of Fury.

Taurasi shrugs off expectations heading into opener
PHOENIX -- Diana Taurasi plays her first WNBA game tonight, and naturally, she expects to be the team leader.

Warriors pound on Cougars, 9-2
Tyler Best homered twice and Carlos Fisher pitched a complete-game six-hitter Wednesday to guide Lewis-Clark State College to a 9-2 non-conference baseball win over Washington State at Lewiston's Harris Field.

Report says Montgomery to Warriors
Eric Musselman was fired Wednesday after just two seasons as coach of the Golden State Warriors. He will be replaced by Stanford's Mike Montgomery, a source told the Associated Press.

Quick hits
Looking ahead Let's get right to it. The next two weeks are so full of state playoff events, we're nearly overloaded.

Timberwolves have state-title ingredients
The Lake City High baseball team has the ingredients to have a successful trip to the State 5A tournament this week.

Team player
Jessie LaPlante has done a lot of growing up in the past four years. The Lakeland ace enters 3A state girls softball tournament play today with the confidence -- and wicked stuff -- rarely seen at the high school level.

State-bound Ness, Trojans turn adversity into positive
Junior pitcher Katie Ness and the Post Falls Trojans softball team will never forget that game. With a trip to the state tournament on the line against 6-22 Moscow in the 4A District I championship, the Trojans let it slip away in the late innings and ended up having to win a play-in earn the school's first-ever state berth.

It’s better to receive
Catching has always received a bad rap, what with the tools of ignorance and all that.

People created memorable times for Highlander
“Our life passes in transformation.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, writing in Duino Elegies

EV’s Cabbage finds her track calling
East Valley's Clarissa Cabbage was a runner without a track event. “Both my sophomore and junior years,” she said, “I was running different events in every meet.”

LC girls will easily win another title
How's this for a possible encore to a state championship? It's not a matter if the Lake City High girls track team defends its 2003 State 5A championship. It's a matter of by how much it wins by when the five state meets unfold today through Saturday at Boise State University.

Look for fast times Saturday at Stateline
Records are predicted to fall when the Northwest Legends Touring Series pay a visit Saturday night to Stateline Speedway.

Gordon ready for double duty, cuts two races from Busch schedule
INDIANAPOLIS -- The busiest man in auto racing is cutting his schedule to better prepare for the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600.

Official records
For Thursday, May 20, 2004

Selkirk waltzes past St. Michael’s
Jennie Ostrom hit for the cycle and Jessica Pichette pitched a four-hitter Wednesday as host Selkirk defeated St. Michael's 19-0 to open the District 7 B softball tournament at Ione.

Sinking into debate over docks
I love overhearing two guys argue about whose dock is in worse shape. Almost invariably, each asserts that his is practically ready to crumble into the lake. Related stories

Summer of ceramics
It's going to be an extraordinary summer of ceramics. Between now and the end of August, a dozen exhibitions will present a range of contemporary ceramics not before seen in the Inland Northwest.

Big band offers an even bigger hand
A swinging band, Tuxedo Junction, will be blasting out big band hits in a beautiful setting Friday night at St. John's Cathedral.

Showing mom letter may open long overdue talk
Dear Annie: I am a 38-year-old male, and my sister, “Anna,” is 40. We are both married and have children. Since I was a child, my parents have treated us differently. It never used to bother me, but lately, it's gotten much worse.

Aries (March 21-April 19)– Relax more with others, and you'll discover just how resourceful associates can be. Better communication marks your next few weeks. Curb any wild spending, please. Take another's challenge as an opportunity to expand and tighten your thinking.

Hasn’t he ridden that Italian Stallion to death?
Sylvester Stallone is hopping in the ring with MGM. The “Rocky” star has filed a lawsuit against the studio, claiming he was blocked in his efforts to bring back his boxing character for a sixth movie and to develop a Broadway musical based on him.

Skin-to-skin contact can pass virus
Dear Dr. Gott: Please teach me about warts. If they are contagious, how is the virus transmitted? Will touching, drinking from the same glass, kissing and/or having sex with someone who has warts cause them to be transmitted? Can a person be a carrier without actually having warts? Why, other than the obvious reason, are genital warts more serious than run-of-the-mill warts on the hands?

When not playing bridge, or his first love, golf, Larry Cohen is a keen reporter. Here, from his Web site,, is a deal that he spotted from the 2003 Fort Wayne, Indiana, Regional.

Embracing Don
Donizetti's 1843 comic opera “Don Pasquale” has always been at the top of Spokane Opera's to-do list. “It's a delightful comedy and in the Top 10 of most-performed operas,” said Bill Graham, Spokane Opera's executive director and the director of this production. “We've wanted to do it for quite a long time. We finally thought we had the right singers for the right roles.” Do they ever. Spokane's resident professional opera company has always prided itself on luring top young national talent, and

‘Cristo’ opens ‘Soul of Mexico’
Ever since prehistoric humans picked up feathers or chewed sticks to sketch bison on cave walls, artists have created with whatever was handy. Innovative Mexican artists were no exception.

CenterStage goes Hawaiian
The Hawaiian musical tradition is ancient, stretching back all the way through colonization and into the original Polynesian traditions.

‘Frontline’ looks at ‘Jesus Factor’
On KSPS at 9, a “Frontline” rebroadcast offers an evenhanded examination of “The Jesus Factor” in the presidency of George W. Bush.

25 million see departure of NBC’s ‘Frasier’
Frasier Crane can always say that he went out on top. The series finale of “Frasier” on NBC was television's most popular show last week, with 25.2 million people watching the psychiatrist make a surprise flight to Chicago in search of love.

L.M. Boyd Trivia
• Q. Which are the hottest months along the equator? A. March and September.

CBS series featuring some familiar faces
CBS will offer Rob Lowe as a doctor, Jason Alexander as a sportswriter and John Goodman as a family patriarch in new series this fall.

Roger Ebert is one very busy movie critic
Roger Ebert has spent nearly three decades perfecting his Cannes Film Festival regimen: see four films a day, attend the occasional black-tie event and go easy on the beach parties.

Reality shows bringing in advertising dollars
Reality shows have finally achieved the acceptance accorded to Dennis Franz's “NYPD Blue” bare bottom and foul mouth: Advertisers are no longer shying away from them out of fear that some audiences will be offended.

Seat-belt campaign worth it for all of us
“Click it or ticket.” If you have heard this catch phrase, raise your hand. Keep 'em up while I count . . . . Yup, it looks like a clear majority are aware that you can be stopped by the cops for not wearing a seat belt.

Gardener, handyman open Judy’s Enchanted Garden
Judy Ritz-Dalnes, a longtime employee in the gardening business, opened a shop earlier this month with her husband, Jeff Dalnes. Judy's Enchanted Garden is at 2628 W. Northwest Blvd., near Alberta. The building used to be a gas station and more recently, a coffee shop.

Aviation society honors WWII hero Gumm
The Rogers High School Air Force Junior ROTC will host its fourth annual Military Ball at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Rogers Field House. During this formal event, the Corps of Cadets will hold its first induction ceremony of the Kitty Hawk Air Society, an honor society for AFJROTC Cadets. This particular chapter is being named after Lt. Charles F. Gumm Jr., a Rogers graduate.

New NC parking lot to open in fall
The piles of rubble along Indiana between Washington and Stevens streets mean North Central High School's new parking lot and softball field are a step closer to completion.

Manage air supply when draining water from heater
Q. I have an electric water heater, and a couple of years ago I had to put in a new bottom element. I had a heck of a time getting the tank to drain. Any suggestions on how to make it drain faster -- or at all? You mentioned in your article to put a water softener on the pipe that goes to the water heater. I have heard of magnetic ones, but where do you get them?

Hillyard group to discuss budget goals
The Hillyard Steering Committee will hold its annual spring general meeting at 7 p.m. next Thursday at the Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook St.

Team builder
Ask first-year Mt. Spokane baseball coach Alex Schuerman about the success the Wildcats enjoyed this year, posting their best record in the school's seven-year existence, and you'll get an answer like, “Don't look at me!”

Youth activities
Anger Management Class – For ages 12-17. Class also will focus on self-esteem and conflict resolution. Contact Patrick Donahue, 979-7076, for more information.

Medical Lake SCOPE moves
A grand opening for Medical Lake's new Spokane County Sheriff's Community Oriented Policing Effort (SCOPE) office is set for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The office is at 111 W. Brooks Road, once occupied by the Ball and Dodd Funeral Home.

Oldest church
When Spokane was still a frontier town in 1879, 10 Christians gathered at the home of Henry and Lucy Cowley with the hope of establishing a church.

Treat yourself to varieties of blooming columbines
Columbines are blooming and enticing hummingbirds and butterflies, a sure sign that summer is almost here.

Ferris students win VFW awards for patriotic art
Ferris High School had a clean sweep of the Patriotic Art Awards, sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary 51 of Spokane.

Urban village proposed for 57th, Old Palouse site
It takes a village to create a village, developer Allen Williamson believes. In a NIMBY (not in my back yard) environment where many communities don't want any change -- period -- Williamson invites a dialogue with his neighbors. He wants to share his vision of an urban village on the property he co-owns with Don Jacobson just southeast of 57th Avenue and Old Palouse Highway.

WSU students offer proposals for project
In January, Allen Williamson approached the Washington State University Spokane Interdisciplinary Design Institute, asking it come up with design concepts for an urban village he would like to develop on the southeast corner of 57th Avenue and Palouse Highway.

Events will celebrate The Fig Tree
To celebrate 20 years in publication, The Fig Tree is holding four events in Spokane today and Friday featuring the Rev. Bob Edgar.

Tigers’ Anna Gullickson plays key role in tennis
As the Lewis and Clark High School girls tennis team begins what it hopes will be a highly successful trip into the postseason, it doesn't take Tiger head coach John Kenlein long to figure a big reason for their regular season triumphs.

City library will use computerized phone system to deal with patrons
Attention, friends of the library. Don't hang up on the robotic-sounding voice on the telephone. It could be the Spokane Public Libraries using its new way of telling you that your book is in, or overdue.

‘I’ll never get too far away’
All Phyllis Richeson ever wanted to be was a teacher. But after 43 years in the profession and a 17-year struggle with multiple sclerosis, the time has finally come to retire. “I guess it's time,” she said. “I've got four wonderful grandkids that I'll be spending more time with.”

SCOPE volunteers plan fund-raisers Saturday
Community policing volunteers will hold a fund-raiser Saturday at a Spokane Valley restaurant. University SCOPE, which stands for Sheriff's Community Oriented Policing Effort, is coordinating the fund-raiser for two different causes. Money raised at Ron's Drive-In, 12502 E. Sprague Ave., will go to the Spokane County Sheriff's K-9 unit as well as to a deputy's family whose son is undergoing expensive treatment for cerebral palsy.

With teenagers, you get used to brutal honesty
I was alone, contentedly thumbing through a magazine, when my daughter walked into the room and said, “Yuck, what smells old in here.” I instinctively started defending myself before I realized she wasn't talking about me.

N.W. Cruisers share interest in PT Cruisers
Car clubs are usually founded on the love of vintage vehicles. N.W. Cruisers is an exception. This club is built around the love of a car first introduced in the United States in 2001: Chrysler's PT Cruiser.

Driver booked on meth charge after traffic stop
A 29-year-old Otis Orchards man was arrested on drug charges during a traffic stop Saturday. Sheriff's Deputy J.P. Melton was patrolling near Barker and Interstate 90 about 4 p.m. when he spotted a northbound Ford Tempo. The car allegedly had a loud exhaust and was emitting a cloud of heavy smoke.

Primeval wings
What looks to be a flying dinosaur is in our forests -- an maybe even some of our neighborhoods. Who has ever seen the largest North American woodpecker without thinking of more primitive times? Even its call, echoing loudly through the forest, sounds primeval.

Focused Bears softball team advances to 4A regional tourney
Despite mid-season setbacks, Central Valley's young softball team produced a happy ending. On Friday, the Bears will play in the 4A regional softball tournament at Franklin Park for the first time since 2004, joining tourney perennial University in the quest for two of four state berths.

Gutsy move gives vaulter school record
Every athlete dreams of holding winning or losing in the palm of his or her hand. Be it in the bottom of the ninth inning, the final seconds of the Final Four or the last two minutes of the Super Bowl.