Lobbyists Snare Single-Family Homes Near Washington Capitol

A turreted brick home known as The Castle. A tan bungalow. An 111-year-old corner house with a covered porch. Just south of the state Capitol building you’ll find a neighborhood dotted with quaint, historic houses. But you won’t find families with children in many of them.

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Spokane Public Radio is part of the Northwest News Network (N3), a public radio collaboration in Washington, Oregon and Idaho working together to bring more news to our listeners.

      

4,200 Ponderosas Planted to Kick of Volunteer Week

Apr 10, 2014

The volunteer week Spokane Gives begins Saturday, through collaboration between the mayor’s office and non-profits. The seeds planted Saturday will start a week of growth in the volunteer community. The seeds being planted are literal. Local Boy Scout troops will plant more that 4,000 Ponderosa Pine seedlings along the developing north-south corridor.

Deborah Amos is a familiar name to NPR listeners. She has reported for years as a foreign correspondent, often reporting from the Middle East. Amos will be in Spokane this week, taking part in the Get Lit! festival.

 

The State of Idaho took on the federal government in a court case over Medicaid reimbursement rates, and lost. Five Idaho corporations which provide basic life skills - routine functions such as bathing, eating and laundry - sued the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare three years ago in federal court. The Medicaid providers argued that they were losing money under Idaho's budget restrictions because their  reimbursements had been frozen since July 2006.

Washington insurance commissioner Mike Kriedler is happy with the number of people who have signed up for medical insurance or qualified for Medicaid in the state. Kriedler says prior to authorization of the Affordable Care Act, it was estimated there were a million people in Washington without health insurance.

It seems last ditch efforts by neighbors will not stop McDonald’s from building a drive-thru only location in Spokane. Emails between the two parties this week suggest the drive-thru will open in June, as planned.

Representatives from McDonald’s approached the city for a building permit last spring, and the planning department granted it this February. That’s when Logan neighborhood stakeholders like Karen Byrd found out. 

Another political and legal fight may be brewing between the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and the State of Idaho - this one, over poker. The tribe plans to add poker to its attractions at the Worley casino, even though state officials say it would clearly be illegal under state law. The move might also violate the tribe's 1992 agreement with the state, and federal regulations to boot.

Given the amount of rain and snow in eastern Washington and the Idaho panhandle this month. it may hard to think of a drought disaster area in the rich farm region of southern Idaho.

An Idaho Falls man who fired at - and hit - the White House in 2011, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison on terrorism and weapons offenses. For months before he drove 2,000 miles from Idaho to Washington D.C. 23-year old Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez had been telling acquaintances that he was on a mission from God to "take out" President Barack Obama.

Medical marijuana patients in Washington State should probably not have to worry about federal intervention at this point. But a member of the Washington Liquor control board says the fate of medical marijuana dispensaries is uncertain.

 

The wedding day for about 7,000 same-sex couples in Washington is just three months away. It’s not a date they chose, but one set by the state’s same-sex marriage law. Some couples are excited, but others never planned to marry at all. Washington state is phasing out same-sex domestic partnerships, now that the couples can marry.

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