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Thursday, December 18
10:00 am
Thu December 18, 2014

From the Studio: African Christmas from Sironka

The Friends of Sironka, a group of East Africa's Maasai people who tour to showcase their villages' spectacular dance, chanting and jumping contests, have been living and working in Spokane this month.  They are led by Nicholas Sironka, a Fulbright Scholar and visual artist who taught at Whitworth College.

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Regional News
4:23 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Senator Blasts DOE for Stalling on Hanford Tank Problems

A new government watchdog report on continuing troubles at the old Hanford Nuclear Reservation drew a demand for immediate action from Oregon Senator Ron Wyden. The Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday faulted the Department of Energy schedule for managing leaking storage tanks at Hanford.

The government auditors found that the older single-shell underground tanks and even the newer double-shell tanks filled with radioactive waste continue to deteriorate. 

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Regional News
4:21 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Energy Council Finds Federal Report Unrealistic

A wildly optimistic estimate of new hydro power potential released last spring by the US Department of Energy has been hung out to dry by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

Members of the four-state power council - it includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana - were amazed to read a report commissioned by the Energy Department. It found that un-dammed rivers in the Pacific Northwest could produce upwards of 25-thousand megawatts of new, clean, non-carbon-emitting energy. That's equal to nearly three-quarters of the existing hydropower capacity in the region.

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Military Stories
4:02 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Fairchild Mission to Return Captives ‘With Honor’

Col. Jonathan Duncan, commander of 336th training group.
Credit Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

In a rare move, media were invited to Fairchild Air Force Base on Friday to learn about Fairchild’s survival school. It came after the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture, which reminded people that contract workers developed many of the harsh interrogation techniques. Two of those contractors, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, were former psychologists at Fairchild.

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Moving to a Sound Future
4:06 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Building Update: Warmer Winter Helps with Construction

A worker installs wallboard in the future SPR lobby.

Unseasonably warm months have been a help for the work crews preparing Fire Station No. 3 for its new life as SPR's studios. Crews from Walker Construction and its subcontractors are framing in new studios and offices. A new concrete floor is about to be poured in the Performance Studio. Electrical wiring, plumbing pipes, and heating/cooling ducts snake about the wall joists and high ceilings. It's possible the basic construction work could be completed not long after the start of 2015.

Click the image above to see a slideshow of construction from December 2014.

Regional News
3:16 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Upstart BC Port May Swamp Puget Sound Ports

The people who manage Washington's major ports and highway systems see a growing threat to their import business - a tiny port far to the north in British Columbia. Asian shippers have learned the fastest route to move their goods to the U-S midwest and east coast is the rapidly growing port of Prince Rupert in northern BC.

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Regional News
3:15 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Failing Old Bridges to be Torn Out and Replaced

A couple of shaky old deteriorating bridges in Spokane County will be torn out and replaced. Good news for drivers, but it means the dilapidated old spans are among the worst in the state. Under a state-managed part of a federal highway bridge program, the Ritchey Road bridge over Deep Creek and the Monroe Road bridge over Dragoon Creek will both be replaced.

Replacement of the Ritchey Road bridge should cost about $1.5 million; the Monroe Road structure about $1.2 million.

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Health Care
12:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Washingtonians Have More Time to Sign Up for Health Insurance

Credit Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

You may have heard that the deadline for sign-up and renewal of Health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is today. But don’t panic if you haven’t renewed yet, that deadline is for states using the federal website.

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Military Stories
5:02 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Fairchild Officials Distance Base from CIA Contractors

Col. Jon Duncan spoke to media about the SERE training, but said he could give no comment on the CIA interrogation report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday.
Credit Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

Officials invited media onto Fairchild Air Force Base on Friday to distance the Spokane-area base from CIA interrogation techniques. Two retired Fairchild psychologists are known to have moved on to create interrogation methods that got criticism in a federal report this week.

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Election Coverage
11:02 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Next Spokane Election: February School Bond and Levy

Garfield Elementary in Spokane is an example of a school which has seen bond dollars in the past, going towards a cafeteria floor, security cameras, and technology.
Credit Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

The general election is about five weeks behind us and already Spokane is gearing up for the next round of ballots. The city will have a special election February 10th, and voters will decide on two school funding measures.

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