News

Bill inspired by Spokane murder-suicide urges mental health help

February 16, 2016

OLYMPIA – A police officer responding to an attempted suicide could recommend a mental health professional quickly contact and offer help to the person who tried to commit suicide, under a bill that received near unanimous support in the Washington House of Representatives on Tuesday.

“This would make sure mental health emergencies are dealt with by mental health professionals,” said Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, the bill’s sponsor.

Op-Ed: Motion Picture Competitiveness Program a Smash Hit

January 24, 2016

When companies look at potential filming locations, they always ask: “How much will it cost?”

Washington lawmakers know that the bottom line is an important factor with filmmakers, which is why we created the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program to bring jobs and boost local economies. Unfortunately for workers and small businesses, this successful program may be on the way out.

Legislature OKs bill paving way for WSU medical school

March 25, 2015

OLYMPIA — A nearly century-old restriction giving the University of Washington the exclusive right to operate a public medical school in the state of Washington was removed by the Legislature on Wednesday, opening the door for Washington State University to open its own medical school in Spokane.

Doug Clark: WDOT reverses course on toll, fine

March 10, 2015

It’s a happy ending for Dennis and Shirley Wendlandt.

The DOT will NOT be going after this humble Spokane couple for $53.10 in unpaid fines and a toll fee dating back to Nov. 5.

By DOT, I mean the Washington state Department of Transportation, of course.

But what a switcheroo.

Competitive Streak

January 28, 2015

State Rep. Marcus Riccelli has a cold, or at least he sounds like it. When he calls the Inlanderon his drive back home from Olympia, he admits he's a little "clogged up."

Chalk it up to some well-earned exhaustion. Riccelli is a Democrat representing Spokane's South and North sides and downtown core, and less than three weeks into his second term, he has already dropped 13 policy bills — more than any other Spokane-based lawmaker.

"It's tough because there are a lot of mouths to feed here," says Rep. Timm Ormsby of Riccelli, his 3rd District colleague. "He's got a good competitive streak, which bodes well for our folks back home, the people in the 3rd District. You have to really want to get stuff done here that they need. Otherwise it might fall off."

States making changes to improve timeliness of newborn screenings

April 8, 2014

Will Humble says he is using both "carrot and stick methods" to make sure hospitals in Arizona stop sending babies' blood tests late to the state lab for lifesaving screening.

The director of Arizona's Department of Health Services is posting each hospital's performance online where parents and the public can see it. His department is also training hospital staffers, reinforcing the reasons why a baby's blood sample must get to the state lab quickly — before a child with a treatable genetic disorder becomes extremely ill or dies. In the future, hospitals that don't meet metrics based on national guidelines also could be sanctioned by the state's licensing board.

Mead Schools Turn to Olympia to Help Temporarily Solve Overcrowding

February 24, 2016

SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Mead School District is growing at an unbelievable rate and the consequences are more than just a lack of space but also hampers students' ability to learn.

It's simple math, a growing community plus a lack of schools to house the influx of students equals a big problem. The district estimates they have grown by over 1,000 students since they last redrew their boundaries back in 2007, now they are running out of room to put everyone.

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