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Security calls on the rise for Riverfront Park in 2012

Security calls on the rise for Riverfront Park in 2012

The City of Spokane says security calls are on the rise for Riverfront Park in their latest 2012 security report.

In the past year, there were 4,229 security calls, up 360 from 2011. Since the city started tracking crime calls back in 1993, there has been an average of 2,483 calls a year for the park.

According to the report, 2012 had an all-time high in four categories: drug offenses, weapon violations, welfare checks, and citizen contacts.

In 2012 the park employed 10 security officers, totalling 6,101.75 seasonal labor hours.

The city has broken down the security calls into 17 different categories:

-546 alcohol/intoxication calls

-430 drug offenses (highest ever)

-20 thefts

-12 break-ins

-60 weapons violations (highest ever)

-9 assaults

-51 cases of lewd conduct

-301 bike and skateboard violations

-122 first aid calls (highest ever)

-944 trespass calls

-109 disorderly conduct calls

-43 lost person calls

-79 malicious mischief calls

-11 suicide calls

-31 mental health calls

-954 citizen contacts (highest ever)

-97 civil infractions

 

Cost of living in Spokane remains competitive

Cost of living in Spokane remains competitive

Greater Spokane Incorporated says the Spokane region continues to remain very competitive in the cost of living compared to other cities across the nation.

The ACCRA Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services.

They've compiled a table comparing Spokane to other cities around the country. In Washington, Spokane is slightly more expensive than Yakima and Tric-Cities, but cheaper than Seattle.

Spokane City Council President sends illegal e-mail from city account

Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart is in hot water for sending out an email from his work account, detailing his stances on the upcoming Special Election.

The email was sent out just before noon on Sunday. While Stuckart is�allowed to publically voice his opinions on the election, he isn't able to send out an�email�to voters about his views through his City of Spokane email address.

"I�definitely made a mistake," Stuckart said.

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The subject line of the email read, "Mark That Ballot! 1-2-3 YES-NO-YES." Stuckart said he thought a volunteer sent the email out through his personal account. "We�use a newsletter service and it just reverted back to my city email address," he said.

On�Monday�morning�Stuckart sent out an apology email to the�1,200 people on his list serve. He also sent an email to the council and city staff, owning up to the error and taking full responsibility for the issue.

Spokane, Gonzaga sued over student kayaking death

The mother of a Gonzaga student who died on a kayaking trip sponsored by the city of Spokane is suing the university and the city.

The lawsuit was filed Monday by Susan Gormley, the mother of Christopher Gormley, 18, of Everett, who died April 1 of hypothermia after his kayak flipped on Rock Lake.

The Spokesman-Review reports he was one of seven people on the trip organized by Gonzaga Outdoors, which contracted with the city parks department.

The lawsuit says a parks manual doesn't allow kayaking trips when winds exceed the 13 to 18 mph range. The day of the trip the National Weather Service issued an advisory for winds of 25 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph.

Genetically-modified food initiative certified, Day of Action planned by proponents

Genetically-modified food initiative certified, Day of Action planned by proponents

 

Although turnout should be quite low, political action groups around Washington state are gearing up for a fight surrounding a food-labeling initiative slated to be on November's ballot.

Initiative 522, also known as “The People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act”, “would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale,” according to a news release from Brian Zylstra, spokesman for secretary of state office.

I-522 turned in 353,153 signatures with an error rate of 17.02 percent, which is “slightly less than the historic average.”

Now that the initiative has been certified and will be on the ballot, its campaign is organizing events to bring awareness to the community. Michelle Kim, field organizer for Food & Water Watch Spokane is inviting everyone to come to a Day of Action outside of Main Market Co-op (44 W. Main Ave.) to learn more about the initiative.

Sen. Murray issues statement about PTSD review

 

Washington Senator Patty Murray responded to Secretary of the Army John McHugh's completion of the army-wide PTSD examination by saying more still needs to be done for vet mental health.

“Murray pushed for the review after hundreds of service members at Joint Lewis-McChord had their PTSD diagnoses taken away then, in many cases, restored over the past two years,” read a news release.

Read the senator's full statement below:

 

“While I’m pleased that the Army has announced they have completed this study, it’s far more important that they take quick action to remedy the problem. The Pentagon should also follow through on their commitment to extend this review to all branches of the military so servicemembers aren’t slipping through the cracks. In the coming weeks I will be meeting with Secretary McHugh to get the specific recommendations that came out of the study.

Early bird special offered for softball players

Early bird special offered for softball players

 

Early bird pricing is now available for the softball season.

The city of Spokane Parks and Recreation Softball League has skill levels for everyone who wants to play – men's, women's, coed, slow pitch, fast pitch modified as well as for adults in and over their 40s, 50s and 60s.

If you register now through the end of the month with a non-refundable $50 deposit, you will save $50 and only have to pay $800 as a team. You will have to pay the remaining $750 balance by April 15 to secure your team's place in the 16-game schedule.

All games are played at Franklin & Dwight Merkel fields and each game is played within an hour and 15 minutes.