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Ordinance could help crack down on downtown loitering

Spokane Police could soon have more authority in dealing with people loitering on downtown streets.

For the last four years the city has had a Sit and Lie Ordinance in place. Basically what this means is that people can't sit and lie down on public sidewalks between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The city wants to beef up the current ordinance and a proposed ordinance has been created that would extend those rules to 21 hours a day from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. The law would also give officers more power to issue citations, but City Council President Ben Stuckart has issues with the proposal and says it could "ban homelessness" in Spokane.

"There are problems, we all agree with that, it's just a matter that you can't make laws that are so restrictive that we ban homelessness in the City of Spokane. It's illegal," Stuckart said.

Stuckart said he wants to re-work the proposed ordinance and change some of the wording. He also wants to address the issue of people loitering by the planters right outside of the downtown Olive Garden.

After making changes to the proposed ordinance, Stuckart hopes the city council will vote on it in mid-October.

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Police arrest nine for rash of robberies

Spokane Major Crimes detectives have requested charges from the prosecutor's office against two men they think are behind three armed robberies in May and June.

Andrew Carr and Marshall Barkdull have been charged with two counts of first degree robbery for their alleged involvement in the armed robberies of the Pizza Rita, located at 5511 N. Wall, on May 22 and Herbal Connections, located at 606 W. Garland, on May 27.

Both suspects are in custody; Carr was already in jail for the June 10 robbery of Hot Toddy's while Barkdull was arrested and booked into jail Friday.

"This person in the Hot Toddy's robbery; it was a very violent robbery as you remember he came through the window and stole the barista's car and moved her around the business," Spokane Police Major Crimes Lieutenant Mark Griffiths said.

These two arrests were among nine different individuals who have been arrested for a variety of robberies between March and July.

The circus comes to town

It's only in town one weekend a year; the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus is at the Spokane Arena this weekend and here's a preview of what kind of show you can expect.

If you haven't seen "The Greatest Show On Earth" now is your chance to see the high wire act, juggling, live animals and clowns like Dean Kelly.

"We have been around for 145 years now, longer than baseball, so we have got it down to a science we've been touring all over the country and we truly do put on the greatest show on Earth," Kelly said.

Dancer Paula Naicimento, who's from Brazil, brings a little flair to the show.

"We have all different acts from all over the world that people can come and just see how amazing they are," she said.

From clowns and dancers to high wire daredevils and even bowling ball jugglers, the circus has it all.

"Everyone should come one hour before the show and enjoy us here at the Arena floor, take pictures, sign autographs, go backstage, see the animals ? and just have a good time," Naicimento said.

Parks and Rec seeking input on Riverfront Park development

From the fountain to the carousel Riverfront Park is often refereed to as the crown jewel of Spokane, but that gem could use a good polishing. Now the city is closer to laying down concrete plans to keep Riverfront sparkling.

To make sure park planners are on the same page as park goers the city is asking residents to hop online and answer a few survey questions about the park. You'll have the chance to chime in on a number of things like should the runners be moved to another area of the park or should the city let people climb up into the clock tower.

"This is where it gets a lot more serious because you start working into some of the details but yah, we are close," said Leroy Eadie, director of Spokane Parks and Recreation.

The city adopted phase one of a master plan to improve the park last year and now they are asking residents to weigh in with their suggestions.

"We can kind of look back and see what the citizens are telling us and go, 'Wow, that seems like that matches up well,' or 'Boy, we are way out in left field,'" Eadie said.

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Spokane and Coeur d'Alene listed as top places for fall foliage

Spokane and Coeur d'Alene listed as top places for fall foliage

The air will soon be cool and crisp and with it the leaves will start to turn to the familiar shades of fall. Two Northwest resorts have been included among the top fall foliage spots in the country by a global real estate news website.

 

The Red Lion River Inn, located in Spokane, and the Coeur d'Alene Resort were included in an article by World Property Channel. The Miami based company specializes in news and property information for the global real estate industry. The article, Top 10 Fall-Foliage Resorts in America, places the Couer d'Alene Resort in the number four spot and Red Lion River Inn at number three.

 

Jerry of Ben & Jerry's makes a visit to Spokane

Jerry of Ben & Jerry's makes a visit to Spokane

One of the men who gave us the gift of ice cream flavors Chunky Monkey, Cherry Garcia, and Phish Food will be in Spokane on Monday. Jerry Greenfield, the Jerry of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, will be visiting River Park square with his Scoop Truck.

 

Greenfield is traveling around Washington to share his support of I-522, which would require mandatory labeling of foods made with GMOs. The man behind the fun ice cream will be talking to customers about why he supports the initiative while handing out coupons for some of his famous flavors.

 

Jerry Greenfield at River Park Square

  • Monday, September 9th, 3:30pm – 5pm
  • 1st level atrium and 3rd level Ben & Jerry's  

Beep baseball brings pride to Spokane's blind community

Beep baseball brings pride to Spokane's blind community

It takes patience, timing and good form to make a solid connection to a ball with a bat. Now, imagine doing all of that blind, guided only by a beep being emitted from the ball as it comes toward you. On Saturday, Spokane Pride Beep Baseball will play their fist home game guided only by the sounds around them.

 

“It can be challenging, but it's all worth it,” said Spokane Pride coach Troy Leeberg. This is the second season for the city's only beep baseball team, and it's the first season that there's been another team close enough for them to play against. On Saturday, the team will face off against a new team out of Seattle for a double header.

 

Beep baseball looks and plays differently than the traditional game. The sport is a cross of baseball and softball that's been adapted so that the visually impaired can take part in America's favorite past time. The ball is slightly larger than a softball and is equipped with a speaker that signals the players to it's location with a loud, continuous beep.