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Prosecutor candidate cites Shorty Belton's death as part of platform

Prosecutor candidate cites Shorty Belton's death as part of platform

This November, Spokane County voters will elect a new prosecutor and, as of Friday night, the campaign has its first controversy, involving one of the candidates using the death of WWII veteran Shorty Belton as part of his platform.

Spokane attorney Breean Beggs is one of two men running for county prosecutor and, in a letter to his supporters, Beggs brings up the murder of Delbert "Shorty" Belton, saying our criminal justice system failed to protect Belton from a pair of teenagers who had already been in trouble with the law.

The two teenagers suspected of killing Belton -- Kenan Adams-Kinard and Demetrius Glenn -- had both been arrested and punished at the juvenile detention center prior to Belton's murder.

Beggs thinks, in hindsight, not enough was done to keep those young offenders on the straight and narrow. In his letter to supporters Beggs writes the attack on Belton "was predictable based on prior violence."

Victims' families angry with Inslee death penalty decision

Victims' families angry with Inslee death penalty decision

Washington Govenor Jay Inslee's decision to suspend executions of death row inmates has prompted a new senate bill, introduced by State Senator Steve O'Ban of Tacoma that has gained the support of the families of murder victims whose killers are on death row.

Three of the nine men on death row are from Spokane: Byron Scherf, who killed prison guard Jayme Biendl, Spokane serial killer Robert Yates, who killed 13 people, and Dwayne Woods, who beat two Spokane women to death.

Families of their victims are joining O'Ban to show Inslee his decision is not in favor of the victims. The bill will require Inslee to gather input from the state clemency and pardons board before signing a reprieve that would halt executions.

"Everyone here sees a name, but they don't get faces. This is Telisha," Sherry Shaver said.

Shaver is Telisha Shaver's mother; Telisha was one of two women beaten to death in 1997 by Dwayne Woods. She addressed the Senate Law and Justice Committee pleading on behalf of her daughter.

Spokane's LGBT business leaders react to Arizona bill veto

Local LGBT business leaders are applauding Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's decision to veto the bill that would have allowed businesses to turn away people based on their religious beliefs.

"It's a great day in the nation to know that this type of legislation was vetoed and this type of discrimination was not approved in Arizona," Marvo Reguindin said.

Reguindin is the General Manager for the region's LGBT chamber of commerce affiliate, Inland Northwest Business Alliance. He said although it was a state issue, it would have impacted people living in the Inland Northwest.

"If that bill would have passed, many residents, many LGBT and ally residents in Spokane would make decisions of boycotting Arizona," he said.

SB1062 would have provided businesses and individuals a cushion for discrimination lawsuits if they could prove that their acts were based on religious beliefs. In short, gays and other minorities could be turned away from places like restaurants. It's a move that local LGBT professionals call a "financial disaster."

3rd and 6th Legislative Districts hosting town hall meetings

3rd and 6th Legislative Districts hosting town hall meetings

This weekend is your chance to hear about what Spokane area representatives are doing in Olympia this legislative session. A town hall meeting for the 3rd and 6th Legislative Districts will be held this Saturday at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.


Senator Andy Billig and Representative Marcus Riccelli will host a town hall meeting for the 3rd Legislative District at 10 am. Topics will include education, transportation, job creation and the state budget. Constituents are encouraged to come with questions and feedback on current legislative issues.

Washtunca students pen bill for state waterfall

Washtunca students pen bill for state waterfall

At the Washtucna School, a civics lesson has taken on a life of its own and is inspiring the small school’s young students. The 30 students in grades 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 have introduced a bill in the legislature and are on a mission to have the Palouse Falls named the official water fall of Washington.


“We started thinking, how can we make this real for the kids,” said 5th & 6th grade teacher Janet Camp. “We started thinking, what do we have to offer?”

House Ethics Committee looking at McMorris Rodgers

House Ethics Committee looking at McMorris Rodgers

The House Ethics Committee is considering an investigation of the No. 4 ranking member of the House Republican leadership, congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state.

Just last week McMorris Rodgers delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address.

McMorris Rodgers serves as chair of the House GOP Conference and is the House GOP's highest-ranking woman. Her lawyer, Elliot Berke, says McMorris Rodgers is aware of the potential investigation and has cooperated with the Office of Congressional Ethics.

The OCE is an outside organization that can refer cases to the House Ethics Committee. The subject of the potential investigation isn't being disclosed.

The Ethics Committee chairman, Michael Conaway, and its ranking Democrat, Linda Sanchez, say they have received a referral from the OCE about McMorris Rodgers.

Local impact of the push to raise minimum wage

Local impact of the push to raise minimum wage

Minimum wage was a key topic in President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night. He wants to raise it from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour for federally contracted workers.

"The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by, let alone get ahead. And too many still aren't working at all," President Obama said.

An Associated Press fact check shows it boost pay for about 200,000 employees. The president can issue the executive order, but would need congressional approval to raise minimum wage for all federal workers.

"Because if you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn't have to live in poverty," President Obama said.

Some people we talked with agree.

"With what minimum wage is right now, a man cannot even pay his rent," taxi driver Larry Boyd said. "He must work a job and a half to do it."

"I think it gives you more incentive to work and it gives people a little more incentive to find those kind of jobs," Evander Cobbs said.