Author: Camille Troxel

NorthTown to share renovation plans at Coffee with a Cop event

This month's installment of Coffee with a Cop will offer a special treat to those attend. Not only will residents have the opportunity to get know their local police officers, they will also have the opportunity to take a look at the future of NorthTown Mall. Coffee with a Cop is national program that the Spokane Police Department has been participating in for the last few months. It allows citizens to meet with law enforcement representatives in a casual setting. This month's Coffee with a Cop will be at Urban Blends located in NorthTown Mall on Wednesday, June 25, starting at 7:30 am. Management from NorthTown Mall will also be joining the discussion this month, sharing with residents plans for interior and exterior mall renovations. They will also have renderings of the renovations on display so community members can have a visual of the plans.

Summer music returns to Browne's Addition

Summer is officially here and it's time once again for the Browne's Addition Summer Concert Series. The music kicks off in Coeur d'Alene Park on July 3, and all concerts go from 6 pm to 8 pm.Here's a list of this summer's shows:

Manito listed among best parks in U.S. for second year

Manito Park has once again been named one of the best parks in the United States. For the second year in a row, the Spokane gem has made the Top 25 Parks in the United States list from TripAdvisor. This is the second year of the travel website's. The awards are determined by the quantity and quality of traveler reviews in each category. Categories include Best Hotels, Best Destinations, Best Beaches, Top Landmarks, and, or course, the Top 25 U.S. Parks.

County libraries offer free shred day Saturday

The Spokane County Library wants to help you fight identity theft with a free shred day this Saturday. Both the North Spokane Library and the Spokane Valley Library locations will be hosting a shred. Paper documents, computer hard drives, disks, and tapes are able to be disposed of safely while protecting your important information. DeVries Business Services is providing the document destruction and says there's no need to remove credit cards, staples or other metal fasteners.

Riverfront Park becomes wi-fi hotspot

Just in time for one of the biggest event of the year, Riverfront Park is becoming a wi-fi hotspot. The park teamed up with Ptera of Liberty Lake to implement the wi-fi connections. Park goers will be able to enjoy 45 minutes of free access and will have the ability to purchase additional time. The project will be completed in two phases, with the initial phase ready to go in time for Hoopfest next weekend. Coverage will create a triangle from City Hall to the INB Performing Arts Center to the Pavillion and Clock Tower meadow. Right now, only outdoor locations will be covered.

Clothing drive benefits area foster children

There are more than 20,000 foster children living in the Northwest and Sleep County wants to help make life a little easier for those kids. Now through July, all area Sleep County locations are accepting clothing donations that will go straight to foster children in need of new clothes to call their own. The Spokane and Coeur d'Alene Sleep Country stores will be accepting donations of new clothing items to help foster families who need to replace and provide essential items quickly. Many foster children with only the clothes they are wearing, so a few new items  can help them feel more comfortable, boost their confidence and provide normalcy in a time of uncertainty. Sleep Country is working with regional foster partner non-profits such as . North Idaho Court Appointed Special Advocate is made up of volunteers who make recommendations on behalf of the child. There are CASA programs in all 50 states that help provide more information for courts as they make decisions regarding the future of foster children.

Mural team looks to Spokane kids for inspiration

Spokane's railroad underpasses are in the process of getting a facelift, and one of the art teams involved wants to hear the ideas of the next generation. The SUMAC Project is calling for submissions from local kids to help them design the mural that will revamp the walls of the Howard Street underpass. The Spokane Urban Mural Artist Collaboration, or SUMAC, is one of the teams selected by Art Fund Spokane to repaint one of several railroad underpasses with new murals. SUMAC will begin their work on the Howard Street underpass at the end of July, but is looking for a little inspiration before they get started. They've called for art submissions from the children of Spokane, ages  six to 10. SUMAC wants to know what Spokane's slogan, "Near Nature, Near Perfect" means to them. SUMAC will use the submissions as inspiration to create their contemporary mural. The call for submissions states that SUMAC wants to celebrate "the ideas of Spokane's next generation."

Garbage Goat plans 40th birthday bash

If you've been to Riverfront Park since it was built in 1974 then chances are you've fed some trash to the Garbage Goat. He's a Spokane icon, and on Saturday he's headed over the hill for his 40th birthday. Garbage Goat was created in an effort to keep the new park clean and litter free during the World's Fair months. He was sponsored by the Spokane Women's Council of Realtors as a fun and unique way to encourage cleanliness and environmental awareness. Sculpted by Sister Paula Mary Turnbull, Garbage Goat was installed at the end of April, 1974.While he's beloved by almost everyone, Garbage Goat has seen some controversy in his 40 years. Dairy goat farmers weren't pleased about his diet of trash, according to . They wrote letters protesting, saying the public needed to be educated on the proper diet for a goat so they would stop trying to feed their trash to live goats. To appease the farmers, a sign was installed next to Garbage Goat describing the proper diet for a goat and describing it as "a most economical, true ecological animal."

Health Department begins West Nile testing

From the Washington State Department of Health:The Department of Health is again monitoring for West Nile virus through mosquito testing and collecting reports of certain types of dead birds. The virus is now well-established in some areas of the state. West Nile virus typically becomes active in the spring and summer during mosquito season when the insects feed on infected birds.

Apple Cup Crisp faces off against university made ice creams

It's National Dairy Month and Washington State University needs your help to win the grand championship of university made ice cream. Apple Cup Crisp, made by the WSU Creamery, is in the running to win the Progressive Dairyman 2014 Flavor Faceoff, but the Washington favorite needs your vote. More than 12 universities entered the 2014 Flavor Faceoff, presented by Dairyman Magazine. Regional finalists will be announced on June 26, and the winner will be featured in the magazine.

INCA After Dark offers culinary fun for regular cooks

You don't have to be a world class chef to cook like one. That is if you take advantage of the Inland Northwest Culinary Academy's fun evening cooking classes.INCA After Dark offers fun, themed, cooking classes for us regular cooks.  Each class features a top area chef teaching fun recipes with hands on application. This summer, INCA After Dark is featuring a Date Night Series for couples. The courses include Artisan Pizza Making, Gourmet Grill Night, and Wok Together. The class names tell you everything you need to know about the night's menu. But the kitchen fun doesn't end there. You can also explore buttercream sculpting, perfect your margarita, and learn the art of the croissant. Those interested in honing their skills can participate in INCA's knife skills class. There's also sushi and salmon to be cooked this summer.

Public comment sought on Grant County shoreline project

From the Washington State Department of Ecology:A to manage shorelines along six rivers and 80 lakes including portions of the Columbia River and Banks Lake within Grant County is open for comment through the Washington Department of Ecology.

EWU announces new president

Eastern Washington University announced a new president on Monday. Mary Cullinan, PhD, will be the 26th president of the university effective August 1.Currently, Cullinan serves as the present of Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. She's been the president there since 2006. "We are thrilled to have someone of Dr. Cullinan's caliber come to Eastern Washington University," said Paul Tanaka, Board of Trustees Chair. "Her tremendous academic and leadership experience, along with her focus on student success, make her an ideal choice to serve as president of Eastern."

Family fun provided in Moscow's East City Park

From the City of Moscow:Are you looking for a fun, family friendly summer activity that is free?  Head down to  Entertainment in the Park at East City Park in Moscow on Thursday nights!  The fun begins Thursday, June 19th from 6pm - 8pm and features fun activities, great performances, and live music.

Dogs not allowed at major downtown events

Summer is here and that means lots of fun events in Riverfront Park. However, it also means its time to leave your family dog home during major community events held in the park.The City of Spokane Event Pet Ordinance, SMC 10.03.110, prohibits dogs and other pets at large events in Riverfront Park. This does not apply to service animals. The City wants to remind pet owners that their animals are safer, and likely happier home away from the excessive crowds.

Sheriff's Office gauges interest in new S.C.O.P.E. station

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is holding a meeting to gauge interest in having a S.C.O.P.E station in south Spokane. S.C.O.P.E. is a volunteer based non-profit that supports the public safety efforts of the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. The potential new station would be in the 57th & Palouse area of Spokane's South Hill. The meeting is Thursday, June 12th, from 6:30-7:30 pm at Moran United Methodist Church on the corner of Freya and 65th. S.C.O.P.E. asks that you call Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, Simone Ramel, (509) 477-3055, so they can make sure there are enough tables and chairs set up.

City holding neighborhood planning meetings

From the City of Spokane:The City of Spokane will be working with the following three neighborhoods throughout this summer and fall to identify and prioritize improvements most desired by residents.