MORNING BRIEFING: Local arts: winning. Pat Sajak: losing.

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AROUND HERE

A win for the Spokane arts scene: the Spokane Symphony announced yesterday that Eckart Preu, music director, and Morihiko Nakahara, resident conductor, have re-upped their contracts through 2014. (Bloglander)

Win number two for the arts: the Spokane International Film Festival starts today!!!  

Local stargazers are winning, too: the brand new 52-seat planetarium will open to the public in March. (KXLY)

A Post Falls second-run movie theater will close its doors this weekend after 15 years of business. (KREM)

And the drama continues in the Officer Karl Thompson/Otto Zehm world: Thompson pleads with a judge for a reduced sentence… (SR)

… Meanwhile, three people involved with the trial have become victims themselves.

OUT THERE

Alright lets just agree: 2011 was a terrible year. Come on, out with it. Say it! (AP)

Turns out, Alaska Airlines customers don't like a helping of God with their sandwiches. (KREM)

Some Washington lawmakers are trying to nix the death penalty in the Evergreen State. Eight men are currently on death row in Washington. (KHQ)

Oh, and sometimes Pat Sajak is drunk on Wheel of Fortune

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Frank Zappa was a prophet.

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