Local News

Seeing Double On The Roads

You'll be seeing double on the roads in Airway Heights, Medical Lake, Cheney and Turnbull Wildlife Refuge as the 26th Annual Northwest Tandem Rally comes to town for the holiday weekend. More than 600 riders, two per bike and sometimes 3, are expected by the Spokane Regional Sport Commission to take part in the "Pedalin' the Palouse" rally. The riders will gather at Mukogawa Ft. Wright and start the rides from there. Riders will begin checking in Friday, with the first ride taking place Saturday morning. Saturday's ride will take the cyclists Airway Heights, Medical Lake, Cheney, Turnbull Wildlife Refuge, and Williams Lake.

Tucson Murder Suspect Found In Liberty Lake

A sharp-eyed school resource officer who found a Tucson, Arizona murder suspect in the Liberty Lake area put him behind bars.The deputy spotted a stolen pickup parked in the Liberty Lake area Saturday and arrested the two men sleeping inside. One of the men, 26-year-old Jonathan Baumbach, is linked to a homicide in Tucson.In a jailhouse interview with KXLY4 Baumbach said he regrets killing 61-year-old Robert Pardee, but said the man caused him and his fiancée so much pain he didn't know what else to do.

Police Report: Future Students Marking Their Cougar Territory

Two males from the Seattle area came to Washington State University in Pullman this weekend for a pre-academic school year visit. Instead of checking out their future campus, they wreaked havoc in downtown Pullman. It all started on June 21st at 7:40 p.m. when Christopher G. Ip and Zachary A. Brown, both 18-years old, were discovered smoking marijuana.It became apparent that the two were not from the area. When Pullman Police came out from around the corner, they found them with 40 grams behind the Pullman Police Department on 260 SE Kamiaken. Ip and Brown were arrested for a controlled substance problem. In a statement to the Police they said, they were not aware that they were behind the Police Department.Their rampage continued the next day. On June 22nd, they were discovered vandalizing the Quizno's bathroom. One had scratched up the mirror, but they were both had tagged graffiti all over the bathroom with sharpies. They were arrested again for 3rd degree malicious mischief.

Sturgeon Season Extended In Columbia River

Anglers will get additional days to retain white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary and in the Bonneville Pool. Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon, in a joint state meeting Thursday, announced those decisions after assessing catch data for both fisheries.By the states' action, anglers will be allowed to catch and retain legal-size white sturgeon between the mouth of the Columbia River and the Wauna powerlines near Cathlamet through July 31, or until the harvest guideline is reached. The fishery, which opened in May, was originally scheduled to close June 27 and then re-open for four more days of fishing from July 1-4.The additional fishing days are designed to give anglers an opportunity to catch an estimated 5,570 sturgeon still available for harvest in the estuary, said Brad James, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The catch guideline for that area is 6,800 fish.

County Celebrates Caterpillar Distribution Center on West Plains

Immense support from Spokane officials welcomed the announcement for the Caterpillar Distribution Center to be built starting this summer in the West Plains. The facility is expected to bring 100 to 150 new jobs to Spokane County. All three Spokane County commissioners expressed their support for the project in a press release this afternoon."The County worked closely with Greater Spokane Incorporated to provide the highest level of responsiveness and support to ensure that Caterpillar, Inc. selected us for their new distribution center," said Al French, Commissioner and Board Chair."The County's number one priority right now is job growth, and I am proud of the way our staff and the Board rolled out the red carpet. I am excited to have Caterpillar in Spokane County and believe this will be the start of great things in our road to recovery," said Commissioner Mark Richard. , "Spokane County had to overcome opposition from the City of Spokane and the State of Washington to make this happen, and if not for the perseverance from this Board and our staff we would have lost them to Hayden Idaho. "

High School Students Learn to Fly

High school students from all across Spokane County are getting the chance to get behind the yoke this summer through the Spokane Skills Center. The summer Aerospace Academy will teach the students over the next three weeks a comprehensive taste of the aerospace industry. They spent Wednesday and today getting up in the air with their flight instructors at Geiger Field."The feeling was amazing. It's nothing like I've experienced before, but it was kind of choppy," said Bridger Peres, East Valley High School senior.

Frances Swan Celebrates 106th Birthday

Frances Swan celebrated her 106th birthday party Wednesday at Buena Vista Nursing home in Colville. Swan was recently taken from her home after she was found while under the care of John Friedlund, 78, who was arrested on a charge of criminal mistreatment for the conditions Swan was found in.

Frances Swan Celebrates 106th Birthday

Frances Swan celebrated her 106th birthday party Wednesday at Buena Vista Nursing home in Colville. Swan was recently taken from her home after she was found while under the care of John Friedlund, 78, who was arrested on a charge of criminal mistreatment for the conditions Swan was found in.

Douglas-fir Tussock Moth Outbreak

The Department of Natural Resources wants to alert the public of a caterpillar outbreak in various Washington State counties. Spokane and Whitman County is one of the affected areas of the Douglas-fir Tussock Moth caterpillar. They're native to the area and feed on the leaves of Douglas-fir and True-fir trees. DNR wants to ensure the health of your trees by asking you to immediately report any sign of the moth to DNR or the Washington State University Extension."Right now we're having an outbreak in the area south of Spokane; Mica Peak, the Liberty Lake area, Tekoa Mountain and Gelbert Mountain,"said Janet Pearce, DNR community outreach and environmental education.There's also a concern for an allergic reaction that can occur in some people. Glen Kohler, DNR forest entomologist says the caterpillar's hair can cause that reaction.

Iced Tea and Mysteries

Join us for a Grand World Tour of mystery and mayhem as we explore foreign countries through their famous literary detectives—discover new mystery destinations and share your favorites. Presented as part of Spokane County Library District's Adult Summer Reading Program - Literary Series.   Vist Their Website

Early Morning Barn Fire Suspected In String Of Arsons

The Spokane County Sheriff is investigating the latest in a series of possible arsons in Northwest Spokane County.Firefighters responded to a barn fire at 1:58 a.m. at 16716 Four Mound Rd.  Crews were not able to save the barn and it is a total loss.Dispatchers said the fire could be connected to six suspected arsons in the area.

395 Crash Victim Identified

The Washington State Patrol has identified a man killed in a police chase in North Spokane County Monday afternoon. 50-year-old Daniel Marinovich struck a logging truck at the Wandermere bridge on Highway 395 about a mile after his vehicle ran over spike strips. Deputies are not certain whether the spike strips caused the driver to lose control and crash into the truck.

Sheriff Closes Creach Shooting Investigation

Deputy Brian Hirzel, the man who killed Spokane Valley businessman Scott Creach last summer will not be disciplined for his use of deadly force. That was the final determination made by Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, who said Tuesday that multiple investigations into how and why Creach was shot have been completed and he now considers the case closed.

Try A Doc On For Size

Wouldn't it be great if we could 'try' on doctors like we try on shoes? Do you already have a doctor but think there might be a better fit out there for you? Come try Valley Obstetrics & Gynecology P.S. on for size! At a free open house, you can meet physicians and find the 'perfect fit' for you! Open House & Social Valley Obstetrics & Gynecology, P.S.Tuesday, June 21st4:00 to 7:00 p.m.1415 N. Houk, Suite A ~ Spokane ValleyFood, friends, giveaways and fun await you at this complimentary open house. Find your fit from Valley Obstetrics & Gynecology's five OB/Gyn physicians, two Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs), Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C) and staff. Ask questions, get information on important women's health issues, meet doctors face-to-face, win prizes! All providers are currently accepting new patients! The event will be held at the Valley Obstetrics & Gynecology office in the Spokane Valley, located at 1415 N. Houk Road, Suite A - next to Valley Hospital. Bring a friend.

Whitman County Unemployment Statistics

The Washington State Employment Security Department released their latest Washington State Employment Situation Report for May 2011. Overall, from April to May 2011, the state lost 700 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector was down 900 jobs and the public sector added 200 jobs over the month. The unemployment rate for Washington State has matched nation-wide rates. For May, 9.1% were unemployed. The biggest lost of employment happened in the wholesale trade sector. Statewide they lost 2,100 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector increased by 3,200 jobs.Whitman County [Pullman Micropolitan Statistical Area] Unemployment Results:

Stevens County Unemployment Statistics

The Washington State Employment Security Department released their latest Washington State Employment Situation Report for May 2011. Overall, from April to May 2011, the state lost 700 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector was down 900 jobs and the public sector added 200 jobs over the month. The unemployment rate for Washington State has matched nation-wide rates. For May, 9.1% were unemployed. The biggest lost of employment happened in the wholesale trade sector. Statewide they lost 2,100 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector increased by 3,200 jobs. Growth in that sector came from the food services and drinking places industry which added 2,900 jobs.Spokane County Unemployment Results:

Spokane County Unemployment Statistics

The Washington State Employment Security Department released their latest Washington State Employment Situation Report for May 2011. Overall, from April to May 2011, the state lost 700 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector was down 900 jobs and the public sector added 200 jobs over the month. The unemployment rate for Washington State has matched nation-wide rates. For May, 9.1% were unemployed. The biggest lost of employment happened in the wholesale trade sector. Statewide they lost 2,100 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector increased by 3,200 jobs. Growth in that sector came from the food services and drinking places industry which added 2,900 jobs.Spokane County [Spokane Metropolitical Statistical Area] Unemployment Results:

Construction Cowboys Wanted

A competition to find the best heavy equipment operator in the Inland Northwest in underway at the Spokane County Fairgrounds.  The Western States Rodeo consists of five challenges that tests the operators skills and speed.  Events include stacking tires with a backhoe, navigating a skid steer through an obstacle course while balancing a large pipe on a pallet and picking up soccer balls with an excavator.  Each event is timed and the competitor with the fastest overall time is the winner.  "Cat equipment is known for its reliability and durability, so it is only fitting that we determine the best operators in our territory with challenges that test how they do under pressure," said Western States President Tom Harris said in a press release.  "We believe our customers and operators are the most talented in their industries and are excited to recognize and reward their efforts during the 2011 Western States Rodeo." The Spokane event is one of 12 rodeos this summer in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.  The winners from each rodeo will travel to Meridian, Idaho on August 27th for the title of Best Equipment Operator and a 2011 Ford F-250 Truck.  The competition runs from 10am-4pm June 21st and 22nd in Spokane.  Here's the website and list of venues including Hayden, Idaho next week. http://www.westernstatesrodeo.com/  

Golf Cart & Alcohol Lead To Injuries And Arrest

A 60 year old St. John man is facing vehicular assault charges for hitting a 3 year old boy with a golf cart.  It happened Saturday at the sprint boat races in St. John.  Sergeant Keith Cooper with the Whitman Co. Sheriff's Office says Gilbert Pierce was backing up his golf cart when it became stuck in a gate, and somehow ended up hitting the boy.  Cooper says alcohol was a factor in the accident and arrested Pierce for vehicular assault.  The boy was airlifted to a Spokane hospital, but fortunately, his injuries were not serious and he was treated and released Saturday night.

Make a Splash Looking For Donations

The Spokane and Spokane Valley Salvation Army are looking for donations to help almost 300 children who are on the Make a Splash waiting list. Over 1,100 passes were given away in the past two weeks, but they don't have enough to give to the remaining children. Make a Splash helps low-income and at-risk children in the community have the opportunity to swim for free. Sheila Geraghty, business administrator with The Salvation Army, Spokane Regional Services says that $6,000 would help them fulfill their waiting list, but more would insure that more kids could "make a splash" this summer. If you or your business is interested in participating in this wonderful opportunity for kids, below is a list of the following contact information:Online Donations: (click on Make A Splash or Swim Fees)

Police Report: Naval Impersonation

It was an alcohol fueled incident said Commander Chris Tennant, Pullman Police, as he described a situation that occurred at California and A street Saturday morning.Tennant also added, "I think he was watching too much TV."22-year old, Michael E. Lewis was arrested when he jumped in front of a female pedestrian flashing... credentials. He said he was undercover with Naval Criminal Intelligence Services investigating a murder that occurred in Minnesota. Except he's from Federal Way, is in the Air Force and works in logistics readiness.

Section of Highway 27 Added to State Scenic Highways

House bill 1024 was signed by Governor Christine Gregoire on April 20th. It declared an addition to Washington's scenic highway. The stretch of highway 27 from Rockford to Tekoa will join the list of hundreds of other scenic highways in the state on June 22nd when the bill becomes effective. The Spokesman Review reports that Rockford mayor, Micki Harnois, rallied local officials to make it happen.

Remnants Of Afternoon Barbeque Spark Fire At University of Idaho

Hot briquettes from a Saturday barbeque likely caused a fire that heavily damaged the Navy ROTC building on the University of Idaho Campus.Moscow Fire Chief Ed Button says staff at the office had a barbeque earlier Saturday and poured water on the briquettes before placing them in some landscaping near the building.Button says the heat next to some dry bushes which spread to the foundation of the building. Flames then moved up a pipe chase into the attic.