Local News

Arrest Made In Stevens County Homicide

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, the Stevens County Sheriff's Department announced the arrest of 26-year-old Eric Lee Booth for the murder of 63-year-old Gordon Feist.

Free Firewise Workshop In Colville

Yes, our weather's been unusually cool and wet for...well, months.  But just as sure as the sun rises in the east, we will have wildfires this summer.  If you live in or near the forest, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources wants to help you protect your property.The DNR says its "Firewise Workshop" is a free, educational event for homeowners, forest landowners, and anyone interested in reducing the risk of wildfire to life and property.

Deputies Vs. Deputies

It's a gridiron battle between forces: the Enforcers of the San Bernadino County Sheriff's Department taking on the Spokane County Sheriff's Regulators.Never heard of our Regulators?  The team is made up of law enforcement officers from Washington and Idaho.The game between the Regulators and the Enforcers is coming up Saturday, July 30th at West Valley High School.  Kick off is 7:30 pm.  Tickets are $5, kids under 12 are free. 

Vandals Cause $1,000 Damage at Trentwood Elementary

Police Report: Vandalism at Trentwood Elementary School over the weekend was estimated by school officials to be worth about $1,000 in damage. Vandals broke 80 sprinkler heads off the school's south end irrigation system. An employee told Crime Check that the vandalism occurred sometime between 3 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Monday. Anyone with information regarding the vandalism is encouraged to call Crime Check at 456-2233.

Father Will Testify Against MLK Day Bomb Suspect Kevin Harpham

In a pre-trial hearing in federal court Thursday morning it was disclosed that Cecil Harpham, father of would-be MLK Day bomber Kevin Harpham, would testify against his son.This was one of many revelations made in federal court Thursday in a pre-trial hearing for Kevin Harpham, who allegedly attempted to bomb the MLK Day Unity March on January 17.Cecil Harpham previously expressed concern in interviews with KXLY within days of his son's arrest that Kevin may have played a role in the attempted bombing of the Unity Parade."It saddens me to think that he might have had a hand in building it," Harpham said on March 15, adding during that interview that while Kevin might have been involved in building the improvised explosive device, more people must have been involved because the elder Harpham claimed at the time his son with him all day January 17.Cecil also confirmed in an interview that his son had racist tendencies as well as an interest in building bombs. He subsequently provided testimony, along with Kevin's mother, at a Grand Jury hearing relating to charges a grand jury later handed up that Kevin violated the Federal Hate Crimes Act by using an explosive to commit a hate crime.Also In court Thursday it was revealed that Harpham, 36, of Addy, had used his own camera to take pictures of minorities at the parade, including a group of African American children, as well as pictures of himself with the children and a picture of a man wearing a Yarmulke, a traditional head cover often worn by Orthodox Jews. Prosecutors also revealed that Harpham had copies of the Anarchist Cookbook, a publication that discusses how to make your own improvised explosives, as well as the Turner Diaries, a fictional account of the fall of the federal government and subsequent race war in the United States. The Turner Diaries was written by William Luther Pierce, the former leader of the National Alliance.The Southern Poverty Law Center confirms that Harpham was a member of the National Alliance in late 2004, though National Alliance chairman Erich Gliebe says Harpham is not currently a member of the group. Pat Mullett, the former self-proclaimed leader of the Aryan Nations, said that he had about a dozen conversations with Harpham about his desire to join the Aryan Nations back in the mid-2000s but Harpham never joined that group.Additionally Harpham had a copy of a handbook on improvised munitions and a copy of American Terrorist, a book about Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing, was found in his possession. Judge Fred Van Sickle has ruled that the jury will be allowed to hear that Harpham had copies of the Turner Diaries, the book on improvised munitions and the Anarchist Cookbook, but not the Timothy McVeigh biography.In the hearing prosecutors are going through a series of postings that Harpham allegedly posted under the monicker "Joe Snuffy" on the anti-Semitic website Vanguard News Network. In those posts, which date back to 2006, numerous comments were made that were both racist in nature as well as referred to his desires to obtain blueprints on how to build an improvised explosive device. One post in 2008 linked Harpham to the Snuffy account when Harpham posted that he couldn't access his account.Using the Snuffy alias, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports that Harpham posted more than 1,000 times to the VNN site. His final post was 10 days before the attempted bombing of the Unity March, when he offered to provide shelter to Craig Cobb, a neo-Nazi fugitive who created a website that encourages violence against Jews and non-whites.Harpham was arrested by the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team near his home in Addy on March 9. His arrest came a nearly two-month long investigation into the placement of an improvised explosive device along the Unity March route in downtown Spokane on January 17. The device was discovered by several contract city employees prior to the march and was removed and deactivated by an explosives disposal team. The FBI flew the bomb to Quantico, VA. and later disclosed the bomb was "a potentially deadly destructive device, likely capable of inflicting multiple casualties."The bomb was designed like a massive shotgun, with a steel pipe packed with gunpowder and lead weights for shrapnel. Placed on a park bench with a brick wall behind it, the bomb was directed outward to the street along which the Unity March was scheduled to take place. Bomb experts familiar the case said that the device, if it had been detonated, could have been deadly to anyone within 50 feet and that people up to almost a city block away could have been injured in the blast.Prosecutors said Thursday that the lead weights were bought at the Wal-Mart in Colville, while one of 46 posts on the VNN website they are submitting as evidence allegedly has Harpham bragging about purchasing the t-shirts that were found in the backpack that the bomb was found in. They also said that a secondary explosive device was found in a gravel pit in Stevens County that was linked to Harpham. Prosecutors would not disclose where the gravel pit was.A Joint Intelligence Bulletin written by the FBI and Homeland Security confirmed the bomb's viability and described the maker of the MLK Day Bomb as someone who "possesses a higher degree of knowledge and skill than the typical domestic pipe bomb builder."Harpham's defense team, meanwhile, is arguing the admissibility of statements he made following his arrest on March 9. After HRT arrested him there was reportedly a two and a half hour window during which he was not read his Miranda Rights. Defense attorneys are arguing that since he was not read his rights, any statements he made are inadmissible. Prosecutors, meanwhile, are arguing that statements Harpham made were done after he was read his rights.Harpham has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction for allegedly placing an improvised explosive device along the Unity March parade route on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. If convicted on that single charge Harpham could face life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. He also faces charges of having in his possession an unregistered explosive and hate crime charges under the Federal Hate Crimes Act, including using an explosive to commit a hate crime. He has plead not guilty to all charges he's facing.Judge Fred Van Sickle said early on in Thursday's hearing that he intends to have the trial start on August 22.

WSU and U-Idaho Ends Wheatland Express Shuttle Agreement

Moscow and Pullman residents will have to find alternative transportation if the Wheatland Express was their primary mode of transportation between the two cities. Due to the lack of economical feasibility, the two universities are ending their agreements with the shuttle service. A downward trend in ridership combined with projected increases in contract costs is to blame.

Girl Friends Night Out Coming To The Valley

From handbags to eye brow waxing there's something for everyone at " Girl Friends Night Out" at The Master's Touch Salon. "We've had  a lot of great response from local business owners who want to be a part of the is event and we're so excited how big it's becoming," said Beatta Dire, owner of Master's Touch. Some of the vendors include: Vault Denim, Park Lane Jewelers, Christina's Boutique just to name a few. "It's a great way to do some one stop shopping," says Dire, who will be offering permanent eyeliner at the event. But above everything else Dire says it will be fun. "It's a great event for women. We are also raising awareness about the services we provide to women who are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Here at The Master's Touch we offer free wigs, make up and permanent eyeliner. I want women to feel pretty even through the stress of chemo therapy. Our passion is to help women,'' says Dire. GIRL FRIENDS NIGHT OUT AT THE MASTER'S TOUCH SALON Girl Friends Night Out at The Master's Touch Salon 11128 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley    509-927-0717 July 28  6 to 8 pm   Just a few of the vendors:   Vault Denim (designer jeans) Basketcases ( gift baskets) Park Lane Jewelry Scentsy Candles Christina's Boutique Hair Bling Hair Feathers Foot Jewelry Eyebrow Consults Hair Consults Mini Manicures Juvederm and Botox Consults AND MUCH MORE!

Semi Rollover Blocks Highway 26 Near Dusty

A semi rolled Thursday morning on Washington State Route 26 east of Dusty.  The highway is completely blocked in both directions.Washington State Patrol says the semi was filled with paper products.  Fire crews were first to respond around 6 a.m.The Washington State Department of Transportation arrived around 7 a.m. to direct traffic.  They estimated that cleanup efforts will continue until 2 p.m.

Budget Delays In Washington DC Impact Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport

The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport will not have Alaska-Horizon Air service next week for five days and because of the budget impasse in Washington DC, the scheduled fresh coat of asphalt for the runway will have to wait until next year. The airport will not have commercial airline service from Tuesday, July 26 through the late flight on Saturday, July 30.  Full service from Alaska-Horizon will resume with the 6:40 am flight on Sunday, July 31. But the airport will be open during the period for general aviation. As early as March, the airport was notified by the Seattle office of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it was slated for funding for a $3 million project to overlay the runway, repair ramps, and improve taxiway markings along with other enhancements.  The federal government would have paid 95 percent of the project and the airport would come up with the five percent from passenger facility fees.  But as in the case of all FAA authorizations, the money programmed was contingent upon funding by Congress.

End Of Shuttle Era Bittersweet For Astronaut's Mom

Bittersweet is the word Barbara Anderson used to describe the landing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis early Thursday morning. Anderson is the mother of Astronaut Michael Anderson, who died with his fellow astronauts when the Columbia disintegrated during re-entry on February 1, 2003.

Tortoise Wheeling About After Successful Amputation

A 12-year old African spur-thighed tortoise got some new wheels recently. It's left front leg had to be amputated by Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and it was replaced with a swiveling wheel attached to its shell. Gamara was relinquished by its owner on April 20th due to a severe thermal injury and tissue damage from an unknown source.

New Exhibit Showcases Palouse Radio History

Latah County Historical Society is kicking off their new exhibit called Radio, Theatre of the Mind. It's a curated gallery by University of Idaho graduate, Brittany Thurman who worked with the staff of Inland Northwest Broadcasting and Ida-Vend Broadcasting to put together the exhibit. It will feature a history of radio on the Palouse and will feature vintage equipment and a photo history. You can find the exhibit at the McConnell Mansion, 110 S. Adams St., starting on Sunday, July 31st along with the Historical Society's 35th Annual Ice Cream Social. That begins at the mansion at 1 p.m. and goes until 4 p.m. Other festivities will include the Palouse Harmony Chorus, Hog Heaven Muzzleloader Encampment, WSU Raptors, the Moscow Preservation Commission's presentation of this year's Orchid Awards and more.

STCU Offering $5 Market Bucks Today in Millwood

Millwood Farmers Market is collaborating with Spokane Teachers Credit Union (STCU) to give $5 "market bucks" to the first 25 people that show up to the farmers market. Other farmer markets in the area are participating, but this is the only stop for the promotion in the upcoming week. The market bucks are as the name alludes to, are only good at the farmers market. They're good for that day only. Millwood Farmers Market starts at 3 p.m. and is located at 3223 N. Marguerite Road. They ran out of Market Bucks around 4:39 p.m. today. The Millwood Farmers Market then threw in 25 more $5 tokens to be spent at the farmers market that day. 

Free Movie in the Park

Grab a blanket, goobers and a bag full of popcorn for a free night at the movies! This weekend the Spokane Valley Parks and Rec Department will be showing "Despicable Me" at Mirabeau Park for FREE. "Despicable Me" is one of two free movies the parks department plans to show this summer. In August, you can catch "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." You can catch "Despicable Me" at 9:15 p.m this Saturday, July 23rd at Mirabeau Park. For more information, call Recreation Coordinator Jennifer Papich at 720-5408 or email jpapich@spokanevalley.org. 

Potlatch Teacher Collaborates with NASA

Laura Wommack, physical sciences teacher at Potlatch Junior-Senior High School was one of fifty teachers nation-wide to earn the Endeavor Fellowship award by NASA. It's based around a certificate program that provides live, online training for K-12 educators to earn a Certificate in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. She was also awarded with an internship opportunity at the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility with thirty other teachers in Palestine, Texas to fly payloads to an altitude of 100,00 feet, nearly to space. She's been maintaining a blog that covers the entirety of her NASA summer.

Nez Perce County Designated as Primary Natural Disaster Area

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that they are designating twelve counties in Idaho as primary natural disaster areas to due to damage and losses cause by excessive rain, flash flooding, flooding, a freeze and high winds that began on January 1st of this and year and have been continuing. Qualified farm operators in Nez Perce County are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.  to see if you qualify for the loans or see what other programs are available to assist you.

Latah County Designated as Primary Natural Disaster Area

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that they are designating twelve counties in Idaho as primary natural disaster areas to due to damage and losses cause by excessive rain, flash flooding, flooding, a freeze and high winds that began on January 1st of this and year and have been continuing. Qualified farm operators in Latah County are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.More Information:  to see if you qualify for the loans or see what other programs are available to assist you.

Friedlund Lawyer Resigns From Case

John Friedlund, the man charged with criminal mistreatment of 106-year-old Frances Swan, was back in court Tuesday for a hearing related to his case.

New Provost for Lewis-Clark State College Named

Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) announced that their new Provost will be Carmen Simone, hailing from Casper College in Wyoming. She'll be leaving the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs and replacing the current Interim Provost, Rob Lohrmeyer who will be returning to his duties as Dean of Professional-Technical Programs. Simone was one of three finalists brought to the Lewiston, Idaho campus for interviews last minute. She begins at LCSC in mid-August.Bio:

Police Report: Stolen Gas and Rescued Quail

Officer T. Dow responded to the Pullman Chevron on East Main Friday evening when it was reported someone had walked off with 54 cents of gasoline. Cmdr. C Tennant said the individual was never found. It's been determined that they walked away with enough gasoline to fill a 16 ounce bottle. Regular gas at the Pullman Chevron is currently $3.79 per gallon. To be exact, 54 cents worth only comes out to 2.24 cups or 17.92 ounces.Cmdr. C. Tennant also noted that Pullman Police rescued a quail that was trapped inside a resident's home Thursday evening. Officer T. Dow responded to the incident, successfully captured the quail and set it free.

4th Annual Liberty Lake Italian Festival Liberty

A to-scale Leaning Tower of Pisa (pictured above) is just one of the attractions to the 4th Annual Liberty Lake Italian Festival. It's presented by the American-Italian Club of Spokane for the upcoming Liberty Lake Farmers Market on Saturday, July 23rd from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. It's a community celebration of the American-Italian tradition in a family-friendly atmosphere that includes great food like Veraci Pizza that will be cooking up slices of pizza from their brick oven field by local apple wood. The Club will also be featuring a bake sale at the festival to sell cookies made from their grandmothers' recipes. The Italian Festival is the biggest festival all year for Liberty Lake. Last year, they had over 2,100 adults attend. Find theand learn more about their monthly meetings.