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Dog and owner escape as roof caves in

Two commercial buildings in Coeur d’Alene at least partially collapsed today due to the snow on their roofs.

One, at 140 Spruce Ave., housed two businesses — Allen Pest Control and Accurate Edge.

Leonard Allen, owner of the pest-control business, said he had been concerned that his roof was sagging and managed to move some of his company trucks before the roof collapsed.

The other, at 2615 N. Fourth St., was inhabited by a business owner and his dog when the roof started collapsing.

“My shop dog, Macine, and I ran out as it was coming down,” said Brian Rice, owner of Bedrock Jewelers, one of two tenants in the building. 

The roof collapsed over a vacant space. “Most people know it as the old Wonder Bread store,” Rice said.

Aside from Rice and his dog, the building was empty. A second business, ARI Abadan Reprographics & Imaging, was closed.

The cave-in occurred at 9 a.m. Rice heard popping and cracking sounds, and Macine, a yellow Lab, headed for the door with her tail between her legs. Rice followed her out while the eastern section of the building imploded.

Rice was waiting for a structural engineer to assess the building. He’s hoping the section he rents is still sound. Most of the jewelry store’s trade is repair and custom work. With Valentine’s Day and wedding season coming up, Rice said he’s heading into the busiest time of his year.

North Division Costco closed

The Costco Wholesale store on North Division in Spokane is closed while crews clear snow from the roof, a spokesman there said. The store should be open tomorrow.

All other Costco locations are open.

Friday’s snowball graphic

Hardly breaking news, but we’ve received some requests for an online version of staff artist Molly Quinn’s snowball graphic, which ran on page A9 in today’s newspaper. Here it is.

Click here to download a higher-resolution version.

Roof collapses reported around region

• Spokane firefighters were called to North Pittsburg Street and 1700 E. Cleveland just before 11 a.m. on reports of a collapsed roof. Scanner traffic indicates nobody was in the building.

UPDATE: Firefighters used heat-sensing instruments at Interior Solutions in the 2800 block of North Pittsburg Street to conclude nobody was inside. Officials initially thought a worker might be inside.

• Firefighters at 10:12 a.m. went to a roof collapse at Buck’s Tire and Automotive at 918 W. Mallon Ave. where a worker was reported to have fallen.

Officials at the scene said the man fell or jumped off the roof of the showroom and office building before it gave way. An adjacent warehouse was evacuated as a precaution.

• Fire crews were responding at about 10:30 a.m. to a report of a collapsed residential roof in the 3100 block of West Francis.

• Earlier, seven Spokane fire trucks were called to a commercial building at 7001 N. Division just after 8 a.m. today where the entire roof collapsed and raised the threat of a gas leak. Businesses housed in the strip mall were Futon Visions, Added Touch Framing and Donuts to Go, according to Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer. Division southbound from Cozza to Francis avenues was closed. Firefighters expected to remain on the scene through the morning.

• Firefighters were also called to Spokane Hardware Supply Inc., 2001 E. Trent Ave., on a partially collapsed roof. No injuries were reported.

• The risk of roof collapse has caused Costco on North Division to close for a half-day today and hire a contractor to shovel its roof, said Skyler Carlile, the contractor with Alliance Excavation.
Carlile said he needed as many workers as he could get at $15 an hour to help in snow removal, and asked potential workers to call him at (509) 793-4212.

Warming centers re-activated

With temperatues expected to plunge this evening, Spokane is activating community warming centers for the homeless.

The Salvation Army, 204 E. Indiana, will be open to couples and families with children in need of emergency shelter from the cold. The House of Charity, 32 W. Pacific, will be available for single men.

Although the Hope House, which serves single women, and Crosswalk, which serves homeless youth, are not being activated, both shelters have beds available, said Brittany Lane of the city’s Human Services department.

CdA bans parking on some streets

Coeur d’Alene police are issuing emergency “No Parking by Police Orders” signs throughout the city in areas where streets are becoming impassable due to the record snowfall, the police department said in a news release.

The areas included at this time are: Second Street between Sherman and Lakeside avenues; Fifth Street from Front Street to Sherman Avenue; Sixth Street between Sherman and Lakeside avenues, the south side of Sixth Street; and Seventh Street between Sherman Avenue and Front Street.

Additional areas may be added, the release said.

Vehicles parked in violation of the emergency order will be towed at the owner’s expense and a $15 citation will be issued.

People with questions or concerns can call the police department at 208-769-2320.

ISP: 19 slideoffs today

Idaho State Police reported 19 slideoffs Friday, compared to 51 on Thursday. Other accident numbers were similar to Thursday’s numbers, with two hit-and-run crashes and six property-damage crashes reported by ISP each day. One injury crash was reported Friday compared to two on Thursday, according to a news release.

Also in the news release, ISP thanked people who have stayed off the roads since the record snow storm began Wednesday. ISP also offered the following tips for travelers this weekend and into next week:

- Be prepared to stay warm if you’re stuck. “Response times have been pretty good for most areas, but the chances for an extended arrival time is possible in this weather,” according to ISP.

- If you’re stuck, keep your muffler pipe free of snow to keep carbon monoxide from entering the vehicle.

- Keep emergency supplies in your car like bottled water, blankets, gloves, flares, flashlights, batteries, a shovel, clothing and a first-aid kit.

For Idaho road reports, call 511 from a cell phone, 888-432-7623 from a landline or visit

Business trash pickup on track

Trash pickup for downtown Spokane businesses is continuing more or less normally today, says Dave Mandyke, of the city’s public works department.

No residential trash pickups in the city will take place until Monday.

The downtown garbage collection will occur as long as trucks can reach trash cans or Dumpsters. Garbage receptacles that are buried will be skipped until a later day.

Men suspected of preying on stuck driver

Sometimes good Samaritans aren’t so good.

Two Spokane Valley men have been charged with felonies after a woman reported a vehicle prowling in progress. Officers Timothy Jones and Tyler Smith arrived in the area of 17200 E. Mission Avenue shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday and arrested two men, Spokane Valley Police spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagn said.

Arrested were 25-year-old Curtis Mathew Jones and 26-year-old David A. Hallquist, who were parked next to a burglarized 1995 Volvo. But the suspected car prowling was only the beginning, Reagan said.

Tracks in snow lead to burglary arrests

Even suspected burglars don’t have it easy in the snow.

Two Spokane Valley men are facing felony charges after officers tracked footprints in the snow to one of the men and later found another sleeping on an apartment floor, Spokane Valley Police spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan said.

AMC theaters reopen

Movie-hungry downtowners can rejoice. The River Park Square AMC theaters reopened today, after being dark on Thursday.


“We’ve had a lot of calls from people asking if the movies are open. They’re probably tired of staying in and now want some distractions,” said Elizabeth Mills, marketing director for the shopping center.


Snowshoers, nordic skiers make tracks

All roads and parking areas have been cleared from this week’s massive snowfall, Mount Spokane State Park rangers reported Friday morning.

Grooming on the parks 25 miles of cross-country skiing trails has been slow as the snow cat struggles to pack the deep powder. Although no tracks had been set, the groomer was working Friday afternoon and rangers hoped they would get system packed before the weekend is over.In Spokane, snowshoes will be available to rent for a wintery stroll through Manito Park on Sunday.Spokane Parks and Recreation Department staff will be at the Manito shelter off Grand Boulevard from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with snowshoes to fit all ages. Rental cost is $8. Reservations are recommended: and enter class No. 8222, or call 625-6200.





Passengers trying to get on already full flights

Fewer flights are being canceled out of Spokane International Airport today, but travelers still are wrestling with delays and schedule changes from the last two days. Airlines are trying to re-book passengers on flights that were already full of holiday travelers.

About 75 people spent the night in the airport Thursday, airport spokesman Todd Woodard said today. Some people were booked into hotel rooms, but the hotels filled up, Woodard says.

Matt Oh, a Gonzaga University student from Portland, was to fly home Thursday evening, but the flight was canceled. He decided to sleep in the airport, hoping to get on an early-morning flight today as a stand-by passenger. That strategy worked, then that flight “got delayed like five different times,” Oh said. The airline says his flight to Portland will leave this afternoon, but Oh has given up. “I’m driving to portland now.”

Another Gonzaga student, Nick Howell, is trying to get to Phoenix. His flight has been canceled or delayed three times since yesterday. ”The next flight is Sunday night, so that’s what I’m on,” Howell said.  

Too Slim concert postponed

Saturday’s scheduled concert by Too Slim and the Taildraggers at Spokane’s Knitting Factory Concert House has been postponed because of severe weather.

The concert has been rescheduled for Jan. 24. Tickets purchased for Saturday’s show will be honored then.

Christmas Bureau update

The Christmas Bureau plans to open again Saturday, at 10 a.m., and “serve everyone who comes,” says Marilee Roloff, head of Volunteers of America.

The bureau has been closed for two days, due to the weather. Both Roloff and Rob McCann, head of Catholic Charities Spokane, are worried that poor people in our community won’t get gifts and food vouchers this Christmas.

So on Monday and Tuesday, recipients who weren’t able to make it out to the Christmas Bureau, or who showed up Thursday and Friday to find it closed, will be able to receive vouchers Monday and Tuesday at Volunteers of America, 525 W. Second (Go through the red red door) and at The Chancery building, 1023 W. Riverside.

For more information, call (509) 624-2378 or (509) 358-4250.

Christmas Bureau closed again today

The Christmas Bureau charity will remain closed today, organizers said, and extended hours are being considered for Saturday, the bureau’s final day.

In addition to concern about the safety of the people who get food vouchers and toys at the bureau, dozens of volunteers would have been unable to make it to the Spokane fairgrounds, organizers said.

Season of Sharing gift distribution canceled

Spokane Valley Partners has closed its center at 10814 East Broadway Ave.
and canceled a big gift distribution through its Season of Sharing program.

About 650 families were to have taken part. The event hopefully will be rescheduled next week, a volunteer there said today.  

Be prepared for more snow

Even before most residents will have a chance to dig out from the record snow fall on Wednesday and Thursday, another system is heading this way that could dump another 4 to 6 inches on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

“Our next weather system will start affecting the Inland Northwest starting Saturday evening,” meteorologist Greg Koch said. “By Sunday morning, we’ll have snow starting in Spokane. We have a preliminary forecast for the Spokane area of 4 to 6 inches.”

Spokane Valley plowing


All city offices of Spokane Valley remain closed today as a result of the storm.

However, Spokane Valley crews continue their plowing operations and the city has contracted with road graders to work with the five county-contract graders to clear city streets, city spokeswoman Carolbelle Branch said in a press release.

Residents can view a copy of the snow plowing priorities and information at and selecting the link under “What’s New.”   

No garbage collection today in Spokane

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Marlene Feist / Friday snow update

The city of Spokane will not be picking up garbage today, according to a news release.

Thursday and Friday customers can put out twice their normal garbage next week, but mind the Christmas holiday, city public affairs officer Marlene Feist said in the release. Thursday customers will have their trash picked up on Friday, and Friday customers on Saturday.

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