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Sirens & Gavels

Archive for February 2013

Bedridden man’s threats put Newport Hospital in lockdown

Threats from a frustrated bedridden man sent the Newport Hospital into lockdown this week.

Yep. You read that right.

The hospital learned that a patient with a Wednesday afternoon appointment had told people that he was planning to tear the place up and hurt people during his upcoming doctor's visit, according to the Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office. Hospital staff put the facility into lockdown for about an hour.

Deputies contacted the man, who they described as bedridden, and said he acknolwedged making threatening statements but said he'd done it out of frustration and wasn't serious. The man's afternoon appointment was canceled and he was ordered to stay away from the hospital except for emergency care.

City over run by burglaries offers lock-picking class

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The mayor of a California city struggling with a spike in burglaries and other crimes is apologizing for promoting a class about how to pick locks in her newsletter.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said Wednesday she understood the reaction of people who were upset about a listing for the lock-picking class. She said she will do a better job reviewing listings in the future.

The Oakland Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/WsyCqq) that the class — offered through the website, workshopweekend.net — was geared toward people who misplace their keys. But it didn't go over well with some residents given the city's crime woes, including a more-than 40 percent jump in burglaries last year.

Car stolen from EV High School

Spokane Valley Police are looking for a car stolen from the East Valley High School parking lot.

Police say the car’s owner parked his silver 1996 Honda Civic in the lot before attending baseball practice Monday at 4:15 p.m. When he returned an hour later, the car was gone.

The car’s Washington license plate is 785UMG. It has a large Oregon Ducks sticker in the rear window and a black front bumper.

Security cameras captured footage of a suspicious dark SUV with two occupants in the area.

If you have information about this case, call Deputy Scott Streltzoff at (509) 241-5285.

Feds nearing end of pot legalization review

The U.S. Justice Department reportedly is nearing the end of its review of Washington and Colorado's new laws legalizing marijuana and could be announcing soon how it will respond.

The issue is that while voters in Washington and Colorado have legalized pot under state laws, it remains illegal under federal law.

Attorney General Eric Holder told a meeting of state attorneys general he is examining policy options and international implications of the issue, The Associated Press reported today.

Holder's assessment could result in the federal government suing the states over the new laws, the wire service said. Alternatively, Holder could decide not to mount a court challenge. The Justice Department examination has been under way since shortly after last fall's elections. Washington and Colorado became the first states to pass laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

State and local authorities have said they're hoping to get some sense of how the federal government will respond to voters' wishes before spending a lot of time and effort developing regulatory systems to control production and sale of legal pot.

Vovos drops Jeffreys as client

Embattled Spokane Developer Gregory Jeffreys will have to face 73 felony counts of fraud-related federal charges without the services of experienced defense attorney Mark Vovos.

 

Vovos has filed a motion to withdraw from the case after initially representing Jeffreys in the first two hearings following Jeffreys’ Jan. 25 indictment on dozens of counts of bank fraud and money laundering charges stemming from a series of transactions in what government prosecutors have described as a Ponzi scheme.

 

“Mr. Jeffreys is currently without funds to pay for an attorney or the attendant and necessary costs for his defense,” Vovos wrote in court records. “In my view of the money laundering charges and my limited review of his financial situation, he has not funds for an attorney or experts that are necessary in this complex litigation.”

 

Jeffreys, 53, has largely been blamed for the legal and financial debacle surrounding the Ridpath Hotel. He faces 73 felony counts of fraud and money-laundering charges in which federal prosecutors allege he, Shannon Stiltner, and his wife used forged documents to defraud banks and others to invest in buildings that often didn’t even exist.

None of the charges against him, however, are related to his dealings involving the Ridpath.

 

Also charged in the case are 53-year-old Kimberly Jeffreys and 51-year-old Stiltner. Both have been released on bond but U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno ordered Gregory Jeffreys held in the Spokane County Jail without bond following a contentious hearing on Feb. 1.

 

Read previous coverage here and here.

Fire department axes jailhouse blood draws

The Spokane Fire Department responds to the county jail for calls ranging from diabetic episodes to overdoses.

But it will no longer offer a service it has long provided there – blood draws.

That's because it's considered a nonemergency service, said Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer.

“It doesn’t fit into our core mission,” Schaeffer said.

With the elimination of a three-person fire engine company at South Hill's Station 9 last year, the department needs to reserve personnel for emergency services, Schaeffer said.

“It’s going to be important for us to stay in service as much as possible,” he said. “We just don’t have the depth in the system to be without a unit for any amount of time.”

Blood draws make up a small portion of the department's responses to the jail; it did about six blood draws from April 28, 2012 to Dec. 26, 2012.

Others can provide the service, including private companies, licensed nurse practitioners or registered nurses, Schaeffer said.

Responding to the jail for the service doesn’t cost taxpayers extra – they pay for the fire department to be available 24/7 regardless - but fire officials are eliminating a lot of the noncritical services they provide in response to budget cuts.

The department will continue to respond to emergency calls for inmates at the jail, and typically sends a three-person company from Station 3, 1713 W. Indiana Ave., if they are in service and the closest at the time of the call.

“Just because they’re incarcerated doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to emergency response if they need it,” he said.

Crime Stoppers looking for six sex offenders

Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is looking for six sex offenders. Crime Stoppers fugitives are wanted criminal suspects avoiding police capture. Do not approach them, they should only be contacted by law enforcement.

Three of the sex offenders are non-compliant with the terms of their release and are wanted by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office for failing to register.

Matthew Boneshirt, 40, is 6 feet tall, 275 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes. He also has a misdemeanor warrant for city theft.

Dakota Lohstreter, 19, is 5-foot-7, 135 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes. He also has a Department of Corrections warrant for escape from community custody.

Bradley Williams, 25, is 5-foot-9, 175 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. He also has a Department of Corrections warrant for escape from community custody.

Three of the sex offenders are wanted by the Department of Corrections for escape from community custody.

Cabbie Baruth, 32, is 5-foot-8, 155 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes.

Matthew McNamara, 30, is 6 feet tall, 155 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes.

William Shawl, 28, is 5-foot9, 190 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about these men's whereabouts is asked to call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 800-222-TIPS. Tipsters don't have to give their name to collect the fugitive reward.

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