Local news

Whitworth grad dies in Afghanistan

Army 1st Lt. Forrest P. Ewens, a 2004 graduate of Whitworth College, died Friday in Afghanistan when his armored vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb.

Another soldier was killed, and a third was wounded, according to Greg Orwig, Whitworth College communications director.

Ewens, 25, earned his commission through the ROTC program shared by Whitworth and Gonzaga University. He received a bachelor’s degree in history at Whitworth and was captain of the Whitworth track team in his senior year.

Orwig said Whitworth will conduct a flag-lowering ceremony at 11 a.m. today in front of Cowles Memorial Auditorium.

He said another service was being planned in Fort Drum, N.Y., where Ewens lived with his wife, Megan.

Ewens graduated from Jenkins High School in Chewelah, Wash., in 2000.

He is survived by his parents, Michael and Carol Ewens, and a twin brother, Oaken Ewens, who also graduated from Whitworth College in 2004 and became an Army first lieutenant.

– John Craig

Police to increase downtown patrols

Downtown police patrols will be beefed up this summer, city officials announced Monday.

Effective immediately, two more bike officers will patrol between Division and Cedar streets during daytime, weekday hours, said Jim Nicks, Spokane’s acting police chief. Next month, night bike patrols will be expanded from two to three nights a week.

Budget problems have limited the police presence downtown during the past two years, Nicks said. And crime has been on the rise. The increased patrols will help combat aggressive panhandling, vandalism, prostitution, drug dealing and theft, officials said.

“It’s absolutely essential,” Mayor Dennis Hession said.

The expense for the extra patrols, about $100,000, will come out of the Police Department’s overtime budget, officials said.

– Jody Lawrence-Turner

Woman charged with luring boys

A 43-year-old woman remained in jail Monday night on suspicion of coercing two boys into her car.

Tina Louise Andrews, also known as Tina Glidewell, was arrested shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday in Spokane Valley and booked on two counts of luring a child.

Court documents say a 13-year-old boy and a friend, whose age was not listed, were walking near Sprague Avenue and University Road when Andrews offered them a ride, then used an obscene phrase to order them into her car. The boy said they obeyed because they were frightened.

Court documents say Andrews took the boys to a fast-food restaurant and then drove them south on University Road – ostensibly to take them home. On the way, Andrews allegedly told them she was going to take them to her home and give them a marijuana plant even though they said they didn’t want it. A deputy stopped Andrews’ car in the 11210 block of East Eighth Avenue.

The 13-year-old told the deputy he had asked Andrews to let him and his friend out of her car, but she said, “It’s OK. I’m not the kind of person that would kidnap two little boys,” court documents say.

– John Craig

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