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Albi Stadium backers sponsoring open house

Joe Albi Stadium will be open to the public Saturday to promote what some volunteers hope will be the start of the venue’s resurgence.

The stadium, which was proposed to be sold only a few years ago by former Mayor Jim West, was outfitted with new turf last year. But few events other than high school sports are held there.

The nonprofit group Friends of Joe Albi is sponsoring the open house from noon to 7 p.m., said Paul Hyndman, vice president of the organization. He said the group hopes to find people interested in using Joe Albi for concerts, company picnics or other events.

Free hot dogs will be provided. Among activities at the event, the Spokane Youth Sports Association will lead on-field skill exercises for kids. Candidates for city office are expected and city representatives will provide information about the proposed new park on land north of the stadium.

– Jonathan Brunt

Blind man files claim over guide dog’s death

A blind man whose guide dog was struck and killed has filed a claim of more than $90,000 against the driver and his employer.

Rod Christensen, 61, was walking with his seeing-eye dog, a yellow Labrador retriever named Justice, on July 11, 2006. They were trying to cross the intersection at Rosewood Avenue and Nevada Street when the dog was hit and dragged by a Bark Boys Landscape Supplies Inc. truck driven by Gerald Larson.

According to the claim filed in Spokane County Superior Court this week, Christensen and his lawyer, John F. Bury, claim the truck driver did not do everything possible to avoid hitting a guide dog, a violation of state law. In addition, the driver was in an area where commercial trucks are not allowed unless the business is located within it; Bark Boys Landscaping Supplies is located more than five miles from the neighborhood.

Christensen is seeking $90,631 in damages plus attorney’s fees.

– Jody Lawrence-Turner

Newman Lake

Squad detonates homemade bomb

The Spokane County bomb squad detonated a homemade bomb Wednesday morning near Newman Lake.

The improvised explosive device was found by a Washington Department of Ecology youth cleaning crew about 9:30 a.m. near the intersection of Trent Avenue and Idaho Road.

Ecology spokeswoman Jani Gilbert described the device as looking like an oil filter, with black tape wrapped around it and a long cloth wick.

Spokane County sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan said the bomb contained smokeless black powder.

– Amy Cannata