Local news

In brief: SWAT team called, sent home

Bail bondsmen en route Friday to arrest a man who skipped court heeded a warning that he was armed and waiting for them.

The bondsmen called Spokane police, who surrounded a home near Eighth Avenue and Chandler Street where Tim Lucious, 36, was believed to be holed up, officials said. Lucious, a convicted felon and confirmed gang member, is wanted on misdemeanor warrants for domestic violence assault and theft.

The SWAT team was called out, and officers tried to obtain a search warrant.

But then the story changed. New information revealed that two women who were seen by the bail bondsmen – but who left before police arrived – apparently took the guns in question with them, police said. Therefore Lucious was believed to be unarmed.

A judge determined there was no justifiable reason to give police a search warrant, and officers were unable to verify that Lucious was in the home or resided there, leaving no justification to go inside.

“Unfortunately, the police pulled back and had to walk away,” said Spokane police spokesman Officer William Hager.

The address in question was the same location where an armed robbery occurred at 1:30 a.m. Thursday.

Aladdin Bail Bonds wants Lucious for failing to make a court appearance, leaving the business either to locate him or pay his full bond.

– Jody Lawrence-Turner

Voting rights of felons studied

The Washington state Commission on African American Affairs, convening in Spokane on Friday, considered legislation to restore voting rights to felons upon release from prison.

Last month the Washington Supreme Court upheld a state law barring felons who have served their time in prison from voting until they have paid financial debts related to their sentence. Last year, state lawmakers considered a bill to restore felons’ voting rights.

The Commission on African American Affairs, meeting at Washington State University’s Spokane campus, took up the issue at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union, which estimates more than 250,000 people in Washington are barred from voting because of felony convictions. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People estimates that 13 percent of black men over the age of 18 cannot vote because they are convicted felons.

Oscar Eason Jr., of Seattle, chairman of the commission, said members favor some reform but deferred a vote on endorsing legislation until after a special session.

– Kevin Graman

Spokane County

Burn ban issued; ORV park closed

A burn ban was issued Friday by the Spokane County Parks, Recreation and Golf Department on all its properties, and Liberty Lake ORV Park has been closed.

Dry, hot weather and low moisture triggered the decision, said county spokeswoman Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter.

Gas grills only are allowed in areas with fire pits or barbecue grills, Wheatley-Billeter said. The closure of the Liberty Lake ORV Park is rare, and only occurs when there’s extreme fire danger, officials said.

The ban will remain until further notice, officials said. Information: (509) 477-4730.

– Jody Lawrence-Turner



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