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In brief: Reward offered in bank robbery

A $1,000 cash reward was posted Friday for information leading to the arrest of a gunman who robbed the Spokane Valley Mall branch of Wheatland Bank on Feb. 16.

The robber used a black semiautomatic pistol to force tellers and a customer onto the floor during the 12:15 p.m. holdup. Then he ordered an employee to fill a pillowcase with cash.

Witnesses said the bandit got away in a dirty, dark blue car that resembled a small, four-door Honda. The vehicle had single headlights on each side and lots of chrome in front, the witnesses told police.

The robber masked his face with a sky blue bandanna with white polka dots or a similar pattern. He also wore black-framed sunglasses, a navy blue hooded sweatshirt, a dark blue stocking cap, light blue jeans, low-cut tennis shoes and black ski-type gloves.

Witnesses guessed the robber’s height between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet 2 inches.

The nonprofit, civilian Secret Witness organization will pay the reward anonymously. To collect it, call (509) 327-5111 and use a code name or number.


Suspect sought in gasoline thefts

The Secret Witness organization is offering a reward for information about a man charged with stealing more than $6,000 worth of gasoline.

According to an arrest warrant charging Lorenzo Young with first-degree theft, the 45-year-old suspect kept a company gasoline credit card and made more than 130 unauthorized fuel purchases after his employment ended.

Young is black and 6 feet tall, weighs 190 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

To collect the reward anonymously, call (509) 327-5111 and use a code name or number.

Extended street closure to begin

Washington Street will be closed to traffic from Buckeye to Indiana avenues from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday for about one month beginning Monday.

The City of Spokane Water Department will be upgrading services to residents as part of the Washington Street rehabilitation project set to begin construction this spring, said spokeswoman Ann Deasy-Nolan. There will be signs and cones in place directing traffic to alternative routes along Howard or Ruby streets. Motorists should anticipate delays.

Drivers should also expect delays from about 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday on Second Avenue near the corner of Post Street. Avista Utilities will be using a crane to replace a transformer on the southeast corner of Second and Post streets. There will be signs in place channeling traffic, Deasy-Nolan said.


WSU award given to ‘Frontline’

The PBS show “Frontline” and two of its producers will receive Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism, Washington State University announced Friday.

The 2007 awards for “journalistic integrity and courage” will be shared by the program and producers David Fanning and Michael Sullivan at a campus ceremony on April 10.

” ‘Frontline’ has set a standard for excellence in journalism as part of our lives for years,” said V. Lane Rawlins, president of WSU, where the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication is named for the former student. “Recognition of ‘Frontline’ is a fitting tribute to the Murrow legacy.”

The investigative documentary series started in 1983 and has won all major awards for broadcast journalism.

Fanning began the development of “Frontline” in 1982 and has been executive producer since the program’s first season.

Sullivan was promoted to executive producer for special projects in 2002 after serving as the series’ senior producer and then executive producer.

Murrow, a 1930 graduate of Washington State University, was a pioneer in radio and television news who helped establish the standards for the industry.

The Edward R. Murrow Symposium annually attracts prominent communicators to the WSU campus. The Murrow Award began in 1997, when it was given to ABC news correspondent Sam Donaldson.


Senate backs elk-ranch licensing

The Senate agreed Friday to an industry-backed bill to license the state’s elk ranches.

Senators voted 24-9 in favor of SB 1074, which creates a $200 license fee and gives the state Department of Agriculture power to shut down ranches that do not meet regulations.

Sponsor Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, acknowledged that the bill does not restrict raising and hunting captive elk as much as some hunters and conservationists wanted but called the legislation “prudent and reasonable.”

But Sen. David Langhorst, D-Boise, who had proposed a more restrictive bill, said the Legislature is “squandering” an opportunity to protect the hunting ethic of “fair chase.” People revere elk because it takes work to hunt them in the wild, he said.

North Idaho Sens. Michael Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, Joyce Broadsword, R-Cocolalla, and Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, voted for the bill. Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, was one of two Republicans who opposed it.

The bill now goes to the House for approval.

From staff and wire reports


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