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In brief: SUV crashes into Downtown Library

Mon., April 14, 2008

Bookworms can breathe easy, knowing that services at Spokane’s Downtown Library won’t be disrupted, despite a crash that sent an SUV into a work area.

“The customer won’t notice a thing,” said Pat Partovi, library director. The library, which is closed on Mondays, “will open as usual on Tuesday.”

Sunday’s crash was a hit-and-run, with the driver abandoning the 2005 Honda CRV and fleeing before police and fire crews arrived about 2:30 a.m., Officer David Daddato said in a press release.

The car had smashed through a wall into a work area where new materials are processed, “obliterating” two work stations, said Partovi. Had that happened during work hours, “there definitely would have been somebody sitting there … it could have been very tragic,” she said.

Embedded in the wall were tubes that carry coolant for the library’s heating system. That liquid saturated the carpet, which workers ripped up Sunday, and destroyed a few library materials that had not yet been placed on shelves for loan.

Work-station computers were also lost.

Evidence suggests the Honda was westbound on Spokane Falls Boulevard and – for whatever reason – turned left, over the south curb, across the grass and through a 3-foot fence before hitting the flagship library at 906 W. Main.

Partovi noted that the library has an insurance policy that is separate from the city’s self-insurance pool.

Officers continue to search for the driver. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call 242-TIPS (8477).

Swimmer stranded on island in river

Sure it was a sunny day. But it isn’t summer.

That became apparent Sunday to a 24-year-old man who was stranded on a Spokane River island at the T.J. Meenach Bridge.

“He swam out there when the air was warm,” even though the water temperature was a bitter 45 degrees, said Spokane Fire Battalion Chief Mike Inman.

At dusk, when the air temperature dropped, the man – wearing nothing but a wet swimsuit – got cold, and worried that he wouldn’t make it back to the mainland, Inman said.

It’s unclear who called authorities, but they arrived about 8 p.m. and set up floodlights on the bridge. They used a boat to pick up the castaway about 8:20 p.m.

Inman said it is “absolutely not” a good time of year for swimming the river, and noted that ordinances require swimmers to wear life jackets.


Airport officials get FAA warning

The Federal Aviation Administration has warned officials in Bonner County that they risk losing federal money for improvements at Sandpoint Airport if the airport continues special projects for private entities.

But county officials say they are doing nothing wrong.

“I don’t really think it’s substantiated with facts,” Commission Chairman Lewis Rich said of the FAA’s complaint.

County commissioners were warned last month by FAA officials to stop any residential development next to the airport, ban any new access at the airport, and prohibit midfield runway access.

A year ago a 44-unit, fly-in residential community was approved next to the airport called SilverWing. The county’s Sandpoint Airport Advisory Board supported the project, which was approved by Sandpoint officials.

Silverwing has midfield runway access. So does nearby plane manufacturer Quest Aircraft Co.

Rich said midfield runway access is part of a binding legal agreement.

“We can’t take that away,” Rich told the Bonner County Daily Bee. “It was agreed to a long time ago. It went through the courts and it is what it is.

“All the things that have been done were done in conjunction with FAA requirements to get it to the point where it is now,” he said.

From staff and wire reports


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