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Bodies found near Wallace identified

The man and woman found dead Friday morning near Dobson Pass, north of Wallace, Idaho, were a young couple who recently had a baby, Shoshone County Sheriff Chuck Reynalds confirmed Monday after an autopsy.

The identities of the victims, described to be in their early 20s, and the cause of their deaths will be released this morning, Reynalds said. The hospital had trouble identifying the woman through dental records, he said.

“Everyone knows who it is, but I can’t officially do anything,” he said.

Reynalds also plans to provide a detailed timeline of the slayings.

A local man came across the male victim’s body around 8 a.m. Friday while picking huckleberries in a remote area on top of the pass. Reynalds confirmed the male victim died from a gunshot wound.

The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday that there are three persons of interest being sought in connection with the crime. Their names were not released.

Colville Indian Reservation

Fire 40 percent contained

The Columbia River Road fire that has burned 21,914 acres on the Colville Indian Reservation is 40 percent contained, officials said Monday night.

“It only grew about 60 to 80 acres,” said fire spokeswoman Karen Ripley. “It was really a good day.”

Ripley said firefighters were worried about three problem areas: a spot on the northwest near Whitmore Lookout, a ridge on the north between Kartar Road and Dan Nason Road, and a spot on the northeast near Summit Lake Road.

Today, the team of 750 firefighters made “really good progress” on the northwest and northeast areas, Ripley said. The ridge between Kartar and Dan Nason roads is still of concern, she said. Crews are working to keep the fire south of the ridge. While the week’s forecast calls for temperatures in the 90s by the weekend, Ripley said firefighters are aware of the challenge and continue to make progress. They hope to have the fire fully contained by Aug. 20.

“I think it’s very promising now,” she said.


Attorney had no conflict, panel says

An attorney who worked for the River Park Square mall developers and The Spokesman-Review did not have a conflict of interest, a Washington State Bar Association panel has ruled.

The panel rejected the appeal from Tim Connor, who operates the Camas Magazine Web site, seeking to overturn an earlier ruling regarding Spokane attorney Duane Swinton.

Contrary to Connor’s initial complaint, Swinton did not have a conflict of interest by representing the developers renovating the mall and the newspaper that reported on the project, Randy Beitel, the bar association’s senior disciplinary counsel, said in April. Swinton’s client was Cowles Co., which owns The Spokesman-Review, and it was up to the owners of the company to balance its interests between the mall development operations and the newspaper.

Because Swinton was following the directions of his client, there was no conflict of interest under the bar association’s rules of professional conduct, Beitel said.

A three-person panel that reviewed Connor’s appeal issued a standard form indicating it agreed the allegations “do not constitute misconduct under the rules of professional conduct.” A spokeswoman for the bar association said there is no appeal of the panel’s decision.

Spokane Valley

Car crash disables traffic lights

A suspected drunken driver crashed into a power pole about 3 a.m. Monday, disabling the traffic lights at Thierman Road and Sprague Avenue in Spokane Valley. Thierman Road between Appleway and Sprague was reopened by 6 p.m. Monday.

Witnesses reported seeing a man in a Subaru Legacy speeding shortly before he crashed into the power pole.

“The driver ran before officers arrived on scene, but was tracked by officers for half an hour before being chased down in a foot pursuit,” Spokane County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan said.

Denis P. Kozubenko, 20, was booked into the Spokane County Jail for obstructing a police investigation and minor in possession of alcohol, officials said. Kozubenko remained in Spokane County Jail on $1,000 bond Monday night.

Earlier Monday, The 1995 Subaru was reported as the suspect vehicle in a 2 a.m. beer theft at the Albertsons at Highway 27 and 32nd Avenue. Two people grabbed a half-case of Corona and fled the store in the Subaru, Reagan said.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Spokane Valley Police at (509) 242-8477.


Officer in shooting disciplined before

An off-duty Seattle police officer involved in the weekend shooting of a motorcycle gang member in South Dakota has been disciplined at least twice in past incidents.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that both episodes occurred in 2005. In the first, the 43-year-old pawnshop detective was disciplined for taunting fans at a Seattle Seahawks playoff game. Later, he was accused of threatening to shoot a Tacoma restaurant manager after being told to leave.

The detective was detained after a Hells Angels motorcycle gang member was shot and wounded early Saturday morning at a bar, the Loud American Roadhouse, in Sturgis, S.D., during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Investigators say the shooting occurred during a tangle between members of Hells Angels and the Iron Pigs, a motorcycle group of law-enforcement officers.

Rich O’Neill, president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, said the detective – who was on vacation with four other Seattle officers – told him that he fired in self-defense.

Sturgis Assistant Police Chief Brandon Bestgen said the detective – whose name was not released – was briefly detained and then released.

All five Seattle officers have been relieved of duty pending investigation.

From staff and wire reports


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