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Region in brief: No meter plugging on Presidents Day

The following offices and services will be affected by the Presidents Day holiday Monday:

“In Kootenai County, all city, county, state and federal offices will be closed.

“In Spokane County, county and city of Spokane Valley offices are closed, but city of Spokane offices are open. Parking meters don’t have to be plugged.

“Garbage pickup isn’t affected.

“Post offices will be closed.

“Washington state-controlled liquor stores will be closed; Idaho ones will be open.

“Most banks will be closed. Check with individual branches for hours.


Grant awarded for after-school sessions

A federal grant of $194,000 has been awarded to Camp Fire USA Inland Northwest Council, in partnership with Spokane Public Schools and the Northeast Community Center, to provide after-school programs at Garry and Shaw middle schools for the next five years.

The Community Learning Centers, authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, are intended to provide academic enrichment opportunities, particularly for students at high-poverty and low-performing schools.

Educational activities and tutoring in math, reading, writing and science will be offered. Camp Fire USA also will provide mentoring, youth development, leadership opportunities, arts and crafts, community service and chances to increase family involvement.

The learning centers will operate in four eight-week sessions – one each quarter – with groups of 25 students at each school. Friday-night events will be provided twice a month, and family literacy nights held monthly, at the Northeast Community Center.

Free transportation home will be provided by each school’s existing after-school activity bus. At Garry, the program will serve as an alternative to detention for students who have five or more unexcused absences.

For more information, contact Jaclyn Mallery at (509) 747-6191, Ext. 23, or

Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards

Crime Stoppers is offering cash rewards for information leading to the arrests of two men.

Robert R. Castillo, 33, is wanted for allegedly attempting to elude a police vehicle. He has prior convictions for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to Crime Stoppers. His last known address was 3020 S. Clinton Road, Apt. 30, in Spokane Valley.

Kenneth L. Stephan, 41, is wanted on suspicion of first-degree possession of stolen property. He last gave his address as 408 S. Wilde River Road in Post Falls, but he might be living in Spokane County, according to Crime Stoppers.

Authorities ask anyone with information on the suspects’ whereabouts to call (800) 222-8477. Tipsters do not have to give a name to collect a reward.

Stolen car found following robbery

Spokane police found a stolen car they believe was used to flee a robbery Saturday afternoon.

Police were called about 5 p.m. to Mister Car Wash, 1022 N. Division St., according to a press release. The business was robbed by a man with a handgun, police said.

Witnesses gave police the license plate number of a white Honda Accord used by the robber. The car had been reported stolen at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Accord was found parked in the 1200 block of North Lidgerwood Street near Gonzaga University, said Officer Teresa Fuller.

No arrests had been made as of 8 p.m. Saturday.

Police ask that anyone with information on the incident call (509) 242-TIPS.


Doctor, pilot dies trying to land plane

A Klamath Falls doctor died when his small plane crashed and burned Saturday at Portland International Airport, officials said.

Dr. Richard E. Otoski was the only person aboard his single-engine Lancair Columbia 400 when it crashed just short of a runway while trying to land in foggy conditions about 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Otoski, a dermatologist, was an experienced pilot and owned the plane with his wife, Emily, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

He also was listed as a director of the Flying Physicians Association in 2004, according to the group’s Web site.

The Columbia 400 is a factory model of a kit airplane designed by Lancair International Inc. in Redmond.

Port of Portland spokesman Steve Johnson said the crash closed the airport for about 20 minutes, until 9:30 a.m. He said three arrivals and five departures were affected.

Visibility at the airport at the time of the crash was a quarter-mile or less, said Dan Keirns, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. It was not immediately known if visibility was a factor.


Two women killed in plane crash

A 54-year-old Camano Island pilot and her passenger, her 34-year-old niece from Oak Harbor, were killed in a plane crash near the Stanwood city limits in Snohomish County.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said the experimental aircraft crashed just before 1 p.m. Saturday.

Hover said the plane took off from the Arlington Airport on a trip to Camano Island, where the pilot had a small airstrip on her family’s property.

Hover said the plane apparently lost power and attempted to land in an open field, where it flipped and landed on its nose.

Both occupants were dead at the scene.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Sheriff’s Office are investigating the incident.


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