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Region in brief: Illegal dam removed from wetland

A small concrete dam that county and state officials say was illegally constructed last month in a wetland east of Spokane has been removed.

Developer Lanzce Douglass had been threatened with fines and even jail time if he failed to remove the structure by Jan. 8. It was constructed on Dec. 18 and removed just before the deadline.

Douglass could not be reached Friday but insisted last week that he’d done nothing illegal.

State and county regulators disagreed. Spokane County planner Terry Liberty wrote Douglass a letter explaining that the dam violated the county’s critical areas ordinance. The state Department of Ecology also warned Douglass that the structure violated water pollution laws.

Both agencies said Friday that the dam’s removal likely will stop further pursuit of the violations.

The dam was built on the western portion of 52 acres where Douglass is developing the Southridge subdivision, which will be southeast of 29th and Havana.

– Jonathan Brunt

Grant County

Off-duty deputy shot on coyote hunt

A Grant County sheriff’s deputy is in critical condition at a Seattle hospital after he was shot in the back Thursday while hunting coyotes off-duty west of Soap Lake. A Moses Lake man has been arrested in the shooting.

A hiker heard Deputy Earl Romig’s cries for help and used a cell phone to call 911 about 5:20 p.m., said John Turley, Grant County’s chief criminal deputy. Romig may have been shot as many as 40 minutes before the hiker found him, Turley said.

After spotting a vehicle matching a description the hiker gave, deputies contacted 66-year-old Carl L. Marcher and his son, 38-year-old Robbie Joe Marcher, both of Moses Lake.

The men said they had been in the same area of the shooting, and Robbie Joe Marcher said he “heard what he thought was a coyote, pointed his rifle in that direction and fired one round,” Turley said.

Marcher told deputies he never saw his target and didn’t check to see if he had hit it.

Marcher was arrested on an assault charge and will be arraigned Monday.

– Meghann M. Cuniff

Kootenai County

Two killed in crash on Highway 95

Two people died Friday in a car crash on U.S Highway 95 near Coeur d’Alene.

The two-car crash occurred about 7:30 p.m. near milepost 427, one-and-a-half miles south of Coeur d’Alene by Cougar Gulch, authorities said.

The collision blocked the southbound lanes of the highway for more than two hours.

An Idaho State Police dispatcher said preliminary reports indicate it was a “T-bone” collision, adding that at least one person was transported to Kootenai Medical Center, but no other details were immediately available.

– Meghann M. Cuniff


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