Local news

Four seriously injured in Highway 395 crash

Four people suffered serious injuries in a two-car crash on Highway 395 on Friday afternoon, the Washington State Patrol said.

Herman L. Kemple, 70, of Spokane, was turning southbound onto the highway from a gas station parking lot near Half Moon Road about 4:15 p.m. when his 1994 Ford F-150 pickup was struck by a northbound 1997 Toyota Camry driven by Alta M. Pruitt, 56, of Republic, the WSP said. Kemple’s truck flipped on its side, and he was partially ejected and pinned under it, according to WSP.

He was airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where he was in the intensive care unit Friday night.

Pruitt was taken by ambulance to Sacred Heart, as was passenger Myrna L. Fowler, 66, of Raymond. Another passenger, Ellamae V. Rupp, 90, of Republic, was airlifted to Sacred Heart. All three remained there Friday night, and their conditions were unavailable.

Meghann M. Cuniff

Boundary County

Fondling suspect dies after apparent leap

The suspect in a Kootenai County lewd conduct case died after apparently jumping from the 425-foot-tall Moyie River Bridge on U.S. Highway 2 in Boundary County, officials say.

The Boundary County Sheriff’s Department recovered the body of Mickey Allan Watson, 56, of Hayden, from the Moyie River on Thursday, after campers found the body near the Twin Rivers Resort, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.

Kootenai County officials arrested Watson on Sunday on a lewd conduct charge after he allegedly fondled a girl sitting on his lap at a Bayview-area event July 5. Watson posted a bond and was released from jail on Tuesday. After that, investigators learned about three additional girls Watson allegedly fondled, said Capt. Ben Wolfinger, spokesman for the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

Police were looking for Watson Thursday when they learned he was dead, Wolfinger said.

Anyone with additional information about Watson or other crimes he might have been involved in is asked to call Kootenai County sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Ken Lallatin at (208) 446-1300.

From staff reports

Coeur d’Alene

Attorney pleads guilty to bankruptcy fraud

Coeur d’Alene attorney Craig Odegaard entered a guilty plea Tuesday to one count of bankruptcy fraud for concealing contingency fee rights in his own bankruptcy proceeding filed in October 2004, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The concealed contingency fee contracts netted Odegaard $24,989 just before he received a discharge of debts totaling about $155,000, federal prosecutors said. Shortly afterward, Odegaard bought a new Chevrolet Corvette, and the bankruptcy trustee discovered the concealment.

Odegaard repaid his creditors, officials said.

His sentencing is set for Sept. 23 in Coeur d’Alene.

The plea resulted from “significant investigative efforts and cooperation” by the FBI, IRS and United States Trustee Program, U.S. Attorney Tom Moss said in a statement.

From staff reports


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