Local news

Robbery may be linked to previous holdups

Police say a pharmacy robbery Thursday is probably connected to a string of similar holdups.

The robber struck about 11:35 a.m. at the Rite Aid at 1443 N. Argonne Road in Spokane Valley, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. No injuries were reported and no weapons were displayed.

That brings to seven the number of pharmacy robberies in the Inland Northwest since June 4 that police say appear to be connected. The robber favors knit hats and has dark skin and what appear to be acne scars on his cheeks, said Sgt. Dave Reagan, spokesman for Spokane Valley police and the Sheriff’s Office. The robber, who appears to be in his 20s, is described as 6 feet tall with a medium build.

The man handed over a note demanding prescription drugs and claimed to be armed, Reagan said. The Rite Aid employee gave him the medications, and the man left the store and headed south behind the store on foot. No getaway vehicle was seen.

Authorities ask anyone with information about the robberies to call the Spokane Valley police, the Sheriff’s Office or Spokane Police Department.

Jody Lawrence-Turner

Odessa, Wash.

Teacher honored for WASL progress

Inevitably when WASL scores are announced, parents, educators and politicians wring their hands over the scores for science. Statewide in 2007, only 36 percent of 10th-graders passed the test.

But people cheered at Odessa High School that year, because the results showed 76 percent of students passing – more than double the rate of the previous year.

And on Thursday, science teacher Jeffrey Wehr was given much of the credit when he was named the American Star of Teaching for Washington during a surprise assembly in the district of about 230 students.

The awards have been given annually since 2004 by the U.S. Department of Education, with winners – one from each state and one from the District of Columbia – selected from among 4,000 nominees based on their success in improving academic performance. It is part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The Department of Education reports that when Wehr came to the school, only two students were taking physics. Last year, 16 of 22 seniors took the class.

Dan Hansen

Tonasket, Wash.

Task force arrests longtime fugitive

A fugitive wanted for 18 years by Canadian authorities was arrested Thursday in Tonasket.

Dudley Taylor, 69, was wanted for three counts of child molestation, said Sgt. Dave Reagan, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

“Taylor had been living on Cause Mountain Road under his brother’s name,” Reagan said. Detectives found three rifles and three pistols in the home, he said.

Taylor was captured by the Eastern Washington Fugitive Task Force, which includes investigators from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service and the Washington state Department of Corrections.

Jody Lawrence-Turner

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