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Region in brief: Two teens injured when SUV crashes

Two teenagers were in an intensive care unit Tuesday after a crash on an overpass at Wellesley and Trent avenues.

Spokane County sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan said driver Leah Skeen, 16, lost control of her vehicle as she was exiting Trent onto Wellesley, causing her Chevrolet TrailBlazer to skid broadside into a large utility pole about 1:10 p.m. The vehicle struck on the right side, seriously injuring 17-year-old passenger Katie McLaughlin, who was airlifted to a Spokane hospital for treatment, Reagan said in a news release.

McLaughlin was in serious condition at a downtown Spokane hospital as of 6 p.m., Reagan said.

Skeen was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center by ambulance, where she was listed in serious condition as of 8 p.m. The accident, which spun the SUV into the backyard of a trailer at the Timberline Mobile Home Park, closed Wellesley Avenue until about 4:15 p.m. during an investigation, Reagan said.

Staff reports

Ephrata man found shot dead

An Ephrata, Wash., homeowner was found shot to death early Tuesday.

Officers discovered Sage Munro, 35, dead on his living room floor in the 100 block of E Street NE about 6:40 a.m.

Police said the case was under investigation. It is being handled by the Grant County Sheriff’s Department and the Columbia Basin Investigative Team.

Mike Prager

Court to review petition issue

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider in January whether the names on Referendum 71 petitions are public records or protected, private information.

The Washington secretary of state’s office, which contends they are public records, announced Tuesday that the nation’s highest court has the Referendum 71 issue on a list of cases it will review Jan. 15. That could lead to a full-blown appeal of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that they’re public records. It also could be the end of the line for efforts to block release of the names.

The high court would be expected to announce that day or soon after whether it will take up the case, said Brian Zylstra, deputy communications director for the office. Voters approved the “everything but marriage” gay rights measure in November.

Jim Camden