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WSU fraternity house suspended after arrest

Wed., Jan. 28, 2009, midnight

The Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity at Washington State University has been suspended after one member was arrested and misdemeanor amounts of drugs were found.

The executive director of the Phi Kappa Sigma International Fraternity based in Chester Springs, Pa., Toby Smith, confirmed the suspension Monday to KRPL.

Smith is in Pullman this week to investigate the WSU Chapter, which had been on probation since last summer for alcohol violations.

Under the suspension, the fraternity cannot hold meetings or participate in university functions.

The frat house was raided last week by a regional SWAT team. Pullman police Cmdr.

Chris Tennant said members of the SWAT team were called for the extra manpower to raid a three-story building with an unknown number of people inside.

No special weapons or tactics were used, he said.

Officers found only misdemeanor levels of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, Tennant said.

Associated Press

Spokane County

Two couples escape separate house fires

Smoke detectors may have saved the lives of two couples early Tuesday in separate house fires.

About 12:20 a.m., Spokane Valley firefighters responded to 12007 E. Maxwell to find a home engulfed in flames, said Capt. Jeff Bordwell. The elderly couple escaped with minor smoke inhalation after an alarm alerted them.

“The home sustained heavy heat, smoke and structural damage,” Bordwell said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

About 12:55 a.m., a Spokane couple at 4203 N. Calispel St. woke up to an alarm after a fire ignited in the wall next to a brick fireplace, according to Spokane fire Battalion Chief Joel Fielder.

The blaze was caused by heat igniting wood framing that supports the brick chimney, officials said.

Crews were able to contain the fire to the interior wall.

“The Spokane Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to express the well-known fact that properly working smoke detectors do save lives,” Fielder said.

Jody Lawrence-Turner


Man faces charges of sex crimes

A Wallace man suspected of manufacturing child pornography is facing charges of lewd conduct with a minor and two counts of sexual battery of a minor.

James Flemming, 45, was arrested Monday at his home, 209 First St., according to a Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office press release. Deputies searched the home and seized electronics.

The investigation is ongoing pending computer forensics, said Sgt. Derek Dofolmire.

Jody Lawrence-Turner

Washington state

State offers help for gamblers

With Super Bowl Sunday looming, Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services is putting out a timely reminder for problem gamblers.

They can get help for their addiction through the state’s Problem Gambling Program, administered by the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse.

The program offers confidential assessment and outpatient treatment, and it’s free to those who can’t afford it.

“A gambling problem isn’t just one person’s concern – it affects family members, co-workers and friends,” said Linda Graves, program manager.

The signs of problem gambling include lying about the habit, the inability to cut back or stop and continually trying to gain back losses.

For more information, call the state’s Problem Gambling Help Line: (800) 547-6133.

Rebecca Nappi

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