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In brief: Handgun incident leads to arrest

Mon., June 8, 2009

A northwest Spokane man was arrested after allegedly pointing a handgun at another man and four children late Saturday.

Spokane police responded to a 10:15 p.m. call that a man had brandished the weapon near Wellesley Avenue and Assembly Street. The witness directed officers to the suspect’s nearby apartment.

Officers detained Phillip J. Koller, 61, outside his apartment. Koller allowed the search of his home, where officers found a handgun.

Koller was booked into the Spokane County Jail on five counts of first-degree assault with a firearm.

Robber takes pills from pharmacy

Spokane police are seeking a robber who held up a South Hill pharmacy Sunday afternoon.

About 3 p.m., a man walked into the Walgreens at 29th Avenue and Grand Boulevard, handed an employee a note stating that he had a gun and demanded the narcotic Oxycontin, witnesses told police. No gun was displayed.

The robber left after he was given an undisclosed quantity of the drug. Police told KHQ they’re seeking a white man in his mid-20s wearing blue jeans and a white shirt.

This is the second time this year the pharmacy has been robbed. Police are asking anyone with information to call (509)456-2233.

Essay contest offers house as its prize

A Coeur d’Alene couple want to turn over their three-bedroom, two-bath home on 11 acres to the person who writes the best essay.

Dick and Wendy Webb, 54 and 49 respectively, have raised their children and are ready for something easier to manage. Wendy Webb’s sister came up with the idea for the contest.

Participants have to explain in 1,500 words or less why they want the house and pay $150 to enter. The contest will not proceed unless the owners receive at least 4,500 entries, generating what they say the house is worth – $675,000.

“Hopefully we’ll hand it over to a family with kids,” Wendy Webb said.

The contest ends Nov. 1, and judges will pick the winners. The contest was created with guidance from an attorney and registered with the Secretary of State’s Office, Webb said. More information is available on the couple’s Web site at

Idaho forest offices to close for training

Some Idaho Panhandle National Forests offices will be closed June 16 for employee training.

The offices closed include ranger districts in Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, Priest Lake, Smelterville, Fernan, St. Maries, Avery and Clarkia. The Coeur d’Alene nursery will also be closed.

The supervisor’s office at 3815 Schreiber Way will remain open, as will the Interagency Dispatch Center.

S-R coverage wins four awards

The Spokesman-Review won four awards at Thursday’s Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press Association awards banquet in Boise, including first place for spot news.

The first-place honor went to the paper’s staff for “Wildfire chars homes, forces evacuations,” which dealt with last summer’s Valley View fire.

Reporters Jonathan Brunt and Mike Prager took second place in spot news for “Snowbound,” covering the Dec. 17, 2008, snowstorm. Kevin Graman won third place in investigative reporting for “Lives lost at home,” about a rash of suicides among area veterans. Brian Plonka took second place in series/special projects for “Brothers in Arms,” which followed two Hauser Lake, Idaho, brothers who joined the Marines.

The William H. Cowles III Memorial Award, honoring the late Spokesman-Review publisher, went to the Salt Lake Tribune for “No second heaven: Refugees in Utah.”

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