Arrow-right Camera
News >  Spokane

Pair sentenced for WSU fires

Two expelled Washington State University students have been sentenced to one year in prison for setting a series of fires last spring on the WSU campus.

Nineteen-year-old Ian J. Copland, of Aberdeen, Wash., and 22-year-old David P. Miner, of Tacoma, were sentenced Friday by Whitman County Superior Court Judge David Frazier. The judge ordered Copland and Miner to pay more than $6,800 in restitution to the university, fire crews and the WSU police department.

Copland and Miner were expelled from WSU after they were arrested. Copland is the son of Grays Harbor District Court Judge Tom Copland.

Authorities charged Copland and Miner with setting at least 10 fires in residence halls, parking garages and garbage bins around the Pullman campus in the early hours of April 21. The fires forced the evacuation of about 900 students from a WSU dormitory complex.


Road closures today due to film

If you’re heading to downtown Spokane today, be aware of some planned road closures.

Lincoln Street from Broadway to Boone avenues will be closed to traffic from 6 a.m. until noon. Mallon Avenue from Post to Monroe streets also will be closed.

The closures are needed to accommodate a movie being filmed in the area, according to a city news release. Detours will be in place.


Pilot disconnected landing gear signal

A report by the National Transportation Safety Board says the pilot of a Chelan Airways float plane that crashed in Lake Chelan – killing two people – had disconnected the warning instruments telling him the position of his landing gear.

The agency has said the wheels were down – protruding from the plane’s pontoons – when the plane landed and flipped on the lake at Stehekin last May 17.

Stehekin School Superintendent Roberta Pitts and William Stifter, a cardiologist from Spokane, drowned when the cabin filled with water.

The pilot, Howard “Brick” Wellman, Stifter’s wife and a teenage Stehekin girl survived.

The report says Wellman told investigators the warning instruments in the de Havilland DHC-2 kept coming on because of turbulence, so he pulled the circuit breaker and made a mental note to reset it before landing. The report says Wellman did not recall resetting the breaker.

Associated Press Staff report Associated Press