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Man held on burglary charge after incidents in neighborhood

A 23-year-old man was booked into the Spokane County Jail on Saturday on alleged residential burglary.

Spokane Police said that Samuel Bertolet was in the process of gaining entry into a house in the 3600 block of East 11th Avenue about 10 a.m. Saturday when the occupant answered the door. The occupant told police that Bertolet said he ran out of gas before he walked across the street to knock on another door.

Bertolet then was seen walking into the backyard. He was confronted by neighbors and took off running.

Shortly after, a woman called police to say a man with a similar description had been in her parked vehicle. Officers located Bertolet between houses in the 4000 block of East Fifth Avenue.

Officers found physical evidence linking Bertolet to the burglary on 11th Avenue. Witnesses also identified him as the man they saw.

Lisa Leinberger

Stevens County

Hearings to explore tax increase for social service programs

Stevens County commissioners have scheduled two public hearings to gauge support for a 0.1 percent sales tax to support mental health and chemical dependency programs.

The first meeting will be Tuesday at the county courthouse in Colville; the second will be March 23 at Lakeside Middle School at 6169 Highway 291, near Suncrest. Both hearings will start at 7 p.m.

County governments were authorized by state law in 2005 to impose the tax without a public vote.Stevens County officials estimate the tax would raise about $300,000 a year, according to David Nielsen, executive director of Northeast Washington Alliance Counseling Services.

The government-operated counseling agency serves Stevens, Ferry and Lincoln counties, but Nielsen said the tax is proposed only in Stevens County and would benefit only Stevens County residents. The agency has separate field offices in each county.

John Craig


Civil Service Commission has openings for volunteers

Spokane County is seeking applicants for appointment to the Civil Service Commission.

Applicants must be county residents for at least two years and be registered voters. The commission meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 2 p.m. In some cases, the commission will hear appeals by Sheriff’s Office employees that could last hours, or in some extreme cases, days.

At the time of appointment, only two of three commissioners can belong to the same political party

The term runs for six years and the position does not pay. The open term will expire on Dec. 31, 2015.

If interested, please contact Ginna Vasquez at (509) 477-2265 or

Thomas Clouse


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