Local news

In brief: Former bar owner admits arson

MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2009

A former sports bar owner accused of torching a competitor’s pub has pleaded guilty to second-degree arson.

Richard Hanlon, 52, pleaded guilty Friday in 1st District Court in an agreement that recommends he be sentenced to 13 years in prison, becoming eligible for parole after two.

The former owner of Paddy’s in Coeur d’Alene and Paddy’s Too in Post Falls is accused of setting a July 2007 fire that destroyed Capone’s Bar and Grill in Post Falls.

A surveillance video shows a person police say is Hanlon running from the burning building with his legs on fire.

Authorities also say a running shoe left behind provided DNA evidence linking Hanlon to the fire.

Sentencing is set for May 4.

Nonprofit group has home at last

A nonprofit group in North Idaho that helps people with disabilities has finally found a home after 12 years.

Specialized Needs Recreation recently moved into a suite in Coeur d’Alene.

Executive Director Angie Goucher had been running the organization out of her home and keeping items in a storage unit.

The program serves more than 500 children and adults who have such disabilities as Down syndrome, autism, epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Railroad to spend millions on repair

BNSF Railway plans to spend $23 million this year to improve tracks in North Idaho.

Company spokesman Gus Melonas said more than half the money will be used for repairs on a bridge on Lake Pend Oreille at Sandpoint.

He said 11,500 concrete ties will be installed in the region.

Melonas also said another 1,000 wood ties will be replaced.

The company will not be doing any hiring this year but an 80-man crew will be in the area performing work and helping boost the local economy through lodging and meals, Melonas said.

Post Falls

Mayor says he’ll seek third term

Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin says he plans to run for a third term in November.

The 73-year-old Larkin says he’s recovered from the second triple bypass surgery he had more than three years ago.

Larkin says he’s motivated to see several projects take shape, including road work and improved water quality standards in the Spokane River.

The position is part time and pays $18,000 a year.

But Larkin says he typically puts in more than 40 hours a week to do his job as mayor.


S-R camp guide needs your input

Even though spring is just getting started, summer will be here before we know it – and so will summer camp.

We’re again putting together a summer camp guide, which will appear in the paper April 15. And this year, we’re asking two things from our readers:

•If you have a camp that you would like listed, please send the information to summercamps@ spokesman.com; fax to (509) 459-5098; or mail to Summer Camp Guide, The Spokesman-Review, 999 W. Riverside Ave., Spokane WA 99201. Include a description of the camp, location, dates, times, recommended ages, cost and contact information.

•If you ever went to summer camp, we’d like to hear your favorite memory – good or bad, whether you’re an adult or a kid. Send memories to the same addresses listed above. We’ll print as many responses as we can in the camp guide.

All submissions must be received by the end of business on March 31. Questions? Call (509) 459-5485.

From staff and wire reports

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