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Region in brief: Injured officer out of hospital

A Spokane police officer injured when a motorist rear-ended his squad car is out of the hospital and will return to work in “a few weeks,” police said Thursday.

Officer Jeff Graves has a sore back, neck and arms from the crash on North Maple Street just south of Sinto Avenue.

The woman whose vehicle allegedly hit him, Debra Hatcher, faces a vehicular assault charge and has been placed on paid leave from her job as a third-grade teacher at Finch Elementary School, according to Spokane Public Schools.

Hatcher, 54, is in her second year teaching at the school after transferring from Audubon Elementary School, according to a district spokeswoman.

Police say they think she was under the influence of prescription medications at the time of the 1 p.m. crash.

Substation work led to outage

A power failure in downtown Spokane on Thursday afternoon interrupted service to traffic lights and cut power to buildings for about an hour.

The outage was reported about 3:40 p.m. and affected 437 customers north of Riverside Avenue downtown to Maxwell Avenue, and east from Jefferson Street to Bernard Street.

Buildings without power included Spokane City Hall, the U.S. Courthouse and the River Park Square mall.

Avista Utilities officials said work at a Post Street substation was to blame. Power was restored by 5 p.m.

Wastewater spills at Post Falls plant

About 3,500 gallons of wastewater spilled Thursday after a pipe was damaged at the Post Falls sewage treatment plant.

The spill, reported to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, occurred after a contractor hit a PVC pipe at the city’s Water Reclamation plant.

Employees were called to the plant and shut off the water line, after 3,500 gallons of reuse water had already been released.

Reuse water has been treated and disinfected for use in plant operations, including for equipment cleaning, officials said.

Sex offenders register in area

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office wants the public to be aware of two Level III sex offenders who have registered as transients in the area.

Travis Ryan Keene, 29, was released from prison in 2006 after serving three years for third- degree rape.

Jeffrey William Naftel, 52, pleaded guilty in 1991 in Chelan County of two counts of first-degree child rape and one count of first-degree child molestation. His victims were 5- and 7-year-old boys.

Keene is under supervision by the Department of Corrections. Neither offender is wanted by law enforcement at this time.

Level 3 sex offenders are considered by law enforcement to be the most likely to reoffend.


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