Local news

Region in brief: Observers invited for NASA moon crash

A NASA mission to send a spaceship crashing into the moon early Friday while another ship analyzes the plume arising from the collision will be watched from Earth by a pair of Spokane astronomers, who are inviting the public to join them.

Joe Bruce and Tracy Shaffer will set up four telescopes and computer images of the probe, which is expected to strike the surface of the moon at 4:31 a.m. Pacific time.

They will be in the yard adjacent to the school of Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church, 4102 S. Crestline St., starting at 3:30 a.m.

Viewers can watch a computer screen image of the moon from a heated hallway with windows, Bruce said, but also have a chance to see the debris cloud live through a telescope if it appears as expected.

The mission is designed to confirm whether water is present in the moon’s permanently shadowed terrain.

Mike Prager

Police investigating Gonzaga rape report

Spokane police are investigating a report by a Gonzaga University student that she was raped in a residence hall over the weekend.

It was the second report of sexual assault in three weeks at GU. The student who made the most recent report told campus officials that the incident took place in a friend’s room early Sunday, and that she might have been drugged, campus officials said in a security alert sent by e-mail to students and staff Monday.

The 18-year-old freshman told police she was at a party drinking from a shared glass, said police Lt. Dave McGovern.

Mike Prager

Driver dies when vehicle rolls

A man was killed Wednesday night when his car rolled on a remote West Plains road, trapping him inside.

A woman reported the crash in the 35700 block of Rock Lake Road, just north of the Whitman County line and south of Cheney, about 6 p.m., said Sgt. Dave Reagan, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

The man’s 2003 Honda had rolled, the woman said, and the man was trapped inside.

Deputies said he died shortly after they arrived on the scene.

No other vehicles appeared to be involved, Reagan said. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Sara Leaming

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