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Region in brief: Court in session some Saturdays

Tue., Oct. 13, 2009

Spokane Municipal Court will begin hearing cases on two Saturdays a month starting in December.

The sessions, which will begin at 1:30 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month, will allow residents to seek reduced penalties for infractions if they can’t get to court on weekdays, officials announced Monday.

The Saturday dockets, which will begin Dec. 5, will be used exclusively for mitigation, meaning that residents agree they committed infractions but would like a chance to seek reduced penalties. The Saturday court is “an effort to provide better justice sooner and to be more attuned to the needs of our customers and community,” Municipal Judge Mary Logan said in a news release.

Municipal Court handles misdemeanor charges and lesser violations, such as traffic tickets, within city limits.

Shogan says ‘hell stayed in Vegas’

He had promised to “bring hell,” but Spokane City Council President Joe Shogan barely brought a whimper to a meeting Monday where new rules were discussed that would, in part, limit his powers.

On Thursday, Shogan angrily criticized four council members who voted to place the proposal regarding the council’s procedures on a future agenda. At the time, Shogan was in Vermont, though he participated by phone.

“I look forward to the study session this Thursday,” Shogan said Monday.

Asked after the meeting where “hell” had gone, he said it didn’t make the full trip back to Spokane.

“Hell stayed in Vegas” – where his flight from Vermont had a layover. “I said what I wanted to say. I’m moving on.”

Would-be robber hit with metal bar

A Rite Aid pharmacy employee stopped a potential robbery Monday night by striking the would-be thief with a metal bar.

A woman entered the store at 12315 N. Highway 395 about 8:35 p.m., handed an employee a note stating she had a gun and demanded the powerful painkiller Oxycontin, said Sgt. Dave Reagan, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

A male employee picked up a metal bar and hit the woman with it, Reagan said. The extent of the woman’s injuries was unclear, because she ran away. No vehicle was seen.

The woman was described as white, in her mid-20s, about 5 feet tall, wearing Converse-style sneakers and a dark blue sweatshirt with the hood up. Anyone with information about the case can call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Armed robber hits espresso stands

Two espresso stands in northeast Spokane were robbed at gunpoint Monday morning, apparently by the same person, police said.

The barista at Oasis Espresso, 2206 E. Francis Ave., said the robber partially crawled through the service window and flashed a gun before taking money from the cash register about 5 a.m. The robber fled on foot.

About 20 minutes later, another robbery occurred at Jacobs Java, 3023 E. Fairview Ave., where the robber displayed a gun and demanded money before running south on Market Street.

No injuries were reported at either location.

In both holdups, the robber was described as a white male dressed in black clothing and wearing glasses and a ski mask.

Police cautioned workers about the risk of robberies at espresso stands early in the morning and late in the day. Suspicious activity can be reported to Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Police shock man with Taser

An Otis Orchards man was shocked with a Taser by police and then arrested Monday after allegedly assaulting an officer who was trying to question him about suspicious behavior inside a Spokane Valley pharmacy.

Jason M. Kingsley, 28, was one of two men reported to 911 by a caller who said they were acting suspiciously and might have been planning to rob the Rite Aid store at Argonne Road and Mission Avenue.

The witness said both men had been in and out of the store several times without buying anything, said Sgt. Dave Reagan, Spokane Valley police spokesman.

When officers arrived, one man had fled, but Kingsley went back inside the store. When an officer tried to question him, Kingsley allegedly shoved the officer and tried to run. He was stunned with a Taser and arrested on an existing warrant charging him with second-degree identity theft. He faces a new charge of third-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, police said.


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