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In brief: Spokane soldier died in crash

A decorated Spokane soldier was among the seven U.S. servicemen killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan this week, the Department of Defense announced Thursday.

Chief Warrant Officer Niall D. Lyons, 40, died Monday in Darreh-ye Bum, Afghanistan, while assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Regiment, based in Savannah, Ga.

Three federal drug agents also were killed in the crash.

Lyons graduated from Shadle Park High School in 1988, earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from Eastern Washington University in 1995 and spent three years as a soldier before being accepted into the Army Warrant Officer program, where he gradated from flight school in 1999.

He worked as a flight instructor and was deployed in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan, according to a biography posted on the Army’s Web site.

Lyons received several honors for his Army service, including two air medals and four Army commendation medals.

He is survived by a son in Alabama and two brothers, a sister, and his mother and father, all of Spokane.

Meghann M. Cuniff

Property taxes are due Monday

Monday is the deadline for Washington residents to pay the second half of their property taxes.

Normally the deadline is Oct. 31, but when that date falls on the weekend as it does this year, the deadline extends to Monday.

Washington property owners can make their payments in person at the treasurer’s office in the county in which they live.

In Spokane and most other counties, that’s in the county courthouse.

Some can also pay online at their county’s Web site, although there can be a fee for that.

Property owners also can mail in their payments.

In that case, the envelope carrying the payment must be postmarked by Monday or a penalty can apply.

Spokane County Deputy Treasurer Bob Wrigley said taxpayers who mail their payments on Monday should take the envelope to the post office, go inside, and make sure it is postmarked for that day.

Jim Camden


Top stories in Spokane

Freeman students march in unity to honor memory of slain classmate Sam Strahan

UPDATED: 9:38 p.m.

Drenched in sunshine and a sharp spring wind, more than 70 students marched Friday out of Freeman High School behind a “Freeman Strong” banner to the same football field where they sheltered in fear last September following the shooting that killed 15-year-old Sam Strahan and injured three girls.