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In brief: Rising temperatures could trigger flooding

Melting snow and new rain could cause some problems for Spokane area residents starting Sunday.

Temperatures are expected to warm, rising well above freezing Sunday and into next week. The combination of rain and melting snow may cause creeks and streams to rise, creating the potential for flooding in the Spokane area, according to the National Weather Service.

The snow melt, combined with rainfall and drains blocked by snow berms, likely will cause problems with standing water in urban areas.

A new storm system is expected to bring moderate to heavy snow accumulations today along and north of Interstate 90 in the Spokane area.

Today’s snow is expected mainly after 4 p.m., with a winter storm warning in effect in the Idaho Panhandle and the mountains of northeastern Washington. Snow accumulations are forecast to be up to 8 inches in the valleys and 12 inches in the mountains in those areas.

The high in Spokane will be near 33 degrees with a nighttime low around 28.

Sunday will be mostly rainy, with the possibility of 1 to 2 inches of new snow accumulation before 10 a.m. Things will begin to warm up to a high near 39 degrees with a low around 33. Between a quarter- and half-inch of rain is possible.

More rain is likely Monday and Tuesday before temperatures cool down again Tuesday night, when snow is expected to return.

Chelsea Bannach

Deputy’s attempt to assist driver ends in drug arrest

A Deer Park man was arrested early Friday after a deputy who stopped to help him with his broken down truck found $1,200 and nearly 2 ounces of marijuana in the vehicle.

Trevor L. Weger, 30, was with his Toyota pickup at U.S. Highway 395 and Hatch Road when Spokane County sheriff’s Deputy Robert Brooke contacted him about 2:45 a.m.

Brooke said Weger appeared to be intoxicated and he called a state trooper for assistance. The trooper arrested Weger on suspicion of driving under the influence; and a passenger who was later released handed Brooke a plastic container with four baggies of marijuana.

The trooper, who Sgt. Dave Reagan said was searching for vehicle registration, found cash and marijuana in the truck’s center console. The pot weighed 47 grams, and police counted more than $1,200 in cash, according to a news release by Reagan.

Weger was booked into Spokane Count Jail on a drunken driving charge and a felony charge of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

Three arrested after chase from casino parking lot

Three people were arrested after a police chase that included a near head-on crash led officers to the Airway Heights Walmart.

The incident began about 11:45 a.m. Thursday when a resident in the 500 block of North Martin in Medical Lake said his 2002 Ford Ranger had been stolen. A wallet with credit cards was stolen from a car in the 900 block of North Minnie, about a block away, about the same time, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Airway Heights police found the stolen Ranger in the Northern Quest Casino parking lot about 12:15 p.m. and saw a man try to drive it away.

Two deputies tried to block the Ranger, “but the driver accelerated directly at them,” according to a news release. The deputies braked, and the Ranger sped away southbound on Hayford Road. Three people jumped from the truck, which hit a snow berm near Hayford and Highway 2. The driver, Phillip J. Young, 22, of Mead, was arrested at gunpoint after deputies saw him digging into his pocket as he ran. They recovered a black pellet gun from his pocket.

Arrested at the nearby Walmart were Stephanie Louise Kupien, 30, of Newman Lake, and Charles W. Kerney, 42, of Spokane. Police found receipts for purchases made with the stolen credit cards and connected them to Young and Kupien, according to a news release. Kerney was arrested on an outstanding warrant.

Three Spokane schools win state achievement award

OLYMPIA – State education officials say four Washington schools will each receive $10,000 for their success at improving student performance and narrowing the achievement gap.

The schools being recognized as Academic Achievement Schools are Garfield Elementary, Logan Elementary and Whitman Elementary, all in Spokane, and Tapteal Elementary in Richland.

Only schools with high percentages of poor children are eligible for the award. Their strategy for improvement needs to be transferable to other schools and a program that is measurable using student test scores.

The award money can be used for teacher training, team building activities or more academic improvement.