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In brief: Committee rejects cost-of-living bill

THURSDAY, FEB. 18, 2010

BOISE – A House committee voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to kill legislation that sought to block a scheduled 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment for Idaho state retirees on “equity” grounds because active state employees are facing furloughs and other cuts.

Both North Idaho members of the House State Affairs Committee, Reps. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, and Mary Lou Shepherd, D-Prichard, voted with the majority to kill the bill, House Concurrent Resolution 42; the vote was 13-5.

The vote came after Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho officials told the panel they stood by their December recommendation for a 1 percent COLA for state retirees, after studying the issue for five months.

Police arrest teen in stabbing incident

The third suspect in a Tuesday night stabbing on the South Hill has been arrested.

The 15-year-old boy was arrested and booked into Spokane County Juvenile Detention on Wednesday, Spokane police said.

The boy is thought to be involved in an apparent attempted robbery that ended with a stabbing in Thornton Murphy Park at 27th Avenue and Ray Street about 7:30 p.m.

A 21-year-old man suffered non-life-threatening stab wounds when he was attacked by the 15-year-old, a 13-year-old boy and 19-year-old Cody A. Kjos, police said.

Kjos appeared in Superior Court on Wednesday on first-degree assault and first-degree robbery charges. His bail was set at $100,000.

County has deal to purchase Big Rock

A long-sought Dishman Hills rock formation is about to enter public ownership.

Big Rock, whose 230-foot face is prized by rock climbers, was targeted for acquisition in 1994 when Spokane County launched its Conservation Futures program.

The sale fell through because the owner did not want to sell at the appraised price, which the county could not exceed.

The Dishman Hills Natural Area Association and the Spokane Mountaineers Club intervened to purchase the rock and 80 surrounding acres at the southern edge of the county’s Iller Creek Conservation Area.

Now, Parks Director Doug Chase told county commissioners this week, the Dishman Hills association will sell the conservation land – assessed last year at $105,600 – on terms the county can accept.

An appraisal will determine the price.

I-90 head-on crash kills man, injures two

A Bothell, Wash., man was killed and two Tri-Cities residents were injured Monday in a head-on collision on Interstate 90 near the Fishtrap Lake exit.

Cary J. Bates, 55, died at the scene of the accident eight miles northeast of Sprague about 5:30 p.m., according to the Washington State Patrol.

Bates was westbound when his 1992 Infinity G20 went off the roadway into the median and into the eastbound lanes. The car collided head-on with a 2004 Hyundai driven by Brian R. Wilson, 31, of Pasco. Both vehicles came to rest in the eastbound lanes.

Wilson and a passenger, Tiffany S. McCann, 29, of Richland, were flown by helicopter to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, where they were in satisfactory condition Wednesday.

Man gets 13 months for robbery after plea

A man charged in connection with a string of robberies last fall pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Tuesday and was sentenced to 13 months in jail.

Nedzad Mesanovic, 20, of Spokane, pleaded to second-degree robbery. He was also given credit for more than three months in jail, Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell said.

Mesanovic was charged along with 22-year-old Miroslav Veselinovic, of Spokane, and 26-year-old Reza Abghari, of Colbert. All three were stopped by a sheriff’s deputy who recognized their car from a robbery report at a local convenience store. Inside, the deputy recovered stolen items.

Mesanovic appeared Tuesday before Superior Court Judge Michael Price, who agreed to accept the plea deal.

Woman pleads guilty to criminal assistance

A woman who drove an accused killer from the scene of a homicide last fall will spend a couple more months in jail.

Diane L. Richardson, 34, was on the run with her then-boyfriend, Merle W. Harvey, 27, for two weeks after Harvey allegedly gunned down two men Sept. 26 in what he said was self-defense.

Richardson pleaded guilty to first-degree rendering criminal assistance Tuesday and was given six months in jail with credit for time served. She’s been in custody since Oct. 10. Superior Court Judge Michael Price approved the plea deal.

Harvey remains in jail, charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the shooting deaths of Jack T. Lamere, 41, and Jacob J. Potter, 45. His trial is scheduled for May 10.

Author to tell story of Mona Bell at Auntie’s

Vancouver, Wash., author John Harrison will read from his book “A Woman Alone: Mona Bell, Sam Hill and the Mansion on Bonneville Rock” at 7 p.m. Friday at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave.

Harrison is a graduate of Lewis and Clark High School and was a Spokane Chronicle reporter.

“A Woman Alone” tells the story of Mona Bell’s brief public role in Pacific Northwest history. Her mansion, built 40 miles east of Portland in 1928, was a gift from her lover, entrepreneur Sam Hill. When the government condemned it to build Bonneville Dam, Bell sued in federal court, winning three times more than the government offered.

Spokane man drowns swimming in Hawaii

A 54-year-old Spokane man apparently drowned Wednesday while swimming in the ocean off Maui, Hawaii, according to a report in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Maui police identified the victim as Daniel Barney, of Spokane, the newspaper reported.

Barney and another person were calling for help shortly before noon in the area of Black Rock, Maui police said in a statement.

When officers arrived, bystanders were trying to resuscitate him, police said. Barney died at Maui Memorial Medical Center.


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