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Local companies keep Wi-Fi free for Hoopfest

Downtown visitors this weekend can get free Wi-Fi from the Spokane HotZone as two area firms have stepped in to keep the tech service going.

Created in 2004, the Wi-Fi service area has had continuing problems due to aging equipment and reluctance by the bandwidth provider to continue offering free Internet connectivity.

Robin Toth, who helped launch the service while she worked for the city of Spokane, said the HotZone will be operating all weekend, during Hoopfest. She said the new zone partners will make an announcement next week about their long-term plans.

Idaho workshops to address

Avista rate hike request

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission will hold workshops next week for Avista Utilities customers who have questions about the utility’s request to increase electricity rates by 14 percent and natural gas rates by 3.6 percent.

One workshop will be held Monday night in Lewiston and the second will be Tuesday night in Coeur d’Alene, in the student union building on the North Idaho College campus, 1000 W. Garden Ave. Both begin at 7 p.m.

If the increases were granted in full, the bill of an average residential electric customer, using 964 kilowatt-hours per month, would increase by $11.40. The gas increase would be about $2.77 per month for a customer using 63 therms per month, a news release said.

Avista has said the increases are necessary because of escalating power supply costs, increased costs to meet new federal requirements that ensure reliability, and the need to replace aging infrastructure.

Avista customers can track the progress of the case on the commission website at: The case numbers are AVU-E-10-01 or AVU-G-10-01. Comments can be filed online, mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074, or faxed to (208) 334-3762.

Reward offered in search

for arrestee in shooting

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest a man who skipped a scheduled plea hearing in a drive-by shooting, then allegedly crashed a car into a Spokane home early the next morning.

Abran L. Gibson, 19, was to plead guilty June 14 to rendering criminal assistance for his role in a shooting in Cheney last February, but he didn’t show up.

The next day, Washington State Patrol troopers say, he fled a traffic stop about 2 a.m. and crashed the 2006 Hyundai Sonata he was driving into a northwest Spokane home.

A warrant was issued June 17 for Gibson’s arrest on charges that were to be dismissed had he taken the plea deal: drive-by shooting, riot and first-degree assault.

Gibson was arrested Feb. 21 after police say he was with a 17-year-old boy, Damon Morris, who shot a man’s hand. Gibson has been out of jail since April.

Anyone with information on his location is asked to call (800) 222-TIPS.

World War II-era aircraft

will be open for tours, more

A collection of World War II-era aircraft will fly into Spokane on Monday for a two-day visit.

The nonprofit Collings Foundation will bring its P-51 Mustang, B-24 Liberator and B-17 Flying Fortress on a “Wings of Freedom” tour to XN Air, at 8125 W. Pilot Drive near Spokane International Airport. The aircraft are due to arrive at noon Monday and be on display until 5:30 p.m., then again from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Visitors can tour the aircraft inside and out for a $12 donation for adults and $6 for children under 12. The Collings Foundation also offers 30-minute flights on the B-24 and B-17 for $425, or $2,200 for flights on the P-51 Mustang. For information call (800) 568-8924 or visit

Police say transient took

fighting stance with them

A transient suspected of threatening three people with a hunting knife in downtown Spokane late Thursday has been cited for consuming alcohol in public twice in the past eight days.

Now Wilfred Dale Corse, 48, is in jail on new misdemeanor charges after police say he took a fighting stance when confronted at 11:37 p.m. near South Maple Street and West Fourth Avenue.

Corse dropped the knife when the two officers pulled their guns, Officer Dave Daddato said in a news release.

Corse confronted a woman and two men with the knife, but does not face assault charges because the victims fled before police could interview them, Daddato said. Corse said he confronted the three because he believed they stole his guitar or knew its location, police said.

Corse has been cited for consuming alcohol in public seven times since August 2006, including citations on May 26, June 17 and June 24, according to Spokane Municipal Court records.

Corse was booked into Spokane County Jail just after midnight Friday on $750 bond for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and a misdemeanor weapons charge.


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