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In brief: Woman offers home to family

A Spokane woman has offered her home to a struggling Tonasket couple and their children, including a 12-year-old leukemia patient.

The Spokesman-Review profiled the family on Wednesday, outlining the medical struggles of Alicia Ponce-Myers and her family’s attempts to cope with chronic homelessness and poverty.

Daniel Angell, the girl’s stepfather, said he spent Wednesday morning in tears as offers of assistance poured in, including from a woman who offered a furnished four-bedroom home while Alicia recovers.

“I’m so humbled and grateful,” Angell said.

State social workers had insisted that the family secure appropriate housing to receive Alicia when she is discharged this week. If not, there was a possibility Alicia would be placed in foster care to help in her recovery after a month in Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital.

Caretaker’s alleged spending outlined

The man charged with draining 106-year-old Frances T. Swan’s retirement funds bought vehicles and a horse trailer and even paid for a man’s surgery in Texas, prosecutors alleged in court Wednesday.

John H. “Herb” Friedlund, 78, of Kettle Falls, was released from jail Wednesday on the $25,000 bond posted in June by Carl “Rich” Jessen, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

While the court record has not yet been filed, Deputy Prosecutor Lech Radzimski said in court that as part of nine counts of theft, Friedlund is accused of spending Swan’s money on a surgery for a young man named Steven Smith in Texas, who in total received about $200,000 from Swan’s account, Radzimski said.

Friedlund, who also faces felony criminal mistreatment charges in the case, allegedly also bought a bulldozer, pickup, hay truck and several other items that appeared to provide no benefit to Swan, for whom he had the power of attorney. As a condition of his release, Friedlund was ordered to surrender his passport, checkbook, credit cards and any other means of accessing Swan’s accounts. Friedlund’s power of attorney over Swan’s accounts was removed Tuesday.

Fourth groping incident reported

Another woman reported being grabbed by a man on a bicycle Tuesday along the Centennial Trail.

The alleged attack is the fourth incident in the last week in which women reported having their bottoms grabbed as a man rode past on a bicycle.

On Tuesday, a 22-year-old woman told authorities she was jogging on the trail near the 1100 block of East Mission Avenue at about 2:10 p.m. when a man rode past and grabbed her bottom, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

He is described as white, 25 to 35 years old, with a thin build and short hair. He wore high-top tennis shoes and denim shorts and rode a silver bicycle.

Trail users should report suspicious activity to Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.


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