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In brief: Elk man charged in injury crash

A 32-year-old Elk man faces vehicular assault charges after a two-car collision Friday caused by alleged drunken driving.

Tony Blake was northbound in the 36400 block of Milan-Elk Road about noon when his 1978 GMC pickup crossed over the centerline and hit a southbound Mazda van, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said.

The driver of the van, Crystal Stokes, 69, suffered a fractured pelvis, clavicle and rib, and was airlifted by MedStar to a Spokane hospital. The van’s passenger, Edward Stokes, 65, sustained a fractured back and internal injuries. Both were in satisfactory condition late Friday, said Detective Dave Thornburg.

Blake suffered minor injuries and was transported to a hospital for treatment. Pending toxicology results, he faces two felony counts of vehicular assault, Thornburg said.

High fire danger results in ban

Recreational fires have been banned throughout Spokane County except in approved appliances.

Citing increased fire danger, fire officials announced restrictions Friday in unincorporated Spokane County and cities throughout the county.

The restrictions will remain in force until further notice.

Without approval, fires are allowed only in appliances such as barbecues and patio warmers.

Hayden city beach to close Aug. 29

Hayden’s Honeysuckle Beach closes Aug. 29 for the season and will no longer be staffed with lifeguards, Hayden city officials said this week.

The beach is open by noon most days. Fees for the public boat launch will be collected through Labor Day, officials said.

For more information contact Hayden Community Services at (208) 209-1080.

Interstate crashes slow Idaho traffic

Multiple crashes on eastbound Interstate 90 near Coeur d’Alene on Friday afternoon slowed traffic for several hours.

The first crash occurred about 12:55 p.m. near the city center exit in Coeur d’Alene, the Idaho State Police said.

A 1994 Chevy pickup, driven by Michael Etherton, 22, of Pinehurst, was eastbound on the interstate when it ran into the back of a 2007 Honda CRV driven by Saundra Carver, 30, of Greenacres. Carver’s vehicle was slowing down for congested traffic when it was hit, ISP said.

Carver and her 4-year-old son were transported to Kootenai Medical Center, where Carver was treated and released. The hospital declined to release a condition for the child.

A second crash occurred in the same area around 3:30 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Kaiser appeals discharge permit

Kaiser Aluminum has appealed conditions of a new discharge permit that allows the company to pump treated wastewater into the Spokane River.

The Washington Department of Ecology issued Kaiser’s permit in June. The permit, which was years in the making, is part of a broad effort to reduce phosphorus and other pollutants flowing into the river from municipal and industrial dischargers.

Kaiser officials listed concerns about effluent limits and monitoring requirements in the 10-page appeal filed in late July. The permit also requires Kaiser to participate in a regional toxics task force aimed at reducing PCBs in the river.

The appeal says Kaiser is willing to participate in the task force with other dischargers but argues that outcomes from the regional task force shouldn’t be included as conditions of Kaiser’s permit.

Washington Pollution Control’s hearing board has scheduled an Aug. 17 pre-hearing conference on the appeal.

Grant finalist is Spokane project

Mike Petersen’s dream is to plant 10,000 Ponderosa pines throughout the Spokane area one day with the help of 500 volunteers.

His “Reforest Spokane Day” project is one of 20 finalists competing for $150,000 in grants through the 50 States for Good Sponsorship Fund by Tom’s of Maine, which makes toothpaste and other products. Six projects will be awarded money.

Many of Spokane’s Ponderosa pines were lost to development, said Petersen, executive director of the Lands Council. Reintroducing pines to the urban area would provide shade, reduce traffic noise and beautify the city, he said.

Petersen is encouraging people to vote online daily for the project at community-involvement. Click on “Vote Now.”


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