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In brief: Second burglary nets Wishing Star presents

An organization that serves terminally ill children was burglarized for the second time in a month Wednesday, with the thief taking Christmas presents meant for three families.

Gifts were stolen from the Wishing Star office at 139 S. Sherman St. between 4:30 a.m. and 5:18 a.m., according to the organization.

The thief or thieves entered through the window in the front door and rummaged through the office. Grocery gift cards, toys and clothes, including sweatshirts and socks, were stolen.

Dirty socks were left behind, said Paula Nordgaarden, Wishing Star’s executive director. A coffee shop and other neighboring businesses also were burglarized, Nordgaarden said.

“It’s such a sad story,” Nordgaarden said. “This person is so desperate.”

More than $1,000 in items have been stolen from the office this month. The organization already was looking for sponsors for five families; Wednesday morning’s burglary puts an additional three families on that list, including the family of a 4-year-old girl who is visiting Spokane from the Tri-Cities for cancer treatment.

Anyone who’d like to donate to Wishing Star can stop by the office or call (509) 744-3411.

Meghann M. Cuniff

Man gets 18-year term for murder, arson

A young Spokane man who murdered his 56-year-old roommate and torched the home about a year ago will spend 18 years in prison.

 Ryan D. Corkery, 28, was sentenced Friday in Spokane County Superior Court to 216 months in prison for second-degree murder and first-degree arson. He’s been in jail since October 2010 after police found the body of William F. Hanel in his burning home at 12036 S. Player Drive.

Hanel’s friends identified Corkery as Hanel’s boyfriend. Corkery said he killed Hanel because Hanel molested him and a relative, according to previous reports. A friend said Hanel graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in the 1970s and had worked as a transmission repairman. His father, L. Warden Hanel, was a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Spokane.

Meghann M. Cuniff

House fire displaces nine family members

A family of nine was forced out of their home early Wednesday afternoon when a fire broke out in their residence in Spokane.

Firefighters were called at 12:25 p.m. to the home at 3125 W. 14th Ave. Smoke was showing from the eaves when they arrived.

The Inland Northwest Chapter of the American Red Cross dispatched volunteers to assist the family with emergency needs, including possible temporary shelter, the agency said.

No injuries were reported.

Staff reports


Top stories in Spokane

Ethics Commission: Mayor David Condon honest in handling of Frank Straub questions

UPDATED: 8:09 p.m.

updated  The final complaint targeting Mayor David Condon for his handling of the ouster of former Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub was unanimously dismissed by the city’s Ethics Commission on Wednesday, who said the complaint was fueled by opinions, not facts or evidence presented by former City Council President Joe Shogan.