Local news

In brief: Long Lake drawdown starts

Avista Utilities plans to start drawing down Long Lake on Friday, which will cause water levels in the reservoir to drop by up to one foot per day.

The drawdown will occur over a two- to three-week period, until the reservoir is 13 to 14 below its maximum summer pool.

Lower water levels will help control Eurasian milfoil and other invasive aquatic weeds and allow homeowners to do permitted repair and construction projects along the lakeshore.

Property owners and lake-users should make necessary preparations to protect their docks from shifting ice and low-water conditions.

Avista’s 24-hour telephone information line provides notification of anticipated changes in Long Lake, the Spokane River and Lake Coeur d’ Alene. In Washington, call (509) 495-8043; in Idaho, (208) 769-1357.

Man charged with burglary

Shoe prints left in freshly fallen snow led Spokane police to a burglary suspect Tuesday night.

Jermaine M. Garland, 29, was booked into jail for second-degree burglary after police responding to an alarm at Salon Centric, 124 E. Short Ave., just before 11 p.m.

Officers followed footprints to the area of East Second Avenue and South Sherman Street, where they found Garland and located property stolen from the salon in his backpack, as well as marijuana. The area has been hit by a rash of commercial burglaries recently, including a burglary at the Wishing Star Foundation.

Garland remains in jail after appearing in court Wednesday on a burglary charge. He was sentenced in November to 13 days in jail after pleading guilty to third-degree retail theft with extenuating circumstances. He also pleaded guilty in July to two counts of misdemeanor theft.

Suspected Gacy victim alive

BEAVERTON, Ore. – An Oregon man says he had no idea that his family back in the Chicago area feared he may have been killed by serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Fifty-nine-year-old Ted Szal told the Associated Press on Wednesday that he parked his car at Chicago’s O’Hare airport 35 years ago, threw his keys away and got on a plane to Colorado Springs. He said he abandoned his relatives after the turmoil of a divorce and a bitter family feud and that he’s struggled emotionally with the decision but was too stubborn to make contact again.

Police found Szal living in Beaverton, Ore. Szal’s older sister had contacted the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in October after authorities asked for tips to help identify eight unknown Gacy victims whose bodies were recently exhumed.


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