In brief: Police: Stabbing not self-defense
A man accused of stabbing his lover’s estranged husband last week has been arrested for assault.
Spokane police initially said Dumont P. Whitt, 35, may have stabbed Robert D. McQueen in self-defense after McQueen confronted him and McQueen’s wife in a home at 2415 E. First Ave. about 2 a.m. Dec. 28. But Whitt stabbed McQueen too many times for the case to be considered self-defense, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department.
McQueen and his wife, Alicia, used to live at the home but McQueen, 35, moved out in November, according to court documents.
He was hospitalized with critical injuries from several stab wounds but has since improved and was booked into jail for trespassing on Wednesday, police said Thursday.
Alicia McQueen told police that her husband broke into a bedroom window and attacked her before fighting with Whitt, according to a search warrant.
Whitt appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Thursday on one count of first-degree assault.
Semi goes over I-90 barrier, injures 1
One person was injured Thursday on Interstate 90 near Wallace when a semitruck lost control and struck her vehicle head on.
Yuriy V. Kushniruk, 30, of Vancouver, Wash., was eastbound at 10:38 a.m. on I-90 when he lost control of the semi on the slushy road, Idaho State Police said. Kushniruk’s truck went over the barrier and hit the Subaru Impreza driven by Kate E. Cummings, 27, of Missoula. Kushniruk was driving too fast for conditions, police said.
Cummings was transported to Kootenai Medical Center where she was in critical condition Thursday night. Cummings also had two children in her vehicle.
Their names, ages and conditions are not known. Kushniruk was not injured.
The semi caught fire but was quickly extinguished.
ISP’s investigation was continuing Thursday night.
Police watch, arrest burglary suspect
Two Spokane Valley police officers stopped for a roadside chat caught a burglary suspect after watching him pilfer a storage building early Thursday, officials said.
Officers Justin Elliott and Ryan Walter were parked on Spear Road east of Park Road when they spotted a 1984 Datsun pull into a secluded part of the Triple R Auction.
The driver walked out of sight and returned about six minutes later carrying items and looking around suspiciously, police said.
The officers stopped the Datsun shortly after 1 a.m. Jeffery Allan Heatwole, 44, told police his seat belt was broken and refused to get out of the car, so Elliot cut the belt strap and removed him from the car, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department. Heatwole was then arrested.
Inside the Datsun were items stolen from Triple R, including a chain saw.
Avista to drop level of Long Lake
Beginning today, Avista Corp. will start lowering the reservoir behind Long Lake Dam.
Water levels will drop about a foot per day over the next two to three weeks to help control Eurasian milfoil, an invasive water weed. The 14-foot drawdown from summer lake levels also allows waterfront property owners to undertake state and locally permitted shoreline projects.
Avista officials said property owners and lake users should prepare for the shifting ice and low water conditions by removing boats from the water, securing docks and boathouses and taking other measures to prevent property damage. Boaters should be alert to changing water levels.
Weather conditions and dam maintenance work can affect the drawdown rate.
For updates, call Avista’s Lake Information Line at (509) 495-8043.
Fertilizer companies to pay $33,000
Two Washington ammonia fertilizer distributors have agreed to pay more than $33,000 for failing to update their plans for preventing chemical releases at eight facilities in Eastern Washington.
AG Link Inc. will pay $13,521 and Colfax Grange Supply Co. will pay $19,986 to settle alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act. In October 2009, Environmental Protection Agency officials discovered that AG Link, Colfax and their eight facilities located at Almira, Davenport, Edwall, Coulee City, Reardan, Colfax, Wilbur and Steptoe failed to update their risk management practices at least every five years as required by federal law.
The facilities store more than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia, a volume that triggers the risk management requirements. Having a solid prevention program in place can help a facility keep a dangerous situation under control if an accident occurs, said Wally Moon, who works for the EPA’s Emergency Response program in Seattle.