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In brief: Alcohol, texting suspected in crash

LEWISTON – An 18-year-old woman who was intoxicated and texting while driving hit a parked patrol car and then left the scene, police said.

Lewiston police Capt. Tom Greene told KLEW-TV that Jonica Champatiray was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of DUI and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

Simpson’s role on environment grows

BOISE – Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson is now one of the leading voices in the U.S. House on issues affecting the environment, national forests and public lands.

With the change in power this week, Simpson took over as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment.

Simpson said the subcommittee plays a critical role in Idaho, a state where nearly two-thirds of the land is owned by the federal government and managed by agencies like the National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Sting nabs alleged cell phone thief

NAMPA, Idaho – A 29-year-old man who police say stole a cell phone by force and then accepted an offer over the phone from the victim to sell it back has been arrested after police instead showed up at the arranged meeting spot.

Brian Westerfield Jr. was taken into custody late Friday after a short foot chase, Nampa police said.

Police said Westerfield took the phone by force about 10:45 p.m. Friday. The victim contacted Westerfield and offered to buy the phone back, police said. When Westerfield arrived at the meeting spot, police were waiting.

Westerfield was arrested on suspicion of robbery and resisting police.


Top stories in Spokane

Northwest Passages Book Club: Author J.A. Jance on the art of (re)invention

UPDATED: 9:17 p.m.

Best-selling author J.A. Jance, the latest author to be featured by The Spokesman-Review’s Northwest Passages Book Club, is the author of 56 novels, spanning series featuring such characters as Arizona Sheriff Joanna Bradley, Seattle homicide detective J.P. Beaumont, former television anchor turned sleuth Ali Reynolds and Tucson’s Walker family.