In brief: Pedestrian killed near Pullman
A pedestrian on the south Pullman bypass route of U.S. Highway 195 was killed Wednesday when he was struck by a pickup truck, the Washington State Patrol reported.
Peter A. Denney, 66, of Sundre, Alberta, was hit in the northbound lane of the highway about 9 a.m. and died at the scene, troopers said.
Traffic on the highway was blocked at the accident afterward, troopers said.
The driver of a 2006 Ford 150 pickup was identified as Alvin L. Howerton, 72, of Lewiston. He was wearing a seat belt.
McCaslin recovering after surgery
Spokane Valley City Councilman Bob McCaslin was in satisfactory condition Wednesday at Deaconess Medical Center after having his leg amputated earlier in the day.
McCaslin’s former colleagues in the state Senate were told he was undergoing surgery to amputate his leg during the morning floor session in the state Capitol. The 30-year veteran of the Senate resigned his legislative post on Jan. 4 because of health concerns and was hospitalized last Wednesday for a circulatory problem.
A hospital spokeswoman later listed the former legislator’s condition as satisfactory.
McCaslin, 84, said when he resigned his Senate seat that he intended to continue serving on the Spokane Valley City Council, to which he was elected in 2009.
Trial date set for suspect in 1986 murder
The only suspect in the 1986 murder of a Spokane woman was arraigned Wednesday on murder charges, two weeks after being extradited from Montana.
Gary L. Trimble, 62, pleaded not guilty in Superior Court to the Dec. 24, 1986, murder of Dorothy E. Burdette as more than a dozen of Burdette’s family members looked on.
Trimble appeared via video from the Spokane County Jail.
Judge Michael Price set trial to begin March 14 on charges of first-degree murder and second-degree murder, though Trimble’s attorney said she likely will ask for a continuance.
Trimble was arrested in Montana in October after DNA he submitted for a felony conviction there was linked to Burdette, who was 62 when she was found strangled to death in High Bridge Park.
Police have submitted Trimble’s DNA to see if it matches DNA found on three other murder victims from 1986 and 1987.
He remains in Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond.
Convicted killer faces assault charges
A man who killed his cellmate at the Spokane County Jail in 2004 faces new assault charges for an alleged attack on his cellmate at Airway Heights Corrections Center.
Michael L. West, 34, appeared in Superior Court via video feed from the jail Wednesday as several sheriff’s deputies stood guard.
He’s charged with first- and second-degree assault for an alleged October attack on cellmates Chad E. Bolstad and Gary L. Welch in which he gouged out Bolstad’s left eye, according to police. He’s being housed alone in maximum security, said jail Lt. Aaron Anderton.
“We haven’t had any problems with him yet, but we just want to make sure that we don’t have any more,” Anderton said.
Anderton said West will be in handcuffs and likely leg shackles for court while accompanied by several guards. He’ll be handcuffed when he’s out of his cell for showers or visits and cannot have contact with other inmates.
Social services will get federal grants
Spokane city and county social service agencies will receive more than $2.8 million in federal grants to serve the homeless this year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced.
Washington state was awarded $37.7 million in Continuum of Care awards, an increase of more than $1.2 million from last year’s funding.
The grants help provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless people as well as services, including job training, health care, counseling and child care.
In Spokane, 28 programs providing homeless services will receive a share of the federal funding.
Flood damage forces closing of bridge
The Forest Service has closed a bridge near Prichard, Idaho, to vehicles because of flood damage.
People can still walk across the bridge on Forest Service Road 933, said Suzanne Endsley, a public affairs office for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Forest officials are working to accommodate a family that uses the bridge to get to their home.
Judge proposes higher marriage fee
BOISE – People tying the knot could help pay for lawyers for those divorcing and sparring over the kids, under a proposal floated by Idaho’s top judge Wednesday.
Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Daniel Eismann told lawmakers that most of the state’s civil litigants can’t afford attorneys, and especially in cases involving children, that’s a problem.
He said one solution would be to increase the cost of an Idaho marriage license by $20, “which would generate about $280,000 a year that could be used to provide legal assistance in civil cases involving children and families.”
Marriage licenses in Idaho cost around $30, depending on the county; $15 of that goes to a domestic violence fund that also receives $20 in fees on each Idaho divorce.