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In brief: Weight limits set on bridge

Thu., June 23, 2011

Spokane Valley city officials imposed weight restrictions Wednesday on the southbound lanes of the Sullivan Road Bridge.

Maximum weights range from 25 tons for two-axle trucks to 50 tons for twin-trailer “powder trucks.” Standard semitrailer rigs are limited to 36 tons.

“It was not something we could put off any longer,” senior engineer Steve Worley said.

He said the 60-year-old bridge isn’t in danger of collapse, but girder cracks and other deterioration required a reduction in heavy truck traffic.

The bridge over the Spokane River connects the Spokane Business & Industrial Park and other industrial sites to Interstate 90.

Worley said the city has only about half of the $19.7 million needed to replace the bridge.

Weight-restriction details are available on the “Public Works” page of the city’s website,

Firefighters spent nearly an hour Wednesday knocking down a brush fire that damaged half an acre of wooded terrain.

Investigators determined the fire, which started about 1:47 p.m., was “related to juveniles playing with fire,” according to a Spokane Fire Department news release.

The fire started on steep hills near South Shelby Ridge Street and burned uphill toward South Windstar Street, the news release said. Though the fire was slow moving, the first crews on the scene quickly assessed the need for additional crews due to the steep terrain and difficulties reaching the fire with brush engines.

As more crews arrived, personnel were “strategically placed, halting the fire from its advance to homes above the fire,” the news release said.

No one was injured and no structures were damaged. The juveniles’ parents were contacted by fire officials.

Man faces terrorism charges

A Clarkston man who seriously injured himself with a homemade bomb last year has been charged with trying to assist terrorists.

A grand jury indicted Joseph Jefferey Brice, 20, this week on new charges of attempting to provide material support to terrorists, manufacturing an unregistered firearm and distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Brice has been in federal custody since May 3 on a firearms charge.

Investigators believe he posted comments on YouTube under the name StrengthofAllah and discussed in email his plans to rob a bank in Lewiston after planting bombs near a school to distract police.

Federal authorities began scrutinizing his activities after he was injured by a homemade bomb April 18, 2010, and investigators learned he’d posted videos of explosions on websites.

Basement fire extinguished

The Spokane Fire Department responded shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday to a house fire that started in the basement of a two-story home.

Firefighters “aggressively performed an interior attack on the fire,” confining fire damage to the basement and first floor, according to a department news release. However, there was smoke damage throughout the single-family house, located at 2311 W. Buckeye Ave. Damage is estimated at $10,000.

No one was in the home at the time and no injuries were reported, the news release said. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Fire Department’s special investigations unit.

Six fire companies with 21 firefighters responded to the scene.


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