Local news

In brief: Baby sitter gets term for boy’s death

A baby sitter who pushed a 3-year-old Post Falls boy, causing a fatal head injury, will spend at least four years in prison.

Amanda L. Skogen, 26, was sentenced to 13 years in prison, with eligibility for parole after four, during a hearing Friday in Kootenai County District Court.

Skogen was on her knees when she violently shoved Cohen Johnson on Oct. 4, causing him to fall back and hit his head. She confessed to shoving the boy after he wet his pants, telling police: “I hurt a poor little defenseless boy. … And it was all my fault.”

She originally was charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in December.

Post Falls police Sgt. Dave Beck said the sentencing began at 9 a.m. and lasted into the afternoon.

“His mother wanted to show a video of Cohen to put a person and face with the name,” Beck said.

Bank robbery suspect arrested

A fugitive bank robbery suspect was arrested in Pullman after a short standoff Wednesday evening.

Kevin Jones, who was hiding in a Pullman woman’s apartment, was wanted for five counts of bank robbery and has convictions for promoting prostitution and gun possession, according to a “Washington’s Most Wanted” news release.

Jones was featured on “Washington’s Most Wanted,” a weekly television show, Feb. 25 and 26. A viewer tip to Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound led to his arrest.

After receiving the tip, Seattle Detective Len Carver contacted the Pullman Police Department and their SWAT team surrounded the apartment, the news release said. After a brief standoff, officers took Jones into custody.

He appeared Thursday before a federal magistrate and will be returned to Seattle by a U.S. marshal.

50 pounds of marijuana found in car

A routine traffic stop Sunday near Grants Pass, Ore., led to the discovery of 50 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of a car driven by a Spokane man.

Michael Allen Orman, 30, was driving a rented Dodge Charger when he was stopped by police about 7:15 p.m. Sunday for a traffic violation. Orman was wanted in Marion County, Ore. on a felony warrant for money laundering, according to the Oregon State Police. His license was also suspended. Orman was booked into Josephine County Jail on the warrant and the rental vehicle was towed and impounded.

On Monday, troopers obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and found about 50 pounds of marijuana in the trunk, authorities said. The estimated its value at $125,000, they said.

Orman now faces charges in Josephine County Circuit Court for unlawful possession and distribution of a controlled substance.

Students protest school reform bills

Hundreds of Post Falls High School students staged a walkout Friday to express their unhappiness with Idaho bills 1110 and 1108.

The two bills proposed by state schools Superintendent Tom Luna would strip teachers of their bargaining rights and create a merit-pay system. Both bills await Gov. Butch Otter’s signature.

“We just feel that as students that this will affect us and our lives, so we are trying to do all we can,” said Jared Conrad, one of the students who led the protest.

The walkout lasted about two hours. Students were told they would not be considered absent despite missing class if they stayed on school property. At one point, about 500 of the high school’s 1,500 students had joined the crowd outside.

Protesters carried signs that read: “Second worst in education in the U.S., we don’t need fewer teachers,” and “Bills written by a Luna-tic.”

Students, teachers and education advocates have protested across the state this the week.

Ex-sheriff’s deputy pleads guilty

YAKIMA – A former Yakima County sheriff’s deputy accused of assaulting a woman and her friend while on duty and in uniform has pleaded guilty to several felony charges.

Sean Moore, 37, pleaded guilty Friday in Yakima County Superior Court to a visiting judge, after all eight Yakima County judges declined to handle the case.

Moore pleaded guilty to assault, rape and residential burglary charges under a plea agreement. No sentencing date has been set.

Moore resigned from the Sheriff’s Office Wednesday.

Idaho Senate extends jobless benefits

BOISE – Senators passed extended unemployment benefits for thousands of jobless Idaho workers, over objections of conservative lawmakers who called this a “hand-out, not a hand-up.”

The measure’s 24-7 passage Friday will keep long-term unemployed workers eligible for federal jobless benefits through 2011. Nearly 17,800 jobless Idaho workers were receiving these extended unemployment benefits in February.

The measure has already passed in the House.

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