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In brief: Leaders push for new tankers at base

Spokane leaders urged Pentagon officials Wednesday to send the first squadron of new-generation aerial refueling tankers to Fairchild Air Force Base.

“Whether you’re considering the age of Fairchild’s current tankers or the base’s proximity to Asia … no base in the entire country is better qualified to serve as the first home of the new tankers than Fairchild,” said U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Spokane Republican who arranged the Washington, D.C., meeting with Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force.

Among those attending the meeting was Mayor David Condon, county Commissioner Todd Mielke, Greater Spokane Incorporated President and CEO Rich Hadley and Forward Fairchild Chairman Greg Bever.

The Air Force is developing the criteria by which it will decide where the first of the new KC-46A tankers will be based. The first 18 new tankers are expected in 2017.

A man accused of trying to light his apartment complex on fire made an inappropriate hand gesture at a surveillance camera before doing so, fire officials allege.

Ian W. Godfrey, 29, said he was angry with a flier being distributed at the HiFumi En Apartments, 926 E. Eighth Ave., when he lit one on fire and walked through the building on Tuesday, triggering the apartment’s overhead sprinklers. Fire officials suspected arson, and the apartment manager recognized Godfrey from the surveillance video.

Godfrey was arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree arson Tuesday.

Motorcycle crash leaves 1 dead, 1 hurt

KOOSKIA, Idaho – The Idaho State Police said a 47-year-old Florida woman was killed and a Spokane man injured in a motorcycle crash on U.S. Highway 12 in northern Idaho.

The ISP said 41-year-old Beau J. Imholt was driving a 2006 Harley-Davidson motorcycle eastbound east of Kooskia with Susan M. Ricafrente of Yulee, Fla., as a passenger. The motorcycle drifted off the left side of the road Tuesday afternoon and went into a ditch, throwing Ricafrente from the bike.


Top stories in Spokane

Freeman students march in unity to honor memory of slain classmate Sam Strahan

UPDATED: 9:38 p.m.

Drenched in sunshine and a sharp spring wind, more than 70 students marched Friday out of Freeman High School behind a “Freeman Strong” banner to the same football field where they sheltered in fear last September following the shooting that killed 15-year-old Sam Strahan and injured three girls.