Local news

In brief: Trail-head parking to open at Big Rock

A new trail-head parking area on the south side of the Big Rock-Rocks of Sharon area in Spokane Valley will be open to public access Friday at 3 p.m., said Paul Knowles, Spokane County Parks Department planner.

Heavy equipment is still working at the site accessible from the Palouse Highway near the end of Stevens Creek Road. County Parks will be hydro-seeding, putting up signs and doing other touch-up work at the parking area through fall, Knowles said.

The Big Rock area, adjacent to the Iller Creek Conservation Area, is prized by rock climbers and hikers. The areas were purchased through the Spokane County Conservation Futures Program.

The new parking area is designed to handle school buses. It can accommodate about 30 passenger vehicles.

Rich Landers

Police: Fight call was not meant to lure officers

Police have ruled out any connection between the fight call at South Pines Elementary nearly two weeks ago and the teens who placed hazardous objects on South Pines Road that night.

Cpl. Jeff Welton, of the Spokane Valley Police Department, made contact with the anonymous caller about 12 days after the Aug. 3 incident, the Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday. Welton verified that a fight did occur just after midnight at 24th Avenue and Pines Road, but those involved fled before officers arrived.

On the way to the scene, Deputy Rustin Olson drove over a piece of firewood and lost control of his car, flipping the vehicle upside-down and sending it off the road. Olson suffered back injuries from the crash.

Welton arrested two 16-year-old boys Tuesday for placing the wood and a plastic bin full of rocks in the road with the intention that someone would drive over them.

Police originally suspected the fight call was part of a plot to draw patrols into a trap when they came across the materials in the road. But none of the evidence suggested the situation was an ambush, and there is no connection between the fight and the objects the juveniles placed in the road, a Sheriff’s Office news release said.

Justin Runquist


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