Local news

In brief: Police investigating infant’s suspicious death

Spokane police are investigating the suspicious death of a four-month-old infant.

Police were called to a residence on the 1500 block of East 11th Avenue after medics transported an infant to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead. Police did not say what injuries the infant had suffered.

A search warrant was executed at the home. The mother was out of town at the time of the infant’s death, but police declined to say who was caring for the baby.

No arrests have been made. Police are awaiting the results of an autopsy scheduled for early next week.

Judge approves reform plan for Seattle police practices

SEATTLE – A federal judge on Friday has approved a settlement between the city of Seattle and the Justice Department to reform the city’s police department, following a scathing report that found officers routinely used excessive force.

The Seattle Times reports U.S. District Judge James Robart on Friday made his ruling provisional, saying he wanted the deal modified to give him a greater role in selecting a court-appointed monitor.

In July, Seattle officials agreed to a court-appointed monitor and other changes, after months of negotiations with federal officials. The settlement deals with many aspects of police interaction with citizens, from casual contact to the use of deadly force.

The Justice Department launched its civil rights investigation early last year after the fatal shooting of a Native American woodcarver and other incidents involving force used against minority suspects.

City officials disputed the findings, but agreed on the need for reforms.

26 pounds of cocaine seized in traffic stop by Bellingham

BELLINGHAM – The Whatcom County sheriff’s office says more than 26 pounds of what’s believed to be cocaine has been seized from a California man during a traffic stop north of Bellingham.

The sheriff’s office says deputies worked with the Department of Homeland Security to pull the car over Thursday afternoon on a local road.

The Bellingham Herald reports that a drug dog alerted deputies to the presence of drugs and the driver consented to a search of his vehicle.

Homeland Security seized the car and drugs. The driver was brought in for investigation. He was not identified.

Assaulted corrections officer released from hospital

MONROE, Wash. – A state prison official says a corrections officer who was assaulted by an inmate at the state prison at Monroe has been released from a Seattle hospital.

The Daily Herald reports that court papers show the 28-year-old officer, Nick Trout, was tackled to the concrete floor and repeatedly punched in the face Thursday as he stood at his post inside a living unit in the prison’s Special Offender Unit.

Monroe prison superintendent Robert Herzog says the officer has worked at the prison since 2008. He was released from Harborview Medical Center hours after the assault.

The inmate, identified as 33-year-old Jimi Hamilton, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of assault.

He is serving a 14-year sentence for two counts of robbery in Pierce County.

‘Drugstore Cowboy’ author James Fogle dies in prison

SEATTLE – The man who wrote “Drugstore Cowboy,” an autobiographical crime novel that led to an acclaimed 1989 film starring Matt Dillon, has died at age 75.

A state corrections spokeswoman says James Fogle died Thursday at a prison in Monroe, Wash., where he was serving time for holding up a pharmacy in a Seattle suburb in 2010.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s office on Friday says Fogle died of probable malignant mesothelioma.

The Seattle Times reports that Fogle had already spent half his life in prison when he wrote “Drugstore Cowboy,” based on his experiences in a band of addicts who roamed the Pacific Northwest robbing pharmacies to feed their addictions. Filmmaker Gus Van Sant turned the novel into the acclaimed 1989 film.

Aberdeen couple win $3.6 million lottery jackpot

ABERDEEN, Wash. – An Aberdeen couple has won a $3.6 million Washington lottery jackpot.

KXRO radio reported Roger and Darla Sauer bought the winning ticket over the weekend. Darla Sauer said they have bought a ticket with the same numbers every week since the state started the game in 1984.

The couple has been married since 1974. He is a high school English teacher, and she is an active volunteer.

The couple said they have no immediate plans how to spend the money although they do have some charities they plan to support in a more generous way.

Coach disciplined after incident at hoops camp

OLYMPIA – The Olympia School District has relieved a high school basketball coach of his basketball coaching duties amid an investigation of “forced sexual contact” between students.

District spokesman Ryan Betz tells the Olympian the district decided head coach Doug Galloway did not provide adequate supervision to ensure student safety.

Members of the boys’ basketball program – 32 players and five coaches – attended a team camp at the end of June at Western Washington University. An incident involving “inappropriate behavior” of players occurred while Galloway attended a university event. The incident was reported to campus police.

Betz says Galloway will stay at the school as a physical education teacher and head girls’ golf coach.

Oregon citizen panel advises rejecting casino measure

SALEM – A panel of citizens has recommended that voters reject a measure authorizing nontribal casinos in Oregon.

The recommendation was released Friday by a state-sanctioned panel of 24 citizens who spent a week studying Measure 82 and hearing arguments on both sides. Seventeen people opposed it and seven were in support, and their findings will appear in official voters’ pamphlet.

Oregon’s constitution prohibits nontribal casinos. Developers who want to build a casino outside Portland are asking voters to authorize private gambling centers in certain situations.

The panelists who opposed the measure said private casinos could negatively affect gambling revenue for tribal casinos along with the Oregon Lottery and businesses that offer the lottery’s video terminals.

Remains found in wilderness where war vet was last seen

KALISPELL – A sheriff says human remains have been found in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, where a team has been searching for an Iraq war veteran who disappeared two years ago.

The parents of Noah Pippin released a written statement Friday saying Lewis and Clark County officials told them remains had been found in the Burnt Creek area.

Authorities haven’t confirmed the identity of the remains yet, but Mike and Rosalie Pippin say there is a strong likelihood they belong to their son.

The remains were found by a search party looking for Noah Pippin. He was last seen on Sept. 15, 2010, near the Chinese Wall, which is a ridge along the Continental Divide that is part of the Bob Marshall Wilderness south of Glacier National Park.

Idaho gets federal grant to inventory rare species

BOISE – The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is getting $950,000 to begin an inventory on rare species.

The agency announced the grant Thursday, compliments of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

State officials say the federal money will be matched by nearly $1.2 million from a variety of state partners and non-governmental organizations.

The money will be used to survey the Idaho Panhandle and northeastern Washington to determine the 20 species in greatest need of conservation in the region. The species must also be identified on wildlife action plans for each state.

Essentially, biologists will be out collecting data on a species distribution, population and climate. The information will then be used to help wildlife managers develop plans to improve habitat and numbers.



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