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In brief: $150,000 bail set for robbery suspect

A man charged with robbing a north Spokane grocery store at gunpoint was ordered held in the Spokane County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

James T. Hopkins, 25, appeared Tuesday before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese. Hopkins was arrested Monday night after witnesses said he walked into the G and B Grocery, 2104 E. Francis Ave., and began yelling for everyone to get onto the ground.

Hopkins approached the counter just before 7 p.m. and pointed a gun at a girl, her father, two cousins and two others in the store. Hopkins also fired one round into the air, according to court records.

Witnesses said Hopkins grabbed cash and tried to leave. But one of the victims chased Hopkins, caught him and held him until Spokane police officers arrived. Officers learned that the entire incident was caught on video, which shows Hopkins pointing the gun at the victims, court records state.

Hopkins faces charges of first-degree armed robbery, first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Judge denies change in Starbuck’s bond

Attorneys representing murder suspect Clay D. Starbuck asked a judge Tuesday to reduce his $1 million bond, but the judge refused.

Public defenders Derek Reid and Jill Gannon-Nagle asked Superior Court Judge Greg Sypolt for the bond reduction for Starbuck, 48, of Deer Park, who is charged with aggravated first-degree murder of his ex-wife Chanin D. Starbuck, 42. Investigators believe she was killed Dec. 1, 2011, based on a 911 call from her home.

Chanin Starbuck’s body was discovered Dec. 3, 2011, inside her rental home in Deer Park.

The Starbucks divorced in the summer of 2011 and were in legal battles over assets when the homicide occurred, according to court records.

Clay Starbuck’s trial had been set for Jan. 14, but defense attorneys recently requested a delay to have more time to process evidence provided by prosecutors. The new trial has been set for May 6, said Karen Bachmeier, Sypolt’s judicial assistant.

Horse stuck in pool gets firefighters’ help

A wandering horse found herself trapped in a swimming pool Tuesday morning after Monday’s strong winds knocked over her pasture’s fencing, according to the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

The homeowners woke up to find their neighbor’s horse, Missy, in their backyard pool in the 17600 block of East Montgomery Avenue, according to a news release. They believe Missy got into their backyard Monday night and stepped into the pool.

Firefighters built steps so the horse could walk out of the shallow end, said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford.

The 15-year-old mare’s owners stood by to keep Missy calm while firefighters worked to free her. She reportedly suffered minor injuries.

Girl rescued unhurt after avalanche

CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. – A ski patrol official at Washington’s Crystal Mountain ski resort said a young woman has been rescued unharmed after being buried by an avalanche.

Crystal’s ski patrol director Paul Baugher said the unidentified young woman was buried for 10 to 15 minutes Tuesday before searchers probing the snow with metal poles found and freed her. He says she was checked by a doctor and is fine.

Baugher says she was part of a party of three skiing in expert terrain in a steep area of powder when the trio triggered a small avalanche. Two young men were partially buried but dug themselves out.