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In brief: Center for Justice names new director

Thu., Feb. 9, 2012

Spokane’s public interest law firm Center for Justice announced Wednesday the appointment of Rick Eichstaedt as executive director of the nonprofit organization.

Founder Jim Sheehan had been serving in that role since former executive director Breean Beggs left in 2010 to work in private practice. “We are incredibly fortunate to have someone of his capability, experience and passion,” Sheehan said of Eichstaedt in a news release.

Eichstaedt, 39, has 14 years of legal experience, including the last seven in environmental and land use litigation for the Center for Justice. He also worked two years for the Seattle-based law firm Bricklin and Newman.

Eichstaedt leads the Environmental Law Clinic at Gonzaga University School of Law. 

Free event offers intro to ice fishing

 A free event to introduce people to ice fishing is set for Saturday at Cocolalla Lake south of Sandpoint.

The event is sponsored by the Idaho Fish and Game Department, and bait and  fishing equipment will be available to borrow. Free hot dogs and hot chocolate will be served. Volunteers from Fish and Game and Cabela’s will be augering the holes in the ice. No fishing license is required during the hours of the event, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cocolalla Lake is on the west side of U.S. Highway 95 between Athol and Sandpoint.  The trailer and barbecue will be at the boat launch/campground on the north end of the lake.  Follow the “Sportsman Access” signs on the west side of U.S. 95 just north of the Westmond store. 

Driver allegedly bragged about crash

A driver involved in a one-car crash that engulfed his vehicle in flames allegedly bragged to a nurse about the incident, police say.

William C. Calamanco, 25, “was in a boisterous state and explained to the nurse that he was ‘driving really, really, really fast,’ ” Officer Aaron Kirby said in court documents filed Wednesday. Kirby said he overheard Calamanco talking to the nurse after a blood draw at Deaconess Hospital.

Kirby contacted him in the 2800 block of West Summit Boulevard in West Central about 10:05 p.m. Sunday after a car crashed into a tree and burst into flames. Calamanco and his passenger, his brother Eric Calamanco, suffered minor injuries. Calamanco denied driving but then said he’d hit his head on the steering wheel, according to court documents.

Calamanco remains in jail on felony charges of vehicular assault and making a false statement after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on Wednesday.

Police arrest suspected marijuana distributor

The discovery of 24 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop in Oregon led police to arrest a suspected distributor in Spokane this week.

The investigation began on Feb. 2 when Kevin C. McKeag, 28, of Chattaroy, was arrested near Roseburg, Ore., after a drug dog detected marijuana in his 2003 Dodge pickup during a stop on Interstate 5, according to the Oregon State Police.

McKeag said he was traveling to Spokane to deliver the pot, according to police.

He told them he’d been transporting marijuana to Spokane to sell 12 or more pounds at a time to Jeremy Scott Thornton, according to court documents.

The Spokane Regional Drug Task Force arranged for McKeag to sell marijuana to Thornton, 35, in a monitored transaction on Friday. Detectives then searched Thornton’s home at 2509 E. Diamond Ave. on Monday and arrested him on drug charges.

Thornton left Spokane County Jail Monday on $10,000 bond.

Bandanna-wearing man robs adult store

A man robbed a north Spokane adult goods shop at gunpoint Wednesday night, fleeing on foot with $117 in cash.

Spokane police described the man as about 6-foot-2 and stocky. He was wearing all black with a bandanna over his face. The clerk at the shop, Hollywood Erotic Boutique, 54 E. Wellesley Ave., was not injured in the robbery, police said.


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