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In brief: Two security salesmen suspected in robbery

Two security salesmen assaulted and robbed two men from a rival company in Cheney on Monday, police say.

Suspects Kyle C. French, 18, and Ignatius Tepp, 19, work for Stryker Security Sales. Todd Jensen and James Stoker, who work for Vivint Security Sales, told police they were attacked by the men because they were selling products in their area.

French and Tepp were at an apartment on Betz Road in Cheney. French “said the Vivint reps were stealing their sales so they confronted one of them to tell them to stop,” according to court documents. French and Tepp alegedly stole paperwork, an ID badge, an iPad, a hat and a carrying case, authorities said.

“Kyle said he took the property as trophies,” according to court documents. All the items were recovered except the iPad, which French said he threw into Medical Lake because he knew it could be tracked, according to police.

Neither suspect has a criminal history.

Suspect in assault arrested at casino

A man shot in what police believe was a drug-related incident on Spokane’s South Hill in April was arrested Tuesday at the Coeur d’Alene Casino in connection to a brutal assault in Adams County.

Arthur Frank Cardenas, 33, has been wanted since July 11 on a $500,000 warrant for charges of first-degree robbery and first-degree assault.

A casino security officer saw him Tuesday at about 5 a.m. and requested assistance from tribal police as surveillance employees watched through the cameras as Cardenas walked back to his room.

U.S. Marshals arrived to help arrest Cardenas. He was taken into custody at about 9 a.m. Police found drugs and weapons in his room and arrested four other people. Their names have not been released.

Woman nearly killed in Spokane stabbing

Police say a woman was nearly killed in a Spokane stabbing that they believe was gang-related.

Officers responded to a report just before midnight Monday that the woman’s leg had possibly been cut off. They found the woman with life-threatening injuries to a leg, hand and her head.

She was rushed to a hospital.

Major crime and gang unit detectives are investigating

Man dies after tractor overturns near Sagle

SAGLE, Idaho – Officials in Bonner County say a North Idaho man died Monday after his tractor overturned while he was mowing grass on an embankment on the side of the road near Sagle.

Sagle Fire District Chief Robert Webber said the man, who is said to be in his 60s, was pulling a lawnmower attachment with his tractor when the machine toppled over, pinning him.

Bonner County Emergency Medical Services spokesman Bob Abbott said officials are investigating whether a medical problem may have caused the man to lose control of the tractor. Abbott said the man was dead when paramedics arrived.

The man’s name hasn’t been released.

Home robbery suspects identified by police

Two men believed to be serial home robbers are suspected in a takeover-style invasion at a residence on the South Hill in late May.

Flint Fire Herrmann, 35, robbed the home at gunpoint with David F. Smith, already in jail for a May 31 robbery at a home on West Spofford Avenue, according to Spokane police.

Herrmann and Smith, 40, are accused of targeting two safes with cash, coins and narcotics inside when they knocked on the door of a home in the 4400 block of East 46th Avenue about 12:30 a.m. 

A sleeping resident, Gordon Lagasse III, awoke and answered the door but was knocked to the ground, then held at gunpoint while the other gunman stole the safes, according to court documents. The robbers also made Lagasse’s father get on the floor at gunpoint.

Smith also is believed to have shot Robert Ruth, who is accused of helping cop shooter Charles Wallace, during a robbery on West Providence Avenue on May 29.

Oregon man recovering from rare case of plague

PORTLAND – One look at Paul Gaylord’s hands shows why the plague is referred to as “Black Death.”

The central Oregon man who contracted a rare case of the plague last month after being bitten by a stray cat has seen his once-strong hands darkened to the color of charcoal.

Doctors may be able to save a portion of his fingers. The 59-year-old man makes his living as a welder.

He faces a difficult recovery now that he’s out of intensive care. His family is trying to raise money to get him into a new house, because the manufactured home he was living in has a leaky roof, a moldy bathroom and mice. Those are dangerous living conditions for a man with a weakened immune system.

BNSF freight train derails in Montana

GLASGOW, Mont. – A BNSF Railway official said a freight train headed from Chicago to Portland has derailed in a remote part of northeast Montana.

Spokesman Gus Melonas said about a dozen cars derailed Tuesday afternoon about 20 miles east of Glasgow. He said the train had four locomotives and 57 loads of containers carrying general merchandise.

Melonas said several containers spilled their contents but there was no environmental threat, and no injuries were reported.

A crew of about 40 people was shoving debris off the track with front-end loaders so repairs can be made.

Officials hope to reopen the track later today.

Crows get blame for ‘suspicious powder’

EDMONDS, Wash. – A fire spokeswoman says blame the crows for a “suspicious powder” scare at an intersection that detoured traffic for more than an hour.

Snohomish County Fire District 1 spokeswoman Leslie Hynes said a hazardous materials team responded Tuesday to a report about an unknown white powder in the roadway in the town of Edmonds.

A witness finally told the crew that a couple of crows were to blame. Hynes said a woman was going jogging when she noticed the birds dragging a bag of white flour.

Hynes said the woman took the bag away from the birds, put it in a garbage can and kept running. It took firefighters about an hour to clear the scene.

Said Hynes: “Two crows and a two-alarm hazmat incident.”


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.