June 13, 2012 in City

In brief: Lost Idaho puppy is actually a wolf

 

A DNA test shows a pup picked up outside of Ketchum, Idaho, on May 25 is a wild wolf.

Out-of-town campers picked up what they thought was a lost domestic puppy and took it to a vet clinic in Ketchum, where the staff thought the male puppy looked like a wolf.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials looked for a wolf pack near where the pup was found, hoping to return the lost pup. But they could find no fresh sign of a pack in the area.

Zoo Boise agreed to take the pup temporarily and to help Fish and Game find it a permanent home. The pup is gaining weight and its health is improving.

Fish and Game officials are reminding people it is best to leave young animals in the wild alone.

A 22-year-old Spokane woman died after being run over by her own car early Tuesday.

Kaitlyn Rebstock’s grandmother found her under the car near the 2900 block of West 16th Avenue and called police.

Police believe Rebstock was trying to stop the car from rolling down a steep driveway when she was pinned underneath. Police said she’d returned from work about midnight.

Rebstock suffocated from the weight of the vehicle, the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office said after an autopsy.

Ex-insurance agent sentenced for fraud

A former insurance agent and executive director of the Spokane Food Bank has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for fraud.

James K. Sokolis, 56, is ordered to be on probation for three years after his release and pay about $356,000 restitution, which is the amount he admitted to stealing from a Coeur d’Alene insurance company.

Sokolis previously owned and operated Rockwood Insurance in Coeur d’Alene. He sold his share of the business in August 2010 and was hired to work for the new company. He was fired after admitting to misusing client money.

Sokolis “had been juggling his clients’ funds for months, hoping to come up with enough money at the right time to bring all policies current,” according to a sentencing memorandum prepared by his lawyer, Chris Bugbee.

He pleaded guilty in March to three counts of insurance fraud and was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in Coeur d’Alene.

Police: Drowning was an accident

A body recovered from the Spokane River Monday is that of a 23-year-old man who accidentally drowned, authorities said Tuesday.

Police believe Brent DeSouza entered the river about 2:30 a.m. Sunday near the big red wagon in Riverfront Park.

Police are investigating the circumstances of his death. Rescuers searched for hours Sunday before returning Monday and locating DeSouza’s body downstream, near the Looff Carrousel.

DeSouza identifies himself on his Facebook page as a member of the United States Air Force, stationed at Fairchild since 2009. He attended high school in Modesto, Calif.

DeSouza’s was the second body found in the river in less than 24 hours.

A 38-year-old man’s body was found Sunday afternoon near the 2000 block of South Riverton Avenue. Police said he was distraught Saturday evening.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that man’s drowning a suicide.

DNA helps identify robbery suspect

DNA on a hat and gloves dropped by a man who robbed a Spokane Valley tavern owner last year has led authorities to identify a suspect.

Isaiah P. Wandler, 32, is charged with first-degree robbery for a Feb. 13, 2011, attack outside Poppy’s Tavern, 415 S. Dishman-Mica Road.

He is accused of robbing owner Donna O’Donnell of her purse, punching her in the face and knocking her to the pavement. Officers found his red and gray jacket, black baseball hat and black gloves, which they believe he discarded when he saw them converge on the area.

While the move may have prevented the robber’s arrest that day, police submitted the hat and gloves to the state crime lab for DNA testing.

The lab notified Spokane County Sheriff’s Detective Mike Ricketts of a match to Wandler earlier this year.

He was already in jail in Kootenai County for violating his probation on a burglary case.

Now he’s in the Spokane County Jail on $100,000 bond after appearing in court Monday on the new robbery charge.

Man treated after Valley building fire

Emergency responders rushed a man to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center Tuesday evening after a fire broke out in a building on North Fancher Road.

The man suffered from smoke inhalation, but his condition was not life-threatening, said Spokane Valley Fire Marshal Kevin Miller. About 20 people were in the building, but no other injuries were reported.

The fire started in a paint booth at ASC Machine Tools, a metal-forming manufacturer. The flames spread along the ceiling and stayed in the north end of the building.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Miller said.

Contact with sick cat gives man plague

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – A central Oregon man in his 50s is in critical condition at a Bend hospital after a form of plague infected his blood, according to a Crook County health official.

The disease can spread through contact with a sick animal or a bite from an infected flea. The man, who has not been identified, had contact with a sick cat.

Plague is rare in Oregon. Only three human cases have been diagnosed statewide since 1995.

It is treatable with antibiotics if caught early, said county health official Karen Yeargain. Pet owners should treat their animals for fleas, she told KTVZ.

“What happens most of the time is our pets are allowed to go outside,” she said. “They roam free, go out in the field and they catch the mice and either come in contact with a sick rodent or get their fleas on them.”

There are three types of plague: bubonic, which infects the lymph nodes; pneumonic, which infects the lungs; and septicemic, which infects the blood. The man’s infection is septicemic, Yeargain said, which causes a “very significant generalized illness.”

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