In brief: Downtown focus yields arrests
Spokane police say increased patrols downtown have led to several arrests for robberies and assaults.
More than six people have been arrested for assault this week, many of whom were armed with weapons, according to a news release by crime analyst Tom Michaud.
“It is too early to determine if these cases are related or these crimes are evidence of a larger crime trend throughout the city,” Michaud wrote.
Patrol officers, the two Patrol Anti-Crime Teams and extra-duty officers have helped in the arrests and in identifying suspects.
Meghann M. Cuniff
Roll-your-own not exempt from tax
OLYMPIA – Stores operating roll-your-own cigarette machines will have to start charging a tax Sunday that was approved by the Legislature but blocked by a Franklin County judge this week.
The state Supreme Court issued a halt Friday afternoon to a temporary injunction issued by Superior Court Judge Bruce Spanner. He ruled the tax on cigarettes rolled by customers in stores around the state is illegal because it didn’t pass both houses of the Legislature with the two-thirds majority required by an initiative passed by voters.
The state has argued the tax didn’t need a supermajority because it’s not new but an extension of the existing tax on commercially manufactured cigarettes.
But the stores hadn’t posted a required $200,000 bond for Spanner’s injunction to take effect. State officials asked the high court for immediate action because the tax goes into effect July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.
Stores must put tax stamps on packages of customer-rolled cigarettes starting Sunday.
CdA man killed in plane crash
GRANGEVILLE, Idaho – Officials in Idaho County said a Coeur d’Alene man died after a gust of wind hit the airplane he was piloting just as it was taking off from an airstrip in the Nez Perce/Clearwater National Forest, causing the plane to crash.
A second man on board was treated for minor injuries.
Sheriff Doug Giddings said 48-year-old Jahan Ashtiani, of Coeur d’Alene, and Anthony DiPaolo, of Evergreen, Colo., had been fishing in the Moose Creek area east of Grangeville and were trying to leave the area ahead of an expected thunderstorm Thursday afternoon. They took off from an airstrip near the Moose Creek Ranger Station and a gust of wind caused the plane to flip over, crash and catch fire.
Ashtiani died in the crash. DiPaolo was flown to the hospital in Grangeville.