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In brief: Stabbing may have been in self-defense

Wed., Nov. 28, 2012, midnight

Police say a stabbing that killed a man Saturday may be a case of self-defense.

No arrests have been made in the death of 25-year-old Robert H. Fletcher, who died of multiple stab wounds after an incident near the corner of Nelson Street and Wabash Avenue, according to the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Spokane Police spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe described Fletcher as a felon with an extensive criminal record.

One case put Fletcher in the midst of a 2007 money-for-sex extortion case.

State Rep. Richard Curtis, who was a Vancouver Republican, had a sexual encounter with a part-time male porn model during a taxpayer-sponsored trip to Spokane. The scandal eventually led to his resignation.

Fletcher was accused of picking up extortion money from Curtis at the Davenport Tower in exchange for sharing the cash with the model.

Aryan compound planned, group says

A neo-Nazi who ran unsuccessfully for sheriff of Bonner County last spring has hosted Ku Klux Klan cross burnings and anti-Semitic Christian Identity church services this year on property he owns in the county.

Shaun Patrick Winkler, who studied under the late founder of the Aryan Nations, Richard G. Butler, plans to let families affiliated with the Klan or Aryan Nations move in and build residences on the 17-acre site, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported Tuesday.

But Winkler’s plans for a new Aryan compound may be thwarted by legal problems, including improper logging, late payments on the land purchase and sewage disposal issues, according to the SPLC article by former Spokesman-Review reporter Bill Morlin.

The article is on the Web at

Motorcyclist still listed as critical

A motorcyclist hit by a pickup truck in downtown Spokane during the Monday night rush-hour commute remained in critical condition Tuesday.

The 63-year-old motorcyclist, identified by Spokane police as Douglas Barr, was struck by the truck at the intersection of Sprague Avenue and Browne Street.

Police officers at the scene said Barr had the right of way when he was hit. Barr was struck by the driver of the pickup truck, identified as Jessup Barker, 21, as he turned south onto Browne Street from Sprague Avenue.

Firefighters had to extricate Barr from beneath the pickup.

Barr works for the city of Spokane in the Engineering Services department.

Neither alcohol nor speeding appeared to be factors in the crash, police said. Barr was wearing a helmet.

Inslee names Brown to transition team

OLYMPIA – Governor-elect Jay Inslee named more people to his transition team Tuesday, including a retiring state senator, a bank official and an aerospace advocate from Spokane.

The 34 people named to the transition committee include a mixture of elected officials and representatives of business, labor, tribal and civic groups. Among them are State Sen. Lisa Brown of central Spokane’s 3rd District, who is retiring as Senate majority leader; Marty Dickinson, executive vice president of Sterling Financial Corp.; and Todd Woodard, a spokesman for Spokane International Airport and a member of Aerospace Futures Alliance.

Deans step down at Whitworth, WSU

Education deans at two Washington universities announced plans this week to step down.

Whitworth University’s founding dean of the school of education is stepping down after more than 22 years at the helm.

Dennis Sterner is not leaving the university, however; he will take a short sabbatical and return to teach.

A.G. Rud at Washington State University is stepping down after two years in order to accept an endowed professorship, WSU President Elson S. Floyd announced Monday.

The change will take effect Jan. 1. Floyd said he expects to name an interim dean before Dec. 8 and begin the search for a permanent dean next semester.

Kirkpatrick to start King County job

Former Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick officially starts work at her new job as the King County undersheriff Saturday.

Kirkpatrick passed her background test and will be handling day-to-day operations for King County’s law enforcement.

Sheriff John Urquhart was sworn in Tuesday after winning the November election with 56 percent of the vote, beating interim Sheriff Steve Strachan.

Urquhart will serve a one-year term before facing re-election next year, reports the Seattle Times, because next year’s general election will replace former Sheriff Sue Rahr, who resigned earlier this year.

S-R, WSU offer news workshop

The Spokesman-Review and the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University will provide a one-day training workshop in February for qualified rural journalists and citizen bloggers in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

The free workshop, which will be held at The Spokesman-Review, is open to 20 citizen journalists or bloggers interested in increasing their knowledge of writing, reporting and photojournalism. To be considered for the one-day training, please submit a short essay and work samples by Dec. 15 to Benjamin Shors, clinical assistant professor of journalism, at

UW ends contract with Adidas

SEATTLE – The University of Washington has ended a sports apparel contract with Adidas after a nearly yearlong campaign by students, who said the company had violated the labor rights of overseas workers.

Kathy Hoggan, director of trademarks and licensing for the university, said the contract was worth about $100,000. It allowed the German multinational company to make sports apparel with the UW logo, which is sold in stores around campus.

Chimpanzee died of cardiac failure

ELLENSBURG – A Central Washington University spokeswoman said one of the CWU chimps who learned to use American Sign Language died recently of sudden cardiac failure.

Mary Lee Jensvold, director of the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute at Central, said a post-mortem exam performed at the University of Washington Primate Center established the cause of death for the chimp named Dar, who died Saturday at age 36.

Jensvold said sudden cardiac failure is the most common cause of death in captive male chimpanzees.


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