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In brief: Trash can lit on fire four times in park; man arrested for arson

A garbage can in Browne’s Addition’s Coeur d’Alene Park was the target of about four fires starting on Saturday morning.

Ray Ekins lives nearby and was walking his dog Duchess around 7 a.m. when he saw the first set of flames inside the barrel at Second Avenue and Chestnut Street. Firefighters extinguished it, but the same garbage can was on fire again about an hour later, he said.

“Poor garbage can,” Ekins said.

Fire crews from Station 4 kept responding to the reported fires until a Spokane police officer parked nearby to keep an eye on the can, Sgt. Dan Ervin said.

The officer saw a man, later identified as Philip B. Lewis, 47, walk up to the can and light it around 4 p.m., Ervin added.

Officers took Lewis into custody on two counts of second-degree arson, and the fire was extinguished.

Wind gusts in Bonner County top out at 45 mph near Colburn

Meteorologists recorded the strongest wind gusts Saturday in Bonner County at 45 mph near Colburn, according to the National Weather Service.

The blustery day through the Inland Northwest produced wind speeds of 40 mph at Felts Field and Spokane International Airport as well as 43 mph at Coeur d’Alene Airport. Nearly an inch of rain was recorded in Kootenai County near Chilco.

Rain is expected all day today with light winds in the afternoon, but gusts up to 20 mph in the evening.

Hazardous driving conditions are expected in the higher elevations of the Cascades this morning, weather reports said. Up to 6 inches of snow can be expected on Stevens Pass.

Arrested Newport man caught with drugs stashed in shorts

A Newport man being booked into Pend Oreille County Jail on Thursday was caught smuggling a stash of drugs in the waistband of his shorts.

Clinton E. Trickel, 25, is accused of cutting holes into his shorts to hide hydrocodone, oxycodone, marijuana and a pipe. Jail staff found it, according to a Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Trickel had several outstanding warrants on bail jumping and lying to authorities from last month, Pend Oreille County dispatch said. He failed to appear to his court dates and was arrested on those warrants.