August 20, 2013 in City

In brief: City Council approves tighter drone control

From Staff Reports
 

The Spokane City Council voted unanimously Monday to limit drone use by any city department.

Council President Ben Stuckart said he wanted the city to get ahead of the issue instead of being “reactive.”

The bill faced opposition after Stuckart proposed it, notably from civil rights groups that said the bill didn’t go far enough. As passed, it excludes equipment already in use by police and, as Stuckart acknowledged, covers primarily drones.

The new law also will require “city contractors and agents” to seek council approval before using new surveillance equipment.

Park department shake-up plan delayed

A City Council vote on the proposed reorganization of Spokane’s park department was delayed Monday until Sept. 16.

Park Director Leroy Eadie pulled the proposal at the last minute after discussions with City Council President Ben Stuckart, who is opposed to the changes. 

Under Eadie’s proposal, more senior department employees would be placed outside of Civil Service protections, and be appointed by the mayor.

Body found near railroad bridge

Police are investigating the death of a person whose body was found Monday evening near the railroad bridge at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Oak Street.

Police investigating the body told another news outlet that the body was that of a 47-year-old man who was seen alive Sunday.

Suspect arrested in apartment unit fires

Police jailed a 30-year-old man last week suspected of setting fire to an apartment in a north Spokane apartment building. Investigators say Richard Alexander Henning ignited four fires in a single unit at 609 E. Houston Ave. shortly after 9 a.m. on Feb. 19.

The flames, which were quickly extinguished by firefighters, caused $25,000 in damage to the apartment and two neighboring units.

Henning faces a charge of first-degree arson with a domestic violence enhancement. His bond was set at $20,000.

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