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In brief: Post Falls teenager dies from crash injuries

A Post Falls teenager died Friday after he was severely injured in a crash earlier this week.

Coralynn McKasty, 19, and her passenger, Quinn McKasty, 16, were stopped at a red light on Northwest Boulevard and River Avenue on Tuesday, according to a news release. They were rear-ended and pushed into the intersection by Joseph M. Rupeka, 62, of Pennsylvania.

Carl George, 57, was turning onto Northwest Boulevard at that time and struck the McKastys’ vehicle, injuring both teens, according to a news release. All four involved were transferred to Kootenai Health, where Quinn McKasty died.

Rupeka was not wearing a seat belt, but everyone else involved was.

The crash is still under investigation.

Idaho pay rate slips versus other states

BOISE – Working in Idaho doesn’t pay much, compared to other states.

That’s according to the latest survey of employment and wages, released Friday by the state Department of Labor.

Idaho’s average and median hourly wages slipped in national comparisons between spring 2011 and spring 2012.

According to the survey, Idaho median wage of $14.58 hourly is just 87 percent of the median U.S. hourly wage.

And it’s part of a steady decline, too. Back in 2002, Idaho wages were about 95 percent of the national median.

Other states have boosted their minimum wages, but the Idaho Legislature has stuck with the federal minimum of $7.25.

Idaho average wages are now 46th in the country, meaning workers in four states get less pay. The state’s cost of living, by contrast, ranks 32nd.

Public meeting set on Avista rate requests

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission staff will hold a meeting on Sept. 5 in Coeur d’Alene to explain Avista Utilities’ three proposed rate adjustments for Idaho customers.

The meeting will take place at Molstead Library at North Idaho College, 1000 W. Garden Ave., at 7 p.m.

Avista officials have asked for the proposed rate adjustments to take effect Oct. 1. The utilities commission, which must approve any changes, will accept written public comments through Sept. 11.

The Spokane-based utility is seeking a 0.9 percent increase in residential electric rates and 6.8 percent hike in residential natural gas rates. The proposed rate adjustments are tied to changes in wholesale power costs and funding for an efficiency rebate program.

In March, the commission approved a separate increase in electric and gas base rates for Avista’s Idaho customers, part of which also takes effect Oct. 1.

If the current request is approved, the total increase in the average residential electric customer bill on Oct. 1 would be $3.25 a month, to $81.94. The average residential natural gas customer would see a $4.11 per month increase for a total of $59.48.

Teen murder suspect back in juvenile center

A teenager suspected of helping beat an 88-year-old World War II veteran to death was moved back to juvenile detention under the cover of darkness Thursday night, his attorney says.

Kenan Adams-Kinard, 16, faces charges of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in connection to the death of Delbert “Shorty” Belton last week.

The other suspect, Demetruis Glenn, 16, faces the same charges. After Glenn appeared in court Monday, a large crowd gathered outside the courthouse, shouting at him as he was moved back to detention.

“I’m actually a little shocked that went down that way,” said Derek Reid, Adams-Kinard’s attorney. “I know that tensions are very high.”

District Court Judge Debra Hayes ordered Adams-Kinard be held in Spokane County Jail rather than the juvenile detention center Tuesday, saying it would be a security risk to have him moved. However, Reid argued juveniles must be held in juvenile detention, regardless of whether they’re being tried as adults.

Reid didn’t know exactly what time Adams-Kinard was moved but said it was late Thursday and that there were no issues.

Adams-Kinard is being held on $3 million bail, and Glenn is being held on $2 million bail. Both face life in prison without parole.


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