In brief: Police identify man shot during probe
A drug trafficking suspect shot by Drug Enforcement agents and Idaho State Police on Tuesday has been identified.
Charles E. Gibson, 41, of Spokane, was arrested on charges of trafficking methamphetamine after the two agencies conducted an undercover narcotics purchase at the Conoco gas station near the Coeur d’Alene Casino. Police said Gibson attempted to evade arrest by fleeing the scene in his vehicle.
One officer fired a shot into Gibson’s vehicle, and Gibson sustained a minor injury after “the suspect aggressed on an officer with his vehicle,” according to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, which is investigating the incident. Police declined to give further details.
In June 2004, Gibson was sentenced to 33 months in prison and 12 months of probation after pleading guilty to several methamphetamine-related charges, according to news archives.
City lifts plow rules in Browne’s Addition
Browne’s Addition residents will get a reprieve because so much snow has already melted.
Cars in Browne’s Addition won’t have to be moved for city snowplows, Spokane officials announced Wednesday. Instead, plows will clear slush, snow and ice from the center of streets there.
The city lifted its stage 2 snow response Wednesday. “The snow is melting and turning into slush, with bare pavement in some places,” Street Director Mark Serbousek said. “We want to get in there and remove what we can from the center of the street before it turns to ice.”
The National Weather Service predicts a high of 35 degrees today, with a 30 percent chance of snow before 10 p.m. Lows could dip down to 22 degrees tonight.
Flu hospitalizations up from last season
Twenty-four people have been hospitalized with influenza so far this flu season, a jump from just four people hospitalized by this point last year.
Seven of those 24 admissions were within the past two days, the Spokane Regional Health District said in a release Wednesday.
Of those hospitalized, six were age 20 or younger. The rest were over 50. The average age of the most recent hospital admissions was 79, the release said.
Man suspected of kidnapping wife
A man armed with a stolen firearm kidnapped his estranged wife in Spokane on Tuesday, according to authorities.
Andrey S. Yermola, 21, allegedly abducted 19-year-old Margarita Yermola and drove to the Coeur d’Alene Casino, where she escaped while he was inside, according to Kootenai County Sheriff’s Lt. Stu Miller.
Margarita Yermola told deputies her estranged husband asked to meet with her and drove away as soon as she got into his car, refusing to let her go. The two have been separated for six months.
At some point, he stopped the car and threw out a pistol that was later recovered using a sheriff’s K-9, Miller said. The pistol had been stolen from Spokane.
When they arrived at the casino, Andrey Yermola went inside and Margarita Yermola contacted security personnel. Deputies arrested Andrey Yermola inside the casino on suspicion of second-degree kidnapping, possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of a firearm, all felonies.
Candidate loses court challenge
The Idaho Supreme Court has denied a Coeur d’Alene man a new hearing in his challenge of a 2009 City Council election loss.
The court in November ruled against Jim Brannon, who had contested his narrow loss to Mike Kennedy, alleging voting irregularities involving absentee ballots. In its unanimous decision, the justices found no evidence that the disputed votes in the case were illegal.
Brannon asked the Supreme Court to rehear part of his appeal concerning how the absentee ballots were counted, but the court on Tuesday denied his petition.
Kennedy was declared the winner of the council race by five votes. That margin was reduced to three during a District Court trial after several votes were found to be illegal due to residency issues.
Truck driver killed in collision with train
POCATELLO – A dump truck collided with a freight train at a foggy crossing in southeastern Idaho, killing the truck’s driver.
The Idaho State Police said the train was already in the crossing just east of Dayton at 10:09 a.m. Wednesday when the dump truck struck the side of the train, causing several cars to derail. The tracks also were damaged.
The truck driver died at the scene. The victim’s name has not been released.
Both lanes of state Highway 36 were blocked as the investigation continued.
Woman, 82, dies in mobile home fire
PRIEST RIVER, Idaho – An 82-year-old Priest River woman has died in a mobile home fire.
Volunteers from the West Pend Oreille Fire Department discovered the body of Muriel Bennett after responding to the fire at 9:30 p.m. Monday.
The Idaho State Fire Marshal and Bonner County sheriff’s office are investigating the cause of the fire.
Bidders contest sale of Tully’s Coffee
SEATTLE – A company that teamed up with Starbucks Corp. to bid for the Tully’s Coffee chain filed an objection Wednesday challenging the winning offer made by “Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey.
AgriNurture Inc. said it’s still willing to proceed with its combined bid with Starbucks of about $10.6 million. The bid from Dempsey’s company, Global Baristas LLC, was for $9.2 million.
The proposed sale goes before a bankruptcy judge in Seattle on Friday.
Starbucks has said it wants to convert some of Tully’s cafes to its own brand. AgriNurture, based in the Philippines, would run the rest under the Tully’s name.
Cliff Burrows, who heads Starbucks’ Americas business, said he’s confident the company put forth the best bid with its companion bidder to give shareholders the most value.
Another bidder has filed an objection to the sale, saying rules changed in the middle of the auction.