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In brief: Woman identified in deadly highway crash

The Washington State Patrol has identified the woman killed in a Tuesday night accident on state Highway 2 about four miles north of Spokane.

Dorothy J. Ryan, 47, of Spokane, was walking in the highway’s northbound lane around 8:20 p.m. when she was hit by a 2002 Ford Focus driven by Sara M. Babcock, 20, of Chattaroy. Ryan was intoxicated, according to a WSP news release. She was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, the release said.

Babcock was not injured.

The accident is under investigation. No charges have been filed.

Accidents, slide-offs plague slick commute

A snowstorm caused problems for Spokane drivers during their evening commute Thursday.

Accidents and slide-offs were reported throughout Spokane, and police closed part of Bernard Street on the South Hill due to slick conditions and an accident scene involving more than 10 vehicles.

Spokane Transit Authority diverted buses on three routes Thursday evening: Routes 2, 44 and 45 were taking snow detours.

In Coeur d’Alene, roads were also slick, but drivers seemed to manage it well. As of 8:30 p.m., dispatchers reported there were no accidents for the Thursday evening commute.

Ex-undersheriff gets prison time for theft

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced the former Walla Walla County undersheriff to six months in prison after she pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $67,000 from the county’s inmate welfare fund.

Carole J. Lepiane, 58, who had 35 years of experience with the sheriff’s office, agreed to repay the stolen funds and pay for a $14,000 audit. She pleaded guilty last October to one count of theft from a federally funded local agency.

U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle sentenced Lepiane to six months, including court supervision for a year.

Following the sentencing, Walla Walla County Sheriff John Turner said in a statement: “Today is a sad day for law enforcement.  Any time a trusted public servant chooses to violate and betray that trust, it is a bitter sting for all.

“The fact that Ms. Lepiane is a former employee of a prior administration makes the sting none the less for any of us at the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office.”

Veterans office to move to nearby building

The Spokane County Veterans Services office is moving to a new location, which will result in the office being closed Wednesday.

The office is moving from the Secoma Building at 1102 W. College Ave. to the Spokane Regional Health District Building across the street at 1101 W. College Ave., Suite 401. It will close at noon on Tuesday and open in the new location at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

When the center reopens, it will be known as the Spokane County Veterans Services One-Stop Service Center.

Tasty reward offered for robbery information

The owners of a Spokane restaurant are offering 100 free large pizzas with unlimited toppings as a reward for information leading to the conviction of two men who robbed the restaurant at gunpoint.

The men robbed the Pizza Rita at 5511 N. Wall St. just after 11 p.m. Wednesday, according to Spokane police.

One was wearing a blue coat with white sleeves, and the other was wearing a black coat. They were described as white and about 5 feet 10 inches or 5 feet 11 inches tall with thin builds. They fled westbound on foot.

Two men also tried to rob the Hot Toddy’s Coffee stand on West Francis Avenue about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to owner Kandice Krieger.

The men pulled up to the coffee stand and ordered drinks. One of the men then got out of the car, walked around to the window on the other side of the stand, leaned in and pointed a gun at the employee, demanding cash.

The employee, who was working alone, refused to give the robbers money and they sped off in a maroon four-door car.

One was wearing a bandanna and the other was wearing sunglasses, Krieger said. They were white and in their mid-20s to early 30s.

Anyone with information should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.