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In brief: Medical examiner says woman pulled from river has died

A woman who was pulled from the Spokane River earlier this month has died.

Stephanie Arnold, 33, died Saturday, according to the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office. The cause of death is still unknown.

Arnold was hauled to shore by two kayakers near the Spokane Valley Mall on July 7, according to the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

Arnold and her husband were floating down the river and became separated from their inner tube. Neither was wearing a life jacket.

Sheriff’s deputies and Spokane Valley firefighters administered CPR, and Arnold was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in critical condition.

Hospital to get new CEO

Eastern State Hospital will have a new leader next month after being without a permanent chief executive for five months.

Dorothy L. Sawyer will take over the reins at the state mental hospital in Medical Lake on Aug. 19, according to a news release from the Department of Social and Health Services. She was previously the CEO of Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson, Ariz.

Sawyer’s undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees are from Eastern Washington University, and she served in clinical positions in Spokane before moving to hospital administrative posts in Colorado and Arizona.

Sawyer’s appointment follows a period of upheaval at Eastern, one of two state mental hospitals in Washington. The previous CEO, Connie Wilmot, left in March for another post within DSHS a few months after one patient is believed to have strangled another last November and the hospital’s accreditation was briefly suspended.

Shooting suspect arrested

Local and federal authorities on Thursday took into custody Arnoldo Mendoza, 20, suspected of shooting a man multiple times in the stomach Friday near Quincy.

Mendoza was arrested around 5:30 p.m. at a home on Mountain View Drive, according to a news release from the Grant County Sheriff’s Department. He was taken into custody without incident.

Mendoza was wanted for attempted murder after authorities say he shot Luis Murillo, 23, in a blueberry orchard a few miles west of Quincy on July 19.

The Sheriff’s Department thanked members of the public for their help leading to Mendoza’s arrest.

Center for Justice honored

Spokane’s public-interest law firm, Center for Justice, has earned a national award for contribution to police oversight.

The firm, which helped represent the mother and estate of Otto Zehm, has been selected as one of two recipients of the 2013 Contribution to Oversight Award from the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, according to a news release.

The center’s police oversight program began in 2008 under the direction of former staff attorney Terri Sloyer and has been managed since 2009 by Tim Connor, a former investigative reporter. Connor also currently works with staff attorney Julie Schaffer.

The center was selected for the award along with a team of reporters from the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper, who will also receive the award on Sept. 25.


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