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In brief: Police confirm USC players were involved in fights


Spokane police have confirmed two University of Southern California basketball players were involved in a series of fights that left four people hospitalized last week.

There have been no arrests, and police are not releasing the players’ names.

The university, however, announced the suspension of 7-foot-1, 260-pound James Blasczyk and 7-foot, 255-pound Dewayne Dedmon from all team activities because of a violation of team rules.

Two police detectives are traveling to California to investigate.

The USC Trojans were staying in Spokane following a 76-51 loss to Washington State University in Pullman on March 9.

Jennifer Pignolet

Blast hurts worker at QualMed

A gas explosion in a medical building boiler room sent one employee to the hospital Monday morning and led to the evacuation of 50 people from the building near Deaconess Hospital.

A mechanic was working on a boiler in the basement of the QualMed Plaza at 508 W. Sixth Ave. when there was a flash explosion that blew off boiler room doors, according to Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer.

A fire crew member on the scene said the employee was trying to fix the heat in the building, which had been out since Saturday.

The building was open at the time of the explosion, around 7:55 a.m.

Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the explosion. Jennifer Pignolet

Thieves hitting cars along trail

Cars at trailheads along the Centennial Trail are being targeted by thieves, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office warns.

There have been multiple reports of car prowls at those parking lots in recent weeks, according to a news release.

Items stolen include electronics such as iPads and GPS units, wallets, purses and briefcases.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds people using the trail to lock their valuables in the trunk or leave such items at home.

People who see suspicious activity are asked to call 911 or Crime Check, at (509) 456-2233.

Addy Hatch

Stabbing suspect arrested

A Spokane County man suspected in a stabbing last summer has been arrested and held on $100,000 bond. Prosecutors charged John J. Felch, 21, with first-degree assault.

According to court records, 20-year-old Curtis Hill said he was stabbed by one of two men during a fight on Aug. 26 outside a party in the apartments located at 411 W. Bellwood Drive in north Spokane. Hill later identified his assailant as Felch.

Thomas Clouse


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