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In brief: Ex-teacher at Shadle due in court today

Wed., March 20, 2013, midnight

A former teacher at Shadle Park High School will appear in court this morning for charges of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Investigators said Ryan M. Murphy, 44, is accused of having sexual relations with a student starting in 2009 while she attended Shadle, according to court documents recently filed in Spokane County Superior Court.

Complaints against Murphy alleging inappropriate behavior last year prompted his resignation in August, documents show.

He worked for Spokane Public Schools for 11 years, taught English and was a track coach for girls.

Spokane police detectives waited until this month to file charges against Murphy because the alleged victim was preparing her testimony, prosecutor Patrick Johnson said.

Murphy has not been arrested. He’s expected to plead not guilty at today’s arraignment, Johnson added.

Shea hosting call-in session for voters

Washington Rep. Matt Shea will have telephone town hall session Wednesday evening that will give voters a chance to call in their questions about the current legislative session.

The Spokane Valley Republican likened it to a radio call-in talk show where voters from his 4th Legislative District can ask questions from the comfort of their homes. The session will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Participants may call a toll-free number, (877) 229-8493, then enter the code 15550 when prompted.

Senate panel OKs insurance exchange

BOISE – A Senate committee approved the House-passed state-based insurance exchange, setting the stage for a final Senate vote before the measure goes to Gov. Butch Otter.

The Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee voted 8-1 Tuesday for the measure, which Otter favors.

The bill differs from a previous, Senate-passed version.

House additions include competitive-bidding requirements, gun-rights protections and the naming of three lawmakers to the exchange’s now 19-member board, two from the majority party, one from the minority.

Adopting an exchange has been among the 2013 Legislature’s most-disputed issues.

The House debated seven hours on the bill last week.

At Tuesday’s hearing, insurers and the Catholic church urged passage.

Meanwhile, tea-party-leaning foes urged panelists to “stand in the gap” between Idaho and an ever-more-tyrannical federal government by rejecting the bill.

Man struck by train dies of injuries

BELLINGHAM – The Whatcom County medical examiner’s office said a man struck by an Amtrak train in the Bellingham area has died of his injuries.

The Bellingham Herald reported the medical examiner said the 34-year-old man died Tuesday.

Police believe the man climbed over a chain-link fence Sunday and walked toward an oncoming northbound train. Officers say the man waved and smiled at the conductor before leaning his head forward into the train’s path.

The medical examiner said the man had a long history of mental illness. His death was ruled a suicide.

Train passengers were bused to Vancouver, British Columbia.


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