Local news

In brief: More security for CdA schools

Coeur d’Alene school officials, rattled by a recent intruder in one of the high schools, say they’re eager to see a major security upgrade completed this fall.

All Coeur d’Alene district schools will have front-entrance security doors installed by Dec. 6, the school board was told Monday night. Visitors can gain access only after using a video and voice intercom system to check in.

Officials hope the tighter security will thwart the kind of intrusion police are investigating at Lake City High School. A young man walked into the school Oct. 24 carrying a guitar case, entered an empty classroom and visited other areas before leaving, video surveillance showed. Later that day, a car was stolen from a teachers’ lot at the school, police said.

The school district is spending several million dollars to improve security, including adding more surveillance cameras in buildings and three cameras on each bus.

Teachers get say on surplus

Coeur d’Alene teachers and school administrators will reopen contract negotiations Nov. 21 to discuss a budget surplus of about $1.5 million.

Under an agreement reached over the summer, that money will go to all district employees who receive benefits as a one-time payment. But the teachers union and district could decide to apply some or all of the surplus to employees’ base salaries, making it an ongoing rather than one-time expense.

The district has seen a similar surplus – part of the unrestricted fund balance – the past two years, giving officials confidence the money will be there on an ongoing basis.

Teachers were given a raise of 0.5 percent this year – the only increase they’ve seen in about four years.

Hunter killed by falling branch

RANDLE, Wash. – The Lewis County sheriff’s office says a 69-year-old hunter from Kirkland was killed by a falling tree branch during a weekend windstorm.

KING-TV reported the man was hit Saturday near the southwest Washington town of Randle.

Relatives identified the victim as Joe Gardner.

John Gardner said he was hunting with his brother and some friends Saturday afternoon when the winds picked up.

Still no sign of missing toddler

BELLEVUE – Police said they’ve exhausted all leads in the case of a Bellevue toddler reported missing two years ago.

Sky Metalwala has not been seen since his mother reported leaving him alone in an unlocked car on a city street after running out of gas on Nov. 6, 2011.

The woman, Julia Biryukova, refused to be formally interviewed by detectives, and police determined that her car started normally and wasn’t out of gas.

In a news release Monday, Bellevue police Maj. Pat Spak said the department has pursued more than 2,200 tips and leads in the case, and investigators remain frustrated that they’ve been unable to find the boy.

Guilty plea in boy’s ’03 murder

EPHRATA, Wash. – Evan Savoie, whose childhood murder conviction was overturned, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Monday, KXLY-TV reported.

Savoie entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder in the death of 13-year-old Craig Sorger.

Sorger was stabbed to death in Ephrata in 2003 in a case that drew wide attention.

Savoie was originally convicted of first-degree murder, but his conviction was later overturned because of a trial error. He was scheduled to go on trial again next year.

This is the first time that Savoie, who is now 23, has admitted to killing Sorger, KXLY reported.



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