Local news

In brief: City of Spokane-owned golf courses to lower prices Wednesday

The price of a round of golf at all four of Spokane’s city-owned courses will be rolled back to 1993 levels on Wednesday.

That day, the city will pay off the bond that allowed it to build Qualchan, according to a news release.

Qualchan assistant pro Derek Siesser said a round of golf at Qualchan will cost $19 on Wednesday, down from the usual $29. Players who hold discount cards from the city also will get a break on greens fees, he said.

Prices for carts, food and beverages also will be lower at the city’s courses that day, the release said.

Walgreens robbery suspects arrested

Police arrested a man suspected of using bear spray on a Walgreens store manager during a weekend robbery.

Aaron Blaine, 35, has been charged with first-degree armed robbery. So has a man accused of driving a getaway car, Tim Gilfoy, 40.

The robbery at 1708 W. Northwest Blvd. happened around 11 p.m. Saturday. Police said Blaine attempted to steal display electronics using a shopping cart. When the store manager confronted him, witnesses told police, Blaine sprayed him and then jumped into a van driven by Gilfoy.

Police found the van about a quarter-mile away. Blaine fled the vehicle on foot, according to court documents. Police found a gray shopping basket marked with the store’s logo on the floor of the van, and Blaine had a can of bear spray in his possession when caught by police.

Health insurance trailer plans stop

A trailer that will travel the state helping uninsured residents sign up for health insurance coverage will stop Wednesday in Spokane.

On hand for the stop will be Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Richard Onizuka, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

The trailer, which is outfitted with laptops and staffed by “in-person assisters,” will help people who don’t have health insurance enroll in a plan through the Washington Healthplanfinder website, according to a news release. The website is Washington’s mechanism to sign people up for insurance through the federal Affordable Care Act, comparing available plans and calculating potential federal subsidies.

The trailer will be at NATIVE Health, 1803 W. Maxwell Ave., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The governor and other speakers will give their remarks starting at 2:45 p.m., the release said.

One dead, one hurt in SUV accident

A 19-year-old Endicott, Wash., woman died Sunday afternoon in an SUV accident in rural Whitman County.

Authorities pronounced Amanda Drewer dead at the scene of the accident on private property about 5 miles southwest of Lacrosse. Drewer was a passenger in a 1988 GMC Suburban driven by Taylor Martin, 19, of Lacrosse. An emergency helicopter airlifted Martin from the scene to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane for neck injuries. He is in satisfactory condition, according to the hospital.

Alcohol may have been a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

The two were not wearing seat belts, according to the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office.

Man, 33, indicted on stalking charge

A Spokane man found with a collection of modified weapons and an extensive journal detailing plots to overthrow the federal government has been indicted on a federal stalking charge.

Brent Russ, 33, pleaded not guilty to the charge last week. He remains jailed without bail while awaiting trial. Agents arrested him last month after he sent a threatening letter and package to a former neighbor who is a tribal police officer, according to the charges.

When federal agents arrived at Russ’ southwest Spokane home to question him, they found reinforced steel plating on the doors and windows, tin foil lining interior walls and a lengthy journal dating back to February in which Russ identifies himself as Azrael, the Archangel of Death.

Robbery suspect found riding bike

A bicycle-riding robbery suspect is in custody after a Spokane County deputy sheriff spotted the man pedaling past him with a knife strapped to his waist early Sunday.

Johnathan McElfish, 46, is accused of stealing cigarettes from a Zip Trip convenience store at 1403 N. Mullan Road about 1 a.m. Sunday while threatening to kill the clerk. The clerk was not hurt and gave authorities a description of the robber, who had worn a bandanna face mask, and reported that he’d ridden away on a bicycle.

About a half-hour later, Deputy David Lawthorn was conducting a traffic stop in the area and spotted a bicycle rider matching the description of the robber.


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