Local news

In brief: Idaho same-sex marriage case will be heard by three-judge appeals panel

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected without comment Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s request for the state’s same-sex marriage case to go directly to a full 11-judge panel rather than the usual three-judge panel.

Otter made the request in July, saying a full-court review by the appellate court rather than a smaller panel would enhance the “perception of the legitimacy of this court’s resolution.” It’s highly unusual for such a request to be granted.

On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit issued a 10-word order saying, “Appellant Otter’s petition for initial hearing en banc is denied.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale overturned the Idaho Constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage in May, saying it violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. The state is appealing her ruling to the 9th Circuit, with arguments set for Sept. 8.

Wanted man hits rear of police car

A motorist who rear-ended a Spokane police detective’s vehicle Tuesday afternoon was arrested after police discovered he was wanted on two warrants.

The detective, whose identity has not been released, was stopped in traffic heading west on Second Avenue at Jefferson Street when his car was hit from behind just before 12:30 p.m.

“He was definitely not at fault,” said police spokeswoman Monique Cotton. “Even though he was injured, he got out and assisted at the scene.”

The driver was identified as Roman I. Ryakhovskaya, 24. He was wanted on warrants for driving under the influence and domestic violence assault. He was cited for driving with a suspended license and may also be cited for following too close, Cotton said.

The detective was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries, Cotton said. The detective has been with the department for many years and has been in two other car crashes while on duty. In both cases he was hit by a drunken driver and was not at fault, Cotton said.

Couple charged with animal cruelty

Prosecutors have filed animal cruelty charges against the couple who owned multiple animals, including horses and a llama, seized during a search of their property near Cheney last month.

Terri Marlin, 51, and Thomas Marlin, 53, face multiple animal cruelty criminal counts following an investigation into the conditions of their property at 23239 S. Cross Road in July. Authorities were initially alerted to the couple, who have an extensive history of animal abuse complaints, after several emaciated horses appeared at the Cheney Rodeo Grounds during a wildfire evacuation.

Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services seized two horses, a llama, eight dogs and six cats from the residence. The Marlins also are suspected of running a commercial dog kennel on the property, according to allegations contained in court documents.

Flipped truck stalls interstate traffic

A truck hauling a trailer with another vehicle in it flipped on Interstate 90 in Coeur d’Alene Tuesday afternoon, shutting down a portion of the freeway for two hours.

Mark P. Gilbert, 62, of Butte, was driving east in a 1969 Ford pickup and lost control when he attempted to slow for stopping traffic, according to an Idaho State Police news release. Gilbert had a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the back of the pickup and was towing a trailer loaded with a 1976 Jeep. His truck overturned in the median.

Gilbert was taken to Kootenai Health for treatment of his injuries.

Wildfire protection workshop offered

A workshop about protecting homes and property from wildfire will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 5720 S. Perry St.

Cost of the event is $10.

Experts will go over types of building materials, tree management and landscaping practices that can reduce risk of damage, especially in rural locations or areas next to natural open spaces.

The workshop is offered by WSU-Spokane County Extension, Friends of the Bluff, Spokane County Conservation District and the state Department of Natural Resources.

For more information, contact Steve McDonnell at the extension office at 222 N. Havana St., or by phone at (509) 477-2175 or at steven.mcconnell@ wsu.edu.

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