July 3, 2014 in City

In brief: Gas prices higher for Washington travel


Independence Day travelers will face higher prices at the pump in Washington this year, according to AAA.

The average price of a gallon of regular gas in Washington is $4.01, up from $3.79 a year ago.

Gas in Idaho, however, is slightly cheaper than last Fourth of July. AAA reports that the average price per gallon in Idaho for regular fuel is $3.72, down from $3.77 a year ago.

Locally, gas in Spokane averages $3.80, up from $3.76 last year. In Coeur d’Alene, it’s the same as last year, $3.59.

Gas in Montana is slightly higher than a year ago, $3.63 a gallon, up from $3.61.

The average gallon in Washington is the fourth highest in the nation. Only Hawaii, Alaska and California have a higher average price of gas.

AAA said that gas prices did not fall leading to the holiday as they have in recent years, perhaps as a result of “unplanned maintenance at local refineries and recent uncertainties in Iraq,” AAA said in a news release.

AAA estimates that 41 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this weekend, up by nearly 2 percent from last year, AAA said. The organization believes gas prices are unlikely to dissuade large numbers from traveling.

Jonathan Brunt

Man hit in shootout with police now in jail

An Arizona man wounded in a gunbattle with North Idaho police on June 22 has been released from the hospital and booked into the Kootenai County Jail.

Marcus Anthony Rael, 24, is being held on $1 million bail. So far he has been charged with one felony count of eluding a police officer. More charges are expected.

After fleeing a traffic stop in Coeur d’Alene, Rael sped west on Interstate 90 and stopped at the Spokane Street interchange in Post Falls, where he allegedly got out and fired on police at about 2 a.m.

Twelve officers from four agencies exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who is from Glendale, Arizona. Rael was injured and taken to Kootenai Health, where he had been since.

North Idaho Critical Incident Task Force detectives are continuing to process evidence and interview witnesses in the case.

The names of the officers involved in the shooting – six Coeur d’Alene police officers, three Post Falls police officers, two Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies and one Idaho State Police trooper – have not been released. None was injured.

Scott Maben

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