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In brief: Thousands still without power

Thousands of customers still were without power Friday as utilities continued to struggle with downed power lines and broken poles.

Avista had yet to restore power to more than 4,000 customers as of Friday evening, and almost 5,600 Inland Power and Light customers also were without electricity. Most outages are in the northwest Spokane and Deer Park areas. Avista said it may be Sunday before repairs are complete.

Power still is out in the hard-hit Riverside Mobile Home Park, where extensive damage to the infrastructure has prolonged repairs. A boil-water order is also in effect for the mobile home park, according to Greater Spokane Emergency Management.

The Pend Oreille County Public Utility District had 1,200 customers without power Friday afternoon, and Northern Lights Electric was still trying to repair lines to 2,500 customers.

Residents with storm debris from their yard can drop it off free of charge at the North County Transfer Station, 22123 N. Elk-Chattaroy Road, or the Waste-to-Energy Plant, 2900 S. Geiger Blvd. Residents with storm debris should inform an employee as they enter the facility of the reason for the visit.

Branches smaller than 3 inches in diameter and other small debris can be loaded into green yard-waste carts for curbside pickup in Spokane.

Circuit court rejects ex-cop’s appeal

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday unanimously rejected the latest appeal from former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson, imprisoned after a jury found him guilty of civil rights violations in the death of Otto Zehm.

Thompson asked the court to review his conviction after his attorneys argued there were evidentiary issues before the trial. None of the trio of justices who heard his appeal in June voted to rehear the case, and no justice among the 28-member panel voted to hear the case.

Attorneys for Thompson now have a 90-day window to ask for a review by the U.S. Supreme Court, the last court eligible to hear an appeal of Thompson’s conviction.

A jury convicted Thompson in November 2011, more than five years after Zehm died in an incident caught on camera at a Spokane convenience store. Thompson is serving a 51-month sentence at a minimum security prison in Arizona, according to federal records.

SCRAPS offering cat adoption deal

The cat area at the new Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service is nearly twice as large as the old one, but the facility once again is overflowing with cats. Felines will be offered for adoption for only a $15 licensing fee today and Sunday.

In addition to the normal kitten influx, someone recently surrendered 14 cats. The cats all came from one home and are in good health, according to SCRAPS director Nancy Hill. Their owner recently passed away and the family could not find homes for the animals.

The cats get a microchip, vet exam and vaccinations and are spayed or neutered. A large variety of sizes and breeds are available. SCRAPS, 6815 E. Trent Ave., is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 5:30 p.m., from noon to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday.

Gamlin Lake trails closed after storms

The Bureau of Land Management has closed the Gamlin Lake trail system southeast of Sandpoint following damage from Tuesday’s thunderstorms.

BLM officials said the trails aren’t safe for visitors, with trees blocking the pathways and hazards from leaning trees. Staff will assess the storm damage next week and determine when the trails can be reopened.

Gamlin Lake can still be accessed by the county road into the area.

Driver swims out after crash into lake

An Arizona man was taken to the hospital late Thursday after the Chevy sedan he was driving plunged into Lake Coeur d’Alene, the Idaho State Police said.

Douglas Williams, 26, of Scottsdale, Arizona, swam to safety near the intersection of State Highway 97 and Gotham Bay Road just after 11 p.m., according to a news release. Williams was driving south on the highway when his vehicle left the road and entered the water, ISP said. He was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Williams swam to a dock after exiting his 2014 Chevy Cruze, according to the news release. He was taken by ambulance to Kootenai Health, where he was treated and released.

Suspect charged with armed robbery

A 27-year-old Spokane man was arrested early Friday after allegedly striking another man with a loaded gun and demanding money, according to investigators.

Jerry G. Allen Jr. was booked into Spokane County Jail just before 5 a.m. Friday. He faces charges of first-degree armed robbery and altering the markings on a gun, a misdemeanor. Investigators say the serial numbers on the handgun Allen was carrying in the alleged robbery were shaved off.

The victim said Allen kicked in his door in the 9500 block of East Fourth Avenue just after 3 a.m., striking him with the gun twice.

Allen was in the apartment when police arrived. Police found the loaded weapon under some blankets on a bed in the apartment. Allen has no other felony criminal history, according to court records.


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