A suspected burglar climbed a tree in an unsuccessful attempt to escape a police K-9 early Wednesday.
As a bonus, the K-9, Laslo, helped track another man who had allegedly burglarized a nearby business in an unrelated crime.
Deputies were called to an Avista substation at 8307 N. Regal St. after Avista security officers spotted two men inside the fenced enclosure carrying a large spool of copper wire, according to Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin. The men ran and Lalso tracked one to a nearby tree, where he was perched 20 feet above the ground. The man, identified as Michael T. Namet, 23, climbed down and surrendered quietly, Chamberlin said.
One of the responding deputies noticed a suspicious vehicle parked near train tracks in the 8500 block of North Freya Street. Deputies watched the car to see if the second suspect returned to it. A man identified as Grant Bewick, 30, did arrive, but he told deputies that he and an accomplice had just broken into a nearby towing company, Chamberlin said. Laslo successfully tracked the man’s accomplice, identified as Austin Russell, 23.
All three men were booked into the Spokane County Jail on charges of second-degree burglary. The second man involved in the attempted copper wire theft was not located.
Friend says drug use claim about beating victim ‘horrible’
World War II veteran Delbert Belton never used drugs, according to the woman who found his beaten body outside the Eagles Ice Arena in Spokane in August 2013.
Natalie Flom, a friend of Belton’s, told police that the 88-year-old only drank beer.
A recording of Flom’s police interview was ordered released by a judge this week.
During the interview, detectives asked Flom about the claim made in a letter allegedly written by one of the suspects, Kenan Adams-Kinard, that he and Demetruis Glenn beat Belton after he shorted them on a crack cocaine deal.
Flom told detectives that she found the drug-dealing claim funny, but it was also “horrible” because the suspects were trying to disgrace Belton’s name. All Belton ever did was help people, Flom said.
Flom told police neither she nor her children knew the suspects, who are both 17.
Belton was in his car in the parking lot waiting for Flom. The two planned to play pool at the Eagles Lodge. Belton was unconscious and bleeding profusely when Flom found him.
Both Adams-Kinard and Glenn remain in custody while they await trial, which is tentatively scheduled for August.
Shawn Vestal finalist for PEN literary prize
Spokesman-Review columnist and author Shawn Vestal is one of five finalists for the prestigious PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, for “Godforsaken Idaho,” a collection of short stories published last year.
PEN American Center announced the finalists Wednesday.
The PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize is awarded to “an author whose debut work – a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2013 – represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.” The prize comes with a $25,000 award.
Also shortlisted for the prize are “Constellation of Vital Phenomena,” by Anthony Marra; “Brief Encounters With the Enemy,” by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh; “Everybody’s Irish,” by Ian Stansel; and “The People in the Trees,” by Hanya Yanagihara.
The winner will be announced July 30.
Stretch of Highway 2 narrows to single lane for gas line repair
U.S. Highway 2 just west of Fairchild Air Force Base will have traffic restrictions this week to allow for repair of a natural gas line under the highway.
Crews from Tesoro Logistics GP started work on Tuesday afternoon about a half-mile west of the Fairchild main gate. That has forced traffic into a single lane with flaggers directing alternating flow.
The restriction will be in effect all hours until the repairs and testing are completed.
Delays are possible during commute hours.
Elsewhere, paving work on Interstate 90 west of Salnave Road to the Lincoln County line was slowed by one day as a result of rain. Ramp closures are expected at the Tyler interchange during evening and overnight hours this week when crews are working.
College-hosted job fair features 30 employers
Spokane Community College will host a job fair from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Lair Student Center, 1810 N. Greene St.
The event is open to all job-seekers, SCC announced in a news release. Nearly 30 employers, including Northern Quest Casino, K&N Motors, Spokane County Civil Service and the Spokane Veterans Home, will be present.