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In brief: Students injured after bus slides off road

Eight Stevens County students injured in a bus slide-off accident early Wednesday were evaluated for nonlife-threatening injuries in Spokane, according to the Mary Walker School District.

Twenty-seven students were aboard school bus No. 6 when it slid onto its side south of Springdale, Wash. All passengers were evaluated by medical personnel at the scene and were either loaded onto another bus or released to parents or guardians, the district said.

The roadway was described as a “sheet of ice” by law enforcement on scene during the incident, which occurred around 8 a.m.

Eight passengers were taken to the Pediatric Emergency Room at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. They were treated for “bumps and bruises,” according to a news release from the school district.

Kip Hill

Woman hit by pickup in crosswalk on Grand

A pickup truck hit a pedestrian crossing Grand Boulevard in a crosswalk at 14th Avenue on Wednesday evening.

A woman was taken to a hospital via ambulance with nonlife-threatening injuries after the 6:15 p.m. accident, said Spokane Police Department spokeswoman Monique Cotton.

Her son, who was with her, crossed the street ahead of her safely.

The road was closed briefly as emergency workers cleared the scene. The driver of the truck was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, Cotton said.

Nina Culver

More funding, reforms OK’d for Idaho prisons

BOISE – Idaho lawmakers Wednesday approved an 11 percent, $20 million increase in state funding for the state’s prison system next year, exceeding Gov. Butch Otter’s proposal for a 9.2 percent increase.

Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee gave unanimous support to Senate-passed legislation designed to shift priority for Idaho prison cells to the most dangerous offenders, in part by reforming probation and parole systems that now result in long return trips to prison for nonviolent offenders.

The “justice reinvestment” bill will launch a five-year series of reforms that lawmakers hope will slow the state’s prison growth and avert the need to build a new $288 million prison. The project has been embraced by the Legislature, courts and the Otter administration.

Betsy Z. Russell