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In brief: Spokane County sheriff’s deputy accused of second job

A Spokane County sheriff’s deputy has been accused of working a second job at a retail store while he was supposed to be on patrol.

The Sheriff’s Office said Deputy Charles Sciortino was placed on administrative leave Monday for a criminal investigation, according to news reports. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Sciortino was being investigated for theft of pay totaling around $700. The allegations include charges Sciortino was working the other job when he should have been on patrol.

Knezovich said if the investigation reveals proof that Sciortino was stealing pay while working another job it would be grounds for his termination.

Sciortino previously held jobs in California and Kootenai County before being hired by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. While in Kootenai County, he received commendations for helping talk down a suicidal woman in 2006.

Sciortino also injured a man in a March 2007 shooting that stemmed from a domestic violence call. Sciortino fired four times with a .45-caliber pistol at the man as he led deputies on a high-speed chase in his truck.

OLYMPIA – State and local law enforcement agencies would need specific approval from their elected officials to buy drones, plus a search warrant to use an unmanned surveillance aircraft for much of the information they might collect, under a bill that passed Tuesday.

The bill requires the Legislature to approve the purchase of an “extraordinary sensing device” by the Washington State Patrol. A city council or county commission would have to approve purchase by local police or sheriffs.

Drones could be used, with government approval, for tasks like monitoring forest fires, weather damage or wildlife, or responding to a declared state of emergency. But for most other uses that gather information about people, law enforcement would have to obtain a warrant and prove to a judge that other methods to get that information are either too dangerous or too expensive.

The final version of the bill passed the House 77-21 Tuesday and was sent to Gov. Jay Inslee.

School levies are approved in Kootenai, Shoshone

Idaho voters approved school funding levies Tuesday in Kootenai and Shoshone counties and rejected one in Bonner County.

A two-year levy passed for the Lakeland Joint School District in Rathdrum. Voters approved the measure, which will raise $4.8 million a year for two years, 869 to 384 votes.

Lakeland officials said the district of just over 4,000 students would have needed to cut 20 percent from its general fund budget if the levy had failed.

Levies also passed in two school districts in the Silver Valley. The Kellogg School District’s levy request of $2.78 million a year for two years was approved 580 to 386, and the Wallace School District’s request of $2 million a year for two years passed by a mere two votes, 261-259.

Voters rejected a $3.5 million, one-year levy for the West Bonner School District in Priest River. The request failed with 747 voting no and 550 voting yes.

List being prepared for summer camp information

The Spokesman-Review is gathering information for its annual list of summer camps.

This year, people can submit their free listings online at; email information to; or mail it to The Spokesman-Review, 999 W. Riverside, Spokane, WA 99210, Attn: Summer Camps.

Please include the name and location of the camp, dates of operation, general theme, any costs, recommended ages, contact information and any other details readers might want.  

Listings received after 5 p.m. April 4 will be included in the online version but won’t be guaranteed for the print edition.  

Explosions linked to marijuana extraction

SEATTLE – Police in Seattle and Shelton, Wash., report that two residential explosions are believed to have been caused by a marijuana extraction process. Four young people were injured in the Shelton blast.

KING-TV reported that Shelton authorities say three 20-year-olds and one 17-year-old were manufacturing hash oil Tuesday afternoon at a home when it was hit by a powerful blast.

Investigators determined the blast actually was the result of a marijuana extraction process. The explosion broke four windows and moved the back wall of the house 3 inches.


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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.