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In brief: Girl, 10, escapes abduction attempt

A man snatched a 10-year-old girl off a north Spokane street Saturday afternoon, but the girl was able to escape from the man’s vehicle and run away.

Police say the man was driving a late 1980s or early 1990s dark green GMC Jimmy. He reportedly pulled up next to two 10-year-old girls as they walked north on Crestline Street around 2:30 p.m., police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said. He tried to entice them into his SUV, but the girls ran east and climbed a tree to try to get away.

The man chased the girls, grabbed one of them in the 2100 block of East Diamond Avenue, carried her about 200 feet to his vehicle and put her inside, Cotton said. The other girl followed them and yelled for help. When the man moved around the SUV to get into the driver’s seat, the abducted girl was able to open the passenger door and escape, Cotton said.

The man is described as Hispanic or white, in his late 30s to early 40s with bushy hair and some facial hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Driver blames SUV in motorcycle crash

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office released more information about a crash involving an SUV and a motorcycle Friday afternoon in Stateline.

Richard A. Sundstrom, 66, was driving his 1999 GMC Yukon east on Wellesley Avenue and failed to stop at the intersection with Seltice Way. He struck a 2010 Harley-Davidson motorcycle driven by Thomas M. Little John, 60, of Bonanza, Oregon. Little John and his passenger, 42-year-old Laureen E. Berry, of Indian Hill, Colorado, were thrown from the bike.

The Yukon continued to accelerate and rammed into two unoccupied cars in the A-1 Smoke Shop parking lot on Seltice. One of the cars was pushed into the Smoke Shop.

Sundstrom, of Spokane Valley, told deputies his SUV had a mechanical malfunction, according to the sheriff’s office.

Little John and Berry were taken to Kootenai Health to be treated for broken bones and cuts.

No charges have been filed. The investigation is ongoing.

Gunman gets cash from Jimmy John’s

A masked man armed with a handgun robbed the Jimmy John’s restaurant on Government Way in Coeur d’Alene just before 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

An employee taking out garbage was confronted by the gunman, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department said. The employee handed over some cash and the robber fled on foot.

The suspect is described as about 5-foot-8 wearing a blue zip-up hoodie with white horizontal stripes, a black mask, blue jeans and a black nylon sport backpack. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call (208) 769-2363.

Boy gets 10 years for role in assault

PORTLAND – A 14-year-old boy accused with three other Oregon teenagers of shooting a fellow high school student with a BB gun and carving a swastika into his forehead will serve 10 years at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility.

The sentence stems from the February assault of 16-year-old Dustyn Murrain.

The other teens are charged as adults and will go to trial later this month.

Governor impatient on oil train safety

PORTLAND – Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is calling on the federal government to move faster to make trains transporting crude oil throughout the state safer in the wake of the Virginia oil train crash.

In a letter sent Friday to federal Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Kitzhaber said he’s frustrated the federal government is taking too long to update tank-car standards and institute other safety measures. The governor said he has “deep concern about the safety of oil transported by rail.”

The North Dakota oil boom has led to more oil-by-rail shipments throughout the nation and a higher number of oil-train accidents. There have been eight significant accidents involving oil trains in the past year in the U.S. and Canada.

Earlier this year, Kitzhaber ordered a top-to-bottom review of state rail safety and oil-spill responsiveness. The state is planning hazardous-materials training for first responders this month.

But the governor said he is limited because he doesn’t have the authority to mandate safety standards for the transportation of hazardous materials via rail lines – that’s the job of the federal government.

“States should not have to negotiate one-off voluntary agreements with shippers and facility owners in order to achieve the highest level of safety possible on rail lines,” Kitzhaber wrote.


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