Arrow-right Camera


In brief: Truck driver in ecstasy case to remain in jail, judge rules

A Canadian truck driver found with 50 pounds of ecstasy this month remains in the Spokane County Jail after a federal judge declined his request to return to Canada.

Leslie Bateman, 64, told federal investigators he was short on money and accepted an offer of $15,000 from a man to make a delivery when he trucked lumber to southeast Idaho. The drug was found during a routine search of his truck at the border crossing in Metaline Falls earlier this month.

Bateman said he knew what he was transporting was illegal and that he’d made a “huge mistake,” according to court documents.

The plan involved shipping the ecstasy in 13 heat-sealed packages hidden within his sleeper cabin mattress, and delivering them to a man named “Elvis” at a Post Falls truck stop, Bateman told investigators.

Bateman agreed not to resist extradition if released on bond and allowed to return to Canada. But a federal judge on Tuesday refused to issue a bond amount without further briefing from attorneys.

Kip Hill

Body pulled from Spokane River likely in water for long time

Spokane County sheriff’s deputies pulled the body of a man from the Spokane River on Monday near Seven Mile Road.

Deputies received a call about the body just before 5 p.m. The body likely was in the water for an extended period of time, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The Spokane County medical examiner will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death and identify the man, according to the news release.

Kip Hill

State announces closure of Cheney-Spokane Road

Cheney-Spokane Road will be closed to through-traffic at the new interchange under construction at U.S. Highway 195 until May 23, the Washington Department of Transportation announced.

The closure, which was set to start at 9 p.m. Tuesday, is occurring between a gas and grocery station on Cheney-Spokane Road and the larger commercial development to the south.

Through-traffic in both directions is being rerouted to Qualchan Drive about a mile to the south.

A contractor needed the closure to finish the main part of the interchange and to prepare for construction of a southbound on-ramp, the last portion of the project.

Mike Prager

Driver arrested after auto hits patrol car, another vehicle

A woman was arrested after the car she was driving struck the back of a Spokane police patrol vehicle and another car at the intersection of North Division Street and Wellesley Avenue late Monday.

Savannah L. Ashby, 18, faces charges of driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. A search of Ashby’s car yielded methamphetamine, police said.

No injuries were reported in the collision. According to police, Ashby rear-ended the patrol car and other vehicle about 10 p.m. Monday as the other drivers were waiting at a red light. All vehicles were towed from the scene. A judge released Ashby, who has no felony criminal history, without bail Tuesday.

Kip Hill


Top stories in Spokane

Before the falls: Spokane and the history of river cities

The falls are beautiful, they’re powerful and they’re the reason for the city. Spokane is one of a small number of American cities that have falling water in their hearts, and it’s no accident. The reasons for a city are many, but chief among them is water – for drinking, for transportation, for industry and, most recently, for beauty.