In Brief: Spokane police investigating body found in Coeur d’Alene
Spokane detectives are taking the lead in an investigation surrounding a body found Friday morning in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest near Fernan Lake.
Spokane police “received information” that the body could be connected with a missing-person case in Spokane, said Monique Cotton, police spokesman. She cautioned, however, that the body has not been identified.
Kootenai County sheriff’s officials also were on scene, about 10 miles east of Fernan Lake Village along Fernan Lake Road.
Ex-Gov. Gregoire leading cigarette-tax initiative
SEATTLE – Former Gov. Chris Gregoire is leading an initiative campaign that may ask Washington voters next fall to raise the cigarette tax by $1 a pack to pay for cancer research and prevention.
Gregoire, a breast-cancer survivor who negotiated a national settlement with tobacco companies as state attorney general in 1998, is chairing the campaign for Initiative 1356, the Seattle Times reported Thursday.
Supporters will decide within a couple of weeks whether to push the measure this year, spokesman Sandeep Kaushik said. To qualify for the November ballot, they would have to submit more than 246,000 signatures by July 3.
Washington’s current tax of $3.03 per pack is already one of the highest in the nation.
Man charged with DUI after hitting police car
For the second time in less than a week, a driver has struck a Spokane police car and been accused of driving under the influence.
Aaron T. Scott, 43, was arrested early Friday after hitting a police cruiser with his vehicle, then fleeing, according to court documents.
The officer was on Monroe Street near Walton Avenue at 1 a.m. when his cruiser was struck, sending it into a spin. Scott sped away, documents say.
The officer, who was not injured, regained control and along with another officer pursued Scott, according to court documents.
Scott was booked into Spokane County Jail on counts including driving under the influence. On Monday, a woman was arrested after her car struck a patrol car at Division and Wellesley.
State resolves four cases of Medicaid fraud
The Washington attorney general’s office announced Friday that it successfully resolved four Medicaid fraud cases, including one involving an Otis Orchards woman accused of stealing close to $30,000.
Chanell Flock admitted in April to making fraudulent claims on documents filed with the Department of Social and Health Services between January 2007 and September 2011 totaling $30,000 in unearned pay. She pleaded guilty earlier this year to defrauding the state by billing the state for care that didn’t occur.
Flock will avoid jail time but must end her contract with the state as a Medicaid provider. She was ordered to repay a little over $20,000, according to a news release.