Latest from The Spokesman-Review
2. South Dakota.
3. New York.
No, not here.
But a stretch near Lake Erie is covered with water.
Why? What did you think I meant?
This reminds me of something in one of Bob Newhart's shows — the one set in New England.
He was hosting a local TV program called “Vermont Today.” And the producer, in an effort to create some buzz, starting using insanely hyped promos.
One was “GM Cars Recalled.”
The story turned out to be some retired guys sitting around talking about old Chevrolets and Oldsmobiles.
How many people around here have seen the Niagara Falls?
A traffic stop on Interstate 90 Saturday led to the arrest o a 54-year-old woman on drug charges, police said today.
Deputies credited “training and experience” with helping them identify a bag of a white substance as methamphetamine when it fell from a purse belonging to Feryl D. Woodworth, 54, according to a news release by Deputy Craig Chamberlin, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.
Woodworth was retrieving her driver's license after being stopped in her red Honda by two sheriff's deputies in a patrol vehicle.
Woodworth told police she didn't know what the baggie was and that she was taking it to her friend “to find out what it was,” Chamberlin wrote.
Woodworth was booked into jail on a felony meth possession charge, according to jail records. She was released today on her own recognizance after appearing in Superior Court.
A Portland police captain accused of brandishing a gun during a road rage incident on Interstate 90 in Post Falls acted arrogantly to state troopers as if he thought “I'm a cop and it's no big deal,” according to a police report recently unsealed in Kootenai County.
Todd Loren Wyatt, 43, pleaded not guilty Friday through his attorney in Kootenai County District Court to exhibition of a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor, for the alleged incident on Aug. 13. Trial is scheduled for Feb. 6.
A 20-year police veteran, Wyatt was off duty when he was stopped on I-90 at the Freya Street exit in Spokane by Washington State Patrol troopers after his alleged victim called from the Post Falls area stayed on the phone with dispatchers describing Wyatt's blue Ford F-150.
WSP Trooper Greg Birkeland said Wyatt asked to speak to him away from his wife and children, and Birkeland asked “what difference it would make talking in front of them compared to his prior actions in front of them,” according to the report.
“Mr. Wyatt's response to him was, 'All right, I hear your attitude,'” according to the report. “Trooper Birkeland said he thought Mr. Wyatt showed lack of common sense and good judgment. He was arrogant and cocky and played the situation down, not realizing the severity of what he had done.”
Another trooper told investigators he thought Watt's attitude was that of “I'm a cop and it's no big deal,” according to the report.
Wyatt's lawyer, Gary Amendola, said Wyatt disputes the charge..
“I'll tell you right now, Capt. Wyatt did not point his gun at anyone,” Amendola said. Amendola said Wyatt was “concerned for the safety of his family” because the alleged victim appeared to be trying to cause a crash.
Wyatt, who was with his wife, 16-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, when he was stopped in August told troopers there was a road rage incident “and he did in fact display his weapon in a holster along with his service badge,” according to an Idaho State Police report. “It was reported the gun was never pointed at the reporting party.”
Wyatt's wife told troopers she thought “those people were going to kill us.”
Wyatt was not arrested. He was removed from his position as head of the Portland Police Bureau traffic division when the investigation opened and was placed on paid administrative leave after he was formally charged last month, The Oregonian reports.
The alleged victim, Nicholas James Cox, 28, told police he was driving westbound on Interstate 90 behind Wyatt's Oregon-plated pickup when he passed the pickup because it was driving slowly.
Cox said the pickup started tailgating and trying to pull up beside him before the driver pointed a gun at Cox and his wife.
“Mr. Cox said he did not wish to pursue charges but wanted the driver to be aware of the seriousness of the offense,” according to the report. But Cox later changed his mind. He told police he'd spoken with his father-in-law, who is retired from the Seattle Police Department, and realized the severity of the incident.
“Mr. Cox told me he could not drive past where the incident happened without getting a sick feeling in his stomach,” according to the report, prepared by Idaho State Police Trooper Kevin White. “He also said when he sees a pickup that looks like the one the suspect was driving, he gets nervous until he sees the state of the plate.”
“Mr. Cox said when he first saw the pickup tailgating, he thought it was just some crazy guy,” the report continues. “When he saw the pistol, he knew it was more than some crazy guy.”
Wyatt was on vacation from the Portland Police Bureau when the incident occurred.
Wyatt told police Cox was driving his Honda dangerously and appeared to be trying to cause a crash after passing him.
Wyatt said the driver and passenger “were young and possibly gang members” and he showed them his police badge in hopes they would leave him alone. When they didn't, he held up his holstered gun behind his badge, according to a report.
“He indicated once the problem was solved and the Honda quit trying to cause a crash, he put his badge and gun away,” according to the report.
A Spokane woman who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 when she struck and killed 27-year-old Post Falls motorist in March was arraigned today on two felony charges.
Teri Marie Scheele, 30, told police she had taken an oxycodone pill and “a couple” of hydrocodone pills before the three-car crash on March 25 about 3:10 a.m. at milepost 293 in the eastbound lanes under the Barker Road overpass, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Nov. 4 in Superior Court.
Kenneth Joel Hardin (pictured) was pronounced dead at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.
Police say Scheele had slurred speech but did not smell of intoxicants. A blood test showed signs of Oxycodone and Hydromorphone use, according to the affidavit.
A Washington State Patrol detective talked to seven people who saw Scheele driving the wrong way on the interstate.
The detective also talked to the driver of the third vehicle, Andrew R. Samek, 37, of Hayden, who, despite initial reports that he wasn't injured, suffered a broken neck when he struck Hardin's 1989 Mazda MX6 coupe while trying to avoid the crash then hit a cable barrier, documents say.
Scheele pleaded not guilty today to vehicular homicide and vehicula assault. She's out of custody awaiting trial, which her public defender, Derek Reid, said is scheduled to begin Feb. 13.
A wrong-way driver accused of injuring two people in a freeway crash early Sunday passed a state trooper just before the 3:34 a.m. crash
Eric Edward McElmurry, 28, was allowed to leave jail on his own recognizance Monday after appearing before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price on vehicular assault charges.
Trooper Falkner was westbound on Interstate 90 east of Liberty Lake when McElmurry passed him going eastbound in the neighboring westbound lane, according to a probable cause affidavit. Falkner tried to stop him, but McElmurry's 1999 Mercury Mystic crashed head-on into a 2006 Mercury Mariner driven by Tabatha B. Dudley, 22, of Spokane Valley, police said.
Dudley was injured, along with passengers Danielle L. Cowan, 23, of Coeur d'Alene, and Zachary O'Reilly, 25, of Spokane, who both suffered broken bones; McElmurry was treated at a hospital before being booked into jail.
Troopers say McElmurry smelled of alcohol and began to vomit when he woke up in the emergency room. McElmurry said he'd drank alcohol at a party near Altamont and at a home in Cheney. He said he drank six or seven beers beginning around 9:30 p.m. and “admitted that his ability to drive was affected by his alcohol usage.”
McElmurry told troopers he believed he got onto the freeway at Freya Street and said he had no idea he was driving the wrong way.
“The defendant was upset that other people had been injured and started crying,” accoridng to the affidavit
A motorist stopped for driving 83 mph in a 70 mph zone Monday was arrested on felony charges after Spokane County sheriff's deputies found marijuana and a loaded pistol in the vehicle.
A Coeur d'Alene woman who rear-ended another driver on Interstate 90 in December has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.
Lisa Marie Calbick, 33, was seriously injured in the crash that killed Donald Graham, 77, of Rathdrum. Graham was driving a yellow Chevrolet Equinox westbound near milepost 3 when he was struck by Calbick's Kia Optima, according to Idaho State Police.
Graham lost control of the Chevy, which rolled off the right shoulder and landed on its top. He was pronounced dead at Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene.
Calbick was hospitalized in critical condition but has since recovered and is wanted on a $50,000 warrant in Kootenai County District Court.
Anyone with information on her location is asked to call the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department at (208) 446-1300.
A Spokane man who triggered a weeks-long federal manhunt and a wild police chase in Montana is going back to federal prison.
Anthony E. Burke, 23, was sentenced to a year in prison last week for escaping from a halfway house last spring. After he serves that sentence he's to return to Montana, where he's to serve four years in prison for criminal endangerment related to the April 2010 chase.
Burke, alias Garver, served three years in federal prison after police found him with 100 rounds of Russian ammunition at his family’s Spokane-area home. He was prohibited from having the bullets because he’d been committed to a mental hospital as a teen.
Burke was to report to a work release center when released from prison, but he never showed up, triggering a search that ended with his arrest on July 31, 2009. He was sentenced to an additional seven months but later left a halfway house for an eye appointment and never returned.
A warrant for his arrest was issued the same day Burke led Montana law enforcement on an intense chase that included Burke driving the wrong way on Interstate 90, driving in reverse, sideswiping barriers and trial, smashing a guardrail. Police drew their guns on him “several times” before h e was arrested after trying to swim away in a creek, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Burke has serious mental health issues and has threatened to kill public officials and cause mass casualties at public events, according to court documents. Documents portray Burke as a troubled man haunted by his stepfather’s abuse and angry at authorities for calling him mentally ill.
Burke will be on probation for nine months after his release.
Negligent driving caused a three-car crash Friday afternoon on Interstate 90 in Spokane, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Neida Rios, 58, of Fair Oaks, Calif., was in a Nissan Altima westbound on I-90 when she crossed the median and hit an eastbound Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Patricia Sodorff, 55, of Sandpoint, according to a WSP news release.
Rios also hit Joel Fertakis, 49, of Spokane, (pictured) who was eastbound in a Chevrolet pickup towing a 27-foot trailer. The crash caused the trailer to roll into the median and one of the lanes.
Sodorff and Rios were injured but not taken to a hospital, the news release said.
Fertakis, a sergeant with the Spokane Police Department, was not injured.
According to the briefing (at the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting last night), the “half-height” loads are a reduced version of what was originally proposed to head up Highway 12 through the Lochsa – Clearwater corridor. Originally thought to be not feasible and too expensive to cut down, the new, smaller loads are still 24 feet wide (two traffic lanes) and an amazing 208 feet long. ITD says there are some 62 loads proposed to come through Coeur d’Alene beginning in Late June and running through the end of September. ITD says the movement will be done at night between 9 pm and 4 am. Traffic will be stopped at each intersection as the mini-mega passes through town/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here.
- DFO: The mini-loads haven't been permitted yet, but ITD officials presented the proposal to the City Council last night as though it's a fait accompli. And there doesn't seem to be much the city can do about it.
Question: How do we get stuck with these shipments?
Three people were injured, including two German visitors this morning on Interstate 90 near the state line, when their vehicle drifted off the highway, hit rumble strips, and then rolled when the driver overcorrected. Germans Herbert K. Ruttkies, 47, and Elke G. Hoffman, 46, were injured, along with Elke K. Howe, 54, of Troutdale, Ore., in the crash that occured at milepost 1 at 6:22 a.m. Ruttkies was the driver of the 2000 Ford Explorer. He and his two passengers were taken to Kootenai Medical Center. All were wearing seatbelts. The Idaho State Police is continuing to investigate the accident.
Two suspected wallet snatchers led the victim on a 100 mph chase in Spokane Valley Thursday night, police said today.
Valley resident Robert A. Hunter, 25, and Jenna L. Myers, 25, of Coeur d'Alene, were arrested on theft charges after allegedly fleeing the Tesoro gas station, 13800 E. Trent Ave., with a wallet Myers picked up in the parking lot.
A 22-year Spokane Valley man dropped the wallet about 7:45 p.m. as he exited his car to buy a soda at the store, where he was a regular customer. The store employee told police he saw Myers (pictured) get out of a car and pick up the wallet, then enter the store and whisper something to Hunter before the two fled.
The victim ran to his car and pursued the couple westbound on Trent as the Tesoro employee called police with the suspects' license plate number.
The victim gave up the pursuit, police said, but officers soon arrested Hunter and Myers at Sprague Avenue and Flora Road. The victim told police the couple ran stop signs and reached speeds of more than 100 mph on arterials, neighborhood streets and Interstate 90.
Myers stashed cash in her underwear and threw the wallet from the car as they crossed a bridge over the Spokane River, police said. Officers recovered both.
Both suspects are to appear in court today on felony counts of second-degree theft of credit cards and third-degree theft for the wallet. Hunter also was booked for third-degree driving while license suspended.
Myers, a 2009 Crime Stoppers graduate, has at least two previous convictions for theft.
One person was killed and another is in critical condition after a two-car crash in the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 today about 3:45 p.m. west of Post Falls. Idaho State Police said Donald Graham, 77, of Rathdrum, was driving a yellow Chevy Equinox westbound on the freeway near milepost 3 when he was rear-ended by a Kia Optima, driven by Lisa Calbick, 33, of Coeur d’Alene. Graham lost control of the vehicle, which rolled off the right shoulder and landed on its top. Graham was pronounced dead at Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene, police said/Spokesman-Review. More here.
The Federal Highway Administration has approved a new Interstate 90
interchange to serve the west end of Port Falls, including a new Walmart
store and the Cabela’s sporting goods store near Stateline. The
Beck Road Interchange will be designed and built by Foursquare
Properties Inc., the Carlsbad, Calif., developer of The Pointe, the
shopping center that began with the Cabela’s anchor store. Foursquare
will recoup the cost of the project through temporary suspension of
state sales tax collections at the Cabela’s store. The state’s latest
cost estimate for the project is $28 million/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: Do you think an interchange is needed to feed into Cabela’s & new WalMart?
A California man was arrested with more than 3 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 90 near Spokane Tuesday.
Donald James Stollmeyer, 24, is in jail on a felony charge of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
Sheriff’s deputies smelled marijuana coming from the Santa Margarita, Calif., man’s GMC pickup when they stopped him near the Fishtrap exit.
Deputies say Stollmeyer allowed them to search the truck, where they found marijuana and a pipe under the driver’s seat and 3 1/4 pounds of pot in the bed of the truck.
Stollmeyer was released from jail on his own recognizance today after appearing before Judge Michael Price.