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Each year around this time

I think about the space shuttle Columbia disaster and about some things astronaut Michael Anderson said near the end of this story, which ran before his first space shuttle flight five years earlier.


Can’t believe it has been almost 10 years

The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster took place on Feb. 1, 2003.

It's hard to believe it has been that long.

It seems like just four or five years ago that I was interviewing astronaut Michael Anderson on the phone before a 1998 flight on Endeavor. And I remember visiting with his parents in their living room here in Spokane.

Anderson, a Cheney High graduate, was born on Christmas Day in 1959. If life was fair, he would have had many, many more birthdays.


Four-time armed robber gets 14 years

A 20-year-old Spokane man was ordered to spend 14 years in prison for a robbery spree last summer.

Daniel I. Neace was sentenced this week in Spokane County Superior Court after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree robbery, three counts of second-degree assault, attempted first-degree robbery, and three counts of unlawful imprisonment. The plea deal dismissed two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (Ecstasy).

Neace was arrested July 27 after police say his roommate, Michael J. Anderson, 21, posed as a customer at Check into Cash, 555 E. Francis, and Neace wore a fake beard to rob the place at gunpoint.

Police found Neace with glue, then seized a fake beard, business floor plans, Pizza Pipeline deposit bags and shotgun shells at the Lincoln Street apartment he shared with Anderson, according to a search warrant.

Police found Nathan J. Molina, 22, sitting in a parked car registered to Neace’s father a few blocks from the cash store. Molina and Neace had portable talk radios tuned to the same channel, according to police.

After his arrest, “Neace stated that he was behind in payments on his car that his father had co-signed for,” according to court documents.

The crime spree began July 11 when two men robbed Domino’s Pizza, 726 W. 3rd Ave., and continued July 15 with three men robbing the Domino’s at 2901 N. Argonne Road in Spokane Valley. Four days later, two men robbed Pizza Pipeline at 1724 W. Wellesley Ave.

In addition to 171 months in prison, Neace will be on probation for 18 months after prison and is to pay $3,926 restitution.

Past coverage:

July 30: Three men suspected in robbery spree