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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Jan. 1, 2009


Courthouse watch: 6.3.09

Suspects on today's court docket included a man accused of a brazen residential burglary that was foiled when a neighbor called 911. Wendall D. Bagley, 24, and his brother, Joe M. Bagley, 23, were arrested last April after a stolen truck smashed a through a…

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No murders, just robberies

The city of Spokane has had a nice distinction since March - no homicides. Besides the shooting death of Johnnie Longest by Spokane police officer Dan Lesser, the last police-investigated killing was a stabbing death March 3. Spokane averages about 12 to 14 homicides a…

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Cracking down on pot seeds

Authorities apparently are making progress in the war on marijuana seed peddling. The Associated Press reports that a deal is in the works to bring Canada's "Prince of Pot" to a federal court in Seattle to plead guilty to a charge of conspiring to maunfacture…

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Anyone missing any sheep heads? 

Two sheep heads were found in Spokane Valley this morning. The heads were found in the middle of Sprague Avenue just after 2 a.m., at different cross streets, Spokane County Sheriff's Sgt. Dave Reagan told reporter Sara Leaming. Reagan said deputies think the heads may…

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Courthouse watch: 6.2.09 

Suspects on the first appearance calendar today included a 62-year-old man accused of a brazen, daylight burglary at a Spokane Valley convenience store. James R. Clemons appeared in Spokane County Superior Court via video today to hear his charges: first-degree theft and second-degree burglary. Judge…

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'I'm ashamed to be an officer of this court'

A high-profile OxyContin robbery case that drew sanctions against the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office and allegations of a state witness framing the defendants earned a young man nearly 26 years in prison today. It was an emotional day in court as Tyler W. Gassman's lawyer,…

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MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2009

Courthouse watch: 6.1.09

Suspects on today's Superior Court docket included a man connected to an accused methamphetamine dealer arrested after a day-long stand off last week. David L. "Cowboy Dave" Harwood was arrested May 27 near the Whitworth Arms apartments, the site of a Sheriff's SWAT team standoff…

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Wanted: Two Whipples

An accused armed robber failed to appear in court earlier this month, and Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that leads to his capture. Joseph E. Whipple, 21, (left) and Jimmy D. Dempsey, 17, were each due in Spokane County Superior Court May…

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New charges in bridge-pushing case

Additional charges have been filed against the man accused of trying to force his estranged wife's boyfriend to jump off a bridge two weeks ago. Those charges show deputies responded to reports of violence at the couple's home a week prior. David E. Epley, 36,…

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Spokane Fire Department honors citizen heroes

Eleven citizens received life-saving awards from the Spokane Fire Department Saturday. The annual awards ceremony also honored retirements and promotions. Honored citizens include a 20-year-old man who saved a man from a burning van in January, a 9-year-old girl who rescued her sister from a…

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FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2009

Grab bag 5.29.09

Who says no one reads the newspaper anymore? A watchful newspaper reader in Colville helped nab the Montana Department of Corrections escapee suspected in a Spokane Valley burglary today. Read the story here. Other public safety stories today include: Body found in Pend Oreille River…

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Courthouse watch: 5.29.09 

Friday's smorgasbord of suspects on the Spokane County Superior Court docket include an accused OxyContin robber, a teenager charged with attempted murder for a shooting spree in a motel parking lot and a man connected to Pinaccle Realty founder Joe Ward, who is the subject…

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Carroll D. Gray in 1981. (The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane legal community loses an icon

Carroll D. Gray, who worked in the U.S attorney's office in Spokane for more than 30 years, has died. The legend of the Spokane legal community, pictured above in 1981, died at his home Wednesday morning, the U.S Attorney's Office confirmed Thursday. Gray was a…

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Grab Bag 5.28.09

The HIV-positive man charged with assault may have had unprotected sex with as many as 80 people without telling them about his disease, health officials say. Zuriel E. Roush, 22, (left) declined to speak with The Spokesman-Review. That came after Deputy Prosecutor Rachel Sterett mentioned…

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THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009

Courthouse watch: 5.28.09

Suspects appearing on the Spokane County Superior Court docket today included a woman who claimed she'd ingested methamphetamine from another inmate before trying to escape from prison and a man arrested for stealing two puppies from a pet store. Chelsea A. Lawhead, 19, is charged…

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Officer Jay Kernkamp nuzzles his new houseguest, 2-month-old Ajax, on Wednesday at the Spokane Police Academy. Kernkamp is raising Ajax until the puppy is ready for official training as a police dog.  (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Grab Bag 5.27.09

Spokane's newest recruit, Ajax, met with local media Wednesday. Read the story here and check out a slide show here. Other stories in today's paper include: Autopsy shows man was shot in back Medical Lake to pay Mehrens $20,000 Trial set in bridge pushing case

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Courthouse watch: 5.27.09 

Suspects scheduled to plead innocent in Spokane County Superior Court today include a man accused of hiding in his estranged wife's car, then kidnapping and trying to kill her and her boyfriend; a man charged with sexually abusing a high school girl who worked at…

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TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2009

In this photo from May 2006, Washington State Patrol Sgt. Lee Slemp removes a shotgun from an unmarked patrol car that was rear-ended on I-90 near the Garden Springs exit. 
 (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

WSP wins Best Dressed award

If you've ever found yourself admiring those Washington State Patrol uniforms, you're in good company.The WSP has been honored as the Best Dressed State Agency in America by the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. The agency's heavy-weave wool uniforms are made by Blumenthal…

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Grab Bag 5.26.09

The original pharmacy robber from last summer entered a guilty plea in Spokane County Superior Court today, and The Spokesman-Review was the only news organization there. Read Thomas Clouse's story here. Police: Porn, theft lured boy to libraryEphrata man killed by train Sunday88 contacts, 10…

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Courthouse watch: 5.26.09

The first appearance docket was packed in Spokane County Superior Court today. Nearly everyone arrested on felony charges in Spokane County this weekend was due to appear, and a court clerk counted 55 names just before the appearances began at 1:30 p.m. Last on the…

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SPD's newest addition: Ajax the puppy

A Pullman man inspired by the shooting of a Spokane police dog has given the department a German Shepherd puppy. Nick Lungu breeds and trains the dogs for his business I-Guard International. He sells the animals for as much as $2,500 each but gave the…

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FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009

Courthouse watch: 5.22.09

Friday is always a full day on the Spokane County Superior Court docket, and today brought a cornucopia of crimes from organized retail theft and forgery to assault and child rape. Suspects on today's docket included a man accused of trying to escape from police…

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Grab Bag 5.22.09

The Guinness Book of World Records plans to honor a man for filing the most lawsuits in history. One problem: the man in question has filed an injunction in Eastern Washington federal court seeking to stop it. Read Thomas Clouse's story here Here are the…

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