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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Jan. 1, 2010

FRIDAY, JAN. 8, 2010

Lieutenant accused of drunken driving 

A Spokane County sheriff’s lieutenant with 25 years on the job was arrested in a suspected drunken driving crash early Friday. Liberty Lake police responded to a 911 call about 1:30 a.m. that a sport utility vehicle had rolled near Third and Molter Road and…

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2 bars named in DUI complaint 

The family of a Canadian woman killed in a hit-and-run crash in downtown Spokane wants two bars that reportedly served the suspected driver alcohol that night held responsible for her death. Elaine Price-Cornell, 63, died after she was hit by a car while crossing Browne…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 7, 2010

Kids bust dad in break-in

EVANS, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado man accused in a weekend break-in was nabbed when police say he ran into some unexpected guests — his own kids. Police say 33-year-old Raul Gaucin-Valenzuela (gow-SEEN' val-ehn-ZWAY'-lah) accompanied a friend Saturday to break into the home of a…

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Men shot in CdA seek payment 

A Moses Lake man shot in downtown Coeur d'Alene has filed a complaint against the accused shooter, seeking at least $10,000 to cover medical costs and other damages. Bradley J. Phillips, 25, was shot in the leg Dec. 27 in downtown Coeur d'Alene. A complaint…

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(From right) Justin Lancaster, Eric Stapleton, Rosmary Blanks and Camilla Henry hold signs at the corner of Post and Riverside in downtown Spokane Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010 to protest the lawsuit by former Spokane Police officer Brad  Thoma and his attorney, Bob Dunn, whose office was near the protest site. Dunn, on behalf of  Thoma, has filed a $4 million lawsuit against the city of Spokane for unjustly firing  Thoma after a hit-and-run drunk driving accident, saying  Thoma is disabled by alcoholism. JESSE TINSLEY (The Spokesman-Review)

Police union backs Thoma 10 

The Spokane police union is asking the department to reinstate and give back pay to a sergeant fired after a drunken hit and run crash. A grievance notice was sent to Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, Assistant Chief Jim Nicks and Human Resources Director Dave Chandler Dec.…

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Decision soon on accused killer's mental state

A judge will decide Friday if accused murderer Cole Strandberg is competent to stand trial for the crossbow killing of a 22-year-old Spokane woman two years ago. During a two-day hearing this week in Spokane County Superior Court, prosecutors argued Strandberg was faking signs of…

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Robbers tie up disabled woman

Two people seeking prescription drugs tied up a Bonner County woman in her home early today. Cynthia White was asleep on her couch when the robbers entered, forced her into her wheelchair and tied her to it about 3:50 a.m. in the Cedar View Estates…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 5, 2010

Ex-church leader accused of sex abuse

A former Post Falls church youth leader was arrested last week on suspicion he had sexual and inappropriate contact with multiple minor girls from the congregation. Jordan Vernon, 20, (right) is accused of allegedly having sex with at least two girls ages 14 and 17,…

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Grant County Deputy John Bernard and his son Brandon on June 24, 2009. (Grant County Sheriff's Office)

Cause of deputy's crash may be medical

EPHRATA, Wash. (AP) — An autopsy today on the Grant County sheriff's deputy killed in a one-car crash may indicate whether a medical condition figured in Sunday's accident. Undersheriff John Turley says the autopsy on Deputy John Bernard was being conducted for the county at…

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This photo of a Dec. 19 East Valley High cheerleading camp is the key clue in a purse snatching that occurred there.
The woman holding a pink jacket and standing behind the cheerleaders is accused of stealing a purse. (courtesy Spokane Valley police)

Thief at cheerleading event sought

Police say this photo of a Dec. 19 East Valley High cheerleading event is a key clue in a purse snatching that occurred there. The woman holding a pink jacket and standing behind the cheerleaders is accused of stealing a purse of a 17-year-old cheerleader…

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MONDAY, JAN. 4, 2010

Fingerprints key in Green Bluff homicide case

Fingerprints lifted from plastic bags on a body near Green Bluff have given detectives their first break in a homicide that’s remained unsolved for more than two months. Miguel A. Rodriguez-Barbosa, the teenage roommate of 25-year-old victim Jesus Torres Valdovinos (right) has been in Spokane…

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Checking in: Fake paraplegic 

Columnist Doug Clark's annual Budnick awards were a fun reminder of the odd stories that made news in 2009. He mentioned one case that deserves an update - that of former Bonner County sheriff’s Deputy James M. Sebero, who pleaded guilty in April to charges…

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Man faces 11 counts of attempted murder

A 20-year-old man accused of shooting at a Spokane police officer faces 11 counts of first-degree attempted murder for the alleged two-day crime spree. Tony E. Dawson is due in Spokane County Superior Court via video this afternoon. He's been in jail since Dec. 23,…

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Heather Tipke, the sister of stabbing victim William  O. “Billy” Floyd, named her third daughter Billie, pictured here, shortly after his death. The baby’s sisters, ages 3 and 6, still ask about their uncle, who never missed a chance to play with them.  (Jesse Tinsley)

Family seeks Spokane man's killer 

Everywhere she goes, Heather Tipke looks for him. The man with glasses and short, “military-style hair,” as the few people who saw her brother’s killer have described him. It’s been nearly five months since William O. “Billy” Floyd, 22, was stabbed to death in a…

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