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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for June 2010

FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2010

Driver in vintage car theft: I was duped

A Spokane tow truck driver is disputing police reports that he knowingly towed a stolen vintage car two weeks ago. Richard D. Ziesmer, owner of Pacific Towing and Recovery, said he had “absolutely no idea” the woman who asked him to tow the 1954 Ford…

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Lawyer disputes red-light program's legality

Local attorney John Clark challenged Spokane’s system of issuing tickets from red light cameras, arguing Thursday in Spokane Municipal Court that the city is not following well-established law. Officers have long been required to sign infractions indicating that they reviewed the tickets and attested to…

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2 arrested after raids net drugs, 15 guns

An interagency drug team arrested two men in Grant County this week on gun and drug charges. Illegal immigrant Manuel Alvarez-Meraz, 36, (right) was arrested early Tuesday with marijuana and 13 guns during a raid at 13497 Road B.8 SE, near Royal City. Along with…

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Witness in gang murder agrees to secret deal

A witness in a gang-related murder pleaded guilty to two charges this morning in a sealed agreement with prosecutors. Antonio E. Cook, Jr., 28, (left) will remain in jail pending sentencing, which was not immediately scheduled. The deal drops several charges, including robbery, gun and…

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Group honors jailer hurt by murder suspect

A sheriff's deputy who fractured his neck in an encounter with one of Spokane County Jail's most notorious inmates was honored today by a local civic group. Dan Leonetti received the Downtown Exchange Club's Blue and Gold Award for law enforcement injured in the line…

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Missing man with moon, sun tattoo found

Coeur d’Alene police are asking for help locating a 29-year-old man last seen Saturday. George R. Clowdus was last seen by his roommates, who reported him missing on Monday. Clowdus is described as 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds. He is bald, has blue eyes and has…

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Olson confirmed as U.S. attorney for Idaho

The U.S. Senate has unanimously confirmed Wendy J. Olson as the next U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho. U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Winmill will swear in Olson on Friday. Olson had been working as an assistant under U.S. Attorney Thomas Moss, who held…

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GOP group endorses both Bugbee, Tucker 

The Republicans of Spokane County endorsed both incumbent Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker and challenger Chris Bugbee after an election forum this week. That left out Republican challenger Dave Stevens, who earlier earned the endorsement of the Spokane County Republican Party. Democrat Frank Malone and…

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B.C. man w/ 80 lbs of coke gets 5 years

A Canadian man who smuggled cocaine into Eastern Washington will spend nearly five years in federal prison, a judge ruled today. Michael B. Yuill, 37, received about three years less than federal prosecutor’s requested and two years more than his defense lawyer requested. Yuill, of…

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Spokane duo arraigned in vintage car heist 

Two convicted felons accused of a burglary in which an antique Ford car was stolen pleaded not guilty this week in Spokane County Superior Court. The suspects, Susan Burke, 48, and Shane P. Venziano, 34, (pictured in 2006) were arrested June 7 after police found…

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Wanted: Man accused of threatening judge

UPDATE: Rory Schwanbeck was booked into jail on June 24.A convicted felon accused of intimidating a Spokane County District Court judge is wanted by police after a raid at his home revealed several firearms. Rory M. Schwanbeck, 54, is out of jail awaiting trial on…

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TUESDAY, JUNE 22, 2010

Sandpoint attorney Edgar Steele talks with the media about the McGuckin children of Sagle and how he now represents the family at a news conference Thursday evening in Sandpoint, May 31, 2001.  (File / The Spokesman-Review)

Steele's phone calls to wife, son released

Federal murder-for-hire suspect Edgar Steele will stay in jail pending trial after a judge found he had attempted to intimidate potential witnesses in the case – his wife and son. In a detention hearing Tuesday, federal prosecutors played two tapes of phone conversations Steele had…

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Tips sought on 3 Spokane Valley burglaries

Police are looking for tips on recent burglaries at two Spokane Valley child care centers and a coffee stand. Someone stole a Dell laptop computer from Kindercare, 422 N. Mullan Road, between 6:30 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday. About that same time, someone stole…

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Has the Barefoot Bandit hit the Midwest?

SEATTLE (AP) — Police in the Midwest are investigating whether an infamous teen burglar from Washington state is behind a string of break-ins and car thefts, officials said Monday. Colton Harris-Moore, a 6-foot-5 19-year-old from Camano Island, Wash., escaped from a halfway house south of…

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Suspect in murder plot held without bail

A suspected hitman-turned-informant who federal investigators say didn’t tell them he’d already planted a bomb on the car of a murder-plot target was ordered held without bail on Monday. U.S. Magistrate Candy Dale called her decision to keep Larry A. Fairfax, 49, behind bars “very…

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Tips sought on highway safety sign thefts

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that identify the thieves who stole batteries from construction zone signs in the Highway 395 and North Spokane Corridor. The thefts, which occurred between 9 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday, rendered the two reader boards useless…

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MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2010

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

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