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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Jan. 1, 2012

TUESDAY, OCT. 16, 2012

Rehired SPD detective gets apology, $350k

City leaders have apologized to a police detective fired last year for what officials described as a “troubled work history.” The Spokane City Council voted 5-1 on Monday to approve a $350,000 settlement with Detective Jeff Harvey, who was rehired earlier this year. The settlement…

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SATURDAY, OCT. 13, 2012

Spokane charges dropped in slaying plea

A man who just had three counts of aggravated murder dismissed against this week also had Spokane County charges dismissed as part of the same deal. Kevin Harper, 30, had been convicted of three counts of aggravated murder in Yakima County. But before he was…

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FRIDAY, OCT. 12, 2012

Spokane police officer Karl Thompson waits to cross the street after leaving the William O. Douglas Federal Courthouse in Yakima, Wash., Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.  Thompson was found guilty on two counts in the death of Otto Zehm. (Christopher Anderson / Spokesman-Review)

Thompson supporters invited to potluck 84 

UPDATE: Potluck for Thompson canceled. Officer John Gately just called Friday afternoon to say that the Nov. 3 event "An Evening with Karl" F. Thompson Jr. has been canceled. "It was never intended to offend anyone," Gately said. "It's canceled." HERE'S THE ORIGINAL POST: Most…

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THURSDAY, OCT. 11, 2012

From left, Karl Thompson, Carl Oreskovich and Spokane police Officer John Gately on Nov. 2. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

Oreskovich gets another week to file 

The defense attorneys of former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. have blamed a faulty email program for missing the deadline last Friday to file any objections to the pre-sentence report that could become the last major legal battle prior to sentencing. Thompson was…

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Police use family to find fugitive

Recently filed court documents show how Spokane Police on Monday tracked down the man who has been charged with Oct. 1 shooting in which his girlfriend suffered a bullet wound to the face: They followed the family. Joshua D. Graham, 30 appeared Tuesday before Superior…

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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10, 2012

Con man sent to prison for recent scams 

A con man whose schemes made victims out of dozens of people in three states was sentenced today to 29 months in prison. Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque sentenced 60-year-old Ronald G. Stratton to the high end of the range after a jury convicted him…

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TUESDAY, OCT. 9, 2012

Man charged in attack ordered held

The man charged with attacking a 62-year-old woman during a burglary last month that left her with serious injuries told police he was just trying to get out of her house when he threw an elbow at her. David J. Bassford, 38, appeared Monday before…

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'Blinded by anger' leads to arson charge

A Spokane man, who said he was blinded by anger, remains in jail on a $20,000 bond after he admitted smashing out the windows of his ex-girlfriend’s car before he set it ablaze early Saturday morning. Matthew A. Radeck, 26, appeared Monday before Superior Court…

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MONDAY, OCT. 8, 2012

John H. “Herb” Friedlund faces witness tampering charge.

Friedlund's antics at an end

A sentence on Friday of 10 years likely ends any chance of John "Herb" Friedlund of ever seeing another sunrise as a free man. At 79, and in poor health, Friedlund also faces several felonies in federal court now that he has been convicted of…

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FRIDAY, OCT. 5, 2012

Lawman named Lawless turns in his badge

The Inland Northwest's most unfortunately named police chief has resigned. Pat Lawless, who until Wednesday served as chief of the Spirit Lake Police Department, reportedly had engaged in an inappropriate conversation with other officers, two of whom have been disciplined. The city wouldn't say what…

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THURSDAY, OCT. 4, 2012

Going pink 

Spokane's largest ambulance service is going pink for October. American Medical Response has emblazoned one of its Spokane-based ambulances with bright pink stripes for breast cancer awareness month. Most of its 150 employees in Spokane also are wearing special pink shirts they bought themselves to…

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Family seeks information on missing teen 

The family of Austan Tyler Stone, 16, is asking the public for information on his whereabouts. The teenager was reported as a runaway on Sept. 10, according to the Post Falls Police Department. Stone's family says his cell phone was turned on briefly in Modesto,…

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MONDAY, OCT. 1, 2012

SATURDAY, SEPT. 29, 2012

Chattaroy sex offender sought

A convicted sex offender from Chattaroy is being sought after a Spokane County Sheriff’s investigation alleges that he had been providing alcohol and drugs to juvenile females before groping them. Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said detectives raided the home of 42-year-old Leslie Morgan, who…

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 28, 2012

Kicked door nets man burglary charge

In what appears to be a case of she said/he ran, Spokane Valley Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 50-year-old man who was accused Thursday of breaking into a woman’s home. Deputies, who are contracted to provide police service in Spokane Valley, responded at about 11 a.m.…

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THURSDAY, SEPT. 27, 2012

High court upholds Coe commitment

When I interviewed Kevin Coe in prison in 2006, I noted in the May 21, 2006, article that Coe looked fit for a 59-year-old man. Coe later wrote me a letter saying: "I look fit for any age." But it appears his legal fight for…

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Feds join Spokane shooting probe

A man charged with attempted second-degree murder in connection with a shot targeting three black youths was ordered held in jail Tuesday as federal authorities also indicated that they would investigate the shooting as a possible hate crime. Jimmy J. Blackburn, 29, pleaded not guilty…

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TUESDAY, SEPT. 25, 2012

Double amputee made threats, police say

HOUSTON (AP) — The FBI will help investigate what led a Houston police officer to shoot and kill a wheelchair-bound double amputee who was agitated and threatening police with what turned out to be a ballpoint pen, the city's police chief said Monday. Police Chief…

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Call nets burglary arrests and stolen car

A suspicious-person call ended up with a ride to the Spokane County Jail for a couple Sunday morning after the it was caught stealing items from an unoccupied home and placing them into a Subaru that was also stolen. Spokane Police officers Dave Kennedy and…

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MONDAY, SEPT. 24, 2012

Stealth burglar escapes with spoon collection

A Spokane County woman told sheriff’s deputies that she slept Sunday night while a burglar cleaned out her coin collections and spoons from all over the world. The 73-year-old homeowner called sheriff’s deputies after she awoke and realized that someone had come through an unlocked…

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Man shot by police suffered from dementia

SEATTLE (AP) — The family of a man shot to death by Seattle police says the 77-year-old suffered from dementia. The King County medical examiner's office hasn't yet released the name. Family members told The Seattle Times he's Henry Lee Sr. His son, Henry Lee…

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 21, 2012

SPD looking for reserve officers 

Can you do at least 21 pushups? Sprint 300 meters in 71 seconds or less? Run a mile-and-a-half in under 14:31? What about 30 situps in under a minute? If so, you may be eligible for the Spokane Police Department's reserve officer program. The department…

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THURSDAY, SEPT. 20, 2012

WSP job applicants' drug use an issue

Washington State Patrol officials announced the unenviable position Thursday of acknowledging its search to replace retiring troopers has been slowed by applicants who made poor decisions with prescription drugs. “These candidates may have taken the drugs for legitimate medical conditions, and might well have been…

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