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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Aug. 2012

FRIDAY, AUG. 31, 2012

Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Chamberlin monitors how well a test car brakes after an  application of liquid de-icer near the intersection of  Wellesley and Trent avenues Jan. 29, during the reconstruction of an accident that  injured two East Valley High students Dec. (Colin Mulvany)

Sheriff's Office touts new task force 

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office issued statistics Thursday indicating that an on-going effort to target criminals responsible for residential burglaries has begun to pay off. Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said reported burglaries have decreased in unincorporated Spokane County by about 8 percent when comparing…

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THURSDAY, AUG. 30, 2012

Firefighter suspended over religious emails

A Spokane Valley firefighter says he'll continue using his government email account to send religious-oriented messages to fellow firefighters despite being suspended for two days and ordered to stop. Fire Capt. Jon Sprague contends that he has a constitutional right to use taxpayer-provided resources to…

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Burglary suspects caught in the act

Spokane County deputies arrested a man and a woman who claimed to be staying at a furnished but unoccupied home on North Sands Road after they found the home ransacked. The case started Monday night when the homeowner drove out to the home, in the…

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WEDNESDAY, AUG. 29, 2012

Jury sends child stalker to the island

A jury took under an hour, excluding lunch, Tuesday to civilly commit a convicted rapist to state custody likely for the rest of his life. Albert A. Brooks, 67, showed no emotion as the jury confirmed that the state provided enough evidence to show that…

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TUESDAY, AUG. 28, 2012

John H. "Herb" Friedlund, the suspect in a neglect case involving a 106-year-old woman, was arrested Aug. 2, 2011, when he showed up to court for a hearing to appoint new legal counsel. Friedlund, 78, was arrested on nine felony theft charges related to missing funds from the woman, Frances T. Swan.   (Stevens County Sheriff's Department)

Charges mount for Friedlund

A Stevens County man charged with illegally raiding hundreds of thousands of dollars from the elderly woman under his care has been ordered to remain in federal custody at the Spokane County Jail. John "Herb" Friedlund, 79, sought release Monday from U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia…

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MONDAY, AUG. 27, 2012

Thieves muscle in on school fundraiser

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A Eugene school's wrestling team was feeling pretty good about raising funds by collecting scrap metal until thieves muscled in on the action. Churchill High School coach Scott Kearney expected Saturday's fundraiser would bring in more than $3,000, based on the…

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FRIDAY, AUG. 24, 2012

THURSDAY, AUG. 23, 2012

Straub promises innovation for SPD

Spokane Mayor David Condon made it official Wednesday, naming former Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub as his choice to take over leadership of the city's scandal-scarred police force. The appointment requires City Council confirmation, which could take up to a month to bring to…

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Ouch: Skull fractured in sword attack

Police are looking for a sword-wielding maniac who attacked a bystander in Spokane Valley earlier this week, landing at least two blows on the victim's head and fracturing his skull. Investigators think they know who's responsible and are asking for help locating the man they…

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WEDNESDAY, AUG. 22, 2012

Home invasion robbery targets 82-year-old

Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies are seeking help identifying two men who reportedly entered the home of an 82-year-old woman Tuesday and stole several items. The victim told deputies that two males, between the ages of 17 and 22, entered the home in the 12500 block…

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TUESDAY, AUG. 21, 2012

James R. Cooley, 22 (Meghann M. Cuniff / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane child killer gets 36 years  

A Spokane man who pleaded guilty to killing a 1-year-old and beating another infant blind and brain damage was sentenced Monday to more than 36 years in prison. James R. Cooley, 24, apologized the families of the children he abused and said he wished he…

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MONDAY, AUG. 20, 2012

Investigation just beginning in homicide 

A 25-year-old man was found dead Sunday morning in what Spokane Valley authorities are investigating as a possible homicide. Spokane County Sheriff’s detectives believe they know the identity of the deceased man but don’t know how he died, sheriff’s spokesman Deputy David Thornburg said in…

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Laughing driver caught after chase 

Spokane Police arrested a 21-year-old woman today after she drove away from a traffic stop and continued to laugh as officers chased her through southeast Spokane until one officer finally ended the chase by forcing her to crash. The chase started just before 5 p.m.…

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FRIDAY, AUG. 17, 2012

Deputy prosecutor becomes burglary victim

A man charged with everything from harming a police dog and burglarizing the condominium owned by the Chief Civil Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor appeared in court Thursday and was held on a $100,000 bond. Christopher A. Hill, 32, appeared before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese…

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Accused bear spray robber gets $10,000 bond

The man accused of using bear spray to commit two robberies was ordered held on a $10,000 bond for a companion charge of assault. Jeffrey M. Matthews, 29, appeared Friday before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese. However, documents had not yet arrived regarding two other…

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THURSDAY, AUG. 16, 2012

Pyramid prank spreads to Vermont

Is it a trend or a copycat caper? Less than a week after Spokane pranksters snagged the spotlight with their makeshift pyramids built from stacked picnic tables in city parks, police in Vermont are investigating similar hijinks. The Associated Press reports that burglars broke into…

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Spokane losing first police ombudsman

Spokane’s first police ombudsman will soon be out of a job, and the city may be without a permanent replacement for several months. Mayor David Condon has decided not to renew Ombudsman Tim Burns’ three-year contract that expires Aug. 24, said City Administrator Theresa Sanders.…

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WEDNESDAY, AUG. 15, 2012

Car prowling surge reported in county

The Sheriff's Office is warning of a surge in vehicle prowling in the Greenacres area of east Spokane County. Nearly 24 prowlings have been reported to Crime Check since Monday. They've occurred mostly between Barker Road and Harvard Road, and north of Sprague Avenue to…

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A reward is being offered for tips that help identify a man who robbed a Spokane convenience store at gunpoint early Saturday.
Surveillance photos released today show the man pointing a gun at a clerk at 7-Eleven, 1425 N. Maple St., about 4:30 a.m.
The robber is described as 5-foot-6 and 180 pounds, and in his late 20s or early 30s.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips <a href="">online.</a>  Tipsters do not have to leave their name to collect a reward but should lave a code name or number. (Spokane Police Department)

Photos show gunpoint 7-Eleven robbery

A reward is being offered for tips that help identify a man who robbed a Spokane convenience store at gunpoint early Saturday. Surveillance photos released today show the man pointing a gun at a clerk at 7-Eleven, 1425 N. Maple St., about 4:30 a.m. The…

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Robber gets 41 years for '92 murder

A serial bank robber and protected federal witness has been sentenced to 41 years in prison for the 1992 murder of a Spokane Valley furniture store owner. Patrick Kevin Gibson, 60, was convicted of first-degree murder of the Nov. 7, 1992, shooting death of Brian…

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A Spokane Sheriff's car, driven by Deputy Rustin Olson in a crash last Friday, sits in the Sheriff's parking lot Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. The car left the roadway and flipped on South Pines Rd. after hitting a chunk of firewood placed or dropped in the roadway. Olson was speeding to a call about a fight at South Pines Elementary when it happened, but there was no fight found, leading police to suspect a hoax designed to catch a police officer driving by and cause an accident. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

2 teen boys arrested in cop car crash

A Spokane County sheriff's car driven by Deputy Rustin Olson in a crash sits in the Sheriff's Office parking lot on Aug. 8. (SRPhoto/Jesse Tinsley) Two teens have been arrested for placing wood and rocks on Pines Road that led to a patrol car crash…

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This piranha was seized from a South Hill apartment on Friday. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Piranhas, alligator seized on South Hill

Piranhas and a small alligator were seized from a South Hill apartment on Friday. (submitted photos) Piranhas offered for trade on Craigslist led state fish and game agents to seize several of the exotic, human-eating fish from an apartment on Spokane’s lower South Hill. The…

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TUESDAY, AUG. 14, 2012

Convicted conman pleads guilty to fraud 

A conman who went to prison for duping people out of $124,000 for a fraudulent cattle farm investment is likely headed back here after pleading guilty to a similar scheme in North Idaho. James Andrew Harris, 44, pleaded guilty to wire fraud Monday and faces…

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Man arrested for assault w/ gun, vehicle

A Spokane man was arrested early Saturday for allegedly threatening a man with a handgun, then running into him with his SUV. Christopher Gregory told police he confronted Ike Scott Smith, 30, about a woman named Lisa and property that might be in his home…

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