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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels David Wasson

TUESDAY, JUNE 29, 2010

Judge defends his Amanda Knox support

SEATTLE (AP) -- A King County judge accused of using the power of his office to lobby for convicted killer Amanda Knox says his statements to Italian authorities on her behalf were appropriate.Judge Michael Heavey filed his response with the Judicial Conduct Commission, which posted…

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SUNDAY, JUNE 20, 2010

Burning rodent blamed for $1m blaze

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Yakima fire officials say a rat that chewed through the electrical wiring of a jukebox is responsible for a $1 million fire that gutted the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 379.Investigators believe the rodent caught fire Wednesday morning and fled to…

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$50,000 for Barefoot Bandit's surrender 

SEATTLE (AP) — An anonymous donor is offering to pay a notorious Washington state teen burglar $50,000 if he turns himself in by next Tuesday.Everett bounty hunter Mike Rocha announced the offer on Thursday. He says it's genuine: The money's been placed in the trust…

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Sheriff dismisses private jail options

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich expressed doubt today that the City of Spokane could save any money by hiring a private company to run a municipal lockup. “We looked at privatization,” Knezovich said, adding the department had talked with a Montana company while researching options for a…

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Nurses and others now can OK pot use, too

OLYMPIA (AP) — Some nurses and other medical professionals will be allowed to authorize the use of medical marijuana for qualified patients under a measure signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire.Gregoire signed the bill Thursday and it takes effect June 10.It adds physician assistants,…

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Prosecutor rules police shooting justified

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — The Whatcom County prosecutor says a Bellingham police officer was justified in shooting at a murder suspect in February who later took his own life.Prosecutor Dave McEachran said in a report last week that Daniel Salas had shot his ex-girlfriend and…

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Pot activist survives shootout

KIRKLAND (AP) — A spokesman for the King County Sheriff's Office says deputies found 385 marijuana plants at the home of a medical marijuana activist who was in a shootout with robbers.Sgt. John Urquhart (URK'art) says investigators also found marijuana products such as butter, baked…

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You write the headline 

Meghann returns later this week.Meantime, here's an Associated Press story that's been getting a lot of attention online, and in the social media networks:MONTESANO, Wash. (AP) — An Elma man was killed by accidentally urinating on a downed power line after a one-car crash near…

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THURSDAY, FEB. 18, 2010

Lawmakers want police to be truthful

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The state Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to officially require law enforcement officers to "be truthful and honest" while carrying out their duties.That seems self-evident, but substitute Senate Bill 6590 is the result of a long-running Kitsap County case involving a deputy…

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TUESDAY, FEB. 16, 2010

SUNDAY, FEB. 14, 2010

Seattle mayor says gun control a state issue 

It's an election year. Taxes are going up. And, polls show increasing numbers of voters distrust their politicians. Even the most inexperienced political strategist would have to say good luck convincing the Legislature to tackle this one right now.SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn…

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 10, 2010

Idaho contemplates new fees on criminals

Anyone who's ever sat through even a few felony dockets in just about any courthouse nationwide probably has noticed the same overwhelming pattern among criminals: They tend to be dirt poor, often as a result of their own poor choices but, no matter how the…

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Chase in Everett leads to police pileup

Fortunately no one was severely injured in this pileup this morning, and the suspect was apprehended, but it makes you wonder how many times the words "oh crap" or similar variation on that phrase were uttered.Here's the initial coverage out of Everett from speed wire:EVERETT,…

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TUESDAY, FEB. 2, 2010

SUNDAY, JAN. 31, 2010

Truckers and chili rarely a good combination 

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — Police say a lumber truck crashed into a Massachusetts home after the driver was knocked unconscious when he choked on chili from Wendy's.Lowell police say Eric Gremm reported that he choked on the chili when the truck hit a bump, causing…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 26, 2010

Reorganization at SCSO

Scrambling to reorganize amid spending cuts, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office is moving Sgt. Dave Reagan into a supervisory role over the property crimes division, effective March 1.Reagan, the longtime public affairs officer and the wit behind many of the double entendres that find their…

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MONDAY, JAN. 25, 2010

Prisoner loses battle to play D&D

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A man serving life in prison for first-degree intentional homicide lost his legal battle Monday to play Dungeons & Dragons behind bars.Kevin T. Singer filed a federal lawsuit against officials at Wisconsin’s Waupun prison, arguing that a policy banning all Dungeons…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 19, 2010

Tumwater man killed with toilet paper

OLYMPIA (AP) — An autopsy determined that a man found dead Friday outside a Tumwater residence suffocated on tissue paper stuffed in his mouth.He's identified as 55-year-old Gerald F. Haag of Seattle.Thurston County sheriff's deputies arrested a 49-year-old man for investigation of murder.The sheriff's office…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 14, 2010

Police keep $400k from vacant house

WALLA WALLA, Wash. (AP) — The Walla Walla Police Department can keep $401,000 officers found in a vacant house. Walla Walla Superior Court Judge Donald Schacht ruled Thursday that it be forfeited as drug money and a man who claimed it is not the rightful…

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Seattle judge smacked in mouth

A mental patient threw his sandal at King County Superior Court judge Palmer Robinson, hitting the judge in the mouth but causing minimal injury.Three bailiffs subdued the attacker, who was identified by The Associated Press as 22-year-old Abdi Abukar of Seattle.Find the AP story by…

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13, 2010

Sentencing for criminally insane could change

Legislation inspired, at least in part, by criminally insane killer Philip Arnold Paul's escape from a mental hospital field trip to the Spokane County Fair last fall, is getting a gubernatorial push in Olympia.Gov. Chris Gregoire is calling for an overhaul of the way mentally…

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TUESDAY, DEC. 29, 2009


Noteworthy from the Pacific Northwest

From a Little League coach with questionable parenting skills to gang-bangers in Yakima with disasterously bad aim, click through to the full post for today's roundup of noteworthy crime and public safety news from across the Pacific Northwest.

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David Wasson oversees coverage of politics and state and local government and assists with editing on the City Desk.

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