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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Jonathan Brunt

Jonathan Brunt

Current Position: Asst. Managing Editor (Govt)

Jonathan Brunt joined The Spokesman-Review in 2004. He is the government editor. He previously was a reporter who covered Spokane City Hall, Spokane County government and public safety.

All Stories

News >  Spokane

Man may have set deadly trap for firefighters

Spokane Valley firefighters are investigating whether a man tried to kill them by blowing up an oven when they responded to his call for help last month. "Our expectation is that they call us because they want us to be there," said Dave Lobdell, assistant chief of the Spokane Valley Fire Department. "We don't expect to become targets when we get to the scene."
News >  Spokane

Fewer call for help after police cut 24-hour phone service

Since law enforcement agencies in Spokane County changed how they take reports of non-emergency crimes, citizens have called in 40 percent fewer crimes where an officer was not required. That worries officials like Spokane County Sheriff's Lt. Earl Howerton.
News >  Spokane

West urges prayers for leaders

Spokane Mayor Jim West said Saturday night that local leaders need the prayers of the community. "We elect them and assume that they are smarter than us, and they aren't," he told a prayer conference at the Korean Presbyterian Church in east Spokane. "… They are sinners. They have faults, any number of faults."

News >  Spokane

Donations to be shipped to Louisiana

The last time Michelle Busick organized a hurricane relief effort, she was living less than 200 miles away from the victims. Although she now lives in Spokane, some 2,500 miles from a coast ravaged by two powerful storms, Busick once again is leading an effort to help hurricane victims.
News >  Spokane

Jail readies new fire detection system

A new fire detection system is scheduled to be activated next week at the Spokane County Juvenile Justice Center – days after a blaze forced the building's evacuation for the second time in less than a year. Neither Saturday's fire, which was confined to a laundry room, nor an earlier one that caused significant damage to the probation department, was discovered until visitors smelled smoke.
News >  Spokane

Blaze forces evacuation of juvenile jail

A fire forced the evacuation of inmates from their cells Saturday afternoon at the Spokane Juvenile Justice Center. The blaze, which was confined to a laundry room, was the second fire in the last year at the justice center, which houses the jail, court and other criminal justice services for minors.
News >  Spokane

Reward offered for assistance in identifying man’s killer

A $2,000 reward is being offered for information that identifies who is responsible for the death of a man found on a downtown sidewalk last week. Medics were called at 7:55 a.m. Sept. 15 near Second Avenue and Madison Street, where Richard G. Morgan, 39, was laying after suffering head injuries. When crews arrived, Morgan could talk but refused to say what happened, according to an affidavit filed Thursday in district court.
News >  Spokane

Volunteers from Spokane obliged to wait out storm

Headed to the Gulf Coast with a truckload of food, water and other necessities for victims of Hurricane Katrina, three Spokane sisters have been forced to a motel until another brutal storm passes. Sharon Larson, Angela Geiss and Debbie McWilliams left earlier this week after gathering supplies from churches, schools and businesses. They made arrangements with a church to drop off the supplies in Hattiesburg, Miss.
News >  Spokane

Plane plunges into river, killing pilot

A man was killed Wednesday evening when the plane he was flying hit a power line and plunged into the Pend Oreille River near Ione, Wash. The four-seat Cessna manufactured in 1949 hit the power line about 5 p.m. and sunk to the bottom, according to a Pend Oreille County Sheriff's dispatcher.
News >  Spokane

Rec center defeated in Airway Heights

Airway Heights voters soundly rejected Tuesday a $5 million proposal to build a recreation center. Just 38 percent of voters supported the measure, which would have created a building with a pool and waterslides, a fitness center and meeting rooms. It needed 60 percent to pass.
News >  Spokane

Suspect arrested in man’s death

Detectives arrested a habitual criminal Friday evening on suspicion that he killed a man whose body was found Sept. 5 in a rural area near Elk. Ben Alan Burkey, 45, is accused of killing Rick L. Tiwater, who was discovered dead by a man riding an off-road vehicle near the 13400 block of East Laurel Road.
News >  Spokane

Spokane pair launch relief effort

It seemed crazy at first: Two Spokane citizens leading a hurricane relief effort. But only a few days after two sisters decided to rent a truck, fill it with supplies and drive 2,400 miles to reach Hurricane Katrina evacuees, a food bank is awaiting their arrival, and Spokane schools, businesses and churches have donated enough cash and food for the women to get a bigger truck.
News >  Spokane

Faithful step up to assist those stricken by disaster

The images from New Orleans may be shocking, but Inland Northwest religious leaders said the disaster of Hurricane Katrina may lead to a better world. "God makes no mistake," said the Rev. Dr. C.W. Andrews Sr., of Calvary Baptist Church in Spokane. "Out of all of this, some good will come."
News >  Idaho

Pair plead guilty in UI murder

Two brothers pleaded guilty Friday in last year's murder of a University of Idaho student. Brothers James J. Wells, 26, and Matthew R. Wells II, 27, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Eric McMillan, a 19-year-old freshman on the football team. The men shot McMillan in his chest and head at his Moscow apartment on Sept. 19; he died at a hospital the next morning.
News >  Spokane

Hate crime suspect in jail

A skinhead accused in last week's attack on a group of American Indian youths in Spokane was in jail Thursday – in Wyoming – after he allegedly assaulted another person. Daniel Gean Wilson, 28, was released from Spokane County Jail last week after Spokane Police failed to produce the necessary paperwork to keep him there.
News >  Spokane

Meth roundup nets Spokane suspects

In what was intended to be a show of force Tuesday, federal authorities announced the arrest of 427 suspected drug dealers as part of a national crackdown on methamphetamine. That total includes four arrests made last week in Spokane and 28 overall in the state of Washington.
News >  Spokane

Radio show host injured

The host of a nationally syndicated radio show was seriously injured Thursday afternoon in a motorcycle crash near Mount Spokane State Park. Laurie Roth, affectionately called the "Annie Oakley of the airwaves" by listeners, was airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center after she collided with a deer on state Highway 206 about 3:30 p.m., said Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeff Sevigney. She was listed in critical condition Thursday night.
News >  Spokane

West recall drive starts

OLYMPIA – Critics of Spokane Mayor Jim West on Thursday launched their petition drive for 12,567 signatures: the number needed to trigger a citywide recall vote. "I wanted the citizens of Spokane to have a voice, and they have a voice now: they can put their name on the petition or not," said Shannon Sullivan, a divorced mother who convinced two courts to allow the recall vote.
News >  Spokane

Auditor warns issue may not make Nov. 8 ballot

Even a lightning-fast ruling from the state's highest court Wednesday did nothing to change the contention by Spokane County's top election officials that it's probably too late to add the recall effort against Spokane Mayor Jim West to the Nov. 8 general election ballot. But recall organizers, who disagree with county Auditor Vicky Dalton's assessment, are pledging to try.
News >  Spokane

Geiger may add 128 beds

Federal inmates housed in Kennewick because of overcrowding in the Spokane County Jail could be shipped back to Spokane under new proposals to expand Geiger Corrections Center. The West Plains detention center run by Spokane County is considering adding 128 beds. County jail inmates would then be shifted to the West Plains, making space for federal inmates in the jail.
News >  Spokane

Police investigate parents in death of 5-month-old

Police are investigating a Spokane mother and father in connection with last month's death of their 5-month-old baby. The baby girl was found dead by her parents on July 5 in their east Spokane apartment at 2712 E. South Riverton. Responders found blood coming from the baby's mouth and an unknown substance coming from her ear, according to search warrant documents released this week.
News >  Spokane

Search continues for infant’s mother

Investigators continued searching on Wednesday for a woman who abandoned a baby in a bathroom stall at a highway rest area. The baby, which was between three and five pounds, was found dead about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday in a woman's bathroom at the westbound Interstate 90 rest stop near Sprague, Wash..
News >  Spokane

Man accused of rape, kidnap of bar worker

A 26-year-old man has been arrested in the alleged kidnapping and rape of a woman taken from a Spokane Valley bar early Saturday. Investigators believe Gary Wayne Austin, 26, robbed the Corner Club Tavern at Park Road and Trent Avenue about 2:15 a.m. and abducted and raped a bar employee who was at the business alone.
News >  Spokane

School fire crews wary and weary, but hopeful

POMEROY, Wash. – Fire managers were optimistic Friday about the progress they've made against the School fire, which has burned 75 square miles in southeastern Washington. But in the evening came the wind, and it was unclear what effect it had on the blaze. Power to the nearest town, Pomeroy, and the fire camp – which is serving more than 1,700 personnel – was lost as a storm barreled through, and officials there were not reachable by phone.
News >  Spokane

Fire burns 109 homes

The latest count of buildings burned by the School fire in southeastern Washington is double what fire bosses had previously estimated. "I've got some real bad news on the School fire; we've confirmed 109 homes now that have been lost," as well as 106 outbuildings, said John Townsley, a spokesman for the Interagency Coordination Center, a Portland-based agency that helps coordinate the work of federal and state firefighting agencies.