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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Staff > Local news > Karen Dorn Steele > Stories
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Most Recent Stories

News >  Spokane
July 15, 2011, midnight
The U.S. Department of Energy has tentatively agreed to settle the claims of 139 people with thyroid disease – the largest settlement so far in a massive civil suit brought by people exposed as children to clouds of radioactive iodine from Hanford during World War II and the early years of the Cold War. Details of the proposed settlement, which must be accepted by the individual plaintiffs, were filed this week in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

News >  Spokane
May 24, 2011, midnight
Shannon Rhodes’ losing battle to prove that Hanford radiation emissions caused her spreading thyroid cancer spanned two trials and ended in federal court six years ago. Now, her life has ended as well – cut short by complications from metastasized thyroid cancer.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 5, 2011, midnight
A woman suing Hanford contractors over her thyroid cancer, whose request for an expedited federal trial was denied last year by a Spokane judge, lies near death in a Longview, Wash., hospice. Deborah Clark, 61, was transferred from the Oregon Health & Science University hospital in Portland to the hospice on Tuesday, according to her mother, Betty Hiatt, of Vancouver, Wash. Clark’s thyroid cancer had spread to her bones; she cannot walk and needs sedation for extreme pain.

News >  Spokane
March 21, 2009, midnight
The Washington State Bar Association may be joining the legal debate over whether a Spokane jury’s racially charged remarks against a plaintiff’s lawyer during deliberations in a medical malpractice trial were sufficient grounds to nullify the verdict. The bar association’s Amicus Brief Committee has recommended that the bar’s board of governors vote at its April meeting in Richland to approve a request to file a friend-of-the-court brief in the 2007 case, Turner v. Stime.

News >  Spokane
March 19, 2009, 3:13 p.m.
The Court of Appeals in Spokane has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of a retired sailor who killed Ken Conklin and wounded Thomas Darco during a drunken party on Spokane’s South Hill in 2007.

News >  Spokane
March 16, 2009, 9:45 p.m.
The Spokane Police Department has launched its internal investigation of suspended officer Jay Olsen amid widespread public outrage over Friday’s jury verdict that acquitted Olsen of shooting a man in the head and firing bullets into Peaceful Valley.

News >  Spokane
March 13, 2009, 2:42 p.m.
Suspended Spokane police officer Jay Olsen was acquitted of first-degree assault and reckless endangerment for shooting Shonto Pete in the head and firing four other bullets in Peaceful Valley on Feb. 26, 2007.

News >  Spokane
March 13, 2009, midnight
The fate of suspended Spokane police Officer Jay Olsen, charged with shooting Shonto Pete in the head and sending a volley of bullets into Peaceful Valley two years ago, is in the jury’s hands. A standing-room-only crowd, including supporters of Olsen and Pete, packed Spokane County Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque’s courtroom Thursday afternoon to hear closing arguments.

News >  Spokane
March 9, 2009, 1:19 p.m.
In the midst of his first-degree assault trial, suspended Spokane police officer Jay Olsen has been hit with a new federal lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages for shooting Shonto Pete in the head on February 26, 2007.

News >  Spokane
March 4, 2009, 1:48 p.m.
Sudden threat – or deadly pursuit? Two competing versions of the February 2007 incident that ended with Shonto Pete shot in the head and assault charges against suspended police officer Jay Olsen began to emerge Wednesday during testimony in Olsen’s trial in Spokane County Superior Court.

News >  Spokane
March 3, 2009, 1:40 p.m.
The young man pounding on his door at 3:30 a.m. with blood streaming from a head wound was “absolutely petrified,” a former Peaceful Valley resident told a Spokane jury Tuesday.

News >  Spokane
March 2, 2009, 1:14 p.m.
All he’d wanted was a ride home. But he ended up getting shot in the head by a mysterious pursuer, Shonto Pete told a Spokane jury Monday in the opening day of testimony in the trial of suspended Spokane police officer Jay Olsen.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 26, 2009, midnight
A Spokane County jury has ruled that Donald T. Townsend is a sexually violent predator who should be confined indefinitely. The jury delivered its verdict Wednesday morning in the courtroom of Spokane County Superior Court Judge Jerome J. Leveque, who presided over Townsend’s civil commitment trial. The jury got the case late Tuesday and deliberated only a few hours.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 25, 2009, 2:11 p.m.
A Spokane County jury has ruled that Donald T. Townsend is a sexually violent predator who should be confined indefinitely in a state institution for sex offenders.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 25, 2009, midnight
Misty Schleve, 25, was living with several roommates in Spokane and struggling to pay her bills when she took out a $200 payday loan just before Christmas 2004. It had an annual interest rate of 350 percent. A month later, when she was late paying it back, “things got ugly,” Schleve said.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 24, 2009, 7:14 p.m.
The fate of a Spokane man with a long history of sexually abusing children is in the hands of a Superior Court jury.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 21, 2009, 5:51 p.m.
The early-morning shooting of a fleeing man in Peaceful Valley took place two years ago. The trial has been postponed five times. But suspended Spokane police Officer James “Jay” Olsen will finally be tried this week.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 18, 2009, midnight
Three men in their 20s accused by an 18-year-old OxyContin addict of assisting in a robbery and assault of two Spokane drug dealers last year were acquitted Tuesday of attempted first-degree murder. But a Spokane County Superior Court jury found the three men guilty of first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and drive-by shooting, with an enhanced sentence for the use of a shotgun. It was a case in which the prosecutor’s office drew a judicial sanction, the star witness got a light sentence in a juvenile facility and some of the reluctant witnesses from the drug underworld gave conflicting testimony.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 17, 2009, noon
Three men in their 20s accused by an 18-year-old Oxycontin addict of assisting in a robbery and assaulting two Spokane drug dealers last year were acquitted today of attempted first-degree murder. But a Spokane County Superior Court jury did find the three men guilty of first-degree assault and drive-by shooting.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 12, 2009, midnight
The state is hanging its felony case in the armed robbery of two Spokane drug dealers on an 18-year-old OxyContin addict who borrowed his mother’s pickup to serve as the getaway driver for the April 2008 heist. Matthew Dunham, 17 at the time of the robbery, is the state’s star witness in the trial of Tyler W. Gassman, Robert E. Larson and Paul E. Statler, who have pleaded innocent.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 11, 2009, 12:01 a.m.
The city of Spokane has begun the search for a police ombudsman, a position that got strong public support after several recent controversies, including the 2006 death of mentally disabled janitor Otto Zehm in a confrontation with police. The job will pay $77,130 to $94,628 annually. The successful applicant will be appointed for a three-year term and can be reappointed to a second three-year term. The deadline to apply is Feb. 27.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 10, 2009, 10:20 a.m.
The city of Spokane has begun the search for a police ombudsman, a position that got strong public support after several recent controversies, including the 2006 death of mentally disabled janitor Otto Zehm in a confrontation with police.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 10, 2009, midnight
It was a drug deal gone bad – but who was involved? In a Spokane County Superior Court jury trial that began Monday, the state is accusing three men of taking part in the April 17 home-invasion robbery of several drug dealers negotiating an OxyContin purchase.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 9, 2009, 12:25 p.m.
The Washington Court of Appeals in Spokane has ordered a self-styled “tax protester” to pay $1,000 to the federal government for filing a frivolous appeal.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 8, 2009, midnight
The Center for Justice was born from an “out of the blue” phone call to lawyer Jim Sheehan. The public defender accustomed to raiding his own closet to outfit his low-income clients had suddenly become a multimillionaire thanks to a 1997 bequest from his aunt Verle Pozzo, the widow of United Parcel Service’s co-founder.