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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Thursday’s rainfall largest since February

It was barely enough to soak the city’s drying lawns, but Thursday’s rain over the Spokane area was the city’s largest rainfall since Feb. 17.

A total of .36 inches of rain was measured at Spokane International Airport through early evening, nearly eclipsing the city’s last good soaking rain of .44 inches on Feb. 17. Rain totals were spotty. Felts Field east of Spokane had only 0.07 inches of rain Thursday.

Forecasters have been worried about drought-like conditions causing elevated fire danger this summer. “This will hopefully help,” said forecaster John Werner at the National Weather Service office northwest of Spokane. More showers are in the forecast for Saturday night and Sunday, he said.

Thursday’s rain breaks a spell of more than two months of below-normal precipitation. As of May 12, the city was two inches of rain below normal since March 1.

Pole fire cuts power to 65 Avista customers

Approximately 65 Avista customers lost power briefly Thursday afternoon when a pole caught fire.

The pole near Carnahan Road and East Sprague Avenue caught fire around 2:30 p.m. The fire was likely caused by dusty, moist weather conditions, according to an Avista spokeswoman.

Power was quickly restored to most customers. A few were without power until approximately 5 p.m., the spokeswoman said.

Cheney school trustees to discuss resignation

The Cheney School District Board of Directors will hold a special meeting today at 7 a.m. in the board room of the Fisher Building, 520 Fourth St., in Cheney. The meeting will be for the purpose of accepting a letter of resignation that was not included on the general consent agenda at the May 12 meeting.

Ex-admiral to be head of security at Sea-Tac

Seattle A former airport security supervisor in San Diego and a retired Coast Guard rear admiral will be in charge of security following a shakeup at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

John C. “Jack” Kelley Jr., formerly deputy federal security director at San Diego International Airport, will become federal security director at Sea-Tac starting Monday, officials said Tuesday.

Ralph D. Utley, a retired Coast Guard rear admiral, will be deputy federal security director for the Transportation Security Administration at the airport at a date to be set later.

Kelley told The Seattle Times the TSA’s acting administrator, Rear Adm. David Stone, was sending a message by moving him to Sea-Tac as soon as possible.

“He feels that it’s a serious issue,” Kelley said. “He wants to make things right.”

Mom charged with manslaughter in tot’s death

Ephrata, Wash. The mother of an Ephrata toddler who died in September has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, KING-TV reported Thursday.

Two-year-old Rafael Gomez bounced in and out of foster care several times before the state returned him to his birth parents in the spring of 2003, over his foster family’s objections.

He died of blunt force trauma to his head while in the care of his mother, Maribel Gomez. His death was ruled a homicide, and Ephrata police named Gomez as the prime suspect in February.

“Gomez has denied causing her son’s death and said the boy’s injuries were the result of accidents. The boy’s father, Jose Arechiga, was not present when the boy was injured and has not been charged.

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