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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Compiled from wire reports

Man, 18, arrested after police chase

An 18-year-old man was arrested Thursday after leading police on a car chase that circled Holmes Elementary School.

Officials placed the school in lockdown to prevent children from wandering into the danger area, Spokane Police spokesman Dick Cottam said in a news release.

Arrested was 18-year-old Channing Victor Montez, Cottam said. Officers found heroin and several prescription medications in his possession, police said. Montez was booked on three counts of drug possession, one count of assault for allegedly backing into a squad car and one count of attempting to elude.

The incident started about 11:45 a.m. when Cpl. Jim Muzatko saw a driver, later identified as Montez, passing other vehicles on the left and right, Cottam said.

The driver of the 1985 Jeep Cherokee refused to stop and the chase ranged in speed from 20 to 60 mph down alleys and streets, Cottam said.

The chase ended when the Cherokee skidded into a parked car at Maxwell and Cochran. Montez jumped out and ran, but Muzatko tackled him, Cottam said.

Bonds will pay for Liberty Lake City Hall

Liberty Lake is paying for its new 7,600-square-foot City Hall with $1.2 million in tax general obligation bonds.

Arlene Fisher, city finance director, said the council approved using 15-year bonds, which carry an interest rate of 4.48 percent, to pay for the $925,000 building and updates. The facility, 2217 E. Country Vista Drive, was originally constructed as a care facility and has two wings with 18 bedrooms.

“That will give us enough to take care of the renovations and anything else that comes up,” Fisher said.

Renovations include knocking out a wall that divides the two wings, which will house City Hall and the police department, combining rooms to create two conference areas and adding a holding cell and two dog kennels on the police end of the building.

The purchase is expected to close around June 11. Construction will begin shortly after and the city hopes to move into its new building by early September.

Administration sued over forest policy changes

Washington Environmentalists sued the Bush administration Thursday, objecting to recent changes in the Northwest Forest Plan they say endanger salmon and clean water.

The suit, filed in federal court in Seattle, follows a suit filed last month objecting to another change in the forest plan that eased restrictions on logging of old-growth forests.

The administration announced the new rules in March, finalizing changes in the works for more than a year. One change relaxes a rule requiring that forest managers look for rare plants and animals before logging, while the other allows agencies to meet clean-water goals on a broad, watershed-wide basis rather than through evaluation of individual projects.

Administration officials say most old-growth forest in the region – 86 percent – remains protected. The new rules also preserve clean water and allow sufficient habitat for old-growth species, said Rex Holloway, a spokesman for the Forest Service.

Environmentalists have decried the changes, saying they would double logging on federal land in Washington, Oregon and northern California, and have disastrous consequences for rare species.

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