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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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St. Vincent de Paul receives shelter aid

From staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

St. Vincent de Paul in Coeur d’Alene has been granted $44,459 by the Idaho Housing and Finance Association to support its homeless shelters.

The grant was one of 17 distributed to shelters across the state by the association, which administers a $517,264 Emergency Shelter Grant program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The emergency shelter grants help pay for the operation or minor rehabilitation of emergency shelters, support services to the homeless and homelessness prevention activities. In Coeur d’Alene, the money will help St. Vincent de Paul pay staff salaries, cover shelter maintenance and operational costs, and purchase shelter food.

Other grant recipients in North Idaho are Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, a 24-hour provider of emergency shelter in the Pullman-Moscow area, and the YWCA of Lewiston, which shelters victims of domestic violence, and homeless families with children. Alternatives to Violence was awarded $23,540 and the YWCA received $34,500.

Girls report man’s lewd behavior to police

Coeur d’Alene Police are seeking a man who allegedly drove past two girls on Thursday, masturbating as he watched them.

The girls told police the man drove past them near Government Way and Second Street. When he drove past again, the girls said he stopped close by and they saw that he was naked from the waist down and masturbating.

They described him as 40 years old, scruffy and “hairy, with dark hair … unshaven, heavyset, but not fat.” He was allegedly driving a maroon minivan with tinted windows.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320 or the Tip Line at (208) 769-2296.

Man missing 7 weeks arrested in Sandpoint

Authorities in Bonner County on Sunday arrested a 35-year-old man who may have staged his disappearance in Okanogan County, Wash.

Tony W. Desautel, who had been the subject of a search last month after his horse was found in an area where Desautel sometimes rides, was picked up in Sandpoint and charged on an outstanding warrant, a Bonner County Sheriff’s official said.

Desautel is accused of imprisoning a woman at gunpoint at his Spokane County home on Aug. 9, 2004. Court documents allege that he tied her to a bed and attempted to rape her before driving to a wooded area on the Colville Indian Reservation near Grand Coulee Dam. The court documents state Desautel released the woman, than shot himself in the chest with a .38-caliber pistol.

Desautel was scheduled to stand trial on kidnapping and attempted rape charges in Spokane County Superior Court on July 18. But on July 10, Okanogan County officials found Desautel’s horse, truck and trailer at a boat launch outside Elmer City. Desautel had been seen the previous day near the launch, an area where Desautel had apparently ridden for years.

The horse was still saddled and was wet, and authorities feared Desautel may have been hurt. But Okanogan County Sheriff Frank T. Rogers said at the time that Desautel’s disappearance could also have been staged.

After several days, authorities scaled back the search for Desautel, who has now been booked into the Bonner County Jail.

Man missing on berry picking trip found dead

Lewiston The body of a missing Lapwai man was found by searchers over the weekend.

Ronald Larry Wheeler, 31, was reported missing Wednesday after he vanished while picking huckleberries with friends in the Coolwater Ridge area between the Lochsa and Selway rivers. Wheeler’s body was discovered Saturday by members of the Idaho County Sheriff’s Posse.

The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office said an autopsy has been scheduled.

Buildings saved in lumber yard fire

Blackfoot, Idaho No buildings were lost in a lumber yard fire that forced the temporary evacuation of several nearby homes, fire officials said.

The fire started Sunday afternoon, apparently sparked by someone who was burning a pile of weeds nearby, officials said. As the flames spread among several large piles of treated lumber at Shepherd Truss Co., firefighters from Shelley, Firth, Aberdeen, Blackfoot, the Bureau of Land Management and Idaho National Laboratory worked to keep the blaze from reaching the company’s main building and nearby houses.

Bingham County Sheriff Dave Johnson said firefighters will stay at the scene for the next few days to make sure the wood piles don’t flare up again. Neighbors were allowed back in their homes late Sunday.

The flames burned two power poles and knocked out an Idaho Power transmission line, temporarily stopping electricity to about 14 customers, according to Idaho Power.

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