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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Missing man found dead near vehicle

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

A 54-year-old Spokane County man apparently died Wednesday when his 1967 Jeep left Mullen Hill Road south of Excelsior Road and rolled. His body wasn’t discovered until Saturday.

Steven R. Thompson, 12423 S. Monument Lane, was found Saturday about 25 feet away from his Jeep, which had come to rest about 150 feet off the roadway, sheriff’s spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan said in a press release.

An acquaintance saw Thompson at The Hideout Bar on Wednesday. Thompson left for a while but returned at 10 the same night and tried to bring his dogs into the bar. The acquaintance told deputies that he believed Thompson was intoxicated but the friend was unable to separate Thompson from his keys, Reagan said.

Thompson, who had previously been arrested five times for driving under the influence, was last seen driving his Jeep away from the bar. His family reported him missing Saturday.

Later Saturday, Thompson’s body was discovered. A metal alcohol flask was discovered not far from the body, Reagan said.

Felon convicted on gun charge, faces 15 years

A 29-year-old confirmed gang member from Spokane faces a minimum of 15 years in federal prison after he was convicted Thursday of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Michael Davis Bryant, 29, was arrested in August 2003 by Spokane County sheriff’s deputies and agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

While searching Bryant’s car, investigators found a 9 mm pistol wrapped in a pair of Bryant’s underwear, sheriff’s spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan said. Bryant has six previous felony convictions for drugs and weapons charges.

A jury on Thursday convicted Bryant of the latest weapons charge, which falls under the purview of Project Safe Neighborhoods. That is a partnership of federal and local law enforcement seeking to reduce gun violence in Eastern Washington, Reagan said.

Bike safety rodeo includes free helmets for kids

Members of the Espanola/Medical Lake SCOPE program will conduct a bicycle safety rodeo Wednesday in Medical Lake and will give away free bike helmets.

The safety rodeo will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Wee Lambs Day Care, 400 E. Grace in Medical Lake.

SCOPE, or the Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort, will provide bike helmets to any children who participate and don’t have helmets, sheriff’s spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan said. The rodeo is just one of many child-safety programs that volunteers conduct throughout the county’s 16 SCOPE stations, Reagan said.

Fix in works for pipe that’s closed Hillyard pool

Spokane’s city swimming pool in Hillyard was closed Saturday and Sunday and will remain closed until late today or possibly Wednesday after a fitting on the main recirculation line cracked Friday night, parks officials said.

The break in the 10-inch diameter pipe shut down the pool’s recirculation system, said Tony Madunich of the city parks maintenance division. Replacement parts are not available locally, he said in an e-mail.

Parts were ordered Monday morning and will be shipped overnight and should arrive today. “Depending on the difficulty encountered putting this back together and allowing some time for glued pipe joints to cure, it could be Wednesday before the pool is operating again,” Madunich said.

More applicants sought for corrections jobs

The Spokane County Civil Service Office is looking for more men and women to work at the Spokane County Jail.

As of Monday only 20 applicants had filed to take the corrections deputy test scheduled for July 26, sheriff’s spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan said in a press release.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office typically hires a dozen or more corrections employees each year to cover vacancies inside the jail. The 20 current applicants may not be enough to cover the expected openings, Reagan said.

Applicants must be at least 21, citizens of the United States who can read and write in English. A high school diploma or an equivalent education is required for the job that starts at $2,865 per month, Reagan said.

Persons interested in applying to test can do so by contacting the Spokane County Civil Service Office at 1229 W. Mallon Ave., or by calling (509) 477-4711.

The application process ends Friday.

Stretch of Nevada Street closed for signal work

Nevada Street will be closed today through Thursday morning between Hawthorne and the Newport Highway.

Traffic will be detoured along Hawthorne.

Vandervert Construction is adding a signal at Nevada and the Newport Highway.

Rock mine near Windy Bay gets approval

The Kootenai County commission has approved a 10-acre rock mine off U.S. Highway 95 near Windy Bay.

Kootenai Properties Inc., which is owned by Forrest Godde, asked the county for a five-year conditional use permit to mine rock for public road projects. Godde owns the 800 acres in the rural area west of Lake Creek on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation.

Commission Chairman Gus Johnson voted against the proposal Thursday while Commissioners Katie Brodie and Rick Currie voted in favor.

A couple of neighbors oppose the mine proposal because of the potential for noise and dust.

The project is separate from Godde’s failed request for a rock quarry near Mica Creek, which was rejected by the commission in April because of concerns about contaminating the creek that empties into Mica Bay.

That wasn’t the first time the county has rejected the rock quarry plan. Godde sued the county in 2001 for initially denying a proposed 175-acre mine.

Godde dropped the lawsuit just as it reached the Idaho Supreme Court and instead decided to reapply with the smaller request that was also rejected.

I-90 traffic in CdA diverted for bridge work

Drivers beware: The section of I-90 near the Government Way bridge in Coeur d’Alene is going to be closed for two nights this week while the bridge is demolished.

Between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, traffic on I-90 will be rerouted to Appleway at Fourth Street for westbound vehicles, and to the U.S. 95 interchange for eastbound vehicles. Drivers wanting to cross I-90 will have to use Ramsey Road/Northwest Blvd., U.S. 95, Fourth or 15th streets.

The 47-year-old concrete bridge is being replaced by a steel-girder one, according to the Idaho Transportation Department. The $2.7-million project is due to be completed next summer.

Fly fisherman from Florida drowns near Twisp

Twisp, Wash. A Florida man drowned while fly-fishing in the Methow River near Twisp over the weekend.

Timothy J. Welch, 51, of Lakeland, Fla., had waded to the middle of the river near the Highway 20 bridge at the south end of Twisp on Saturday when he apparently lost his footing and fell into the water, Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said.

Witnesses told deputies that Welch attempted to swim toward shore but went under and began floating downstream.

A local resident, Michael R. Reithofer, 62, saw Welch go under and was able to reach him and pull him to shore, Rogers said.

His efforts to resuscitate Welch failed and emergency workers also were unable to revive the man, Rogers said.

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