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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

EWU, Cheney schools get $2.5 million

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Olympia Eastern Washington University and the Cheney School District received a $2.5 million grant Tuesday from the state and Microsoft Corp.

The money will be used to help teachers learn how to best meet individual students’ needs in reading, writing and math.

The grant is the first in the state from Microsoft’s Partners in Learning initiatives, which seek innovative technology-based approaches to improving student achievement.

“We have an unacceptably high rate of high-school dropouts – about 30 percent,” Gov. Christine Gregoire said in announcing the grant. “We must find ways to give teachers the tools they need to provide a level of tailored instruction that will help each student be successful not only in school but as they move into the work world.”

Often-convicted criminal back behind bars

Spokane’s persistent criminal Eddie Ray Hall has been arrested after spending several weeks on the run.

Details were sketchy Tuesday night, but Hall was apprehended about 10 p.m., said Spokane police spokesman Dick Cottam.

Hall, who has more than 40 convictions on his record, will join his brothers Freddie Joe Hall and Teddy Lee Hall, who are already in the Spokane County Jail on various and numerous charges. Last week, Freddie Hall briefly escaped the custody of Geiger Corrections Center during a trip inmates took to visit defense attorneys.

This time, Eddie Hall was wanted for bail jumping and drug possession.

In October, Hall was released from Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell, Wash., after serving nearly six years for a 1998 burglary. A community corrections officer who evaluated Hall before he was sentenced for the 1998 burglary determined Hall had a 76 percent likelihood of committing other crimes when released from prison.

A month after his release, he was jailed on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and possession of stolen property.

Deer Park bond still fails after recount

A recount of ballots cast last month in a Deer Park School District bond issue did not change the results. The $11.9 million bond issue failed by a handful of votes.

The school district, which includes portions of Spokane, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, had proposed the bond issue to add 10 classrooms at the high school. The proposal finished with 1,528 yes votes and 1,025 no votes, or a 59.85 percent approval rating.

State law requires bond issues to receive a supermajority of 60 percent. If the bond issue had received 10 more yes votes, or seven fewer no votes, it would have passed.

Wayne Leonard, business agent for the school district, said the district will consider the bond issue again next spring.

State law only allows the district to put a bond issue before the voters twice in a year, and the proposal also experienced a narrow defeat in March.

“We can’t try again this year,” Leonard said.

Ferris is tops in state for overall achievement

Ferris High School has won a statewide contest for overall achievement in academics and athletics, and three other area schools finished in the top five.

Ferris won first place in the WIAA Scholastic Cup for 4A schools, beating out three-time winner Capital High School, of Olympia.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association gives points to schools that finish at the top of their classifications in team academic performances as well as in state athletic competitions.

Sportsmanship is also factored in.

At the end of the year, the schools with the most points in their classification are awarded the Scholastic Cup.

High schools are classified as 4A and B, with 4A being the largest schools.

In the 4A division, Ferris finished the 2004-05 school year with 1,245 points, followed by University High School with 765; Richland with 740, Mead with 725 and Lewis and Clark with 690 points.

First-place finishers in state competitions receive 100 points; an eighth place finish is worth 30 points.

Ferris had first place finishes in boys cross country, cheerleading, dance-drill team, football and girls track and field.

Idaho deputies discover large meth lab

A civil protection violation investigation led Bonner County sheriff’s deputies to one of the largest methamphetamine labs found in Idaho this year, the county’s drug task force reported in a written statement Tuesday.

Deputies said they took Gilbert A. Gulich, 64, into custody at 814 Pup Paw Road in Priest River on Monday after they discovered the meth lab.

The lab contained such a large volume of toxic chemicals, authorities said, that it took the Sundance Drug Task Force, a state hazardous materials unit and McGillvray Environmental several hours to clean up the area.

Accident causes traffic snarl on U.S. 95

Traffic had to be rerouted off U.S. Highway 95 in Hayden for more than two hours Monday evening, according to the Idaho State Police.

Two people were injured in an accident, which occurred at 5:12 p.m. when a transport van pulled onto the highway from Lancaster Road. The driver of the van, 35-year-old Thomas J. Hamilton of Hayden, told ISP he couldn’t see other traffic when he pulled out in front of Harold S. Nelson, 77, of Moscow, Idaho.

Nelson’s pickup struck the van and crossed the centerline, coming to rest on the southbound lanes of the highway, the ISP reported. Injured were Nelson’s passenger, Gerry M. Nelson, 73, and a van passenger, Susan Rosenau, 58.

Rosenau was listed in fair condition at Kootenai Medical Center.

The hospital had no information on Nelson on Tuesday evening.

Rush hour traffic was backed up for 45 minutes and had to be rerouted in both directions. The southbound lanes were blocked for another hour and a half, according to ISP.

Hamilton was cited for failing to yield.