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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Idaho man held on kidnap charge

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

The Idaho State Police arrested a Bonners Ferry, Idaho, man Tuesday night after he fled from Spokane Valley with his 20-year-old former girlfriend.

The incident began about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday when Nicholas B. Murphy’s former girlfriend called 911 to report she was being held against her will by Murphy, who was driving her and another man to Bonners Ferry from Spokane Valley.

Spokane Valley police and Washington State Patrol troopers responded but could not catch up to Murphy’s Honda Accord before it reached the Idaho state line, Reagan said. ISP troopers heard the broadcast and stopped Murphy at Interstate 90 and Northwest Boulevard in Coeur d’Alene, Reagan said.

Spokane Valley police officer Sarah Riojas drove to Coeur d’Alene and learned that Murphy and his ex-girlfriend had gone to a storage unit in the area of Pines Road and Montgomery Avenue to collect some property.

The woman told police that Murphy offered her a ride home but instead drove east on I-90. Murphy refused to pull his car over and she called authorities on her cell phone, Reagan said.

Riojas told ISP troopers that she had probable cause to arrest Murphy on Washington charges of unlawful imprisonment. Based on that, ISP booked Murphy into the Kootenai County Jail on charges of fugitive from justice and kidnapping, Reagan said.

The woman was not injured. Murphy will remain in Idaho until he can be extradited to Spokane County, Reagan said.

Driver, 77, says flagger hit her car with sign

A 77-year-old woman reported to police Monday that a construction flagger cursed at her and hit the hood of her car with a sign when she tried to ask her a question.

Paula Reinhart-Brown said she was driving through construction on Government Way late last month and motioned to a flagger so she could ask how she could get to the strip mall behind the Rockin’ Robin Cafe. She told police the female flagger “started yelling and using profanity” then slammed the large sign she was holding onto the hood of Reinhart-Brown’s car.

Damage to the paint on the hood of the car was estimated at $500.

When police contacted the traffic control company, an employee there said they had contacted police the day after the incident to file their own report of a hit and run. The flagger reportedly said the sign had fallen out of her hands when she was hit by Reinhart-Brown’s car.

7th Grace executive pleads not guilty


The seventh and final indicted employee of W.R. Grace & Co. pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a federal charge that he conspired to hide the health risks of the company’s asbestos-laced vermiculite mine near Libby.

William J. McCaig, the mine’s general operations manager for nine years until 1988, was indicted on one count of conspiracy.

Last month, six other executives pleaded not guilty to charges from a 10-count indictment that accuses them of intentionally concealing numerous studies spelling out the risk cancer-causing tremolite asbestos posed to customers, employees and Libby residents.

Police investigate hate crime after threat


Police are investigating an alleged hate crime after a death threat was made to a Boise State University student because of the student’s sexual orientation.

The police didn’t release the student’s gender or details about the contents of the letter, but they say that graffiti found on campus in April 2004 targeted the same individual.

Police were called to the Student Union Building on Monday after a woman found a letter on the keyboard of her computer.

“She was not the intended victim, but recognizes who the letter made reference to,” according to a Boise Police statement.

Police say they’ve informed the victim of the contents of the letter.

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