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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Body found under Seattle roadway

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Seattle Firefighters responding to a small fire Thursday under the Alaskan Way Viaduct found a woman’s body.

The blaze was reported about 3 p.m. as a small trash fire burning against a building south of downtown, police spokesman Rich Pruitt said. The flames were quickly extinguished and the body was found in the fire debris, he said.

“At this time we are investigating this as a tragic accident,” he said. “The area is known for transient camps.”

The victim carried no ID, but may have been a transient who was just trying to keep warm, Pruitt said.

An autopsy was planned.

Man sentenced in death of girlfriend’s son

Vancouver, Wash. A Clark County man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the death of his girlfriend’s 22-month-old son.

David Derosia, 27, of Battle Ground pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month in the May 2001 beating death of Lewis Strickland.

The child died of head injuries he received while Derosia was baby-sitting him.

The standard sentencing range for manslaughter is six to eight years, but because of the vulnerability of the victim and the violation of trust – aggravating factors – Clark County Superior Court Judge Roger Bennett handed down the longer sentence this week.

Derosia originally pleaded guilty to second-degree felony murder and was sentenced to 28 years in prison, but that conviction was thrown out after the state Supreme Court ruled that an unintentional death resulting from an assault cannot be the basis of a “felony murder” charge.

Officers lose jobs for alleged misconduct

Port Angeles, Wash. Two Clallam County sheriff’s officers are no longer with the department and a third has been reprimanded following an investigation into alleged misconduct.

In addition, the undersheriff resigned shortly before the results of the investigation were made public.

An investigation by a Portland lawyer on behalf of the department focused on accusations against former officers Sgt. David Fontenot and Deputy Dwane Hayden.

Attorney Jill Dinse looked into accusations that Fontenot took a pair of antique aviator goggles seized during a search and then did not log the item into evidence. She also investigated allegations that he intentionally falsified a date on a legal document and sexually harassed female co-workers.

Fontenot was placed on paid administrative leave Sept. 16, and he resigned within days.

Hayden, 37, a six-year veteran of the department, was fired Tuesday following Dinse’s investigation of reports that he conducted an extramarital affair while working, including using an agency cell phone for long conversations.

Nampa training fire draws criticism

Nampa, Idaho The Nampa Fire Department is drawing criticism for starting a training fire while the region is in the midst of a pollutant-trapping inversion.

The fire, set inside an abandoned house on Wednesday, prompted complaints from residents upset that the Fire Department started a blaze that would add pollutants to the air during an inversion. The inversion is caused by a high pressure system at higher altitudes trapping low clouds and stagnant air close to the ground.

Fire Marshal Doug Strosnider said there was no burn ban in effect when the training fire was started, and said the department was under a time squeeze to use the 10-day burning permit, which expired at the end of this week.

But June Hues, the Department of Environmental Quality’s airshed manager for the region, said the fire was ill-timed given the area’s deteriorating air quality.

The air-quality index – a measure of pollutants in the air – in the Boise area was at 53 on Wednesday. A burning ban is enforceable when it reaches 60.

Snohomish County considers vote-by-mail

Everett Snohomish County may switch to a vote-by-mail system next year. Officials say it could save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Roughly 60 percent of active voters in Snohomish County are registered as absentee voters, versus about 40 percent who cast their ballots at the polls.

County Executive Aaron Reardon and Auditor Bob Terwilliger say they’ll press for the all-mail option come January.

The county is faced with a state-required $1 million upgrade to electronic voting machines. A federal grant would cover only about 16 percent of the cost. The alternative is a switch to all-mail ballots.

Thirty-one of the state’s 39 counties now vote only by mail.

Oregon prison won’t hold turkey for inmate

Portland There should be some Thanksgiving leftovers at the Justice Center Jail.

Stephen Marshall, 20, who is accused of eco-sabotage, has asked for vegan meals (no meat, eggs or dairy) since he arrived at the jail in August.

Jail officials have refused to adhere to his dietary wishes, and are offering him turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving.

Marshall probably won’t eat too much.

“It’s a huge problem,” said Lt. Michael Shults, a spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the county jails. “There’s always somebody coming in and saying, ‘I can’t eat that.’ Once you give someone one thing and somebody else another, we’re running a full scale buffet, which is very expensive.”

The jail’s kitchen provides custom meals only for religious or medical reasons. Marshall cites no religious conviction, only his beliefs against animal cruelty.

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