A Chelan County Superior Court judge has agreed to hear a challenge of the proposed recall of Spokane Mayor Jim West and has set a hearing for Friday.
The challenge, filed by former Spokane City Councilman Steve Eugster, will be handled by Judge T.W. Small. Spokane County judges declined to hear the case because one of the defendants is county Auditor Vicky Dalton, Spokane’s chief elections official.
Eugster sent Presiding Judge Linda Tompkins and Court Administrator Dave Hardy a letter objecting to an outside judge Friday morning and asking them to reconsider the decision. But Small’s appointment to the case was announced Friday afternoon.
In his lawsuit, Eugster argues that the petitions gathered to support putting the recall on the ballot are invalid because the state Supreme Court has not yet issued an opinion to explain its Aug. 24 ruling that allowed the petition drive to go forward. He’s asking for a court order to stop the process of validating signatures, which is set to begin next week, and to declare the signatures invalid.
Dalton said the county attorney’s office has assured her that petition supporters could gather signatures after the Supreme Court’s ruling. Attorneys for the recall drive have said they believe Eugster is wrong, and West said Eugster’s challenge is separate from anything his legal team is doing to prepare for a recall vote.
Woman and son reported missing
Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies were searching Friday night for a mom and son reported missing by family members.
Diana Tindell, 39, walked from her home in the 12100 block of East Grace Avenue to pick up her son at Trentwood Elementary School on Friday afternoon, said Lt. Earl Howerton. After picking up her 7-year-old son, Levi Tindell, she was supposed to walk to her mother’s home at 400 E. Hawthorne Road. They left the school about 3:30 p.m., but did not show up at the Hawthorne home.
“It’s a very long walk,” Howerton said. “That’s why we’re a little concerned about it.”
Howerton said Tindell had received distressing news from a family member earlier in the day.
Diana Tindell is described as white and 5 feet 7 inches with red hair. Anyone with information is asked to call the crime reporting line at 532-9266.
Man backs request for free fries with knife
A man demanding free french fries pulled a knife on the staff at a McDonald’s restaurant late Thursday night.
The man, Stanley C. Nietupski, got the free fries, but he was soon arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail on a count of first-degree robbery, according to court records.
A companion of the man told police that Nietupski drank a half gallon of whisky before the alleged robbery about 10 p.m. at 404 S. Maple St., police spokesman Dick Cottam said in a press release. Nietupski, 35, told police that he lives in Pennsylvania.
Donations must go directly to shelter
Donations to the Truth Ministries homeless shelter cannot be made at Washington Trust Bank, a bank spokeswoman said Friday.
Those wishing to contribute can do so at the shelter, at 1910 E. Sprague, by mailing to P.O. Box 912, Spokane, WA 99210, or by calling (509) 456-2576.
Due to incorrect information provided to The Spokesman-Review, the newspaper erroneously reported in Friday’s editions that donations to Truth Ministries could be made at any Washington Trust Bank branch.
The shelter is running a temporary campsite at the grounds of the former Playfair Race Course while it is installing a sprinkler system in its new location.
The improvements, which must be made before the city will permit the shelter for opening, will not be completed by the time Truth Ministries’ temporary camping permit expires at the end of the month.
Although Truth Ministries has an account with Washington Trust Bank, the shelter’s effort to make capital improvements to the building it is leasing “does not qualify for a benevolent account,” said Ingrid Campbell, communications manager for Washington Trust Bank.
On Friday, the bank turned away people wishing to contribute to the Truth Ministries account, shelter director Marty McKinney said. He said the bank assured him the trust account had been taken care of.
“We had people trying to help who couldn’t,” McKinney said.
Lane closures set on I-90 in Valley
Interstate 90 will be reduced to one eastbound lane today near the Argonne exit.
The contractor is finishing grading in front of the south noise walls. Work will begin at 7 a.m. and continue until midafternoon.
Also today the westbound outside lane will be closed near the Argonne exit as survey crews put out permanent lane markers. This closure will last until about noon.
Hanford workers sent home after incident
Richland About 600 workers were sent home early from a construction site at the Hanford nuclear reservation after the third safety problem in a week.
The incident was the latest in a string of problems associated with the waste treatment plant under construction at the south-central Washington site. Construction was halted indefinitely this summer on a large portion of the project because of seismic problems, rising costs and delays.
Earlier in the week, one worker was shocked when a metal pole was driven into the ground and touched a buried electrical line. Another worker failed to shut off one of three conveyor belts – assuming it was already off – while sampling gravel at the construction project’s plant for making concrete.
No one was seriously injured in the incidents, but managers were concerned they had the potential to harm or kill workers. All were caused by human error and workers not following safety procedures, Britton said.
Bechtel National officials met with labor leaders Friday to try to ensure that the site is safe so work can resume, Britton said. The meetings were to continue through the weekend.
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