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Tuesday, April 7, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

In brief: More Verner team members named

The Spokesman-Review

Six more names of people serving on Mayor Mary Verner’s “internal transition retreat teams” were released Thursday.

They are Barb Chamberlain, director of communications and public affairs for Washington State University Spokane; Hal Ellis, a member of the city’s Community Assembly; Candace Mumm, a city plan commissioner; Jerry Numbers, former East Central Neighborhood Council chairman; Mel Silva, co-founder of the South Perry Business & Neighborhood Association; and Kim Zentz, executive director of Sirti, an agency that helps technology-based businesses.

Verner met with two transition teams last week and plans to meet with two more on Saturday. Citing privacy concerns, she has said she only will release the names of those who give her permission to do so.

About 60 people are participating in the sessions. Eight other names previously have been made public.

Ailing driver hits cars, pedestrians

A man officials say was apparently suffering from a medical condition crashed into two pedestrians and six cars Thursday in the Safeway parking lot at Shadle Shopping Center.

Two pedestrians – including one who was pinned under a car – were taken to a hospital in stable condition, said Brian Schaeffer, Spokane assistant fire chief. The driver, a man in his 40s, was also taken to a hospital.

The extent of the injuries was not immediately available.

The incident began about 4:30 p.m. in the parking lot at Alberta and Wellesley, officials said. Witnesses told authorities it appeared the man was having a seizure.

There were no signs that the man had been taking drugs or drinking alcohol, said Spokane police Officer Mike McCasland. Police do not anticipate citing the driver, he said.


Fire destroys guest house

Fire destroyed a two-story guest house Thursday night in Mead.

The woman who lived at 11922 N. Camelia was uninjured, said Mike VanHeel, Spokane County Fire District No. 9 deputy chief.

Firefighters responded to the home about 8:05 p.m. to see flames shooting from an upper-floor window, VanHeel said. Crews doused the blaze quickly, but the house is not livable.

The fire’s cause was under investigation.

Spokane Valley

Driver may be cited in bus crash

An 80-year-old school bus driver may be cited for failure to yield the right of way to another vehicle after a collision Wednesday night that injured five West Valley School District students, the Washington State Patrol said.

The bus, driven by Marshall W. St. John, was eastbound on Jackson Road near Freeman High School when it stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 27. St. John attempted to turn north onto the highway when the bus collided with a southbound Jeep Wrangler, police said.

The driver of the Jeep, Charles Abbey, 25, was taken by ambulance to a downtown Spokane hospital, police said.

Three students from Centennial Middle School were also taken by ambulance to the hospital, and two students were treated at the scene for minor injuries. All of the students are 12 years old, police said.

St. John has been a substitute bus driver for West Valley since 1999 and was a full-time driver for seven years before that, school district officials said. He will not be allowed to drive for the school district while police investigate the collision, officials said.


Panel tosses Rossi complaints

A divided state Public Disclosure Commission on Thursday dismissed potentially damaging campaign finance complaints against Republican gubernatorial challenger Dino Rossi.

The citizen panel voted 3-2 to accept a staff recommendation to toss the state Democrats’ claim that Rossi illegally used his nonprofit group, the Forward Washington Foundation, to finance an undeclared shadow campaign and to evade the state’s strict reporting and gift-limit requirements.

Rossi, who lost narrowly to Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire in 2004, denied any impropriety but left the foundation before announcing his 2008 bid. The foundation, which promoted some of the themes and proposals he used in his last campaign, had paid him an annual salary of $75,000.

The Democrats had hoped that the state probe, coupled with a big fine or other punishment, would be an embarrassing setback for Rossi.


Officials charge shootout suspect

A Kamiah man accused in a shootout at an Idaho County sheriff’s deputy’s home has been charged with burglary and battery with intent to commit a serious felony on a peace officer.

The Idaho County prosecutor’s office issued the arrest warrant Thursday for Douglas G. Wood, 40, who was being treated at Deaconess Medical Center for gunshot wounds to his chin and chest, the Lewiston Tribune reported.

Cpl. Jim Gorges is recovering at home from a gunshot wound to his right forearm. He was treated and released from Clearwater Valley Hospital in Orofino after the Wednesday evening shooting, and is now on paid administrative leave while the shootout is investigated, Idaho County Chief Deputy John Nida said.

It’s not clear what prompted the shootout. However, Wood was considered a “safety risk” by the department and reportedly had threatened other law enforcement officers in the past, Nida said.

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