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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Head-on crashes kill two, injure 3 children

The Spokesman-Review

Two people died in separate Eastern Washington head-on collisions Monday.

In Whitman County, seven miles south of Dusty on state Route 127, Spokane resident Ann C. Bean, 64, died after the Honda CRV she was driving veered into southbound traffic and struck a flatbed truck, according to a Washington State Patrol report.

Three children who were in the truck were airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center. Nicholas Hills, 10, and Brianna Hills, 12, were in critical condition late Monday, a nursing supervisor reported. Hanna Harwood, 9, was in serious condition.

The flatbed’s driver, La Cross resident Arthur L. Kneale, 74, was hurt but not transported, the report says.

Alcohol reportedly was not a factor.

Also Monday, Bridgeport resident Leonel Rojas Alvarez died after he tried to pass a semi truck and hit an oncoming car just south of Okanogan, according to another WSP report.

Alvarez, 21, was northbound in a 1988 Ford Taurus on Highway 97. His car struck a southbound 2000 Isuzu van, and its two occupants suffered broken bones.


Drive-by shooter gets almost 12 years

A man was sentenced Monday to nearly 12 years in prison for a drive-by shooting near Lewis and Clark High School.

Dung Ngoc Quoc Le, 24, had pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault under a plea agreement that dropped several other charges including attempted first-degree murder.

The Oct. 1 incident began at the Trick Shot Dixie Outlaw Saloon and BBQ at 321 W. Sprague Ave.

Tracy S. O’Brien told police that he was dancing when he bumped into an Asian man who began flashing gang signs. The ensuing fight spilled outside.

O’Brien, 34, told police he used a wrestling hold to break or dislocate the shoulder of his opponent. O’Brien and his friends fled in a car but were pursued by a 2000 BMW.

The fleeing car was riddled by a hail of bullets that did not strike any of the occupants. Police traced the BMW to Le. Superior Court Judge Ellen Kalama Clark sentenced Le to 142 months.

– Thomas Clouse

Level 3 sex offender moves downtown

A level 3 sex offender is living in downtown Spokane.

Steven J. Snedden, 43, is described as 5 feet 8 inches and 150 pounds with brown hair and green eyes, said Spokane police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

Snedden was convicted of second-degree burglary with sexual motivation in 2006, DeRuwe said. Snedden’s victim was a Spokane County woman.


Silverwood gets facility permit

Silverwood Theme Park will build a new sewage treatment facility, allowing the popular rollercoaster and water park to expand and perhaps build a hotel.

The Kootenai County Commission last week approved a conditional-use permit for the facility on 96 acres next to the park along U.S. Highway 95.

Silverwood uses large septic tanks with drainfields throughout the park, which sees 500,000 visitors a year.

– Erica Curless

Rathdrum Prairie

Cities won’t fight church decision

The mayors of Hayden, Post Falls and Rathdrum have decided not to appeal Kootenai County’s decision allowing Real Life Ministries to build an extensive campus on the Rathdrum Prairie.

The mayors opposed the project, arguing that the county violated a 2005 agreement not to approve large projects until a $300,000 sewer master plan study for the Rathdrum Prairie is complete this fall.

In June, the commission approved the proposal on the condition that Real Life can only build a 3,500-seat worship center and public ball fields until sewer service becomes available.

Even though the mayors contend the county made “serious errors,” a Thursday letter to the county commission states that they are opting instead to have a meeting to “renew our joint commitment” to the sewer master plan.

– Erica Curless

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