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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Region in brief: Noise possibly a funnel cloud

The Spokesman-Review

A funnel cloud reportedly touched down near Kettle Falls on Friday, damaging a building.

The National Weather Service said it was likely a cold air funnel cloud that briefly touched the ground.

Tim Nevel, the manager of R-Garden, a nutritional supplement company in Kettle Falls, told KHQ-TV the wind began to howl about 2:45 p.m., and he heard a crashing sound.

Nevel said the noise lasted five to 10 minutes.

When it ended, he went outside to find pieces of sheet metal ripped from the roof and scattered hundreds of yards away.

Spokane valley

Four face charges in home robbery

Three men and a juvenile were arrested this week after police say they robbed a Spokane Valley couple in their home at gunpoint.

Spokane Valley police said the victims were with their baby at their apartment in the 11900 block of East Broadway on Wednesday when Nicholas S. Smith, 23, Larry M. Dunham, 19, Anthony M. Kongchunji, 20, and a 17-year-old kicked in their door about 1 a.m.

One had a shotgun and another a baseball bat, according to police.

The four stole a purse, wallet and laptop computer, then fled, according to police.

Each faces a charge of first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary.

Second burglary suspect arrested

Police arrested a second suspect Thursday in a Spokane Valley home burglary this week that involved a stolen truck crashing through a fence in a residential neighborhood.

Joe M. Bagley, 21, was arrested on one charge of residential burglary. His brother, Wendall D. Bagley Jr., 23, was arrested Wednesday when a neighbor called 911 after allegedly seeing the brothers jump a fence in the 14100 block of East Mission Avenue with another person, according to Spokane Valley police.

Joe Bagley and the third suspect drove away in the car they arrived in while Wendall Bagley stole a Dodge pickup, police said.

The trucked crashed through a fence at 21st Avenue and Becker Court, police say, and Wendall Bagley was arrested on charges of residential burglary, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and attempting to elude a police vehicle.

The third suspect is at large. Anyone with information is asked to call (509) 242-TIPS.


Skateboarder killed after hitting bus

A 20-year-old University of Washington student is dead after his skateboard collided with a transit bus in Seattle.

The Seattle Times identified the student as Chase Anderson, of Bellevue.

Police Officer Renee S. Witt said the skateboarder hit the side of a King County Metro bus at an intersection about 1:30 a.m. Friday. He fell under the rear wheels and was pronounced dead at the scene.


WWU chooses new president

The chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is going to be the 13th president of Western Washington University.

Western’s board of trustees voted Friday to make their choice of Bruce Shepard official. Shepard will succeed President Karen W. Morse, who is retiring Sept. 1 after 15 years at Western.

In talks with campus groups this week, Shepard said he will work collaboratively with others on and off campus.

The trustees approved a three-year appointment for Shepard. They also appointed him as a tenured professor in the political science department.

Shepard previously taught political science for more than 20 years at Oregon State University. He said he and his wife are looking forward to moving back to the Pacific Northwest.


Student accused of online threat

A 14-year-old at Yakima’s West Valley Junior High School has been arrested after police say he made an online threat that he was going to shoot others at school this week.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that police arrested the teenager Thursday for investigation of felony harassment and seized nine firearms from his parents’ house.

Court papers allege the boy wrote to another student on MySpace’s Instant Messenger service Wednesday night, saying he wanted to shoot people at school.

Copies of the online exchange were provided to school Principal Jim Berndt the next day. In a letter Berndt wrote to parents on the school’s Web site, he said the decision was made to have the student “emergency expelled.”

Police seized five shotguns, three rifles and a pistol from the boy’s home. Police say the boy’s grandmother told them she owned the guns, most of which were described as old and rusty.

Yakima police questioned other students but have made no other arrests.

HYAK, Wash.

Avalanche work could delay traffic

The Transportation Department is planning the last avalanche control work of the season at Snoqualmie Pass.

Warming temperatures create the risk of a snowslide on Interstate 90. Westbound traffic could be delayed this afternoon for an hour or more.

A regional administrator, Don Whitehouse, said it was a busy winter for crews on the pass. It received 48 feet of snow.

Avalanche specialists have brought down snow 95 times, detonating more than 8,000 pounds of explosives and firing 99 rounds from a howitzer.