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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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License suspended over abuse allegations

The Spokesman-Review

A Spokane man who allegedly told state officials he sexually assaulted two preschool-age children has temporarily lost his nursing credentials, the Washington State Department of Health announced Wednesday.

Ethan Hansen, 28, has 20 days to respond to the disciplinary decision, which was based on sexual misconduct allegations, said Mary Dale, disciplinary manager for the agency. Hansen was employed as a nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center when the investigation started several weeks ago.

Even though the alleged abuse did not involve patients, Hansen is prohibited from working as a nurse while regulators decide whether the suspension should become permanent, officials said.

The sexual assault was reported to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, which forwarded the complaint to the prosecutor’s office for a charging decision, authorities said. The victims were known to Hansen on a personal rather than professional level.

Drug bust nets crack, firearms, police say

A drug bust Wednesday netted what Spokane police described as an “alarming” number of firearms in an apartment.

Joshua R. Hudgins, 20, and his girlfriend, Brittney A. O’Bryan, 19, were arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and booked into the Spokane County Jail.

Police searched their residence, at 15821 E. Fourth Ave., Apt. D215, about 4 p.m. and found about half an ounce of crack cocaine, a machine gun, an assault rifle and several handguns, among other weapons, spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer DeRuwe said.

“It’s not like the bust of the century necessarily, but it was very alarming with the guns,” DeRuwe said. “The average citizen doesn’t have assault rifles.”

Plan panel rejects land-use changes

The Spokane Plan Commission on Wednesday voted against land-use changes that would pave the way for big-box retail development in the area of South Regal Street and Palouse Highway.

Developers have proposed changing land-use designations from residential to commercial district center for three sites near Regal and Palouse Highway. One is for a Home Depot store and two are being sought by Black Development of Spokane.

The Plan Commission’s votes on the three proposed changes now go as recommendations to the City Council, which may wait until later this year to consider them.

Residents of the Southgate and Moran Prairie neighborhoods have been fighting the developments.

Last week, they lost a hearing examiner appeal of a city environmental OK for the Home Depot. A previous environmental appeal of the Black land-use changes also was denied by the hearing examiner.

TACOMA

Ex-con to plead guilty in two slayings

A Massachusetts ex-convict who killed a Graham couple after his prison time was mistakenly shortened has agreed to a plea deal that will spare him the death penalty, Pierce County Prosecutor Gerald Horne said Wednesday.

Horne said Daniel Thomas Tavares Jr., 41, will plead guilty to two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the Nov. 17 killings in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release.

Five months before the killing, Tavares was released from a Massachusetts prison, where he had served 15 years on a manslaughter conviction in the stabbing death of his mother.

He should have remained in prison for nearly another year; Massachusetts officials determined that a prison superintendent under then-Gov. Mitt Romney failed to file paperwork in time to keep him imprisoned after he was accused of threatening prison staff in 2003.

Tavares’ wife, Jennifer Tavares, is charged with rendering criminal assistance in the murder case. They lived near the victims, Beverly Mauck, 28, and her husband, Brian Mauck, 30.

Authorities said Daniel Tavares confessed to shooting the pair.

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