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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Man drowns in Spirit Lake

A 31-year-old man from Athol, Idaho, drowned while fishing at Spirit Lake.

David M. Adkins died Friday, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department reported in news releases Sunday.

His body was found under water, near his overturned 11-foot flat-bottom boat. It was recovered about 200 yards offshore, near the Lake Haven Resort, the sheriff’s department reported.

Adkins, who apparently lost his balance and fell overboard, was not wearing a life jacket, and alcohol may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department reported.

Spokane County

Two arrested in robbery

Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man and woman suspected of using a handgun to rob a Deer Park store Saturday evening.

Sunshine “Sunny” L. VanCleave, 34, and James C. Hutson, 24, were arrested early Sunday and face felony counts of first-degree robbery, Sgt. Dave Reagan reported in a news release.

They are accused of being the masked robbers who walked into the town’s Bi-Mart, demanding the potent painkiller OxyContin. The woman involved in the robbery held a handgun in a paper bag, which she showed to a store employee while making her demand.

Acting on a witness’s “tentative identification” of VanCleave, deputies went to her Deer Park home Saturday evening and found a handgun, paper bag and clothes matching those worn by the robbers. But no suspects were located.

About 11:30 p.m. Saturday, an anonymous caller reported that the pair were in a home on the 30700 block of North Weber, Reagan reported. Deputies surrounded the house while a sheriff’s helicopter illuminated the yard.

“The two were quickly arrested without further incident,” Reagan wrote.

Deputies say VanCleave swallowed a handful of OxyContin and lost consciousness shortly after being taken into custody. She was treated by paramedics and at a hospital.


Mother of Rep. Dicks dies

The mother of Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., has died at Harrison Medical Center at Bremerton following a short illness. Eileen Dicks was 87.

She was born in Bremerton in 1921 and graduated from Bremerton High School in 1939. She married Horace Dicks, who was in the Navy, in 1940. Horace Dicks died in 2001. Eileen Dicks was a lifelong resident of Bremerton.

Norm Dicks’ office announced his mother’s death. She died Saturday of a lung disease that left her short of breath.

She was survived by a brother, LeRoy O’Hara; two sons, Norm and Leslie; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Norm Dicks, 67, played football as a guard at University of Washington in 1961 and 1962. Before that, he played at West Bremerton High School.

“She never missed a game. She was an absolute fan,” Dicks said of his mother.

Her father, Roy O’Hara, was leader of the Kitsap County Republican party.

“My grandpa said it will be a lot easier to get elected in Kitsap as a Democrat,” Norm Dicks said.

Services are planned for 1 p.m. Friday at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Bremerton.


Samples taken of Columbia

Work has begun to collect samples of water and other items from the Columbia River to test for evidence of contaminants that might be linked to past production of plutonium at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The 1,200 samples will include river water, soil on islands, sediment in the river and fish along a 120-mile stretch of the river.

The data collected will be combined with information from previous samplings to help officials make final decisions on cleaning up the river shore within the nuclear reservation.

Officials say earlier sampling did not find contaminants of concern originating from Hanford in areas accessible to the public, but did find some areas where more information could be helpful, particularly downstream from Richland.

Cleanup of Hanford land along the river is expected to be largely completed by 2015.

Burbank, Wash.

Brothers killed in crash

Two teenagers killed in a traffic accident near the Tri-Cities were brothers, one of whom had battled cancer for more than three years.

The accident Friday night killed 17-year-old Jorge Daniel Mendez and 19-year-old Jesus Jaime “JJ” Mendez, of Burbank.

They were passengers in a car that collided with a semitruck at the intersection of Highway 12 and Humorist Road in Burbank.

Jorge was diagnosed with acute leukemia when he was in eighth grade and had a bone-marrow transplant in 2005. He had been in and out of school while undergoing treatment.

Kyle Miller, principal at Columbia High in Burbank, says the teen had just contacted school officials to see what classes he’d get to take when he returned to school this week.

The Washington State Patrol says the vehicles’ drivers were treated at Kennewick General Hospital.

From staff and wire reports