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

In brief: City, firefighters reach tentative agreement

A tentative city contract with Spokane firefighters has been reached.

In an announcement made Thursday after City Hall closed, officials said the proposed four-year deal includes no wage increases for 2012 or 2013 but “modest” increases in 2014 and 2015.

Details were sketchy, but the agreement also calls for restructured medical plans that would cap the city’s contribution to firefighters’ policies, holding the city’s spending increases to an annual average of 1.9 percent to 2.6 percent, the city said.

The plan must be approved by the City Council and by a vote of the 287 employees of the Fire Department covered by Local 29.

It wasn’t immediately clear how it compares with the plan negotiated by former Mayor Mary Verner in her final days in office but rejected by the City Council in February.

The city indicated Thursday that the department’s labor costs would grow by nearly $1 million next year, which Mayor David Condon said in a statement would have to be cut from other department spending.

Firefighters currently make up to $87,200 a year in base pay at their lowest rank and up to $91,900 a year as fire equipment operators. Those figures do not include overtime pay.

Staff report

Police apprehend teen in burglary investigation

A teenager was arrested early Thursday after what authorities called a property “crime spree” in the Wandermere area.

Mitchell Sander, 18, was booked into Spokane County Jail on two counts of second-degree burglary, attempted second- degree burglary, third-degree theft and vehicle prowling.

Authorities said he broke into Fat Daddy’s restaurant in the Wandermere Shopping Center and the clubhouse at the Wandermere Golf Course, and attempted to break into a dry cleaning business and Rite Aid in the same area, according to Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Chamberlin.

A witness reported a man threw a rock at the dry cleaner’s window about 12:30 a.m. A deputy was responding to that call when the alarm went off at Fat Daddy’s, where police found the door shattered. Nearby, deputies found a cash register and broken liquor bottles that were taken from Fat Daddy’s.

With the help of a K-9 unit, authorities tracked down Sander, who matched the description the witness gave, in the area of Wandermere and Hatch roads.

Sander was also caught on video unsuccessfully trying to break into Rite-Aid, authorities said, and he admitted to breaking into the golf course clubhouse.

He had a Riverside High School ID card and several other items reported stolen in a vehicle prowling, deputies said.

Chelsea Bannach