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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Idaho expands meningitis probe

BOISE – As federal officials expand their investigation of a fungal meningitis outbreak tied to injectable steroids made by a Massachusetts company, Idaho health officials are contacting two clinics in Coeur d’Alene that recently received other injectable drugs from the company.

The Idaho Division of Public Health said the North Idaho Pain Center and Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine in Coeur d’Alene are among the affected clinics.

State officials are asking the clinics, as well as seven others in Idaho, to contact patients who were given the medications and to report any meningitis symptoms. So far, no illnesses associated with the other injectable drugs have been confirmed.

Only two Idaho medical facilities – Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett and Pain Specialists of Idaho in Idaho Falls – are believed to have used the steroids linked to the outbreak.

Nationwide, 15 people have died in the outbreak and more than 200 have been sickened by fungal meningitis, including an eastern Idaho man.

Coeur d’Alene police detectives said two juveniles are responsible for an arson fire months ago that caused significant damage to a structure and damaged several other structures and vehicles.

Detectives and the Coeur d’Alene fire marshal received a tip that led them to the two boys, who confessed to their role in the July 29 arson, which took place about 7:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of Nettleton Gulch Road.

A request for felony charges has been forwarded to the prosecutor’s office, according to police Sgt. Christie Wood.

Witnesses reported seeing two males fleeing the structure just before the fire starting. The damaged structure was an unoccupied two-story town house which was still under construction.

No charge yet on Valley shooting

While no charges have been filed, deputies continue to investigate the case of an estranged Spokane Valley husband who was allegedly shot in the knee by a man who was living in his wife’s garage.

Spokane Valley deputies responded at about 11 a.m. Wednesday to the 1200 block of North Bannen Road to a report of a shooting. When they arrived, they found 37-year-old Justin Chapman with a gunshot wound that fractured his kneecap, sheriff’s Deputy Craig Chamberlin said in a news release.

The deputies spoke with Chapman, who said he and his wife had been separated at the same time she had allowed 41-year-old David Pelican to live in their garage.

“Angered that Pelican was in his garage, Chapman kicked the back door in to the garage and an altercation ensued,” Chamberlin wrote.

The fight ended, and the men separated. But Chapman “became enraged” and walked back to the garage.

“Pelican told deputies he was in fear for his life and chose to shoot two .22-caliber rounds from a handgun at Chapman’s legs,” Chamberlin said. He said the shooting remains under investigation.

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