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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Lasers burned holes in jet seat

From Staff And Wire Reports

A passenger who carried two small, homemade lasers onto a Seattle-bound jet may be to blame for the commercial aircraft’s emergency landing in Spokane.

Authorities say Alex Philip Langloys Miller, an unemployed chemist from Minneapolis, used the lasers to burn holes in seat fabric on the Boeing 737 during the Thursday flight, creating the smoky smell that caused the flight crew to fear a dangerous electrical fire might be smoldering somewhere inside the aircraft. Miller was arrested by FBI agents after the jet, a regularly scheduled Minneapolis-to-Seattle flight operated by Sun Country Airlines, landed at Spokane International Airport.

Investigators found the lasers, which Miller reportedly told agents he built himself, and several burn holes near his assigned seat. Federal prosecutors said Friday they’ll seek a grand jury indictment this month charging Miller with willful damage to an aircraft but didn’t object to U.S. Magistrate Judge John Rogers releasing him on $10,000 bond.

Oct. 9 marijuana hearing set

The state agency developing rules for legal recreational marijuana in Washington will hold a hearing in Spokane on Oct. 9.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board said Friday the hearing will start at 6 p.m. at the Convention Center and continue for up to three hours. The board also will hold a hearing in Seattle Oct. 8.

Earlier this week the board set limits on the number of retail stores that would be allowed in each of the state’s 39 counties, the number of licenses any person could hold and the area that a licensed grower could use.

Hand-carved table missing

Burglars of a residence under renovation in Spokane Valley made off with an ornately hand-carved table sometime last month, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said. Investigators are asking for help locating suspects.

A sheriff’s corporal responded to the home in the 10500 block of East Dean Avenue near Broadway Elementary School on Aug. 28, where the owner reported a burglary had occurred sometime that month. The owner said the house has been under renovation for several years, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Missing from the basement of the home was an antique table, with hand carvings of people, oceans and ships, about as high as a coffee table and measuring about 6 feet long. The table is valued at around $30,000. A changing screen made of shells was also missing, valued at around $500.

No suspects have been identified in the case, according to the news release. Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS or

Building in Sprague collapses

A brick structure housing an antique shop and two unoccupied apartments collapsed sometime Thursday night or Friday morning on West First Street in Sprague, Wash., Lincoln County firefighters said.

No one was inside the building when it collapsed, firefighters discovered after responding to a call shortly after 5 a.m. Friday in the 200 block of West First Street. A man who was living in one of the apartments moved out last week, Lincoln County Fire District spokesman Terry Harding said.

A cause for the collapse had not been determined Friday. Harding said the building was one of the oldest in town and had a flat roof. The heavy overnight rainfall in the area over the past two days may have been a factor, he said.

Man killed at construction site

PORTLAND – A fire official said one man died and three others were hurt Friday at a construction site near Sandy, southeast of Portland.

Sandy Fire District Deputy Chief Phil Schneider said one wooden truss tipped over at a shop under construction and caused several others to fall on the men.

The injured men were taken to hospitals.

No names were immediately released.

The Oregonian reported that the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and the state Occupational Health and Safety Agency were investigating what caused the trusses to fall.

Landscaper pleads not guilty

TACOMA – A man who ran a landscape business has pleaded not guilty to nine counts of theft. Pierce County prosecutors allege he took thousands of dollars from elderly women for yardwork he never performed.

Dayton Dixon, 34, entered his pleas Friday in Pierce County Superior Court, the News Tribune reported.

Prosecutors contend Dixon took more than $50,000 from an 86-year-old Tacoma woman and thousands more from a 73-year-old Puyallup woman for work he never performed.

Court records show he paid back some money to the Puyallup resident when she called police to report him.

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