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Saturday, July 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

In brief: Men found beaten in alley near downtown Spokane bar

From Staff And Wire Reports

Two visiting businessmen were beaten outside a downtown Spokane bar early Thursday, and police are asking for the public’s help identifying the estimated eight assailants.

Spokane police found the men beaten in an alley near the intersection of Division Street and Main Avenue shortly after midnight, according to a news release. One of the men remains hospitalized in stable condition with brain bruising and facial fractures, police said. Another man was treated and released.

Investigators received limited information from witnesses, Officer Teresa Fuller said. Indications are the men were walking through the alley after leaving a bar when two vehicles pulled up and about eight occupants got out and began assaulting them, according to the news release.

Fuller said it appears the victims were businessmen from out of town. Workers at two neighborhood bars confirmed Thursday afternoon that paramedics were on-scene for a fight in the alley early Thursday.

Police are asking anyone with information about the assault to contact Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Gonzaga law school first in area to start two-year program

Gonzaga University Law School’s first group of students in its new, fast-track, two-year program have started classes.

First announced in 2013, the program will take students through six semesters of coursework in two years instead of more than three years.

GU Law School Dean Jane Korn said the two-year approach is a response to concerns by students looking to reduce the costs of three years of legal education. While students will take the equivalent of three years of courses, they will spend less on food and housing during their law school training, Korn said.

The first group is made up of 24 students. Eleven of the students are Washington residents, 21 to 48 years old. Fourteen are men and 10 are women.

Law schools around the country are experimenting with ways to help students complete legal education programs faster. The GU group is the first of its kind in the Northwest, according to GU law school officials.

Investigators looking into cause of fatal crash on Forker Road

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal one-car accident in the 8700 block of North Forker Road.

The crash occurred about 4 p.m. Thursday. An elderly man was driving a truck pulling a horse trailer north on Forker when he drove off the east shoulder of the road, said Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The horse was uninjured.

The man’s identity and cause of death will be released by the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Legal miscue prompts new trial in 2005 parking-lot murder case

Clifford M. Meyers is back in the Spokane County Jail after the Washington Court of Appeals ordered a new trial on a charge of first-degree murder.

Meyers, 45, is being held on $1 million bond until his new trial, which is tentatively scheduled for August.

He was sentenced to more than 50 years in prison for the 2005 “execution style” killing of 22-year-old Elijah Bishop as he sat in a truck in the Shadle Wal-Mart parking lot. Witnesses said Meyers shot Bishop in the head at close range.

The Court of Appeals ruled in March that the questioning of individual jurors in the jury room, not in open court, violated Meyers’ right to a public trial.

Worker using remote camera finds snake nest in sewer pipe

WENATCHEE – A nest of live snakes was discovered in a Washington state sewer pipe when a contractor ran a video camera down the line.

City Engineer Gary Owen told the Wenatchee World he thought there were a half-dozen or more snakes. It’s hard to tell from the video, but Owen said he thinks they were bull snakes, possibly pets someone flushed down a toilet.

The snakes might have tried to exit the sewer through toilets, but Owen said they were sealed off and entombed when a new liner was put in the sewer pipe.

The snakes were spotted May 15 in a recessed area of the pipe about 150 feet from a manhole. Owen said there was no way they could have been rescued.

Family of victim shot at SPU creating memorial foundation

PORTLAND – The family of the 19-year-old student killed in a shooting at Seattle Pacific University last week says it plans to start a memorial foundation in his honor.

Paul Lee’s father and brother released a statement thanking the community for its support, the Oregonian reported.

Authorities say Lee, of Portland, was killed June 5 by Aaron Ybarra, who told police he had no reason for targeting the small Christian university. They say Ybarra’s rampage June 5 was stopped by a student building monitor who pepper-sprayed him. Two other people were wounded.

Lee’s family says he planned to major in psychology to help those in distress.

His father says it’s a harsh reality that Lee’s life was ended by the kind of person he would have wanted to help. The family intends to start the Paul Lee Foundation, aimed at raising awareness and support for people with mental illness.

Oregon picks new leader for health insurance exchange

DURHAM, Ore. – The board of Cover Oregon voted Thursday to hire Aaron Patnode, a Kaiser Permanente official, to lead the troubled health insurance exchange.

Patnode has worked for Kaiser in Portland for five years and currently leads the health system’s efforts to implement the federal health care overhaul. He previously worked as a public relations specialist and hospital administrator in Massachusetts and Minnesota.

“Talking to Aaron and getting to know him reasonably well, it’s clear that he relishes the challenge and he understands what’s at risk here,” said Dr. George Brown, who led the executive-director search committee.

Seventy people applied for the job.

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