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

In brief: Witnesses say driver hits, then shoots cyclist

A bicycle collision preceded a shooting that sent a man to the hospital after a bullet grazed his forearm Saturday night, according to court records filed Tuesday.

Gary J. Courtney, 56, was booked into Spokane County Jail over the weekend facing assault with a firearm and drive-by-shooting charges. Witnesses said Courtney hit the cyclist, a 30-year-old man, with his truck, then argued with him. Courtney pulled out a pistol and fired once in the man’s direction as he pedaled away, hitting him in the right forearm, according to court documents.

Neighbors pointed police to Courtney, who left the scene in the pickup. A loaded handgun was found under a pillow where Courtney was arrested, according to court documents. Investigators said Courtney made several statements as he was transported to jail, including, “I will take responsibility because I’m a gun owner.”

Judge Linda Tompkins set Courtney’s bail at $5,000. He has no other listed felony history in Washington.

Kip Hill

Semifinalists named for National Merit

Five high school students in Spokane County have been named semifinalists for prestigious academic awards.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation named on Tuesday its National Merit Scholar Semifinalists.

In Spokane County they are: Hanna Fahsholtz, Lewis and Clark High School; Moriah H. Longhurst, Freeman High School; Tim M. Ngo, East Valley High School; Philip Thompson, Gonzaga Prep; and Rachel A. Yates, The Oaks.

Students enter by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Of the 1.5 million students who take the test each year, about 16,000 are named semifinalists.

Jonathan Brunt

County picks company to run transfer stations

Spokane County commissioners on Tuesday voted to hire a private company to run two garbage transfer stations that are shifting to county control under a reorganization of the county’s solid waste system.

Waste Connections of Washington Inc. was chosen over two other companies to run the Colbert and Sullivan Road transfer stations.

The county last year voted to take over the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System that has been operated by the city of Spokane for 25 years. When the switch occurs in November, the county will assume control of the transfer stations, which have been operated by city employees.

Mike Prager