Multiple people were injured Tuesday night in an explosion at an aerospace business in Newport, Washington, the Pend Oreille County sheriff’s dispatcher reported.
Details were sketchy, but an explosion was reported about 9 p.m. at C and D Zodiac, also called Zodiac Aerospace, 501 N. Newport Ave. Multiple people were transported to Newport Hospital. One was airlifted to a hospital in Spokane, the dispatcher reported.
The explosion is under investigation. As of 11 p.m. there was no ongoing fire at the location, according to dispatcher.
Racist graffiti found on Tribes’ boat
Racist graffiti was scrawled on a fishing boat belonging to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Tribal Tribune reported.
Tribal employees arrived at the Dream Catcher on Tuesday morning to find “KKK” and “White Power” written on the front of the boat, according to the Tribune’s account. Some items were stolen and the line was cut to the purse seine, which is used to net fish, the tribal-owned newspaper reported.
The Dream Catcher supports operations at the Chief Joseph Hatchery on the Columbia River near Bridgeport, Washington. The boat also is used for salmon fishing, with the catch distributed to tribal members.
The incident has been reported to the tribal police department.
Zoning move allows apartment complex
The Spokane County Commission on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to a controversial apartment complex near Wandermere Golf Course.
The unanimous approval of a zoning change allowing Rudeen Development to build the complex came after the company and neighbors brokered their own, private agreement. The deal calls for a 310-unit complex, neighborhood approval of fencing, a tree buffer to be planted along Wandermere Road and limiting construction to after 7 a.m.
In exchange, neighbors agreed to drop an appeal of the project before the Spokane County hearing examiner. The parties also agreed not to sue each other until they’ve attempted mediation.
Neighbors lodged the appeal earlier this year, saying the complex would add too much traffic to the area and crowd the Mead School District.
Governor signs education measures
OLYMPIA – Washington will delay class-size reductions from fourth grade through high school for four years and give high school seniors a two-year reprieve on the biology assessment test under bills signed Tuesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.
The state will move forward on reducing the number of students in kindergarten through third grade, and a third bill signed provides some state money to help districts build some of the needed classrooms.
Seniors who were kept from graduating this year because they failed the biology assessment test and the backup options offered will receive their diplomas. Next year’s seniors also will be able to graduate if the inability to pass the biology assessment test is the only thing between them and a diploma. After that, the state is expected to change the tests required for graduation and offer a “bridge to college” course to helps students who fail the tests as sophomores.
Man admits setting fire at business
A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to setting fire to a fledgling marijuana business in Spokane Valley last fall in what investigators are calling an insurance scam attempt.
Pavel Shevchenko, 25, signed a plea agreement Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Spokane recommending a four-and-a-half-year prison sentence for his involvement in the blaze that scorched two units of a strip mall at 9827 E. Sprague Ave. on Sept. 27. Shevchenko was performing unlicensed electrician work at the address for Burk A. Thomas, a Coeur d’Alene contractor who was working with a medical marijuana company called Green Society Group out of Western Washington, according to court records.
Shevchenko initially denied setting the fire, but his fingerprints were found on camping propane containers investigators believe were used as an accelerant. He later told investigators he set the fire at the direction of Thomas so the contractor could recoup insurance money. Investigators say Thomas upped the insurance policy coverage on the strip mall from $2,500 to $30,000 days before the fire. Thomas has pleaded not guilty and is set for trial in November.
Murder suspects plead not guilty
Roy Murry, who is accused of killing three family members in May at a home in Colbert, and Richard Aguirre, who was linked through DNA evidence to a cold-case murder, entered not-guilty pleas Tuesday morning in Spokane County Superior Court.
Murry, 30, pleaded not guilty to three counts of premeditated first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of arson.
Aguirre, a former Pasco police officer, pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree murder – reduced from a first-degree murder charge – in the 1986 killing of Ruby Doss in Spokane. Aguirre also pleaded not guilty to a voyeurism charge stemming from a separate incident in Spokane Valley in which he allegedly filmed a man in a hotel room without the man’s permission.
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