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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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I-90 cleared at Ritzville after medical-supply spill

Eastbound Interstate 90 was blocked for about four hours this morning at Ritzville after two semi trucks collided, dumping medical supplies on the road, according to the Washington State Patrol. The accident occurred shortly before 4 a.m., spilling syringes and other supplies onto the roadway. By 8:45 a.m., WSP reported the road was clear.

WSP trooper rolls patrol car on I-90

A Washington State Patrol trooper rolled his patrol car on Interstate 90 Thursday night after swerving to a miss a camping tent that had fallen off a truck, according to WSP.

Both lanes of I-90 closed at Stateline

One person is dead, and officials are working to clear a multi-vehicle crash involving a moose that has closed eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 90 near the Idaho border.

Fuel tanker crash blocks highway

A busy south Spokane County highway was blocked for most of Monday after a tanker truck carrying diesel fuel burst into flames in an early-morning collision. A southbound pickup driven by Cesar Carrillo, 24, of Spokane, tried to pass the tanker truck and lost control on U.S. Highway 195 at milepost 75, about 20 miles south of Spokane. The highway was closed until about 6:15 p.m.

Handheld laser shined at drivers

The Washington State Patrol is looking for witnesses who may have seen two people shining a handheld green laser light into vehicles Tuesday on Interstate 90. Drivers who were targeted are sought as well. “The lights can be distracting, which could lead to a collision,” said Trooper Mark Baker. “They can also hurt people’s eyes.”

Police say man targeted elderly

A Spokane man suspected of scamming more than $100,000 from elderly people across the Northwest will appear in Yakima County Superior Court today. James William Schmidt, 50, faces a first-degree theft charge in connection with what the Washington State Patrol describes as a door-to-door sales scam orchestrated by a traveling conman who likely has many more victims, including elderly people in Kootenai and Spokane counties.

Our View: Troopers’ fake degrees point to flawed system

The 10 Washington State Patrol troopers who got raises in exchange for dubious diplomas won’t be prosecuted, says Thurston County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jon Tunheim, because it would’ve been difficult to prove that they weren’t merely the victims of bad advice from the agency’s human resources department. This certainly doesn’t speak well of those troopers’ detective skills. They wrote an essay or two, affixed resumes and a check, and suddenly were holding a diploma. It didn’t occur to them that it’s usually not done that way?

Troopers will not face charges

OLYMPIA – No criminal charges will be filed against 10 Washington State Patrol troopers who used phony college diplomas to obtain higher pay. All, however, have repaid the extra money they were given. A review by the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office concluded there was insufficient evidence to show that the troopers knew the diplomas were from institutions that lacked accreditation, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim said Monday.

Troopers with bogus degrees won’t be charged

OLYMPIA – No criminal charges will be filed against 10 Washington State Patrol troopers who used phony college diplomas to obtain higher pay. All, however, have repaid the extra money they were given.

Firefighter sues WSP over arrest

Lawyers for Spokane firefighter Lt. Todd Chism and his family filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Washington State Patrol. Detectives arrested Chism a year ago and accused him of possessing child pornography. He was cleared of the charges four months later.

WSP seeks victims of sales scam suspect

A Spokane man accused of stealing from elderly people may have more victims, and the Washington State Patrol is asking for help finding them. James William Schmidt, 50, is charged with first-degree theft in Yakima County in connection with what WSP detectives describe as a door-to-door sales scam.

Drug bust uncovers suspected stolen goods

A recent drug bust in Airway Heights led police to a house full of suspected stolen property, including a trailer reported stolen more than a decade ago. It began when police arrested Mark J. Sarber, 49, on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance in a traffic stop Nov. 12.

Vehicles’ lighted signs draw police scrutiny

Eye-catching, lighted signs on pizza-delivery cars and scrolling, illuminated billboards on trucks driving state roads could catch the attention of law enforcement – and subject drivers to $124 fines, state police say. The Washington State Patrol is reminding businesses that using such signs, including a growing number of mobile advertising trucks, that state law "heavily restricts" use of lighted or electrically powered signs while in motion. The law affects Spokane-based truck operator GoGreen Mobile Media, and it could call into question a common practice for at least some local pizza outlets, business representatives said.