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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Knezovich, police ombudsman Tim Burns discussing county role

Depending on whom you ask, the timing of Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich’s request for the Spokane police ombudsman to assume a similar role for the county may be perfect, or politically motivated. Discussions between Knezovich and Tim Burns, the man who’s conducted internal reviews of police cases since 2008, have ramped up in recent weeks to formalize a long-standing relationship between the two agencies, the two men said. Knezovich said his pitch to county commissioners Tuesday morning is the culmination of months of discussions he’s had with Burns and the Center for Justice to develop an oversight structure of the department similar to the one in place at the city.

Spokane County sheriff candidates Q&A

Spokane County sheriff candidates were allowed 50 words to respond to each of five questions. Their responses are listed in the order the candidates appear on the ballot. How should the county address jail crowding?

Republican incumbents carry the day in local races

A slate of inconsequential primaries delivered results Tuesday night as both candidates in a number of two-person races moved forward to November’s general election with a better idea of where their support lies. It was a night for incumbents in the Republican Party as state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and state Rep. Matt Shea all took commanding leads of at least 10 percentage points over their opponents. In the largest spread, Knezovich walloped his challenger, Doug Orr, besting him by 33,000 votes of just 74,000 cast in early returns.

Sheriff’s race centers on jail debate

Debate over the need for a new Spokane County Jail has become a key issue in this year’s campaigns for sheriff and county commissioner after a candidate in the sheriff’s race produced a radio ad pegging the potential cost at $300 million. Doug Orr, who is challenging incumbent Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, has won the endorsement of former Sheriff Mark Sterk. In a radio ad, Sterk says, “Now is not the time to be promoting a $300 million jail.”

Sheriff Knezovich, challenger Orr debate issues

Two-term Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich came face to face with 2014 election challenger Douglas Orr Wednesday night, going back and forth on criminal justice reform, the need for a new jail, aerial surveillance, marijuana, body cameras, consolidation and other issues. “Leadership is moving this community forward,” Knezovich told an audience of about 150 people in Council Chambers at City Hall in an event sponsored by the 6th Legislative District Democrats.

Driver’s brother sentenced earlier

The brother of a woman accused of crashing into three Spokane police detectives Friday was sentenced two days earlier to federal prison for child pornography possession. Tonia S. Vansant, 37, appeared Monday in Superior Court charged with three counts of vehicular assault. According to court records, Vansant smelled of alcohol and had poor coordination, leading investigators to believe she had been drinking prior to the crash.