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Spokane Transit Authority testing all-electric bus

An all-electric bus is running on Spokane routes this month to evaluate battery-powered transit.

The bus was made in China and is being demonstrated by the U.S. branch of BYD Co. Ltd.

One Spokane Transit Authority driver told The Spokesman-Review it's smooth and quiet.

A passenger was excited about zero-emission buses, but others complained about minimal seat padding and different locations for buttons to request stops. If the Spokane agency orders electric buses, it would order its own package of features.

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Local shops offer prom dress deals

Local shops offer prom dress deals

Prom dress shopping can be a stressful time for both parents and kids. There are many options and you don't want to break the bank.

A Finer Moment, which is located at Division and Longfellow, carries over 2,000 dresses all in different styles and some by high end designers.

"We carry top designers like Jovanni, Sherri Hill, some of the nationally recognized brands that Katy Perry wears, Taylor Swift wears that all the girls are in demand for and love," said A Finer Moment's Rachel Lewis.

But, you could end up walking out of there spending more than a month's car payment.

"Right now, I'd say our most expensive prom dress in the store is $810, it is a little spendy," said Lewis.

They offer dresses starting in the high hundreds and have a decent sale selection.

"We always have a sale rack that every week. We're constantly marking stuff down, too. Stuff from current collections that you won't find cheaper than anywhere else," said Lewis.

Located off Division and Main is Finders Keepers II. They carry around 1,000 dresses.

Whitworth grad evacuated from Ukraine

Whitworth grad evacuated from Ukraine

More than 200 United States Peace Corps Volunteers serving in Ukraine have been evacuated as a safety precaution.

"We were just getting some really great projects started when I had to leave," Ryan Knight said.

Knight graduated from Whitworth University in May 2013. He left for Ukraine in September and was one of seven people from the northwest that was volunteering in the eastern European country before being evacuated. Unfortunately for him, service time was cut short due to rising conflict in the region. Knight left the country on February 24 and is now in his hometown of Eureka, California.

"I've been keeping in touch with my students in Ukraine," Knight said. "We've been sending videos back and forth and I've been communicating with teachers there."

Knight was serving in a village near the western side of the Carpathian Mountains. It's almost 750 hundred miles northwest of Crimea, where Russian military intervention has put the world on edge over talks of war. Regardless of the distance, Knight, along with the 200 other Peace Corps Volunteers in the country were evacuated and are now waiting to hear if they'll go back.

4th person arrested in kidnapping investigation

4th person arrested in kidnapping investigation

Spokane Police detectives have arrested a 4th person in connection to a reported kidnapping in Spokane and the location of a body in Stevens County.

40-year-old Benito Baldovinos-Mendoza and booked him into the Spokane County Jail on two charges of 1st Degree Kidnapping.

Baldovinos-Mendoza was taken into custody yesterday in Pasco, WA. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail last night.

Three other people have been arrested as a result of this investigation. 23-year-old Dillon L. Casteel was arrested and booked into the Kootenai County Jail on one count of 1st Degree Kidnapping, 26-year-old Domingo Valdovinos Navarro was arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail on two counts of 1st Degree Kidnapping and one count of 1st Degree Aggravated Murder, and 33-year-old Joseph W. Gillespie was arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail on two counts of 1st Degree Kidnapping.

The investigation is ongoing.

The official cause of death and identity of the body located in Stevens County will be released by the Stevens County Coroner.

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Kidnapping victim leads police to body in Stevens County

Kidnapping victim leads police to body in Stevens County

Spokane Police Department detectives have located a body in a rural area near Long Lake. The body was located early Friday morning after detectives received information that there may be a body in the Corkscrew Canyon area connected to an ongoing kidnapping investigation.

A search warrant was executed with the assistance of SWAT Thursday at a residence near Maple and Knox. This is the location where two kidnappings were believed to have taken place sometime this week.

After the release of one of the kidnapping victims, she then went on to tell police officers that the other victim's body would be found in Stevens County.

Police found the body this morning after searching all night. They believe they know the identity of the body, but want to do an autopsy before releasing that information.

Police believe that the kidnappings were drug-related.

Spokane schools push for "Apple a Day" program passage

Spokane schools push for "Apple a Day" program passage

Many districts across Washington have tossed out tater tots and hot dogs for healthier meal options, but a lot of them don't have the right equipment in place to make meals from scratch. That could change soon, thanks to a proposed grant in the state legislature.

Inside Spokane's Community School, Chef Rene whips up healthy, fresh meals on a daily basis, but she has some help: upgraded kitchen equipment.

More schools across the state could have state-of-the-art equipment if the Washington legislature allocates funding for the "Apple a Day" program.

"This new 'Apple a Day' grant could help schools purchase equipment that would introduce more whole foods, more fresh foods in a way that's affordable and very nutritious for kids," said Spokane Public School's Doug Wordell.

While The Community School is well equipped in the kitchen, other schools in the district are not.

"We don't have the blenders or the 'Robot Coupes,' and we don't have the ovens. We have an old, stacked convection oven, and they work, but these ovens are over 35 years old," said Wordell.

Be the solution to the soccer ref shortage in WA

Be the solution to the soccer ref shortage in WA

There is a soccer referee shortage in Washington! If you've ever wanted to ref, now is your time. There are two entry level clinics coming soon. The first will be 2 days (Friday night March 28th from 6 PM to 10 PM then Sunday afternoon March 30th from 2 PM to 6 PM) at Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Spokane. The second will be at Plantes' Ferry in Spokane Valley on Friday, April 11 from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM.

If you are interested, you'll need to register at wareferees.org. The site will guide you through the process of how to become a referee. The cost for the clinic is $80. You can also purchase a "start up" kit which will include everything a new referee needs to start.

If you have any questions, you can contact Tony Richardson at tonrich@aol.com or call (909) 528-9063.