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Operator of now-defunct Alpine Auto Wholesale pleads guilty to felony sales tax theft

 

The operator of a now-closed auto supply shop was sentenced to jail time Thursday for mishandling sales taxes.

Marc E. Reed, the operator of now-defunct Alpine Auto Wholesale in Spokane, pleaded guilty to felony theft of sales tax and filing false state tax returns. Reed “admitted the business collected $179,675.33 in sales tax on retail vehicle sales in 2009 and 2010 but failed to remit it to the state,” according to a news release from the Washington State Department of Revenue.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Salvatore Cozza ruled that Reed must serve 45 days and pay $180,275.33 in restitution and court costs.

“According to the charging papers, Reed and his late mother Linda Lee Reed admitted to state investigators that they knew that they should have remitted the collected sales tax to the Department of Revenue but were 'going to get caught up later.' ”

Fresh snow leads to messy morning commute

A batch of fresh snow on Monday morning led to multiple slide-offs and crashes in and around Spokane.

The snow started falling around 5 a.m.

A winter weather advisory was in effect for Eastern Washington eight counties, including Spokane County, until 10 a.m. One to three inches are expected to fall in the area.

Outlying areas of Spokane County were particularly troublesome for drivers. There were multiple slide-offs on Highway 2, near Spokane International Airport. There were also crashes on Highway 395, north of Spokane.

The snow is not expected to stick around. According to the National Weather Service, the snow will begin melting late Monday morning.

See KXLY4's Mark Peterson's weather forecast for Feb. 25.

Neighbors get partial victory in nuisance home fight

For nearly a year, homeowners in the Indian Trail neighborhood say they've feared for their families because of a suspected drug house, and finally had their day in court Friday.

Friday's court hearing lasted four hours, and the goal and the end of it for those neighbors was to get the problem house boarded up for a year so the drug activity and fear in their lives would be gone.

Armed with a thick binder of evidence, a city attorney carefully outlined what life has been like for the homeowners for the last nine months: violent fights in the street, men walking around with guns, suspected drug activity from using to selling.

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Marcy Pratt, who owns the so-called problem house, represented herself in court and explained away all of the accusations from neighbors. She also admitted to dating a known meth addict and inviting drug abusers into her home to help them.

However, she said neither she nor anyone else has never had, sold or used drugs in her home.

Spokane police reactivate crime tipline

It's now easier to give police a tip, while remaining anonymous. The Spokane Police Department re-activated a�tip line Thursday because they need the community's help in calling in nuisance properties, gang violence, and overall crime.�

In many cases, police wish they had more tips.�More information on something that happened, or is about to happen.�

On December 30, one man was killed in a gang-related shooting inside�a house on North Wall.

"What happened here is absolutely unacceptable and this will not be tolerated in these neighborhoods,"�Spokane Police Officer Traci Douglas said.

vo Police said the tenants were a nuisance and attracted a violent crowd, so they were evicted. The neighbors who spoke with KXLY that night said they knew the people were a problem for months and police said they want those types of neighbors to call them.

To help in that effort they've reactivated a tipline and e-mail to make that easier. Officers just need your�name and number to call back within 24 hours. Other than that, you'll be anonymous.

Apartment fire being investigated as arson

An apartment fire in a complex at the intersection of Huston and Standard on Tuesday is now being considered arson by fire investigators.

That fire, which started on the top floor of the complex, was contained very quickly

After two days of investigating the Spokane Fire Department is now suspecting arson, and Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said investigators need your help.

vo While tenants in the building have cooperated with investigators the fire department still doesn't have a person of interest. That's why certain details like exactly how the fire was started and any other evidence at the scene is being withheld.

The fact that someone endangered not only those living in the targeted unit, but the entire complex, makes this crime especially heinous.

"It just raises that level of intensity when it is in a very dense structure like an apartment, and it endangers lives ... it really puts us behind the curb when were in a rescue mode to try and bring people out of these buildings, it really makes it difficult," Schaeffer said.

Firefighter injured while battling house fire

A firefighter was sent to a local hospital Thursday morning, after being briefly trapped in the basement of a burning home in Newport.

The fire started at a house on the 1100 block of South Shore Diamond Lake Road around 2 a.m.

According to dispatchers, the firefighter's injuries are minor. The homeowner, who was in the process of remodeling his house, woke up by the crackling sound of the fire. He was not hurt.

Firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire.

Body found near Evergreen Elementary School

Deputies are investigating the death of a man in North Spokane after a body was found in a yard near Evergreen Elementary School early Tuesday morning.

The Spokane Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim Tuesday afternoon as Michael Dressel, 48. The cause of death has not been identified by the medical examiner, "pending further studies."

Spokane County Sheriff's deputies said Dressel's body was found near the school at 5:40 a.m. near the 8600 block of North Weipert Drive by a newspaper delivery person.

Deputies said they are investigating Dressel's death as a homicide because the death did not appear to be natural.

vo When parents dropped their kids off at nearby Evergreen Elementary Tuesday morning, things in the area looked much different than usual. Crime tape filled the area around the school while major crimes deputies investigated the discovery of Dressel's body in a yard near the school grounds.