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Stolen tablet returned after thieves upload selfies

Stolen tablet returned after thieves upload selfies

A computer tablet stolen during a north Spokane car prowling has been returned to its owner after the suspected thieves uploaded their own selfies to the owner's cloud.

Jeremy Yeado reported his Samsung Galaxy tablet stolen the day it disappeared but only recently did he notice the apparent thieves were taking selfies with it. Those pictures were automatically uploading to his Cloud account and the victim turned to Facebook to track down the tablet thieves.

Yeado says he was unloading his car after a trip to Seattle when someone took his suitcase out of the trunk.

"I had unloaded what was in the main part of the car, I went inside, talked with my roommate a little bit and within that time span my suitcase has disappeared," Yeado said.

The suspected thieves appear to be travelers themselves, as some selfies uploaded since his tablet was stolen were taken inside some sort of camper.

When Yeado put the pictures up on his Facebook account asking for help IDing the suspects more than a dozen people responded with helpful tips.

Burn ban on DNR forestland east of Cascades starts July 1

Burn ban on DNR forestland east of Cascades starts July 1

Another warning in the face of the upcoming Fourth of July weekend – the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has placed a burn ban on all DNR-protected land east of the Cascades.

Starting July 1 and running until September 30, the burn ban applies to all forestland under DNR fire protection.

“The seasonally dry weather creates a greater risk for wildfires,” said Commission of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “A burn ban helps to prevent them and protects forests, habitat and property.”

So far this year DNR has already had 172 wildfire starts, which have burned approximately 779 acres across the state.

The ban applies to all outdoor burning on DNR forestland with two exceptions:

Recreational fires in approved fire pits

Gas or propane stoves and barbecue grills

Fireworks and incendiary devices like exploding targets, sky lanterns or tracer ammunition are also illegal.

Rosauers Open Invitational to be held at MeadowWood Golf

Rosauers Open Invitational to be held at MeadowWood Golf

Spokane County Parks, Recreation and Golf announced today they will host the 2014 Rosauers Open at MeadowWood Golf Course in Liberty Lake.

The Rosauers Open Invitational began in 1988 when a group of local golf professionals realized their goal of bringing a Pacific Northwest Section Major to the Spokane area. This was made possible through the signature sponsorship of Rosauers Supermarkets.

The Rosauers Open has grown to be the largest PGA Sectional Event in the United States. However the biggest winner of the annual championship is the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, which received $125,000 from the event last year.

Since its inception, the event has generated $2.38 million for local charities.

This year's event will run July 16th through the 20th.

Warning for campers at Lake Roosevelt 4th of July weekend

Warning for campers at Lake Roosevelt 4th of July weekend

If you're headed to Lake Roosevelt for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, the Washington Bureau of Reclamation wants to make sure your campsite stays high and dry.

They're advising people camping along the Lake Roosevelt shoreline to be aware of potential dangers that could exist due to rapidly rising lake levels. The lake is impounded by Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River about 90 miles west of Spokane.

“When camping along the shoreline, it is recommended that tents and other belongings be kept well away from the water's edge,” said Public Affairs Officer Lynne Brougher. “Although the lake is a popular vacation spot, it is also a working reservoir that supplies water for hydroelectric facilities at Grand Coulee Dam which can result in rapid fluctuations.”

Brougher says campsites that are too close to the water's edge could potentially become flooded and boats that are not properly anchored or secured could drift out into the lake and become a safety hazard.

WSU researchers create gel to keep fields healthy during drought

WSU researchers create gel to keep fields healthy during drought

Washington State University researchers have created a product that could help farmers keep their fields moist during a drought.

Led by Associate Professor Jinwen Zhang, the group created hydrogel pellets similar to the super absorbent material used in diapers. The main difference is what they're made of. While diapers rely on petrolium based gel, WSU researchers have created one out of soy protein.

The pellets swell to hold 250 times their weight in water, and because they are made of biodegradable agricultural material instead of chemicals they leave no residue behind when they disintegrate in the ground. In fact, the soy protein can actually act as a source of nitrogen to help plants grow.

A soy-based product would also lessen dependence on foreign oil imports, and boos the local economy since the U.S. Produces half of the world supply of soy beans.

Family safe after raft capsizes in Spokane River

Emergency crews confirm everyone is safe after a raft capsized, sending seven people into the water near the Bowl and Pitcher in Riverside State Park Monday afternoon.

Seven family members - two grandparents with five kids under the age of 12, including two six-year-olds - were aboard the raft when it capsized. The family says they started at the TJ Meenach Bridge and were halfway through their rafting trip when the 12 foot raft tipped, throwing them all into the Spokane River.

"We were all on the bridge and we saw them rafting," Witness Naomi Hale said. "We thought, that's cool and we were all waving at them as they went under."

Hale says her and her family watched as the raft zoomed underneath them.

"We saw it flip over and we were very scared for them," Hale said. "We were trying to figure out what we could do to help, but we were on the bridge so we called 911. We were just praying that they would all come out safe and we are really thankful they did."

Everyone in the raft had life jackets on and swam for shore.

Be prepared before you hit the river

Be prepared before you hit the river

This could be a very busy week for water rescue crews with hot weather and the busy 4th of July weekend, and authorities have a warning for anyone who plans to go near the water to know what you're getting into and be prepared for the worst.

The Spokane River is moving fast right now and some popular areas along the river can be more dangerous than you think.

Just around the bend and upstream from the Bowl and Pitcher is a big sign warning boaters there are hazardous rapids ahead. If you don't have the right equipment that's where you need to get out of the river.

Take a look at the current conditions and you'll see why. Right now, the Spokane River is running about 6,200 cubic feet per second, still under the influences of spring runoff, and at that flow, both the Bowl and Pitcher and the Devil's Toenail further down stream are Class 3 rapids. That means boaters need life vests, helmets and experience with white water conditions.