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Storm damages Spokane family's home

Residents all throughout Spokane are left picking up the pieces from Wednesday night's storm.

Jerry Bowers and his wife were on their way to California when he received a call from his neighbor saying Bowers' home received extensive damage.

?It's just... It's just hitting me right now,? Bowers said.

After eight years in the house, the Bowers' have made it a home.

Jerry's wife suffers from Myopathy, a form of Multiple Sclerosis.

?It's all one level so she can get around a lot easier. No stairs, no basements, it's progressing,? Bowers said.

The couple was headed to California to visit family when they received an unexpected call from their neighbor.

?... And said your house is demolished. I can tell you what your comforter is and I can see your bed frame... Everything!? Bowers said.

The Bowers raced home only to be greeted by the worst possible image.

Thousands without power following storm

While Wednesday's storm only stayed in place for several minutes, it was enough to cause extensive damage to the area.

"Transformers are five feet off the ground, the trees all the way through the alley in the neighbor's yard,? Steve Schatz said. ?It's pretty bad down the alley."

Power was out in Schatz's North Spokane neighborhood. Strong winds caused a tree to fall on a power line which caused a ripple effect to other power lines.

"The tree just fell over and landed on the power lines caused a lot of tension on the line caused that to snap over," Schatz said.

At Indian Trail, it's the same scenario. Neighbors took matters into their own hands to clear the road. Some were chainsawing branches, while others picked up debris off the street.

As of 5:30 a.m. Thursday, more than 23,000 Avista customers and more than 13,000 Inland Power and Light customers were without electricity. As to when power will be restored, it will vary from home to home depending on the extent of the damage.

Neighbors surprised by falling trees

The Northwest side of the Spokane was hit pretty hard by Wednesday's storm.

"It was really scary," Dawson Walters said. "It kind of got me on edge,�it just hit us by surprise."

Walters lives with her mom Tracy Ortega along Cleveland street near the intersection of Nortwest Blvd, and T.J. Meenach Drive.

"I looked outside because it was so windy and gusty and I heard what sounded like a loud thunder clap," Ortega said.

"When we had gone out into the back yard the tree had fallen," Walters said. "My mom had called me to come out to the front yard and the tree in the front yard had fallen into the middle of the street."

"I watched the tree fall that fell across our street and it didn't even occur to me that anything in the back yard had happened."

In the family's backyard the top of a towering pine tree snapped, filling their yard with limbs and debris. Thankfully there was no damage to the home. In their front yard a tree toppled blocking Cleveland street.

Up and down the neighborhood a similar scene.

"The wind went from like 10 miles and hour up to 60 almost instantly," homeowner Guy Charlton said.

From New York to Coeur d'Alene, Avenue Q opening this Friday

From New York to Coeur d'Alene, Avenue Q opening this Friday

The fur was flying Tuesday night at Coeur d'Alene's Lake City Playhouse as one of the final dress rehearsals got underway for this Friday's opening of Avenue Q.

The smash hit first debuted on Broadway in 2003, taking home Tony awards for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score, and the cast of Lake City's production does their best to keep up the wild spirit of the show.

With a large cast, but only three human characters, many of the actors take a back seat to their puppet partners – providing a voice, but blending into the background.

“The biggest challenge is just finding the balance between the people and the puppets. If the actor is pushing too hard, you're focusing on them and not the puppet. So it's finding the right balance where you feel like you're watching the puppet but getting emotion from the person. It's a tricky little thing, but when it's right it's lovely,” said Director Troy Nickerson. It's an art form that took weeks to perfect.

Spokane woman accused of defrauding $100k in disability from the state

Spokane woman accused of defrauding $100k in disability from the state

A Spokane woman is charged first-degree felony theft, accused of defrauding the state of $101,000 in disability benefits while working with her husband to operate his motel and their nightclub and apartment building.

In September 2010, 52-year-old Mistie Crosby submitted a claim to Labor and Industries (L&I) saying she hurt her back, neck and shoulder while working at Sunset Junction, a nightclub in Spokane that has since closed. Physicians confirmed she was injured and L&I opened her claim.

When Crosby submitted the claim, she did not indicate whether she was an owner, partner or corporate officers in the business where she was injured. Business owners must provide employees with workers' compensation insurance, but the coverage is optional for the owners themselves and Crosby never enrolled.

Stolen gun recovered, returned after 32 years

Stolen gun recovered, returned after 32 years

A gun stolen 32 years ago on the other side of the state has finally been returned to it's owner after popping up on Craigslist.

On July 15, a Stevens County Reserve Deputy found the gun posted for sale in Medical Lake and was interested in buying it. However after he ran the serial number, he found the Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver had been stolen in Tacoma back in 1982.

Detective Dave Knechtel contacted the Tacoma Police Department and confirmed the revolver had been stolen during a burglary in 1982. He also contacted the Craigslist seller who says he purchased the revolver near Tacoma about six months ago and had no idea it was stolen.

Detective Knechtel was able to track down the original owner of the revolver who was extremely surprised it had been found and happy it was not used in a crime. The weapon has since been returned to him.

Local Pony league baseball champs head to California

Local Pony league baseball champs head to California

A plucky group of 10-year-old boys are preparing to hop on a plane and head down to California to represent Washington as the regional Pony League Baseball champions!

All 11 kids have been involved with Spokane Indians Youth Baseball who united the Pony, Baby Ruth and Spokane Youth Sports Association leagues under one umbrella. After the regular season was over, try-outs were held for the all-star team and just a few weeks later the hard hitters swept the Mustang Northwest Regional Championship, winning all 11 games.

Since then, they've been working hard at Albertsons grocery stores around Spokane, asking for donations to help them make the trip to Anaheim.

“The money will help pay for their hotel room,” said Stephanie Erickson, the mother of one of the players. “The Pony organization books flights, which the parents pay half of, and this will help cover expenses like hotel rooms, food and other incidentals. We have a couple of families driving down with equipment to save on expenses like checking bat bags.”