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Crowdsourcing funds child's special needs bike in 11 hours

Crowdsourcing funds child's special needs bike in 11 hours

Eleven hours. That’s all it took for the community to fully support a gofundme campaign to get a special needs bike for five-year-old Chace Thomas. Not only was the campaign fully funded, but generous donors supported the Thomas family to $1,000 past their goal of $3,000 to purchase the bike.

Health District working to help you keep insects, rodents at bay

Health District working to help you keep insects, rodents at bay

Flowers are blooming, spring is in full swing, and that means the insects are coming out, but there are a few things you can do to keep those unwanted summer guests away from your home.

The Spokane Regional Health District has launched a campaign called "Bring It, Summer Pests!" and its goal is to give people tips on what they can do to keep insects and rodents away from their home.

Next week's forecast calls for sunny and 70s but with warmer weather comes unwanted insects. Steve Main with the health district has some ideas on how to keep them away.

First up? Mosquitoes.

"Any standing water you find in your property is perfect habitat for mosquito breeding, something as small as a child's toy or a gutter or even a tarp like this has enough standing water to breed mosquitoes," he said.

Main said you should drain anything outside your home that holds water, about twice a week.

As for rodents, he has some advice on how you can get rid of them.

City Council to consider proposal on making Hamilton pedestrian friendly

One of the busiest streets in Spokane could be getting a lane reduction in the near future. The Logan Neighborhood Council is looking at adding more room for pedestrians and parking along a busy stretch of Hamilton Street.

"It has the potential to really be a vibrant shopping eating, area," Karen Byrd said. "That's really what it should be."

Karen Byrd is the planning leader for the Logan Neighborhood Council. The neighborhood is working with the City of Spokane to launch a pilot project for a portion of the Hamilton Street corridor.

The project would test out a form-based model, which is a model that deviates from traditional zoning by building on form, rather than sticking to land use regulations.

The hope is to use the model to make the area a more desirable place to visit. It would allow the Logan Neighborhood to more easily make changes like mixing residential and business in buildings or making the area more pedestrian friendly.

While most are on board to bring in business to the area, the plan to make the it more walkable isn't sitting well for some.

Riverside State Park ready to open new ORV training facility

Riverside State Park ready to open new ORV training facility

In an effort to reduce accidents Riverside State Park is opening a new beginner-level riding area for off road vehicles at the current ORV park just off Seven Mile Road.

Riverside is the only state park that has an off road vehicle riding facility, and they wanted to make it as safe as possible, for all riders.

The off road training facility, which has been in the works for several years, is the first new addition to Riverside State Park since it opened in the 1980s.

The training facility was two years in development and it took a whole year to construct. Steve May at the ORV training facility said its one of the first in the entire country. The idea originated as a way to minimize accidents on the course.

"Part of the conflict was we had little people mixed in with big bikes and that kind of thing, now we have a special area just for brand new riders," he explained.

The project was funded through ORV tag fees or as May said, it was built by users for users.

Every aspect of the course was built with the beginner in mind, from the path to the smooth ground and wide turns.

Planes, pills and piles of cash

Planes, pills and piles of cash

Newly unsealed court documents are revealing new details of a massive drug ring busted in Spokane last year that shows how a group of California gangsters trafficked thousands of OxyContin pills into Spokane every few days on commercial flights.

The Spokane Regional Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Agency executed a series of raids in Spokane in February 2013. At the time, federal prosecutors had the court records sealed, so the only information released was that the drug ring involved OxyContin and that 41 people were arrested. The raid also led to the arrest of Sally Blakely Guthrie, who owns Flamin' Joe's restaurant.

This week, the ringleader of the group pleaded guilty to two federal charges. With that plea, many of the court records were made public. Federal prosecutors say Richard Haynes, aka "Tiny Schoolie," was the leader of the trafficking organization and part of the Eight Trey Gangster Crips, a street gang operating in Spokane and Los Angeles.

Cooper Elementary mourning loss of Gracie Snider

Cooper Elementary mourning loss of Gracie Snider

Cooper Elementary School is grieving the loss of Gracie Snider, a 10-year-old fourth grader at the school, a star student and soccer player who died in a car accident last weekend while coming home from a game in Yakima.

Cooper Elementary has suffered a great loss, with everyone in mourning. The situation is even more difficult because Gracie's mom Gretchen is the school counselor. She's like the rock of the school, but can't be at school right now. Now students and staff members are leaning on each other and doing what they can to keep Gracie's memory alive.

"We have a desk in our class right now that is empty and it's Gracie's spot," Fourth grade teacher Janelle Campasino said.

"There is a void that is going to be there because she is not there," former teacher Tiffany Santos said.

"Gracie was probably one of the kindest, most amazing children you will ever meet," Cooper Elementary Principal Rona Williams said.

Last week she was running around on the playground, and learning math and science in Ms. Campasino's class.

"I'm so struck at the impact one small little girl had on so many people," Campasino said.

Newtech Skill Center popularity driving major expansion

Newtech Skill Center popularity driving major expansion

At a time when state lawmakers are questioning the usefulness of some technical schools, one local center that trains high school students is so popular, it's outgrown its current space.

Newtech Skill Center in North Spokane works with students from 11 different districts, teaching them technical skills like culinary, automotive, welding and fabrication to name a few. One of their main goals is to make sure that every student that leaves here is ready for the workforce or for higher education.

In the kitchen, aspiring chefs are busy cooking everything from savory to sweet.

"Great food just prepared right here in the kitchen," student Isaac Demaine said.

Demaine is still in high school but, like all the other students at the skill center, spend half their day at Newtech.

"We learn everything from making pasta to baking, to practically anything and everything," Demaine said.

Newtech director Will Sarett said one of the center's main goals is that every student earn at least one industry recognized certificate.