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Armed robbery at north Spokane McDonald's

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is investigating an armed robbery at a north Spokane McDonald's on Monroe and Francis Tuesday night.

Investigators say the suspect approached the drive-thru window on foot while the cashier was with a customer. He displayed a black revolver, then reached in and grabbed the money tray out of the open register.

The suspect was last seen headed eastbound on foot, but a K9 track found nothing.

The suspect is described as a white male wearing a grey hoodie with a black piece of cloth covering his face.

U-Help program offers another Spokane Gives opportunity

U-Help program offers another Spokane Gives opportunity

Spokane is working towards becoming a more compassionate community through Spokane Gives Week, but if you don’t have time to volunteer there are other ways you can be involved. One way is by making a donation to the City’s U Help program.

U Help provides one-time emergency assistance to low-income households to help pay their city utility bills. The Salvation Army runs the program free of charge which means every dollar of every donation goes directly to people in need.

Spokane Police add five officers to ranks

Spokane Police add five officers to ranks

Five new recruits to the Spokane Police Department graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy in Burien on Tuesday.

Chris LeQuire, Jordan Brown, Corrigan Mohondro, Brandon Fabian and Brandon Lynch will return to Spokane for three weeks of SPD specific training. The new officers will start serving the community at the end of April.

Arteaga murder trial begins Wednesday

Arteaga murder trial begins Wednesday

A Spokane jury will hear opening arguments Wednesday morning in Daniel Arteaga's murder trial.

Arteaga is suspected of killing his girlfriend Kim Schmidt inside her north Spokane home on New Year's Eve 2011.

Detectives say Arteaga first drugged Schmidt and then a shot her in the head hoping investigators would think the victim committed suicide.

Spokane County Sheriff's deputies think Arteaga was jealous that Schmidt was rekindling her relationship with her ex-husband.

Arteaga admits being with Schmidt the night she was killed but says he left her very much alive inside her locked north side home.

Red Cross opens shelter for residents displaced by apartment fire

Red Cross opens shelter for residents displaced by apartment fire

Fifty-five people were displaced by Saturday's fire on the 6500 block of North Atlantic. Some of them are staying at a local Red Cross shelter during their search for new homes.

Volunteers say it's one of the largest responses they've had in the Spokane area since the Valley View fire in 2008, where they sheltered more than 130 people.

"If we have a large group of people and they need a place to stay, we want to make sure they're safe so we have them come into a shelter," Red Cross volunteer Sally Stuber said.

The shelter is set up at the nearby Spokane Friends Church. About 20 people are sleeping there each night. The Red Cross is working with agencies like Catholic Charities to find permanent housing for them. Until they do, the shelter will stay open.

"Because these are larger family groups, it's going to be a little harder for them to find a place to rent and to get relocated," Stuber said.

It's been an even harder week for several of the residents. James Betsinger was attacked by a pit bull outside his apartment last week. He and four others were injured by the dog. A few days later, the fire destroyed his home.

Spokane vying to be named compassionate city

Spokane Gives week kicked off Saturday with Cleaning from The Core, and the week-long volunteer event is continuing, a city-wide effort to eventually name Spokane one of the most compassionate places in the country.

Mayor David Condon said it might take a few years but the first step is getting people involved in a volunteer project like bagging food for the less fortunate at places like Second Harvest Food Bank.

"I volunteer once a week, usually in the evening for two hours," Steve Borchard said.

"My birthday was yesterday and this year I thought I'm going to give back for my birthday, rather than take presents in," volunteer Claudia Campbell said. "I'm putting in a one to four shift today and I know I'll be back."

Borchard and Campbell are among the roughly 1,000 people who have signed up to participate in volunteer projects this week. But that alone is not enough. The charter for Compassion International wants to see a permanent change that will restore the golden rule that is 'treat all others as you wish to be treated yourself.'

"You make a big impact in a short amount of time. It's hard work but it's rewarding," Borchard said.

City Council wants prosecutor to speed up use of force rulings

City Council wants prosecutor to speed up use of force rulings

Spokane's city council wants faster answers about officer involved shootings and Monday night the council intends to urge Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker to speed up his decisions about whether or not officers' use of force incidents are justified.

Sometimes it takes almost a year for Tucker to rule whether or not the use of force was justified and the council thinks that's just too long.

It's been eight months since Spokane Police officers shot and killed a hit and run driver in front of the Salvation Army but it wasn't until late last Friday that prosecutors said the officers wouldn't face any criminal liability in the case.

"Well I want the prosecutor's office to take all due care in processing these cases but at some point we really need to get them out there so we can get some closure for the families involved, for the law enforcement officers involved," Spokane City Council member Jon Snyder said.