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Report shows high rate of tobacco sales to WA minors

Report shows high rate of tobacco sales to WA minors

The number of retailers in Washington that illegally sell tobacco to minors is high for the second year in a row. An annual report that tracks illegal sales shows about 15% of tobacco retailers sold tobacco to minors in 2013, which is about the same as it was in 2012. As recently as 2009, the rate was much lower, at about 9%.

Video shows robbery suspect shot, killed by Spokane Police

Video shows robbery suspect shot, killed by Spokane Police

Four seconds. That was the amount of time between an armed robbery suspect walking out of a house, officers telling him to drop his weapon and more than a dozen shots being fired, killing him.

Late Thursday afternoon the Spokane County Medical Examiner identified the man shot by Spokane Police Wednesday evening as Stephen Corkery, 30, of Spokane.

A standoff began just before 7 p.m., when Corkery noticed police activity and came to the door of a residence in the 1500 block of West Grace. Police used a patrol car public address system to talk with him, telling him they were obtaining a warrant for his arrest as a suspect in multiple armed robberies across Spokane.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeff Sevigney said Corkery stepped outside the house, armed with a handgun, and that's when police ordered him to drop the weapon and surrender. He refused.

"At some point the officers believed that their safety and the safety of the community was at risk, and they engaged the individual," Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub said.

Use of Force commission sees Spokane Police willing to improve

Use of Force commission sees Spokane Police willing to improve

In a strange twist of fate, a deadly officer-involved shooting happened less than 24 hours before Spokane Police were scheduled to appear before the Use of Force Commission, a citizen panel looking for ways to reduce conflicts between police and the public.

The citizen panel, an independent Spokane commission formed under the authority of the office of the mayor, recognizes that there will always be desperate people who invite officer involved shootings, but what the commission has been pushing for is training that gives officers more options for dealing with the public when emotions are running high.

The Use of Force Commission is one of several groups now policing the police and Thursday the panel wanted an update on the progress the department was making in implementing 26 recommendations to reform the department.

"We have to get up each and every day and say what do we need to do to make the police department better," Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub said.

Straub told the commission Thursday that crime is down 14-percent in Spokane from this time last year and that the department had boosted the amount of it's in service training.

Gonzaga hosting free Chinese language summer camp

Gonzaga hosting free Chinese language summer camp

From Gonzaga University:


Up to 60 Spokane-area students in 1st through 12th grade will once again have opportunities to study Chinese this summer at Gonzaga University, thanks to an $89,713 grant from Startalk. Startalk is a federally sponsored program designed to foster interest in less commonly taught languages such as Chinese, Arabic and Hindi.

Suspect in Baskin Robbins armed robbery fatally shot by Spokane Police

Suspect in Baskin Robbins armed robbery fatally shot by Spokane Police

A man believed to be the suspect in Tuesday's armed robbery at Baskin Robbins has died from a standoff Wednesday night with Spokane Police.

Chief Frank Straub said they had probable cause and were waiting on a warrant for his arrest for first-degree robbery. The investigation began earlier in the afternoon when a house in the1500 block of W. Grace Street was put under surveillance. The SWAT team was on hand as a precaution, because of the use of a gun in the robbery.

Just before seven the suspect noticed police activity and came to the door. Police used a PA system to talk with him, telling him they were obtaining a warrant for his arrest. The suspect stepped outside the house and that's when police ordered him to surrender but the suspect refused. The talk lasted about five minutes before shots were fired.

"At some point the officers believed that their safety and the safety of the community was at risk, and they engaged the individual,? Straub said.

The suspect was treated for gunshot wounds on the scene and then transferred to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. His name is not being released at this time.

Three people injured in suspected drunken driving crash

Three people injured in suspected drunken driving crash

Three people were sent to the hospital following a serious rollover crash on the 7100 block of North Country Homes.

At approximately 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, three people were traveling northbound on N. Country Homes when the vehicle went over the curb, took out a road sign and drove through a retaining wall.

The vehicle rolled over and a male and female passenger were ejected from the vehicle. The driver was trapped inside.

All three people were sent to the hospital. The driver sustained serious injuries and is in critical condition.

Police say speed and alcohol were factors in this crash.

Police to present Use of Force progress report Thursday

On Thursday, Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub will give the Use of Force Commission a progress report on how many of the panel's 26 recommendations have been implemented.

Here's a quick overview on some of their accomplishments toward implementing those commission's recommendations.

A lot of the commission's recommendations called for boosting the amount of in-service training our officers are receiving. Police have always tried to keep people from hurting themselves and each other, such as an incident last December when negotiators successfully kept a man from leaping off the Monroe Street Bridge.

Now, 90-percent of Spokane police officers have been certified in crisis intervention, the method to recognize and deal with people who are having mental health or medical problems.

"So once you do move that person out of crisis and into dialogue, here's how we can direct them to the appropriate services," Straub said.

Another recommendation asked the department step up training in ways to deescalate run-ins with uncooperative suspects while still finding a balance with officer safety.