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Graduation day for North Central students participating in Youth/Police Initiative

Graduation day for North Central students participating in Youth/Police Initiative

One dozen students from North Central High School were applauded by Spokane Police Thursday as they graduated from the fifth Youth Police Initiative class.

Youth Police Initiative, or YPI, is to enhance police officer understanding of the beliefs, values and experiences of local youth, and to promote positive police/youth interaction – and it appears to be doing just that.

“My favorite part of the program was meeting the officers and learning how they're more like the kids than they seem,” said Krista Moize, one of Thursday's YPI graduates. “The cops were really interesting and really funny.”

Participating youth are selected by local community leaders. This time it was Jenny Jamison, who runs the school's “Outside the Box” program in connection with the YMCA.

Memorial held for fallen soldier

Memorial held for fallen soldier

The funeral for 22-year-old Cpl. Justin Clouse was held Saturday morning at Life Center.

Family and friends spoke today telling stories of Clouse and the type of son, brother and fiance he was.

Clouse was known by those closest to him as a friendly giant. He was caring, compassionate and loyal.

A representative from the Army even recalled what a leader he was. He said most people in Clouse's pay grade are only specialists but Clouse was given his title because he showed exceptional potential.

Clouse received a number of honors Saturday including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal.

Many people came from all over Washington to honor Clouse, including Govenor Jay Inslee and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers, who presented Clouse's family with a flag and a letter of condolence.

Clouse was killed in action in Afghanistan last week. Officials said the Sprague native was killed by friendly fire.

Union Gospel Mission celebrates new graduates of the Life Recovery program

Union Gospel Mission celebrates new graduates of the Life Recovery program

Tuesday night 25 people from the inland northwest graduated from the Union Gospel Mission's Life Recovery program. It's designed to break the homelessness cycle and dependence on drugs and alcohol.

"My life was empty, and hopeless and a mess, unmanageable," Chantell White said.

She was one of the 25 who made it through the program.

"I didn't realize that people cared," White said. "I didn't realize that I was forgiven, I didn't realize that I had a hope and a future."

She began her change two years ago. Before that she was an addict, in and out of jail and had her kids taken away from her.

"I remember Chantell coming into a class not only being broken, but not believing that anything would really change," program leader Joann Zajick said.

The two years she spent working on herself would not come easy. She left the program at one point, only to come back.

"I'm serious now," Zajick said, remembering what Chantell said. "I'm ready for what it's going to take for me to really change and from that you see this beautiful woman today."

Husband holds golf tournament to raise money for wife's lung transplant

Husband holds golf tournament to raise money for wife's lung transplant

A Spokane woman is fighting for her life, in need of a double lung transplant after battling cystic fibrosis for 30 years.

John Moriarty says his wife Gina is the love of his life, right up there with golf, and she's in need of some serious help.

"About a year ago Gina came down with a very severe case of pneumonia. She was in the hospital for two months and there was a lot of damage done to her lungs," John said.

Gina was diagnosed at age two and now at age 30 has just 15 percent lung capacity.

To help raise money for Gina's medical costs, John has changed the focus of his annual charity golf tournament "The Big Kahuna" to help his wife.

"It's a double shotgun start on July 12, four person teams. It's a scramble format, and its all for fun," said John.

The procedure will cost nearly $1 million and insurance is covering most of it, but there are still a lot of expenses they will be paying out of pocket.

"We have to actually move over to Seattle and live in transplant housing, and that's something that's not covered by insurance and it's roughly $3-4 thousand a month," said John.

Little Jameson Davis gets new arms

Little Jameson Davis gets new arms

Over the last year and a half, KXLY has followed Jameson Davis' journey. Jameson is the Spokane baby born without arms, but now there's a new chapter in this toddler's life that involves a special pair of prosthetic arms.

For six months, Jameson has been using myo-electric prosthetic arms, made just for him. In fact, he's the youngest person ever to have a pair of them.

"He can do pretty much anything that any other little kid can do," his mom Brooke Davis said.

His surfer blond hair and bright blue eyes melt your heart and his determination inspires you.

"You know he's just a growing little boy," dad Jim Davis said.

Jameson wears the myo-electric arms twice a day. The arms have sensors that pick up movement.

"So in the simplest terms, if he just flexes his little biceps, it will open and close the hand," Jim said.

The arms cost over $100,000. Insurance paid for most, but the Spokane community stepped up, raising $25,000.

"It's amazing to know there are great people in Spokane and they are willing to help strangers," Jim said.

Jim and Brooke just want to provide their son the very best life.

Local teen looks to get kids playing outside

Local teen looks to get kids playing outside

For 17-year-old LaFawn Sutton, the great outdoors is more like her first home.

"I'll come up here in the daytime, at the night it's really cool because it's all the stars and then just city lights," said LaFawn.

Ever since she was able to crawl, dirt has been her floor and rocks her chair.

"I'll come home and I'll be outside, from after school until my parents get home and even after that," said LaFawn. "The later I can stay out the better."

That's why the Mt. Spokane High School junior was picked to be a youth leader by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

She was one of the half dozen high school students from across the state invited to the capitol over the fall to talk with commissioners on how to get youth outside.

"A lot of kids are like, 'oh phone, computer' and stuff like that and they just don't even care about out here," LaFawn said.

The initiative comes as a result of growing technology keeping youth indoors. Encouraging kids to go outside is just part of the bigger picture; the hope is that they'll retain it for future generations.

Mayor of Limerick visits Spokane

Mayor of Limerick visits Spokane

The mayor of Limerick, Ireland, one of Spokane’s Sister Cities, is touring the Lilac City. Mayor Kathleen Leddin is the 817th mayor of Limerick and on Monday she stopped by the site of the Sister Cities Garden Project at Riverfront Park.

“I’m very excited about it,” Mayor Leddin said of her trip. “There’s a great Sister City relationship between Limerick and Spokane.”