Monday, April 20, 2015

How not to get away with picking up a prostitute on East Sprague Avenue

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Cody Paine wasn’t planning to pick up a prostitute, or so he would tell Spokane police. He was just driving along East Sprague Avenue in a borrowed SUV on his way home to Cheney. It was sometime after 9 but before 10 and the mid-March night was cold and dark. Then he saw her. Dark hair, tan skin. Fit. Beautiful smile. 

He pulled the green Ford Explorer over in front of Pete’s Auto and beckoned her over, according to police reports.

Marie Rosenthal asked him what he wanted.

“How much for a wiggy?” he asked.

She didn’t know what a wiggy was. In retrospect, maybe he should have taken that as a sign.

He clarified: “a B.J.”

“OK, 40 bucks,” she said. She instructed him to pick her up around the corner on Lacey. He headed that direction, but the transaction was never completed.

Continue reading »

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MB: 4/20 events, Hells Angels' clubhouse shooting, more racial tension in Missouri

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 8:58 AM


Happy 4/20! Here’s a round-up of events celebrating the increasingly legitimate holiday. (Inlander)

State lawmakers are expressing concern that high school seniors won’t graduate unless changes are made to a biology exam. (Spokesman-Review)

There was a shooting outside the Hells Angels’ clubhouse in Spokane. (KXLY)


Over 700 migrants may have drowned trying to reach Europe after a boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea. (New York Times)

The election of the first black woman as mayor of Parma, Missouri, has prompted an exodus of municipal employees. (Talking Points Memo)

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says he’s 91 percent certain to run for president. (Reuters)

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Friday, April 17, 2015

MB: Bees on the loose, teen E-cig use on the rise and millennials saving millions

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 10:15 AM


Teens' use of electronic cigarettes tripled between 2013-14, and a recent survey of Spokane County high school seniors shows that 30 percent of them smoked an E-cig in the past month. (LA Times via S-R).

Read details of the 41-page, 10-count federal indictment of Washington state Auditor Troy X. Kelley. (Inlander)

It's going to be super nice out today and through this weekend, but don't think local waters are ready for swimming just yet. (S-R)

The former director of the Morning Star Boys Ranch has been reinstated as a Catholic priest after accusations of sexual abuse were denied. (S-R) 


The family of Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, are urging that convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev not be sentenced to the death penalty. (CNN)

A photo of a good samaritan saving a Lewiston man when he saw the driver's car dangling over the edge of a cliff has gone viral. (KXLY)

An new app called Acorns is helping millennials save millions. (CNN Money)


Millions of bees were unintentionally released early this morning near Lynnwood, Wash., when a semi-truck on I-5 carrying hives overturned. (KREM)
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Whole lotta fraud: Dive into the indictment of Washington state auditor Troy X. Kelley

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 12:06 PM

Not the results voters were expecting, though.
  • Not the results voters were expecting, though.

Who audits the auditor?

In Washington state auditor Troy X. Kelley's case, it's the U.S. Justice Department. Kelley was just indicted on 10 counts. That includes tax evasion, but it's far worse than that. We're talking lies, theft and fraud. The words "fraud" or "fraudulent" appear 35 times in the indictment.

Washington state is supposed to be one of the least corrupt states in the nation. But here, at least, is a big potential counter-example. 

Kelley has pled "not guilty" to the indictment. In the meantime, we've posted the entire 41-page indictment below, for those hungry for a white collar crime story. We've highlighted some of the big takeaways to whet your appetite. As you read through, keep thinking to yourself: This is the guy Washington voters elected as state auditor in 2012. 

A lot of this hinges on a process called "reconveyance." Once a person completely pays their mortgage on a piece of property, the property title is transferred from the lender to the property owner. There's an entire industry devoted to tracking the reconveyances and to help collect fees, something Kelley did for a company called "Post Closing Department." 

He's alleged to have stolen some of those fees. 
In reliance upon TROY X. KELLEY’s representations, Fidelity and Old Republic entrusted TROY X. KELLEY and Post Closing Department with millions of dollars of reconveyance fees. In truth and in fact, TROY X. KELLEY lied to Fidelity and Old Republic and did not administer the reconveyance fees as promised. Contrary to his representations, TROY X. KELLEY did not refund unused portions of reconveyance fees to borrowers, but instead fraudulently retained, stole, and converted them to his own use. 

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MB: Courthouse slugging, pot still Schedule 1, and are the police to blame?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 9:34 AM


Harlan Douglass, a well-known Spokane developer, allegedly socked somebody in the County Courthouse hallway. He was booked on suspicion of third degree assault in the Spokane County Jail. (Spokesman-Review) 

An inmate and his fiancee are accused of smuggling marijuana into Airway Heights Corrections Center. (Spokesman-Review) 

Recently approved rezoning rules will allow three more 100-person tent cities in Seattle. (Seattle Weekly) 

Seattle Zoo sends two of its elephants to Oklahoma City. (HeraldNet) 


Al-Qaida captures major airport and oil terminal in Yemen. (Yahoo via AP) 

"Stores of love, life, death in high court gay marriage case." (New York Times via AP)

Pot activists disappointed after a federal judge declined to remove pot from Schedule 1 list of most dangerous drugs. (Los Angeles Times) 

YouTube star Humza Arshad helps London's metro police combat the Islamic State extremist ideology. (Los Angeles Times)


The incomparable Ta-Nehisi Coates on "The Myth of Police Reform" and the sometimes unreasonable tasks we ask police to do. (The Atlantic)

Ain't No Sunshine When He's Gone: "Bill Withers: The soul man who walked away." (Rolling Stone) 

TIME published an article explaining why Hillary Clinton is at the perfect presidential age because she's on the other side of menopause. (And an Onion article about presidential ED is probably forthcoming) (TIME)  

A band of teen wrestlers built a multimillion dollar empire smuggling OxyContin. (Rolling Stone) 

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spokane Mayor Condon draws first reelection challenger

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 5:06 PM

Mayor David Condon has drawn his first challenger with Shar Lichty, an organizer with the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane.

Lichty, who is 48 and has lived in Spokane for nearly a decade, says she decided to run after state Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, declined to run against Condon. She says she’s running because “Spokane deserves a mayor that listens to everyday people.”

“I don’t think we’ve had that mayor in the last three mayors,” she says.

In particular, she faults Condon for not bargaining more aggressively with the Spokane Police Guild over police reform, and she says he’s been too cozy with large businesses.

In the past, Lichty has campaigned on behalf of statewide referendums to grant same-sex couples domestic partnerships and later full marriages. Lichty has never held elected office, and she says that Spokane City Council’s progressive wing reflects her values.

To date, Condon has raised nearly $244,000 for his reelection campaign. But Lichty is unphased by the mayor’s war chest.

“Oh, I’ll let him run that big money campaign,” she says. “And I will run a grassroots campaign because that’s what I know how to do.”
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Community groups urge senators to move on Washington Voting Rights Act

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 12:42 PM

In a letter sent to Washington lawmakers Monday, 44 community groups pushed lawmakers to pass the Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA), which passed the House and Senate Government Operations Committee, but is currently stuck in the Rules Committee. 

"The WVRA makes local government more accountable to the people it serves," the letter reads. "Currently, some communities do not have a voice in local government. The WVRA provides tools not currently available in the law to provide solutions. The WVRA does not mandate proportional representation or district-based elections, but instead will give local communities an equal opportunity to elect officials who represent their needs and interests, helping to make elected bodies truly representative."  

The bill allows for district-based local elections and would give members of protected classes, such as racial or linguistic minorities who feel disenfranchised by at-large elections in Washington a way to take legal action in a superior court without the high costs of a lawsuit in district court. 

A federal district judge recently ruled in one such suit brought by the ACLU against the City of Yakima. In that case, the judge ruled that Yakima must conduct future city council elections using its seven geographical districts. The decision came down in February and cost the city nearly $1 million in legal fees. Additionally, the ACLU has since asked for $2.8 million to cover its own legal costs.

When asked if the ACLU's request for the additional $2.8 million from the City of Yakima was just adding insult to injury, ACLU spokesman Doug Honig said no. He adding that the federal Voting Rights Act contains a provision that allows for legal costs and fees to be paid to the prevailing side.
According to previous Inlander reporting, Robert Douthitt, a member of the Board of Directors for Spokane Public Schools, says he has concerns that some standards and language in the bill are too ambiguous. 

"What does equal opportunity mean in the context of a really, really small [protected] class," Douthitt said previously. 

Staff writer Jake Thomas contributed reporting to this post. 
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MB: Changes to pot regs, football star convicted of murder and dogs sitting on cats

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 9:09 AM


Orchard Prairie mom failed to raise tax dollars to improve the historic school and gymnasium. (Spokesman-Review) 

There's been a few changes to marijuana regulation in Washington state passed by the state senate and sent to the governor. (Spokesman-Review)

Teen charged as adult in long list of violent crimes. (Tacoma News Tribune) 

Shar Lichty throws her hat in the ring for Spokane mayor. (Spokesman-Review) 


Aaron Hernandez, former New England Patriots' tight end, convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without parol. (Associated Press) 

E.U. accuses Google of antitrust violations. (New York Times)

A NASA astrophysicist named an asteroid after Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate for her work promoting girls' education in Pakistan. (CNN)

Buzz Aldrin is doing that space thing again. This time he's reaching out to Mars. (CNN) 


Read this about a Kurt Cobain documentary. (New York Times)

The boy in the "Success Kid" meme is now eight years old and trying to get his dad a kidney. (Buzz Feed) 

This year is the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Check out these fascinating articles from JSTOR Daily: "Forgetting Abraham Lincoln" and "What Role Did Laura Keene Play on Abraham Lincoln's Last Night?" (JSTOR Daily)

And may we present: Dogs sitting on Cats (Huff Post):  

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

MB: Gas-tax hike, trip to Mars and Tulsa reserve deputy turns himself in

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 9:27 AM


Washington Legislature's proposal would raise gasoline tax 11.7 cents over the next two years. (Spokesman-Review)

Spokane murderer will get a hearing for early release almost 25 years later, thanks to a 2012 Supreme Court ruling. (Spokesman-Review)

A falling construction slab killed a young couple and their infant son Monday. (Seattle Times)

This guy is one of 100 finalists to go on a mission to Mars


Nigeria's President-elect promises to free the 200+ schoolgirls who've been abducted by Boko Haram, if they're ever found. (New York Times) 

Former Blackwater guards sentenced to long prison terms for killing unarmed Iraqis. (New York Times)

Was a 78-year-old woman with severe Alzheimer's able to consent to sex with her husband? (New York Times) 

The reserve deputy in Tulsa turned himself in after accidentally killing a suspect with his service pistol. (Washington Post) 

Jordan Spieth became one of the youngest Masters winners ever last weekend, and his caddie is a middle school math teacher. (Washington Post)


After 27 years as a DEA informant, a former Medellin cartel official wants to call it quits. (Huffington Post)

Virginia students are being reported to law enforcement for behavior that can be dealt with at school. (Center for Public Integrity)
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Monday, April 13, 2015

MB: No vaccination=no school, two new White House hopefuls and taunting cheetahs

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 9:18 AM


Kids in Spokane Public Schools without required vaccinations (or an approved exemption waiver) will be pulled out of class starting today. (Spokesman-Review)

Nelson Cruz (finally) homers, and gives the M's an 8-7 victory in the 10th. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Construction that will widen I-90 to six lanes on the east side of Snoqualmie Pass is again underway. (Spokesman-Review)


Two White House hopefuls announced their bid for the 2016 presidential election: Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio. And a helpful candidate tracker. (New York Times)

A mother dropped her toddler into a cheetah pit in Cleveland (the kid is reportedly fine, mom might face charges). (AP)

Gunter Grass, German novelist ("The Tin Drum"), died at 87. (New York Times)

A reserve deputy in Tulsa, Oklahoma shot and killed an unarmed man as he was being restrained by police. Deputy Robert Bates, 73, said he meant to fire his Taser, but grabbed his service pistol instead. (CNN)


This year's Pulitzer Prize winners will be announced next Monday (just in time to snuggle up on the couch for everyone's favorite holiday!). (Poynter)

The Seattle Times just released part five of a nationwide investigation into the danger of lead poisoning at shooting ranges. Here's part one. (Seattle Times)

Buzz Feed isn't all cat gifs and Disney princess quizzes. Check out this four parter: "A Murder at La Casa Green." (Buzz Feed)
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