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Spokane Valley Police investigating string of robberies

Spokane Valley Police are trying to figure out who robbed three businesses Saturday night.

The robberies all happened within two hours of each other, but deputies aren't sure if they're connected.

The first call came in at the Walgreens at Sprague and Sullivan at 4:41 p.m., the second at the Luck Nail Salon on East Sprague, then a third at the Albertsons at 32nd.

The owner of the Lucky Nail Salon, Tuan Bui, said a man came in, walked across the shop to an employee and demanded money. Bui says the man then came towards him. That's when Bui gave him the money in the till.

Bui says it happened in a matter of seconds.

"He's got a mask, he was taller than me about one foot," Bui said. "He was wearing a black jacket, a black mask, and I think he was wearing gloves too."

Investigators think the calls at the Walgreens and Albertsons may be connected. They say the man is described as 5'10'-6'0" tall, wearing blue jeans and a dark jacket with a scarf.

A K-9 was brought in but was unable to find a trail.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check, 509-456-2233.�

Liberty Lake honors sailor killed in Vietnam

On Veterans Day Liberty Lake residents remembered a Spokane local and Rogers High School graduate, Greg Vercruysse, who died in combat in Vietnam�in 1967.

The whole Vercruysse family attended the ceremony, even Greg's surviving 89-year old mother, Hazel.

The ceremony was part of Liberty Lake's Fallen Heroes Circuit Course, where city leaders erect plaques at parks around town.

"It's awesome," said Dean Vercruysse, Greg's brothe.,�"Especially on a day where it's frigid and for all these people to come out and do this, it's wonderful."

Dean was only eight when Greg was killed in combat. He remembers him as a fun guy, his own personal hero.

"He was pretty popular and was a regular teenager, always going to have fun or he was getting back from having fun," Dean said.

Greg was killed in Vietnam only a month and a half after he got there. He was trying to help an injured Marine when he was struck down.

Fellow Corpsman John Kerr will remember that day forever.

"We were only together a short time before Greg was killed, but he continues to be a brother of mine and always will be," Kerr said.

Double homicide investigation in Spokane Valley

Spokane Valley Police continue to investigate a double homicide that occurred late Saturday night at an apartment complex on Broadway Avenue near Bowdish Road.

Neighbors living in the complex called 911 after finding a man bleeding outside following several gunshots around 9:40 p.m.

"It just sounded like he was beating the door, but apparently he was getting shot at on my front door," Ryan Nairine said.

Nairine said that when he opened the door and saw the man, he thought he was drunk.

?I didn't see no beer bottle though and just started noticing a whole bunch of blood coming out of his skull,? Nairine said.

By the time deputies got there, the man was already dead. Spokane Valley Police taped off the complex and began their search for clues. A short time later, deputies found another person dead inside the corner apartment.

?As they started to get the area clear and contact people and make sure there wasn't anybody else that was injured, they went into an apartment and located a second male who was also deceased,? Spokane Sheriff's Deputy Mark Gregory said.

Marijuana co-op hosts family Halloween bash

The Members Lounge, a medical marijuana co-op in Spokane Valley, threw a Halloween bash for all ages Friday night.

Before the event began, all marijuana and paraphernalia was taken off the premises, and any posters or suggestive materials were�also removed.

Activities in included karaoke, pumpkin balloon pool and of course, lots of candy. Most parents at the event were not concerned about the venue.

"It was actually the first place we picked. We're like yeah, kind of seems nice. We drove by, looked like their was a bunch of people here, especially kids," says Adam Burrington, who brought his�daughter along.

The family friendly party ended at 9 p.m., followed by an adult only event afterward.

Community gathers for McSpadden family fundraiser

Hundreds of people turned out to celebrate and honor the life of Jeremy McSpadden Jr, the teenager who was killed when a bus ran over him while he was working at the Incredible Corn Maze in Hauser, Idaho earlier this month.

While the Spokane Valley community has been grieving over the unexpected and tragic loss of Jeremy, on Wednesday night, there were only smiles.

"Everybody's laughing and having fun and that's what this was supposed to be, a celebration," said Robin Moritz, Jeremy's aunt. She explained he was the smartest, goofiest kid she knew.

"He never ever left my home -- and he was there every day�-- without saying, 'I love you, Aunt Robin,' and that, to me, was what made Jeremy, Jeremy," she said.

Jeremy was one of more than 50 cousins. The family is a tight-knit group with deep roots in Spokane Valley.

"He means the world to me," said Josh Foster, one of the cousins.�"Jeremy was my best friend. He was my brother. He was like my other half."

Josh said he's grateful so many people showed up to the memorial fundraiser, but hopes Jeremy's legacy won't be forgotten.

Northwest group reaches out to Africa to help with spread of Ebola

Here in the Northwest a group is working to help those at the highest risk of catching Ebola, people in West Africa.

Kimbery Sonko's husband grew up in Africa, the two started the organization 'Christ's hands on Afrika' to get necessary items to families in the country.

Sonko's husband still has family there who the couple sends supplies to, the family members then distribute the items to those in need.

The organization has been renting a storage unit, collecting what they know to be necessities for people living in Africa.

Backpacks, water bottles for the several mile walk to school and even bicycles for the luckier few.

But now they are looking for something new.

Their family in Africa say what they need most right now is sanitary supplies

With the threat of Ebola right at their doorsteps, children are being sent to school with bleach soaked rags to keep an germs from spreading.

Which is why the organization is now asking for hygiene items.

Sonko says if you are worries about Ebola spreading, donating is a way for you to make a difference.

Teen arson suspect makes first court appearance Tuesday

A teen charged with setting a half dozen fires in Spokane Valley last month is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday, but a judge has already determined the boy is a threat to the community's safety.

The 16-year-old, faces six counts of arson in connection with a series of brush and structure fires that had Valley residents worried in September after someone deliberately set 18 fires during some of this year's driest conditions of our fire season.

The suspect was arrested at the end of September; as soon as he was taken into custody at the juvenile detention center the suspicious fires, which were averaging two per day, suddenly stopped. He's been in custody since his arrest two weeks ago and fire investigators say they hope he won't get out until he get the help he needs.

Judge Sam Cozza determined the teen was a threat to the community based solely on the charges he's facing and the great hazard any deliberately set fire poses this time of year. However, juvenile court services has been working hard to evaluate his situation, including his mental health status.