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Program connects refugees with fresh produce

Program connects refugees with fresh produce

Refugee Connections Spokane is a program that helps new and former refugees settle into the community. The Refugees' Harvest Project is one of the volunteer activities that locals can take part in.

"Refugees who come from farming cultures want to get out and do what they know how to do so well," Executive Director of Refugee Connections Spokane said.

It started back in 2011 by Nou Vang, a local refugee at the time. She watched fruit just falling on the ground and rotting. Vang knew there was a need for fresh produce within the local refugee community.

Instead of letting it go to waste, she thought she could pick the unwanted fruit while simultaneously cleaning Spokane yards.

Today, the project is growing rapidly. Volunteers collect thousands of pounds of produce to distribute for free in the East Central Neighborhood.

"There are people who can't afford to buy fresh produce or the store is too far to get to," Hale said.

DNR bans all outdoor burning

DNR bans all outdoor burning

The Washington Department of Natural Resources has expanded the current statewide burn ban to cover all outdoor burning on DNR-protected lands, with no exceptions.

“All indicators are that we'll continue to have high heat, low humidity and storm systems with winds and lightning. That means huge potential for wildfires,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “We need to do everything we can to minimize danger to people, homes and habitat.”

Hot and dry conditions since early summer have caused very high fire hazard conditions throughout the state. These conditions have caused fires to spread rapidly and challenged firefighting efforts. More than $91 million has been spent so far battling wildfires in 2014, and more than 350,000 acres have burned across the state. There are many weeks to go in this year’s fire season, which usually runs into October.

Coeur d'Alene police need help locating missing man

Coeur d'Alene police need help locating missing man

Coeur d'Alene Police are seeking the public's help in finding a man reported missing on August 8.

Christopher Towles was reported missing at 1 p.m. last Friday by his mother, who said he failed to show up for work, which was unusual for him. His roommate said that his roommate said he was last seen last Wednesday morning.

The roommate didn't know where he was but had information that his vehicle had broken down in Spokane.

On Sunday Towles' vehicle was found and recovered by the Spokane Police Department in a parking lot near the intersection of Francis and Nevada.

Since his disappearance he has not had any contact with his friends or family and is considered endangered due to his mental state.

"You have a lot of family who love you and we'd like you back home and in one piece," said his father Hugh Towles. "You can call me call the police department call anyone in your family. We're here for you and we're willing to help you."

If anyone has any information on his whereabouts you're asked to contact the Coeur d'Alene Police Department at 208-769-2320.

Cellphone-armed resident helps crack stolen property ring

Spokane Valley Police are crediting an alert citizen armed with a with a cellphone camera with helping shut down a sophisticated stolen property ring.

A Spokane Valley resident thought it was odd when he saw two men parked outside the now closed Painted Hills Golf Course and took a picture as the men backed up to a storage shed and looked like they were ready to load their trailer with the equipment inside.

?He did a great job, he saw something suspicious and not only did he report that, but he happened to capture a picture of the suspect vehicle,? Spokane Valley Police Deputy Mark Gregory said.

Arriving officers found padlocks on the storage unit had been cut and things like power washers and air compressors stolen.

Meanwhile the photo was shared with property crimes investigators at the Spokane Valley Police Department and two weeks later Detective Roger Knight spotted the Toyota 4Runner and trailer at Upriver and Argonne and began tailing the SUV.

?He sees that vehicle that matches that picture identically and turns around and gets patrol officers to stop it and it ended up being the right vehicle it seems,? Gregory said.

Spokane Police warn about new jury duty scam

Spokane Police warn about new jury duty scam

From the Spokane Police Department:

The Spokane Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies are receiving reports of a scam involving jury duty. Victims report they have received a call, telling them they failed to respond to a jury duty summons and now have to pay an officer money to keep from going to jail. Law enforcement officers never call people with warrants requesting payments over the phone to take care of their legal issues. If you receive calls similar to this or believe you may have been the victim of a scam, please call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

On August 6, 2014, just after 8:00 pm, a man contacted police after receiving a suspicious phone call. The caller identified himself as a Deputy from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect advised the potential victim that he had missed jury duty and had a bench warrant for his arrest. The suspect then went on to tell the victim he needed to get a pre-paid credit card for $1,000 and they could take care of the warrant over the phone.

Eastern Washington election results by county

Eastern Washington election results by county


US Representative District 4

  • Clint Didier (R) - 1,051
  • Estakio Beltran (D) – 153

State Representative, Position 1, District 9

  • Susan Fagan (R) - 1,722

State Representative, Position 1, District 9

  • Joe Schmick (R) - 1,709

County Assessor

  • Sherri Brewer (R) - 1,800

County Auditor

  • Heidi Hunt (R) - 1,801

County Clerk

  • Susan Kirkendall (R) - 1,792

County Commissioner

Avista recap and thanks for Saturday storm

Avista recap and thanks for Saturday storm

Avista once again is expressing their gratefulness for customer patience and support after recovering from the second major storm in just two weeks.

It took only three days to restore power to all 48,000 customers impacted by the August 2 storm, which rolled across the inland northwest just six days after the July 23 storm. The last storm resulted in the worst damage to the system since an ice storm in 1996.

“It's an amazing achievement to restore power to all of our customers within a matter of days following the one-two punch we received from Mother Nature,” said Avista Utilities President Dennis Vermillion. “Given the magnitude of damage from these back-to-back storms, I have the deepest respect for all of our employees who were involved in restoration efforts, especially our Avista crews and the contract crews who worked tirelessly in the heat to turn on the lights and get the air conditioning and fans blowing for our customers.”