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Our Kids are Our Business

Our Kids are Our Business

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Eight years ago the Spokane community decided enough was enough!  It was rocked to the core by the horrific death of little Summer Phelps and was jarred into taking a stand for children.

KXLY has joined with 34 other businesses and individuals (Spo-Can Council) for the month-long initiative "Our Kids Our Business". The focus is on the prevention of child abuse and neglect. The council holds regular meetings, and next week will hold it's annual luncheon.  

Help for parents with autistic kids increasing in Spokane

Help for parents with autistic kids increasing in Spokane

The number of children diagnosed with autism has jumped 30-percent since 2012, according to a new report from the CDC, and there are 2,000 children in Spokane County who have been diagnosed with autism, which is only second to King County.

New legislation was passed in 2013 to make treatment for these children more accessible, but there is still an issue of supply and demand.

Charles Green's 4-year-old son Noah was diagnosed with autism last October.

"He has a great personality, great sense of humor, great kid," Green said.

For Green, getting the diagnosis, "in some ways it was a relief because we could finally get him the help he needed."

Noah is part of a new program offered by the Northwest Autism Center. The program focuses on children ages two to five years old and provides them with extensive care for 12 weeks.

"This particular approach allows us to really get to know the child and build a transitional plan that will positively impact the services they are going to receive where ever they are going next," Dawn Sidell with the Northwest Autism Center said.

More Spokane-area responders deploying to Oso mudslide

More Spokane-area responders deploying to Oso mudslide

The number of dead and missing continues to rise in Oso with 28 confirmed fatalities, but so do the number of people from the Inland Northwest being sent there to help with the recovery and relief efforts.

Some of those who deployed to the area are members of the Washington Air National Guard based at Fairchild Air Force Base, some of whom said they were more than happy to help with recovery efforts in Oso. Staff Sergeant Michael Cohan said the toughest part for him was not being able to do enough to help the victims.

The symbol of hope and freedom, Cohan retrieved a tattered American flag from the mudslide debris. Like the close knit community in Snohomish County, the flag was battered but not broken.

"Surprised to see how much of that flag was still intact," Cohan said.

Help continues to pour into Snohomish County from across the state.

"So many different agencies working so diligently to try and help bring closure to the families and its just truly amazing to see," Captain Kevin Wolf with the Washington Air National Guard said.

Spokane special effects expert helps debunk Bigfoot hoax

It's a story that's gone viral with Spokane connections. A Texas man claimed he shot and killed Bigfoot, and has driven the body around the country charging people $10 to see it. A Spokane man is refuting those claims, because he built the Bigfoot prop the man is using.

"Step right up...they are going to see Bigfoot, and I am going to tell you it is a real Bigfoot," Rick Dyer told KSAT-TV in San Antonio outside of his trailer supposedly holding the beast in January.

Rick Dyer has claimed he shot and killed Bigfoot for a year and a half. In January, he was offering the public a chance to see the body for themselves.

"Come in and take a peak and listen to my story and see my evidence first-hand and you can make up your own mind," Dyer said.

According to multiple media reports, Dyer admitted last week the Bigfoot body was fake. Now, for the first time, Spokane artist Chris Russell can talk about it.

"I gave him what he asked for. He called and paid for it, and we put it on the board and did it, we made his body," Russell said.

Jury selection begins in Gerlach manslaughter trial

Jury selection begins in Gerlach manslaughter trial

Jury selection began Monday for one of Spokane's most hotly debated shootings as Gail Gerlach stands trial for manslaughter.

Gerlach has admitted shooting a convicted car thief who was stealing an SUV out of Gerlach's driveway when Gerlach opened fire.

Prospective jurors are being quizzed about their gun ownership and both the trial judge and attorneys are learning that a lot of Spokane County residents own guns and have concealed weapons permits.

Prospective jurors are also being asked if they've ever belonged to the NRA.

Judge Annette Plese summoned 100 Spokane County residents to Superior Court Monday morning and after they were sworn to tell the truth about their qualifications as prospective jurors the court told the group about what type of questions they'd be answering.

"The questions are not being asked to invade your privacy but to select a fair and impartial jury," Judge Plese told the prospective jurors.

Latah Creek wine wins Best in Class recognition

Latah Creek wine wins Best in Class recognition

Local winery, Latah Creek, took top honors last month at the Savor Northwest Wine Competition. The Spokane favorite came home with two gold medals and a best in class recognition.

The Savor Northwest Wine Competition brought together wineries from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia for a professionally managed competition at the end of February. A judging panel score the wines in a controlled environment and award them gold, silver, and bronze medals based on their scores.