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Spokane Valley refinances bonds to save $1.5 million

Spokane Valley refinances bonds to save $1.5 million

The City of Spokane valley has refinanced its outstanding 2003 tax bonds in order to take advantage of lower market interest rates and a stronger credit rating.

The refinancing is expected to result in more than $1.5 million of debt service savings over the next 20 years.

The bonds were issued in 2003 for two related purposes:

$5.6 million is associated with the CenterPlace and Mirabeau Point, a 54,000 square-foot regional and community event center completed in 2005. Every six months the Spokane Public Facilities District makes payments to the City related to that project. The refunding savings of $1.38 million on that portion will reduce the amount of those payments, which are made from regional tax revenues.

$1.39 million is associated with road and street improvements in the city that were supplemented or matched with federal and state funds. The savings of $201,000 will accrue to the city's operating funds.

MDA Fill The Boot campaign today

MDA Fill The Boot campaign today

Members of the City of Spokane Fire Department Local 29, along with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, will celebrate their 60-year partnership and kick off the fire fighters' annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to benefit children and adults affected by muscle disease throughout the City of Spokane.

Fire fighters will be out on the streets with boots in hand for this year’s drive on Friday, August 15th from 3PM-6PM. There will be 16 intersections throughout Spokane with Fire Fighters Filling the Boot.

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.