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Spokane County deputies take kids holiday shopping

When you see law enforcement outside of stores, it's usually not a good thing. However, if you stepped inside area Wal-Marts on Sunday, you might have been pleasantly surprised. Officers and children were doing some holiday shopping together for the annual Holidays and Heroes event.

"It gives us a chance to make contact with these kids and show them that law enforcement really does care about them and the community," Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said.

Every year, agencies from Spokane and Kootenai Counties team up with Walmart to brighten the holidays for less fortunate families. Officers pick up the kids from their house in a patrol car and bring them to the store to buy gifts for the family.

?These kids are really thoughtful about what they purchase, it's not all about the toys and that," Knezovich said.

Jesse Malin was one of the roughly 100 kids that went shopping today.

Spokane Postal Service customers get expanded Sunday service for the holidays

Spokane Postal Service customers get expanded Sunday service for the holidays

The U.S. Postal Service said they will help with the hustle and bustle of the holidays by opening three Spokane area locations for five hours on Sunday, December 14, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The post offices will offer full retail services including stamp sales and package acceptance.

The Spokane Valley, Shadle Garland, and Manito postal stations will be open to provide an added opportunity for customers to accomplish their mailing needs.

In addition, the Postal Service will deliver parcels from larger offices in the Greater Spokane area on each of the Sundays leading up to Christmas.

During the 2013 holiday mailing season, the Postal Service delivered 434 million packages and 6.4 billion pieces of First-Class mail across the nation.  Due to continued e-commerce growth and improvements to the Priority Mail product line, the Postal Service expects double-digit growth in its package business this holiday season, likely in the range of 450 to 470 million packages.  That equates to roughly 12 percent over the same period last year.

Hit & run victim asks driver to come forward

A Spokane Valley man is struggling to get the help he needs after a hit and run left him with a debilitating injury. Now he is asking the driver to come forward.

Kurt Vasica, 51, was hit at the intersection of Oberlin and 16th in Spokane Valley on November 14.

Vasica is a carpenter and now he is unable to work because of his injuries and unable to get support from the state unless the driver is apprehended.

That's why he is asking whoever hit him that night to turn themselves in.

?I was just crossing the road and the next thing I remember was a loud thump and I was hit and the next thing I remember was I was on my face and I just started crawling for the edge of the road,? said Vasica.

Spokane Valley traffic unit investigators released this video of what could be the driver that hit Vasica, a dark colored SUV with a light colored lower rocker panel.

A citizen noticed the vehicle driving recklessly a few blocks ahead, the same citizen who stopped to help Vasica out of the road.

Ongoing investigation into a vehicle/pedestrian collision in Spokane Valley

Ongoing investigation into a vehicle/pedestrian collision in Spokane Valley

Spokane Valley Traffic Unit Investigators responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision that occurred at the intersection of North Argonne Road and East Sprague Avenue on Sunday, November 30, 2014, in Spokane Valley.  The 41-year-old pedestrian was transported to a local hospital for treatment, and is listed in critical condition.

The intersection was closed for several hours as Traffic Technicians began their investigation of the incident.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office said preliminary information indicates the pedestrian was walking southbound in the crosswalk on the west side of the intersection when the vehicle, traveling westbound on Sprague, struck the pedestrian. 

Initial reports state the 19-year-old driver had a green light, indicating the pedestrian, who was wearing dark clothing, was crossing against the red pedestrian light.  At this time, there are no indications the driver was impaired, but speed does appear to be a contributing factor. This investigation of this incident is ongoing.

Spokane Valley structure fire extinguished Sunday night

Spokane Valley structure fire extinguished Sunday night

Resources from the Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) were dispatched at 10:35 p.m. Sunday evening  to a reported structure fire in the 1200 block of N Dick Rd. in the Spokane Valley. First arriving units noted smoke from the attic area of a single-story, single-family residence. Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to confirm the presence of fire in a wall around the main floor fireplace. The incident was upgraded to a “working fire” and additional resources were assigned.


The SVFD accessed the fire by the removing a significant portion of the wall around the chimney. The fire was extinguished as it was accessed, and the wall was fully opened to ensure that no smoldering fuels remained.


Two residents were at home when the fire started and escaped unharmed with their three dogs. They were able to reoccupy the residence after SVFD operations were completed. The origin and cause of this fire is currently under investigation.


Early store openings change Black Friday tradition

Friday was one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but the crowds out at stores weren't nearly as crazy as they used to be.

A lot of stores like Target opened their doors Thursday at 6 p.m., so by Friday morning the big ?doorbuster? deals� were already gone. But, good news for Black Friday shoppers: the crowds aren't nearly as bad and there are still a lot of great buys.

Shopper Leah Hughes was happy to see a fairly calm Target Friday morning in Spokane Valley, but no way was she coming out on Thanksgiving Day.

"I think Thanksgiving is kind of a family day,? Hughes said. ?I much more prefer, you know, if it's going to start, it's going to start Friday morning."

Hughes is looking for a ?Grave Digger? remote control car. The Spokane Valley location was sold out.

"The good news is they have them at the north store, so they are going to hopefully put one on hold for me," Hughes said.

Other shoppers absolutely live for Black Friday.

"I could go all day,? said shopper Kim Papich. ?You want to hear what else I am going to buy today?"

Papich and her sister Jennifer hit the stores bright and early Friday morning.

WSU Athletic Hall of Fame to induct Steve Gleason at Apple Cup on Saturday

WSU Athletic Hall of Fame to induct Steve Gleason at Apple Cup on Saturday

Washington State University will induct Steve Gleason as the 178th member of the school's Athletic Hall of Fame during this year's Apple Cup game. The ceremony is set to take place during an on-field ceremony between the first and second quarters of Saturday's game against Washington.


“I'd encourage fans to be there to make sure they don't miss anything,” said Associate Director of Athletics, Bill Stevens.


Stevens said each year a selection committee determines who is elected into the hall of fame.