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Congress looks at Justice's marijuana decision

Congress looks at Justice's marijuana decision

The Obama administration is facing criticism over its attempt to straddle the federal law that makes marijuana illegal and state laws that permit recreational use of the drug.

In the first congressional hearing since the administration announced a new, permissive enforcement policy, law enforcement and drug-prevention groups and their congressional allies see an opportunity to push back. The administration's Aug. 29 announcement allows the two states where recreational marijuana use has been legalized -- Colorado and Washington -- to go their own way without federal interference as long as they implement strong enforcement systems.

The lead witness at Tuesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was to be Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who signed the guidance putting the new marijuana enforcement standards in place.

Train strikes car, injures one

Train strikes car, injures one

Spokane Valley investigators are trying to figure out if a car hit by a train Friday night was intentional or if the driver experienced a mechanical problem.

Just after 6 p.m., the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said a woman was driving northbound on Pine when she apparently drove under the railroad crossing guards and stopped on the tracks.

A train traveling eastbound hit the car and pushed it several yards away. The vehicle eventually came to rest upside down. The driver, a woman in her late 40's, was extricated out of the car and taken to a local hospital in critical condition.

"Just a huge reminder to the motoring public that when those arms come down, obviously they are coming down for a reason," said Deputy Craig Chamberlin.

"...The good thing is as far as speed wise, it [the train] wasn't going that fast because it was able to stop in a relatively short amount of time after the collision," he added.

Thieves break into home to conceal theft

Sheriff's detectives are investigating a home invasion at a Spokane Valley apartment complex, where three armed men forced their way into a unit at 6th Avenue and Eastern Road and stole a laptop computer possibly in an attempt to cover up a previous theft.

The bizarre circumstances of this home invasion robbery show you just how illogical some burglary suspects can be. After the theft of a valuable ring was supposedly caught on camera the thieves came back a second time to allegedly steal the surveillance video of the first theft.

"It's very possible that this is a situation where this heinous crime was committed to conceal possibly another crime," Spokane County Sheriff's Department Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.

The victim, who's also the son of a federal judge, told deputies he answered a knock at his door and was rushed by three young men he didn't recognize.

"This man was struck over the head several times with what he thought was a handgun and then apparently there was a coat used to try and strangle this man," Chamberlin said.

Beep baseball brings pride to Spokane's blind community

Beep baseball brings pride to Spokane's blind community

It takes patience, timing and good form to make a solid connection to a ball with a bat. Now, imagine doing all of that blind, guided only by a beep being emitted from the ball as it comes toward you. On Saturday, Spokane Pride Beep Baseball will play their fist home game guided only by the sounds around them.


“It can be challenging, but it's all worth it,” said Spokane Pride coach Troy Leeberg. This is the second season for the city's only beep baseball team, and it's the first season that there's been another team close enough for them to play against. On Saturday, the team will face off against a new team out of Seattle for a double header.


Beep baseball looks and plays differently than the traditional game. The sport is a cross of baseball and softball that's been adapted so that the visually impaired can take part in America's favorite past time. The ball is slightly larger than a softball and is equipped with a speaker that signals the players to it's location with a loud, continuous beep.

Spokane Valley offers funding for tourism efforts

Spokane Valley offers funding for tourism efforts

From the City of Spokane Valley:

 Organizations that present and/or promote tourism related activities with the goal of improving economic activity in Spokane Valley are invited to apply for funding from the City of Spokane Valley lodging tax revenues.  Generated by a tax imposed on overnight stays within the city, revenues are dedicated specifically to funding of tourism efforts.

Complete information required to submit a proposal for funding is included in the "Request for Grant Proposal," which can be found on the City's website at www.spokanevalley.org by selecting the link under City News on the home page.  Copies are also available at City Hall at the address below.

To be considered for funding, organizations must submit fifteen (15) copies of the proposal, including any supporting documentation, no later than 4:00pm on Friday, October 4, 2013 to: 

Sheriff's Office seeks identity of car theft suspect

Sheriff's Office seeks identity of car theft suspect

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help identifying a suspect that stole one of six vehicles on August 20th. The man is suspected of stealing a car from the Spokane Valley Mall.

Three of the six vehicles stolen that day were taken from the Spokane Valley Mall parking lot. One was taken from the Costco parking lot with two others occurring on Appleway and Charles Road. 

Anyone who can identify the suspect pictured is asked to contact Deputy Erdman at (509) 477-3269. 


Drug abuse groups question Justice Department legal pot stance

Drug abuse groups question Justice Department legal pot stance

A collection of drug abuse prevention groups is asking the Justice Department how it will know whether its acceptance of recreational marijuana laws in Washington and Colorado affects public health.

The DOJ last week announced that it would not sue the states over their plans to tax and regulate pot sales for adults as long as they protect eight federal law enforcement priorities. Those include keeping marijuana away from kids and off the black market, and preventing drugged driving.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday, groups including Project Safe Approaches to Marijuana, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals say they believe the DOJ's position is a mistake.

They say they want to know how the DOJ will measure the state's success in meeting federal enforcement goals.