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Restaurant owners to rebuild after early morning fire

Investigators spent the day digging through the ashes to determine what caused the fire that burned the Handle Bar Restaurant and Hell Yeah Cycles early Wednesday morning.

Daisy Smith's phone rang at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"We just got the call that the place was on fire, no details," she said.

She and her husband raced to the restaurant they only opened six weeks ago only to find, "flames, smoke, your worst nightmare."

video They found their found their business, the Handle Bar Restaurant and Hell Yeah Cycles burning. Spokane Valley firefighters called a second alarm because they needed more help to put the fire out.

"It's hard when this is your livelihood, your passion, your dream and it's up in flames," Smith said.

Investigators believe the fire may have started in the basement and worked it's way to the attic, collapsing a portion of the main floor as it spread.

"This has been remodeled three or four times so there's a lot of void spaces. It took us a long time to get every bit of it," Pat Schaffer with the Spokane Valley Fire Department said.

Firefighters knock down two-alarm fire at Spokane Valley bar

Firefighters have knocked down an early morning fire at The Handle Bar and Hell Yeah Cycles in Spokane Valley.

It is a restaurant, bar and motorcycle repair shop on the 17000 block of East Appleway Avenue.

Fire crews responded to the scene around 4 a.m. Wednesday. According to a fire chief, the fire may have started in the basement and spread through the building and into the attic.

Firefighters said the building has been remodeled multiple times, making fighting the fire extremely difficult. Firefighters called in for help from Spokane firefighters.

The fire was extinguished just after 5 a.m., however, light smoke was coming from the building until around 6 a.m. Firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire.

Appleway Avenue was closed until just before 7 a.m., as firefighters cleared the scene.

Police need your help finding missing man

Spokane Valley Police needs your help finding a missing man with dementia.

71-year-old Samuel H. Counts has been missing since Friday, November 23, 2012.

Counts was last seen at his residence located at the 4900 block of E. 9th Avenue in Spokane Valley around 3:00 p.m.

Samuel left his residence to go to a local store driving a white 2012 Kia sedan, Washington state license plate #AJD4999. Samuel was last seen wearing a red and black jacket, jeans and white tennis shoes. Samuel is six feet tall and weighs 170 pounds. Samuel also has dementia.

Anyone who sees Samuel Counts or his vehicle is asked to call 911.

Refurbishing vintage 'Stang labor of love for Steve Gleason's friends

Whether it's giving his all on the gridiron in Pullman and New Orleans or carrying on the fight against ALS, Steve Gleason has touched numerous lives. Now his friends in Spokane are preparing a big surprise for the man who's done so much for others.

Steve Gleason's legendary punt block in the Saints' first game back in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina will never be forgotten in New Orleans.

"Steve is an icon in Louisiana.� He's an icon in our house," family friend John Ward said.

John Ward's son and Gleason have been like brothers since they were kids. When they found out he was diagnosed with ALS, "my son cried for two weeks and I was sick to my stomach for about a month, because I know what kind of a person Steve is."

video Ward found out Gleason had a '65 Ford Mustang in storage that his grandfather had bought brand new. His original plan was to buy it from Gleason and fix it up for his grandson, but "when Steve got sick, my grandson decided, you know, maybe we should give this back to the family and see if we can do something with it to help Steve."

Troopers: Man rolls car on I-90, seatbelt keeps him safe

A man has hit seat belt to thank for keeping him safe, after rolling his car on Interstate 90 Friday morning.

Just after 4 a.m., a man was driving westbound near the Argonne exit, when he fell asleep. He crashed his car into a concrete wall on the right side of the freeway, rolling his car onto its top.

Washington State Patrol said his seat belt is the only reason he is not injured from the crash.

The outside lane of westbound I-90 in that area was blocked for a little more than an hour.

Wash. whooping cough epidemic slowing down

State health officials say the whooping cough epidemic is slowing down but the disease has not left Washington.

Health Secretary Mary Selecky says Washington adults and teens should continue to update their immunity by getting booster shots so that babies who are still building their immunity do not get exposed to the serious illness.

This year, Washington has seen the most cases of whooping cough in more than 70 years. More than 4,500 cases have been reported so far in 2012.

Some areas of the state are still seeing high numbers while others have slowed to pre-epidemic levels.

The number of people getting their booster shots has also increased this year.

Health officials say booster shots will stop the disease from spreading again as families gather for the holidays.

Criminal investigation of Evergreen Pet Shop underway

A criminal investigation is underway into Evergreen Pet Shop, which was shut down in July by the Department of Revenue for tax evasion.

Despite the shutdown, store owners said they cared for the animals in the store every day until sometime last week when something changed.

SCRAPS has been receiving complaints about the store for several months now, and the agency reports its investigators had been checking up on the store and found no violations until last week.

video Despite his great escape this weekend Houdini the Chinchilla is back in a cage. Ellen found him running freely around Evergreen Pet Shop. She, along with dozens of other community members, heard animals had been abandoned there and needed homes.

"I've never seen rats so thin in my life," Ellen said.

She wonders, as do a lot of other community members, why SCRAPS didn't step in sooner.

"They should have had it a long time ago and been a little more proactive I think," she said.