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Juvenile collared for arson spree

Spokane County fire officials confirmed Wednesday morning a juvenile has been arrested in their investigation into a string of grass fires across the area.

The juvenile, who is 16, was taken into custody Tuesday evening and has been charged with multiple counts of arson.

The teen, a Central Valley High School student, admitted to starting the fires, including one he claimed he set about 100 yards away from his home. He told detectives when confessed that he was depressed as he recently moved to Washington from Missouri, was unhappy living in Spokane Valley, has no friends, and was acting out his frustrations with school.

Officials declined to say if the teen has a criminal history.

The outpouring of tips and information from the public helped crack the case so quickly, officials said. Multiple people reported seeing the juvenile in a white four-door sedan; fire officials said the boy was seen using multiple cars that were all registered to his family.

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Teen showed no sign of giving up arson spree before arrest

The teenager suspected of starting more than a dozen fires around Spokane Valley devoted a lot of his time and money to being a prolific arsonist with no signs of stopping.

Before the teen suspect's arrest Tuesday members of the arson task force were hunting high and low to find the individual responsible for touching off nearly two dozen fires during the driest part of our fire season. Investigators didn't know it at the time, but their suspect had armed himself with a variety of ignition sources.

According to a search warrant, the 16-year-old suspect's car turned up various items including a lighter, packaging for a propane torch and a Wal Mart receipt for a road flares; flares were used to start several fires.

To make things worse the arsonist moved around a lot striking south of I-90 from Pines all the way to Liberty Lake. However it was that mobility that was the suspect's undoing, as a vehicle registered to his family was seen leaveing several fire scenes.

Zombie Hike returns to Riverside State Park

Zombie Hike returns to Riverside State Park

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Riverside State Park Foundation invite the public to attend the third annual “Return of the Zombies” hike in Riverside State Park.

The annual pre-Halloween event takes place from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Riverside State Park 7-Mile Airstrip, 7903 W. Missoula Road, in Nine Mile Falls.

Touted as the “scariest half-mile hike ever,” the event is open to all ages. Admission to the haunted zombie hike is $10 for adults; $5 for youths age 3-12; and free for children under 3. Adults are issued a flashlight, and kids ages 3 to 12 receive a glow-in-the-dark bracelet that come with the admission fee. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Pets are not allowed at the event.

Local finalist in PETA's Sexiest Vegan over 50 contest

Local finalist in PETA's Sexiest Vegan over 50 contest

When you hear vegan, what's the first thing that pops into your head? It's probably not “sexy,” but that's what PETA is trying to change with their current competition for Sexiest Vegan over 50. The field has been narrowed down to just 14 men and women from around the US and one of them is from right here in Spokane.

Atania Gilmore is marking her two-year anniversary as a vegan this month. She's a runner and says it was another runner's book that encouraged her to make the change for what she calls selfish reasons.

“As a runner you're always looking for an edge,” she said.

Gilmore says it was “Eat and Run,” a book written by ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek that inspired her. In the book, Jurek explains that his record setting speeds to his vegan diet.

“I'm a turtle when I run,” said Gilmore. “I wanted to be faster so I thought it was worth a try.” So she decided to give it a try for the 30 days leading up to Thanksgiving and see if it made a difference.

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Could THC laced edibles end up in trick-or-treat bags? Not likely.

The legalization of marijuana in Washington has some concerned that edibles laced with THC could make their way into children's candy bags this Halloween.

Those fears are probably more relevant in Colorado where recreational pot shops can sell edibles that look and taste like candy. Retailers in Washington are held to a different standard.

"We're not allowed to have any candies, any gummies so it's going to be more of your baked goods that are heartier and less sweet and sugary" says Eric Skaar, manager a Sativa Sisters, a recreational marijuana shop in the Spokane Valley.

He claims items like gluten-free almond bars and sugar-free oatmeal cookies will be on the menu, not candy. He adds the marijuana law passed in Washington forbids items that might be tempting to children and has safeguards built in.

"It has to be in child proof packaging, nobody's allowed to even make anything for sale that's appealing to children, and it's all labeled keep out of the hands of children and it's at a price point where I don't think anyone's going to be giving this stuff out," he says.

Free health services from EWU at Senior Smile day

Free health services from EWU at Senior Smile day

Students and staff from Eastern Washington University's health sciences program are donating their time and talents next weekend for the annual Senior Smiles Day.

From 9 am – 3 pm on Friday, October 24 anyone 55 and over and on a fixed income is welcome to come to the EWU Dental Hygiene Clinic on the University District Campus for the following services:

  • Free flu vaccinations
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Gait screening
  • Hearing test
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Medication and nutrition consultation
  • Fall prevention workshops

Participants are asked to reserve an appointment by calling (509) 919-3045 or visiting the Senior Smile website.

Spokane County ballots mailed today and tomorrow

Spokane County ballots mailed today and tomorrow

Heads up voters, the Spokane County Elections Office is mailing more than 275,000 ballots this week.

If you are a registered voter and do not receive a ballot by Friday, October 24, please contact the Spokane County Elections Office at (509) 477-2320 for a replacement ballot. If you are not a registered voter in the State of Washington, you have until Monday, October 27 to register in person at the Elections Office at 1033 W. Gardner.

If you are returning your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked no later than Election Day – Tuesday, November 4. It is important that you check the pickup time on the mail box to ensure you are not too late. If the last pickup of the day has already been made, please take your ballot to the county's ballot drop boxes located at all city and county libraries, the STA Plaza and the Elections Office. Drop boxes are opened on October 16 and closed promptly at 8 pm on Election Day.