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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.

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Whooping cough cases decrease in WA, but not gone

As Oregon and national health officials raise the alarm about whooping cough in the Pacific Northwest, Washington health officials report the illness is declining.

The Daily News reports that by mid-July this year, there were 419 cases of whooping cough or pertussis in Washington state. That's down considerably from the same period in 2012 when 3,237 cases were reported.

State health officials say 14 Washington counties have reported no pertussis at all this year.

These statistics clash with a statement issued Tuesday by the Oregon March of Dimes, which said pertussis cases in the Northwest have essentially tripled over several years.

Oregon cases did increase from 2011 to 2012, but they started declining in 2013. Michele M. Larsen of the March of Dimes Greater Oregon Chapter told The Daily News chapter officials were not aware of the latest figures.

Jail deputies foil career criminal's high-rise escape plan

He was planning a daring escape from the Spokane County Jail, but now career criminal Frank Uhyrek will only get more time behind bars for his last-ditch attempt to avoid a life-long sentence behind bars.

Right now Uhyrek has two choices, die of old age in prison or die trying to escape and that's apparently what Uhyrek wanted to do by fashioning a 100-yard long rope out of bed sheets with which he hoped to lower himself from the rooftop or the exercise room of the Spokane County Jail.

Uhyrek appeared in court Tuesday with five different officers guarding him. He is now considered an escape risk after corrections deputies found the rope hidden in his mattress. The career criminal apparently hatched his breakout plan after Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Tony Hazel sent notice he was seeking an exceptional 75-year sentence.

?Nine felony convictions, over forty arrests in his adult life, so he has been a very active offender and someone we do need to target with our resources,? Spokane Police Lieutenant Mark Griffiths said.

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Man seriously injured in motorcycle accident on Newport Highway

One man suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle crash Sunday afternoon on Newport Highway.

The wreck happened at the Calispel intersection, just north of Chattaroy.

According to Washington State Patrol, the man was 60-year-old Harry Ballman. They say he lost control of his motorcycle.

Ballman was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center by Medstar.

They say drugs or alcohol were not a factor in the accident.

Back to school forecast

Back to school forecast

This week will have us testing all the back to school clothes that have been gotten for the year.

Two lows are heading our way, the first will be here tonight and hang out for 24 hours.

Wednesday the next low comes in and heats us up to near 90. Cooling afterward to around 80 with showers or t-showers.

70's for the weekend




Ready for students! SVT opens this week

Ready for students!  SVT opens this week

A new school is ready for students. Spokane Valley Tech off Sprague and University Rd will provide a hands-on learning environment for high school students.

There are eight programs this fall providing relevant and rigorous classes for students interested in preparing for careers and college. SVT programs offered for this school year include Advanced Biomedical Applications, Advanced Engineering Applications, Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing, the Academy, Sports Medicine, the Avista Center for Entrepreneurship, Fire Science and Cosmetology.

Central Valley is the host school district, collaborating with East Valley, West Valley and Freeman school districts to establish Spokane Valley Tech. High school students from Spokane Valley and greater Spokane region may attend, at no cost.