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Protect yourself from thieves this holiday season

Black Friday may be the biggest shopping day of the year, but it's also a busy day for thieves looking to steal your new treasures before you even get them home.

"So one of the things we're going to be doing going into the holiday weekend, is we're going to be intensively patrolling on foot some of the downtown shopping areas," says Captain Brad Arleth with the

Spokane Police department.

"One of the things we really want to push and remind people of is not to leave valuables visible in their car. That makes a really easy target for thieves," adds Arleth.

He says any form of concealment will go a long ways towards ensuring your presents make it under the tree.

�"What we'll see is people going from store to store and they'll put their items in their car. We really want them to lock those up under the cover in an SUV, or�lock them up in their trunk. It only takes a second, but it really takes away some of the easy pickings."

Since May, reported crime is down 18 percent in downtown due to an increase in police patrols, but that doesn't mean your stuff is safe once you start heading home.

Thanksgiving trips smooth for GEG fliers

Wednesday�is the busiest traveling day of the year, and in an effort to reduce crowds, airlines waved change fees and encourages passengers to leave early to avoid the weather.

AAA reports more than 46 million Americans are traveling this year. That's up more than 4 percent from last year. Of those 46 million, 89 percent will be hitting the road, while 8 percent will take to the sky.

Kelsey Malone and her family reunited for Thanksgiving on Wednesday at Seatac Airport.

"I�have an aunt and�two cousins that came from Auburn,�I have another aunt that came from Vashon Island this morning," Malone said.

They flew over from Seattle, and are heading to their family property in Hunters, Wa. The ladies got to fly, while the men of the family drove the Thanksgiving meal over from the west side.

Kelsey said their travels were smooth.

"We were surprised originally when getting to Seattle," she explained.�"how not chaotic it was, how pretty normal it looked, and arriving here this airport is very easy to navigate, so that was good."

Other travelers had similar stories.

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.

 

Crews put out garage fire in Medical Lake

Crews knocked down a garage fire in Medical Lake Monday morning in the 400 block of South Broad Street.�

The fire started just before 6:30 am. People living in the neighborhood noticed smoke and called 911.

Crews from Airway Heights, Medical Lake, Spokane County and Fairchild were called to the scene. Crews worked to stop the flames from spreading to nearby homes.�

A woman living in the trailer home next to the garage was able to make it out safely.�

Crews are still investigating the cause of the fire.�

Motorcycle club delivers Thanksgiving meals to those in need

A motorcycle club is helping out less fortunate families this holiday season by delivering complete Thanksgiving meals.

The Buffalo Soldiers spent the weekend packing boxes full of food with everything from the appetizers to the dessert.

?We have two pies,? Club President Robert Watson said. ?Each one of them has a pumpkin pie and an apple pie.?

On Sunday, club members drove around Spokane County passing out the boxes. When they started out the tradition 10 years ago, they only had three families participate. Now they're up to 17, with the hope of helping more families in the years to come.

"Just help out,? Watson said. ?Help out the community."

One of the people who received a meal was Zephan Osiris. He said he didn't think Thanksgiving dinner was going to happen this year due to minimal income and no close family members to help out.

"It really means a lot to us,? Osiris said. ?It helps us out tremendously to have turkey and food in general for Thanksgiving."

Now with a turkey, ham and all the sides, he can feed the family.

Marijuana DUIs spike after legalization

For Trooper Joe Leibrecht, getting impaired drivers off the road is personal. Before he was with the Washington State Patrol, he was a teacher who saw one too many tragedies.

"I actually had five students that were either killed or directly impacted by impaired drivers," Leibrecht said.

Leibrecht changed careers hoping to make a difference. Now, he watches for people driving high, a reality since recreational marijuana was legalized with the passage of I-502 in 2012.

"You're more in tune to be looking for it nowadays,? Leibrecht said.

Much like alcohol impairment, people suspected of driving high are asked to do a field sobriety test. Officers check for eye movements, balance and test the person's concept of time. If officers rule out alcohol and believe drugs are involved, they need blood for evidence. Unlike alcohol, where there's fast results from a Breathalyser, there's no on-site test for marijuana. Instead, officers have to get a search warrant signed by a judge to draw blood, which can take up to several hours.

"If they're impaired we have no issue with taking that driver off the roadway,? Leibrecht said.

Final arguments heard in Mt. Spokane battle

The debate over Mt. Spokane's proposed expansion is almost over.

Hundreds of people packed the Center Place Recreation Center in the Spokane Valley to speak out on the project that would include 279 acres, 7 additional trails and a new�chairlift.

For years, the resort has lobbied to expand it's slopes.

"We need to get back there and manage it. Not only for skiers and riders but for forest health as well," says Mt. Spokane�General Manager Brad Mcquarrie.

They claim overcrowding is causing safety issues, and that people already use the backside of the mountain, forcing the ski patrol to make difficult rescues.

"There's going to be people going back there anyway, and if you get hurt back there now, it's not easy to get you out. We had some pretty scary situations last year," says Randy Foiles with the ski patrol.

The project has received considerable opposition from conservation groups, who have raised concerns over the long term environmental impact.