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WSDOT opens new Cheney-Spokane Road overpass after deadly crash

WSDOT opens new Cheney-Spokane Road overpass after deadly crash

It was more than five years ago that a young woman's death sparked change in the Spokane community. Now, that change is keeping drivers safer. It comes in the form of a new overpass for the Cheney Spokane Road on US 195.

Lorissa Green was driving northbound on 195 and took a left toward the Cheney Spokane Road, when she was hit and killed in January 2009. She was 16.

Her memory now lives in an overpass over 195 that makes it safer for drivers to cross the busy highway.

"I know that there will be no more accidents here. I know that people will be safe," said Lorissa's mother Debi Hammel.

Lorissa's mother Debi Hammel spent countless hours writing lawmakers hoping that change would be made. Five years later that change is nearly complete.

"That's a big job," Hammel said pointing at the overpass. "To see it finally come to an end and be closed was really nice."

"It makes me feel safer because I don't have to go through the same thing. I don't have to go through that intersection every day," Lorissa's brother Shane Hammel said.

Spokane real estate market bouncing back

Spokane real estate market bouncing back

Things are looking up for anyone hoping to sell their home as the latest S & P report finds home prices nationally up 10.3-percent in the first quarter of this year.

It's a slower gain than the two previous quarters when prices rose more than 11-percent each, and home prices still remain about 18-percent below their peak in the summer of 2006. But there's a silver lining for buyers and sellers right now as realtors say prices are hot and inventory is low so houses are selling fast.

"In the last week we had about eight showings, so every day I'm getting the house ready, fixed up cleaned up, because people have been coming in and out," Laird Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen has already had two offers this week for his South Hill home, a five bedroom, three bath house with a yard, guest house and a lot of personality.

"Our retro 1939 door handles. Pretty good amount of storage here on the South Hill, we have a lot of storage here," he said.

Right now there are roughly 2,500 homes on the market in Spokane. Realtors say demand is triumphing over actual inventory so when a home is priced well it's selling fast.

Honor Flight dedicates trip to Fairchild airmen killed in Kyrgyzstan

Honor Flight dedicates trip to Fairchild airmen killed in Kyrgyzstan

Spokane Honor Flight is taking off Tuesday morning, sending World War II veterans to the nation's capital to experience their memorial, free of charge.

Honor Flight is a way to remember those who have served, and those who never came home. More than 100-thousand World War II veterans have flown to Washington D.C. to visit the memorial that honors their service and sacrifice and reminisce with fellow servicemen.

"It is a way of recognizing and rewarding the sacrifices in some cases of veterans who have served our country," says veteran Richard Nowell, scheduled for Tuesday's flight.

This particular flight is dedicated to the three airmen from Fairchild Air Force Base who list their lives during a refueling mission when their KC-135 crashed last year in Kyrgyzstan.

"I think it's quite an honor to those three who lost their lives in the service of our country. I think it's a great great way to dedicate this particular honor flight," says Nowell.

The 89 veterans on this flight will return on Wednesday.

Car prowlings on the rise along Centennial Trail

Car prowlings on the rise along Centennial Trail

The holiday weekend is here and if you're planning on spending it on the Centennial Trail the Sheriff's Office wants you to leave your valuables at home.

Deputy Craig Chamberlin said in the past week they have seen 16 reported incidents.

"It's not specifically located, its all the way from the west planes to the Idaho state Lines," said Chamberlin.

Thieves are nabbing whatever they can get their hands on, from purses to even individual checks. People don't realize they have been victimized until later after they find a missing check, or are notified from their banks.

With the trail heads being so secluded, Spokane resident Austin Becker said it just goes to show, "You're not safe in the daylight."

Becker said that even though he tries to be cautious when out on the trails, "I always have that in the back of my head. I hope no windows are broken and everything is still in there."

According to the Sheriff's Office, that is exactly how the robberies are happening.

"They're wasting no time. Now we are seeing a lot of smash and grabs where they are breaking windows to grab things that are out in plane view," said Chamberlin.

Officers gather for multi-state conference on street gangs

Officers gather for multi-state conference on street gangs

More than 300 police from four states gathered at Spokane's Northern Quest Casino this week to attend a regional conference targeting street gangs.

Spokane's struggle with street gangs began in the early 1990's when they began dealing crack cocaine, but has since moved from street corners into neighborhoods and is beginning to expand into other criminal enterprises.

Police say 60 to 70 percent of all drugs that wind up in our area and distributed by gangs, and now they're moving into human trafficking.

"I sell drugs and I have to go find or make more," said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. "A human, I can recycle that time and time again, and it's the kids that are going to be real targets,"

Because of the money to be made, gang members protect their inventory and even their marketplace with guns and violence, occasionally catching innocent people in the crossfire. That's why Spokane Prosecutor Larry Haskell is pushing for tougher punishments for gang crimes.

Department of Health tracked E. coli outbreak through patient survey, lab tests

Department of Health tracked E. coli outbreak through patient survey, lab tests

The Food and Drug Administration is taking over the investigation of a multi-state E. coli outbreak believed to be linked to clover sprouts from north Idaho producer, Evergreen Produce.

The Washington Department of Health said Wednesday, that there has been ten illnesses since May 1, ranging from King to Kootenai Counties. All ten were females between the ages of 20 to 40 years old.

"When it's detected in a laboratory and the health care provider sees it, they have to report it to us," Spokane Regional Health District Epidemiologist Dorothy MaCeachern said.

That's when the investigation begins. Each patient fills out The Department of Health's six-page survey for E. coli. The questions ask what the individual has been doing during the incubation period,which is typically the past 10 days.

"We have a lot of very specific questions about what they've been eating.," MaCeachern said.

Everything from meat to milk, produce to water is questioned. The answer that reoccurred on all ten surveys: clover sprouts. It was at that point the Food Safety Program stepped in.

Waspocalypse! How to protect your home against pests this summer

Waspocalypse! How to protect your home against pests this summer

A very nice looking forecast for the Memorial Day weekend but some uninvited guests could disrupt your party or picnic as yellow jackets are already showing up in record numbers.

Experts say there are an unprecedented number of yellow jacket queens flying around this spring and they threaten to breed clouds of offspring. If you don't like having your barbecue buzzed it's time to start your battle against yellow jackets now.

The people who put out their yellow jacket traps early this year are seeing some disturbing results.

Queens are emerging in record numbers after fattening up during a long and mild fall.

"Well the large number of queens that we're seeing right now kind of really adds up to a perfect storm for hornets and yellow jackets this summer," Stephanie Cates with Rescue Pest Products said.

Right now queens are looking for nesting spots. If they find a suitable throne in your yard, your trouble with yellow jackets will multiply.

"Each yellow jacket queen can represent 200 to 2000 yellow jackets later on this summer depending on the colony size," Alyssa Ando with Rescue Pest Products said.