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Spokane County Judge named Judge of the Year

Spokane County Judge named Judge of the Year

From Spokane County:

District Court and Cheney Municipal Court Judge Greg Tripp has been named Judge of the Year by the Misdemeanant Corrections Association of Washington State.

Kettle Falls Five case could impact Wash. marijuana industry

Kettle Falls Five case could impact Wash. marijuana industry

A federal case that could seriously impact Washington's new marijuana industry will be decided in Spokane as five people face decades in prison for growing medical pot on a remote property near Colville.

The defendants claim they were abiding by state law and only growing for themselves. However, the case is in federal court and under its laws marijuana is completely illegal.

Many pot advocates worry if federal agents are going after medical marijuana patients, that the state licensed grows and pot shops could be next.

"We were growing a few pot plants up there just for our own consumption and along comes the law," defendant Larry Harvey said.

The medical marijuana grow of 74 plants was raided in August of 2012 at Harvey's home. Larry, his wife and three others face five marijuana related charges and a weapons charge. They are now called the 'Kettle Falls Five.'

If all of them were growing cannabis individually, the 74 plants would be considered legal in Washington.

Daniel Arteaga guilty of killing Kim Schmidt

Daniel Arteaga guilty of killing Kim Schmidt

It took a jury about two hours Wednesday to find Daniel Arteaga guilty of killing his girlfriend Kim Schmidt on New Year's Eve 2011.

Wednesday morning prosecutors started its closing arguments with Arteaga's 911 call after Schmidt's mother found her daughter's body in her north Spokane home. Deputy Prosecutor John Love contends the recording was the very first sign Arteaga was responsible for Schmidt's murder.

"Uh, report of a dead body." That is how Daniel Arteaga described the woman that he loved for six and a half years and he just spent a night having sex talking about their relationship," Love said.

Prosecutors said Arteaga's "relationship" with Schmidt was over and when he realized Schmidt wanted to spend the first day of 2012 with a new man and a new way of life he wasn't about to let that happen.

"Daniel Arteaga was being replaced. He was on the way out and he didn't like it," Love told the jury.

The quick verdict the jury handed down to Arteaga came as a relief to Toni Schmidt, Kim Schmidt's mom.

Spokane judge may become next Wash. Supreme Court justice

Spokane judge may become next Wash. Supreme Court justice

Spokane Judge Michael Price is on Governor Jay Inslee's short list to become the next Washington Supreme Court justice.

If tapped by Inslee, he will become the second justice on the bench from Eastern Washington.

Price, who has been a judge in Spokane Superior Court for the last decade, calls the opportunity to serve with the state's high court the greatest job in the world.

"I have a reputation for being able to get people together and to talk and work together and that's important when you have nine justices who all have strong opinions about the law," Price said.

Presiding Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza called Price adaptable and said he can handle any case. He's also flexible and very well thought of by attorneys and fellow judges.

"He's very open minded, listens to everyone's arguments and renders very thoughtful and careful decisions," Cozza said.

Price has deep roots in Eastern Washington, having been raised here, and getting his undergraduate and law degree from Gonzaga University. That's one reason his peers think he should be tapped by Inslee for the high court.

Inland Northwest sees dusting of snow

Inland Northwest sees dusting of snow

Residents of Eastern Washington and North Idaho saw a light dusting of snow Wednesday morning.

Snow is expected to fall early Wednesday morning then turn to rain.

The rain is expected to last through Friday, then warm up and dry off for the weekend.

EWU celebrates Eagle Week in Cheney, Spokane

EWU celebrates Eagle Week in Cheney, Spokane

This week is Eastern Washington University's Eagle Week in Spokane and Cheney and there are plenty of activities to celebrate, all leading up to the annual Red and White game on Saturday, April 26 at Roos Field.

Head Coach Beau Baldwin says his student athletes are spending the week out in the community talking to high school students and getting fans pumped.

He says the big game Saturday is a chance for the community to see what they have been working for. A chance to finally get out of the weight room and, for the younger Eags, a chance at a big break.

"They're getting some of their first opportunities, especially if they came in as a Freshman last fall. A lot of those times you were red shirting on the scout team, and now you're getting your first opportunity to really compete within our defense. It's always fun to see those guys emerging too during spring practice," said Coach Baldwin.

For all the details on Eagle Week, check out the News Links page of the website.

Nine busted in Spokane County stolen property raids

Nine busted in Spokane County stolen property raids

Spokane County Sheriff's deputies conducting a search warrant to retrieve thousands of dollars worth of stolen property discovered a 12-year-old child showing signs of abuse at one of the residences.

The homes were located on North Calvin Road and the 4500 block of East Longfellow Avenue and the search warrants were executed by detectives, Spokane Valley Police deputies and the SWAT team County as a result of a weeks-long investigation.

Stolen property was seized from the two homes, including items such as power tools and high end electronics. At one of the locations, as deputies were arriving, one suspect was spotted bolting from the residence with an armful of stolen electronics.

"One of the folks that we have detained was actually running out the back door with a handful of stolen electronics," Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.

Deputies say the two homes were connected to multiple burglaries in Spokane Valley. During the raid police seized thousands of dollars in stolen property.

"This is their little criminal enterprise and all they do is keep victimizing nice people like the people in this neighborhood," said Chamberlin.