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Vandals destroy gas tank for non-profit's van

A van used by a Spokane non-profit to transport homeless families was vandalized over the weekend.

Board members for Family Promise of Spokane officials say the van was parked overnight in St. John’s Cathedral’s parking lot where somebody punctured the gas tank with a screw driver. The tank was full at the time so Spokane Fire had to respond to clean up the hazardous material spill.

Executive director Madelyn Bafus said in a news release that repairing the van takes away from the funds they need to provide these services.

The van seats 15 people and is used to transport families to churches for meals and housing. It’s currently out of service until it can be repaired. Volunteers will transport families with their personal vehicles in the meantime.

If you’re interested in helping out, please contact Madelyn Bafus at (509) 859-8213.

Spokane County Regulators pull a 727 aircraft to victory

Spokane County Regulators pull a 727 aircraft to victory

How fast can you pull a 727 aircraft on your own? Not very far. It takes a team and that was evident Saturday afternoon as the Spokane County Regulators pulled a FedEx plane 12 feet to victory in 6.59 seconds.

It’s easy to spot the team’s captain, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. His jersey number from college carried over to the charitable football team who often support organizations like Wounded Warriors. The mutt team of strong men left no slack in the rope at Spokane International Airport's tarmac leaving other teams in the dust.

Why would anyone want to pull a heavy plane anyway? The contest benefits the Special Olympics which is an event Knezovich supports every February by jumping into a freezing lake.

“I really love those athletes. They overcome a lot and do it for the right reasons,” Knezovich said.

Wondering how to pull your own plane? Safety instructors warned participants to not try this at home, but good luck finding a 727 aircraft with a rope attached to it sitting around willy-nilly. Here’s some tips:

"Blue moon" scheduled for Friday evening

"Blue moon" scheduled for Friday evening

Strange things always seem to happen on full moons, but what about an additional full moon on the same month? That's called a blue moon. Sorry to disappoint you, but technically - it's not blue.

Because lunar events are not aligned with our calendar months, sometimes the 29.5 cycle resets. We already had a pre-funk earlier this month, a full moon on August 1. History is now is repeating itself this Friday, August 31.

It will be awhile the next time you see two full moons in the same month. You'll have to wait until July 2015. The skies are expected to be clear, so don't stand alone this Friday. Grab a love of your own and check out the night sky.

New design for Spokane Police uniforms debuted over weekend

New design for Spokane Police uniforms debuted over weekend

Uniforms with a new look, durability and utility are on the way for Spokane Police patrol officers. An officer in a trial design patrolled the streets over the weekend and helped command staff get an idea of how the look will fare during police conduct. The style is expected to be phased in over the next two years.

Spokane City Council approved the $38,452.63 contract with Blumenthal Uniforms in June to create 70 new outfits for officers. The department saved money on the contract by reducing the amount of uniforms by half. Instead of four uniforms, each officer will have two medium weight outfits to cope with both the winter and summer seasons.

Officer Susan Mann has been wrangling the custom design for the past few months trying to reduce their costs. She calls the look a compromise between the need for professionalism and utility found in the jumpsuits. The last time they switched uniforms, it was in 2007 with the addition of jumpsuits costing the department about $185,000.

Priced at $489 each, the new jumpsuits will retain the black style and are expected to last about five years and decrease washing costs because of a thicker material to avoid wrinkles and resist precipitation.

McMorris Rodgers now GOP convention "host"

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers' role at the Republican national convention has been expanded.

The Republican who represents much of Eastern Washington is now serving as the official host for the convention in Tampa, Fla.

That means that instead of just speaking the opening night, McMorris Rodgers will speak briefly every evening to set the theme for that night's speeches.

McMorris Rodgers is the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House of Representatives.

Organ plays on at Lewis and Clark High School 100th anniversary

Organ plays on at Lewis and Clark High School 100th anniversary

The old organ was rolled out onto the stage for Lewis and Clark High School's 100th anniversary on Saturday morning. The heavy instrument is easy to move even for Barbara Top Rockwood with her specialized organ shoes on. After all, the class of 1946 graduate didn't want to scratch the pedals, a major component of playing the organ.

The instrument was bought in 1922 by students of the Spokane school. It was hard to gain access to throughout the years because of bad apples who would vandalize the pipes.

Rockwood says she and her band director had to beg the principal to let her play even though she'd been playing since she was about four years old. Growing up the daughter of an organist passed along the skills to read three lines of score all at the same time.

"Start with the feet and make them find some notes," Rockwood explained. "It's like a keyboard at the bottom."

It's been a while since she's played, but it was easy for her to play Variations of 'Tis a gift to be simple' arranged by George Lachenauer. For about 40 years she was the organist at the Manito Presbyterian along 30th and Grand Blvd.

Introducing guest blogger Bart Mihailovich, the Spokane Riverkeeper

I am very excited and honored to have been given the opportunity to become a guest blogger on KXLY's network of neighborhood sites, so I thought I'd start off by introducing myself.

My name is Bart Mihailovich and I am YOUR Spokane Riverkeeper.  Being that my job title and description is all about the Spokane River, you can expect that I'll almost entirely be posting about the Spokane River and the greater Spokane River Watershed.

So what is the Spokane Riverkeeper you might be asking.  Great question.  Hopefully between myself and Redband Trout in the attached video you can learn a little bit more about what I do.