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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.

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.

Police: Man caught stealing from Diamond pay boxes

A thief was caught stealing money earlier this month from a Diamond parking lot earlier this month. An employee at the 2nd and Stevens lot says they were losing about $100 per day from a man using a coat hanger and tweezers to steal parking money from the pay boxes around Spokane.

Police arrested Troy Holway, 32, around 7 a.m. on August 8 when he was spotted by the parking Diamond employee. The employee recognized him as the thief stealing from other lots as well with the same tools.

At the time of arrest, police learned Holway was carrying a switchblade. Holway was booked for possession of a dangerous weapon and theft.

Another picnic table pyramid rises during the night

Another picnic table pyramid rises during the night

They came in the night with their picnic table stacking hijinks. Another pyramid structure consisting of 36 picnic tables has been constructed in Spokane - this time in Manito Park. Like a cherry on top, they even crowned the pyramid with traffic reflectors.

This is the third pyramid stack reported in Spokane in recent times. Park officials say two similar structures appeared in Riverfront Park on Saturday and Tuesday.

It takes a bucket truck from Urban Forestry to dismantle the pyramids. It’s estimated that the unstacking process costs the parks department about $500 to take the tables down one by one.

To protect picnic tables in Riverfront Park from future shenanigans, the tables were distributed throughout the park to make it harder for whoever is responsible.

Police: Overnight park activity leads to transient fight

Spokane Police officers are dealing with overnight transient trespassing at a Browne’s Addition park. Trendon L. Mobley, 28, was arrested on July 24 for assaulting a victim with beer bottles at Coeur d’Alene Park just before 11 p.m.

The victim was reportedly thrown over the side of the park’s gazebo as well.

Police say others were trespassing in the park for camping, fighting and according to their report: “generally trashing the area”.

Police: Man banned from STA Plaza after grabbing women

Spokane Police officers were dispatched to the STA Plaza in late July to handle an incident where a man was allegedly grabbing female victim’s buttocks. The situation was reported to Spokane Transit Authority security who detained the man on July 27.

Two victims filed charges and provided written statements to security on the assault. Video surveillance showed the man grabbing at least ten women.

The man was cited and released for two counts of city assault and now has a no-trespassing order at the STA Plaza.

The game of losing and recovering bicycles

The game of losing and recovering bicycles

Anyone seen a Trek Madone 5.2? It’s a mid-range racing bicycle meant to hit the pavement for the Tour de France with space-age technology. That’s the way Eric Abbott, 47, described his bicycle that was stolen from his South Hill home in late July. In between racing near Riverside State Park and packing up his family’s home for a move across the state, it was plucked away from the garage.

“I walked into the garage, turned around - something felt strange like the hair was standing up on the back of my neck,” Abbot described. He asked himself, “Where’s my bike?”

It’s a common woe to hear in Spokane following the theft of property. Abbott followed the proper routine of filing a police report, insurance claims, calling major bike shops and starting his online patrol of Craigslist and eBay. He hopes to have it returned, but that possibility looks slim.