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Support dogs bring comfort to mudslide survivors

The dogs of HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response have received hours of training to provide emotional support to people who have experienced a disaster or crisis.

Member of the organization are spread all across the nation, including Spokane. Just days after the mudslide, eight Spokane dogs and their owners went to some of the mudslide's hardest hit areas.

"They just loved all the dogs coming in to help them," said Debbie Wing of HOPE AACR.

They will continue to go back and forth from Oso, Arlington and Darrington, over the course of the next few months to assist mudslide victims who need the most help.

"The child daycare center, they were extremely depressed. They were saying, 'Why go on?' They were so comforted by the dogs. Within 45 minutes, they were singing, playing and talking about all the happy things instead of everything they had been talking about," said Wing

Karen Hathaway, the vice president of HOPE AACR, said the dogs literally take the pain away from those who are suffering.

Graphic testimony describes how car theft suspect died

Graphic testimony and imagery were presented to the court Thursday on the second day of Gail Gerlach's manslaughter trial.

Gerlach said he was acting in self defense when he fired the shot that killed Brendon Kaluza-Graham last March as the 25-year-old drove away in Gerlach's stolen SUV.

In this case, prosecutors have to prove that a bullet fired from Gerlach's gun killed Kaluza-Graham, but post-mortem pictures also illustrate for the jury what the shooting victim was and wasn't able to do the last seconds he was alive.

Prosecutors say while Gerlach's SUV was stolen from his driveway his safety was not in jeopardy when he fired a single shot at the fleeing thief.

"You'll see that Mr. Kaluza-Graham was not turned facing Mr. Gerlach as Mr. Gerlach described, but was in fact shot directly in the back of the head as he was facing forward directly through the back of that seat," deputy prosecutor Deric Martin said.

Spokane Medical Examiner Dr. Sally Aiken backed up that claim on the witness staned with autopsy photos and a Styrofoam head depicting Kaluza-Graham's head.

Local ways to help with mudslide relief

Local ways to help with mudslide relief

The devastation of the aftermath of the Oso mudslide has rocked the entire state of Washington and many are wondering what they can do to help our friends in Snohomish County. Here’s three things you can do locally to help with the recovery.

Our Kids are Our Business

Our Kids are Our Business

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Eight years ago the Spokane community decided enough was enough!  It was rocked to the core by the horrific death of little Summer Phelps and was jarred into taking a stand for children.

KXLY has joined with 34 other businesses and individuals (Spo-Can Council) for the month-long initiative "Our Kids Our Business". The focus is on the prevention of child abuse and neglect. The council holds regular meetings, and next week will hold it's annual luncheon.  

Help for parents with autistic kids increasing in Spokane

Help for parents with autistic kids increasing in Spokane

The number of children diagnosed with autism has jumped 30-percent since 2012, according to a new report from the CDC, and there are 2,000 children in Spokane County who have been diagnosed with autism, which is only second to King County.

New legislation was passed in 2013 to make treatment for these children more accessible, but there is still an issue of supply and demand.

Charles Green's 4-year-old son Noah was diagnosed with autism last October.

"He has a great personality, great sense of humor, great kid," Green said.

For Green, getting the diagnosis, "in some ways it was a relief because we could finally get him the help he needed."

Noah is part of a new program offered by the Northwest Autism Center. The program focuses on children ages two to five years old and provides them with extensive care for 12 weeks.

"This particular approach allows us to really get to know the child and build a transitional plan that will positively impact the services they are going to receive where ever they are going next," Dawn Sidell with the Northwest Autism Center said.

Opening statements heard Wednesday in Gerlach manslaughter trial

Opening statements heard Wednesday in Gerlach manslaughter trial

A Spokane jury listened to the long-awaited opening statements Wednesday in the manslaughter trial of Gail Gerlach, who is suspected of shooting 25-year-old Brendon Kaluza-Graham as he drove away in Gerlach's stolen SUV last March.

One of the first things heard in court Wednesday was exactly what Gerlach told dispatchers in the moments after the shooting, most significantly that Gerlach thought the car theft suspect had reached for a weapon and it was Gerlach who worried he was about to get shot.

"Members of the jury, this case has a theme, and the theme of this case is the sight of fear," defense attorney Richard Lee said.

Gerlach's defense team wasted little time telling the jury their client was acting out of fear the day he shot Kaluza-Graham; not fear of losing his Chevy Suburban but fear about what the suspect would do next after Gerlach confronted the thief in his driveway.

"He's not caring about the SUV anymore. He sees something far more important that. He sees this. He sees this," Lee said.

WestCoast Entertainment announces 2014-15 season

The curtain has yet to close on WestCoast Entertainment’s current season, but they’re already gearing up for this fall. On Wednesday,  WCE announced the 2014-2015 Best of Broadway season, and it’s full of big shows, fan favorites, and some enjoyable surprises.


The season will kick off with the nine time Tony winning musical Book of Mormon in August. The much anticipated show was announced last year when the 2013-14 season was announced. Here’s a list of this season’s main attractions: