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Grant Co. Sheriff draws line in sand against gangs

Grant Co. Sheriff draws line in sand against gangs

Help is on the way. That's what Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones is telling the community amid a wave of violence in the Larson Housing Area outside of Moses Lake.

Last weekend a teenager was shot and killed. Thursday night there was a drive-by shooting. Now Sheriff Jones is saying, "Enough is enough."

There have been four shootings in the last month in one Moses Lake neighborhood and two of them targeted 16-year-old Brandon Mende. He was injured in the first and, while recovering, was shot and killed.

The Larson Housing Area is the most troubled spot in Grant County according to Jones. After the fourth shooting Thursday night on the 1200 block of Arlington Drive NE. the sheriff, like many residents, are fed up.

"I am no longer putting up with gangs or gang-violent related incidents. I'm also here to tell you, the members of this community, that more help is on the way," he said.

The sheriff plans to establish a stronger presence in the area and tell deputies to pull over suspicious cars.

State pot revenue projections lower than anticipated

State pot revenue projections lower than anticipated

The long-standing question of how much the state can make off of marijuana has been answered and it's much lower than many expected.

Voters were originally told before the election once shops started selling pot the state could make up $1.9 Billion in tax revenue over five years. But now that number is expected to be much lower.

Last year, the Washington State Liquor Control Board hired a marijuana consultant to let us know what to expect and how many people might buy legal weed. In the consultant's thorough report the amount of projected revenue dropped.

The Washington Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released new estimates this week. Instead of $1.9 Billion over five years they say Washington could rake in $586 Million over four years. That money will come from excise, B&O and sales taxes as well as fees.

Most of the money is distributed to programs like drug rehab centers, research on the drug's affect on the state and the liquor control board for regulation.

Authorities arrest teen for Moses Lake murder

Authorities arrest teen for Moses Lake murder

Authorities in Grant County have arrested a suspect in the February 16 fatal shooting of Brandon Mende.

Mende was shot and killed last Sunday morning in the yard of a residence in the 6000 block of Turnkey Road in Moses Lake.

The suspect in Mende's shooting, 17-year-old Michael Meier, was arrested at 425 North Grape Drive Thursday morning.

Members of the Grant County Sheriff's Office, Moses Lake Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service worked together to arrest Meier.

"I want to thank everyone who stepped forward with tips, and also all the witnesses who stepped up to give us the information we needed to make the arrest," Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said.

Meier is facing a single charge of first-degree murder.

Voter's Pamphlet art contest open for Washington students

Voter's Pamphlet art contest open for Washington students

The Office of the Secretary of State is calling on Washington artists in the 4th & 5th grades to submit designs for the 2014 Voter’s Pamphlet. The winning design will be featured on more than 3.2 million copies of the pamphlet and will be sent to every house in the state during the General Election this fall.

Washtunca students pen bill for state waterfall

Washtunca students pen bill for state waterfall

At the Washtucna School, a civics lesson has taken on a life of its own and is inspiring the small school’s young students. The 30 students in grades 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 have introduced a bill in the legislature and are on a mission to have the Palouse Falls named the official water fall of Washington.


“We started thinking, how can we make this real for the kids,” said 5th & 6th grade teacher Janet Camp. “We started thinking, what do we have to offer?”

The Gift of Life

The Gift of Life

Their name is synonymous with both grief and strength. The Swank family in North Idaho has had their faith tested in ways most of us could never imagine. In 2009, they lost their 17-year old son Drew following a football injury.

Now, their faith is being tested again as Drew's older sister fights for her life.

The Swank house in North Idaho is one of those idyllic places. On a recent February day, covered in snow, bathed in sunlight and filled with love. For 43-year old Tara Swank, it has been a refuge in a storm of unthinkable grief.

"Watching my youngest brother and sisters go through the death of their brother has probably hurt me as much as just my own hurt of watching my brother die," said Tara.

Reminders of Drew are everywhere in their home - in smiling pictures, in grieving hearts.

"It's horrendous, really," said Drew's mom, Patti. "There's no word for the heartbreak. I'm still not over Drew."

Drew was just 17 when a football injury ended his life. The oldest of eight and a critical care nurse by trade, Tara helped hold her family together.

Masked men rob Sandoval's Market in George, WA

Masked men rob Sandoval's Market in George, WA

The Grant County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in locating four masked men who robbed a convenience store in George.

Around 8 p.m. yesterday, four masked men entered Sandoval's Market, forcing two store clerks to hand over the store's cash. They then tied the employees up.

Police say the men took off in a black 2002 Cheverolet Avalanche and abandoned it a short distance away on Beverly Burke Road Southwest. The Avalanche was stolen out of Tri-Cities. Police believe they abandoned the Avalanche and escaped in another vehicle.

Anyone with information or anyone who may have seen anything is asked to call the Grant County Sheriff's Office at 509-762-1160. Tipsters can remain anonymous.