Woman accused of embezzling $14K from memorial fund

SPOKANE — A Cheney woman was arrested for allegedly embezzling $14,000 from a memorial fund for the families of two men killed in a Lake Coeur d'Alene boating accident.

According to Spokane County court documents, Katie Rafter, who handled finances for the Luhr and Honken Memorial Benefit, used the money to buy a Cheney-based tanning salon. She has been charged with first-degree theft.

The Oct. 8 fundraiser at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds — a rodeo benefit that raised nearly $30,000 — was in memory of Justin Luhr, 34, and Justin Honken, 21, who died in a July 30 boating accident.

Another passenger on Luhr's boat, Caitlin Breeze, 21, was also killed in the two-boat collision.

Before the money was distributed to the Luhr and Honken families, Rafter allegedly made multiple deposits into her personal banking account and took out cashier's checks payable to the owner of the tanning salon.

According to court documents, Rafter told detectives the money was used to "pay off debts and purchase a business."

Rafter made her first appearance in court Wednesday. Her arraignment is slated for Feb. 28.

Read More Local News

All that rain, and no water

February 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press By BRIAN WALKER Staff Writer COEUR d'ALENE — Tony Larkins thought he was taking this week off from work when Mother Nature roared and crimped his and his neighbors' daily routine. Many patrons o...

Read More

Mayor: Hayden up to challenges

February 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Despite a lawsuit that has drained city resources and challenges to increase revenue, Hayden Mayor Steve Griffitts sees plenty of positives on the horizon. “The city of Hayden is focused on what we ...

Read More

Safety Fest enlightens 500+ workers — for free

February 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press POST FALLS — Mike Closson Jr. brought a group of students out to the parking lot to look at a boom. He went over how to conduct a pre-shift inspection, checking for leaks in the machine, and how to n...

Read More

Meeting downtown’s parking needs

February 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d’ALENE — Momentum is building for a brand new parking facility that not only meets needs in downtown Coeur d’Alene, but also blends aesthetically with the historic corridor. “We don’t want it...

Read More