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In brief: Charges filed in shooting

The Moses Lake man accused of shooting an off-duty Grant County Sheriff’s deputy during a coyote hunt last week has been charged with third-degree assault, failing to summon assistance and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Robbie Joe Marcher, 38, initially told police he hadn’t fired a shot while hunting with his father west of Soap Lake on Thursday, according to documents filed Monday in Grant County Superior Court. After repeated questioning, Marcher admitted to firing one shot from a .30-06 rifle about the time Deputy Earl Romig, 26, was shot in the back, according to the documents.

“He (Marcher) maintains he was shooting at a coyote, but yet we allege he should have known what he was shooting at,” said John Turley, Grant County’s chief criminal deputy. Marcher told deputies he never saw his target and didn’t check to see if he hit it.

Romig was found by another man who heard his cries for help and called 911. He is in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The bullet shattered Romig’s lower spine and severely injured organs, but Turley said he’s expected to walk again and could return to work in three to four months.

Meghann M. Cuniff


Pact pays for power research

The Idaho National Laboratory signed an agreement with the Pacific Northwest Economic Region Monday to research electrical transmission options and costs in the region, with the research stretching across state and national borders.

“We have a transmission problem in the Pacific Northwest,” said Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, the current president of PNWER, which is a cross-border economic group that includes officials from five Northwest states and three Canadian provinces, including Washington and British Columbia.

The initial contract between PNWER and INL is for $30,000 for the transmission study, but John Grossenbacher, INL director, said both sides envision additional collaboration in the future on everything from energy generation and its risks and environmental impacts to transportation, disaster preparedness and grid security.

Betsy Z. Russell


Suit filed over bypass

A Sandpoint group that opposes a project to route U.S. 95 traffic away from the downtown core on Monday sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, alleging a permit to dredge and fill Sand Creek violates federal clean water and pollution laws.

The Western Environmental Law Center filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Spokane, on behalf of the nonprofit North Idaho Community Action Network.

The corps’ Walla Walla office issued a permit authorizing dredging and filling parts of Sand Creek to create a truck route and a new bike path.

– Associated Press


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