January 6, 2009 in City

Boil order issued in Whitman County

 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Grant
(Full-size photo)

Residents of Albion, Wash., have been advised to boil their drinking water as a health precaution.

State health officials say water pressure was lost after a Friday storm caused a power outage, possibly allowing contaminants into the water system.

The advisory issued Sunday night for all of the Whitman County town’s 618 residents could last several days.

Though water pressure has been restored, the Washington State Department of Health urged Albion residents to heat tap water to a rolling boil for one minute before using it to drink, make ice, brush teeth, prepare food or wash dishes.

Spokane

Browne’s Addition to be plowed today

Spokane city crews are scheduled to start plowing in Browne’s Addition at 9 a.m. today on north-south streets, and residents are required to move their cars off the street or they will be towed, city officials said.

The Browne’s Addition work will continue on Wednesday for east-west streets starting at 9 a.m.

Police say man shot at plow driver

Police arrested a Spokane man who they say fired a shot at a plow driver Monday.

Zachary Hunt, 22, was booked into the Spokane County Jail on a first-degree assault charge after an argument with a man operating a private plow in the 6400 block of North Perry Street about 10 a.m., according to police.

The driver was plowing a lot at 6463 N. Perry St. when he noticed a man in a blue Toyota truck – later identified as Hunt – driving toward him, police said. The driver honked his horn, according to police; the two argued, and Hunt pulled out a handgun and fired a shot.

No one was injured.

“The bullet just missed the plow driver,” Spokane police Officer Tim Moses said.

Seattle

Bank robberies down statewide

The FBI says there were 153 bank robberies in Washington state last year, the fewest in decades.

Robbers took a little more than $743,000.

From 1996 to 2006, Washington averaged about 300 bank robberies a year. But that number fell dramatically in 2007, to 176, and it dropped 13 percent more last year.

FBI officials attribute the lower numbers to cooperation with local police agencies, as well as better training of bank employees.

The FBI’s Safecatch program teaches bank employees techniques for helping law enforcement track down bandits.

BOISE

Woman sentenced for bilking charity

The former director of an organization that raises money for breast cancer awareness was sentenced to at least three years in prison for taking more than $170,000 from the charity.

Mary E. Guinard, who had been head of the Boise affiliate of Komen for the Cure until August, was sentenced to up to 14 years behind bars in 4th District Court on the grand theft conviction, with three years fixed.

She also received 14 years for a forgery charge and must make restitution.

Guinard served for 2  1/2 years as executive director of the local group. Prosecutors say she embezzled money through unauthorized checks and fake credit card charges discovered after an internal audit.

Guinard, who says she spent most of the money on gambling, has been diagnosed with mental illnesses including bipolar disorder and impulse control.

Bath renovated for $236,000

Workers recently completed a $236,000 renovation to U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne’s office bathroom in Washington, D.C., including asbestos and lead paint removal, handicapped access, a refrigerator and shower, and wood paneling to match the rest of the office.

Kempthorne, Idaho’s former governor, won’t get much chance to use it, however, since his job ends Jan. 20.

A Department of Interior spokeswoman says the work, done in a historic zone, was overseen by the General Services Administration to make sure it was “appropriate and costs were reasonable.”

It came in $26,000 under the approved estimate.

The project is part of a $243 million remodel of the 72-year-old Main Interior Building, to be completed in 2013.

WALLA WALLA

State Rep. Grant, 71, dies of cancer

Rep. Bill Grant, a rare Democrat representing Eastern Washington, died just one month after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Grant, 71, died at a hospital in Walla Walla on Sunday, House Democratic spokeswoman Melinda McCrady said Monday.

Grant served 22 years in the Legislature. He was re-elected in November, representing the 16th District that covers Walla Walla and Columbia counties, as well as portions of Benton and Franklin counties.

A replacement will be appointed to his seat until a special election can be held in November, McCrady said.

“Bill was one-of-a-kind. He was a man of the land, and he brought his farmer’s values of community, hard work and perseverance to the House of Representatives where he served for 22 years,” House Speaker Frank Chopp said in a statement. “Throughout his career, everyone who met him appreciated his honesty, generosity, and wonderful sense of humor.”

Longtime family friend and Walla Walla County Commissioner Perry Dozier said Grant and his family had been optimistic about beating the rare form of lung cancer. The situation deteriorated when he was hospitalized last week with pneumonia.

“But this came quicker than anyone thought,” Dozier said.

Grant is survived by his wife, Nancy, four children and 11 grandchildren.

From staff and wire reports


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