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Avista reduces natural gas rates

FRIDAY, JAN. 16, 2009

Avista Utilities natural gas customers will see a 3 percent decline in their rates resulting from the recent drop in wholesale gas prices, state regulators announced Thursday.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved the utility’s request to reduce natural-gas rates beginning today in response to wholesale gas costs falling since last summer.

For a typical residential customer using 70 therms of natural gas each month, rates are expected to drop by about $2.60, to about $85.40.

Wholesale costs for gas account for 75 percent of a customer’s monthly natural gas bill.

School snow days will be made up

Spokane Public Schools students will have to make up all five snow days they got off during the record-breaking December storms, the school board has decided.

“We believe that the best way for our students to meet the high expectations we as a district, state and country have for them is to be in school the full 180 days, which is why we have built snow days into the school calendar,” Board President Rocky Treppiedi said in a prepared statement.

Other school districts across the Inland Northwest still are deciding how to make up the lost days, if at all.

The Spokane district already had announced that it was canceling “semester dreak day,” which is Jan. 30. The school board decided Wednesday night that the other make-up days will be Feb. 13 and June 15, 16 and 17, according to a district announcement.

Grant county

Injured deputy won’t return to job

A Grant County deputy will not return to his job after being shot in the back during a hunting trip last year.

Earl Romig, 27, was reportedly shot by Robbie Joe Marcher in January 2008.

Marcher’s trial for third-degree assault, failing to summon assistance and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm is scheduled for Feb. 3.

Marcher claims he was shooting at a coyote when he hit Romig.

Two doctors determined Romig’s injuries rendered him unable to protect himself as a deputy, said Grant County Undersheriff John Turley.

Romig had worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 15 months before he was injured, Turley said.

Becky Kramer David Wasson Jody Lawrence-Turner

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