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Bill on tent cities falters in Senate

SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 2009, 7:45 A.M.

A bill to limit the regulations local governments can impose on churches that host homeless encampments is apparently dead in the Legislature.

Rep. Brendan Williams, of Olympia, sponsored the bill to counter a homeless ordinance approved last year in Lacey that restricted a tent city.

The bill passed the House and was assigned to a Senate committee. But that panel is not scheduled to meet Monday, the deadline to move it out of the committee.

Williams says he thinks his bill’s demise might be tied to his opposition to another bill intended to allow taller buildings in part of Olympia.

Under Williams’ bill, cities and counties would not be able to ban churches from hosting homeless camps near schools, or require that the homeless be housed inside church buildings.

Associated Press


Ex-Norway leader to speak at UI

Former Norwegian Prime Minister Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, who is known for her work in sustainable development, will give the keynote address Tuesday at the University of Idaho’s 2009 Borah Symposium.

Brundtland’s talk is entitled “In Service of Health and Peace.” The free lecture takes place at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Building, 709 S. Deakin St.

Brundtland became Norway’s first female prime minister in 1981. She later gained international recognition by championing sustainable development principles.

Brundtland was elected director-general of the World Health Organization in 1998, and tapped to serve as U.N. Special Envoy for Climate Change in 2006.

Staff reports

Coeur d’Alene

Arson conviction in apartment fire

A man accused of burning down his former fiancee’s apartment has been found guilty of first-degree arson.

A 1st District Court jury convicted Daniel R. Keyes, 33, on Friday. Keyes said the fire was an accident.

Kootenai County Deputy Prosecutor Jim Reierson said Keyes started the fire a day after bonding out of jail on a domestic violence charge after the victim told him she wanted to end their relationship.

Keyes faces up to 25 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced June 1.

Associated Press

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