SNAP is now accepting appointments for Spokane County residents seeking energy assistance this winter.
A limited number of slots will be available on Wednesdays on the SNAP Web site, www.snapwa.org, where available slots are posted on Wednesdays. Qualification guidelines also are posted there.
The agency is making appointments by phone at (509) 242-2376 on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
SNAP recommends using land lines. Callers are urged to be patient and expect to redial the number several times before making a connection.
Ponzi scheme nets 4-year term
BOISE– The U.S. attorney’s office says a Kooskia, Idaho, resident has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for stealing roughly $1.6 million from investors in a Ponzi scheme.
U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge handed down the sentence against 52-year-old Steven Tennies on Tuesday.
The judge also ordered that Tennies pay about $1.6 million in restitution to his victims.
Tennies pleaded guilty to four counts of mail fraud in July 2009. Prosecutors said that Tennies and his company, Price Geld & Co., sold limited partnership interests in a special fund to investors in several states, and Tennies took the money for personal use instead of investing it.
Energy savings break record
PORTLAND – Improved energy efficiency reduced power demand by an amount equal to about 148,000 homes across the Northwest last year.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council said regional energy savings in 2008 were the best for any year since recordkeeping began 30 years ago.
The Portland-based council said that 2008 efficiency improvements conserved a total of 234 average megawatts of electricity – or the output of an average-size natural-gas-fired power plant.
Nearly two-thirds of the energy savings was in homes, mostly from switching to compact fluorescent lights.
Cougar shooting ruled justified
BUTTE – The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has determined that the shooting of a cougar by a 14-year-old elk hunter from Anaconda, Mont., was justified.
Game warden Shane Yaskus said the cougar measured about 7 feet long from nose to tail.
Eric Boyd was waiting at an outcropping last week while his father tried to drive an elk past him that they had been tracking.
Boyd said he heard a twig snap behind him and when he turned he saw the cougar about 25 yards away.
He said the two stared at each other for about 20 seconds before the cat started moving forward, and Boyd fired his rifle, hitting the cougar four times.
Boyd said he’s still hunting but that he’s not going to hunt by himself for a while.