In brief: Property owner faces federal pot charges
The owner of the Ferry County property where drug agents caught two Canadian pot smugglers last fall faces federal marijuana charges.
Harold Oscar Strandberg, of Danville, is accused of using his property at Fourth of July Creek Road to import marijuana from Canada, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane.
Strandberg was home when Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrived Nov. 1 on a tip that drug smugglers were at the property. William Richard Paterson, 50, and Jahrum David Oakes, 32, were arrested that night with duffel bags filled with marijuana weighing about 235 pounds. They pleaded guilty to three charges Jan. 21.
Strandberg has pleaded innocent to charges of importing 50 kilograms or more of marijuana and to a companion charge of conspiring to import 50 kilograms or more of marijuana. He was on the Curlew School Board for eight years but did not seek re-election last year, according to the Omak Chronicle.
Steelworkers leader to speak at dinner
The president of United Steelworkers International will speak at the Kootenai County Democrats eighth annual Democracy Dinner on April 10.
In his first full term as president, Leo W. Gerard has launched initiatives that have increased the union’s ranks by 60 percent, or 350,000 members, a news release from the Democrats said.
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America and is dominant among workers in paper, forestry products, steel, aluminum, tire and rubber, mining, glass, chemicals, petroleum and other basic resource industries, in addition to having a growing membership of more than 130,000 people in the service sector, the release said.
The dinner and a reception for Gerard will be held at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort/Hotel in Worley. For more information or to buy tickets, call (208) 765-0965 or visit www.kootenai democrats.org. The cost is $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Social hour begins at 6 p.m., with the dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets to the reception, which is before the dinner, cost $50.
Lawmakers may cut retirees’ annual raise
BOISE – Idaho lawmakers are considering blocking a scheduled 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state retirees because active state employees are facing furloughs and other cuts.
“It’s strictly an equity issue,” said state Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, who proposed the resolution. It wouldn’t save any state general-fund money; the resolution would override the state retirement board’s decision to give the COLA.
Lawmakers plan to hold a full committee hearing on the resolution as soon as Wednesday; it must pass both houses by Feb. 24 to take effect.
Sex offender hasn’t registered with police
Police are looking for a sex offender wanted for failing to register with authorities.
Bradley D. Williams, 22, was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender in October. He also has a previous conviction for drug possession, according to Crime Stoppers.
Now Williams is wanted on a new warrant after police say he never checked in as his conviction requires.
He last gave 1708 W. Gardner Ave. No. 2 as his home address, Crime Stoppers said.
Anyone with information on Williams’ whereabouts is asked to call (800) 222-TIPS or submit tips online at www.crimestoppersinland northwest.org.