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In brief: E. coli detected in raceway water

E. coli has been detected in the tap water at Spokane County Raceway, prompting health officials to advise visitors to use bottled water.

People should not use water at the racetrack for drinking, washing hands or preparing food.

The bacteria, which live in the intestines of people and animals, can produce toxins and make people sick with diarrhea. It was found in an employee bathroom, according to raceway manager Cindy Gibbs.

There have been no confirmed reports of illnesses related to E. coli.

The health warning is likely to extend through next week as local officials decontaminate the water supply.

Raceway participants and fans may buy bottled water and food on the premises, or bring their own beverages, according to a press release.

Hand sanitizers will be provided.

John Stucke

Canadian driver can post bond

A Canadian truck driver arrested July 2 with 300 pounds of marijuana bound for an Avista plant in Kettle Falls will be allowed to leave jail before trial, a U.S. magistrate ruled Friday.

Matthew G. Tutt, 31, has a brother who has been diagnosed with cancer and given 18 months to live, said his public defender, Amy Rubin.

Tutt’s parents traveled to Spokane from Vancouver Island, B.C, for the hearing in U.S. District Court, which U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno said weighed heavily on her decision to release him from custody on a $50,000 bond.

Half the money must be in cash and the other half can be paid by a bond company. His parents will be required to pay a $100,000 appearance bond if he doesn’t show up for court.

Tutt pleaded not guilty Friday to a grand jury indictment charging him with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and importation of marijuana. Both charges carry five to 40 years in prison.

If he posts bond, Tutt will live in North Vancouver and report monthly to a federal office in Blaine, Wash. He’s allowed to travel only to Blaine and to Alberta to visit his ailing brother. As of 6:30 p.m. Friday, he was still in jail.

Meghann M. Cuniff