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In brief: Highlights listed as fair continues run today

Today’s highlights at the Spokane County Interstate Fair:

• Punch art for scrapbooking/ card-making demo, 10 a.m. to noon, Home Arts Bay 3

• Rooster crowing contest, 10 a.m., Poultry/Rabbit Barn

• Pig racing, 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., North Lawn

• Compact car demolition derby, 4 p.m., Grandstand Arena

• Spokane Taiko performs, 4 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., North Stage

Gates open at 8:30 a.m., exhibit buildings open at 10 a.m., and the main and Kiddyland carnivals begin at noon. All buildings and outside commercial booths close at 10 p.m.

Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for youth and seniors, and free for children 6 and younger. For details, visit www.spokanecounty.org/fair/sif/. The Spokane County Fair and Expo Center is located at Broadway Avenue and Havana Street in Spokane Valley.

Meth dealer, wife both sentenced to prison

A Spokane methamphetamine dealer arrested after trying to collect a casino jackpot while on the lam was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison.

Michael D. “Bull” Luce, 31, avoided arrest for weeks despite a federal indictment filed nearly a year after 2 1/2 pounds of methamphetamine and an AK-47 assault rifle were seized from his East Rowan Avenue home in April 2009.

Detectives monitored jail phone calls and used GPS trackers and covert surveillance to track Luce and his wife, but the break came when Luce tried to cash a $5,000 jackpot at the Coeur d’Alene Casino on April 16. Security recognized him from a police flier.

His wife, Amanda G. McIntyre, 29, also was arrested and was sentenced Friday to 71 months in federal prison. She pleaded guilty to distributing 5 grams or more of meth; Luce pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and to possession with intent to distribute of more than 50 grams of meth.

Spokane County plans to start a pilot program to treat drug addiction with Suboxone.

The county will contract with Lakeside Recovery Center with the aim of treating perhaps 10 people at a time.

Suboxone is considered nonaddictive, with minimal overdose risks, and is used to treat people addicted to opioid drugs such as heroin and narcotic painkillers.

The county would pay about $4,277 per year per client to treat addicts. The actual cost of the Suboxone would be covered by Medicaid. The cost is similar to the methadone program run by the Spokane Regional Health District.

Christine Barada, director of Spokane County’s Community Services and Housing Department, told county commissioners last week that the pilot project will help determine if Suboxone can help alleviate the list of people waiting to go on the methadone program.

North Idaho College enrollment up sharply

Enrollment at North Idaho College for the fall semester increased by 12.16 percent compared to last year.

NIC’s total credit enrollment is 6,347 students for fall 2010, up from 5,659 students last fall, a news release from the school said.

NIC’s total population served, which includes the Workforce Training Center, Adult Basic Education/GED students, Aging and Adult Services and Head Start, is more than 21,500, the release said.

NIC also saw a 15.38 percent increase in the number of students enrolled in professional-technical programs, rising from 676 in 2009 to 780 this year. The number of full-time students also increased 13.82 percent from last year.

General studies is the most popular major, followed by business administration/management.

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