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NW today: Buy satellite TV package, get free gun

What’s news in the Northwest today:

BOISE — The owner of a RadioShack in Idaho is taking a cue from a Montana store and offering a free shotgun with the purchase of a satellite television package. Mountain Home store owner John Marshall tells KBOI-TV that business is down and he’s willing to try anything to survive. After hearing that a southwestern Montana RadioShack tripled its business by offering a coupon for a free gun with the purchase of Dish Network, Marshall decided to give it a try. He began the promotion on Friday. RadioShack Corp. asked Hamilton store owner Steve Strand to end the promotion last week, saying it does not follow the corporation’s marketing practices. Strand said he planned to continue the promotion.

Fire damages Pullman home undergoing renovation

PULLMAN — The Pullman home previously owned by former Washington State University Athletic Director Jim Sterk has been damaged in a fire while undergoing renovation. A neighbor reported flames early Sunday. Firefighters contained the fire to the three-car garage but there is water and smoke damage throughout the structure. KXLY reports the fire started in the heating system.

Man accidentally shoots own dog near Spokane

SPOKANE — A man accidentally shot his own dog while trying to shoot an attacking pit bull dog near Spokane. KHQ reports sheriff’s deputies responding to the scene Sunday at Riverside Village Estates found the wounded dog and the angry owner. Deputies say a woman walking the pit bull let it run free, and it attacked the other dog in the owner’s yard. He grabbed a pistol, intending to shoot the pit bull, but shot his own dog instead. Deputies turned the case over to the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service.

Washington bison ranchers providing buffalo meat

YAKIMA — Some bison ranchers in Washington say there’s more demand for buffalo meat than they can supply. Cle Elum rancher Jim Hanson has been raising bison for 21 years and keeps 30 to 50 head. He told the Yakima Herald-Republic he doesn’t advertise anymore and can’t keep up with all the requests by phone and email. Nick McCormack runs a ranch near Ellensburg and says he won’t have meat to sell until spring. He wants to increase his herd of about two-dozen buffalo to 70. Buffalo meat is reportedly lower in fat and cholesterol than beef, but it’s still a fraction of the market for cattle.

Missing British Columbia couple sought in Oregon

PORTLAND — Royal Canadian Mounted Police are asking the public’s help in locating a missing British Columbia couple who were last seen March 19 at a gas station in Baker City on the way to Nevada. The Penticton couple, Albert and Rita Chretien, were driving to a business convention in Las Vegas but did not arrive. The Oregonian reports they are traveling in a 2000 Chevrolet Astro van with British Columbia plates 212-CAV.

Historic Hanford nuclear rail cars to be displayed

RICHLAND — Two switch engines and two rail cars that carried radioactive fuel across the Hanford nuclear reservation have been saved from burial and will go on display at the historic B Reactor. The Tri-City Herald reports the World War II and Cold War relics were saved at the request of railroad buffs. The cars are being filled with grout to fix any contamination in place, and they’ll be fenced to prevent public contact. Another 12 railcars at Hanford are destined for a landfill. They carried lead and steel casks to haul irradiated fuel from the B Reactor for processing. The B Reactor produced plutonium for the first atomic explosion — the Trinity test in New Mexico — and the plutonium for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

Kent teacher pleads not guilty to sex charge

SEATTLE — A Kent teacher accused of having sexual contact with a 17-year-old boy pleaded not guilty today at her arraignment in King County Superior Court. KOMO Radio reports 37-year-old Barbara J. Anderson is free on bail, ordered to have no contact with the teen. If convicted she faces up to a year in jail. The boy’s mother told sheriff’s investigators that her son and the teacher exchanged nearly 800 text messages from Jan. 25 to Feb. 21.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ends ski season

JACKSON, Wyo. — Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has ended its ski season with the second-highest snowfall total in the last 13 years. The morning of the last day on Sunday, 557 inches of snow had fallen at the resort with an accumulated snow depth to 122 inches. Bridger-Teton National Forest records indicate that this year’s snowfall total is the most since more than 600 inches fell in 2007-08. This year also marks the third time in four years the resort has received more than 500 inches of snow. The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that the Grand Targhee Resort has received 502 inches of snow this season and will remain open through April 17.

North Idaho lawmaker makes case for medical marijuana

BOISE — A state lawmaker who wants to legalize medical marijuana is using the final days of the 2011 Idaho Legislature to make his case. Republican Rep. Tom Trail, of Moscow, introduced legislation to create the Idaho Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act more than two months ago. And on today, the House Health and Welfare Committee has planned an informational hearing on the measure, though there is still deep concern among lawmakers. Trail is trying to get Idaho in line with states like Colorado and California in easing restrictions on marijuana as long as it’s used medically to treat chronic pain or debilitating diseases. But many in Idaho’s Republican-dominated Legislature fear relaxing restrictions would encourage illegal drug use. Trail says his bill proposes one of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws nationwide.

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