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In brief: Police looking for liquor store robbers

Spokane police are looking for two men who robbed a liquor store at 8:32 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said the two entered the store on West Third Avenue and demanded cash from the register. One displayed a silver handgun, police said.

They then fled west on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. A K-9 search was unsuccessful, but police said they will review surveillance footage from the store.

The robbers are described as two white males of a similar height and build wearing almost identical clothing. The store clerk told police they were in their mid-20s, about 5-foot-8, skinny, and wearing black hooded jackets and gray face masks.

The clerk, who called other Spokane liquor stores to warn them, told police the two culprits were indistinguishable, except one had a gun while the other did not.

Cattleman fined for river pollution

The Washington State Department of Ecology fined Pullman cattle producer Marcus Jacobson $24,000 for continuing to discharge polluted water from his feedlot to a tributary of the South Fork Palouse River in violation of a 2010 order.

Jacobson was fined $4,000 last year and ordered to stop polluting the water and obtain an operating permit. State officials said Jacobson paid the original $4,000 fine but made only minor corrections to his property and failed to eliminate runoff from his feedlot or comply with the 2010 order.

Since 2004, department officials have documented cattle standing in muddy, manure-filled pens on Jacobson’s property, with the runoff flowing into the South Fork Palouse River. Managers at the Ecology Department and the Palouse Conservation District said they have offered Jacobson financial and technical help to develop a plan to fix the situation. Officials said Jacobson declined the help and failed to take action.

Soldier accused of carrying child porn

A U.S. Army soldier is accused of transporting child pornography from Spokane to Kuwait while with the military.

Jason D. Talbott, 33, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to four child pornography charges in U.S. District Court in Spokane. He was allowed to stay out of jail awaiting trial and will reside in Denver, where he is stationed with the military, according to court documents.

A federal grand jury indicted Talbott Nov. 16 on charges of receipt, possession, distribution and transportation of child pornography, as well as a forfeiture charge that calls for him to relinquish a computer, an external hard drive and a digital book reader.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. According to media reports, Talbott was identified by federal authorities after he contacted a fake website that advertised children for sex. The website was an undercover Internet sting operation designed by the Department of Homeland Security, but it has since been shut down.

Judge: Rules biased against wind power

PORTLAND – Federal regulators have ruled in favor of Northwest wind-power generators who objected to being ordered to shut down at nights and on weekends this spring when the Columbia River basin was brimming with water and federal hydropower dams were running flat out.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in a decision Wednesday that the Bonneville Power Administration must come up with new rules that don’t discriminate against the wind generators.

Many of them are utility company subsidiaries that participated in a wind farm boom in recent years encouraged by state and federal incentives.

Bonneville manages much of the electrical transmission in the Northwest.

Donated beef will go to needy families

The monthly mobile food distribution by Second Harvest Inland Northwest this Friday will include something extra: beef donated by Washington cattle ranchers and feeders.

The distribution will take place through the Beef Counts program, in which ranchers and feedlots donate cash and livestock for three-pound beef roasts that Second Harvest distributes across Eastern Washington.

The mobile food bank will be at Millwood Presbyterian Church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, at 3223 N. Marguerite Road.

Rod Wieber, Second Harvest’s chief resource officer, said the Millwood distribution is the only one in the Spokane area this week. The Beef Counts program has distributed roasts to more than 15,000 families since it began a year and a half ago, he said.

For more information, call (509) 924-2350.


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