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In brief: Spokane dips in rating of most secure cities

Fri., Dec. 16, 2011

Spokane isn’t as secure as it was just last year, a study by Farmers Insurance found.

The Lilac City ranks as the 20th most secure place to live among midsize cities in the U.S., sliding from 15th place a year ago, the company said Thursday.

The rankings, compiled by database experts at, take into consideration crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, environmental hazards, terrorist threats, life expectancy, mortality rates from cancer and motor vehicle accidents, and job loss numbers.

Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Wash., ranked first on the nation’s list of securest midsize cities, which have populations between 150,000 and 500,000. The Tri-Cities ranked fourth last year.

Other Northwest cities on the midsize list were Olympia (fourth), Bellingham, Wash. (seventh), Bremerton– Silverdale, Wash. (13th), Yakima (14th) and Anchorage, Alaska (15th).

Pittsburgh, Penn., is the most secure large metropolitan area, while Ithaca, N.Y., is the most secure small town.

This is the third time Spokane has appeared in the annual Farmers rankings. Three years ago it placed 19th in the study.

Offender sentenced in child porn case

A registered sex offender from Cheney has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for distribution of child pornography as part of an investigation that began in Maryland.

John A. Harmon, 58, also had to forfeit $120,000 in lieu of his house of the same value as part of the FBI investigation into child pornography trafficking in Maryland that led investigators to Harmon.

Agents last year searched Harmon’s home and found more than 36,000 images of child pornography. Harmon had been in custody since January, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Rice said in a news release.

Harmon was previously convicted in 2003 for distributing child pornography.

His case was brought as part of the U.S. Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood, which is designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. To report similar crimes, call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at (800) 843-5678.


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