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Fri., July 1, 2011

Far West Billiards to close after 10 years

The manager of Far West Billiards, a downtown Spokane food-and-pool hangout, said the business is closing after 10 years in operation.

Yvonne Millspaugh said she decided to shut down in anticipation of major remodeling that building landlord Rob Brewster is ready to start.

The billiards business, at 1001 W. First Ave., has been owned by Andrew Sackville-West and other LLC partners. Sackville-West has moved to Portland and is allowing Brewster to take over the space, Millspaugh said.

Brewster said Far West has been late on rent payments in recent months.

He added he’ll announce his plan for what will go into the Far West space in several weeks. “It will not include billiards,” he said.

Tom Sowa

State population grows, but at a slower pace

Washington’s population continues to grow, but at a slower rate.

The 2011 population estimate prepared by the Office of Financial Management places the state’s population at 6,767,900 as of April 1. That represents an increase of 43,360, or a growth rate of 0.64 percent, from the state’s official 2010 census count.

It’s an unexpected slowdown in population growth, the agency said today, and is due to slower than expected economic recovery. That affects both natural population increase (births minus deaths) and migration into Washington.

Migration is a major component of the state’s growth. This year’s net migration is estimated at 6,600, the lowest level in more than two decades, OFM says.

Worker mobility remains low nationwide because of difficulties with selling homes and finding work. Part of the overall decrease in migration is due to a decline in international migration.

Staff report

Ex-mortgage executive gets 30 years in prison

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An executive convicted of orchestrating a nearly $3 billion fraud as chairman of one of America’s largest private mortgage companies was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in federal prison.

The case against Lee B. Farkas, the 58-year-old former chairman of Florida-based Taylor Bean & Whitaker, is one of the most significant prosecutions arising from the nation’s financial crisis. The fraud spanned more than seven years, put thousands of employees out of work and contributed to the collapse of Colonial Bank, which authorities call the sixth-largest bank failure in U.S. history.

“He deserves to be punished severely in light of the enormity of his crimes,” federal prosecutor Patrick Stokes told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in recommending the defendant receive life in prison. “The losses from this case are, in fact, off the charts.”

Associated Press


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