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In brief: Grants available now from Empire Health

The Empire Health Foundation is accepting applications for grants through April 12.

The grants program is designed to help organizations working on health-related issued throughout Spokane, Whitman, Lincoln, Adams, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties. Nonprofits reaching out to underserved populations are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be 501(c)(3) organizations or other qualifying public entities.

The foundation was formed in 2008 with the proceeds of the sale of Deaconess Medical Center and Valley Hospital and Medical Center.

It has so far awarded about $1 million in small grants to help regional nonprofits during the economic downturn.

This year it intends to award another $800,000 in grants.

For more information, visit

Sheriff’s patrol car crashes into light pole

A Grant County sheriff’s deputy was injured late Wednesday after he lost control of his patrol car and collided with a light pole.

Deputy John McMillan, 40, of Ephrata, was responding to a report of a domestic disturbance about 11:30 p.m., authorities said. His car slid on standing water on Highway 17 that was caused by heavy rain. He lost control of the car, slid and struck a light pole on the corner of Highway 17 and Grape Drive. The car rolled and landed on its roof.

Authorities said McMillan suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake, where he was treated and released. He’s now resting at home.

The lights and sirens of his Crown Victoria Police Interceptor were activated when the crash occurred, authorities said. The vehicle was totaled .

The Washington State Patrol is investigating the accident.

Panel spares some Medicaid programs

BOISE – A House committee has restored more than $4 million in the Medicaid budget to spare some therapy programs for adults with developmental disabilities.

The House Health and Welfare Committee also agreed Thursday to make a variety of changes to a bill now pegged to cut Medicaid funding by $35 million in the next fiscal year.

By adding $4 million back into the bill, Idaho will qualify for another $8 million in federal matching funds. The programs proposed to be cut were among the most controversial during a round of public hearings earlier this week.


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