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In brief: Waldref gives birth to daughter

Spokane City Councilwoman Amber Waldref gave birth on Monday to a baby girl.

Waldref missed Monday’s City Council meeting and delivered shortly after 6 p.m. at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, said city spokeswoman Marlene Feist. Waldref and her husband, Tom Flanagan, named their daughter Nora Cecilia Waldref Flanagan.

Nora weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces and was 19 inches long at birth, Feist said.

This item has been corrected from an earlier version that listed an incomplete last name for Waldref’s new daughter

Downriver Drive closed for work

Traffic will be blocked today as city crews work to remove a dead tree.

Downriver Drive between Columbia Circle and Aubrey L. White Parkway will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spokane officials urge motorists to find alternate routes or allow additional travel time.

Barbieri proposes legislative counsel

BOISE – Idaho Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, wants the Idaho Legislature to hire its own lawyers in a new “Office of Legislative Counsel” rather than consult the Idaho attorney general’s office.

Barbieri, sponsor of this year’s unsuccessful health care nullification law, which the attorney general’s office advised violated both the U.S. and Idaho constitutions and lawmakers’ oath of office, is an attorney, though he’s not licensed in Idaho; he disputed the opinion.

“The whole point of this is we begin to use our own attorneys for opinions,” he told a House committee Tuesday. It agreed to introduce his bill on a divided vote.

Barbieri’s bill proposes to fund the new two-lawyer office by shifting funds and staffing from the attorney general’s budget.

Kennedy visits to help raise funds

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is visiting Sandpoint and Spokane on May 18 and 19 as a fundraiser for the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper and Spokane Riverkeeper programs.

Kennedy, an activist and environmental attorney, helped found the Waterkeeper Alliance in 1999 to get citizens involved in Clean Water Act enforcement. The alliance has given rise to more than 200 Waterkeeper programs around the world.

Kennedy planned to visit the area last year, but his talk was canceled.

Kennedy will speak at 7:30 p.m. May 18 at the Panida Theatre in Sandpoint. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students.

He will speak at 7:30 p.m. May 19 at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox in Spokane, where general admission is $17 and student admission is $7. (In Spokane, the tickets include a $2 historic preservation fee.)

At the Fox, Kennedy will be introduced by mountaineer Jim Whittaker, the first American to climb Mount Everest.

Tickets for the events can be purchased at the door or through