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In brief: Cathedral will honor shooting victims

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, 1115 W. Riverside Ave., will hold a brief ceremony of remembrance this morning to honor the victims of the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has asked houses of worship and other institutions to ring their bells 26 times at 9:30 a.m., the time of the shooting that killed 26 elementary students and school employees, and observe a moment of silence.

In Spokane, the public is invited to gather on the steps of the cathedral at 9:30 a.m. for the ceremony. Bishop Blase Cupich of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane will offer a prayer.

Cartridge found in suspect’s former car

Detectives found a .22-caliber ammunition cartridge earlier this week inside a vehicle previously owned by Donna Perry, 60, a woman authorities have linked to the 1990 slaying of Spokane prostitutes, according to recently filed court documents.

Perry, previously known as Douglas Perry, sold her 1969 white International Scout about five years ago, a search warrant said. After several owners, it ended up in the possession of a Woodland, Wash., man who planned to salvage it for parts.

Spokane County detectives offered to buy the vehicle, but the current owner declined to sell. Detectives seized the vehicle using a search warrant and towed it 20 miles to the Washington State Patrol crime lab in Vancouver for analysis.

The cartridge appeared old and was buried under things on the passenger floorboard, said Detective Jim Dresback. The ammunition was identified as the same type found in the bodies of Yolanda Sapp, 26, Nickie Lowe, 34, and Kathleen Brisbois, 38. All three were shot to death with a .22-caliber gun.

GOP needs to change, McKenna says

YAKIMA – Attorney General Rob McKenna plans to join a private law firm after he leaves office in January and said it’s too early to say whether he might make another run for governor.

McKenna told the Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board on Wednesday that he plans to remain engaged in politics. He said the national Republican Party has to change in order to remain relevant – such as rebranding to appeal to more minorities, women and young voters – and needs to replicate the data work done by President Barack Obama’s campaign in order to identify and mobilize voters.

“The Republican Party better figure out how to be consistently competitive,” he said. McKenna said he plans to volunteer for a GOP presidential candidate who is willing to lead the rebranding, mentioning potential hopefuls like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Portland moves up referendum on fluoride

PORTLAND – Portland voters will decide in May whether to add fluoride to the city’s drinking water.

The Portland City Council voted 3-1 Thursday to move up the date of a public referendum that had been set for May 2014. Supporters of the action said it’s important to have the issue settled quickly because Portland children, particularly those from low-income families, have high rates of tooth decay.

“There is no time to waste,” said Commissioner Nick Fish, who approved the measure along with Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard.

The council in September unanimously approved a plan to add fluoride by March 2014.

Opponents, however, quickly gathered more than 30,000 signatures to force a referendum.