November 8, 2012 in City

In brief: Magnitude 6.3 quake off Canadian coast

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – A magnitude 6.3 earthquake has struck off the west coast of Canada but no damages have been reported and no tsunami warning has been issued.

Natural Resources Canada said the tremor occurred Wednesday night off Vancouver Island in the Pacific Ocean, 85 miles southwest of Port Alice, British Columbia.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake was not expected to generate a tsunami.

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck off the west coast of Canada on Oct. 28, but there were no reports of major damage. Residents in some communities in British Columbia were evacuated, but the province escaped the biggest quake in Canada since 1949 unscathed.

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake rocked Guatemala earlier Wednesday, killing at least 48 people in two provinces.

Social Security offices to cut hours

Social Security Administration offices in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene are cutting the hours during which they are open to the public.

Starting Nov. 19, the offices will open weekdays at 9 a.m. and close at 3 p.m., a half-hour earlier than they did before, an agency news release said. Both offices will close at noon on Wednesdays starting Jan. 2.

Employees will work the same regular hours but use the closed-door time to catch up on backlogged processing, the release said, adding that reduced funding has forced the agency to stop paying overtime for employees to finish it during off hours.

Many Social Security services can be accessed outside the offices, at socialsecurity.gov and by calling (800) 772-1213.

Off-duty officer killed man in car accident

MOSES LAKE – The driver who struck and killed a man last week in Moses Lake was an off-duty police officer.

The Washington State Patrol is investigating the Halloween night fatality, but Police Chief Dean Mitchell told the Columbia Basin Herald there’s no indication Officer R.C. Sheats did anything wrong. Mitchell calls it an unfortunate accident.

The patrol reports 47-year-old Gary C. Kilpatrick of Moses Lake was fatally injured when he ran into traffic in front of Sheats’ personal vehicle. The 25-year-old has been on the Moses Lake police force for about a year.

Indian land settlement appeal rejected

HELENA – The U.S. Supreme Court won’t consider a Colorado woman’s challenge of a $3.4 billion settlement between the federal government and Native American land trust beneficiaries.

The settlement was reached in 2009 following years of litigation in which Montana resident Elouise Cobell, who is now deceased, argued government officials mismanaged billions of dollars in land royalties held in trust for Native Americans.

Court records show Kimberly Craven’s petition asking the Supreme Court to review the settlement was denied Oct. 29. She had argued the settlement enriched the attorneys and the named plaintiffs led by Cobell.

The named plaintiffs’ attorneys said Wednesday that three other people have agreed to dismiss their appeals in exchange for having their attorneys’ fees and expenses paid, so settlement funds are closer to getting distributed.

Gonzaga law offers clinic to seal records

Gonzaga law students and volunteer attorneys will offer a free public clinic to teach Washington residents how to seal their juvenile records so the charges or convictions don’t appear in criminal histories.

“As law students, we are excited to use our skills to help the Spokane community – especially when so many people are looking for jobs or affordable housing,” said Michele Fukawa, a third-year GU law student helping with the clinic.

For a juvenile misdemeanor, class C or class B felony, individuals must have been released from confinement at least two years ago, or they must have completed a diversion or deferred disposition, to qualify. For class A felonies, individuals must have been released from confinement at least five years ago.

The clinic is set for 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Gonzaga Law School, 721 N. Cincinnati St.

North Central holding STEM careers event

North Central High School will host a hands-on interactive event for sixth-grade through postsecondary students considering a career in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields.

Participants will have the opportunity to do experiments with professionals who work in those industries. College professors and program managers will be available to speak with students about a degree path and employment. There will also be informational sessions about what employers are looking for.

The keynote speaker is Daniel B. Roark, CEO and president of Matrical Bio-Science, a Spokane company that supplies equipment that aids in science research.

“Step into STEM” will be 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 at 1600 N. Howard St. Preregistration is required at www.spokaneschools.org/northcentral.

Space shuttle exhibit opens Saturday

SEATTLE – The space shuttle trainer exhibit opens to the public Saturday at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

The 100-foot trainer was used by space shuttle astronaut crews. It’s displayed in the $12 million Charles Simonyi Space Gallery that opened earlier this year.

Visitors will be able to step inside the fuselage to feel what it was like to be in a shuttle.

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