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In brief: Elderly woman dies in house fire

An elderly woman was found dead in a house fire in north Spokane on Friday night.

District 9 firefighters responded to reports of a fire at 6428 N. Smith St. around 7 p.m., according to Mike VanHeel, the district’s deputy chief of operations.

The unidentified woman was dead in the single-family, one-story home when responders arrived, VanHeel said. Investigators hadn’t determined if she had died before the fire started. She was the only person inside and there were no other injuries.

Investigators were on scene late Friday to determine the cause of the fire, which VanHeel said started in the attic of the home. The living room was also damaged.

Because of the death, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and medical examiner also responded to the scene.

Fish and Wildlife looks into poaching

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enforcement officers are seeking information about a Spokane-area spree killing involving at least three deer.

The poaching incident occurred last week near the intersection of Madison and Thorpe roads near the Painted Hills Golf Course, said Madonna Luers, department spokeswoman. Three white-tailed deer were shot from the road in an area where shooting is prohibited by county rules at about 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 10, she said.

Two of the deer were left injured and paralyzed in the field. One of the deer was taken.

This is the third spree-killing incident involving multiple deer in the Spokane area this fall.

Rewards are offered for tips that lead to the conviction of the poachers. Report tips to the state’s poaching hotline at (877) 933-9847 or by text message to TIP411.

Businesses close to fundraising goal

Spokane businesses have given about $1.2 million toward the effort to bring second-year medical school education to the city.

The private-sector fundraising effort’s goal was $1.45 million.

The money is part of the overall development of the Academic Health Science Center at the Riverpoint Campus.

The Biomedical and Health Sciences Building is expected to be ready for research labs and students in early 2014. It will house the Washington State University School of Pharmacy and WSU Medical Sciences.

Teacher under fire for type of discipline

DECLO, Idaho – A fourth-grade teacher in southern Idaho is being criticized after having her students use permanent markers to draw on the faces of classmates who failed to meet reading goals.

Some parents and administrators said the punishments given to nine students in Summer Larsen’s class were inappropriate and left the children feeling shamed.

Cindy Hurst said her 10-year-old son came home from school Nov. 5 with his entire face – including his eyelids – scribbled on with green, red and purple markers.

Larsen, who has taught at the school for six years, didn’t respond to requests for comment. But Cassia County School District Superintendent Gaylen Smyer wouldn’t confirm whether the teacher faced any disciplinary action, but parents said she was absent from school for the next few days, returning to the classroom Nov. 12.