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In brief: Smoke at boot shop puts off-duty fireman on case

When employees of White’s Boots smelled smoke Friday morning at their east Spokane store, there was an immediate fire response.

An off-duty firefighter was shopping for boots at the 4002 E. Ferry Ave. store and checked out the mysterious smoke. He advised employees to call 911 as a precaution, employees said.

Nothing was showing when Spokane Fire Department crews arrived, but they investigated and found an overloaded heating system. It was shut off to prevent further damage.

Brewster, Wash., man is injured in Louisiana crash

A Brewster, Wash., man was critically injured in a Thanksgiving day crash that killed two other people in southern Lousiana.

The accident happened around 1:15 a.m. Thursday when a vehicle driven by a Texas man went off Highway 109 and crashed into a tree, the Town Talk, a newspaper in Alexandria, La., reported.

The driver died at the scene and a passenger from Louisiana died at a hospital.

A second passenger, Venroy Anthony Ogle, 29, of Brewster, was critically injured and airlifted to a hospital in Beaumont, Texas.

No one in the vehicle was wearing seat belts, according to Louisiana State Police.

Security guards set to strike at Port of Portland

PORTLAND – The Port of Portland has endured a string of labor problems this year, and it’s now preparing for its first longshore union strike in decades.

Marine terminal security guards represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union plan to strike Sunday because contract talks that began in June 2011 have failed to yield an agreement.

The longshoremen who load and unload ships are expected to honor the picket line, effectively closing three terminals.

State mediator Robert Nightingale will join talks today in a final effort to avoid a work stoppage that would disrupt the flow of cargo.

The sides agree on most aspects of a contract, but workers want an assurance their jobs won’t disappear if terminal operators or carriers want to hire their own security personnel.