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In brief: Hayden’s tree lighting rite canceled due to weather

The city of Hayden canceled its Christmas tree lighting ceremony due to extreme cold coming this weekend to the region.

The 2013 Hayden Lights Parade, Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and all other activities scheduled for Saturday are canceled. Organizers fear subzero temperatures could harm those participating, according to a news release.

The National Weather Service predicts temperatures throughout the Inland Northwest in single digits and below zero over the weekend.

Brother of murdered man pleads guilty to child rape

The brother of a man murdered at his home in north Spokane in 2008 pleaded guilty Wednesday to raping an 8-year-old girl in the same house in 2011.

Matthew Pehl, 30, may avoid jail time on charges of child rape and molestation after prosecutors agreed he was eligible for a special sentencing alternative that will allow him to serve his sentence of more than 10 years on monitored release. The victim’s family plans to contest the plea agreement.

Tanner Pehl was murdered along with Sarah Clark in 2008. A jury convicted Justin Crenshaw of the stabbing double murder in 2010.

Matthew Pehl continued to live at the address with his mother at least through Jan. 7, 2011, when the father of the 8-year-old girl took her to the home to rehearse with a band in the basement, according to court records. While he was practicing, Pehl touched the girl inappropriately in a bedroom and bathroom.

Prosecuting attorney Kelly Fitzgerald declined after the hearing to discuss the factors that led her to recommend community custody.