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In brief: SCRAPS closing horse rescue center

Sat., Dec. 21, 2013

After more than a month, Spokane County Regional Animal Protective Services will shut down operations at the fairgrounds after all the horses from a November seizure have been placed in homes or at boarding facilities.

Of the 63 horses seized from Janice Hickerson’s West Plains ranch on Nov. 15, 47 have been adopted or placed with foster families or rescue groups. Four will be transported to 808 Equine Rescue in Calhan, Colo., on Saturday. The remaining horses will be transported to a local boarding facility.

An emergency crew from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will leave Spokane on Monday, though the group will continue to help with boarding costs and finding homes for the horses.

There is an arrest warrant out for Janice Hickerson, also known as Janice Long, on charges of first-degree animal cruelty and transporting or confining animals in an unsafe manner. Her whereabouts are unknown.

Those interested in adopting a horse or donating toward their care should contact SCRAPS at (509) 477-2532.

Second suspect in shooting arrested

A 16-year-old was arrested Thursday in Moses Lake on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Dale Olmos, 28, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office said.

Jose Rivera is the second suspect in custody in Olmos’ shooting. The 28-year-old was found with a gunshot wound to the head near the city of Moses Lake on Dec. 11 and remains in critical condition at a nearby hospital, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Police arrested Jordan Wiester, 21, on Wednesday. He is being held in the Grant County Jail facing charges of attempted first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Investigators are still looking for Gilbert Williamson, 46, in connection with the shooting. Williamson is described as a white man about 6 feet tall and 220 pounds. His eyes are hazel and he has short brown hair, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Detectives think Olson was shot in a dispute over a stolen cellphone.

Anyone with information on Williamson’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Grant County Sheriff’s Office at (509) 762-1160 or send an email to

Board OKs relocating I-90 skate park

The Spokane Park Board has decided to move forward with plans to move the Under the Freeway Skate Park to another central city park by 2021.

Due to safety concerns, the Park Board and Recreation Committee drafted an initial plan in June to move the skate park from under Interstate 90 at McClellan Street to Riverfront Park, according to minutes from the Park Board’s Dec. 12 meeting.

Board members cited maintenance issues and crime as reasons to move the park to another location, saying the skate park’s location has made it unsafe for most people to enjoy the space.

The new park is to be completed by May 9, 2021, to coincide with the expiration date of the current skate park’s lease.

Microsoft expanding Quincy data center

Microsoft will build a second data center on property it is buying from the Port of Quincy, Wash., for $11 million, the port said in a news release.

The giant computer company based in Redmond, Wash., already operates one data center there, which opened in 2007.

Quincy, in Grant County, is home to six such centers, massive buildings housing multiple computer servers that often are called server farms. Quincy’s draw is cheap power from county-owned hydroelectric dams.

The new Microsoft data center will be Quincy’s largest to date when it opens in early 2015, the release said. The data center will create 100 full-time jobs.

Microsoft is paying nearly $4 million for 60 acres the port owns. The port is buying 142 adjacent acres from Donald and Joyce Helsley for $6.6 million and will in turn sell that land to Microsoft for $7 million, the release said.

Idaho jobless rate down in November

BOISE – Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by a record sixth-tenths of a percentage point to 6.1 percent in November.

The state Labor Department said Friday the rate matches the post-recession low posted last spring and the decline is double the previous record one-month swing of three-tenths of a percentage point.

The agency says about 3,800 more Idahoans were at work in November, with total unemployment dropping to 47,300, the lowest level since spring.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will adjust the 2013 monthly unemployment rates early next year with updated statistics, which could revise the recent decline.


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