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In brief: Firefighters battle two North Side blazes

Mon., Dec. 30, 2013, midnight

More than two dozen Spokane firefighters fought a pair of residential fires Saturday night in north Spokane.

The first, shortly after 9 p.m., damaged three rooms and a portion of the attic in a house at 3017 E. Rowan Ave., the Spokane Fire Department said in a report. It appears to have been caused by a wood stove, officials said. One tenant and a dog were displaced.

The second fire, around 10:47 p.m., damaged a common wall in two apartments and a portion of the ceiling and attic in an apartment complex at 6901 N. Wiscomb St. It was deemed to be an electrical fire, officials said. One family was displaced.

Idaho State sues former professor

POCATELLO – Idaho State University has filed a motion in federal court seeking sanctions and $75,000 in legal fees from a former professor who has been embroiled in legal disputes with the school for several years.

Attorneys for the school filed the motion against Habib Sadid last week, the Idaho State Journal reported.

Sadid and the school earlier this month reached a settlement in a defamation lawsuit brought by Sadid. Terms weren’t disclosed.

But Sadid on Dec. 18 asked U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill to reopen the case, saying he wants to clear his name.

The school in its lawsuit asks Winmill to dismiss the case and award costs. The school says Sadid is attempting to increase litigation expenses and prevent a resolution.

Driver on I-5 injured by flying debris

DUPONT, Wash. – A Yelm man was injured Saturday night when a piece of steel went through his windshield as he was driving on Interstate 5 near DuPont.

The State Patrol says the 23-year-old saw the chunk of steel coming at him. It hit him on the forehead, above his right eye, KING-TV reported.

The man was not seriously injured and was conscious and alert when troopers found him. He was taken to the hospital, where he got a few stitches.

Troopers believe the steel chunk was run over and sent airborne by another vehicle.

Hazelnut farmers have room to grow

SALEM – Oregon farmers continue to add to the state’s groves of hazelnuts as optimism remains that there’s room for more expansion.

The state dominates U.S. production, but is a small player worldwide, the agricultural publication Capital Press reported.

Oregon produces 99 percent of the U.S. crop, with about 650 growers operating on about 30,000 acres. Anecdotal evidence suggests a growth rate of about 3,000 acres a year, the Capital Press reported.

Once threatened by eastern filbert blight that arrived in the 1970s, the industry’s been on the rise since a breeding program at Oregon State University began producing fungus-resistant varieties.

Hazelnut trees take three to four years to begin producing nuts in earnest.


 

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