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In brief: Spokane County issues burn ban

Spokane County on Monday issued a burn ban to reduce the risk of fire during the hot, dry months of summer.

The ban applies to campfires and fires intended to dispose of woody debris.

The burn ban follows a similar order in force on lands owned or protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

The county and state bans allow fires with gas or propane stoves and barbecues, as well as fires in designated campgrounds.

The county also allows use of portable outdoor fireplaces and patio warmers.

In Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Millwood, restrictions went into effect Monday for outdoor fires, which must be attended by someone with fire extinguishing equipment. Outdoor burning is not allowed when winds exceed 7 mph in those three cities.

Mike Prager

Retail sales in state grow in first quarter

OLYMPIA – Retail sales in Washington jumped 8 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2012, hitting about $26 billion for all taxable sales, the state Department of Revenue reported Monday.

Double-digit growth in taxable sales for construction, building materials and cars led to improved sales for the state’s industries and retail sectors. Spokane County had taxable retail sales of $1.7 billion, up 6.6 percent from the first quarter of 2012, and the city of Spokane had taxable retail sales of $917 million, up 7.4 percent.

In other economic news for the state, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Group both upgraded Washington’s credit outlook to stable, up from negative, based on improving economic conditions and strong financial management. The revisions will help generate investor interest in upcoming bond sales, state Treasurer Jim McIntire said.

Jim Camden

Idaho man pleads guilty to child porn

A Post Falls man pleaded guilty Monday to federal crimes of producing child pornography.

Dylan J. Ritter, 29, will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in October.

He is accused of downloading child porn over the Internet and admitted to officials that he had been sexually abusing a 3-year-old relative and taking photos of his sexual contact with the child.

He faces 15 to 30 years in prison.

John Stucke


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