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In brief: Sandpoint festival announces lineup

The Steve Miller Band, the Indigo Girls and The Avett Brothers are among the music acts scheduled for the Festival at Sandpoint this summer.

The 31st annual summer concert series runs Aug. 1 through 11 on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille.

Other bands in the lineup include: CAKE, Rosanne Cash, The Greencards, John Butler Trio, Vintage Trouble, Eclectic Approach, Matt Andersen, Shook Twins, Devon Wade and Marshall McLean.

The festival will end, as is traditional, with a grand finale concert by the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and guest soloists Francisco Renno, a pianist, and violinist Jason Moody.

Tickets go on sale today and can be bought online at www.FestivalAt, or by phone at (208) 265-4554; toll-free at (888) 265-4554; or through TicketsWest outlets.

Governor’s stipend to begin on June 1

BOISE – Idaho plans to resume paying a $4,500 monthly housing stipend to Gov. Butch Otter starting June 1 as it clears furniture from the vacant governor’s mansion in Boise where he never lived.

The state decided earlier this year to give the hilltop mansion back to the descendants of J.R. Simplot, the billionaire potato mogul who donated the 7,400-square-foot home to be used as a residence for Idaho’s chief executive in 2004, four years before he died at age 99.

Otter, Simplot’s former son-in-law, declined to live in it, and escalating costs of about $180,000 annually to water the expansive lawn and maintain the 33-year-old home threatened to drain a $1.5 million fund to cover housing expenses for the state’s chief executive. It’s dwindled to $775,000 as maintenance, electricity and repair costs added up.

The decision to restore the housing stipend was unanimous among the Republican and Democratic members of the Governor’s Housing Committee. The panel concluded the $54,000 annual cost was a relative bargain, compared to keeping the home.

Spokane diocese’s lawsuit dismissed

A federal judge dismissed the Catholic Diocese of Spokane’s bankruptcy malpractice claim against law firm Paine Hamblen on Wednesday, ruling that the diocese needs to first secure permission from the bankruptcy court before turning to U.S. District Court to press its $12 million lawsuit.

Diocese attorney Robert Gould said Bishop Blase Cupich intends to obtain that permission and pursue the case.

There have been no substantive settlement talks between the sides, said Jane Brown, managing partner of Paine Hamblen.

The diocese accuses Paine Hamblen lawyers of mishandling its bankruptcy case that took several years and $50 million to resolve.

Auto shop raid nets three arrests

Spokane police have arrested three people suspected of selling drugs out of a South Perry District auto repair shop.

Detective Lydia Taylor said undercover officers made several drug purchases from suspects at Lonnie’s Auto Repair, located at 826 S. Perry St. Detectives raided the shop and seized methamphetamine and hydrocodone pills while serving a search warrant Wednesday afternoon.

Three people were arrested on drug charges, including the shop’s owner. Joseph Johnson, 52, and Gerry R. Elerding, 41, were arrested on distribution charges while Lonnie D. Sandros, 59, was arrested for allegedly letting his shop be used for drug deals, Taylor said.

The shop was closed by Spokane Code Enforcement a few weeks ago for code violations.


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WSU, Mike Leach face lawsuit over football player’s dismissal

new  A lawsuit claims that Washington State football coach Mike Leach has selectively enforced his own team rules, and that the university failed to provide due process before revoking a student-athlete’s financial aid – again shining a spotlight on how the school responds to criminal allegations.