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In brief: Streets in downtown CdA to be closed

A major intersection in downtown Coeur d’Alene will be closed to traffic for about three weeks beginning Monday night for a stormwater construction project.

The work is related to the reconstruction of McEuen Park, which has closed four blocks of Front Avenue between the Coeur d’Alene Resort and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.

The city will install a 36-inch stormwater main and new manholes down the center of Third Street from Front to Lakeside Avenue. The work also will close Sherman Avenue – downtown’s main street – between Second and Fourth streets.

Work is scheduled to begin Monday at 9 p.m., and the city expects the project to wrap up June 13, the day before the first big downtown event of the summer, Car d’Lane.

City officials say they’ll work with the contractor to limit how many days the two blocks of Sherman, including all the parking in that section, remain closed.

The Third Street boat launch will remain open until June 1. Then it will close for the summer due to the McEuen Park restoration.

A map showing alternative boat ramps is on the city’s website at

Protected crane chick born at Seattle zoo

SEATTLE – The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle announces the birth of a red-crown crane chick.

The fluffy brown male born May 13 is finding its way through the wetland exhibit with the help of its 21-year-old parents. They know what they’re doing; they have had 13 successful hatchings.

The red-crown crane is an endangered species with an estimated 2,700 remaining in their native habitat in northeast Asia.

Oil leasing dispute heads to federal court

BILLINGS – Attorneys for the government and the oil industry will square off against environmental groups today in federal court in Montana in a dispute over greenhouse-gas emissions from oil and gas drilling.

The Montana Environmental Information Center and two other groups want U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon to cancel Bureau of Land Management oil and gas leases covering almost 80,000 acres in Montana.

They argue the agency did not fairly consider that greenhouse gas emissions from drilling activities could make climate change worse.

The BLM counters that the emissions from machinery and the venting of excess natural gas are insignificant.

Several industry groups have intervened in the case. They say the environmentalists behind the 2011 lawsuit cannot prove they suffered any specific harm from the lease sales.

Seattle panel OKs marijuana grow zones

SEATTLE – A Seattle City Council committee has approved zoning for large indoor marijuana farms in some industrial areas of the city.

The Seattle Times reported the zoning approved Wednesday would allow growing operations the size of a football field to encourage economies of scale.

The city rules also would permit growing as many as 45 pot plants in homes so residents could grow their own, although that would conflict with state rules.

Council member Nick Licata said the city is in a “bit of the Twilight Zone” because of uncertain regulations. The state is still putting a recreational marijuana system in place; medical marijuana is largely unregulated and the federal government considers all marijuana illegal.

The full council is expected to take up the zoning issue June 3.