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In brief: Colville company Western By Design, LLC faces suit

Fri., Nov. 22, 2013

The state attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit against a Colville company for violations of the Consumer Protection Act.

Western By Design, LLC, which goes by the name “1880 Western Wear,” is an online retailer that sells western-style clothing. There are 85 known AGO complaints against the company.

The company misrepresented shipping and delivery dates, failed to deliver products as represented, used an unfair refund policy and failed to respond to consumer complaints, according to a news release from Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

The Better Business Bureau gave Western By Design an ‘F’ rating, with 35 complaints within the last three years, according to the BBB’s website.

The attorney general’s office is seeking penalties of $2,000 per violation, recovery of attorney fees and full refunds for customers, according to the release.

Representatives from the company were unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon, and the company’s website was down.

Man accused of robbery jailed

A Spokane man faces first-degree robbery charges after police say he stole a car from a man headed to buy methamphetamines.

A man and woman were driving to the area of Division Street and Second Avenue on Monday at 7 a.m. to buy meth when they picked up Devin Sharp, 21, according to an affidavit.

Sharp held a knife to the man’s neck and told him to get out of the car, then drove away, according to the affidavit.

Spokane police stopped Sharp at Maxwell Avenue and Maple Street, and the victim identified Sharp. Police saw an unfolded knife on the driver’s seat.

Sharp’s bond was set at $100,000 in Superior Court on Thursday.

Forecasters warn of stagnant, polluted air

National Weather Service forecasters said Thursday’s sunny weather is also bringing one of the region’s cold-weather hazards: stagnant and polluted air.

Forecasters Thursday afternoon issued a stagnant air advisory for nearly all of Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Central Washington. The advisory is in effect until 4 p.m. on Monday.

Air quality in Spokane Thursday afternoon was measured in the moderate range, with small particulates as the primary problem. Those come mainly from wood smoke.

No burning restrictions were in place, but they are possible if air quality worsens.

Dry and stable air will hold the pollutants in the lower atmosphere through Monday. The next chance of relief comes Tuesday but it is not likely to fully reverse the pollution problem, forecasters said.

Temperatures should moderate starting today to the 20s overnight and 30s during the day under sunny skies.

Hanford workers ready for 450 layoffs

RICHLAND – Three Hanford Nuclear Reservation contractors are planning to lay off a combined 450 workers, with most of those pink slips coming in the next two months.

The Tri-City Herald reports the layoffs are a continuing effect of the mandatory federal cuts – known as sequestration. The layoff notices went out Thursday.

Washington River Protection Solutions, which is the Hanford tank farm contractor, plans to reduce its workforce by up to 250 employees by Jan. 30.

CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. and Mission Support Alliance each plan to cut about 100 jobs.

Former ATF agent faces charges

SEATTLE – A former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent accused of embezzling nearly $20,000 when he worked for the federal agency has been indicted in Seattle.

The U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco said a federal grand jury on Thursday indicted 51-year-old James Contreras, of Maple Valley, Wash.

While Contreras worked as an agent and supervisor at the ATF office in Seattle, he’s accused of embezzling money from a cash fund for which he was responsible. He’s also accused of submitting false reports to account for the money. The fund was used for such things as purchasing evidence or making subsistence payments to confidential informants.

The indictment cites 30 alleged payments between March 10, 2010, and April 30, 2012.

Prosecutors said Contreras will make an initial appearance in federal court in Seattle in December.

Dollars disappear from tavern ceiling

SEATTLE – Hundreds of dollar bills that were pinned to the ceiling of the Comet Tavern in Seattle have disappeared.

A co-owner, Jason Lajeunesse, told KING whoever broke in Tuesday night must have taken an hour or two to remove all the bills. Patrons have been pinning money to the ceiling for decades. The tavern is temporarily closed for a remodel.


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