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In brief: Voter ballots in mail for Spokane County

Thu., Oct. 17, 2013

The first of more than 275,000 ballots for the Nov. 5 general election were mailed Wednesday to Spokane County voters, with another batch heading to the Post Office today.

Most voters across the county should have their ballots by Friday, and election officials advise calling if ballots have not been received by Oct. 25. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 5 in order to be counted.

Unpostmarked ballots can be dropped off until 8 p.m. on Election Day at special boxes located at all city and county library branches, the downtown STA Plaza and at the county’s Elections Office, 1033 W. Gardner Ave. The drop boxes were set up Wednesday.

In Idaho, most voters still cast their ballots at the polls on Election Day, but increasing numbers of absentee ballots are being issued. In that state, all ballots – including mailed absentee ballots – must be received at the county elections office by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

Disposal violations cost firm $40,000

A Spokane construction company paid a $40,000 fine for illegal disposal of chemicals.

In response to a complaint in May, state Department of Ecology inspectors found chemicals in two disposal pools on N.A. Degerstrom Inc.’s property. The pools were filled with a variety of chemicals, some that require special disposal under state law, according to Ecology officials.

The company hired a contractor to remove the waste, excavate contaminated soil and properly dispose of the materials. Through a settlement with the state, N.A. Degerstrom also agreed to pay the $40,000, which was reduced from a $60,000 penalty.

In a statement, company Vice President Mike Coleman said N.A. Degerstrom worked cooperatively with state officials to address the violation and ensure that improper chemical disposal doesn’t occur in the future.

Man dies in fall beneath tractor

MOSES LAKE – A 34-year-old Quincy, Wash., man was killed Tuesday night when he was run over by a farm tractor, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Steve Weil, an employee of Simplot Soilbuilders, was helping Friehe Farms prepare soil. Around 7:30 p.m., emergency responders were called to property owned by the farm about 7 miles east of Moses Lake.

Authorities do not know why Weil walked into the field and tried to climb aboard a moving Case model 500 articulating tractor driven by 26-year-old Dusty Fondren. Weil fell, was run over by the left rear tire and died at the scene, a news release from the sheriff’s office said.

CdA candidates win union endorsement

The Coeur d’Alene Police Officers Association has endorsed Steve Widmyer for mayor.

The police union also endorsed incumbent City Councilman Woody McEvers and council candidates Amy Evans and Kiki Miller in the Nov. 5 election.

Candidates were selected based on their vision for the city, support of public safety and efforts at “moving forward in a positive direction,” the association said in a news release.

Stevens County fire burns woman

A woman was burned Wednesday evening in what appeared to be a propane explosion and fire at her home in rural Stevens County.

Emergency crews found the unidentified woman was found outside her house on Hesseltine Road northwest of Springdale, KHQ-TV reported. The home was burning, and the woman, who appeared to be in her 70s, had suffered burns and was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chewelah. She’s expected to recover.

Firefighters were concerned about dealing with several propane tanks found on the property and expected to remain there most of the night to secure leaking tanks, KHQ reported. Investigators will be on scene this morning to determine the cause of the fire.


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