In brief: Schweitzer lab lands $9.8 million grant
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories won a $9.8 million federal grant to help protect the power grid from computer hackers.
The Pullman-based company will work with utilities, universities and other labs to build what they call “cybersecurity solutions.”
Preventing cyberattacks has become a focus of government and industry as the world’s infrastructure becomes increasingly run by computers.
Schweitzer has built a business designing and manufacturing products to protect energy systems. The money is part of $100 million spent by the federal government in the past three years to protect against cyberattacks.
Wenatchee attorney tabbed for federal seat
A Wenatchee lawyer was nominated Thursday to become Eastern Washington’s newest federal judge, the White House announced.
Stanley A. Bastian, managing partner of Jeffers, Danielson, Sonn & Aylward law firm, will replace U.S. District Judge Edward Shea, who has been placed into the federal judiciary’s senior status. Bastian has been a finalist for two previous positions in the federal judiciary.
Bastian was among eight judicial nominations President Barack Obama made Thursday. All are subject to Senate confirmation.
A 1983 graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, Bastian has served as an assistant city attorney in Seattle and as a law clerk in the state Appeals Court. He joined the Wenatchee firm in 1988.
Among his most notable cases was the civil litigation surrounding the widely discredited Wenatchee sex ring investigations of the mid-1990s. Bastian was hired by Douglas County to defend prosecutors and sheriff’s investigators who had been sued for their roles in the controversial investigations.
Sex offender admits contact with Oregon teen
A convicted sex offender in Coeur d’Alene admitted in court Thursday to a long-distance relationship with a minor in Oregon.
Jeremy E. Durkin, 35, pleaded guilty in federal court to “use of a facility of interstate commerce to transmit information” about the teenager, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson said.
Durkin, who previously was sentenced for lewd conduct with a child under 16, could receive up to 10 years in prison when sentenced Dec. 2 in Boise.
He never met the teen but communicated with the youth via telephone, email and mail while on parole, Olson said. After his parole was revoked, a correctional officer found a letter on his prison bunk in which Durkin planned to ask the 16-year-old to keep his email account active so he would not lose “naked photos” of the teen.