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In brief: Performances honor V-Day in North Idaho

FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014

Two benefit performances of Eve Ensler’s “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer” will be presented tonight and Saturday with proceeds going to the North Idaho Violence Prevention Center.

The performances are part of V-Day, an international effort to end violence against women and girls.

They take place from 6-10 p.m. both nights at the Eagles Lodge, 209 E. Sherman Ave., in Coeur d’Alene. The cost is $30 in advance or $35 at the door, with the goal of raising $20,000 for the center.

The center handled 1,555 hotline calls last year and 638 cases of domestic violence. Just over 100 of those cases involved sexual assaults and 46 of those were against children, the release said.

For information, email or call (208) 664-9303.

Old wood stoves eligible for buyback by state

The state wants to improve air quality in Stevens County by getting old wood stoves out of homes in the Colville River Valley between Chewelah and Kettle Falls.

The Department of Ecology will offer vouchers worth $200 for old wood stoves turned in between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Stevens County Landfill outside Kettle Falls. The stoves must be from a home in the 99101, 99109, 99114 or 99141 ZIP codes; homeowners can receive vouchers for as many as two stoves.

Money for the vouchers comes from a voter-approved tax on hazardous waste, through a program approved by the Legislature. Brook Beeler said the department has approval to give out vouchers for as many as 200 stoves, although in previous buybacks it usually got about 70.

Wood stove smoke in the winter is a major source of air pollution in the state and can cause heart and breathing problems. Beeler said department records from the air quality monitor in Colville show 29 or 30 days of unhealthy air in three of the last four years.

Cleaner alternatives include certified wood stoves, or electric, propane or natural gas heaters.

Church offices damaged when driver has seizure

KENNEWICK – Police in Kennewick say a 60-year-old driver who suffered an apparent medical seizure crashed his car all the way through the offices of a church and out the back wall. No one was hurt.

Officer Mike Gaines said Steven McGee, of West Richland, was driving on U.S. Highway 395 Thursday afternoon, the Tri-City Herald reported. When the seizure began, the officer said, the driver’s foot pressed down on the gas pedal. A female passenger grabbed the wheel and turned it because traffic was stopped in front of the moving car.

The car jumped a curb into the parking lot of the Highway Tabernacle Church of God, then crashed into the church’s office area, Gaines said. No one was in the offices, although there were people elsewhere in the church.

The car traveled through two offices before crashing out the back wall and stopping.

Gaines said the driver had just picked up seizure medication.

Incinerator order puts focus on fetal tissue

PORTLAND – County commissioners gave final approval Thursday to an order to stop an incinerator in Oregon from receiving medical waste until procedures are in place to ensure no fetal tissue is burned to generate power.

While taking the action, Marion County Commissioners Sam Brentano and Janet Carlson said they were horrified to learn that the Marion County Resource Recovery Facility in rural Brooks might be burning medical waste that includes fetal tissue to generate electricity. Both strongly oppose abortion.

“We’re going to get to the bottom of it,” Carlson said. “I want to know who knew, when they knew, how long they had known this was going on.”

Brentano, however, noted that the county ordinance that sets the parameters for what can be accepted at the waste-to-energy plant allows for all human tissue.

“No rule or law has been broken, but there’s an ethical standard that’s been broken,” he said.

The Oregon facility is a partnership between the county and Covanta, a New Jersey-based firm. The Marion County plant processes 550 tons of municipal solid waste a day, with only a small portion coming from medical sources. It sells the power to Portland General Electric.


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