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In brief: Finch Arboretum could get license plate funds

OLYMPIA – Finch Arboretum would get a share of the money raised by a new license plate featuring the state tree.

The plate with the Western hemlock would be added to the dozens available in the state, carrying a $40 fee when new and $30 for a renewal. An estimate by Office of Financial Management projects it would raise about $140,000 over the next five years.

The bill was written to send all the money to the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. But an amendment pushed by Spokane Reps. Jeff Holy and Marcus Riccelli to make it a “statewide bill” would send 15 percent to Finch Arboretum in west Spokane. The House bill now goes to the Senate.

Jim Camden

Accomplice in fraud scheme gets 7 months

The woman implicated in Spokane developer Greg Jeffreys’ schemes to defraud investors was sentenced to seven months in prison last week after pleading guilty to conspiracy and concealing plots through ignorance.

A federal judge ordered Shannon Stiltner to pay $58,000 in restitution to two defrauded investors. Jeffreys will be sentenced later as lawyers wrestle over how much money he owes to duped investors. Stiltner told the judge Jeffreys swept her off her feet after her failed marriage and guided her drug-addicted daughter to sobriety.

“(Jeffreys’) actions established a deep and powerful trust between him and Shannon,” Stiltner’s attorney, John McEntire, wrote.

That trust kept her from questioning Jeffreys’ business deals, even after news reports began to indicate something was wrong, McEntire said.

Kip Hill

Police search for espresso stand robber

Spokane police are searching for a man suspected of robbing a Garland neighborhood espresso stand Monday morning.

A white man with light brown or blond hair walked up to Mug Shots Espresso at 1717 W. Garland Ave. around 6:30 a.m., ordered a coffee and demanded money, according to a news release. He was wearing a black and white hooded sweatshirt and dark gray pants, appeared to be in his late 20s with a “pudgy” face, investigators said.

The robber indicated he had a weapon, but none was shown.

The man left on foot with cash and his coffee.

Kip Hill


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