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In Brief: Avista Foundation tops $10 million in endowments

The Avista Foundation has topped $10 million in endowments.

The foundation supports charitable giving throughout the Spokane-based utility’s service area. It was founded in 2002 with sales of stock from Itron, a former Avista subsidiary that was spun off into a separate company.

Last week, the foundation received its largest donation: $6.5 million from a legal settlement received by Avista. The foundation is not funded from customers’ energy bills, said Jessie Wuerst, a company spokeswoman.

Since its founding, the foundation has provided $3 million in grants to nonprofit organizations. The foundation’s giving is focused on K-12 education and programs to reduce poverty and promote economic and cultural vitality.

New father arrested after police chase

A new Medical Lake father was arrested late Saturday after allegedly leading sheriff’s deputies on a drunken chase while his 3-month-old son was left home unattended.

Nathan McGarrah, 40, faces multiple criminal charges including abandoning a dependent person after a pursuit ended in the 7400 block of Keene Road on Saturday, according to court records. Deputies initially tried to stop McGarrah after he was spotted speeding. He fled because he did not want his truck towed, as he’d been drinking, he told investigators. He also said he didn’t want to go to jail and leave his young son home alone.

State population nears 7 million

OLYMPIA – The state says Washington’s population grew by almost 100,000 last year to nearly 7 million.

The Office of Financial Management says the 85,800 increase in 2013 was the largest one-year gain since 2008, bringing the total to 6,968,200.

The office says people migrating into the state accounted for 57 percent of the increase, with births (minus deaths) accounting for the other 43 percent.

It was the first time since the economic downturn that migration exceeded the three-decade historical average.

The office says 75 percent of the population increase went to the five largest metropolitan counties where economic activity attracts migrants: Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane counties.

The top 10 cities for population growth were Seattle, Bothell, Vancouver, Bellevue, Pasco, Redmond, Renton, Auburn, Kennewick and Snohomish.