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Today’s highlights

Rustin Hall and his son Joseph unfold the wing structure of the 24-foot, 75-pound dragon they built for the University High School drama department production of “Shrek.” SR photo/Dan Pelle

Now that I have finally found my copy of today's Valley Voice that was sitting right in front of me on my desk, I can go over some highlights. (Don't ask. It's one of those days.) Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a cool story on a local family that built a huge mechanical dragon for the University High School's winter play "Shrek." She breathes smoke, she talks and she moves. It will take five students to control the beast. The production is scheduled for Dec. 5-14. Is it too soon to buy tickets?

The Southest Spokane County Fair is this weekend in Rockford. The 69th annual event features a parage, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, live music, a pancake breakfast, a fun run and much more. Of course, you can't forget all the animals either. They even play center stage in the Cow Chip Bingo.

A woman interested in opening a gymnastics facility is asking the city of Spokane Valley to make changes to its zoning code to allow her business to be located in an industrial zone. In a close vote, the city council sent the proposal back to the planning commission for further deliberation.

The city of Liberty Lake has finished a couple of missing links in its trail system along Sprague Avenue. There will be a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday at Sprague and Molter Road.

Church, city settle zoning lawsuit

Here's a news item from the Associated Press:  Here's a news item from the Associated Press:  MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (AP) — The city of Mountain Home has agreed to let a church hold worship services at a local building after church leaders sued, saying its parishioners had been discriminated against. No Limits Christian Ministries sued in federal court late last month, saying that the city's zoning rules violated the U.S. Constitution because they specifically barred religious groups but allowed other clubs and organizations. The church had sought a conditional permit to allow it to worship in a vacant building it owned, but the city originally denied the church's request.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge approved a settlement between the city and the church that recognizes the church as a "permitted use" of the property and allows it to begin holding services in the Main Street building; click below for more.

Church sues city over zoning rules

Here's a news item from the Associated Press:  MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (AP) — A church is suing the city of Mountain Home in federal court, contending the city's zoning rules violate the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against religious groups. No Limits Christian Ministries applied for a conditional use permit so the church could worship in a vacant building. But the city denied the church's request, saying that there weren't enough parking spaces for the congregation and that people who parked on blocks adjacent to the building would have to cross busy city streets, possibly posing a hazard. In the lawsuit, the church says Mountain Home's zoning rules violate the First and 14th Amendments because while it allows clubs, lodges and other group activities without requiring special permits, it specifically bars churches and requires that religious groups prove they deserve a conditional use permit.